Greetings NYC

Greetings from New York

Shabbat Candle Lighting Times for
Moscow, Russia
Friday, November 18h
Light Candles at 15:50

Join us Tonight!
Weekly Kabbalat Shabbat Services 20:30
Followed by Shabbat Dinner

Shabbat, November 19th,
Shabbat Ends 17:11
Torah Portion: Chayei Sarah

Greetings from New York

This week I write to you from Brooklyn, NY as I join over 5000 of my colleagues at the annual International Convention of Chabad Lubavitch Shluchim.

Shaliach – the word means “agent” and “emissary” – is a Torah-legal term for a person empowered by someone else to act in his stead. The concept first appears in this week’s Torah portion, in the person of Eliezer, whom Abraham commissioned to find a wife for his son, Isaac.

The shaliach does not abnegate his intellect, will, desires, feelings, talents and personal “style” to that of the one whom he represents; rather, he enlists them in the fulfillment of his mission. The result of this is that the sender is acting through the whole of the shaliach — not only through the shaliach’s physical actions, but also through the shaliach’s personality, which has become an extension of the sender’s personality.

Indeed, each and every one of us is a Shaliach of the A-lmighty, empowered by His very being to perform a task in this physical world, namely; to make this world His home. Make your daily acts one of G-dly pursuits. Every thought, speech and action can be one additional opportunity to lend your personal touch in building and beautifying G-d’s home.

The Rebbe took the concept of shelichut and transformed it into a calling and a way of life. He recruited, trained, motivated and commissioned thousands of men, women and children to act as his personal representatives and emissaries in hundreds of communities throughout the world. Sharing stories with my classmates who now live in Utah, Paris France, Pasadena California and elsewhere, it is truly humbling to be part of a worldwide effort bringing the joys of Judaism to every corner of the earth.

Perhaps unparalleled in the history of our people has one man built a following so large in number, so diverse, so highly motivated, and so successful in the furtherance of his vision. At the core of this phenomenal success is a seemingly benign legal dynamic, first employed more than 3,600 years ago when Abraham sent Eliezer to find a wife for his son.

I encourage you to read a special article on our website, entitled “The Emissary” about the Rebbe’s vision to change the world… it is fascinating!

This weekend, as I join together with thousands of Shluchim from around the world, we will utilize the time for sharing ideas and energizing the body and soul to formulate the most efficient manner to prepare ourselves and those around us to actualize the immense power laying dormant inside each of us, ready to be utilized – there for the taking.

The annual banquet culminating the convention will be streaming live this Sunday -Click here to tune in at 6:30 PM (EST) to be a part of a remarkably extraordinary evening like none other! With thousands of Chabad Rabbis along with hundreds of friends, partners and supporters of Chabad worldwide – the energy in the room is electrifying.

Shabbat Shalom!
Rabbi Yanky Klein

This email is In Loving memory of my dear father
R’ Yerachmiel Binyamin Halevi ben R, Menachem Klein OBM

Selfish

Self vs. Selfish

Shabbat Candle Lighting Times for
Moscow, Russia
Friday, November 18h
Light Candles at 15:59

Join us Tonight!
Weekly Kabbalat Shabbat Services 20:30
Followed by Shabbat Dinner

Shabbat, November 19th,
Shabbat Ends 17:18
Torah Portion: Vayeira

Self vs. Selfish

Nationalism? Globalism?

Get my house in order and take care of my own life and its needs? Open the door to others and share my blessings?

It’s possible to satisfy both. The quandary often lies in deciding which element we should emphasize at which point in the ubiquitous struggle of self vs other.

On this point, the Talmud tells us that “one who says ‘what’s mine is yours, and what’s yours is mine’ shows ignorance.” In other words: It’s healthy to recognize that we have boundaries and borders. What’s mine isn’t intrinsically yours. And what’s yours isn’t actually mine.

A society declaring that everything belongs to everybody is creating a world of anarchy. Such a worldview, teaches the Talmud, demonstrates a fundamental ignorance of human nature and its needs.

A sense of self, of our personal boundaries, is healthy. Recognizing someone else’s boundaries is critical to a sense of respect. The Talmud is telling us that it’s good to know where we each begin and end.

But the Talmud goes further with a curious statement: “What’s mine is mine and what’s yours is yours…this is the attitude of Sodom”.

Sodom is the Scriptural epitome of a selfish and cruel society, of man’s inhumanity to man. Why should a simple recognition of our respective borders be labeled with such a horrible moniker?

The Talmud’s point is that a secure sense of self, recognizing one’s own independent and valuable place in the world, is extremely important. Independence is a good thing. We want it for our children as they grow out of their dependency stage.

At the same time, independence is not the ideal end-game. If one grows into independence, but hasn’t recognized the need to genuinely share one’s life with others, that’s called stunted development.

We want independence to mature into interdependence. Once I’m truly standing on my own two feet, I’m in a position to go beyond my personal borders to share life with someone else. And that’s where I’ll find life’s richness. In other words: The Talmud tells us that one’s proclamation of independence needs to be followed by a comma, not a period. It’s healthy to achieve an understanding that “what’s mine is mine and what’s yours is yours.” But you can’t stop there; we know where that got the Sodomites.

Find independence. Then keep growing and share yourself with others.

That’s what life is all about.

Shabbat Shalom!
Rabbi Yanky and Rivky Klein

This email is In Loving memory of my dear father
R’ Yerachmiel Binyamin Halevi ben R, Menachem Klein OBM