By COLlive reporter
Photos by Mendy Kurant
The scholarly participants of the Global Yarchei Kallah held at Camp Gan Israel in Parksville, New York, got to study in the camp’s newly built Beis Medrash on Thursday evening.
The “Zal” was built especially for staff members of the camp to daven and learn at any time during the day between responsibilities for their roles in the veteran Chabad overnight camp for boys.
A beautiful wooden Aron Kodesh adorns the east wall of the Zal, alongside bookshelves of seforim, from Gemara to Likutei Sichos and the Rebbe’s Maamarin for staff members to immerse themselves in learning.
Rabbis, Roshei Yeshiva and Mashpiim were impressed at the structure and especially the good intentions behind it. In opening remarks, Rabbi Avraham Shemtov publically thanked Dovid Junik and Yerachmel Jacobson and their families for their contributions.
Rabbi Shemtov, head of the camp and organizer of the Yarchei Kallah, said the seed idea was planted by Rabbi Moshe Wolberg, a Rosh Yeshiva in Manchester who spent many summers teaching and guiding staff in camp, and thanked camp director Rabbi Yossi Futerfas to ably bringing it into fruition.
It seemed like an appropriate location for the rabbis to continue their learning that began early on Thursday morning with a shiur chassidus and followed in a tent on the lawn of the camp.
In its 45th year, Yarchei Kallah was founded to honor the yartzeit of Rabbi Levi Yitzchak Schneerson, father of the Rebbe and one of the greatest Talmudic and Kabbalistic scholars of his time.
“I have much affection for that initiative,” the Rebbe commented about this conference, explaining that “it conforms to my obligation to honor my father (during his lifetime and) in the afterlife, and the best way to show honor is by Torah study.”
The Rebbe was referring to a discussion among rabbinic sources on whether the Commandment of “Honor your father and mother” applied only for living parents or even also after their death.
The conclusion is that the honor must be bestowed even after their lifetime. The Zohar, the basic text of Kabbalah, further teaches a way to honor a parent who passed away is through the study of Torah.
Participants this year hail from Crown Heights, Boro Park, Montreal, Cleaveland, Baltimore, New Haven, Morristown, Chicago, Detroit, Johannesburg, Jerusalem, Kfar Chabad, Kiryat Gat, Elad, Kiryat Malachi, S. Paulo in Brazil, Buenos Aires in Argentina, London and Manchester in England, Paris and Burnoy in France, and Caracas in Venezuela.
The Yarchei Kallah is sponsored by Ari Ben Rochel.
The gathering will culminate with a Grand Melave Malka on Motzoei Shabbos, 10:30 PM, at the Main Shul of the camp. Open for the pubic, with a program for men and women, the event will feature speeches by the Rebbe’s Choizer, Rabbi Yoel Kahn; Rabbi Shemtov and Rabbi Wolberg.