What’s Chabad talking about?

Thousands of Chabad-Lubavitch emissaries gather in front of Chabad-Lubavitch world headquarters. (Photo: Kinus Hashluchim)
Thousands of Chabad-Lubavitch emissaries gather in front of Chabad-Lubavitch world headquarters. (Photo: Kinus Hashluchim)

As 6,500 Rabbis from 50 states and 100 countries gather this Shabbat for the conference of Chabad Shluchim, what is likely to be the topic of their meetings and Shabbat table conversations?

As Jews in Israel fight for our homeland, while those in the US prepare for the largest Jewish march on Washington ever, what questions are facing our spiritual leaders?

Likely it will be around the surge in Jewish awareness.

Young and old, right, left, and center, people have been thrust into an awareness of Judaism not seen in over 50 years:

Students who set out to be lawmakers and policy advisors have suddenly come face-to-face with their Jewish identity. Alongside being recognized for their excellence in science, math, and history, they are suddenly recognized as a Jew.

How can we help provide understanding around what it means to be a Jew in the 21st century? With so much confusion around morality and ethics, how are we connecting our students with the Divine code?

On LinkedIn, career professionals are breaking norms and risking social capital to speak their minds about Israel. What opportunities for Jewish learning, celebration, and participation can we make available to the millions of new ambassadors we have?

Our Shuls, Schools, and community centers are employing more visible and costly security measures. How do we ensure that this moment be one of Jewish pride and spirit and not let our communities become gripped with fear?

There are organizations better suited for political activism, Israel advocacy, and quantifying the rise in anti-Semitism. At the Chabad conference, the focus is likely to be on fanning the flame of faith, providing opportunities for Jewish engagement, and most importantly, reminding us all of that which G-d told each of our patriarchs: “Al Tirah,” have no fear, “for I am with you.”

About the Author
Rabbi Motti Wilhelm received his diploma of Talmudic Studies from the Rabbinical College of Australia & New Zealand in 2003 and was ordained as a rabbi by the Rabbinical College of America and Israel’s former chief Rabbi Mordecha Eliyahu in 2004. He was the editor of Kovetz Ohelei Torah, a respected Journal of Talmudic essays. He lectures on Talmudic Law, Medical Ethics and a wide array of Jewish subjects and has led services in the United States, Canada, Africa and Australia. His video blog Rabbi Motti's Minute is highly popular as are his weekly emails. Rabbi Wilhelm and his wife Mimi lead Chabad SW Portland as Shluchim of the Lubavitcher Rebbe.
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