From 22 Shvat through 25 Adar Alef – two dates that honor the Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka’s memory – the high school dorm of Beis Chana, Tzfas ran a special Mivtzah. The Mivtzah also correlates to the current Shnas Hakhel. As two principle goals of Hakhel are to instill greater Yiras Shamayim and increased Torah study, the dorm Mivtzah was called ‘Tosefta’ (‘Supplement’).
The Mivtzah included a sticker album which students earned after completing different goals. There were three possible tracks in the Mivtzah: 1) Chasid – with goals such as saying Chitas, listening to a niggun before going to sleep, learning a sichah, and writing a letter to the Rebbe; 2) Yarei Shamayim – with goals such as being careful with mitzvahs like kashrus, tznius and saying Birkos HaShachar before eating in the morning; or 3) Lamdan – a track for the dorm counselors to raise the bar in their own ruchnius as well as encourage their students to succeed in their track of choice. ‘Off’ Shabboses also had bonus goals like making a Shabbos party for children and distributing Shabbos candles. Aside from the above, students could also submit notes describing goals accomplished ‘l’shem Shamayim’ – for the sake of Hashem alone.
The album was divided into five sections: 1) Chassidic Behaviors 2) Significant Dates in Lubavitch in the Last Century 3) Chassidic Concepts 4) The Rebbe’s Directives and Mivtzoyim 5) Niggunim. Each section contained a number of important quotations about the topic as well as spaces for pasting the stickers. Every couple of days a riddle would be announced whose answer appeared somewhere in the album pages. A small prize would be raffled off to one of the students who solved the riddle.
Students who completed the entire album entered a raffle which took place on 27 Adar. Interestingly, a disproportionate majority of Naale dorm students won prizes: Yafit Swed (Mexico) won a guitar; Chani Weber (Huntingdon, PA) and Chanale Cohen (Ocean City, NJ) both won area rugs; Rivka Karnauch (FSU) won a hair straightener; Chana Schimmel (Postville, OH) won a monogrammed towel; Rivky Zaklos won a wireless speaker. Besides these prizes, other dorm students won an electric citrus juicer, a milk frother, and a popcorn maker.
Of course, the real prizes were the changes Beis Chana students made in their lives thanks to Mivtzah Tosefta. One student took upon herself to wash ‘negel vasser’ next to her bed – something she had not been careful about. Another student, not from a Lubavitch background, gave up eating ‘chalav akum’ – a really monumental leap for a teenager!
Mivtzah Tosefta was created and produced by the Beis Chana dormitory staff and a graphic artist, and project funds were raised by the dorm students. Beis Chana welcomes inquiries about replicating this Mitzvah in other schools and yeshivas.
Another highlight from Beis Chana’s recent news are the two extended weekend trips for students participating in an optional club called ‘Chana’s Path’ whose purpose is to help students advance in their Chassidishkeit. The first weekend was for the 9-10th graders and the second weekend was for 11-12 graders. T
he trips started out with a biking around the Nachal Kibbutzim trail and then arriving at the luxury bungalow lodgings in Yishuv Yaniel. The pastorally located bungalows are beautifully designed and furnished and include indoor Jacuzzis, an outdoor pool, table top tennis and other games, a gigantic trampoline and more. Thursday nights’ farbrengens were with Rabbi Shmuelevitz from Beit She’an.
Fridays were spent enjoying the different amenities, going on Mivtzah Neshek in Poriah Hospital and neighborhood nearby, as well as cooking all the Shabbos meals. The girls selected their menu of choice, rolled up their sleeves and got to work enjoying each other’s company while creating delicious Shabbos fare. Shabbos was a balance between rest and fun with meaningful farbrengens (planned and spontaneous ones both!). The 9-10th graders were treated to an impromptu Naale choir led by Chavi Liebersohn (Mexico) who taught everyone how to sing in rounds and in harmony. As organizers for ‘Chana’s Path’ the 11-12th graders ended their weekend with an additional midnight nature hike and barbeque.
In order to be eligible for all the above, ‘Chana’s Path’ students had to participate in one of the three possible school Hakhel weekly gatherings from the year’s start and had to log another Chassidishe accomplishment per month onto the school’s computer program (activities such as going on Mivtzoyim, writing to the Rebbe, making a Hachlata Tova, or speaking to a Mashpiah).
BE”H, may Beis Chana’s students continue and increase their Chassidishe growth and to grant their parents and educators abundant Chassidishe nachas.