Sunday, 7 Shevat, 5783
  |  January 29, 2023

Is It Time to Change How We Talk of Shlichus?

Op-Ed by Rabbi Gershon Avtzon: "The Kinus Hashluchim is quickly approaching. It is a time that the Rebbe’s dedicated soldiers "come home" for an uplifting Shabbos by the Rebbe in Crown Heights...As a bochur in Oholei Torah Zal, it was a weekend that I really looked forward to. Twenty years later, there are three big issues." Full Story

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Very well said!
November 6, 2022 4:12 pm

Very well written!!

Right on!!
November 6, 2022 4:18 pm

So true and right!!

Hayom Yom
Reply to  Right on!!
November 6, 2022 7:16 pm

Adar I 7 It is imperative that every Jew know that he is an emissary of the Master of all, charged with the mission – wherever he may be of bringing into reality G‑d’s will and intention in creating the universe, namely, to illuminate the world with the light of Torah and avoda. This is done through performing practical mitzvot and implanting in oneself fine character traits. Iyar 8 An emissary is one with his sender. This concept is similar to that of an angel acting as a Divine emissary, when he is actually called by G‑d’s name. If this… Read more »

Power !!
November 6, 2022 4:18 pm

Big power … you got it on one shot ! Perfect messsge delivered so well … thx for sharing

My say
November 6, 2022 4:19 pm

The main shlichus of every chabad chassid is to go the the very beginning. Being a chassid that the Rebbe would be proud of. So many chassidim are just outside chassidim but not pnimiyus chassidim. How can you tell those to go out and conquer the world when they didnt even set themselves straight yet? Being shoved from schooling to marriage to kids AND shlichus, without knowing who they are as a person?! And when mental health hits them, then what?! Dragging that along?! Know who you are before to conquer the world. Second: our Rebbe made it VERY clear… Read more »

The rebbe's approach
Reply to  My say
November 7, 2022 7:49 am

Was not to koch zich in who you are but what you are needed for…

Obviously a person should still be making a regular cheshbon nefesh- what they are doing well and what they need to do better…

obviously you didnt understand
Reply to  The rebbe's approach
November 7, 2022 11:15 am

Do you like red or blue? On the next chassidic philosophy level: are you into learning and being a ben Torah or business and making that place a dirah. Our Rebbe said my example above. Dont be were your you think your mission is but be where you were meant to be. You have to know who you are before to make your decision and go out there.

red or blue
Reply to  obviously you didnt understand
November 7, 2022 1:47 pm

just vote red

November 6, 2022 4:27 pm

thank you for what you write. %100

The shliach in the brush factory
November 6, 2022 4:48 pm

This book is an amazing new book for children that really puts focus on what we need to be teaching children bochurim and girls now. That you are the rebbes shliach where ever u are and u have a shlichus that needs to be done. Your office, workplace, etc is a “chabad house” even if it doesn’t bear a title or get u into a fancy kinus. You are the rebbes shliach and you can’t slack. You need to be spreading torah yiddishkeit and chassidus at every possible moment and it might b that you have an opportunity to influence… Read more »

Why the dislikes?
Reply to  The shliach in the brush factory
November 7, 2022 8:37 pm

Why the negativity??

Reply to  Why the dislikes?
November 16, 2022 8:21 pm

Only people who work for Merkos may call themselves shluchim.
The rest can support them.

Thank you!
November 6, 2022 4:54 pm

I would like to add the following:

Once we are educating our children to accept that we are all Shluchim, this will result in increased pride to follow the Torah, Halacha, Minhagim and Chumros, thus representing the Rebbe and his vision for his Chassidim as Lamplighters to the world.

