Nov 30, 2014
The Comment at the Banquet
Illustration photo by Meir Alfasi

From the COLlive inbox: A 'small town' Shliach writes about a comment said at the Kinus Hashluchim banquet and bothered him.

By Rabbi Avrohom Brashevitzky - Chabad of Doral, FL

There's a tale of 3 people sitting on a bench in an upscale country club.

"So what brings you here?" asks the big man in the white cowboy hat.

"I own a 1000 acre family ranch which boasts over 3000 head of cattle and a nice size dairy farm," responds the Texan in the wide brimmed Stetson.

"And you?"

"Well, I'm a self-made man, don't come from money but certainly made some. I now own 5000 acres of ranch and farming land, 10,000 head of cattle and three mills."

Turning to the small Yiddle sharing the bench, "How'd you make it here?"

"Vell, I survived di Holocaust, started vit notting, worked very hard and vit di elp of G-d I now own several acres of land."

"Several acres?! That's all?!"

"Did I mention that they are in Downtown New York City?"


I mention this because of a line said at the keynote address at the 5775 Kinus Hashluchim banquet that bothered me. I heard the same sentiment from another Shliach as well who listened to the speech of Rabbi Nissan Dovid Dubov, Director of Chabad Lubavitch in Wimbledon, UK.

Personally, I was very inspired by the message and delivery of Rabbi Dubov's speech. It was smart, warm and alive. It spoke to me on a practical, basic level. No unnecessary sophistication, no buzz words, no million dollar slogans. Just plain n' simple: a chossid / Shliach talking from the heart to the heart. Like in his many books, Rabbi Dubov penetrated my awareness in a precise and pleasant manner.

Yet, there was a comment in the speech that went something to the effect of "He's only a small Shliach... He's there for so long, yet in the intro they only portrayed a picture of a very humble looking Chabad House."

True, the Rebbe wanted and greatly appreciated the big grand structures, shuls, schools and Chabad Houses. However, at the end of the day, it's not just about the bricks and mortar (or beams and stucco).

It's about the Shlichus of bringing Jews close to their father in Heaven, connecting them back to their roots and heritage. Little by little, Yiddle by Yiddle; "V'atem T'luktu L'echad Echad B'nei Yisroel." The Shlichus of bringing every individual Jew back home to Yiddishkeit.

It's about how many Yidden we will bring to greet Moshiach, how many Jews we connect to our Rebbe. True, we must have big Askonim – those who are cut out for it. Yes, we need big grand buildings, but not every place nor every Shliach is cut out for it. Not every "big" Chabad House is actually functioning at full capacity, nor is every "small" Chabad House "not getting the job done". What we all could and must do is to be Mekarev Yidden to Yiddishkeit and The Rebbe, where ever they may be: big or small place.

Yiddle by Yiddle, Chosid by Chosid, we are building The Rebbe's army! We are Shluchim of the Rebbe and our job is to reach each and every Jew! We are not CEO's of major corporations, we are Shluchim of The Rebbe! We all belong to this "family business."

In order to succeed, a business needs many hands and varying expertise. Each of us stands out in his/her own unique way, in their area of expertise. B'hashgacha Ho'elyona we all serve best, and excel in the M'kom Haslichus that we are in.

Rabbi Dubov has certainly inspired and affected so many. Just through his writing he has helped so many Shluchim in their work of inspiring and educating. I have personally distributed many of his well-written books, as gifts and to educate, and have received great feedback. This to me is very big! Very grand!

Consider the following: How does one truly measure the real value of something. Obviously one must take into account all factors, what the product is and where it's being sold. For example, a freezing cold 16oz. bottle of water. In BJ's or Costco it's about 21 cents (at 24 bottles for around $5.00). On a street corner they are being sold for $1.00. In Disney World, once you have cleared the gate, it's at least $3.00, but in the middle of the hot desert many would even give $10.00 to get their hands on it.

I wish to thank the Vaad Hakinus for such a beautiful and outstanding Kinus. Moreover, you made a great choice in choosing Rabbi Dubov to represent the Shluchim as the keynote speaker. He truly represents the wide spectrum of Shluchim and Shlichus. The Kinus was spectacular and very uplifting (and the abundance of food was delicious and great!). Keep up the great work!

VIDEO: Rabbi Dubov's speech

Most Read Most Comments

Opinions and Comments
Can you write how many minutes in the video? Its quite long
(11/30/2014 4:02:41 PM)
Small town
I think you are too sensitive. No one thinks less of a shlich because theirs is small town. On the contrary, I absolutely admire those shluchim who are posted in small place and turn them into something no one ever expected.
(11/30/2014 4:36:37 PM)
Well said
Ask all the Jewish people, and non-Jews, who have been deeply touched by the Dubovs, and, of course, by Rabbi Mrs. Dovid Cohen who are contantly working on being there for all the people around them. It was boorish to criticize the speech over that!
(11/30/2014 4:46:24 PM)
Well written & So very true
Let us Shluchim all over the world make sure that the holy work we say we do stay true to what it is.
Let us not become desensitized, and let our SHLICHUT - the MISSION on which we were sent out on, become BUSINESS (on all its parts and in so many ways).
רבי צדוק אומר...ואל תעשם עטרה להתגדל בה, ולא קרדום לחפור בה״"
Rabbi Tzaddok would say: "Do not make the Torah a crown to magnify yourself with, or a spade with which to dig."

We might need to brush up on our MIDOT, our way of communication and intention with; our Mekuravim, our neighbors & friends, the hardworking janitors at our Chabad house, the very dedicated girls and boys that come to give of their time and talent to help us with events, programs, and so much more.
Last but not least - our parents & siblings that although may be geographically far they are praying for our success -- and we mustn't forget them.
I hope that we - ALL of us Shluchim (and each and every Jew is a Shliach too) will take upon ourselves to strengthen our MIDOT in these few areas. The SHLICHUS operation is founded on THIS very point.
A little more Menchlichkeit, awareness, efficiency, and knowledge, are a few points we can improve on our no-business mission.

May Hashem bless us all with true complete health, and success in bringing one Jew at a time closer to G-d Almighty.

A Fellow Shliach
(11/30/2014 5:29:26 PM)
(11/30/2014 6:13:13 PM)
a small community shlucha
i heard his speech before and did realize when he said the words something to being a small town shliach or someone with big building etc.... that didnt bother me... that is not what makes a shliach big or small, there is no small shliach, do your shlichus right, in whatever size it comes in!!!
(11/30/2014 6:46:45 PM)
a view from the outside: I find that when it comes to the small towns they don't have the capability to be "boastful" of all the gashmius presence, they can only pride themselves in their Ruchnius gains- the reason why they are there, the reson they are so precious. And as a note about the 'bigwigs" well they also started small, and most remember quite vividly the challenges and beuties of ther first chabadhouse, so they too (hopefully most) have that small town humility and focus which enables then to continue doing their job going machayil el chayil
(11/30/2014 10:51:13 PM)
To #6
Beautiful !

Hashem is here
Hashem is there
Hashem is truly -
(12/3/2014 9:17:07 AM)
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