noam-shabbos-preparing-for-a-shabbos-of-kedushah Various sources state that the hachana (preparation) for a mitzvah is greater than the mitzvah itself, for it elevates and enhances the quality of everything we do. One day we tend not to appreciate enough is erev Shabbos. Though the sometimes-stressful switch from weekday to Shabbos can dilute the experience of erev Shabbos, it should ideally be a time to prepare physically and spiritually for the pinnacle of our week. Shabbos is not merely a day without work; it is a new creation, a positive Yom Menucha. Our level of preparation on erev Shabbos helps determine the extent we feel the uniqueness of this holy day. The revered Mashgiach of Bais Medrash Govoha, Rav Nosson Wachtfogel, zt”l, recounted his experience of a Shabbos in Kelm, home of the great yeshiva founded by Rav Simcha Zissel Ziv, zt”l , a leader of the mussar movement.  “It is almost impossible to describe that Shabbos,” he said, “for the weekdays in Kelm felt like Shabbos everywhere else – you can imagine what Shabbos must be like!” While we cannot experience true Olam Habbah in this world, Shabbos is that taste, that small glimpse, of what awaits us in the World to Come. The holy seforim tell us when a person goes to Olam Habbah after one hundred and twenty years, he needs spiritual tools to experience and enjoy its spiritual taam. The place to develop that sense and appreciation for holiness is in this world, through experiencing Shabbos. Shabbos is all-encompassing; everything we do and feel on this day is influenced by its spirit – from the food infused with the special ‘ingredient’ of kedusha, to the special Shabbos clothing we wear, through the neshama yesiera that Hashem grants each of us so we can fully savor the experience of the day. With this in mind, Yeshiva Ohr Boruch, the Veitzener Cheder, has established a special erev Shabbos program. Called Noam Shabbos, it was created to train talmidim in sensitivity to the taam and beauty of Shabbos. On alternate weeks, older and younger grades gather in the auditorium, sitting opposite neiros shabbos lit on long tables. The overhead lights are turned off, and they sing nigunim and zemiros of Shabbos, and hear divrei Torah relevant to the Parashas haShavua. On a recent erev Shabbos, the Cheder was visited by a prominent delegation from Torah Umesorah, the National Society for Day Schools, comprised of members of its Directorate and the prominent Rabbonim, shlit”a,  Rav Hillel David, Rav of Khal Yeshiva Shaarei Torah, and Rav Chaim Yehoshua Hoberman, Rosh HaYeshiva, Mesivta of Long Beach.  Between the drashos of these esteemed guests, the lights were closed and the candles lit.  The boys sang ‘Meshoch‘ and ‘Me’ein Olam Habbah’, two of their favorite niggunim from zemiros Shabbos, broke out into fervent dancing in place, then sang the beautiful Yiddish song ‘Lomir Dertzeilen’, extolling the virtues of klall Yisroel. At the close of the program, the talmidim lined up by class to greet the members of the delegation, and escorted their guests out of the auditorium, singing and dancing to the tune of ‘Ashreichem Talmidei Chachomim’. As one, the distinguished visitors remarked that they had “come to inspire and left inspired”, by the excellent decorum, the happiness so evident in the faces of the talmidim, and the distinct Yiddishe taam of the program. Rav Hillel Mandel, shlit”a, Menahel of the Cheder, remarked, “No experience is neutral. If we do not teach our students to appreciate Yiddishkeit, they will seek fulfillment elsewhere. Veitzener Cheder strives to infuse every one of its students’ activities with joy, passion, and the sweet taste of kedusha; Noam Shabbos is but one example of the ruach that we are able to instill in our talmidim, b’ezras HaShem. It is an ideal means of preparing for Shabbos, leaving cheder for home infused with its beauty.” 100_0241-noam-shabbos-1 100_0335-noam-shabbos-jr-2 100_0307-noam-shabbos-jr-1  img_3348a-erev-shabbos-mesibah-p1a-4100_0373-noam-shabbos-cs-2

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