Conventional Inspiration

The Shluchim convention two weeks ago was a breath of much needed fresh air for me. A spiritual tune up. Five days surrounded by Judaism, Rebbe & Chassidim was just what I needed.

One of the main themes of the convention was “Hakhel,” which I’ve written about before.

Hakhel is the year of gathering. For six years, we “work the land” in Israel, and on the seventh, the land rests. In the beginning of the eighth year, there is a big gathering.

In temple times, it was a gathering in a specific place, by a specific person, at a specific time, with a specific ritual.

Now that we don’t have a temple (specific place) or a king (specific person), the Rebbe taught that Hakhel can be fulfilled by anyone at any time during this year.

Any gathering which furthers “awe of G-d” counts as a Hakhel gathering and is a big deal.

At the convention they pointed out, that the lions share of the Rebbe’s major initiatives were introduced during “Hakhel” years. The famous Tefillin campaign, Tzedakah campaign, Shabbos candle campaign, Torah campaign, Jewish book campaign, Mezuzah campaign & Buying a letter in a Torah campaign were all introduced in Hakhel years. Tzivos Hashem and the Jewish birthday campaign were also introduced during Hakhel years.

At any rate, the question is always action. What action can I do to “gather Jews” in honor of this year? Covid was a time that really allowed us to focus on the individual, and we started the “Lamplighters,” Jewish gift program, which has been huge. But we have not focused so much on “gathering”.

On the plane ride back I had a lot of time to ponder what we can do. And we had a family meeting about it.

Here are some ideas we came up with:

  • Push to gather a minyan together at least once a month

  • Make a BIG Kiddush after services and encourage people to “gather”

  • Make sure to have guests every Friday night

  • Gather the women for Womens Circle

  • Big Chanukah gatherings

  • Make a big gathering (thinking of a Music event in the spring)

  • Childrens gatherings (my children took this on)

  • Encourage community members to gather their Jewish friends for a “mini Torah class” which we would be happy to teach or partake in.


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