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Weekly Wanderings

Dina Tal

For most of us, Shabbos is the day when we reconnect as a family, when we enjoy the bliss of 26 hours at home. But some families spend Shabbosim far from their familiar setting, often under challenging circumstances, all so they can share our weekly gift with other Jews.

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Beila Grossman and her family live in Boro Park, but when Shabbos arrives, they may be in Dallas or Denver, in West Point or Ottawa. They’re part of a group called The Traveling Chassidim, a division of the Belz kiruv movement. Beila’s husband had already been involved in kiruv when the Traveling Chassidim was formed, so it was only natural that the Grossmans would join. Several times a year they travel, often venturing far from their native Boro Park both in miles and mindsets. “We don’t come as kiruv professionals,” Beila explains. “Our role on these Shabbosim is to enlighten and inspire simply by being ourselves.” Rebbetzin Amalia Lassry, on the other hand, is part of an organization called Arachim, which is specifically geared to promote kiruv among secular Israelis. Arachim arranges Shabbos seminars for Israelis, and, as both Amalia and her husband are trained kiruv speakers, they’ve been away for Shabbos every week for the last five years. “The condition of Klal Yisrael demands it,” explains Rebbetzin Lassry. “You can’t sit at home while people long to hear words of Torah. People are less distracted on Shabbos, so it’s easier for them to disconnect from their regular lives and connect to Torah. We get 400 to 500 participants at each seminar. The stereotype of hard-core secular Israelis is not our only audience. We have participants who are graduates of Bais Yaakovs and yeshivos who want to strengthen their emunah, as well as those who unfortunately went off the derech. It’s a tremendous kiddush Hashem every Shabbos. Even if we only manage to be mekarev one neshamah, it’s all worth it.”

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