Small Places

News on November 17th, 2017 No Comments

Shalom Aleichem!

I am currently attending the International Conference of Shluchim in Crown Heights, and last night I heard the following story from Rabbi Yaakov Reitzes:

He and his wife were considering moving to the town of Yesod Hama’ala in northern Israel to open a Chabad House. However, they were concerned that since it was a very small town, opening a Chabad House might not be viable.

They wrote to the Rebbe for advice.

In his note, Rabbi Reitzes mentioned their concern that Yesod Hama’ala was a small town.

The Rebbe would often write his response as a notation on the original letter, which he would then mail back to the sender.

In this case, the response was written on the 11th of Nissan — the Rebbe’s birthday.

The Rebbe circled the words “small place,” and wrote next to them (in Hebrew): This is not relevant at all.

The words “at all” were underlined twice.
* * *
Rabbi Reitzes recounted the story as if it happened yesterday, although it was more like 35 years ago.

I’m reminded of something our oldest son said 8 or 9 years ago, referring to our baby-at-the-time: “There’s no such thing as a small Jew. Not even Sruli.”

Every single person contains multitudes. This Shabbos, thousands of the Rebbe’s Shluchim (representatives) from all over the world are gathered together to celebrate the wonderful opportunity and responsibility that we have. We will pray, eat and say l’chaim together, celebrating the multitudes within each and every one of us.

Although you may not be with us for Shabbos, I invite you to join us in spirit, and say l’chaim to the enormous responsibility — and capacity — that each of us have, to change the world for the good.


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