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Wednesday
Feb182015

ANASH-SHLICHUS: Refael Becher

“The market is flooded with books for kids but I noted a dismaying absence of children’s books that convey messages about the Geula.”

Name: Refael Becher

Age: 48

Children: 9

Occupation: 1st grade teacher

Location: Beer Sheva

Every morning, Refael Becher goes to his classroom in the Chabad school in Ofakim. He welcomes the children with a big smile and says, “Boker tov yaldei Yisroel” (good morning, Jewish children).

They respond, “Boker tov ha’melamed Refael” (good morning, Teacher Refael).

“Ma shlomchem tzon kedoshim?” (How are you holy sheep) he asks.

“Boruch Hashem, et HaMoshiach anu dorshim” (thank G-d, we seek Moshiach).

R’ Refael Becher or, as many of us know him, “ha’melamed Refael,” is a teacher for over twenty-five years. He teaches and spreads the Besuras Ha’Geula in a variety of creative ways.

R’ Becher became interested in Chabad in his younger years and then he became a teacher.

“Year after year I taught students and boruch Hashem, I was successful. But I always looked for ways to improve.”

Refael has a talent for writing and composing verse, but for a long time he did not put this talent to use.

“I started writing songs about topics I taught in the classroom and I put the words to familiar Chabad tunes and it caught on. I saw that the children liked it and they absorbed it better and faster.”

Since then, song has become an integral part of the lessons that he teaches. “Experiential learning,” it’s called.

R’ Becher decided to take it a step further. Faithful to the Chassidic philosophy that we need to use the talents we are gifted by Hashem in order to sanctify the world and bring the Geula, Refael began what he now calls the shlichus of his life – creating CD’s and books for children on the topic of Moshiach and Chassidus in general.

“I saw that my songs were popular in the classroom and I figured that if it is possible to instill complex messages for children in my class through song, there was no reason why this wouldn’t work for other children.

“The first project we did was a CD on the Rebbeim. It became a small series of CD’s in which you can hear a story and song about each Rebbe. I wrote the words and put them to familiar Chabad tunes. The child then benefits double, both from the story about the Rebbe and from the Chabad niggun which he learns.

“Then I produced a CD on Tanya with the identical principal. The fifth CD is called Rotzim L’Higael and is entirely dedicated to the Geula and our longing for it, all in light of the Rebbe’s sichos.”

Refael did not stop there. The positive feedback he has received about the CD’s and the sense of mission, have propelled him to continue.

“The market is flooded with books for kids but I noted a dismaying absence of children’s books that convey messages about the Geula.”

So he sat down to write and when he does that, the results are usually impressive. He wrote two books with a third on the way.

“The first book is called Wedding in Pajamas which is the famous parable of the man who refused to attend his nephew’s wedding until he was finally enticed to come while still wearing pajamas. The point is clear, conveying the idea that we need to prepare for the Geula.

“The second book is called A Gift for Melech HaMoshiach and it is also based on a famous story about a simple man who wanted to give a gift to Moshiach. The third book is called The Geula Dance which is about the importance of saying T’hillim to prepare for the Geula.

“The feedback I get is great, thank G-d, and encourages me to continue. It is very important to instill these concepts in the children, and story and song are excellent ways of doing so. My goal is that the topic of Moshiach, Geula, and mainly preparing for it should not be an abstract idea for kids or just a slogan. It should be relevant and practical for them.”

 

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