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Wrong Place Wrong Time

Thursday, 31 October, 2013 - 8:00 am

Wrong Place Wrong Time
By Rabbi Kushi Schusterman

“I was in the wrong place at the wrong time”, ever heard that quote? Isaac/Yitzchak our forefather was in the wrong place at the wrong time. 

A little background - There was a famine in Canaan and Isaac escaped by traveling to Egypt via Philistine. G‑d told Isaac to remain in Philistine where the famine was not as severe as in Canaan and the land was infertile and not good for planting.

The Torah tells us “And Isaac sowed in that land, and he found in that year a hundred fold, and the Lord blessed him."

You tell me, an infertile field during a famine is a good time to start a produce company? Seemingly Isaac was in the wrong place at the wrong time. However, we see that miraculously, he harvests a hundred times more than a field's normal yield. Success!!

My cousin, Rabbi Eliyahu Wolff from Israel, shared with me a thought that resonated with me. He explained that this story of Isaac is my story, a story about a Chabad Rabbi in Bel Air, Maryland.

Fraida and I will be in New York, this weekend, for the International Conference of Chabad Emissaries. Over 4,000 Rabbis from around the world (and over 1,000 lay leaders, including our own Michael Barnett) will be gathering to reJEWvinate and get inspired. They will be coming from Katmandu to Cambodia, from Shanghai to Brooklyn, from Bel Air, Maryland to Bel Air, California.

Each of these Rabbis have begun sowing and tilling a land that when they arrived was “spiritually infertile” and during a “spiritual famine”. They arrived to the wrong place at the wrong time.

The cities and towns that these Rabbis and their families have moved to was a place that had no Jewish day school, no kosher restaurants and/or kosher food, no Jewish neighborhood and at times no Jewish community at all. The times that these Rabbis have moved was during a very narcissistic age; when people had no time for Judaism and no time to invest in creating a special relationship with their creator, Hashem.

These families move and begin plowing, sowing, planting, watering, fertilizing - working day and night, working continuously, sometimes even without financial support. They are driven by the pure faith that that is what God expects of them; to fulfill the mission the Lubavitcher Rebbe entrusted them with - to make the world a better place with more mitzvot being fulfilled.

Thank G-d, in the end, they get to see the realization of the continuation of the verse “and the Lord blessed him…and find a hundred fold” - a hundred times more success than they ever imagined in the area entrusted to their care.

At first glance it may seem that the chances of Chabad’s success are low. But the test of time has proven otherwise. When they go with determination and faith and invest their whole hearts – the Rabbis get to see success.

Look out for tomorrow’s email – Join one of the community events; a service, meal or class

Joseph Lieberman will be the Keynote speaker at the banquet this Sunday, culminating the conference. Watch it live at www.HarfordChabad.org/Live  at 5:00pm.

Have a wonderful Shabbos,

Rabbi Kushi Schusterman

P.S. My cousin went on about financially supporting Chabad centers - if you want to do that, make a donation at www.HarfordChabad.org/donate :)

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