On a brisk evening last week, when Purim was more…
In honor of the sixtieth year of the Rebbe’s neshius and inspired by the Rebbe’s call to reach the “fifth son”, six hundred bochurim will be going out on Merkos Shlichus to over two hundred and eighty cities this Pesach in the largest group ever sent.
In preparation for their Shlichus, last night the bochurim gathered in the Jewish Children’s Museum to be instructed and guided about their important work. From learning how to kasher an oven and counter tops to practical cooking menu’s and Seder tips, the bochurim heard from experienced Shluchim, Rabbonim and a chef as they shared advice and experience from their Shlichus and work.
Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky of Merkos Linyonei Chinuch, who is responsible for the Pesach program, opened the evening by stressing to the bochurim the zechus and responsibility they have representing the Rebbe by going on shlichus.
“The importance of the Pesach Seder and how it can reach every Jew can’t be emphasized enough”, Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky, told the bochurim. Quoting Rabbi Kantor from Thailand he said, “There are Jews who come for the Seder that don’t come for Yom Kippur”.
After a video of the Rebbe in which the Rebbe spoke about the importance of remembering who you represent on shlichus, the evening took on a very practical side starting with Rabbi Yanky Sacks from Long Island, who detailed and explained all the intricate and sometimes complicated issues that can arise when one is kashering a kitchen.
Continuing the practical theme of the evening, Rabbi Zushe Winner from Brighton Beach, spoke about all the halachik implications of Pesach in general and of the Seder in particular. Rabbi Winner’s vast knowledge of the different circumstances and scenarios that can arise was evident as he opened the floor to questions and answers.
The bochurim then heard from Chef Silberstein who introduced them to the world of culinary art. From food safety to practical cooking advice, Chef Silberstein kept the bochurim enchanted as they discovered a field otherwise not known to them. Rabbi Menachem Posner a “veteran of Merkos Shlichus” spoke next. Speaking from years of experience, Rabbi Posner had the bochurim singing the traditional songs of the Seder, laughing about the mishaps and inspired by the stories of past years.
Rabbi Mendy Kotlarsky then rounded up the practical side of the evening with some small but helpful tips on how to run the Seder efficiently. Rabbi Kotlarsky then charged the crowd with reaching out to Jews who otherwise wouldn’t attend a Seder in the numbers that include six; in honor of the Rebbe’s sixtieth year.
After the group picture in which only a third were represented as the majority were being sent from yeshivas in Israel and Moscow and some leaving to their far-flung destinations already, Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky thanked Rabbi Shnuer Nejar the coordinator of Merkos Shlichus, who together with Rabbi Mendel Kotlarsky worked tirelessly to ensure the success of this years Pesach Merkos Shlichus. He also thanked the Rohr family for their unwavering support of the Shluchim worldwide.
As the evening grew late, the bochurim split up into three smaller groups representing the English speaking, Hebrew speaking and European and Asia contingency, each group further discussing how better to implement the evenings practical advice.
There is no doubt that as the bochurim leave to their destinations in the coming days they will be better prepared and equipped than ever before to help bring the message and spirit of Pesach to all.
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