Monday, October 28, 2013

In support of Chodesh Irgun?

Like just about every other parent in the entire country, I’ve never exactly been a big fan of Chodesh Irgun*.

* Chodesh Irgun in a nutshell: Chodesh means "month”, and irgun literally means "organization". Most youth movements (or at least the religious-Zionist ones) dedicate one month a year - usually around MarCheshvan - to what is essentially a month-long color war or competition between the different shvatim (age groups). Chodesh Irgun culminates with Shabbat Irgun, and on Motzai Shabbat Irgun, the oldest shevet (i.e. ninth grade) receives a permanent name. Feel free to check out my older Chodesh Irgun posts for more information. </nutshell>

In fact, over the years, I think I’ve pretty much mocked everything there is to mock about Chodesh Irgun… and then some.

So it’s probably only fair (i.e. l’maan haseder hatov, for the Hebraically-oriented amongst you) to give Chodesh Irgun’s supporters a chance to defend its honor.

Thus, I turned to the experts and asked each of them the following question:

What is the point of Chodesh Irgun? In other words, what purpose  - if any - does it serve? 

Here are their responses:

(I’ll let you decide if their answers help clear things up. Bonus points: See how many Heblishisms you can pick up…)

Chanich/ah #1:

“To have fun!”

Chanich/ah #2:

“To practice for the dance, which is the most important part of Chodesh Irgun. Also, instead of all the time having stam pe’ulot [Ed. - loosely: regular activities], you have Chodesh Irgun to make things a little more interesting.”

A member of what will soon be the new shevet:

“To organize and arrange the snif [Ed. – the local youth group chapter], and to open and start the new year.”

A former madrich/ah:

“To legabesh [Ed. – very, very, VERY loosely: to unite and to promote team spirit], and to give the kids a chance to do something that they don’t get to do everyday. It’s also supposed to be educational. The kids learn about the theme and leyaseim [Ed. – to implement] it.”

A dedicated member of “Iyov” (an acronym for “אשרי יושבי ביתך” – i.e. someone who doesn’t belong to any youth group):

“I never thought there WAS a point to Chodesh Irgun…”

Open-mouthed smile

What do your favorite chanichim and madrichim have to say on the subject?


  1. I can tell you that my fifth grade is finding it very overwhelming and intense. (Since 4th grader start after Chanukah, at least here, it's her first Chodesh Irgun.) She's not the biggest dance-lover, and it seems the madrichot are kind of tense at all the rehearsals, and it's a LOT. Every night! She hasn't gone to every single rehearsal/peulah, in order to save her own sanity.

    1. in order to save her own sanity
      Smart girl! :-)

  2. This is the first time in 23 years that I have no one in Bnei Akiva. Had my baby (a former madrich, now 18 and away in yeshiva) not told me he was coming home this week for Shabbat Irgun, I wouldn't even have known it was happening! All is not lost, however - i still don't know whether he'll be eating with us, and what he'll need to bring to the meal/s he eats with his shevet...

    1. "i still don't know whether he'll be eating with us, and what he'll need to bring to the meal/s he eats with his shevet"
      So it will be just like the good old days... :-)


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