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Rockland County, NY - Monsey Yeshiva Bochurim Tumble Their Way To Greater Hasmoda

Published on: May 16, 2012 03:20 PM
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The yeshiva preforming this past Lag B’Omer parade on 18th Avenue in Brooklyn, NYThe yeshiva preforming this past Lag B’Omer parade on 18th Avenue in Brooklyn, NY

Rockland County, NY - A Chinese style acrobatic troupe that performed in front of a crowd of thousands at a Lag B’Omer parade on 18th Avenue in Borough Park last week was comprised not of Chinese acrobats, but a group of talmidim at a Monsey mesivta, known for its innovative motivational techniques.

Re-Ku-Dim is a project of Mesivta Shaarei Arazim, a boys high school located in Monsey, who puts their motto “The Yeshiva That Motivates” into practice, using unique programs to help the bochurim grow, both as individuals and in their learning.

“We need to give our talmidim an opportunity to shine,” explained Rabbi Zev Freundlich, menahel of Mesivta Shaarei Arazim.  “All children want to look good, they want to feel good.  If we don’t give them a chance to get that geshmak in yeshiva, they will find ways outside of the yeshiva environment to fulfill that need.”

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The yeshiva hired Frank Adams, a former Olympic gymnast who is now a Monsey resident, to train the members of the acrobatic troupe.  According to Adams, the three times a week, two hours workouts are extremely aggressive.

Below video Mesivta Shaarei Arazim’s Chinese Acrobats preforming at a Wedding.

“The yeshiva rents out a local gym for the boys but this isn’t a quick gym workout,” explained Adams.  “Most of these boys have no athletic experience other than an informal basketball or softball game and had never done a stretch in their lives.  They do a full cardio warmup and a complete body stretch followed by a thorough gymnastics acrobatic workout but in no way does this ever take away from their learning.  The boys don’t miss night seder, maariv or anything else.  They may not get home till after eleven o’clock at night after a workout but they know they have to be in yeshiva for shachris the next day.”

“Participation in the group requires tremendous commitment from the boys,” Rabbi Freundlich told VIN News.  Rabbi Freundlich trains with the bochurim and says that approximately one third of the boys drop out of the program, which is open to students from tenth through twelfth grades.

One day a week the boys take to a local high school track where they run outside, oftentimes in the extreme cold, running up and down the bleachers at 6 AM.  But aside from the physical benefits, Adams believes that the boys gain in other ways as well.

Below video: The yeshiva preforming Lag B’Omer parade on 18th Avenue.

“These boys have learned skills in becoming men as well as talmidei chochomim,” said Adams.  “They learn about commitment, teamwork and character development.  There is no way to succeed as part of an acrobatic troupe, in the Beis Medrash or in life, without these necessary skills.”

Three of the nine boys who are part of Re-Ku-Dim will be graduating in June and Adams is already working with a group of ninth graders who hope to join the group in their newly expanded act next year.

“This requires perseverance, stamina and a willingness to push yourself hard,” said Rabbi Freundlich, who said the bochurim develop a tremendous amount of achdus as well as personal pride, something which carries over into their learning as well.  While the group functions as a fundraiser for the yeshiva, for Rabbi Freundlich, it is first and foremost about giving the boys the knowledge that there is nothing they can’t do.

“The bochurim learn right away that the words ‘I can’t’ are not allowed in our yeshiva,” said Rabbi Freundlich.  “In ninth grade the boys have to build their own desks with their own hands and they use that desk for the next four years.  I show them how, the older bochurim help them and they learn right away that there is nothing they can’t do.”

In keeping with that philosophy, every boy in the yeshiva davens for the amud, layns and gives a short dvar Torah after davening.  While supper in the yeshiva is prepared under the auspices of the main chef, a 12th grader, every day two different bochurim are responsible for preparing supper for the entire school, which includes soup, a salad, a main dish and a dessert.

Mesivta Shaarei Arazim is also well known for its marching band, which has performed at countless weddings, dinners and other events for over six years.  The band is taught by one of the secular studies teachers who also runs a professional marching band, and consists of approximately thirty students who perform in full dress uniforms.  For most marching band members, it is the first time they have ever played an instrument.
       
“We are building talmidim,” said Rabbi Freundlich.  “What makes a person great is the talents and abilities that Hakadosh Baruch Hu gave him. We can’t focus only a bochur’s brain and his ability to learn.”

In a videotaped approbation, Reb Reuven Feinstein praised the dedication of the yeshiva’s hanhala and their unique approach to chinuch that provides the talmidim with a sense of self assurance.

“They give these children satisfaction in their learning and in themselves,” said R’ Feinstein.  “They become a gavra, because they have the confidence to be able to stand up, knowing who they are.”

