The Revival of Betar South Africa is now official, with our new madrichim taking part in their final chinnuch and leadership program to officially welcome them into Betar the past weekend.

Myself with sixteen others headed off on Friday to a private farm near the Vaal where we all arrived just in time for Shabbos. We started off by everyone finding their rooms and getting ready for Shabbat and soon after having a small service with everybody singing and enjoying the spirit of Shabbos. Once we had finished our small service we sat down for our first Shabbos meal as group which was catered by our very own Chef Jaimie Jacobson, and let me tell you this food is great. As our meal was finished, enjoyed by all and leaving everyone stuffed everyone sat down, relaxed and put their feet up in preparation for the next day.

After a night of a couple Le Chaims to our newly established movement everyone arose bright and early besides the fact we were all one hour late to a quick breakfast before starting the days activities. Our Rosh Betar, started with his own version of spin the bottle where you would spin the bottle and talk about a topic and what your views are. This was a great starting event for all as it got everybody talking with as well as understanding one another. Following this, I then gave a Peulah on Shir Betar and tried to teach this. Unfortunately on Shabbos its very difficult to teach a song without music.

Then came session two where we all learned about our history and famous leaders and others who changed the face of Judaism and Betar in their activism such as, Mencahem Begin, Joseph Trumpeldor , Ze’ev Jabostinsky and many others. This was a real learning curve for some as they did not know before whom these people were, they’ve only heard about them.

As lunch and free time was had our Madrichim were then given the opportunity to voice their opinion and give suggestions to any problems or changes that they feel would be appropriate. This was seen as a bonding and ice breaker moment as everybody was now able to understand how each other feels no one was scared to stand up. This also broke any tension there was and everyone came out much closer as true leadership is all about breaking down the barriers of communication and allowing everyone to communicate freely.

As night fall came we all experienced an amazing Havdalah sung by myself, with everybody joining together and showing where the real heart of Betar lies, as all you could hear was the joyful singing. From joyful singing we then had a great supper followed by more Puelot all about Israel and What a Betari should be. We discussed Issues such as how you should act, how should contribute your live to the State of Israel and live like you’re a prince and afterwards spoke about how using these principles you can change your life for the better.

We then sat around our Bon Fire talked, bonded and cuddled as the temperature fell below zero but no one wanted to go to bed until reminded that tomorrow would be an early wake up. Unfortunately for some it was a rough night as a couple of people got sick during the night but came sunrise almost everyone was feeling better as well all prepared to discuss the future of Betar. Some great Ideas came to mind with everyone able to communicate better and work together and discuss constructively using the tools they had been taught throughout the weekend.

We then had our closing ceremony where our Rosh Betar and Shaliach handed everyone their Betar shirts and badges as well as certificates for completing the course, before ending with some closing words thanking all that were involved and leaving us with some inspiring words and quotes to think about. , where we finally finished off with singing Shir Betar and Hatikvah.

This weekend was a true success and hopefully the first of many. We have now come away stronger and better leaders and all the more knowledgeable about Betar and what we stand for.
Tel Chai
Gary Aberman