By Rabbi Yoel Caroline, Director of Chabad of Key Biscayne, FL
I am having a hard time with this contest for best teacher in Chabad. Promoting the tireless devotion and sacrifice of mechanchim who dedicate themselves to the most important Shlichus in our generation and arguably in the history of creation is understandably a most worthy endeavor.
I understand that a contest where someone ‘wins’ is, based on human nature, a good way to inspire awareness and excitement.
However, I am feeling that the inherent value of the dedication of each and every one of our dedicated mechanchim is just too much to be limited to any form of contest and for sure to any one winner or a group of finalists.
Of the five finalists,I actually know personally of the incredible dedication of 2 of them. One of them Mrs. Gerber, is a Shlucha in my hometown of Philadelphia and my wife and I worked for them in their Gan Israel camp which is a paradigm example of what a camp representing Chabad should be. Another of the finalists is a teacher in our own LEC, Lubavitch Educational Center here in Miami.
My wife Rivka and myself have experienced the education of our seven children at LEC, 3 of whom are current students. Just at this one Chabad institution we have experienced so much dedication from so many chassidishe mechanchim, that it would be ridiculous to try to choose ‘the best’.
I can personally say the same for other educational institutions including Chicago Mesivta, Oholei Torah, Brunoy Yeshiva and others.
While just as in any group, there will be those who are less motivated etc., as a whole and with few exceptions, our teachers are the most important, dedicated, under-appreciated and underpaid group in the world.
What would you think about a contest to choose the best Shliach or best Shlucha in the world? Wouldn’t it seem a bit ridiculous? (Unless of course you were voting for my wife).
Our teachers are the most important group of Shluchim of our Rebbe. They are on the front lines of our Rebbe’s Shlichus to prepare the world for greeting Moshiach. They are educating the next Shluchim and leaders in the Rebbe’s army. The growth ratio of the effort that they invest in awakening the pure potential in our children is exponential beyond our imagination.
Dedicated Chabad teachers, YOU are all winners!