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Why 5000 Rabbis Gathering in NY Is Good For You

Thursday, 16 November, 2017 - 10:06 am

Last night, I received a text from a Rabbi I hardly know. He sent me a photo of a dear local friend, who had been hospitalized while travelling. The Rabbi was there at my friend's bedside; visiting, laying Tefillin, providing words of support. The Rabbi was fulfilling a stranger’s request that he reach out for me, his local Rabbi and longtime friend.

All for a stranger.

This scene could have taken place in Kinshasa, Puerto Rico or Capetown. Or Basking Ridge. Every day, Chabad Rabbis step up and lean in to help strangers.

Because we don't believe in strangers. We believe in family.

Who is 'we?'

'We' is the Rebbe's army of G-dliness and goodness. 

Consider the reality that observant people generally gravitate to observant communities. It’s the natural way to support an observant lifestyle, and to perpetuate that observance within one’s family. Yet, beginning in 1950, the Rebbe inspired observant couples to reach beyond their own religious comfort to settle in communities which need their spiritual influence. The Rebbe was going against the grain, but – one couple at a time –Chassidic men and women committed their lives to bettering the world, by moving to places where they could make a difference.

In the early years, there was a trickle of  'lamplighters' (called Shluchim - literally 'emissaries') moving out to bring warmth and illumination to a world in need. But over time, that trickle became a stream, and then a steady flow of couples setting out across the globe to make this a better world.

Today, we have roughly 5000 Chabad Shluchim, spread throughout the world. Aside from being your local Jewish resource, they are the people embracing your child on campus, providing schnitzel to your niece backpacking in Cambodia, and providing you with a home away from home as you vacation in New Zealand.

In a world that seems more fractured every day, Chabad Shluchim provide love and spiritual sanity. Without reservation.

This weekend is the international convention of Chabad Rabbis (the women convene in February) in Brooklyn.

5000 purveyors of goodness, coming together to recharge their batteries and recommit to their mission of spreading light.

It’s good for the world.

And it’s good for you.

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