by Ephraim Tepler (’14)

Click here for more pictures from Motzaei Shabbos


Shabbos started with an amazing “Carlebach style” Kabbalas Shabbos, led by our very own Rabbi Axelrod. After a brief welcome and introduction to Shabbos by Rabbi Taubes, an inspiring Sichah by Rabbi Shulman and Maariv, we sat down in the dining room to a wonderful dinner and heard some incredible Divrei Torah from current MTA students. After dinner, each student attended a Shiur with his Rebbe which focused upon ‘miracles’, the theme of the Shabbaton. Then, the grades split up into two groups,  9-10 and 11-12, for parallel versions of an exciting new event, “The Newlywed Game” which matched various MTA “couples” in a highly entertaining contest to see who really knows whom the best. In both games, the winner was an MTA Rebbe with one of histalmidim! This event was followed by a tisch led by Rabbi Mendelson and Rabbi Cohen, where we heard inspiring stories and sang numerous stirring niggunim. Finally, after some more “chill” time, we went to sleep.
Davening the next day was led entirely by students, with Seniors Yitzi Lindenbaum and Josh Birnbaum leading Shacharisand Musaf, respectively, and laining by Freshman Rafi Felder and Junior Yisrael Loewy. A drashah by Rabbi Schiller directed us to constantly work to accomplish whatever we can, to the best of our abilities, regardless of how many times we may fail along the way. Following davening we had a Kiddush, some time to shmooze with our Rebbeim, and then a chaburahwith the advisors from YU who joined us for the weekend, again focusing on the theme of the Shabbaton. After lunch, we had a break from the formal schedule, during which we could attend a Shiur about Chanukah given by Rabbi Taubes, join Mr. and Mrs. Levitt for some games, or just enjoy nap time.
Seudah Sehlishis, which followed Minchah, included a very meaningful slow shirah, in which everyone participated by singing moving niggunim, and an inspiring message from Rabbi Green as Shabbos ended. After Maariv, we packed up our belongings and were then treated to a Melaveh Malkahwith musicians and lots of enthusiastic dancing. Following the dancing, we heard the four grades’ banner presentations and watched the grade videos, the conclusion of the “Spirit Week” activities. Before boarding the buses home, we all received MTA sunglasses and stress balls, truly the highlight of the Shabbaton!
All in all, the weekend was an incredible experience for everybody, and we hope that it will be even more successful next year.

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