By Malki G.
Chodesh Iyar arrived with energy in the OC dorm: beginning with an engaging farbrengen to inspire us on the occasion of the Rebbe Maharash’s birthday. Rabbi Shneur Lange farbrneged about the Rebbe Maharash’s childhood, and little-known details about his avodah over the course of his lifetime, as well as his unique place among the corpus of Chassidic Rebbeim. The underlying theme of the discussion centred around the Rebbe Maharash’s famous adage, “lechatchile Ariber,” which guides us on how to approach life with a certain chassidishe gumption, fuelled by emunah.
Next came our regularly scheduled in-Shabbos, where we were lucky enough to host Timmy and Kalman Rubin, who, over the course of a delicious Friday night meal, gave us words of chizuk, and invaluable life and relationship advice.
Preparation for Pesach Sheini began early, with Mrs. Menucha Cooper giving us an important shiur on Shlichus, and how we can apply our ‘never too late’ motto to our everyday life and peulos. Getting us into the spirit of Achdus as usual, our Achdus committee prepared an exciting candle-making workshop for our Motzoei Shabbos melave malka. We also practised our artistic skills at a calligraphy workshop – another achdus program – ran by our talented dorm counsellor T. Greenbaum. We enjoyed both programs thoroughly and loved the opportunity to bond together.
This was followed by an enthralling Farbrengen with Mrs Bondar, a mother of one of our own OC girls, who spoke about female empowerment and her experiences as a Shlucha in Frankston, Victoria. We discussed the importance of shlichus in impacting the lives of yidden in ways we can’t even fathom. We spent many hours together and certainly all left very inspired!
With our daily Sefirah learning, ran by one of our chassidus teacher Leah Groner, well underway, Lag BaOmer preparations were only just around the corner. We took advantage of a well-sought-after Q and A session ran by Rabbi Yaakov Glasman, as well as an increase in our learning across all our classes. This included us studying a Maamer in-depth on the Rashbi’s hillula, and how it relates to the permutation of Hashem’s names – M”A and BA”N. Lag BaOmer itself gave us wonderful hafotzah opportunities – which included us helping run a Chabad Youth community carnival, and a girls’ High School bonfire. We also enjoyed a traditional hike on the day and our own bonfire later that night.
Along with special Sunday achdus trips, including biking and boating, our incredible farbrengens and guest speakers did not cease to inspire us! We were privileged to hear Rabbi Moshe New, a shliach from Montreal, Canada, give us a profound shiur on the Rebbe’s insight into the classic theme of ‘dira betachtonim’: how Hashem desires us to become partners with Him in the world once we create a Dira Betachtonim.
As the full-to-the-brim month of Iyar came to a close, we ended off with a treat to usher in the month of Sivan: a Rosh Chodesh trip to Ripponlea gardens where we enjoyed a picnic under the warm weather and explored nature. We discussed our preparations to ascend the spiritual ‘mountain’ of Sinai for Shavuos, and eagerly await what Sivan will bring us!