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Students Enjoy Best Yeshiva-wide Shabbaton Yet!

by Shua Pariser ('20)

What's one thing that 264 people look forward to? The Yeshiva Wide Shabbaton of course!

On Thursday evening the busses left school at 6:35 heading towards the beautiful Raleigh Hotel. We arrived at 8:30, and then, the special anticipated surprise was revealed. The surprise consisted of performances by a contemporary poet, followed by an amazing, laughter-inducing hypnotist. We then davened Maariv, unpacked, had the opportunity to participate in an ad-hoc escape the room incredibly designed by Mr. Bernstein, and capped off the night with an awesome midnight barbecue (with a special surprise birthday cake for all in honor of Rabbi Green's birthday).

The excitement continued Friday morning. We davened, then enjoyed an inspirational shiur by Rabbi Axelrod, followed by a scrumptious breakfast. Students had the option to partake in one of four activities on Friday morning. One option was to relax at the hotel, enjoying the amenities such as the indoor pool. Another option was bowling with Rabbi Shenker and Rabbi Blackstien. The third option was to go on a hike with Mr. Sragow. The fourth and final option was the annual Shabbaton football tournament, which as always, was expertly organized by Rabbi Pearl. At 12:15, those who were not on the hike made their way back to the hotel for a delicious lunch. We then had an hour of to chill out at the hotel. During that time was the playoffs and championship for the football tournament (and with an epic finish as Shuey's team edged out Rabbi Kahn's team in the championship).

About a half hour before Shabbos, there was a pre-Shabbos meditation led by Rabbi Blackstein. We then davened Mincha and Kabbalas Shabbos, led by MTA alum Mordechai Shapiro ('07) and singer of "Schar Mitzvah", who joined us for the Shabbaton. After Kabbalas Shabbos, Rabbi Kahn addressed the students with a short drasha. We davened Maariv and then went straight into the meal. Rabbi Taubes made Kiddush and we had delicious food once again and sang beautiful zemirot, and then we benched. We were then sent to different locations according to shiur, where we had a shiur by our Rebbeim. At 9:00 we were sent to our designated rooms for a game show. The 9th and 10th grade played The Newlywed Game, and the 11th and 12th grade played Shiur Feud. At 10:45, we had a tisch led by Mordy Shapiro, Rabbi Taubes, and Rabbi Soniker. Mordy Shapiro led the singing, Rabbi Taubes taught a song, and Rabbi Soniker gave some Divrei Torah. It was an incredible experience as all the students sang together, arm-in-arm. We then went to sleep to prepare ourselves for what promised to be another jam-packed day.

On Shabbos morning, we were woken up by the beautiful impromptu songs of Rabbi Green. We davened Shacharis, which was led by Tani Mayer ('17), heard a beautiful speech by Rabbi Taubes, and davened Musaf, led by Mordy Shapiro. After davening there was a satisfying Kiddush, and learning in different locations, split up by grade. We then went to another delicious meal with beautiful zemirot and benching. After the meal, we had the option of either relaxing, playing mini hockey, or going to Rabbi Taubes' shiur. Shortly after, there was optional learning in the Beis Medrash with more food, followed by Mincha. After Mincha, we had shalosh seudot with extremely uplifting zemirot and benching. After benching, we kept the singing going until the end of Shabbos. We then davened Maariv and had a special Havdalah with Mordy Shapiro. Then, we went to pack up, and had a beautiful Melava Malka with more food and spirited dancing. After that, we said our goodbyes and left. A big thank you to Rabbi Green, Elie Hirt, Rabbi Kahn, and everyone else who helped out for putting this fabulous event together.