Monday, December 17, 2018

From time to time, something seemingly ordinary becomes extraordinary. This year on Shabbat of Parshat Teruma, two special communities came together as one. For the second consecutive year, Yedei Chesed hosted its Passaic-Clifton shabbaton, creating an inclusive Shabbat that brought together adult men from both Rockland County and Passaic-Clifton.

On Friday evening, the chevra joined the community members for davening at Ahavas Israel, afterwards joining their respective host families for leil Shabbat seuda. The night continued with a spirited oneg Shabbat, again at Ahavas Israel, filled with zemirot, beautiful words of Torah and incredible storytelling.

The participants awoke bright and early for Shacharit, once again davening alongside the mitpalelim of Ahavas Israel. The shul gabbaim were extremely welcoming, ensuring the shabbaton participants received aliyot, and also invited one of the staff members to serve as ba’al Musaf.

The afternoon Shabbat seuda (catered by Passaic-based King of Delancey) brought members from the broader community together with the shabbaton participants. During the meal, they heard inspirational words of Torah from Rabbi Yehuda Minchenberg, a member of the Passaic kehila. Chaim Solomon, Yedei Chesed’s director of day services and member of the Passaic kehila, also shared an uplifting message. Solomon emphasized “the incredible bonds created between shabbaton participants from two different communities, as well as the special relationships being built between participants and members of the broader kehila.”

Despite the uptick in the afternoon wind-chill, a special seuda shlishit took place at Bais Medrash Zichron Eliezer. Naftali Stubin, one of the young shabbaton volunteers from Passaic, delivered an incredible drasha, drawing on the wisdom of Parshat Teruma as he expounded on the idea of harnessing one’s strengths rather than focusing on one’s limitations. Further enhancing this part of the shabbaton was the opportunity for participants to utilize their homemade shtenders.

Perhaps the most memorable portion of the shabbaton saw Yedei Chesed’s shabbaton staff—comprising both volunteers and professionals—extend themselves beyond the shabbaton’s official programming, making home visits to the families of individuals with disabilities, offering parents an opportunity for Shabbat respite.

The amazing shabbaton ended with a kumsitz and pizza.

On the Monday morning following the shabbaton, one of the parents from Monsey, Mrs. Rokach, whose son Mechel attended the shabbaton, was exuberant as she described how much Mechel enjoyed the shabbaton. Mr. Rokach said that Mechel shared that Mordechai Jablin, his counselor, is “not just Mordechai Jablin; he’s Mordechai the Tzaddik.”

Yedei Chesed is equally excited for its women’s shabbaton, taking place on Shabbat Parshat Behaalotecha, June 9-10. If anyone is interested in hosting, joining or participating, please contact Yedei Chesed at (845) 425-0887 or [email protected]

Yedei Chesed would like to thank the following people and organizations for making this shabbaton possible: Congregation Ahavas Israel; Congregation Bais Medrash Zichron Eliezer; Mr. and Mrs. Moshe Feigin; Mr. And Mrs. Howard Fishman; Mr. and Mrs. Pinny Gildin; Mr. Shlomo Golombeck; Mr. and Mrs. Yitzchok Herz; King of Delancey; Rabbi and Mrs. Yehuda Minchenberg; Mrs. Amy Nevo; Orthocraft Inc.; Pink Orchid; Mr. and Mrs. Howard Reece; Mr. Andrew Schultz; Rita Singer RD; Mr. and Mrs. Chaim Solomon; Rabbi and Rebbetzin Menachem Spira; and Mr. and Mrs. Abraham Stubin.