In an unprecedented display of commitment to the Rebbe’s view on Chinuch and how students ought to spend their summer, the Talmidim of Cheder Levi Yitzchok in Melbourne spent the duration of the summer continuing their studies and growing in learning.
While the summer is usually a time to sit back and relax, the Cheder was adamant that no break be taken from learning, quoting the Rebbe’s sichos, where the Rebbe compares a break in Torah learning to a break in “living,” which no one would ever consider.
Up until this summer, no such program had ever existed in Melbourne, and many were quick to discount the idea, claiming that the atmosphere of the Australian summer would not allow for such a spiritual experience. However, thanks to the committed staff, shluchim, and students, the summer turned out to be one of the most rewarding and productive times of the year.
With a full day of learning, similar to that of the school year, and extracurricular activities and excursions planned for some added excitement, the boys reported that they themselves were surprised by how much they enjoyed spending their summer engrossed in learning. As one boy said, “You have these ideas of how you are supposed to spend your summer, and you accept it as fact until it is challenged, and then you realize that sitting and learning is much more rewarding.”
For one of the Cheder’s contributors, Eliezer Kornhauser, the Yeshivas Kayitz program represented a hugely important rite of passage for the talmidim. “The Rebbe has clearly articulated the goal for our generation. Through the dedication of their leisure time to serious learning, the talmidim have selflessly acknowledged their responsibility, and their privilege, to contribute to an endeavour which urgently calls and binds all of us – to hasten the coming of Moshiach. In so doing they have established a marvelous benchmark of achievement for their younger colleagues in the Cheder, and for the entire Melbourne community”.
The newly appointed Rosh Yeshivah of the Cheder Mesivta, Rabbi Mendel Krasnjanski, reported that the program saw more success than he could have ever envisioned. “It was amazing to see how well the boys took to the idea. Knowing that other boys their age were spending their summer with sports and activities, we knew it would be a hard sell. But once the learning started and the program got off the ground, their commitment and excitement to spend the summer in a productive and spiritual setting became very evident.”