The last of the rovers have come to roost. After spending weeks on the road, finding Jews and adventure all over the place, the boys are now ensconced on the benches of their respective Yeshivas. As they open their Talmuds and settle into their daily routines of prayer and study, it is hard to imagine that just a few weeks ago these same young men were hoofing it all over the world. They seem much more at home in this world of Aramaic texts and mystical Chassidic teachings.
But wait, they are not all back.
Although the summer may be ending, and the leaves will soon begin to turn, their adventures and meetings live on. They continue to inspire the countless people whom they have encountered throughout their wanderings.
The little boy remembers them every time he reaches up to kiss the mezuzah on his bedroom door. On Friday evening, the young woman thinks of them as she covers her eyes after lighting the candles they gave her. The elderly couple fondly remembers the bright young men who listened so attentively to their stories of bygone years.
And the rabbis are thinking of them as well.
They will continue to keep in touch. Emails, holiday packages, and letters ensure that the friendships created this summer will continue to grow and thrive.
And at the Chabad headquarters, Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky and his devoted staff are already working on the High Holidays, Passover, and other trips throughout the year. And of course, they are laying the groundwork for next summer.
Then, a new cadre of idealistic young men will pack maps, Tefillin, and kosher salami and hit the road…