My Ohel Experience

4 weeks ago Hank Loeb 0

Last year, on the final day of the CTeen Shabbaton, I went to the Ohel for the very first time. I had heard of people going to the Rebbe’s resting place, but I didn’t really know what to expect. It turned out to be a moving experience.


Early Sunday morning, after an amazing weekend, we headed to the Rebbe’s resting place, where I had an experience I will never forget. I spent the bus riding chatting with new friends who I had met over the weekend. When we arrived, we were ushered into tents, in order to spend a few moments writing letters and requests for personal prayer, which we would say at the Rebbe’s site. All around me, hundreds of CTeeners were wrapping Tefillin, giving Tzedakah, and preparing for the moment.


Once we finished writing our letters, we got in line go to into daven by the Rebbe’s grave. The line was very long, after all thousands of CTeeners were there! There were also other people there to daven too.  


After all that waiting, which really didn’t seem long since we spent time in line learning about the different prayers and talking to all of our friends, we finally entered the grave. Before we were able to enter the walled off space, we were instructed to take off our leather shoes, out of respect. When we entered  the enclosure, we stood around the graves of the Rebbe and his father in law; we read our letters quietly to ourselves, said some prayers. When I was done reading my letter, I ripped it up and threw it into the grave, this is customary to do. I felt like I was talking to the Rebbe, a great leader.  It felt like I had a had someone in my corner who would advocate for me with G-d. Upon completion, we walked backwards out of the room, not to turn our backs on the Rebbe.


After leaving the gravesite, we went into the building, washed our hands and ate a cookie. As groups completed the experience, we reboarded the buses and went to the banquet to end the best weekend of the year.


After visiting the Ohel, I felt a calm, but stronger connection to Judaism. Walking into the Ohel, I felt a huge presence in the room that is like no other. I will never forget my first trip to the Ohel. I can’t wait to go back this year to experience the amazing feeling and make new prayers.