The Shluchim The Rebbe Cautioned to Go Slow Are Full Speed Ahead

When the Lazaroffs from Texas spoke with the Rebbe about purchasing their first building, the Rebbe cautioned them to not jump so far ahead. Now, they have just purchased a new property that is over 8 acres…

Chabad of Houston recently recently purchased a sprawling eight acre property to expand their elementary school, add more buildings for their preschool, and build a space for a future high school and dorm. When Rabbi Shimon Lazaroff spoke with the Rebbe before purchasing his first property, the Rebbe cautioned him to work in an organized fashion and not get into debt. Now, he and his son, shliach Rabbi Chaim Lazaroff have purchased multiple facilities and are experiencing growth beyond their expectations.

“When I began plans to build a building a few years after we moved to Houston,” says Rabbi Lazaroff, “I wrote to the Rebbe about a property I was looking into, and I received an answer that I had not expected. The Rebbe asked me why I was jumping so far, where would I get the money from, etc.

“I was very distraught when I received the answer, and I decided that I would scrap the entire plan. But then the mazkir, Reb Binyomin Klein calmed me down, and told me that the Rebbe wasn’t telling me not to build. It simply had to be done with caution. He told me to go home, make proper lists, collect pledges, and to be responsible about it, and then the Rebbe will allow it to be built.

“I followed his advice, and it proved to be the right thing. I then received a letter from the Rebbe, with many blessings, and he even enclosed ten fifty-dollar bills (five hundred dollars)—no small sum in those days—as his personal contribution. We built our building, and then we outgrew it, and we did renovations, and baruch Hashem we were very successful. With the fifty dollars bill came this answer from the Rebbe: ‘May it be at a good and auspicious time. Enclosed, is ten 50 dollar bills which is a contribution of participation from one of the Frierdiker Rebbe’s funds. May you always share good news. I will mention it at the Ohel.’

“This initial answer was part of a general instruction that I received from the Rebbe—that I should run my shlichus like a business; I shouldn’t do anything that would put me into debt. In fact, I once asked the Rebbe about hiring another shliach, and the Rebbe said that I shouldn’t, because I wasn’t sure that I could afford it. (This was at the same time that Rabbi Shlomo Cunin was being told to do everything “lechatchila ariber.”)

“Right after we finished a phase of the building, I came with a prominent baal habos to the Rebbe, and during the farbrengen (on Yud-Tes Kislev 5740), we came up to the Rebbe and the baal habos said that he donated a specific amount of money towards the building. The Rebbe told him he didn’t give enough, and he must add to his previous pledge. Then, after he said l’chaim, the Rebbe gave him a bracha, that we should see each other once more in ten years.

“Another similar episode took place years earlier, in 5734, regarding a different building which I had bought, in Austin: During a farbrengen, the Rebbe told a baal habos who had just sponsored the building that soon we will outgrow those buildings, and we will need to expand…

“Chabad in Texas began in 5732 with nothing, and with the Rebbe’s brachos, today it has expanded to seventeen cities, twenty seven institutions, forty shluchim and hundreds of ba’alei teshuvah, many of them shluchim themselves, teachers and rabbis across the globe. With Hashem’s help and the Rebbe’s continuous brachos, it will surely grow much more in the future, and give the Rebbe much nachas.”

The current property that was purchased is a mere five minute drive from the school building now and is in an excellent location for the families and teachers in the school. It was made possible by generous donors Shmuel and Michelle Amber. With the Help of Hashem and the Rebbe’s continuous brachos, the schools will grow and flourish exponentially.

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