By COLlive reporter
Photos by Shimi Kutner
The annual Torah summit of the Global Yarchei Kallah in New York was an opportunity for Chabad’s leading rabbis to extend birthday wishes to Rabbi Avraham Shemtov, Chairman of Agudas Chassidei Chabad International.
“On behalf of the rabbonim, Rosh Yeshivas and Mashpiim here, I wish Rabbi Shemtov a year of success and blessing on the occasion of reaching 80,” said Rabbi Yosef Tzvi Segal, Rosh Kollel Tzemach Tzedek in Jerusalem.
Rabbi Segal, speaking at the festive Melave Malka on Motzoei Shabbos held at Camp Gan Israel in Parksville, alluded that 80 is described as ‘gevuros’ – strength. He wished Rabbi Shemtov “youthful energy to continue all that he was charged with by the Rebbe.”
The gathering concluded an uplifting Shabbos that united some 60 guest rabbis with the young campers and staff members of Chabad’s first overnight camp during davening and farbrengens.
It capped 4 days of intense learning and discussions that typically characterize the Yarchei Kallah founded to honor Chof Av, yartzeit of Rabbi Levi Yitzchok Schneerson OBM, father of the Rebbe.
The self-sacrifice of Reb Levik was described by the Melave Malka’s emcee Rabbi Zev Katz, pointing out how even under harsh Soviet oppression, the Rebbe’s father kept writing Torah and Kabbalah.
Opening the evening was Rabbi Yoel Kahn, the preeminent Chabad scholar who served as the head choizer transcriber of the Rebbe’s teachings. Sharing stories of Shlichus was Rabbi Eliezer Shemtov, Shliach of Uruguay.
In his remarks, Rabbi Avraham Shemtov said that “If we were entrusted to carry out the Rebbe’s work, it means that we are also given the needed resources and capabilities. It is our task to break through the current darkness with light.”
Rabbi Shemtov told the participating rabbis that “We are not departing, because what brought us together, keeps us together – even after you travel back to your respective communities and Yeshivas.”
The Global Yarchei Kallah is organized by Rabbi Avraham Shemtov and hosted for the 44th time by Camp Gan Israel directed by Rabbi Yossi Futerfas and catered by Rabbi Shlomo Futerfas and Bentzi Futerfas.
Yarchei Kallah is coordinated by Rabbi Yehuda Ceitlin, a Chabad Shliach and Associate Rabbi of Cong. Young Israel of Tucson, AZ, with assistance of Mendel Shemtov of Tucson, Mendel Shemtov of Crown Heights, Shmaya Goodman of Ashdod and Moishy Lipsker of Nachlas Har Chabad.
The participating rabbis gave special thanks to camp’s head staff Rabbi Nachman Dov Wichnin, Levi Plotkin, Naftoli Junik, Mendy Kirshenberg, Shmuly Lezak, Mendy Schapiro, Mendel Bergstein, Yisreal Cohen, Aron Spielman and Menny Raichik, the kitchen staff and the dedicated staff of camp.