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The sun doesn’t seem to have set over Thailand last night, with a farbrengen at the Asian Regional Kinus HaShluchim having lasted through the night. Rabbi Yosef Chaim Kantor, head shliach to Thailand and kinus host, introduced the theme of the evening, “Brengen Yidden Tzum Rebb’n,” stressing the importance of following the Rebbe’s directives while working to connect Yidden with the Rebbe.
Reflecting on the significance the Rebbe attributed to regional kinusim,Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky, vice-chairman of Merkos L’Inyonei Chinuch and chairman of the Kinus HaShluchim Ha’Olami, described a phone call he received from Rabbi Hodakov while the Rebbe listened in on the line. Rabbi Hodakov inquired as to whether regional kinusim could be arranged, enabling shluchim to gather in small groups and give each other chizuk. Rabbi Hodakov then said that the Rebbe requested that Rabbi Kotlarsky report to the Rebbe on Shabbos before the farbrengen to let him know whether this had been done.
At the height of the farbrengen, Rabbi Kotlarsky spontaneously phoned Rabbi Chezki Lifshitz, shliach to Nepal who, along with his wife, has forgone attending the kinus in favor of serving as a veritable lifeline for those in need of assistance in the wake of the recent earthquake there. Shluchim took turns saying l’chaim and wishing the Lifshitzs hatzlocha in their vital work. Rabbi Lifshitz was deeply grateful for the call; his only request was that everyone continue davening on behalf of those who are still missing.
“When we arrived here on shlichus more than 27 years ago, it was unfathomable that the day would arrive when I would be zoche to participate in a regional kinus on as grand a scale as this,” relatedRabbi Mordechai Avtzon, head shliach to Hong Kong and the first shliach to the Far East. “It warms my heart to see how the world of shlichus in the Far East has blossomed and prospered, thanks, of course, to the kochos of our meshaleach.”
Throughout the evening, shluchim took the opportunity to acknowledge the generosity of the Keren HaShluchim, Keren Meromim and Rohr Family Foundation, as well as to express gratitude to Rabbi Kotlarsky, Rabbi Avtzon, Rabbi Kantor and Rabbi Mordechai Abergel, shliach to Singapore, for funding this most extraordinary kinus.