by Moshe Bochner (’13)

On Wednesday, the fourth day of Chanukah, the entire student body of MTA took part in the Yeshiva’s annual Chanukah Chagigah. Upon entering Weissberg Commons, students were treated to a scrumptious breakfast of bagels, cereal, ice cream, and, of course, latkes and donuts. After breakfast, world famous singer and musician Eitan Katz began his wondrous performance, singing Chanukah classics like “Al Hanisim”, as well as a new nigun. As the music reverberated through the vast expanses of Belfer Hall’s main floor, students, rebbeim and faculty took to the dance floor, celebrating the Chag with lively and spirited dancing. In addition to Eitan Katz’s performance, the MTA ChorusĀ  performed “Chazak” and “Al Hanisim”. The Chorus’ performance of “Chazak” can be viewed on YouTube. Following that, the MTA Band, led by soloist Yitzy Dier, performed “Too Close” in their debut. We were thrilled to be joined at the Chagigah by YU President Richard Joel, who participating in the dancing and spoke about the need for us to feel the responsibility to bring light to the world. President Joel’s remarks can also be viewed on YouTube. Rabbi Taubes delivered a dvar torah as well, focusing on the importance of always striving for the best.

In addition to the musical festivities of the Chagigah, the annual Chinese Auction winners were drawn on Wednesday. This year, all proceeds were donated to Torah Letzion, an organization founded by MTA alumnus Marc Merrill (’07) that provides scholarship to students studying in Israel post-high school, and to an organization working with Hurricane Sandy victims. Some of the prizes included meals and Shabbotonim with Rebbeim, Ski Trips, Brooklyn Nets floor tickets, iPods, and much more.

We would like to thank Rabbi Green for organizing this incredible event. We would also like to thank our musical contingent of Eitan Katz, MTA Chorus, MTA Band, and David Ross for making the Chagigah an inspiring one and for infusing all in attendance with the spirit and ruach befitting of such a joyous occasion.

Throughout the rest of the week, many shiurim had individual Chanukah parties in their rebbi’s home community. Students had the opportunity to eat and sing, and many participated in sports activities as well.

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