Rest, Light and Joy has been restored to the children!
The bonding on the Belev Echad Shabbaton this past weekend on the Bnei Akiva campus in Netanya was incredible!
Photography: Koby Har Tzvi
One by one, a multi colored swarm of boys from all edges of the rainbow, unloaded the Blev Echad bus. Children that were coping with all different kinds of serious illness’s form all over Israel came prepared for a shabbat of a lifetime, Young men with hearts of gold came to volunteer and to help these children throughout the entire shabbat. It goes without saying that these are the “Blev Echad Angels”- the regular and committed volunteers who come with determination to help and to get the jobs done with love.
Everyone here was gathered for one important goal- to try and enable the pain from the illness’s to be set aside for even just a few hours that usually takes over their lives daily , and to gather as one over shabbat. This shabbat was set up to be the true rest and medicine for the soul. After each child had been paired with a mentor, all the participants settled into the spacious rooms for a little rest before the action packed Shabbat Kodesh arrived. They met up for kabbalat shabbat and maariv and added some Jewish tunes to the mix. If you closed your eyes you could really feel like you where in the Beit Knesset of Chevron, or in the great Yeshiva of Punivitz! Immediately after the prayers, they came to the dining hall for the shabbat meal. The participants gathered around the tables and at each place setting was a beautiful Bentcher printed especially for this event! These Birkat Hamazon’s were printed as a donation by ‘גרפצ’יק’. The participants enjoyed and benefitted from these beautiful Birkat Hamazon’s tremendously and this beautiful donation added a beautiful addition to the atmosphere. After the meal, each child was encouraged and cheered on by one another to give over some words of torah, each child according to his own ability, The festive atmosphere continued into the night all the way into a “Shabbat Oneg” which was extended for all the volunteers in the courtyard of the campus with singing straight from their neshamas which swept everyone off their feet with this incredible unification of body and soul. On Shabbat day the children enjoyed the delicious food and a variety of choice for some fun activities. The highlight of it all was the Melava Malka party which took place on Saturday night at the main hall of the campus. The popular singers Yishai Lapidot and Itzik Dadya left the audience mesmerized with the melodies filled with joy and emotion.Next on stage was Gershon Prinstadt’s extended orchestra, the joyful energies of the children and volunteers continued to fill the big hall for hours on end. At the peak of the event, Rabbi David Lau came and danced with the children.When he asked the children how they enjoyed Sabbath , and after they they then answered in the affirmative , Rabbi Lau said he wanted to join them next Shabbat!
It was late Motzei Shabbat that the children and volunteers started dispersing to make their way back home and into what would lead into their daily routine.
One things for sure- This Shabbat was absolutely unforgettable!