CTeeners Celebrates Shabbat

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CTEENERS CELEBRATE SHABBOS
By Tzviki Danesh, Conejo Valley, California

Several members of the CTeen Conejo chapter vacationed in Palm Springs last weekend to celebrate Shabbos together. The event, part of an international effort by CTeen to get more Jewish youth involved in Shabbos, was deemed a resounding success by its participants. We
traveled for several hours from our humble Chabad house in Agoura Hills to find a beautiful, living desert community in Rancho Mirage, where we stayed for two days.

After settling down at the Chabad House in Rancho Mirage, the we entertained themselves with magnificent performances on the piano. Performers of particular note were Tahor for his rendition of the main theme from Up and David for his rendition of the theme from Pirates of the Caribbean. After resting up, we visited a nearby 99 cents store to find an item that both represented a foreign country and represented something about Shabbos.The Shabbaton’s theme was International, and we had to present the items at the Shabbos dinner.

At the dinner, we feasted on delicious salads, matzah ball soup, and chicken. After dessert, chaperones Rabbi Mendy and Rebbetzins Mushka and Bracha hosted a Farbrengen, inviting us to discussion and debate about controversial topics in our religion. The next day we celebrated the Shabbos day by relaxing and bonding with each other. Nivi, one of the CTeeners at the Shabbaton, learned how to solve a Rubik’s Cube. Services were attended, Kiddush was eaten, Shabbos games were played, and long walks through the cool overcast desert were had. We fell in love with this desert, which started in the Chabad House backyard and stretched for miles before their eyes, covering beautiful mountains in the distance. After Shavuah Tov’s and Güt Voch’s were exchanged, we drove to a local bowling alley and found great success at the lanes. A bowler of particular skill was CTeener Hadar, scoring 169 points before we retired for the night.

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On Sunday we said goodbye to the Chabad House and drove for an hour to Joshua Tree National Park. We jumped from boulder to boulder like mountain goats and scaled cliff faces like they were stair cases. After enjoying our packed lunches there were hugs and goodbyes as the long journey home began.

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This Shabbaton was a success particularly in the way it brought the CTeeners together.
Indeed, by the end of the trip there was a strong sense of friendship and family between the boys
and girls. When asked why Shabbatons like this are important, Rabbi Mendy Friedman,
chaperone and one of the chief organizers of the trip, said “I think these Shabbatons are
important because of the need for the teens to get together, get away, and just experience their
Judaism. To be able to have a Shabbos that they’re all keeping together and experience that peace
and calm that Shabbos brings and to be able to ask the questions that have really been on their
mind, to discuss different topics that they have been wondering about, or learn things they never
even thought about.”

Absolutely, the Rebbe himself would be proud of the celebration of
Shabbos we had as blissful as the celebration of G-d in our ancestral forty
years of wandering in the shadowed mountains of the Sinai Desert, thousands of years ago.

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