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The Chanukah Chagigah

Sheindl Berger

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Ma’ayanot’s 2017 Chanukah Chagigah took place December 14.. Students poured into the MPR, chanting the name of surprise guest Benny Friedman, who was joined by the band Sheer Simcha. Students danced and sang along to the music, while eating cotton candy, popcorn, and snow cones available for the taking at the back of the room. A photo booth was set up with props where students could take pictures with their friends. Teachers joined in the fun, dancing along with the students, or creating their own circles for the men. It slowed down towards the end with a kumzitz. Students sat arm in arm on the floor, singing the beautiful Hebrew songs together.
I very much enjoyed this year’s Chagigah. The music was wonderful and familiar, and you could hear everyone singing along. Of course, when “Emes Mah Nehedar” came on, we all broke out into the Ma’ayanot song, which is always fun to scream out. The dancing was filled with ruach and everyone was just having fun. It was especially memorable when Rabbi Prince, Rabbi Besser, and Mr. Tiefenbrunn made their own circle, not wanting to be left out. You just got caught up in the general excitement of the event, and it didn’t even matter if you liked the song that was playing; you danced and sang anyway.
The only damper on the enjoyment was the number of students who chose to stay away from the crowded MPR. It was a little frustrating that some grades had huge circles of girls having fun, while others were stuck with a group of nine or ten that had to keep the spirit going by themselves. The people who participate always enjoy themselves; it would be even better for everyone if more joined in. If you don’t want to jump around and celebrate, if you’d rather sit in a quiet space and do something by yourself, think about whether it is worth trying to get involved. Once you just let go a little and start to dance, the Chagigah becomes a memorable event with your friends. I’m glad I was able to celebrate Chanukah with my school this year at the Chagigah. Why don’t we all try it next year?

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Ma'ayanot Yeshiva High School
The Chanukah Chagigah