Photos: Shmuel Amit/COLlive
It’s finally happening. Chayolim from girls’ schools around the world are taking their last and final test at the International Chidon Sefer Hamitzvos Shabbaton.
Six months after chayolim sat down to take their first qualifying test, contestants and school representatives from girls’ schools across the globe are taking their last.
Over 500 finalists traveled from near and far—Arizona, Colorado, and Florida as well as Chile, China, Denmark, and Eretz Yisroel. “I’ve been counting down to the Chidon all year!” says a contestant from London, who flew in earlier this week.
To be eligible for the Shabbaton, students had to achieve a 70% average on the first part of the three qualifying tests. Studying from the Rohr Living Lessons Yahadus curriculum, chayolim used critical thinking skills to truly understand the 613 mitzvos, as codified by the Rambam. “The Rebbe wanted that every man, woman, and child learn Sefer Hamitzvos,” says Rabbi Zalman Glick of Living Lessons. “We are proud to be giving the Rebbe so much nachas,” adds Rabbi Shimmy Weinbaum of Chayolei Tzivos Hashem.
The tests are not easy. Earning a spot on the Shabbaton took much diligence and perseverance on the part of the chayolim. “It’s been awhile since the last Chidon, yet the wonderful memories of that special weekend are still very much a part of us. My children are counting down the days until the next one,” shares parent Hindy Light.
An exciting Shabbos of friends, learning, and fun awaits the students—only a small bonus for the contestant’s hard work. As Rabbi Rosenblum, principal of Yeshiva Schools of Pittsburgh and one of the Chidon originators over twenty years ago, said, “the real reward is the wealth of knowledge that our students walk away with.”