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Thursday, 8 November, 2012 - 8:50 am

Hello Friends, 

As I sit here in Brooklyn, NY, starting the International Conference of Chabad Rabbis, I would like to share with you a thought that I heard this past Sunday. It was the message conveyed at the 10 Year Gala dinner celebrating 10 years of Chabad in Peabody, MA – where my brother and sister in law have created a warm and loving community. 

The keynote speaker asked: What drives Shluchim (Young Chabad couples and families) to move out to a community and open a “lighthouse”, a place where Jewish life can shine? After all, there are so many reasons not to. Not only are they far from their family and community, causing them to struggle spiritually, they have no funding from Chabad headquarters and therefore on their own to find financial stability.

The speaker elaborated and then explained that there are 3 things that motivate these Shluchim: Love, X-ray Vision, and Jewish continuity. 
1) The power of love - true love for every human being – similar to the love of Sara and Abraham. It is this love that helps them open their tents on all sides, open their home, their hearts and their souls to every person who crosses their path. They want to nourish them physically and to touch them spiritually in a deep way.
2) X-ray vision –seeing those who are externally not connected to their soul. To an outsider, they may seem to exist just to fulfill their self-indulgent narcissistic desires. The Shliach sees a Jacob, someone who is more spiritually in tuned, dressed in Esau’s clothing; stuck in a mundane world trying to make ends meet. The shluchim see that behind the surface of every human is a soul that wants to shine. 
3) Jewish Continuity – How do we accomplish this? The most common answer would be: Create organizations that will engage those who are disenfranchised. The Lubavitcher Rebbe, on the other hand, said, no – every person, on his own, can be an ambassador of light. The leader of the Chabad movement had a different idea, one that has been proven successful with more than 4000 centers worldwide. The Rebbe has told us to spread the light of Torah by doing good deeds and encouraging others to join; to leave our comfort zone, if necessary, bringing light to those darkened corners of the world. 

Inspiring? Yes. But it’s not about the Rabbi or Rebbitzen. It is about YOU. You too can go, you too can be an ambassador of light and of good deeds. Find someone you know and encourage them to do a good deed, to do a mitzvah and change the world one mitzvah at a time. 

While there are no services this week at Chabad, take a moment this shabbos and meditate about what YOU can do to ensure that every person in this community is touched to be a better person. 

Have a great shabbos and we will be thinking of you. 

See ya next week. 

Rabbi Kushi Schusterman

P.S. LIVE FROM NEW YORK! The International Conference of Chabad-Lubavitch Emissaries will offer a live webcast of its gala banquet, this Sunday evening, November 11th, at 5:00pm ET. 

Log on to www.HarfordJewish.com/Live to watch this extraordinary webcast.

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