Personal Request & Newsy E-Letter

News on July 4th, 2017 No Comments

Shalom aleichem!

On Sunday, our family returned from the annual Chabad On Campus Conference. We look forward to these 4 days of workshops, inspiring speakers, farbrengens and camaraderie for the entire year! There were so many highlights and uplifting moments, and I will share something substantial in my regular weekly email this Friday. So keep your eyes on your inbox 🙂

We are knee-deep in our annual $10,000 Grand Draw (the fundraiser formerly known as “Raffle”). To be frank, it’s going slower than I was hoping, and that could be due to any number of reasons. The Grand Draw closes on Wednesday, and I’m feeling the crunch. As of the sending of this email, 69 awesome people have purchased a grand total of 244 tickets. Thank you! Last year, we sold 713, and our goal for this year is 770.

Here’s my personal request: Would you please purchase a ticket? Or 5? Or 10? If you’ve already purchased tickets, thank you for investing in the future of the Jewish people!

You may be wondering: Why should I buy tickets?

Here are some reasons:

1. It’s a mitzvah!

2. I recently asked QC alum Yishai Maynard why he is a monthly donor to Chabad. He wrote: “We give to Chabad because….the Rabbi asked nicely.” So will you please purchase tickets? Your gift will give students the gift of Torah and Mitzvot… thank you!

3. Because it’s good for you. Giving Tzedakah (charity) feels good… it’s primal… it’s a core part of who we are… we are givers by nature… when you give, you view yourself as a better person… when you give, you can say, “there are so many problems in the world, but I am not sitting by idly… I am making a difference!”

4. Because it’s a way to give back.

5. Because giving is good for you, financially. According to Jeff Brooks, research shows that giving charity has an ROI of 3.75:1. In plain English, that means that for every dollar you give to charity, you eventually receive $3.75 in return!

6. Because giving to one cause leads you to support more causes. How? When you give to a cause, you begin to care more about it. When you care more about it, you think about it more often. And you get involved in other ways — because you care. And when others see how much you care and how involved you are in making the world a better place, this leads other people to also get more involved. Simple, eh?

7. Because you know that Chabad is a great investment, and that your investment will bring more light into the world.

Click here to buy tickets.

* * *
Last year, the proceeds from the raffle, er, I mean Grand Draw, were about 13% of our budget.
* * *
Last night, we hosted a special Torah class (picture below) in memory of Yoni Epstein’s father, Meir Tzvi ben Natan a”h. Yoni wanted to do something for his father’s 2nd yahrzeit, and asked if we could host it. He invited a few of his friends (QC alumni), ordered a tray of sushi, and we sat down to learn together.

Yoni is a giving person, always looking to help, so I decided to do something about giving.

We began by studying in chevrusa (study partners) a fascinating story from the Talmud about tzedakah, and then segued into the following mishna from chapter 5 of Ethics of Our Fathers:

“There are four types of people who give tzedakah. One who wants to give but does not want others to give — is begrudging of others. One who wants that others should give but does not want to give — begrudges himself. One who wants that he as well as others should give, is a chassid. One who want neither himself nor others to give, is wicked.”

Why is the 4th person — who himself doesn’t give, nor does he want others to give — counted in the list of “people who give tzedakah?!” The mishna could have just said that there are 3 types of people who give, and left off the last type of person!

The answer (my paraphrase of the Rebbe’s teaching): Deep down, each and every one of us wants to give. It’s part of the fabric of our being. We are givers.

Furthermore: The four types of people are included in one list, to teach us that the highest level of giving is within our reach.
* * *
Every year, at least one person asks, “What are my chances of winning the $10,000 grand prize?”

Well, how do I say this… your chances are slim.

But life is all about chances.

In my experience, you are not purchasing tickets because you think you will win the grand prize. You believe that our future is bright. You believe that one good deed can change the world for the good. You believe that there is so much to do, and we don’t have time to waste.

You believe that even though at times it may seem like we, the Jewish people, have a slim chance of surviving (G-d forbid!) — but together we will thrive! Even in the strongly affiliated student population in Queens, many students need YOUR help.
* * *
I know this is getting long, but I can’t resist. I have to share a story I heard from Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky at the conference I mentioned at the beginning of this email.

There was a person who needed help from the Rebbe. What exactly he needed, I don’t know. Someone advised him that the Rebbe was very busy, and the best way may be to stop the Rebbe on the street when he was walking from his home to 770 (Chabad World HQ & Synagogue).

So this person approached the Rebbe on the street, and they spoke for 10 minutes.

Afterwards, he was approached by a few yeshiva students who reprimanded him: Do you have any idea how precious the Rebbe’s time is? What gave you the right to take so much of his time?

This person was very sincere, and felt bad. He wrote an apologetic letter to the Rebbe.

In his response, the Rebbe made 2 points:

1. The time we spoke is the scheduled time for prayer in the yeshiva, so what were these yeshiva students doing on President Street?!

2. The Baal Shem Tov teaches that a neshama (soul) comes into this world in order to do a favor for another person — who knows if maybe MY soul came into this world in order to do a favor for this specific person, i.e., YOU!! Who are they to mix in?!

* * *
Please buy tickets today. Time is of the essence. Your contribution makes sure that our doors are never closed to Jewish students.
* * *
“You don’t even know the full effects you are having on students.”
– Daniel Epstein ’06

Thank you,

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