A good idea
November 6, 2022 4:55 pm

I don’t know if this is the best idea to solve the issue the author of the article raises. Anyone who was raised by the Rebbe farbrangins and is knowledgeable of the Rebbes answers related to Shlichus knows that the Rebbe instituted Shlichus where a Chassid is meant to become a Shliach in a way where it is his *primary* occupation. He is primarily occupied every day with doing the Rebbes Shlichus. However, the authors idea of people living with the Shlichus mindset even while having another primary occupation or career is definitely a far better idea than the idea… Read more »

Long overdue
November 6, 2022 5:12 pm

So important

Corporate Shluchim
November 6, 2022 5:20 pm

will be very helpful to warn the young couples looking for shlichus that are in general two tipes of Shluchim (1 the mesirus nefesh that care about the Rebbe”s Kavone 2) the corporate (or mafia) that accommodate their relatives)

Reply to  Corporate Shluchim
November 7, 2022 11:18 am

It’s actually true. Why does it have to be this way

This is ruining shidduchim
November 6, 2022 5:23 pm

The author is spot on for many reasons. Let me add one more:

Fact #1: Most good guys WANT to go on shlichus.
Fact #2: Most guys that want shlichus won’t end up on shlichus, (especially if you don not have family ready to give you a place)
Fact: #3 Most good guys won’t date a good chasidishe girl that doesn’t want shlichus.

This reality is ruining may potential shidduchim. It’s time for bochurim to think about the person, not so much about whether they want shlichus or not.

doctor doesn’t change his profession, a bocher …!?
Reply to  This is ruining shidduchim
November 6, 2022 7:00 pm

As of fact #2: good guys is terribly vague, a bocher that is committed to humble his desire , for fame , power and a “good shlichus “ as you said , However , a honest couple will guaranteed find a opportunity to be the rebbes soldiers , maybe not your own city , with your multi million dollar building and house, maybe not a Caribbean island either, but solder’s nonetheless ! Yes schools everywhere are look for shluchim , are you ready to nullify yourself to Rebbes penimius ratzoin!!!! Stop with the ziiiiicccchhh , dem Rebben’s mentchen! Let a… Read more »

Poor advice
Reply to  This is ruining shidduchim
November 7, 2022 9:02 am

“focus on ‘the person’ instead of their life-long dreams”

Seems like poor shidduch advice

And vice versa!
Reply to  This is ruining shidduchim
November 9, 2022 11:13 pm

Same with girls – many girls who won’t marry a chassidish guy looking to go into business because they want to go on Shlichus

November 6, 2022 5:32 pm


nothing to do with Grzhe
November 6, 2022 8:18 pm

Children have gone to work for/ with their fathers since the beginning big time. A Child grows up in a town on shlichus Is very much part of the shlichis, he/she later comes back to work with his parents ,he/she is not chosen over a stranger.

November 6, 2022 8:58 pm


November 7, 2022 12:16 am

First of all Halacha says a son should take his father’s place if he’s capable.

Secondly Shluchim devote their lives to building a community. Why shouldn’t their own children get preferential treatment? It’s the least they can pass on to their children. Not to mention it’s those children who sacrificed while being on shlichus. Do you know how involved those children are? They know the community the community is invested in them.

PS what’s an “unrelated family member”?

Update your thinking!
Reply to  Nepotism
November 7, 2022 8:13 am

FYI, the Rebbe said when the Baal Shem Tov passed away, his son became the next Rebbe only “temporarily” until a more qualified replacement could be found. The Rebbe endorsed and encourage this way of doing things and so should we.

A thought
November 6, 2022 5:34 pm

Great point. An idea can be to encourage, inspire, and impower this type shlichus ny perhaps creating some type of group for those who are committed to being a shliach in thier job with a sort of yearly Kinus sharing ways to do it most effectively. Plus a way to communicate through out the year helping each with ideas. Imgane, how many people can be reached if all did this.

November 6, 2022 5:41 pm

to mosdos chinuch need to be realistic that from the hundreds of Lubavitcher couples that get married every year K”Y only a small percentage will find a vacant shlichus so they should focus on preparing the students for others fields

Reply to  Numbers
November 7, 2022 1:52 pm

you didnt read the article. please reread and you will understand what he wrote

The mind set.
November 6, 2022 5:46 pm

The Rebbe’s Shliach, The Rebbe’s Entrepreneur, The Rebbe’s businessman etc.

Need to think about the Shluchim, too
November 6, 2022 5:47 pm

Not that I have a solution, but to at least point out: This article makes excellent points about those who will not have the זכות of going on shlichus in the plainest sense. But maybe it’s also time to go back to basics, and aducate those who DID go on shlichus, as well. There are MORE THAN FEW to whom it’s not clear that the MAIN goal they should have is to spread Yiddishkeit (rather than get as much money and power as possible, sometimes even AT THE EXPENSE of true Yiddishkeit, and sometimes even at the expense of just… Read more »

November 6, 2022 5:47 pm

I had the Zechus to work with Shneir Hirch O”H. He was a businessman. But when you spoke to him, it was like speaking to a Shliach. He modeled the message of this article.

