by Reb Gutman Locks @ Mystical Paths
A sheliach is a messenger. The Torah discusses this subject quite thoroughly. For instance, it explains that if the messenger does what the sender tells him to do, then the sender is liable for any damages that the messenger does. But if the messenger changes from the instructions, and does not do as the sender instructed him, then the messenger himself is liable. We are taught that when the messenger does what the sender tells him to do, the messenger is called “the hand of the sender.”
What does all this have to do with us? You do not have to be the rabbi in a Chabad House situated far away somewhere in the wide world to be a sheliach. In fact, as valuable as it is to have a Rebbe as your sender, you really do not even need a Rebbe to send you. You do not need donors, nor secretaries, nor even those wonderful newsletters that these messengers send out. All you need is the will to help others, and the sensitivity to listen to G-d.
Each of us was sent into this world with a particular mission. So actually, we are all already messengers…messengers of G-d. All we have to do is listen to what He says. For instance, “You shall be holy because I am holy,” and that each of us is “obligated for each other,” and that “you shall love the stranger who is in your midst,” and “you shall teach these words of Mine diligently,” and “I have appointed you to be a light unto the nations.” In fact, there are many times when He has told us to care for one another.
What does it mean to return a lost item? If you would be careful to return a neighbor’s lost wallet, or his straying donkey, shouldn’t you be even more careful to return his lost, or straying, soul? Would you help him pick up his fallen donkey? I truly believe that you would. But would you help him to pick up his fallen soul? Sadly, it seems not.
So we see that time and time again that G-d is trying to get us to be His messenger. Do you want the best job in the world? Do you want to work for the best Boss ever? Who pays the most? And Who makes you happy while you work? I can’t even list all of the employment benefits that you will get when you open your own local “Holy franchise messenger service” office.
Let’s see. You can begin by seeing how many sad people you can encourage, how many pessimistic people you can teach to be optimistic, how many people you can befriend. Then there are the Torah classes once or twice a week that you will have in your home… and Shabbos dinners… and your weekly tefillin route… and on and on.
Remember, when the messenger does what the Sender sends him to do, the messenger becomes “the hand of his Sender.” Can you think of anything better to do?