Imagine if a single child, one by one, along a pattern on the globe, ushered in Shabbat by lighting the candles. Moment by moment, beginning with a single light, the entire world would be aglow. This magic of light, in our mind’s eye, is the reality of the work that Chabad shluchim, emissaries, bring by sharing the messages of Torah with Jews around the world. And, the warmth of light is what washed over the community during the public portion of the July 15-16 conference in Houston of the Southern Regional Kinus Hashluchim, hosted by Chabad Lubavitch of Texas.
According to Chabad of Uptown Rabbi Chaim Lazaroff, there were a total of 43 rabbis attending the kinus, or conference, held at the Texas headquarters on Fondren Road. And, if there was one common denominator, it was camaraderie. “Everyone is together for a series of programs; one broke into smaller groups for topics that they were passionate about,” said Rabbi Chaim. Of the 32 Chabad rabbis in Texas, 25 are in the greater Houston area.
Along with the greater Houston area and five other states besides Texas, the Southern Region also includes Rabbi Mendel Zarchi, director of Chabad of Puerto Rico. He and his wife established a Chabad house there, 13 years ago, which also serves many of the Carribean islands.
On a personal level, Rabbi Zarchi said that the greatest challenge was “assuring an education for our children in a remote area, at a level my wife and I were used to.” The family takes advantage of a Chabad virtual online school, he noted, which serves Chabad rabbis’ families around the world. CONTINUE...