Only because he was well to do
Reply to  Businessman/Shliach
November 6, 2022 7:05 pm

They listen to you when you have green that is a fact

I wanted to write this for so long!
November 6, 2022 5:48 pm

Thank you for putting this together and in such a well written manner!

When I was in Yeshiva
November 6, 2022 5:58 pm

When I was in Yeshiva in the 80s, the farbraingens were about being involved in mivtzoim and in the rebbe’s inyonim. This whole thing of going on shluchis with all the elitism so to speak associated with it is a Detroit thing that seeped into mainstream chabad

The Rebbes call or Detroit elitism
Reply to  When I was in Yeshiva
November 6, 2022 8:25 pm

At the Kinnus Hashluchim of 5747 – 1986, the Rebbe said that the mitzvah of our generation is to go on shlichus.

So what?
Reply to  The Rebbes call or Detroit elitism
November 6, 2022 11:03 pm

It was said, exclusively as you write in a “kinus hashluchim”

November 6, 2022 6:08 pm

This is on point!

So true.
November 6, 2022 6:10 pm

That was the rebbes vurt all along, you almost never find the rebbe relating to shlichus as a specific idea of moving out to a foreign city.. Yes shlichus in that sense is a phenomenal zchus and one of great importance, but to say that that’s what a chosid is?! Is bogus! The idea that a true chosid has to move out on shlichus otherwise your second class.. was a movement started by the “Establishment of Lubavitch”. Unfortunately besides for all of what Rabbi Avtzen writes in this article, unfortunately, It’s our Chinuch system that took the biggest hit from… Read more »

Moving out of Crown Heights
Reply to  So true.
November 6, 2022 8:20 pm

The Rebbe told Mrs Pinson from Tunisia, that if all anash in CH would listen to the Rebbe, then 99% would not be in CH, rather move away on shlichus

Reply to  Moving out of Crown Heights
November 6, 2022 9:31 pm

All these type of story’s are only reported stories you’ll never find these concepts spoken or written by the rebbe.

Reply to  Moving out of Crown Heights
November 6, 2022 11:58 pm

The rebbe said many things to many people
How about putting things in their right place and context? What year the Rebbe said that anyways?

Staying in CH
Reply to  Moving out of Crown Heights
November 8, 2022 6:21 pm

I know quite a couple people that asked the Rebbe if they should go on Shlichus and really wanted to go on Shlichus and the Rebbe said your Shlichus is in CH

“…otherwise you’re second class…”
Reply to  So true.
November 7, 2022 8:35 am

This elitist attitude is unfortunately so prevalent, and so damaging to the Chassidishe pride of those who strive to do the Rebbe’s Peulos without a “Chabad House” sign on the door. It’s Mamash discouraging, especially when one lives out-of-town, and is persona non grata to the “official” Shluchim.

Well Said
November 6, 2022 6:15 pm

This has a a very big point- thank you!
#revolutionize chinuch

November 6, 2022 6:18 pm

Agree with everything that was said in this article. Feel the same way. Thank you for bringing it up

A lost generation
November 6, 2022 6:22 pm

It seems that nowadays shlichus is not the be all and end all for chassidshe newlyweds, reality has been accepted for the major part. There is however a generation of yungerliet that didn’t get shlichus, didn’t build a proper career and before they turned around had a bunch of children to care for. These families are struggling to catch up even until today. There’s a lot of resentment against the system there but the younger generation (last 10 years) already know better.

