Weekly Dvar Torah: The Dilemma of a Shliach


This is one word that can express the inspiration and vitality boost that we got from the Kinnus Hashluchim this week, albeit poorly and inadequately.

I met a Shliach from Ukraine who made headlines at the height of the war. When bombs were flying over his city, he heroically stayed behind to rescue hundreds of Jews to safety in Israel. I tried to express to him how much I admire and envy his total selflessness, by putting his life on the line to save others.

His response was: “I am the captain, and if the ship is sinking, it is my duty to see all the passengers to safety, and to be the last one to jump ship. As long as there is one Jew who has no means of getting to safety on his own, it is my responsibility to be there for him.”

I was speechless.

On a ceremonial level, the Ukrainian Shluchim took center stage being recognized for their heroism.

One of those Shluchim was asked to lead us in Tehilim to beseech G-d to protect all the Jewish people wherever they are.

What stood out at the banquet was that with the 6,500 Shluchim who were representatives of 109 countries, spanning every continent, from free or not so free countries, each Shliach was of the same status.

The hall was huge; it took 10-15 minutes to walk from one end of the hall to the other. On the way you met representatives from Turkey, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia, Zanzibar, Georgia, France, USA, Israel, to name but a few.

I was seated at a table in the row of letter W. When I walked to the back of the hall, I saw the Shliach, who only a few minutes beforehand had stood at the podium, sitting at his table in row Y or Z.

I couldn’t resist asking; “what are you doing sitting at the back of the hall? You should be way up there close to the podium where you deservedly belong, as a hero from Ukraine and an honoree who lead us in the reciting of Tehilim?”

He looked at me as if I fell from the moon, “what are you talking about, we are 6,500 strong – not particularly heroes. There is no difference between Shluchim wherever they might be, be it in New York or the Ukraine or any other place for that matter. Every Shliach in this room would do just as I have – we are all Shluchim of one Rebbe, so if you insist, wherever you sit is the head table.”

All I could was to give him a big fat hug.

Another hero from Ukraine poured his heart out to me; “I do have one very serious dilemma that I struggle with this all the time. When I daven I think to myself what am I supposed to pray for, do I pray for the situation in Ukraine to improve so that I can continue my Shlichus there in peace, or do I pray for Moshiach to come when I will be relieved of this very difficult Shlichus?

“If I pray for the dire situation in Ukraine to improve, and we are certainly obligated to pray for a better lot and for the safety of all the Jewish people, then I feel like I’m being selfish, and narrowminded.

“If I pray for the coming of Moshiach, which will benefit all Jews wherever they are, then I’m also being selfish, I am technically praying to end my very difficult Shlichus. At this moment I still have a responsibility to my city. So I should really pray for them and I should not be detracting from their present and urgent needs, by praying for bigger things.”

Such is what we experienced at the Kinnus, 6,500 Shluchim of equal importance, who, while focused on their locale, are collectively concerned with the big picture, the coming of Moshiach.

We can only be envious of such great men. May I dare say that, never in the history was there such a large group who are selflessly devoted to doing Avraham’s work to spread G-dliness, Yiddishkeit and kindness to every single Jew, and whose work has literally reached every single corner of the world.

We surely have reached the peak, we surely have reached the final destination, we surely are ready for the revelation of Moshiach when G-d’s glory will be fully exposed, while everyone will enjoy peace and prosperity materially and spiritually, and all such dilemmas will be solved.

Only “wow” can “inadequately” express our inspiration.

Thank you Rebbe for raising such an army, I think we can justifiably say mission accomplished, the time is NOW!

Have a superbly charged Shabbos,
Gut Shabbos, Gut Chodesh
Yosef Katzman

Be the first to comment!

The comment must be no longer than 400 characters 0/400