Crossing the border!

Friday, 19 March, 2021 - 12:45 am

Yesterday, Chaya and I journeyed to Clark, Wyoming to place Mezuzot on two Jewish homes. Though it’s in Wyoming and our colleagues Rabbi Zalman and Raizy in Jackson Hole oversee Chabad’s activities in the Cowboy State, they were delighted that we could get there, as for us it’s only six hours round trip and for them it would be eleven. In addition, I was excited to stop and visit my buddy Jim in Belfry to deliver Matzah on our side of the border. When an opportunity beckons to create a Temple for G-d to “dwell among them”, there is nothing more exhilarating.

In this week’s Torah portion, Vayikra, the first in the book of Leviticus, we read about the Korbanot, the sacrificial offerings in the Tabernacle/Temple. The Mincha meal offering, which was primarily of flour, was given to us by G-d so that even those who couldn’t afford a bird or animal for an offering, were able connect with Him at His Divine residence. In Jewish law we are instructed that “a rich person who brings a poor person offering, has not fulfilled his/her obligation”. Just because G-d appreciates the offering of the pauper, that doesn’t mean He wants that from a wealthy person who could do more. The meal offering, which came wholeheartedly from the poor person, giving his very best to his Creator, was really special to G-d, and for that same reason, a rich person who tries to bring that type of offering does not do himself, or G-d, any favors.

This upcoming Wednesday, the 11th of Nissan, we will celebrate the Rebbe’s 119th birthday. The Rebbe would repeat this Halachic truism often enough, as it represented his worldview. What suffices for one with less energy and time, doesn’t suffice for those who were blessed with more of it. Just because each of us may be doing good, doesn’t mean that we can’t do better, and even better. The Rebbe shifted our outlook from seeing the potential prospects that come our way from being a “Shlepp” to being a “Mitzvah opportunity”. It was many hours in the car in the crucial pre-Pesach days, but if I’m too busy for Mezuzot, then why am I in Montana altogether? The Rebbe’s ninety-two years, every of its moment, were filled to capacity with goodness, holiness and devotion to our people, I try to emulate just that.

If I were a rich man…!

May G-d guard our brethren in Israel and the world over from harm and send us Mashiach speedily. May G-d protect the armed forces of Israel and the United States wherever they may be. Shabbat Shalom! Chazak!!! L'Chaim!!! 

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