In the weeks and months leading up to Yud Alef Nissan, the 114th birthday of the Rebbe, The Shluchim Office launched a program where hundreds of young shluchim from around the world joined together to prepare and give a ‘matona’ in honor of this special day, with an Igros Kodesh campaign.
Each day the young shluchim learned a letter of the Rebbe from a compilation of letters specifically selected that are relevant to them as young chassidim and shluchim, heard the background of every letter and to whom it was addressed, and discussed the lessons they can learn from them. They were then tested on every letter and received prizes to help them build up their own library of Igros Kodesh and other exciting rewards.
“The objective was to provide the young shluchim with a new appreciation for the Rebbe’s letters and what they can teach us, a chassidishe perspective and the Rebbe’s outlook on real-life issues,” said Rabbi Gedalya Shemtov, director of the Shluchim Office.
“The atmosphere was one of true excitement,” said one of the organizers. “The children were organizing groups over Google Hangouts to review the letters they had learned before the upcoming weekly tests!”
The girls who were participating were challenged to learn the letters well enough to compete in a live online chidon. All the participant, as well as the parents of the finalists, gathered together for what proved to be a grand interactive review, complete with intermissions and questions for the audience. The winners won tickets to New York to represent all the girls who participated at the Rebbe’s Ohel.
In a tight race, the winners of the girls competition were Sarah Hodakov of Clearwater, FL and Nechama Schmerling of Venice, FL who will be coming to New York and the Ohel next month.
The eagerness and enthusiasm displayed by all the young shluchim to participate was extraordinary to see.
“I was watching the live chidon and was so impressed by this beautiful and well-executed idea. My daughter has been knee deep in letters of the Rebbe for weeks preparing for this. It was amazing to see,” said Rabbi Berl Goldman of Gainesville, FL, whose daughter Rochel was a runner-up.