On Friday, two busses packed with nearly 75 students from Yeshiva University arrived in front of 770 for what would be the beginning of the annual Oholei Torah-Yeshiva University Shabbaton.
Many of the participants are members of Chabad Club of YU and attend the weekly Thursday night “Chassidus and Cholent”, where students have the opportunity to learn Chassidus one on one with the Bochurim from Oholei Torah.
The Shabbaton kicked off with an interactive tour of 770 and WLCC, given by Zevi Slavin. The students also got a glimpse of its rich history and were able to see how the Rebbe’s talks were disseminated internationally with (then) cutting-edge technology.
Afterwards, they got a chance to look at the artifacts of the Rebbe’s library guided by Rabbi Levin. After the tour, everyone then had some time to stroll around the streets of Crown Heights and experience some of the Erev Shabbos frenzy on the way to their hosts.
Mincha was held at Oholei Torah Zal, following which the students experienced the beauty of a soul-stirring Seder Niggunim. They then had a chance (some for the first time in their lives) to learn some genuine Chassidus, one on one, with the Bochurim.
Kabolas Shabbos, led by Mendel Inglis, was held in 770-in the Rebbe’s office following preparatory remarks by Rabbi Elkanah Shmotkin, director of JEM.
Following their Friday-night meals with their hosts, the students made their way to the house of Moshe Rubashkin. Rabbi Simon Jacobson then Farbrenged late into the night, explaining both deep and practical aspects of Chassidus, the importance of Ahavas Yisrael and answering students’ questions.
On Shabbos morning, there was another session of one on one learning followed with a shiur from Rabbi Shlomo Sternberg.
Everyone came together for Shabbos lunch with delicious food, lively singing and Divrei Torah from students of Oholei Torah and YU – Chaim Pinczower and Akiva Tolchin. The Seuda then continued directly into a Farbrengen led by Rabbi Sholom Feldman (Sydney, Australia) who expounded on the Chassidic view on positivity despite adversity.
Shalosh Seudos was held in Bais Shmuel where Rabbis Dudi Farkash and Shaya Rochester spoke about the challenges and benefits of maintaining a Frum and Chassidish lifestyle in the corporate world.
The Shabbaton concluded with a Banquet, with a moving story told by Mendy Mentz and remarks given by Chabad-YU Program Directors Danny Fordham and Menachem Shemtov.
A video presentation followed with a Sicha from the Rebbe explaining that from modern technology it is seen how every person has the power to change the world accompanied with a detailed account of Rabbi Soloveitchik’s visit to the Rebbe in 1980.
Tanyas that were printed in YU and customized sweaters were given out to all the students and Bochurim as a special memento and gift.
Lively music from Ben-Shimon and spirited dancing concluded the event and Shabbaton.
Thank you to our generous sponsors and gracious hosts for making the Shabbaton possible and to all the bochurim who go every Thursday night to learn Chassidus with a Chavrusa at YU.
A special thank you to event planners and coordinators Mendel Inglis, Menachem Shonebach, Menachem Shemtov and Zevi Slavin for all their tireless efforts in arranging and making the Shabbaton a success.
Graphics: Shimon Gorkin/Mendel Ginsberg
Video: Yaakov Raskin
Thank you to Albany Bakery, Chocolatte, Gombos, Raskins Fish, Raskins Fruit and Sushi spot