As Shabbos Parshas Terumah neared, over 30 fathers from as close as down the block to as far as Belgium and Australia arrived at Yeshivas Lubavitch Cincinnati for the annual “Father and Son” Shabbos.
This is one of the most anticipated moments of the year, when fathers take time from their busy schedules to travel to the yeshivah to visit their sons and witness firsthand the growth, warmth and Chasidishe atmosphere of Tomchei Temimim that their sons experience on a daily basis.
The fathers were greeted with a comprehensive welcome packet with information regarding the Shabbos schedule and program, as well as a detailed report of their son’s progress over the last month. The yeshivah is deeply grateful for the generous warmth and hospitality of the local anash of Cincinnati, who hosted the many fathers who came—with added thanks to all those who helped to prepare and provide the welcome packet for each guest.
The Shabbos weekend began with Friday morning Shacharis in the spacious, inviting, newly renovated Toron Beis Midrash. After davening and a delicious breakfast, all in attendance participated in a captivating shiur by Rabbi Eliyahu Simpson, the yeshivah’s senior maggid shiur.
The parents then went to their host families and many then went out with their sons on mivtzoim.
As Shabbos came in, the fathers partook of one of the most treasured moments of this Shabbos: learning a sichah together with their sons. This was followed by a heartwarming seder nigunim led by Rabbi Levi Simpson, mashpiah and maggid shiur in yeshivah.
After a Cincinnati-style lebedike kabolas Shabbos, the fathers and sons took their seats in the also newly renovated dining room, specially decorated for the occasion under the direction of the Menahel Gashmi, Rabbi Eliyahu Morrison. The yeshivah extends heartfelt thanks to Rabbi Morrison for his great dedication and involvement in general, with extra appreciation for his attentive efforts toward making this Shabbos event successful.
During the course of the seudah, divrei Torah and personal impressions were shared by Hatomim Menachem Holtzman from Buffalo, as well as shluchim Rabbi Chaim Mendelsohn (Ottawa), Rabbi Yerachmiel Benjaminson (CH), Rabbi Yehudah Forster (CH) and Rabbi Natanel Isaacs (LA). The evening keynote address was given by Rabbi Levi Kurinsky (Melbourne, Australia). Per yeshivah tradition, the temimim, their fathers, and anash farbrenged together at length after the seudah, completing the evening’s program.
On Shabbos morning, Rabbi Zalman Baras, Senior Mashpiah of the yeshivah, delivered a shiur on the connection between Chasidus and our daily life. Following Shacharis, all the fathers and sons joined together for a Shabbos seudah with the fathers’ host families and chavrei hanhalah. After Minchah, there was a farbrengen with Rosh Yeshivah Rabbi Gershon Avtzon. The farbrengen was followed by Maariv, a video of the Rebbe and a special “Fathers and Sons” photograph.
Later that evening, a special Melave Malkah seudah took place in the yeshivah’s Boymel Rabbinical College. There was special excitement among the temimim, as the highlight of the Melave Malkah was a siyum on the entire Sefer Hasichos by the talmid, hatomim Levi HaKohein Teitelbaum (Montreal), which he had begun and completed in yeshivah.
Rabbi Zev HaKohein Teitelbaum, Levi’s father, shared moving words and also surprised his son with a dollar from the Rebbe received on the same date as Levi’s birthday. After the siyum, there was lively dancing that celebrated this tremendous milestone. Rabbi Avtzon acknowledged the eltere bochurim of the yeshivah—hatemimim Chaim Polter, Levi Baumgarten and Shmuel Granovetter—presenting them each with a recently published sefer in appreciation of their remarkable dedication to the yeshivah. Granovetter, a Cincinnati native who, in addition to his current position is also a graduate of the yeshivah, delivered remarks on his experiences and memorable moments in yeshivah from his unique perspective over several years as talmid, shliach, and teacher at Yeshivas Lubavitch Cincinnati.
The Melava Malkah keynote speaker was Rabbi Dovid Leib Myhill (Montreal), who spoke on the hashkafah of chinuch in our time. Rabbi Myhill thanked the hanhalah for their investment in his three sons who have learned in the yeshivah over the years. The evening concluded with a special video presentation by the talmidim hashluchim, highlighting their many activities.
On Sunday morning there was a chinuch seminar for the fathers, led by the Menahel of the yeshivah, Rabbi Menachem Benarousse. Later in the day, fathers had the opportunity to meet privately with the teachers to discuss their sons’ progress and growth.
The weekend concluded with parents, bochurim, and hanhalah alike inspired and energized to fulfill the Rebbe’s shlichus “to be mekabel p’nei Moshiach tzidkeinu bepo’el mamash!”