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Rabbi's Blog

The Rabbi's thoughts culled from the "word from the Rabbi" in his weekly email

How did I end up here?

How did I end up here?

Do you ever have a moment that you wondered how you got to where you are?

Personally, I know the technical steps that brought me to Harford County. However, how did I become a Rabbi of a blossoming community here, raising close to a quarter of a million dollar annual budget, making a positive impact on the local community?

Growing up, the question came in different forms as well: How did I end up in the principal’s office? In the emergency room? (details purposely left out (; )

An answer I heard that I found fascinating is that G-d decides where we will be. G-d wants you in THIS LOCATION, at that moment, to make an impact there. If we are meritorious, we go there in a respectful way, if not, we G-d forbid can be dragged there "in chains". 

When I am in the Harford County detention center, I could be there because G-d wants me there to visit an inmate, or G-d forbid, He can arrange to have me there on the "inside".

Our forefather Yaakov needed to end up in Egypt, so that the Jewish people can be enslaved and simultaneously uplift the spiritual sparks in Egypt. But he was meritorious that he received a hero’s welcome as his son was the Viceroy!

When we "end up" somewhere, instead of asking "how did I get here?" we should ask; in what merit did I get here in this way, as opposed to in a less respectful way? 

Are you happy where G-d has put you? Are you happy with the way he sent you here? What positive impact can you have as a result of being there?

I am blessed to be where I am and to have you in my life and hope to continue making a positive difference to Harford County.

Have an awesome Shabbos,

Rabbi Kushi Schusterman 

Listen to the Flames


On Chanukah, the Previous Rebbe would tell his chas­sidim: “We must listen carefully to what the candles are saying”.

While candles can't talk, they share a message. The most basic message is that the best way to get rid of darkness is to shine light on it. 

This year, as I listen to the candles, I hear a message of sharing. In order for one to share their light, one needs to make certain that their own light is strong. We need to work on building our own spiritual fortitude, to ensure that we are shining and sharing good energy and kindness. We need to make sure the light of Torah and Mitzvos is shining in our home, ie mezuzah, kosher, shabbat, charity box… and have that light shine on our daily experience.

The nature of light is that it spreads. The Chanukah lights are lit "by the door of the house, on the outside". The light that we have shines on the world around us, as long as we ensure that the flames are lit.

Get fired up and shine on the world.

This is what I heard when I listened to the flames. What did you hear?

Rabbi Kushi Schusterman 


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