Written by a Shliach who wishes to remain anonymous
As we approach the Kinus Hashluchim, it is a good time to make a Cheshbon Hanefesh regarding the institution of Shlichus.
It is easy to pat ourselves on the back and say “Bravo!”, we are conquering the world, there are 5,000 Chabad Houses etc… but what about asking ourselves, “why aren’t we reaching the millions of Yidden and children that still don’t know the Aleph Beis of Yiddishkeit?”
This question becomes more poignant when we see that today, most Yungerleit in America are not going on Shlichus. Ironically, in many cases the cause of this is the Shluchim themselves.
Let me explain. Our Shlichus system is set up in a fashion that a Shliach moves to an area and opens up a Chabad center. Many times, this comes with great difficulty since usually the Jews in this area are not traditional and therefore more inclined to going to conservative or reform synagogues.
Additionally, the Shliach has to also raise the money for his salary and the operation of Chabad. It is therefore very understandable that the Shliach is very wary of having more competition by having another Lubavitcher move into his area and do outreach.
However, this becomes much more questionable when the existing Shliach does not want to let another Shliach come into a neighboring city of his because of the fear that he may lose some people that might come to his events from this neighboring city.
Does the Shliach have the right to hold back a whole city from having a Shliach who will literally save Jewish Neshamos because of a few people from the nearby city who might come to his events on their own?
I would like to suggest the following to Yungerleit who are contemplating going on Shlichus but are about to give up because they can’t find a place.
First, take a map and look for areas that have a substantial amount of people but don’t yet have a Shliach. Then, try to identify an area that you think would work for you and your wife’s personality.
Finally, call the neighboring Shliach and ask for his permission to move into that area. You should commit yourself to recognizing that he was the first Shliach to this general area and therefore should be treated accordingly.
If the Shliach refuses to allow you to move into the area, then tell him “I understand that you don’t want to let me in because of your Cheshbonos, but you also have to understand my Cheshbonos. I am a Lubavitch Yungerman who was trained from childhood to do the Rebbe’s Shlichus. I was not trained to be a professional. It is not fair for you to ask me not to come to this area because of your fear of losing a few people.”
To conclude, some people might say that the Rebbes Kavana is that there should not be any Machlokos. The truth is that the incoming Shliach has to be very careful not to step on the toes of the existing Shliach. However, assuming that he is doing so, the Yungerman should ask himself the following question, “if I wanted to go into a particular business, and a fellow Lubavitcher tried to dissuade me because he was illegitimately afraid of my competition, would I comply with his request?”
May we all be Zoche to fulfil the Rebbe’s Shlichus and bring about the Hisgalus now Bipoel Mamash.
Disclaimer: The views, thoughts and opinions expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the opinions of our website, ChabadInfo.com.