Shluchim from over 15 states gathered this past Shabbos at Chabad of Nashville, Tennessee, for a weekend of learning, inspiration, and camaraderie in an atmosphere of “sheves achim gam yachad “ . A majority of the Shluchim attending serve in smaller Jewish communities spread out across the United States, the geographical distance necessitating it to be the only regional Kinus held over a Shabbos. The miles traveled seemed to vanish though, as soon as the Shluchim arrived at the Chabad center; for the entire Kinus was permeated with warmth and achdus.
“The farbrenging and the inspiration expressed by all, was palatable, in a sense of Ish Es Rei-eihu Yazoru U'Lachiv Yomar Chazak”, said Rabbi Levi Klein, head Shliach to the state of Tennessee.
The Kinus, hosted by Rabbi Yitzchok and Esther Tiechtel, offered a five star experience, from the Gashmiyus to the Ruchniyus. Many members of the Nashville community joined together to take care of every need of the shluchim, feeling it was an honor to give the shluchim the care and attention they deserve.
Friday afternoon a big lavish lunch spread welcomed all, and tours were given of the new Chabad Center. The builder, Mr. Fred Yazdian, gave a workshop where he shared his experience in overcoming the challenges and pitfalls of building. Mr. Yazdian, involved for close to two years on this project, spoke admiringly of the traits of emunah, determination, and how beautiful at Chabad the Rabbi and the Rebbetzin work as a team.
Before candle lighting, the Shluchim assembled for a formal group photo in front of the Chabad Center. Kabbolas Shabbos was led by the Shliach from Nebraska Rabbi Mendel Katzman.
At the Friday night dinner, a five course gourmet meal, each of the participating shluchim was asked - as customary to this region - to speak sometime during Shabbos. It was so beautiful to see and hear how each Shliach shared their personal thoughts and feelings on what it means to be a shliach, and how special it was to spend a weekend together as Chasidim Ein Mishpacha.
On Shabbos morning, Rabbi Sholom Lew, from Glendale, Arizona, gave a shiur in Chasidus, and Shacharis that was led by Rabbi Chezky Edelman from Olympia, Washington. The Haftorah was read by Rabbi Shlomo Rothstein, from Vanderbilt Univeristy in Nashville. During the Krias Hatorah several of the Shluchim who serve with mesirus nefesh in far flung communities received the honor of an Aliayh.
Following the Torah reading, Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky addressed the community, who had come to meet the Shluchim, with a powerful sermon. Musaf was led by Rabbi Moshe Kasowitz from St. Paul, Minnesota.
The shluchim and the community joined together for an outdoor lunch on the beautiful patio facing the Tennessee mountains, where Rabbi Yossi Shemtov, from Tuscon, Arizona spoke on behalf of all of the participating Shluchim, thanking the Nashville community for the taste of true gracious Southern Hospitality.
The Shluchim then proceeded to their own Seudas Shabbos and farbrenged all afternoon until Mincha, with lots of L'Chaim and an array of delicacies. During the farbrengen, Rabbi Kotlarsky shared numerous stories of the Rebbe, showing his care and attention toward Shluchim.
Following Mincha, there was a most stirring Seder Nigunnim that included the chazering of a mamar by the Rabbi Zalman Tiechtel, from KU in Lawrence, Kansas.
After Maariv and Havdalah, there was a video presentation in the library. Rabbi Mendel Feller, from St. Paul, Minnesota, one of the directors of the new JEM film "JOY - the happiest moments with the Rebbe and Chasidim," gave an historical overview and a behind the scenes presentation on the making of this new video.
The Shluchim then went out for a true Southern Style BBQ, where they were presented with a gift for them each to take home, an 8 x 11 photograph of the Kinus as a memento. They also thanked habachur Arele Gopin for all of his assistance towards the success of the Kinus.
On Sunday morning following the davening, there was a Tzeischem L'Sholom brunch where the shluchim wished well to one another, knowing that this weekend kinus was one that was a source of Nachas to the rebbe, and each one went home filled with vigorous energy and renewed enthusiasm for their Makom Hashlichus.
“It was a tremendous honor and zechus hosting so many shluchim in our new Chabad Center, making each one of them feel special, like a royal guests,” said Rabbi Yitzchok and Esther Tiechtel, as they bid farewell to the Shluchim.