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Op-Ed: A New (Old) Kind of Shlichus

by Anonymous

We are living now in interesting times, and there is good news and bad news. The good news is, Chabad has grown greatly in the past quarter century, and there are thousands of Chabad Houses all over the world — to the extent that you are hard put to find a place on this planet that does not have a Chabad House. The bad news is, there are a great many Chabad Yeshivah graduates who are looking for a shlichus job, and can’t find any.

This phenomenon is rather troubling for many a young couple. Not only is there no shlichus, there is also no income (for shlichus is, at the end of a day, a job). With no income, there is no choice for many but to go on government assistance. And then what? Just keep looking… and waiting… and looking… and waiting for an opportunity. But lo and behold, it’s five years later, and no opportunity presents itself.

So what to do now? It’s not like there is an alternative form of parnassah, is there?

Or is there?

I would like to be so bold as to offer a proposal: Manufacturing.

Say what? Did you hear me correctly?

Yes indeed! Manufacturing.

Look, you’re not gonna find an avrech who graduated from rabbinical school working as a doctor or a lawyer, that much we can agree upon, yes?

You’re also not gonna find an avrech with a large family working as a janitor, or flipping burgers. $7 an hour just isn’t going to cut it.

What then is the alternative? You guessed it! Manufacturing!

As you may or may not know, these days manufacturing jobs all around the country are opening. You do not need any degree or certificate to be hired. You just need a good work ethic.

Entry level manufacturing jobs pay better than you might think. And it is easier, and faster, to get promoted and increase your wages than you might think.

Your average entry level wage for a factory or plant worker is $13-$15 an hour, and if you demonstrate a good work ethic, you can very well get up to $20-$25 an hour in a very short amount of time. You don’t need any previous training or experience, because they train you on the job.

“But wait a minute!” you’re thinking. “What does this have to do with me? I am a respectable Lubavitcher, in a hat and jacket! I need to be doing shlichus!”

Well, here’s the good news, my friend. In the sichah of Acharei-Kedoshim 5752, the Rebbe taught that all work is a shlichus! “Kedoshim tihiyu” means that we need to know Hashem in “all your ways” — “b’chol drachechah de’ehu.” The way we put the Alef of Alufo Shel Olam into the Golah is by demonstrating that Hashem’s holiness is in everything. This is the ultimate shlichus.

As such, it is a good thing to be “a chassid who works!” For in your work, you can find a way to make it holy, and do your shlichus in the world!

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