By COLlive reporter
“South Florida should be proud,” says Rabbi Leibel Schapiro, Rosh Yeshiva of the Yeshiva Gedolah of Miami, about the upcoming “One Shabbos” weekend retreat that will be uniting Lubavitchers and friends from across the state.
“We are the only place in the world doing such a large-scale preparation for Gimmel Tammuz,” he points out with pride, referring to the 20th yartzeit of the Rebbe that is being marked with a series of events, programs and Mitzvah campaigns worldwide.
The “Florida Shabbaton,” to be held this Shabbos at the Bonaventure Resort in Weston, is promising to be an unforgettable Shabbos of reflection, unity and spiritual elevation.
“The point of the Shabbos is to get together without any compromises or distractions,” Rabbi Schapiro told COLlive. “We should all be immersed in an authentic experience, like in ‘Gan Eden’ for 36 hours. We will daven, learn, farbreng, speak about our hiskashrus, how to be inspired and how to inspire others.”
1,000 people have registered for this unprecedented community-wide getaway at the plush resort, dotted with palm trees and swimming pools, which will be transformed into an oasis of Chassidic inspiration when it plays hosts to some of the most respected names in Lubavitch.
“One of the major things the Rebbe said to prepare for the coming of Moshiach is total unity among Jews,” said Florida’s Head Shliach Rabbi Avrohom Korf who is on the Rabbinic Committee, along with Rabbi Schapiro, Rabbi Yosef Denburg, Rabbi Sholom Ber Lipskar, Rabbi Aaron Lieberman and Rabbi Yosef Marlow.
“This event is so important because its very purpose is to bring everyone together – men, women and children, chassidim and balei batim,” Rabbi Korf told COLlive. “This is a true Shabbos achdus, for all members of the Chabad community. It will be beautiful and hopefully will do the job.”
A well-crafted program will infuse the Shabbos with chassidic joy and spirit through a balanced collection of lectures, shiurim, and farbrengens that Rabbi Benjy Korf, Dean of Lubavitch Educational Center says “will deepen our appreciation of the Rebbe, strengthen our sense of achdus, and awaken our Chassidic consciousness in the days before Gimmel Tammuz.”
In addition to Florida’s own Rabbis Korf, Schapiro, Lipskar and others, an eclectic slate of Chabad’s leading rabbonim, mashpi’im and shluchim will be flying in to to inspire – and likely enough, get inspired as well.
Among them are Rabbi Abraham Shemtov, Chairman of Agudas Chassidei Chabad International; Tzfas Mashpia Rabbi Aaron Lazer Ceitlin, scholar Rabbi Leibel Altein, South Africa’s Head Shliach Rabbi Mendel Lipskar and his wife Mashie Lipskar, and Shliach Rabbi Yossi Lew of Peachtree, GA.
Pulling off such an extraordinary weekend, that kicks off on Friday, 22 Sivan and continues until Sunday, 24 Sivan, is a task for many and indeed many stepped up to the plate to offer assistance in every area, according to Rabbi Yossie Biston, exective director of Chabad of North Broward and Palm Beach County.
“Everyone is united to make this happen in the best way possible,” he said, pointing out that the collective effort resulted in over 1,000 people registering for the Shabbos, leaving the organizers scrambling to find additional hotel rooms.
“We have a waiting list of 160 people,” Rabbi Biston said. “We didn’t know what to expect when we planned it. It is so amazing to see such a response, showing that the heart of chassidim are alive and in tune. We are living with the Rebbe, everyone wants to stay connected.”
“One Shabbos” is set to be the largest Shabbaton marking Gimmel Tammuz in the United States. “The amazing response is a testament to the hard work Rabbi Korf has put into the Florida community for so many years,” Rabbi Biston added.
Another draw is the Children’s Program that promises wholesome fun in a nurturing environment. The caring counselors that served at the Tzeirei Hashluchim Camp will be running the program, separate for girls and boys.
The schedule of activities lined up is organized by Rabbi Shmuly Gutnick of Chabad Youth Network of Florida for the hundreds of kids who will be joining. The weekend is being coordinated by Boruch Cohen of Sovereign Planning.