By Estie Rav-Noy
Sixth grader – Los Angeles California
What a fun-packed Shabbos it was! Starting with pick-up on Friday afternoon in front of the Schneersohn square, the girls headed in to the cars to what would be a weekend of a lifetime!
Not a moment to waste; every second is precious!! We definitely learned that this past Shabbos in Irvine, when there was something to do, an activity to be played, an idea to learn at every moment!
The weekend really began with Mivtzoyim: we gave out some Neshek as well as spread the Rebbe’s message of the importance of doing acts of goodness and kindness. What a Kiddush Hashem was made – one woman even said, “I wish you girls would be here every time I come shopping! I will definitely pass on this good card and do a favor for someone else in my life!”
Then the rush was on; set the table, prepare the candles, warm the food – the excitement was building. A beautiful lesson about what we can learn from Shabbos candles, a grand tour of the Chabad House in Irvine California- under the leadership of Rabbi and Mrs. Alter Tenenbaum and learning a new song about when Moshiach comes led up to a stupendous davening with the Irvine community – and how were they impressed with how well-behaved the girls were during davening.
Friday night dinner was incredible – tons of delicious food (THANK YOU La Glatt!!!) singing well into the night, and professional skits by our very own girls – each with a special lesson to learn. Divrei Torah, more singing and of course more food…. and then came the fun part! We all set up our sleeping bags, but we didn’t do much sleeping! Pillow fights, Jewish Malarkey, dress-ups, team building games – the fun just didn’t end!
But don’t worry – we were up bright and early Shabbos morning, ready for a great day ahead of us! Breakfast (all those yummy baked goods….thank you Shabbaton committee!) followed by Cocoa club, where we played a few interactive games, which showed us the importance of davening – talking only to Hashem during that time! Davening was a joyous occasion full of song and feelings of community – once again our girls impressed the members of Chabad of Irvine with their incredible behavior! They even asked when we are coming to visit again! Plus, our girls interacted and socialized with the children in the community, showing them what it’s like to be a frum girl! Lunch was mouthwatering, joining the community Kiddush (thank you again- Rabbi Alter and Binie Tenenbaum!) followed by a shuir on “How can a girl like me really make a difference in the World” given over by Shaina Trapedo. Free time wasn’t very long for most girls – they joined in the optional learning activity, a sicha about the power of Jewish women! The whole group then journeyed out on a Shabbos walk – to the beautiful lake and really felt the true meaning of “Mah rabu ma’asecha Hashem”! Shalosh seudos and seder niggunim really helped us conclude our Shabbos on a wonderful note.
But that was not the end of it – right after Havdalah and Living Torah it was time to pack up our stuff and get ready to go to….. The IRVINE LAGOON! There we played…..GLOW-IN-THE-DARK Capture the Flag – a bunch of red and yellow light running and bobbing around in the dark night. The bonfire warmed us up as we sat around singing and waiting anxiously for….the GOREL to see who would be the Zoiche B’gorel and win a trip to Crown Heights.
BACK ON THE VAN!!! As our stomachs begin to rumble…we are ready for Melaveh Malka at NAGILLAH PIZZA!!! Yummy pizza, nachos oh, AND ICE CREAM was definitely the sweetest to top off our already amazing Shabbos! It was such an enjoyable Shabbos – we had a blast!
By the time we arrived at KYY we were walking zombies….ready to crash after what thank God was a Shabbaton that will last in our memories forever!
To sum up the entire weekend I would say – “The girls had an amazing time at the Shabbaton…. every detail was so well planned with a great balance of Toichon and FUN!”- I am sure that I am speaking on behalf of all the girls of “The Rebbe’s Diamond Daveners- when I say …thank you Kol Yakov Yehuda and Srula Duchman- our Madricha- for organizing this Beautiful Shabbaton!!!!