Everyone needs chizuk, even those engaged in providing it. For the hardworking campus representatives, or Shluchim of Chabad on Campus, the chizuk came in the form of a midweek convention in Stamford, Connecticut. There, the Shluchim and their families joined to brainstorm and share triumphs and struggles in reaching out to the thousands of Jewish students on college campuses.
At the closing banquet, Rabbi David Teichtel of Chabad on the campus of University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana spoke about the importance of small deeds and the effect they can have, sharing a true story as a mashal for the idea.
On the first day of the semester, his wife, Goldie, stood in the middle of the school's lawn, inviting students to join a Torah class, come bake challah, or eat a Shabbos meal. The sun was blazing overhead, and the rebbetzin handed out ice-cold freeze pops from a cooler to the passing students, hoping to pique their interest.
One student accepted the freeze-pop, but waved off the offers of a Torah class. A few days later, she entered the Chabad office and burst into tears.
Her story: A few moments after meeting the Mrs. Teichtel, this student had suddenly passed out, falling to the ground. Medics quickly arrived to rush her to the hospital, where she eventually came to. The doctor asked her if she'd eaten at all that day, and she said that she hadn't, other than that one freeze-pop.
“Well,” the doctor informed her, “that one freeze-pop saved your life, young lady. Your sugar level was so low that you would have slipped into a coma without it.”
The student shared the story with her new saviors — and Rabbi Teichtel shared it with his captive audience, reiterating the message. “One small gesture can literally make the greatest difference in the world.”