It has been said regarding global realms, “The empire on which the sun never sets.” The same can be said about Lechu V’Nelcha. One week LVN was in the winter season of Australia. The following week LVN found itself in the heat of the summer in the Golan Heights of Eretz Yisroel.
LVN Yerushalayim, led by the highly esteemed Mrs. Miriam Mark, attracts English speaking Israeli girls from all over Eretz Yisrael and they can say with pride that some of their participants travel further to their weekly shiur than any other branch. With girls coming from as far away as Beitar and Kiryat Sefer, their 1 hour bus ride reflects the dedication and commitment they have toward ensuring their spiritual growth.
And they all got a special dose of inspiration the week of Parashas Balak, when Rebbetzin Dinah Fink joined them, flying directly from Australia, to lead the Shabbaton which was to be held on a private property in Sdei Eliezer, a moshav just 15 minutes north of Tzfas. And what a location it proved to be. Surrounded by peach orchards, and with a breath-taking view of Har HaChermon, it was the ideal setting for a LVN Shabbaton to remember.
The plan was for the bus to head toward the moshav where the 17 girls would prepare for Shabbos, and then hopefully have enough time to travel to Tzfas to be mispallel by the kevarim. But the plans were wonderfully altered due to circumstances beyond their control. The driver made a wrong turn and the bus found itself in Meiron, where much to the delight of all onboard, they were able to daven Mincha by the kever of Rashbi.
They then decided to head directly to Tzfas, where they took advantage of the special segulah of davening on Friday at the kever of R’ Leib Baal Yesurim. They also said tefillos at the kevarim of R’ Pinchas ben Yair, the Ari and of course R’ Shlomo Alkabetz. After all, what better way to prepare for a LVN Shabbos, then to be mispallel by those who authored the tefillos of Kabalas Shabbos, which are always sung by LVN Shabbaton participants to invite the Shechinah into their midst.
The Shabbaton, under the devoted tutelage of Mrs. Marks, was catered and organized by the girls themselves. Following the theme of “Nishmas Kol Chai,” they planned a Shabbos that was incredible in its every detail and design. They were delighted when Rebbetzins Auerbach and Wasserman honored the Shabbaton with their participation.
After Kabbalas Shabbos, Mrs. Marks welcomed the girls and Rebbetzin Fink then gave the first of three thought provoking and inspiring shiurim, following the theme of bein adam l’makom, l’atzmo and chaveiro. The girls were greeted at the Friday night seudah with a décor of music, to signify “Kol haneshma tehallel Kah.” There were divrei Torah and zemiros and of course a delicious menu, and the mesmerizing inspiration went on late into the night.
Following another beautiful shiur by Rebbetzin Fink, the Shabbos day seudah was a sight to behold. Goldfish on each table, and deep sea blue table settings, to emphasize “Ilu finu maleh shira kayam.” No matter how much we praise the Ribbono shel Olam, the depths of the ocean could not hold sufficiently the words of thanks we owe to Him.
The seudah was followed by a workshop led by Mrs. Marks, where she elaborated on the concept of control vs. influence in our lives. The girls then took a walk in the aromatic peach orchards, and the sounds of enthusiastic singing and dancing was contagious and exhilarating.
With Shabbos drawing to a close, the girls enjoyed one more lecture followed by an elegant floral shalosh seudos and an interactive panel, where they had the opportunity to share and discuss the Shabbos’ impact on them as well as their own life experiences. After havdalah, with their looming departure at hand, they prepared sandwiches to go. But first they had one more chance to be inspired by the LVN slideshow and a reminder of the global movement, of which they are an integral part.
The bus ride home gave everyone a chance to remind themselves of all that they had gained, as they rehashed and reviewed with Rebbetzin Fink all that they had learned over the last incredible 24 hours. And so another LVN Shabbaton drew to a close, but the effects of the experience will be with those who came, for a long time to come.