Cheder Elementary Boys School of Baltimore, Maryland, was able to make Yud Tes Kislev into a tangible experience for the students thanks to the Baltimore Police Department.
Police officers brought a black police van, explaining that they also refer to the vehicle as the “black wagon” and how it is used to transport harsh criminals to jail.
The boys dressed up like the Alter Rebbe and the guards reenacted the story with the wagon for the school and the police officers. Each class was then given opportunity to tour the van. During the last class’s tour, the policeman got an important call as part of Governor Hogen’s recent initiative to reduce crime in Baltimore.
They thanked Rabbi Chesky Tenenbaum, Director of Jewish Uniformed Service Association of Maryland, for making this possible.
After experiencing the story of 19 Kislev with an interactive “Escape from Prison’ game in the morning, the boys participated in a fleishig Yom Tov seudah that ended with lots of dancing, and boys taking hachlotos to learn Tanya and Mishnayos Ba’al Peh as part of Chayolei Tzivos Hashem International Initiative. A special raffle was held with the winning prize of a Tanya that was printed a few years ago on Cheder premises!
Following the seudah, the older boys elected to join a Farbrengen with Rabbi Avrohom Wolowik and Rabbi Aharon Matusof instead of going to recess.
In the girls school, excitement was brewing as the girls completed their two-week hachana program and came to school in Shabbos clothing. Inspiring Farbregens led by Mrs. Chana Baron and Mrs. Chaya Matusof started off the special full day program.
The girls spent extra time davening, played interactive games and enjoyed a fleishig Yom Tov seudah. By the end of the full day program, the love and hiskashrus could be felt in the air as the girls wrote their panim that were sent to the Ohel.
In the Cheder Preschool this was simply one of those days where you are reminded why children will know Moshiach is here before us adults, how they will hear the shofar first. Yud Tes Kislev is a day that can be hard to explain to the littlest neshamas.
The idea that once learning the beauty of Torah and Chassidus could simply put you in jail. How on Yud Tes Kislev the light of chassidus was set free…. but see our little kinderlach in the Cheder Gan have something that many of us struggle with, they simply feel and connect. So, on this special day the Cheder staff stood in awe as they watched all the kinderlach feel what many of us can’t put words to.
Yud Tes Kislev in the Cheder Gan was full of special treats, music, dancing, art projects, and simply connecting to the light of the day. Mrs Matusof, principal of the Elementary girls school joined our rally and inspired the kinderlach with Niggunim and music.