Dedication to bringing Geula
Reply to  A lost generation
November 6, 2022 7:29 pm

“the younger generation know better ?” I wish that were true…many that Ive come to know, dont want to go on mivtzoyim and are deep in their career. They have forgotten what it means to go out of your comfort zone and care that another Yid should have the opportunity for a Mitzvah…I’ll do shlichus in “my own way” me / what feels good for me … These are genuinely nice people – but the Rebbe’s call for mesiras nefesh …I understand that its hard to give when your cup is not full and it’s a hard balance with this… Read more »

This this this!
Reply to  A lost generation
November 6, 2022 10:39 pm

So true.. Add to it the “BT factor”: someone thats does go lech lecha from his culture, and family, that wants to “join” the army but finds a close gate in front of him, and end being neglegted by the people that used to inspire him… Its so sad. Because the same “system” always sort of controls you in your best years , and tells you “please dont go college/ dont go work (yet, only when married). /Dont do this and this and this/ its not chassidishe/” and so on. Now, with a blink of an eye, suddenly, you are… Read more »

Internal shlichus
November 6, 2022 6:32 pm

We need shlichus for chabad communities including crown heights

still many places
November 6, 2022 7:29 pm

great article:

few pointers:

frum orthodox communities are crying out for chabad houses & chabad style minyanim. the fun world is exploding, and frum areas like Flatbush, 5 Towns, Monsey, Boro Park, Williamsburg are ripe for numerous alternatives.

the reality is that couples get burnt out also elderly and we need to have open conversations about replenishment. its healthy and natural and shouldn’t be a taboo topic.

maybe we also need a type of yeshivah to better equip those for parnassa if in fact there aren’t any places left.

5 towns
Reply to  still many places
November 7, 2022 8:14 am

There are two chabad houses in the 5 towns.

there is only one in the frum area
Reply to  5 towns
November 9, 2022 10:22 pm

and it maybe reaches max 5% of the population. Having anash living in the area, making shiurei chassidus, inviting people to farbrengens, etc. 3 shluchim cant take care of 50000+ frumme yidden

Secondary level chinuch
November 6, 2022 7:53 pm

To carry the writer’s point further, I believe our mesivta, zal, bocher shlichus system should do more to prepare bochrim for the possible eventuality of being a baal aisek. For those not heading to career ‘Chabad House’ shlichus, they need to know, be prepared with the ruchnius tools needed and even encouraged to take an equally valid path as a Chabad chosid who will be a baal aisek. As it is, bochrim are left to feel disenfranchised and ‘off the path’, by training for a non-shlichus parnossa. This perspective often follows them into the shidduch world, which may push them… Read more »

Silly article
November 6, 2022 8:26 pm

Schools don’t push shlichus anymore. A small percentage of people go on actual shlichus, most people don’t, and the education system is very well aware of that.
Aside from a handful of farbrengens, I never heard about going on shlichus in school. I did hear a lot about making a dira btachtonim and bringing moshiach

November 6, 2022 8:40 pm

Or, they move out to places that are in very close proximity to other shluchim and cause machlokes.

this was already discussed on 10 shvat 5711
November 6, 2022 8:42 pm

see osios 5 and 6 from that farbrengen

November 6, 2022 8:55 pm

When the rebbe instructed to make the Sefer Hashlichus with all pictures of families, he also included all families who were involved in Chinuch.

November 6, 2022 8:55 pm

Perhaps we should examine why our education system is designed to create shluchim (or welfare recipients) if it’s not the standard to go on shlichus… many of the problems existent in the Rebbe’s times with college have evaporated…

College issues are worse
Reply to  Education
November 7, 2022 11:26 am

The level of antisemitism is up and morality down. That
Being said my husband and I both have masters degrees

College still terrible
Reply to  Education
November 13, 2022 7:44 pm

This whole “official” shlichus emphasis instead of going into chinuch, chinuch being what the Rebbe asked all capable people to do, is one matter. Don’t mix in college which is 50 times worse, 50 times more harmful and far less useful than when the Rebbe spoke about it. Read the Rebbe’s sichos against college and what a danger it is and how it brings no added parnossa and then write (or just write honestly, that you disagree with the Rebbe, instead of trying to invalidate the Rebbe’s clear message). Today, even Forbes Magazine writes that college is by and large… Read more »

R' Zalman Deitsch A"H
November 6, 2022 8:57 pm

Fir further reading I recommend the book on R’ Zalman Deitsch A”H called “A chossid – A businessman”

Kinus hashluchim for every shaliach
November 6, 2022 9:07 pm

Agreed, and let’s also focus on this year being Hakhel. Let’s have one kinus Hashluchim for every shaliach. There is no such thing as a mushroom. Anyone who has a shaliach mindset should be allowed entry!!!

