In honor of marking 40 years since the very first Kinus, Or Vechom offers a brief overview of the inception and development of the Kinus Hashluchim over the years, with links to all the material referenced.
This year’s Kinus Hashluchim Haolami marks 40 years since the very first Kinus Hashluchim that took place on Shabbos Mevarchim Kislev 5744. Or Vechom Hahiskashrus is pleased to offer a brief overview of the inception and development of the Kinus Hashluchim over the years.
For an extensive range of resources on the Kinus Hashluchim history and the topic of Shlichus—ranging from the Rebbe’s sichos, to intriguing articles and kovtzim in both Hebrew & English, and more—please visit OrVechom.com/Shlichus.
Shlichus has been a topic that the Rebbe spoke about starting from the Rebbe’s earliest Sichos. In fact, in the famous Mamer of Bosi Legani 5711, when the Rebbe officially accepted the Nesius, the Rebbe derived a lesson from Avraham Avinu that we have to go out and spread Yiddishkeit.
Every Jew has this responsibility to spread Yiddishkeit, but as the Rebbe explained at great length during the Farbrengen of 25 Cheshvan 5752, the Shluchim have the Zechus to be chosen to dedicate their entire lives to this mission.
The first ‘Kinus Hashluchim’ that took place was in Eretz Yisroel with the Shluchim that were sent in the years 5736-5738. The Kinus would usually take place around Chof Av and the Rebbe would make a special mention of it by one of the Farbrengens surrounding the Kinus, as well as sending a letter to the participants of the Kinus. It was very evident that the Rebbe derived much satisfaction from these Kinusim.
At the end of 5743, Rabbi Yehuda Krinsky, the Rebbe’s secretary asked the Rebbe if a similar Kinus should be arranged for the American Shluchim. The Rebbe replied that it should be discussed with the board of Merkos L’inyonei Chinuch.
That same year on Chof Av the Rebbe made a special mention of the Kinus that was to take place in Yerushalayim for the Shluchim of Eretz Yisroel, the Rebbe concluded: “if only the same would be done here as well.”
Immediately after the Farbrengen, a committee was set up to make the American Kinus a reality. The date chosen for the Kinus was Shabbos Mevarchim Kislev, being that they knew the Rebbe would Farbreng for Shabbos Mevarchim and Shabbos Mevarchim Cheshvan was still part of Tishrei and it would be too difficult for the Shluchim to leave their communities for that Shabbos.
The first Kinus for the Shluchim of the United States took place on Shabbos Mevarchim Kislev 5744. Rabbi Krinsky wrote a note to the Rebbe on 23 Cheshvan before the Kinus informing the Rebbe that the board of Merkos L’inyonei Chinuch along with the Shluchim discussed the idea to hold a Kinus for the Shluchim of the United States and a committee has been formed. Rabbi Krinsky enclosed a detailed program and a comprehensive list of the topics to be discussed throughout the Kinus. The Rebbe responded: “May all of the above-mentioned be with great success.” On Erev Shabbos (Parshas Toldos) Rabbi Krinsky wrote another Tzetel to the Rebbe including more details of the Kinus, Once again, he merited to receive an answer with Brachos for success and good news.
During the Farbrengen the Rebbe spoke about the Kinus and elaborated on the exceptional value of Shlichus, speaking very strongly about the connection between a Shliach and the Meshaleiach.
On Sunday, the main session of the Kinus took place in one of the rooms on the fourth floor of the building adjacent to “770” with approximately 65 Shluchim in attendance during which reports were given on the activities in various cities throughout North America. (it is interesting to note that the famous roll-call of the Kinus that takes place every year until this day began on the very first year of the Kinus in 5744 when Reb Sholom Posner remarked that with the family of Shluchim growing each year he is no longer familiar with each Shliach. One by one, the Shluchim rose and introduced themselves by name and location.)
The following day, the Shluchim collectively signed a Pidyon to the Rebbe, in which they blessed the Rebbe and Rebbetzin and asked for a Brocha in their Shlichus. The Rebbe’s reply was: “In addition to the Sicha [on Shabbos] (including [what was said] “in between the lines”), it is already stated – kol hamevarech misbarech bebirchasoi shel hakadosh baruch hu] shem’ruba al haikar – beginning with the main [brocha(?), namely] fulfilling the shlichus in its entirety.”
The first Kinus was a major success and the committee quickly began to work on the next year’s Kinus. (during the Farbrengen of Parshas Toldos 5744, the Rebbe handed Reb Lipa Brennan, organizational director of the Kinus, a bottle of Mashke “for the Kinusim.” Some Chassidim understood the pluralistic “Kinusim” as a sign that the Rebbe did not only approve of this year’s Kinus but expected more to follow.)
For the next 3 years, the Kinus continued as it did the first year – a Kinus for the Shluchim of North America, each year gradually growing in size.
Each year the Rebbe spoke very strongly about Shlichus and the Shluchim were Zoche to many Kiruvim from the Rebbe in addition to the yearly Maaneh received from the Pidyon in which the Rebbe gave extraordinary Brachos to the Shluchim.
(All of the Sichos and Maanes can be found on the Sichos page.)
On Vov Tishrei 5748, Rabbi Krinsky wrote a Tzetel to the Rebbe proposing the idea of an International Kinus Hashluchim. In his answer, the Rebbe drew an arrow with the line crossed over the words “I hereby ask” and the tip pointing to the continuation of the sentence “to invite to this Kinus, Shluchim from other countries as well,” thereby giving his consent. To Rabbi Krinsky’s query of whether to invite every Shliach or only one representative from each city, the Rebbe replied that this decision should be made by “the invitees” (the Shluchim themselves). The Rebbe even offered to pay up to half the cost of each Shliach’s travel expenses.
That year’s Kinus was truly historical with the Shluchim receiving extraordinary Kiruvim from the Rebbe, the farbrengen on Shabbos was dedicated to the topic of Shlichus, in the third Sicha the Rebbe offered to help pay the debt of any Shliach.
On Sunday the Shluchim took a group picture followed by Mincha, after Mincha the Rebbe said a Sicha and then gave out a special Kuntres – Kuntres Rosh Chodesh Kislev 5748 – only to the Shluchim. Rabbi Avraham Altein relates that the experience of receiving the Kuntres from the Rebbe shook him to the core.
The Kinus continues to grow in size quantity and quality, we hope that we will be able to spend this year’s Kinus Hashluchim with our Misholeiach- the Rebbe – now!
To read more about the Kinus Hashluchim through the years in English, click here.
To Learn the Farbrengens from the Kinus throughout the years, click here.