In Honor Of Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan
On Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan, Shevach High School was transformed into a magical tropical island surrounded by walls of “water.” Students and staff alike enjoyed a gala Rosh Chodesh breakfast coordinated by the student G.O. heads – Tova Halberstam, Penina Rockove, Sarala Taub, Shifra Gewanter, and Daniella Haim – under the leadership of Shevach Educational Administrator Mrs. Devorah Kovitz.
The island and water theme was very appropriately chosen, as the mazal of the month of Cheshvan is rain. The theme was also connected to the pasuk “Hashem Melech...yism’chu iyim rabim,” which refers to the times of Mashiach when Hashem’s reign will cause all the islands in the world to rejoice. The eye-catching sceneries set the perfect tone in which to enjoy the delicious breakfast.
The program began with the eleventh-grade performance of an ensemble, coordinated by Hadassah Gottesman and Miriam Romm, inviting all to Shevach Island. The juniors then inspired all with a touching choir focused on the yahrzeit of Rachel Imeinu, which is during this month. The choir, conducted by juniors Shayna Husarsky, Sarah Press, Racheli Robinson, and Tehila Striks, certainly portrayed the vast spectrum of talent within the Shevach student body.
The highlight of the morning came next, as the students were addressed by their very respected and beloved halachah and hashkafah teacher, Rabbi Aryeh Sokoloff, rav of Kew Gardens Synagogue Adath Yeshurun. Rabbi Sokoloff very emotionally stressed the potential of each and every young lady in the room.
Rabbi Sokoloff elucidated how the women in history saved Rosh Chodesh. Rosh Chodesh was taken away from the 12 sh’vatim and was “given” to the women. Due to the participation of the men in the Cheit HaEigel, the sin of the Golden Calf, they couldn’t be the ones to safeguard Rosh Chodesh.
The women, though, had a clear sense of what is right and what is not. In spite of the powerful culture of avodah zarah, the idol worship that was rampant at the time, the women held firm in their belief of serving only Hashem. That strength can be traced back to Miriam who was a bas melech, a true princess. She had the courage to save her baby brother Moshe, who later led the Jewish people. Miriam was the role model for the Jewish women throughout history. She passed down to them the confidence and strength of royalty.
That confidence has protected the Jewish people to this very day. Women can lift up others. This idea is personified by Rosh Chodesh as, just as the moon reflects the light of the sun, so, too, women are the reflection of Hashem Himself.
Rabbi Sokoloff left the students feeling empowered and confident that they can look inward and then, ultimately, look outward in their role as leaders of their own nuclear families and as leaders in the larger community.
Mrs. Kovitz and her dedicated G.O., under the guidance of Shevach Principal Rebbetzin Rochelle Hirtz, succeeded in highlighting the beauty of Rosh Chodesh and its significance to women today. It was, indeed, a “magical” celebration.