The Shmuel Zahavy Cheder Chabad Melava Malka’s success was immediately evident, by the palpable reactions of the attendees.
As parents absorbed the lovely decor they were swept into the program by student Shua Deitsch playing a niggun beautifully on the saxophone, accompanied on the keyboard by parent Reb Yehoshua Lavner.
The evening’s MC, Reb Shlomo Rosenzweig, noted how he has been a proud cheder parent of ka”h many sons for the last twenty six consecutive years! Now, as his son Yudy is graduating eighth grade he will continue on to be part of the Cheder Chabad family as a proud zaidy!
A special media presentation of the historical events surrounding the Frierdiker Rebbe’s farbrengen on Purim Katan 1927 who notwithstanding NKVD-KGB scrutiny declared chinuch to be paramount to the point of mesiras nefesh.
It was narrated by students Yaakov Rothenberg and Avraham Gorman. The presentation included photos of the rebbeim in the Cheder who work tirelessly with true mesiras nefesh to instill yiras shamayim and provide outstanding chinuch to their talmidim.
The music built momentum as the evening highlight began with the adorable talmidim of grades three and four marching in with faces glowing to take the stage. The room was still and the mood somber as the principal and choirmaster, Rabbi Baruch Zaltzman, emotionally dedicated the niggun of Yedid Nefesh to a former talmid, Refoel a”h ben Aryeh Leib who had suddenly passed away on Friday, Purim Katan at the age of seventeen.
The choir began singing in perfect unison this unique niggun which speaks of the neshama’s love and yearning for Hakodosh Boruch Hu. It was a magical moment for the talmidim as they sang along with their principal who rounded out their stellar performance with his own musical talent.
The obvious love and connection between mechanech and talmidim was a glimpse into the daily care and devotion of each mechanech and talmid in Cheder Chabad. The moving niggun was followed by an upbeat one which had parents spontaneously clapping along.
The guest speaker, Rabbi Yosef Minkowitz, Principal of Bais Rivka in Montreal, spoke of the Rebbe’s instruction to provide answers to children to counterattack the threat of today’s apathy. He reiterated the need for a strong chinuch of nigleh intertwined with chassidus. He illustrated how each of the Rebbe’s directives for children serves the purpose of fortifying them against the cold winds of apathy.
The evening ended with groups of parents animatedly discussing their views and sharing chizuk in the true spirit of “ish es rayahu yaazoru”, friends sharing and strengthening each other in their crucial role of raising their precious children to be the ones to greet Moshiach proudly.
The evening was a resounding success due in no small part to a group of dedicated mothers. The hours of meticulous planning and preparation bore fine results.
Choir sings Yedid Nefesh in memory of Refael Kaushansky, OBM