Rambam Mesivta third annual “Tefillah Week: Rerouting the Routine,” capped off an amazing first half of the school year. The program included guest scholars-in-residence, inspiring words from Rambam’s rebbeim, exciting activities to enhance the appreciation and understanding of tefillah and concluded with an All-Night-Learn-A-Thon and vasikin minyan.
The entire mesivta davened together on Monday and then were treated to an engaging dvar Torah from guest speaker Rabbi Steven Burg, Eastern Director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center. He urged everyone to recognize that “the direct opposite of spirituality is cynicism and sarcasm” and to focus on “allowing yourself to pray.” Rabbi Burg then met with each grade individuality for question and answer sessions.
Part of the thought-process behind Tefillah Week is to get out of the routine that can be detrimental to davening. The school heard tefillah related divrei Torah from Mr. Hillel Goldman, Rabbi Yitzie Werblowsky, Rabbi Avi Haar, and Rabbi Yosef Ziskind.
Wednesday saw an innovative method of improving kevanah in davening: Students created their own davening bookmarks that featured translations and personal connections related to prayer and Hashem’s greatness.
Thursday featured Scholar-in-Residence Rabbi Aryeh Lightstone, Regional Director of NCSY New York, who focused on praying with Zerizut, enthusiasm.
The week concluded with All-Night-Learning featuring shiurim from Rosh Mesivta Rabbi Zev Meir Friedman, Rabbi Haar, Rabbi Jonathan Muskat, Rabbi Ziskind, and Rabbi Aryeh Young — as well as basketball time in the gym, coffee, cocoa, Dunkin Donuts and midnight cholent and kugel.
The highlight of the night for was the Siyum on Masechet Ketubot, accomplished by senior Menachem Freedman, followed by singing and dancing over the appreciation of learning, davening, and the pursuit of enhancing learning and davening.