Monday afternoon, Darchai Menachem Bochurim of Mesivta traded their pens and paper for gloves and aprons and moved their classroom outside. Shochet Rabbi Mendel Marozov and 15 chickens awaited the Mesivta for an all-inclusive Shchita demonstration. Bochurim would take the chickens, hold them for the Shochet, de-skin and carve them, watch the Shochet determine if they were Kosher, salt them, and then barbeque them on the following day for lunch.
Darchai Menachem’s Mesivta Menahel, R. Dovid Marazov, noted that this and similar hands-on learning activities are largely due to the new development of Rabbi Sandhaus working as a full-time Mashpia and program director.
Applying the principle אינו דומה שמיעה לראיה to education, Rabbi Sandhaus said that he wants to “bring Yiddishkeit to life so that students relate to Torah experientially, not just academically.” Hands-on learning has been shown to greatly enhance student comprehension, interest, and retention. Having completed a shofar factory, a Chodesh Elul Mivtza, and volunteered for Chasdei Lev Chesed this month, the Hanhala of Darchai Menachem Mesivta plans to increase its focus on practical application of Torah concepts in order to imbue in each bochur even more passion and interest in Yiddishket.
Rabbi Marozov, the shochet leading the presentation, said that he applauds the educators at Darchai and hopes the Bochurim will realize that “chickens don’t come from the supermarket…we should appreciate our food and know how much detail and concern goes into preparing everything we eat.”
All Bochurim had the option to participate or return to their regular learning. Most Bochurim were curious and excited to participate in each step of the process; others were more anxiously intrigued. All, however, enjoyed the barbeque. “One thing I think we can all agree on is that this is awesome,” Mesivta Bochur Shimshon Zwiebel gratefully observed between bites of his BBQ sandwich.
Mesivta Bochur Berel Meijers said that “it was an amazing experience. We got to learn in a short period of time the whole process of shechita: from holding the live chicken for the Shochet to eating the delicious chicken sandwich we grilled. Thankfully, we have teachers here at Darchai who make learning fun.”
Photos by L. Namirovski