by Avi Weschler (MTA ’14)

Last Shabbos, Parshas Toldos, Rabbi Mendelson and his shiur camped out in Washington Heights for the first of several Shabbatons in Yeshiva. Shabbos began on a strong note as the shiur attended the Friday night Carlebach minyan. The energy and excitement of the college students was contagious as the entire shiur joined in singing the beautiful tunes. After the davening ,we headed over to the YU cafeteria where we were served a delicious meal accompanied by zemiros. We then headed over to the Glueck Beis Medrash to begin reviewing for a Gemara test on Sunday.

This is when the Shabbos began to transform into something completely new to many of us in the shiur. The atmosphere of the Glueck Beis Medrash turned a mere study session into true learning as chavrusas got up from their chairs and get very involved in debating pshat in Tosfos or Rashi. Before we knew it, it was 10pm and we headed over to Muss Hall lounge for an Oneg Shabbos featuring chulent, chips, candies, and soda. This perhaps was the moment many of us realized that Shabbos had changed, as we continued debating the Gemara even though we had left the Beis Medrash. The only thing that stopped our talk of Gemara was the zemiros, led by Rabbi Mendelson, which we sang together. The Oneg ended at around 11, and we all returned to the Beis Medrash to continue our learning. As time went on the numbers of boys learning dwindled, but many boys remained learning with the same strength and vigor as they had had hours before. At around 1am, the lights shut off, but a group of six boys was not deterred, and they simply continued their learning a block over in the MTA Beis Medrash.

On Shabbos day, the learning continued after davening as we were given shiur by Rav Baruch Simon and Rav Yitzchak Cohen, Roshei Yeshiva at YU. After lunch we spent the remaining hours before Mincha continuing to learn, savoring the final moments of Shabbos. Looking back on Shabbos, I believe I am speaking for the entire shiur when I say that the time spent in Washington Heights formed a new type of Shabbos for the shiur. On behalf of the shiur I would like to thank our Rebbi, Rabbi Mendelson, for a truly spectacular Shabbos.

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