As a reward for a lot of extra learning and achievements, the entire Postville yeshiva went on a skiing trip and shabbaton to Omaha, Nebraska, which was organized by the devoted Shluchim to the yeshiva. In addition, talmidim who put in extra effort, won many valuable prizes.
During the month leading up to Yud Shevat, the entire yeshiva was enveloped in the spirit of preparation for the special day. Every one of the bochurim spent much of his free time learning and reviewing maamorim and sichos by heart. Including Basi Legani of the years תשי”א, תשט”ו and תשל”ה, as well as the sichos of תש”י. For every אות that the bochurim learned, they received points and raffle tickets. Additionally, every bochur that learned forty אותיות of שיחות קודש received the sefer יום טוב של ראש השנה – תרס”ו.
Many bochurim were thrilled when the raffle tickets were drawn. Mendel Eidelman won a set of קונטרסים identical to the ones that the Rebbe handed out in תשנ”א-נ”ב, and a set of high quality headphones. Shmulik Abrahams won a set of תניא מבוארת. Berel Borisute won a set of ספר המאמרים מלוקט. Mendel Gerlitzky won a set of the Rebbe’s אגרות קודש. Lastly, Levi Sandhaus won a travel set of ליקוטי שיחות. Plus, since Levi learned the most אותיות – in fact he learned the entire שיחות קודש תש”י, Levi Sandhaus also received a $50 gift certificate to buy more seforim of his choice.
The nature of the trip, trampolining or skiing, was to be decided by the amount of points that the bochurim would earn. Ultimately, the bochurim learned so much, that the trip was increased to include five hours of thrilling skiing, an amazing indoor trampoline park plus a full fledged Shabbaton.
The guys woke up at 4:30 Thursday morning and headed out. They stopped over at the Chabad House of Des Moines, Iowa, where Rabbi Yossi and Rebbetzin Chana Jacobson warmly welcomed them in. After davening and a hot breakfast, they continued on their way until they reached Mt. Crescent, where they had fun until the evening. The Bochurim then got on the road and continued the drive to Omaha, Nebraska. Rabbi Mendel and Rebbetzin Shani Katzman, welcomed them to their Hospitality House – where the bochurim stayed for the Shabbaton.
Friday morning, after shacharis and breakfast, the bochurim went to the Omaha JCC for an hour of mivtzoim. Next, they went to an indoor trampoline park, where 5000 square feet of fun were waiting for them. After plenty of bouncing and jumping, they came back to the chabad house. When they returned, after preparing for shabbos and a lively davening, the bochurim enjoyed the Shabbos meal שבת אחים style.
On Shabbos day, after shacharis, they joined with the Katzmans and their community for the Shabbos seuda. Rabbi Katzman called on the bochurim for a volunteer to share a dvar torah with everyone, which Mendel Baron inspiringly did.
Finally, Sunday morning, after three jam-packed and exciting days of fun, the bochurim got back into the vehicles, and headed back on the long drive to Postville. They arrived to Postville satisfied and refreshed, eager to continue with their learning and thriving.