Rabbi Mottel Gurary’s Parting Chinuch Message

From the Anash.org Inbox: Just one year ago, Rabbi Mottel Gurary a”h, dynamic rov of the Chevra Shas shul, came to speak before Crown Heights mechanchim. His parting message left an indelible impression upon me.

By Rabbi Avrohom Bluming, Director of Igud Hamelamdim

On this propitious day of Tes Adar, marking 81 years of Chinuch in America, I am reminded of an episode from last year, one that reinforced the vital approach to Chinuch today, and I wish to share it with you.

Last year, in honor of Tes Adar, Igud Hamelamdim arranged a special event for the Mechanchim. I approached Rabbi Mottel Gurary, asking him if he could join us and share inspiration to empower our teachers. A very busy person, and having a simcha to attend that evening, he nevertheless readily agreed to carve out the time for this important mission.

As it turned out, another presenter of the event, Rabbi Yoel Kahn ended up coming earlier than his scheduled time slot, and upon seeing him, Rabbi Gurary insisted that with Reb Yoel Kahn being his senior, he should speak first. The hour was getting late. Rabbi Gurary had to leave to the simcha before Reb Yoel had concluded his speech and thus did not end up speaking for us that evening.

I met him subsequently to apologize for having troubled him to join us in the midst of his very busy schedule that night, and then he didn’t even end up speaking! With his incredible warmth and humility, he said, “I have to apologize to you, that I didn’t end up speaking to the Mechanchim!”

And then, with his characteristic warmth, he shared a few words, powerful words, words that became emblazoned in my mind, summing up the imperative for chinuch today!

He explained to me that he’d come another time. “I’ll take a rain date!” he said. With a twinkle in his eye and a beaming smile, he added, “Not a rainy day, I’ll come on a sunny day!”

Rabbi Gurary A”H, who passed away just a short time afterward was a great man among us. His devotion to chinuch was apparent that evening when he postponed going to his family’s simcha to join our Mechanchim event.

But, beyond that, on that evening he left with me a lifelong lesson on our attitude for Chinuch today. Chinuch is about “a sunny day, not a rainy day!” — conveying a sunny warm attitude to our children, shining a light, infusing them with happy energy, true joy, and optimism.

I reflect on this memory today, the day of Tes Adar, a special day of prioritizing Chinuch as on this special day 81 years ago, the Frierdiker Rebbe arrived in America, and immediately made establishing chinuch for children his first order of business, despite his other pressing needs.

Reliving the memory of Rabbi Gurary’s parting message to me, this is in fact our mission at Igud Hamelamdim. For the last four years, we have been lighting the way for thousands of our children. Partner with us and support our Lighting the Way for Our Children campaign happening right here, right now!

Click here to support Chinuch and have the chance to win $12,000!

Donate now at LightingForOurChildren.com

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