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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Rosh Chodesh Adar brought with it a beautiful show of simcha and achdut, courtesy of the Torah Academy of Bergen County. At approximately 10 after two, I was finishing up teaching a fifth grade parsha class at Yeshivat He’Atid when the unmistakable sound of high school boys singing and dancing (or is it stomping?) started to fade into the classroom (my eight years teaching at MTA and SAR have trained my ears to pick up such sounds from a distance). As a teacher, my gut reaction was to defend my class time, while in the back of my mind knowing that I had no chance. By the time the actual singing and dancing reached the classroom in which I was teaching, I had not yet completed my lesson, but I was more than happy to give that time up.

If you have not yet guessed, these sounds came from two human-sized hot dogs, a ladybug, a gorilla, Superman, some sort of pink character and about 15 additional TABC students accompanied by a very large speaker. They danced in and out of each of our classrooms, to the delight of each and every Yeshivat He’Atid student. While some students watched in amazement, others joined in the singing and dancing. Other than pointing out that our students experienced a Rosh Chodesh Adar they will never forget, I would like to add two other reflections on this short, but wonderful, experience.

First, there is nothing like achdut among schools. Positive energy is amazing, but when brought from one set of yeshiva students to another, it radiates like nothing else. There is so much potential in our community to work together, and this is just a tiny reminder of what that could be like.

Secondly, having older students engage with younger students can be extremely powerful. A few days later, our fourth graders mimicked this event, dancing in and out of classes themselves. This presents a perfect example of what mitzvah gorerret mitzvah can mean.

We at Yeshivat He’Atid would like to publicly thank TABC for sending their simcha our way, and hope to share other ruach-filled events in the future.

Yair Daar is the assistant principal and mashgiach ruchani of Yeshivat HeAtid in Teaneck, as well as a writer and frequent contributor of educational articles to The Jewish Link.

 By Yair Daar