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Shluchim from the states of Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Michigan gathered in Detroit this past Shabbos and Sunday for the annual Midwest Regional Kinus.
The program started on Friday afternoon with a tour of the building site of the future mesivta and yeshiva building, led by Rabbi Berel Shemtov. Rabbi Shemtov, head shliach to Michigan and host of the Kinus, shared with visitors the magnificent Kidush Hashem that occurred the previous Sunday when the whole community came together for the groundbreaking. The new complex will be built on 4 acres of land on Ten Mile Road, near the other yeshivos in town.
Shluchim joined the mesivta for their seder limud and seder nigunim before Kabbolas Shabbos and Maariv, which was led by Shliach Rabbi Mendel Moscowitz from Chicago.
The Shabbos meal naturally turned into a farbrengen that went on until the early hours of the morning.
Shluchim still managed to join seder Chassidus in the morning with Head Shliach to Illinois, Rabbi Daniel Moscowitz. After Mussaf they sat down in Zal for a small Kidush, during which Shliach Rabbi Yosef Posner from Skokie, IL gave an in depth shiur on a sicha, followed by Mincha and Shalosh Seudos that turned into an all day farbrengen. The day closed with a video of the Rebbe’s address to shluchim at the International Kinus in 5750.
Sunday, the Kinus was moved to West Bloomfield, where 20 more shluchim joined the program. After Shacharis the shluchim enjoyed breakfast, during which representatives from every participating state gave field reports on their shlichus. The shluchim then gathered in smaller groups to learn together Maamar Bosi Legani 5711.
The morning session was on the topic of chinuch and was led by Shluchim Rabbis Boruch Hertz from Chicago and Bentzion Stein from Oak Park, MI. Igros from the Rebbe were distributed and read, in which the Rebbe discusses the importance of sending children to Lubavitch mosdos, regardless of the challenges.
During lunch, shluchim had an opportunity to visit Friendship Circle LifeTown with Shliach Rabbi Levi Shemtov. After that the Shluchim gathered for the traditional group picture in front of the shul.
The entire afternoon was dedicated to the theme of Dor Ha’Shevi’i. The first speaker was Rabbi Moshe Kotralsky, who shared personal stories and special instructions he received from the Rebbe regarding the shluchim. Rabbi Berel Shemtov discussed the uniquness of shlichus and the special responsibility of hafotzas hamayanos chutza. Rabbi Yosef Samuels of Milwaukee, WI talked about the Rebbe’s Mivtza Limud HaRambam. Special guest Rabbi Berel Levin shared the history behind the publication of Igros Kodesh. Shliach Rabbi Menachem Shechter spoke passionately about sharing our personal experiences of the Rebbe with our children. The last speaker was Rabbi Shmaya Shmotkin from Milwaukee, who continued with other tools that can inspire our children to be mekushorim and shluchim.
The shluchim proceeded to the formal Gala Banquet which was attended by 400 members of the local Jewish Community. Rabbi Kasriel Shemtov spoke on behalf of Lubavitch of Michigan. Rabbi Daniel Moscowitz gave a Dvar Torah. The crowd joined in the niggun of Tzomah Lecha Nafshi from the new JEM Nigunim video and Chassidic singing sensation Benny Friedman led the crowd with additional Chassidic melodies. Shliach Rabbi Eliezer Zalmanov spoke on behalf of the shluchim of Indiana and introduced Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky to address the theme of “The Rebbe and his Shluchim”.
Rabbi Kotlarsky mesmerized the crowd with stories of his missions around the world as Chabad’s roving ambassador. After dinner and more nigunim, Shliach Rabbi Aryah Kaltman spoke on behalf of Ohio shluchim. He introduced keynote speaker Rabbi Moshe Tokayer, who spoke passionately about the Rebbe and his contribution to world Jewry. He reminded everyone that the way to continue to connect with the Rebbe today is through learning from his writings and teachings. He encouraged all participants to seek such books and apply the teachings in their everyday lives.
The Kinus concluded with one more farbrengen, again deep into the night, led by Head Shliach to WisconsinRabbi Yisroel Shmotkin and Shliach Rabbi Yossi Shemtov of Toledo, Ohio.
The shluchim left with an infusion of energy from all the learning, farbrengens, and ahavas Chassidim, as well as a renewed chayus in the avoda of Dor Hashvi’i – hafotzas hamayonas chutza.
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