Below video, wedding marching band preformed by the Yeshiva students.


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Read Comments (18)  —  Post Yours »

1

 May 16, 2012 at 03:32 PM Truth Says:

Kudos to All the Hanhalla. My son excelled there and he was part of the marching band.

2

 May 16, 2012 at 03:26 PM Velvel Says:

Kol Hakavod!

3

 May 16, 2012 at 04:01 PM Anonymous Says:

Truly amazing and inspirational!
Way to think outside the box.

4

 May 16, 2012 at 04:31 PM a-simple-jew Says:

“All children want to look good, they want to feel good. If we don’t give them a chance to get that geshmak in yeshiva, they will find ways outside of the yeshiva environment to fulfill that need.” HOW WISE AND HOW TRUE! Yasher Koach Rabbi Freundlich. You a beacon of wisdom and light in our generation. More should learn from your shining example.

5

 May 16, 2012 at 04:52 PM by alta bachur - if only... Says:

it was around when i was a teen-ager. perhaps things would be different now. (sigh & tears!)

6

 May 16, 2012 at 06:58 PM Rockland Says:

They should be doing this in all yeshivas.

7

 May 16, 2012 at 06:58 PM HashemYerachim Says:

I live in Monsey and my son applied to this Yeshiva. We were told there was a long waiting list. Why should non-Monsey boys be accepted before Monsey boys?

8

 May 16, 2012 at 07:29 PM Anonymous Says:

Amazing yeshiva with an amazing staff. They helped out for the RCCS Garage Sale, I was so amazed. And the bochurim were all so well mannered.

9

 May 16, 2012 at 08:10 PM schwartzi Says:

Reply to #5  
by alta bachur - if only... Says:

it was around when i was a teen-ager. perhaps things would be different now. (sigh & tears!)

yep, you and thousands of others.
some of whom were destroyed by yeshivas who only admitted the Metzionim. all others can go to another yeshiva( or to public school.)

10

 May 16, 2012 at 08:33 PM Sam Says:

Every neighborhood should have a YSA. Great work!

11

 May 16, 2012 at 09:07 PM qazxc Says:

Too bad they weren't invited to perform at 'the asifa'. Maybe a few holy roller types could learn how to inspire instead of threatening.

12

 May 16, 2012 at 09:18 PM BLONDI Says:

and the benefits from being active are also wonderful...much better than eating and sitting constantly!!!!kudos :)

13

 May 16, 2012 at 09:28 PM Anonymous Says:

The $25, 000.- tuition bill is beyond most of us. They do a wonderful job.
I have been trying to convince my local yeshivas to incorporate some formal gym program, but they all refuse! The day schools have it right. Motivate the kids to move and have fun, and you make a happy healthy kid.

14

 May 16, 2012 at 10:23 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #11  
qazxc Says:

Too bad they weren't invited to perform at 'the asifa'. Maybe a few holy roller types could learn how to inspire instead of threatening.

No one is threatening. If you feel threatened, it is your own inadequacy speaking to you.

The Rabbeim and Hanhallah of Yeshiva Sharei Arozim are very supportive of the asifa and its message.

15

 May 16, 2012 at 10:49 PM ChachoMoe Says:

!כל הכבוד
We need (desperately!) Yeshivot like these ....in the dozens!!

16

 May 17, 2012 at 12:51 AM schwartzi Says:

Reply to #15  
ChachoMoe Says:

!כל הכבוד
We need (desperately!) Yeshivot like these ....in the dozens!!

youre absolutely right. this type of yeshiva would solve to a very high degree the kids at risk problem.
but I doubt if any yeshiva or rosh yeshiva would allow this type of program.
after all it would be classified as bitul torah. (and how wrong they would be)
They would have the opportunity to save hundreds if not thousands souls.

17

 May 17, 2012 at 05:58 AM qazxc Says:

Reply to #14  
Anonymous Says:

No one is threatening. If you feel threatened, it is your own inadequacy speaking to you.

The Rabbeim and Hanhallah of Yeshiva Sharei Arozim are very supportive of the asifa and its message.

I am a few decades too old to feel threatened by a high school hanhallah.

I was referring to the ability of yeshivos to bring out the best in each bochur.

A yeshiva that inspires a bochur will be more successful in bringing out the best in each bochur, something that this yeshiva is obviously doing better than yeshivos that focus on keeping the kids in line.

18

 May 18, 2012 at 05:54 AM shimon Says:

Why don't they inspire yeshiva bochurim, in similar way, to become huge talmidei chachomim and tzadikim?
Why is tarbus yovon or tarbus china the standard?

19

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