Jews are in scarcer supply in Hanoi than in most other places I have been. Consequently, to walk into the head office of Baran Vietnam was truly a gust of fresh air: we were delighted to find ourselves in a boardroom with five Israelis conversing in animated Hebrew, with Israeli coffee on the table and Hebrew posters on the wall. They were equally glad to see us, and we spent a pleasant hour conversing about life in Vietnam, Judaism and our common acquaintances.

During our conversation, Mendy voices the question which has been floating around the back of my head: "What is Baran?" He asks. One of the men, Nir, indicates toward a replica telecommunication tower sitting in the corner of the boardroom. "We do communication systems. We design, build and maintain telecom networks, including towers like that one."

I must admit I find the model tower quite impressive. "Do you have branches outside Vietnam?" Mendy asked.

"Of course! We're an international company based in Israel with branches all around the world," he told us.

"Almost like Chabad," Mendy said with a smile.

One of the others cracks a joke. "Yes, we're just like Chabad, only we're profitable."

We all laugh. "Actually, it's very similar to Chabad," I say, "you have offices all over the world to build a network, and this network allows people to connect to wherever they need. By setting up "telecom towers" near any Jew around the world, Chabad gives Jews access to their spiritual needs."

Everybody likes the comparison, but the truth is that this is not what it is all about. I realize as we continue our work that Chabad is not about simply setting up the network, but about making the call as well. Many people have a cellphone in their pocket, but don't take the time to connect to their loved ones; to step back for a moment from life's distractions and connect to those dear to them. Many do take the initiative, but some need a phone call, a loved one to ring them and remind them of what is most important in life.

We could simply set up "towers" i.e. Chabad Houses around the world, put a big welcome sign at the front, and be satisfied with that. But the Chabad mission is to be lamplighters, to go and visit Jews wherever they might be, and give them that call, to remind them that our Father in Heaven wants to hear from them.