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My Moment of Clarity

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Last night I had a moment of clarity.  I am constantly asking myself what I'm doing here in Temecula.  Obviously, we're representatives of the Rebbe to spread the light of Torah and Yiddishkeit, but how can we best fulfill our mission?

Our first couple years here, we were hosting big events and were pushing social gatherings.  We've delivered food and money to people who need it, advocated for people's medical needs, visited inmates in prison, found people jobs, and guided orphans.  Lately, we've put almost everything on the line to start a Jewish preschool.

Even after all that, I still wonder what my purpose is.  Which one is the essence of why I'm here.

And last night, it came.  The head Chabad organization has three branches (similar to our country):  Kehot is the publication society, printing Jewish books.  Machane Israel is the social services branch.  Merkos L'inyonei Chinuch is the educational branch.  

Which branch do you think the army of 6,000 shluchi…

In the nick of time- Amazing story

A few weeks ago, I promised you a story.  Here it is:

About a year ago, I spoke with a friend of mine from back east.  He's a couple years younger than me, had recently passed the bar and was hired for his first job.  I recommended to him, as a friend, that he should take the leap and be strict with tithing.

Tithing literally means giving 10% of your net income to charity.  The Talmud teaches that tithing is actually the only thing permissible to test G-d with.  Usually we are told not to test G-d, but when it comes to tithing, the Talmud guarantees that עשר בשביל שתתעשר- tithe to become rich (the hebrew word for "tithe" and "rich" have the same root).  I told this friend of mine that he should take the high road, which is to give 20% to charity (the Talmud teaches that 10% is the minimum and 20% is the maximum, for those who really trust.) 

He was hesitant at first, but, I think because I was telling it to him as a friend, not as a fundraiser, he agreed.  Indeed …