On Wednesday, January 4, parents gathered in the Yeshiva Primary ballroom to celebrate the Chumash party of their children. This was the first in-person Chumash celebration since Covid. In Hebrew classes, the students are arranged by levels. Most of them came to Yeshiva Primary over the past couple of years from public school.
Morah Yocheved Abramovitz, limudei kodesh morah for over 15 years, played beautiful piano music as the students marched onto the stage. She accompanied them with inspiring songs during the whole program.
Rebbetzin Channah Hecht, limudei kodesh morah at Yeshiva Primary for over 25 years, first thanked Hashem for this auspicious time. She thanked Rabbi Zalmen Deutscher, Founder and Dean of Yeshiva Primary, and Mrs. Judy Klein, Principal. She also thanked the parents and students. She pointed out that the Hebrew word ben (son) has the same root as boneh (build). Our children are the building blocks of our future generations. When the Torah was given at Sinai, Hashem asked who will be the guarantors to keep the Torah for the future? “Your children will be the guarantors. They are our legacy.” She shared that she treats her students the way she would want her own children to be treated. Each child is a diamond. Each child is very special.
Rebbetzin Hecht shared the story of a man who wanted to convert. He asked Shamai, the Sage, to teach him the whole Torah while standing on one foot. Shamai sent him away. Then he asked Hillel, the Sage, who told him: If you want to know it rapidly, then the essence of the whole Torah is to love your fellow Jew as yourself.
The students then performed a famous story about two brothers. One was rich and one was poor. They lived on different sides of a mountain. They each brought stacks of wheat for the other in the middle of the night secretly, because they each worried that his brother needed it. In the morning, they were both surprised to see that they still had the same number of sheathes of wheat. The next night, they both reached the top of the mountain carrying more wheat and they realized what happened and they hugged each other. Hashem saw their good deeds and he selected this spot of love and chesed to build the Beis HaMikdash. He appeared to David HaMelech in a dream and told him that this was the spot for the Beis HaMikdash.
This teaches us how important it is to Hashem that we love one another.
After this, two students read some of the beginning p’sukim from Parshas Lech L’cha. Rebbetzin Hecht asked the students if it was hard for Avraham to leave his father’s house, and they said yes, and she asked why he did it. They said because he had faith and trust in Hashem. Rebbetzin Hecht taught that “it is in our DNA to believe and trust in Hashem.”
Next, she shared that Jewish women light Shabbos candles with full trust in Hashem. Their candles light up their homes and light up the world. “A little light takes away a lot of darkness.”
Rabbi Deutscher spoke about ways of showing respect. He spoke about respecting parents. We don’t call a parent by his or her first name, and a parent makes sure that the other one is respected by the children. “We have to show respect to the Chumash and the lessons it teaches us.” He shared how certain articles are irreplaceable, like photos of a parent or grandparent. The Chumash must be treated with proper respect. You don’t let it fall on the floor or turn it upside down.
He related that “what you observed today was not a show. You actually see values your children are absorbing in the classroom.” Rabbi Deutscher presented a chumash to each student individually and encouraged each one with a special personal message.
It was a truly inspiring event. Hashem should continue to bless Yeshiva Primary and all their holy work and continue to see Yiddishe nachas from the students and graduates.
By Susie Garber