Shlichus Starts Young
by Esty Cohen (Rubin) ob”m
at the Kinus HaShluchos, as a daughter of Shluchim
Everyone in this room is a Shlucha. You all know good and well, what Shlichus really means. Not just from the newspaper. Not just from a book, or even a Sicha. You know about Shlichus firsthand, from your everyday lives.
You know Shlichus, because you live Shlichus. That says a whole lot more than any speaker can. I was asked to speak about the Zechus of being a Shlucha. Here I am among many hundreds of Shluchos. So what more can I say, just add words?
Shlichus is a dedication. A lifelong commitment. lt’s easy to speak about it, but it is a lot more than words can say. Talk is cheap, but actions speak louder than words.
The most powerful and meaningful statement about the Rebbe’s Shlichus are each and every one of you. The Shluchos. The Shluchos themselves. What more can I add? What more can I say?
Some of my friends here in New York, think that Shlichus is exciting and glamorous, and full of fun. After all, you live in a new place, meet different people, do exciting programs, see yourself in the newspaper, and everyone thinks you’re special.
I’m just a young girl. But I’m old enough to know that Shlichus is not just a bed of roses. It isn’t all that easy, and there are always new, hard, challenges at every step of the way. There are many sacrifices to make. Many sacrifices, both spiritual and material. You have to give up many personal comforts. It can be very hard to be a Lubavitcher where everyone else is different. The Chinuch isn’t always what you want for your own children, and it’s hard to send kids away from home.
I was the only one my age at school, and there were very few girls to be friends with. Now I’m in Bais Rivka, with so many girls, it’s hard to imagine life back home. I remember it was very lonely.
Still it was so special. Being the oldest girl is a big responsibility, everyone looks up to you, and learns from you. I’d help my mother in her Shlichus with all the people who came to our home. Each Friday I would take a younger girl along, and we would visit Jewish patients in the local hospitals. With a flower, a Challah, and a friendly cheer, we`d wish them a Good Shabbos. So many people remembered us; we learned that a little smile can go a long way.
Other people don’t think as we do, and we have to be fine examples to show them the way. Not everyone wants to listen to what we have to tell them. It can be frustrating selling diamonds when people think you‘ve got coal.
When my family first moved to Albany, people actually bet money that we wouldn’t stay. Go back to Brooklyn, they said. But stay we did, and those people lost their bets. Actually that was my father’s very first fund-raiser. We showed them that with the Rebbe’s Kochos, we can thrive anywhere. And help others grow too.
Lubavitch is no longer in the woods of Vitebsk. We live in America. We’re on a Shlichus all over the world. We must prepare the world for Moshiach. Moshiach isn’t coming just for a hand- ful of Chassidim in Crown Heights. It’s our job, our Shlichus, to make the entire world Eretz Yisroel.
It can be very difficult. It takes a lot of guts and a lot of Emunah, to rise above it all. And not just once. lf you jump into a fire ‘Al Kiddush Hashem’ that’s just once. But to live with Mesiras Nefesh, day in day out, — that is Shlichus.
What is the Zechus of being a Shlucha?
Zechus means a merit. There are a lot of merits. You leam to have courage, you leam to be strong, to make decisions, to speak out for Yiddishkeit. You find talents you never knew you had, developing and expressing yourself right, for the right things.
We have the Zechus of teaching Jewish children, caring for others more than for ourselves. We have many Zechusim. But the biggest Zechus is still coming. We now stand at the threshold of the greatest moment ever. The moment we waited for thousands of years.
l am just one young girl. To think that I had a part in Biyas Moshiach. I have a little share. I am one of the Rebbe’s Shluchim, to prepare the world for Geula. I am so proud to be one of the soldiers who helped win this war. Zechus isn’t the word.
Ashreynu Ma Tov Chelkaynu! Me, just a young girl and l‘m the Rebbe’s Shlucha. The Rebbe’s very own messenger. Ashraynu, Happy our we! How joyous is our lot!
Rebbe, you chose me! You gave me a share!
Thank you Rebbe.