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NY Musings, Will you accept the mission?

Wednesday, 15 November, 2017 - 10:14 pm

Here I am, in NY, amongst thousands of Rabbis known as Shluchim, emissaries. We are the Chabad Lubavitch Shluchim running Jewish centers worldwide where we focus on giving peoples’ souls the opportunities to express themselves and giving Jews the inspiration to do many of the 613 mitzvahs and gentiles the knowledge to observe the 7 Noahide mitzvahs.

Over the next 100 hours, we will explore, debate, study and encourage each other with best practices and methods to inspire our fellow man. We will discuss fundraising and friendship, we will pray and study together and also have a good ol' fashioned good time with friends.

The title that "Chabad Rabbis" and their better half's were given is Shluchim, emissaries. It seems to be a bizarre title. After all, were we "sent" or did we choose to go? Even in the 1950s, when the Lubavitcher Rebbe OB”M, was actually inviting couples to his office and encouraging them to move, it always had to be consensual; both spouses needed to want to go as well as many times it required parental consent!

One possible answer can be found in this week’s Torah portion. This is the first time an independent person was sent on a mission.  The Torah tells us: “And Isaac called Jacob and blessed him... And Isaac sent Jacob, and he went to Padan Aram”. 

In order to be an emissary, to properly represent the sender and act as if you are them (in Talmudic language: that the emissary is like the sender), you first need to be an independent and separate existence; you need to be able to choose, by your own volition, to dedicate yourself to the mission at hand.

Even before you accept the mission, you are guaranteed blessings! The verses state and 1) he blessed him 2) he sent him and 3) he accepted and went to Padan Aram. 

Each unique individual has the choice to accept the mission that was given to them by G-d. G-d blesses us and asks us to do more mitzvot and to study more Torah. The blessings are there! The question remains: will you accept the mission?

Have an amazing Shabbos,

Rabbi Kushi Schusterman

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