Photos by ChabadInfo photographer Chaim Tuito
In a major show of unity, thousands of Lubavitchers gathered this evening on Eastern parkway’s main thoroughfare for the much anticipated ‘Chapt Arein’ Mega Hakhel Event.
The Event was inspired by the Rebbe’s directive to arrange large gatherings during this year – a Shnas Hakhel, and was orchestrated by Tzivos Hashem’s Rabbi Shmaryahu Weinbaum with the backing and sponsorship of community institutions and establishments.
The unprecedented preparations involved closing a major thoroughfare during rush hour, and included a large stage, colorful spotlights, smokescreen effects, multiple video and audio stations, a team of professional technicians and organizers, and created the impression that this event would be of another kind, of different proportions. They didn’t disappoint.
The event kicked off with an enthralling musical arrangement stunning the crowd, followed by an original way of giving over the clear message of the night, a conversation between two Lubavitcher famed men Benny Friedman and Chony Milecki.
Guest musician and entertainer Chaim Fogelman offered some words on Hakhel’s relevance in our daily lives, and went on to play a song dedicated to the Shluchim around the world.
Those gathered were treated to a video of the Rebbe explaining the purpose of Hakhel and how it must continue on. Large screens set up along the parkway enabled easy viewing, not only of this video, but of the entirety of the event. The Twelve Pesukim were recited by soldiers of Tzivos Hashem of various ranks, followed by “Yechi’, each word loudly echoed back as it was repeated back in unison by thousands of attendees.
Various Chabad Nigunim were peppered throughout the event, often accompanied by flutist Avi Piamenta and rising music star Benny Friedman.
When the stage line up finished for the evening, the event was far from over, as the crowds broke out in exuberant dancing on the main thoroughfare of Eastern Parkway, as Benny and the orchestra played on.