Ahavas Yisroel comes First
Reply to  Kinus hashluchim for every shaliach
November 7, 2022 4:11 am

The haters at it again. Why are there so many down arows? If you look into the Rebbes sichas see how many times the Rebbe mentions Shlichus and how many times the Rebbe mentions Ahavas Yisroel.
Every single Sicha the Rebbe talks about it. Shlichus very rarely.

No So Simple
Reply to  Kinus hashluchim for every shaliach
November 7, 2022 6:15 am

While calling another person a “mushroom” is certainly unacceptable, and actually quite immature. However, there has to be a recognition that there was a “Shlichusn System” put in place by the Rebbe, that people go out on Shlichus under the auspices and guidelines of Merkos etc. If somebody runs afoul of that system, then they lose the right to be a Shliach under Merkos. This does not negate the general aspect of living life as a Shliach of the Rebbe on all areas of life, at home, at work and on vacation etc. The Kinus Hashluchim is a conference for… Read more »

nice idea in theory
Reply to  No So Simple
November 9, 2022 10:25 pm

maybe its time to pull over the wool from your eyes, but politics and anxiety about talking about the Rebbe as Moshiach is your average “running afoul” of the system

Very nice rabbi avtzon
November 6, 2022 9:27 pm

As the hayom yom states. A chossid macht a sviva.

different world
November 6, 2022 9:31 pm

given the woke rampant liberalism…why even bother with the swap

we need to protect our own first from the deep state and open more chabad houses for our youth

am I the only one that smells pot on every corner in our community these days!!

The world needs both...
November 6, 2022 10:00 pm

The world needs the Yissoschor and the Zevulun.

The world needs the Shliach and the farmer.

Each has a purpose. Each sustains the other.

If there is no longer places for shlichus, then be the farmer that supplies food and supports the existing shluchim.

That becomes your share in the partnership.

Your goal and purpose is to support shluchim.

From a Shliach that needs support

Not nice
Reply to  The world needs both...
November 6, 2022 11:11 pm

It’s not nice to say the least to call someone who will support you as a farmer…

On the contrary
Reply to  Not nice
November 7, 2022 8:07 am

Who do you think grows your food? It doesn’t come from a supermarket shelf, you know.

You missed the point
Reply to  The world needs both...
November 7, 2022 12:02 am

Everyone needs to be both a yissacher and a zevulon

Reply to  The world needs both...
November 7, 2022 9:55 am

The Rebbe didn’t want all his chasidim to be shluchim. The Rebbe only wanted shluchim in neighborhoods that can sustain the shluchim and said so clearly. The Rebbe did not want shluchim to be supported by anash. Now its come to a point where even mashpim were teaching their mushpoim the message of shlichus or bust. This I think is what got us to this place. Learn the Rebbe’s sichos and maamorim. All of them. You’ll see how the Rebbe’s primary koch was dira lo yosborech and yofutzu minasecha. That vast majority of the time was directed to balei esek… Read more »

Reply to  Inaccurate
November 7, 2022 2:01 pm

please read the article again, you didnt understand it

Reply to  inacurate
November 7, 2022 4:32 pm

The article is wrong. It perpetuates the shlichus ubar alas mentality and reframes it into the old and tired “you are also a shliach but lets redefine what a shliach is to include you”. here’s a good example: “Many people that I have discussed this with have told me that we should stop promoting, and farbreinging about, Shlichus and focus on educating the talmidim to be honest and G-d fearing Yidden. As “frustration comes from expectation”, we need to temper the expectation of Shlichus in our Chinuch system.” We should focus on educating the talmidim to be emesdik, tmimusdik, ehrlich,… Read more »

I don't think so
Reply to  The world needs both...
November 7, 2022 3:16 pm

“If there is no longer places for shlichus, then be the farmer that supplies food and supports the existing shluchim.”

I don’t think so. The so-called farmers already pay higher tuition, they pay more for summer camps, seminary, yeshiva. No discounts anywhere that the shluchim get…

Go find your own support in the community you are a shliach in.

What bothers me
November 6, 2022 11:01 pm

Is when in yeshiva they push to become a rabbi, only if you nebach dont make it.. then be a good baal habayis (and THATS IT!, no reall tools how to find a career, job etc)
I aknowledge that back in the days it was the opposite, you will be looked as a nevach in the community when going (fundraising etc for your) shlichus since it was a new idea..

