By COLlive reporter
Photos: Yossi Jerufi/COLlive
The Melave Malka of the International Kinus Hashluchim was held at the Bedford Armory in Crown Heights on Motzoei Shabbos and it was an evening of warmth and strength.
The war in the Holy Land of Israel was mentioned by almost all speakers, pointing out how this was a time to double down on Jewish activities around the world.
Opening the evening were addresses by Rabbi Avrohom Osdoba and Rabbi Yosef Braun, members of the Crown Heights Beis Din.
The emcee, Rabbi Yitzy Lowenthal, Shliach of Copenhagen, Denmark, mentioned how community members ask Shluchim how many hotels are filled to accommodate all participants of the Kinus.
“My answer is none, because the dear residents of the holy Kehilla of Crown Heights open their doors,” he said, describing the incredible hachnosas orchim displayed this week and throughout the year. The crowd responded with continuous applause.
Addresses included Shliach Rabbi Abraham Shemtov, Chairman of Agudas Chassidei Chabad International and Rabbi Yehuda Krinsky, Chairman of Merkos L’Inyonei Chinuch and Machne Israel.
In his remarks, Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky, Vice Chairman of Merkos and organizer of the Kinus, thanked “all those davening for me” as he fights an illness. He said this was an opportunity to encourage people to do more Mitzvos.
The evening included a tribute to Rabbi Meir Harlig and Rabbi Sholom Ber Gansburg, two Chassidim who dedicated their lives to serving the Rebbe and Rebbetzin. It was delivered by Rabbi Yossi Lew, Shliach in Peachtree, Georgia.
An example of that devotion, he said, was the fact that R’ Sholom Ber always wore a tie. “The Rebbetzin once noticed how a button was missing on his shirt. He replied that he didn’t know how to sew. She suggested that a tie would cover it and because of that, he wore one all of his life.”
An unscheduled part of the evening was a Siyum performed by Rabbi Levi Greenberg, Shliach in El Paso, Texas, who has concluded learning the entire Igros Kodesh. He studied 3 letters of the Rebbe every day, for 11 years.
The highlight of the evening was a documentary video about the love and care that Shluchim show each other in times of need and in general, for the benefit of their communities.
Rabbi Schneur Zalman Kesselman, Shliach in Malmo, Sweden, has been the target of antisemitic hate over the years. He said the support of Shluchim in the area has been crucial for his family to feel supported at difficult times.
Rabbi Schneur Oirechman, Shliach in Tallahassee, Florida, described how Shluchim around the country pulled connections, covered flights, and sent food as he desperately tried to heal the eye of his son after he was wounded in an accident.
Rabbi Shlomo Wilhelm, Shliach in Zhytomyr, said that when Russia attacked Ukraine, his community and orphanage found refuge in Ashkelon. And when Hamas attacked Ashkelon, his community once again found refuge in Kfar Chabad.
“The unity of Chassidim will hasten the coming of Moshiach,” one of the speakers quoted a note from the Rebbe. Participants indeed committed themselves to make that happen and bring redemption to the world.