Traveling across the globe to run a Seder in an isolated community for the Jewish families that would otherwise not have it is not a easy task. It means leaving your family for the holiday of Pesach and doing everything from a-to-z alone. From carrying matza and wine to Kashering a local kitchen as well as preparing to host an interactive Seder for some people whom this will be their only Jewish experience of the year.
“It’s a big responsibility” said Mendel Cohen who went for the last two years on merkos shlichus. ”For many of the people we met we have one night to make a impression that will pique their interest in Yiddishkait”.
that is why when, an unprecedented, 700 Bochurim — nearly double last year’s — applied to go on Merkos Shlichus for Pesach, it was decided that further selection was needed to choose the best roving ambassadors and a serious exam to test the knowledge of the students would be necessary to determine who would go to visit these rural Jewish communities.
For the first time since Merkos Shlichus for Pesach was established to help bring the fifth child to the seder written tests, accompanied the oral interviews, were used in this year’s process. Following the exam, Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky of Merkos L’Inyonei Chinuch and staff combed through the papers to select the students who possessed the knowledge, aptitude and dedication required for the mission. Rabbi Kotlarsky remarked ”It is very impressive to see the desire and dedication of toady’s buchrim to the Rebbe’s causes”.
“The test was not only knowledge based,” says Rabbi Schneur Nejar, “as we included many questions to determine the attitude and motivation of the applicants.”
“Sometimes you meet people or find yourself in certain situations where you need to make split second decisions, for me this exam was not just another test, it really highlighted the points we have to learn and prepare ourselves for before we go out”, said Chaim Goldberg.
“For more than 70 years, Merkos Shlichus has led the way in bringing the warmth and joy of Yiddishkeit to Jews who would otherwise not be able to experience it,” says Rabbi Kotlarsky. “Through which hundreds of Shluchim moved out to full time communities due to the ground work that the visiting Buchrim pioneered.”
A seminar on the practical aspect of the Seder as well as reviewing the Halochus of Pesach is schedule for the Buchrim who were approved to go for Pesach today.