The International Chidon Sefer Hamitzvos is back on the horizon. The date has been set, and hundreds of children from schools across America, Canada, Australia, and England are getting ready to compete.
To join there will be two qualifying tests; one on Gimmul Iyar and the second on Yud Iyar. Children who receive a passing mark will be eligible to join the Chidon shabbaton. Two finalists from each grade will have the honor of representing their schools in the Chidon’s championship tournament.
“There is no need to elaborate on how much it means to the Rebbe that every man, woman, and child study the daily portion of Rambam,” says Rabbi Yerachmiel Benjaminson, executive director of Tzivos Hashem. “Our goal is for every soldier to have a clear understanding of all 613 mitzvos of the Torah as codified by the Rambam, so that for the rest of their lives, when they study the daily shiur, they will be able to understand it properly.”
In order to reach this goal, Tzivos Hashem is using an acclaimed curriculum created by the Living Lessons Foundation: a series of workbooks and textbooks explaining each mitzva, its main halachos, and applicable life lessons using colorful images, intuitive layout, and cutting-edge educational methods. The progressive tool is made possible by a grant from The Rohr Family Foundation in loving memory of Mrs. Sara Rohr, a”h. The 613 Mitzvos are to be completed over a five-year period, from fourth through eighth grade, by learning approximately 125 mitzvos each year.
In addition to the limmud, Tzivos Hashem has re-instituted the Chidon Sefer Hamitzvos as a motivation for chayolim to review the information they are learning and commit the 613 mitzvos to memory.
“It’s well-proven that children who actively participate in the chidon have a lasting knowledge and appreciation for Sefer Hamitzvos, even many years later,” says Mushkie Rosenblum, a 2006 chidon finalist who is now program director of Chayolei Tzivos Hashem.
“There is no question that this limmud and chidon will give the Rebbe tremendous nachas,” affirms Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky, vice chairman of Merkos L’Inyonei Chinuch. “We are all looking forward to the Chidon Sefer Hamitzvos, where we will see the children shine!”