By COLlive reporter
Without ceremonial declarations and signatures, Chabad Shluchim in the State of California joined together this past week for a cause that will bring the light and positivity of Torah and Mitzvos to the world.
“Learn from the Shluchos!” said Rabbi Shlomo Cunin, Head Shliach and Director of Chabad of the West Coast, as he called for a global Mitzvah campaign ahead of the 20th anniversary of Gimmel Tammuz.
He was referring to the worldwide initiative of the Shluchos to have 1,000 Jewish women commit themselves to keeping the Mitzvah of Taharas Hamishpacha, which was done in response to the passing of Shluchos Rashi Minkowicz and Rivky Barber and others.
Rabbi Cunin pointed out in awe that this was done in a very short period of time and that the campaign has currently surpassed the goal. In fact, COLlive was told that they already have commitments from 2,000 women around the world.
“We the men, should not do any less!” Rabbi Cunin said. “Our goal should be no less than the end of this Galus and our Rebbe back with us way before Gimmul Tammuz! And how? By getting one more Jewish person to do a Mitzva – Tefillin, Mikva, Torah, etc. That is what we Shluchim need to be doing!”
He spoke at the annual Beis Iyar farbrengen, marking the birthday of the Rebbe Maharash, known for his motto of “lechatchila ariber” (to operate above and beyond common expectations). Held at Chabad West Coast headquarters, this event is held at the specific instruction of the Rebbe some 30 years ago.
Rabbi Yehoshua B. Gordon, Head Shliach of Chabad of the Valley, reiterated, “Yes we all have budgets to meet and banks to cover, yet we Shluchim have done the impossible in the past, accomplishing major things when nobody believed we could – and there is nothing stopping us from doing the impossible now!”
Rabbi Gordon quipped from the Rebbe Maharash – in response to a businessman who complained he had no time to daven and learn properly – “cut out your ‘devarim b’tailim’ and you will have time for everything.”
“We need to get back to the basics,” said Rabbi Moshe Bryski, director of Chabad of Conejo. How many Jews in our own community have never even been invited for Shabbos, he asked. He illustrated this with a story how with a “chance” guest for a Shabbos meal, 40 years of misconception towards Yiddishkeit was reversed.
Rabbi Yonah Fradkin, Head Shliach of Chabad of S. Diego, reminisced about the difficult times of his early days of his Shlichus, “yet with the strength of our Rebbe and the support of the Head Shliach, Rabbi Cunin, we were able to overcome the hard times.” He went on to say that, Baruch Hashem, today Chabad of S. Diego has over 20 successful branches, this success based, on no small part, to the special discipline that our Rebbe taught Rabbi Cunin all these years.
“This reminds me,” interjected Rabbi Cunin, “in my early days of Shlichus, I had problems with a Mosad in California and I wanted to give the “key” of that Mosad (i.e. the full and autonomous responsibility of the Mosad) to the local Shliach. Rabbi Chadakov O”H, transmitted me the Rebbe’s response: ‘If you give that “key” back, we will accept, however we will expect all “keys” to be returned, not only one.’ (i.e. your entire Shlichus).
Rabbi Cunin concluded, “this is our success, full discipline, as per the Rebbe’s directives over these 50 years of Shlichus I have been on the West Coast.”
“Yes, we have become corporate,” stated Rabbi Baruch Y. Hecht of Chabad of Brentwood, “but we can never forget the person-to-person, one on one interaction. How can a Shliach even go to the store without his Tefillin?”
To put all these sentiments into action, Rabbi Cunin announced a goal to get 10,000 men committed to Tefillin world-wide by Lag B’Omer. The West Coast Shluchim resolved they would get 2,000 of the 10,000 and Rabbi David Gurevich (Chabad UCLA) said that for his part he would see that he and the other campus Shluchim on the West Coast get 200 students committed.
As the Farbrengen concluded, Rabbi Cunin reminded all the Shluchim of the upcoming Lag B’Omer “Great Parade” and thanked the members of the organizing vaad headed by Rabbi Mendel Duchman.
He reminisced how in 1970, he had not planned to do a parade when suddenly, in his Yechidus, he received a directive from the Rebbe to make one (and he only he 3 days to do it!) and distributed to the Shluchim a copy of a press release about that parade in 1970.
Register your hachlata at www.TefillinTenThousand.com