Sunday, August 22, 2010

Reflections of a retired rover

On second thought, that title isn't particularly appropriate (even if it does get full marks in the alliterative department). First of all, once a Shliach always a Shliach, and second of all, it's way too pretentious. Just last week I assisted an Israeli customer (I work in retail) who needed help finding a Minyan in Manhattan. Another customer, this one a South African, happened to be celebrating a birthday, and I directed him to the Rebbe's Ohel. Is it the same as visiting Jews in Kansas, Missouri, and Connecticut? It's something along those lines.

Point is, there's always Jews out there waiting for the proverbial lamplighter to come by and spark a flame inside. Wherever we are, whatever we're doing, we can be the ones to light that wick and turn it into a raging fire. And that's really what Merkos Shlichus is all about. Reading the stories of the current crop of Roving Rabbis makes me realize how truly awesome it is to have been part of something so incredible. Like everyone connected with any enterprise, I never realized how much I was accomplishing through my simple slogging-through of the spiritual desert that is much of modern day America. Because really, that's what it's all about. Take a car, crank up the AC (if you have it), and drive out onto the prairie, following in the footsteps of all those pioneers on the Oregon Trail so many years ago. Once you're out on the road, open up the local Yellow Pages, Google a bit, and find some Jews. Reach out, put on Tefillin, put up some Mezuzahs, inspire, get inspired, drink some Coke and eat some potato chips, and generally make the world a better place. And if you have any cool stories, send them into this here blog.

Thing is, there are so many Jews out there waiting to be found, their souls simply crying out for spiritual solace, and all you've got to do is try. We don't expect any miracles, and there aren't even any quotas to be filled. There's no measurement for accomplishment; the only requirement is to rove far and wide, searching for the remnants of a people that has been beaten so many times it's forgotten how to raise its head in pride. Which is exactly what the Roving Rabbis are for. Lift those heads high, show them what you got. I know this has all sounded corny, but sometimes life is like that. Kansas is like that too. I mean, lots of corn.

(The above was written for Roving Rabbis.)

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

and here I am thinking this would be about http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spirit_rover#2010

its ok, i always liked the other rover better.

sarabonne said...

Speaking of the Oregon trail, I expect you and your wife to come visit sometime, preferably when I'm there. (We have some very cool industrial areas.)

e said...

Like the line about the corn.

e said...

Among other lines, of course.

sarabonne said...

*when I'm here.

The Real Shliach said...

Anon: Where's it better to be stuck, Mars or Crown Heights?

Sara: I've heard that the beaches are pretty spectacular too.

e: Oh, thanks.

Quite.

Sara: Of course.

Anonymous said...

Hi

Anonymous said...

Hi. Thanx for undoing the "ban".

The Real Shliach said...

You're welcome.

sara@israel said...

jewish students from europe or usa that study at my school-they say *jesus christ* without even knowing that they do something wrong...

sarabonne said...

Out of curiosity, is there anything technically/halachically wrong with saying "Jesus Christ"? I always get mixed answers.

e said...

I spoke to Immanuel Schochet about this. I don't know if he'd mind my posting his response on the internet, but here it is anyway.
There's nothing wrong with saying "Jesus"; it's just a name. But you can't say "Christ," because that already is saying that the dude is something holy.

sarabonne said...

Hm, I suppose a new expression of exasperation should be in order then.

Anonymous said...

Have a good year to you and yours.



Anon

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

Someone I met on birthright used "son of a motherless goat."

I guess that's just like JC only without the word Christ.

sarabonne said...

A bit long but a definite replacement possibility.