Detroit education
November 6, 2022 11:07 pm

Some schools are so focused on shlichus or nothing the boys and girls come out feeling lost and if they don’t fit the square than they don’t belong in Lubavitch.

Education need to change, peoples perspectives need to change, and the bullying regarding who’s bigger shluchim who’s better needs to change too.
We should not forget about Ahavas yisroel.

May I ask
Reply to  Detroit education
November 7, 2022 2:17 am

What and why this is called detroit education?

We discovered this ten years ago
November 7, 2022 12:07 am

Ten years ago we were busting out of our apt and hadn’t found shlichus and I told my husband who was dreaming only of shlichus that I would fully support him getting a parnassah and being a shliach in the workplace. I supported him to go on mivtzoyim every Friday, and encouraged him to choose to work in a frum but not lubavitch company and he has really spent much time farbrenging and doing hafatza with his coworkers in a way that only he has the chance too. We take our kids on mivtzoyim every yom tov and teach them… Read more »

Reply to  We discovered this ten years ago
November 7, 2022 1:47 am

Wonderful that your into hafotzas Hamayonos

Shlichus is something you are, not what you do.

Both my husband and I had no family connections to shlichus we moved to a small town years ago and never looked back.

Many young couples are looking for a shlichus close to home, they would love the benefits of shlichus but not the mesiras nefesh.

Anyone that truly wants shlichus can find it if the try hard enough.

Kol HaKavod!
Reply to  We discovered this ten years ago
November 7, 2022 8:39 am

This is what an Eishes Chayil does!

New approach
November 7, 2022 2:56 am

Thank you Rabbi Avtzon for bringing up an important issue. Here is my take and solution. If one puts aside one’s own ego, it is quite simple to “go on Shlichus”. I have been in business for many years. However in our local community I am the right hand of the local Shliach. I helped him set everything up. I’m on the board of the Chabad House, I assist the Shliach in running the Shul, acting as Baal Tefillah, Baal Koreh, blowing shofar, leining Megillah, assisting with the events and seudos/kiddushim, assisting with chag I’m needs, giving Shiurim when I… Read more »

Great idea
Reply to  New approach
November 7, 2022 10:29 am

Great idea! Just make sure the shliach u choose appreciates the help , some shluchim are u uncomfortable with fellow anash joining their kehila

Reply to  Great idea
November 10, 2022 12:22 am

Most shluchim feel threatened by other lubavitchers living there.

Reply to  Great idea
November 10, 2022 12:37 am

Most shluchim feel threatened by other lubavs moving in.

Gut Gezogt
Reply to  New approach
November 8, 2022 12:14 am

This is someone that understands what shalichus means

Chabad House Shlichus is not good for most yungela
November 7, 2022 6:26 am

Even in the odd chance that a couple finds a shlichus, it will likely be either a place either few yidden or near another Chabad House.
For most people, creating a community and financially supporting themselves and their work, would be unachievable.

The Next Shlichus
November 7, 2022 10:29 am

It’s amazing that we have reached a time where the world is so full of shluchim, that families can’t even go out anymore. Certainly better than a world where there are still Jews without access to Torah. So the crisis is: what can you do in a world that has been conquered already? The Rebbe sent out shluchim in a time when world Jewry was completely deprived. The fact that we have succeeded, and come to an era that a uneducated Jew can find a rabbi wherever he is, means that we have succeeded in addressing the largest emergency of… Read more »

November 8, 2022 5:50 am

This article has opened painful wounds, myself included!

It seems clear that a more democratic approach to Shlichus is needed and too much power is in the hands of too few.

Although we must Not forget to honor those brave solder’s in the field .

When looking for shlichus...
November 9, 2022 10:10 am

One also needs to be openminded and not only want a comfortable shlichus – as in only in certain places etc

When looking for shlichus...
November 9, 2022 10:12 am

Be ready to go out of North America!!

November 14, 2022 11:52 am

Shlichus can mean many things. It can also mean that you can provide things jews need in an area that doesn’t have it. Like opening a kosher grocery or judaica store. Or even opening a factory to make them.