“You would’ve been so proud of me,” my mother beamed into the phone this morning.
“Joan (name changed) was telling me about the problems she was having with her family
and I said to her, ‘Joan, do you light Shabbos candles?’ and she told me
she used to. So, I told her she should light her candles and just pray.”
“I am very proud of you,” I assured her.
My mother is not Torah observant but she has always been careful about lighting Shabbos candles. Still, it’s not easy for anyone to make spiritual suggestions, even though that’s exactly what I told her to do two days ago regarding a situation in our family.
But I’m a Lubavitcher; my mother isn’t.
At least I didn’t think she was.
This was a sweetly appropriate encounter for this Shabbos, when I am in New York where thousands of Lubavitch men are gathered for the men’s convention. (The women’s convention is in a couple of months.)
These men are known as shluchim, official emissaries of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, each of whom works in one the thousands of Chabad/Lubavitch (same thing) institutions around the globe. Without going into detail as to what differentiates Lubavitcher Chasidim from other Chasidim and non-Chasidim, one thing is for sure:
Lubavitcher Chasidim love when they get others to do good, especially if it’s Jewish people doing Jewish good.
My Lubavitcher mother’s timing is perfect. I just hope Joan passes it on.