Dear Zalmy (Rabbi Zalman Kudan, Youth Director at Chabad of S. Barbara in California),
As a Shliach, I know that many a difficult task may fall into my lap at any moment. On top of running our regular programs, Shluchim always need to be ready for that 4:00am call, running to the hospital for an emergency visit, or hosting a stranded Jew at a moment’s notice. Yet, every so often, a Shliach astounds me with an act of pure selflessness that goes far above and beyond what would be expected.
As I juggle last minute summer camp preparations and many other tasks, I feel blessed that I can turn to you, Zalmy, and you will always be there to guide and advise me – in addition to managing your own Chabad House programs. No matter what is on your plate, you will find time to help.
This past Monday was no different. I called you for some advice, and as always, you made time. But as you were speaking, I could tell something was up; you sounded different. You then gave me a new found appreciation for your Ahavas Yisroel and complete dedication to the Rebbe and your Shlichus.
You explained to me that there is a single mother in your community who was very sick, r”l, with the doctors giving her just days to live. Her 15-year-old son whom you have learned with and mentored now needs a home. When this woman asked if you would take care of him, you said yes without missing a beat. You took him in to live with your very own family.
Camp is just days away. There are reams of paperwork and other legal issues to worry about in this situation. You have your own family, ka”h, to take care of.
Not only did you do it, but you did it without compromising any of your ongoing programs and activities and while continuing to give time to your fellow Shluchim. You did it with a full heart and without a moment’s hesitation.
We often throw around the word lightly, but you, Zalmy, are a true hero. I salute you.
Your friend and inspired fellow Shliach,
P.S. The mother has since passed away. A fund has been set up to help this Shliach overcome these new challenges and expenses, especially to purchase a van for the new addition to their family. Donate here (specify: for Kudan).