"Worrying doesn't empty tomorrow of its troubles, it empties today of its strength"—A line I saw on a plaque in someone's home.

"It's the economy, stupid."

These days that is all you hear about. The dire numbers and reports just don't stop coming in. Every day I hear about another community member who lost his or her job, or had to take a pay/hour cut. Others are scrimping just to get by. We really do live in very tough times. As the spiritual leader of my constituents, I am called upon constantly to be the pick-me-up person in others' times of need.

Now, not to be misunderstood: I cherish my role as spiritual leader to some and shoulder or counselor to others. It is not without its own burdens, however, some that don't get to see the light of day.

This decentralized system compels each Chabad center to generate its own funds to operateYou see, unlike as is often believed and even portrayed in the media, Chabad is a financially decentralized organization. We actually celebrate this fact. This promotes creativity, healthy competition and allows the free market system to work; and created the best Jewish outreach system ever to have existed. This decentralized system compels each Chabad center to generate its own funds to operate, grow and expand activities and operations—and at the same time feed and diaper the children, amongst the many expenses.

So on occasion I find myself dispensing the wise advice of the sages to a member, while internally I am battling this same fight. My landlord wants to renew the lease at fair market rates, but those rates are just more than we can handle given what's been going on and the current levels of contributions. So I am preaching to another and often talking also to myself.

Just recently, I got off the phone with a supporter who apologetically informed me that his contribution of the last few years was on indefinite hold. Two kids in college, his 401k wiped out, there was simply nothing left for "extras." And Chabad, in his mind, apparently was an "extra." Not a moment later I answered a call from another individual who wanted to vent about a lost job and the fact that he can't stand the pressure of family, bills, and not knowing what the future was going to hold.

How can I inspire him if I myself am uninspired? How can I answer him if I myself struggle with the exact same question? I also don't know what the future holds...

I don't know that anyone does know the future, but I did have something that he didn't and that I could share.

I said to myself that I will tell him what I should be saying to myself. As a side point, I have in my office different notes/letters of inspiration penned by different chassidic masters, which I often, in moments of weakness, lean on and look towards for inspiration. My comments to this individual were from these notes.

"Of what value is faith if you know that all will be well?" I asked him. "Does it take wisdom and strength to make an investment if you know the stock will go up?" (Okay, admittedly a bad example for these times, but you know what I mean.) "Is it a challenge to love G‑d and have faith in Him when your job is secure and the bills are all paid and there is money in the account?

"The definition of the word faith," I continued, "is 'trust in somebody or something, especially without logical proof.' If we had proof that it was all going to work out, well then we'd all be part of the easygoing faithful! It is when things are not going smoothly that we need to dig really deep within ourselves to find that essential trust and faith in G‑d that He will not only make it all work out for us, but that He will make it work out well for us."

I turned to myself and asked, "Do you believe what you just said?"I know this man's family and I told him to look at what is going right in life. His family is healthy, he owns his home. He has lost his job a number of times in the past few years before the economy hit the skids and he was fortunate that he didn't remain unemployed for a long period of time.

I even went for the really intense stuff and conveyed to him the whole Chassidic concept of positive thoughts actually releasing new reservoirs of Divine energy and blessing, and how he can help his situation by being positive and not falling apart but "keeping the faith."

We concluded the conversation and then I turned to myself and asked, "Do you believe what you just said?"

"Yes," I responded.

"Well, then," I countered, "you know how difficult it is for you to find true comfort in all the wisdom that you are dispensing. Perhaps you need to find more empathy for this individual. You have so much knowledge and information and you are still struggling to have faith in these difficult times. Imagine now what others, who don't have years of Yeshiva education and a childhood upbringing saturated with spirituality—how much more must they battle to find G‑d and His goodness in times like these?"

No, you needn't call the authorities just yet; I'm not hearing voices and engaging in excessive soliloquy. However it is worth noting that while we Chabad guys are wonderful – in my estimation, at least... – and we preach and inspire and mean every single word of it, we are human too and we have the same struggles and fears as everyone else does.

We put on a stiff upper lip perhaps because we do have it engrained in our psyche – as students of the Rebbe, Chabad philosophy and chassidic teachings – that perhaps the best way to deal with the fear of that which we cannot control is to control the things that we can. That is to do what is right, to help another Jew, to not feel bad or down but to be proactive and productive.

And when the evening comes and you are left with your quiet home and your fears, and you really need to find your faith, you can always stop for a few minutes and jot down your thoughts and you may just inspire someone else as you inspire yourself.