Submitted by a ChabadInfo.com reader who chose to remain anonymous for obvious reasons…
Shuki’s nephew, Yossi came to call. Yossi had just gotten his rabbinical degree. He had been looking for a shlichus position throughout this past year, but hadn’t found one.
“I really want to put my skills to good use, Uncle Shuki,” Yossi said to him. “I feel I really have a lot to offer in terms of shlichus.”
“Many would-be shluchim say that,” remarked Shuki.
“Yes… but I have all kinds of shlichus ideas… ideas that no one else has thought of.”
“Well, Yossi,” said Shuki. “Let me show you something which I think will encourage you.” He logged onto the computer, and went to the website of a big, successful Chabad House in California. “See, Yossi?” he said. “It’s not that your skills are so unique; there are many good shluchim out there. Here, let me show you more successful Chabad houses.”
“Erm…” said Yossi. He wasn’t finding this encouraging; quite to the contrary, but he didn’t want to offend his uncle, so he sat through it while Shuki showed him more successful Chabad Houses.
“Look at all these great shluchim, Yossi. You ought to study these great shluchim, learn their ways. You’ve got a long road ahead of you, Yossi.”
“Awww, why the long face?” said Shuki. “Here, I’m gonna give you something which is gonna brighten you up.” He handed Yossi a card.
“The Aspiring Shluchim Guild?” said Yossi, reading it.
“It’s a weekly workshop. For those who want to be shluchim,” said Schemndrick, looking most pleased with himself.
“Well… thank you, Uncle Shuki. I’ll check it out.”
That Thursday night, Yossi arrived at the big workshop.
“Whoa!” It was packed with hundreds of yungerleit.
“Oh my gosh!” said Yossi, looking around. “Talk about being batel b’shishim!”
Yossi helped himself to some stale refreshments on the buffet table. Some senior shluchim arrived and gave speeches.
What at first glance looked like huge booklets were handed out — but then Yossi saw that it was paperwork. It was a 50 page questionnaire to submit for the chance of getting an interview for a shlichus position.
“Please allow up to six weeks for processing,” Yossi read on the last page (two hours later).
Yossi sighed. This seemed hardly worth it.
Six weeks later…
Yossi was back by Shuki’s. They were having tea together.
“So!” said Shuki. “Did you get a reply yet?”
“No,” sighed Yossi.
“Tut, tut,” said Shuki. “Your paperwork probably wasn’t taken into consideration. Did you write in neat handwriting? Were you impressive?”
“Erm,” said Yossi.
“Yossi, you’re gonna have to take a course in writing. And a course in marketing. You’ve got to learn to sell yourself, put yourself out there. I’m going to recommend you some courses. Also, there’s a self-marketing seminar taking place this week, you should really go.”
“Well, thank you very much, Uncle Shuki,” said Yossi abruptly, getting up. “I’m, uh… I need to get going.”
“Oh, Yossi,” said Shuki, looking at him in concern. “Why the long face? Don’t be depressed. I care about you, you know!” But Yossi’s shoulders were slumped as Shuki walked him to the door.
“Ah, young people,” thought Shuki, chuckling and shaking his head as he closed the door after him. “One day, they learn.”
Yossi went to visit the Good Rabbi.
“What seems to be the problem, Yossi?” asked the Good Rabbi as Yossi sat down before him, looking down and out. Which he was.
“I want to get a shlichus position,” said Yossi. “But I feel that everyone is pushing me down, trying to make me feel like I’m not good enough, I’m not qualified enough, etc., etc. I’m being told that I have to try and be impressive, I have to market myself, I have to sell myself… but it all just feels wrong. I just want to be a shliach of the Rebbe. Why do I have to go through all this?”
“You don’t,” said the Good Rabbi. “Yossi, I’m sure the Yidden who have told you these things had good intentions. But any such words that put you down come only from the voice of Amalek. You must not allow yourself to be put down by Amalek.”
Yossi was surprised at the Good Rabbi’s words; he was so used to hearing only criticism.
“You mean – you believe in my abilities, Rabbi?” said Yossi.
“Of course I do,” said the Good Rabbi. “And I’m going to tell you what you need to do: You need to go Lechatchila Ariber!”
“Lechatchila ariber?” echoed Yossi.
“Yes!” said the Good Rabbi. “You go out there and you open your own Chabad House, Yossi. Do that, and the Rebbe will be with you – all the way. For a shliach is one with the meshalayech – and if you journey forth, in a way of lechatchiler ariber, you will have all the hatzlachah in the world; I promise you!”