The Previous Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn, initiated the custom of dispatching groups of chassidim to shuls in various Jewish communities throughout New York City on the holidays. Despite the distance it often involves hours of walking in each direction the chassidim joyfully make the journey, sharing the spirit of the holiday and bringing a message from the Rebbe to the congregants whom they meet.

The scholar, Rabbi Nissan Telushkin, a Rabbi in a shul in East New York, greatly appreciated the visit by the chassidim. Shortly after the holiday one year, he was privileged to meet the Rebbe privately at yechidus, and he used the opportunity to thank him for sending the chassidim.

The Rebbe acknowledged his thanks saying, “Yes, it entails a measure of self-sacrifice on their part.”

“Indeed,” stated Rabbi Telushkin. “Hours of walking back and forth requires much self-sacrifice.”

The Rebbe smiled. “There’s a greater dimension of self-sacrifice: the readiness to extend oneself and reach out to others with the full knowledge that, at the very same time, a farbrengen is taking place at “770”. To give up this opportunity and go to a different shul is a much greater self-sacrifice.”