The Power of a Single

Sunday, 19 November, 2017 - 11:12 pm

Tonight, I sat with approximately 6,000 Chabad Rabbis and lay leaders representing 100 countries and all 50 states, at the International Convention of Shluchim (Chabad emissaries). It has been an evening of conflicting feelings; I felt elated and sad, humbled and empowered.  I cried and I danced, I felt accomplished and challenged to do more. 

I heard stories of great self-sacrifice, stories of love, and stories of faith.

But the idea that inspired and spoke to me most was the idea that every individual is a whole world and doing a favor for and feeling love for one Jew, one individual, is itself a world- changing event.

Last March, I had a conversation with an executive of a Jewish philanthropic organization. I asked her if she’d be willing to fund Chabad on Campus activities. She asked me to tell her about our activities. We spoke of many ideas, one of them being solitary opportunities.  An occasion when I meet a Jew once and do a favor for them, or put on tefillin with them, or give them Shabbat candles, or just engage in a warm and friendly conversation. On many such occasions, I will never see that person again. This woman could not understand how we can calculate the impact and value of such activities and how an organization such as hers could finance such activities.

But for a Chabad Rabbi or Rebbetzin, this is not even a question. We know the infinite value of every act of goodness and kindness, of every genuine smile filled with the warmth of love, or every mitzvah. We see it on daily, firsthand basis.

I live this night inspired to continue dedicating my life in Bellingham, motivated by these values.


Comments on: The Power of a Single

Sean Guynes-Vishniac wrote...

Hi Rabbi Avremi,

I just want to say thank you for three of the most meaningful years of my life, celebrating and being a part of the Jewish community in Bellingham. Your, Nissa's, and the community's many acts of kindness and love, of chesed, have shaped my own Jewish learning and life today at Temple Beth Israel in Ann Arbor, and I strive all the time to teach the beauty of chesed to my daughter!