A few months ago I stood by the Rebbe’s Ohel and cried from the depths of my heart. I cried tears of happiness, tears of fulfillment because I was on my way to fulfilling my life long dream. In but an hour I was about to embark on shlichus. I was about to undertake the great responsibility of going on Shlichus, of joining the elite group of the Rebbe’s army.
Yes, I was scared and yes, I was nervous. I was going a long way from home, to an isolated place, with no family support but I knew that I was taking the Rebbe with me. And I thought that the people who had spent years working for the Rebbe and had given him so much would help me along the way.
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Now but three months later after humiliation, abuse and belittlement I feel utterly disheartened. Why does it have to be like this? Girls give their Shluchim so much, why do shluchim treat them like little maids? Why are girls constantly being made to feel inferior? Why are girls not being fed and not being given enough money to survive? Why are they given unrealistic workloads when their shluchim can’t even be bothered to support them?
Shluchim, when you bring out girls you are not bringing out baby sitters, cleaning ladies or slaves. Yes we are happy to help you and we love to help you but there must be boundaries. Your girls are giving you of themselves 100% and all they ask for in return is decency. If you’re paying your girls, pay them on time so they don’t starve (yes I have learnt what it feels like to starve) and don’t make them beg for the money, go to them. Girls are not robots who you can work to the bone, they are not your supply teachers when you can’t be bothered to go to work and they are not shmattes simply because they are young.
Every girl who goes on shlichus is prepared to work hard. She is prepared to give up her comforts and support. Yet she is not and should not be prepared to be abused. Unfortunately I speak from experience and I am talking about my friend’s experiences as well. Girls have been accused of diabolical actions, girls have been starving, girls have been manipulated, girls have been ignored at Shaboss tables, girls have been left with nowhere to eat for shaboss and girls are being made to feel utterly miserable.
You may think I am being selfish and misunderstanding my shlucha’s position but that is not the case. No one is asking for a huge gift or to be paid top dollar. All a girl wants is a thank-you at the end of a hard day. All a girl wants is to feel appreciated and to be supported. All a girl wants is to be treated like a human being with feelings, not like a possession. Is that really asking too much?
Please shluchim don’t shrug your shoulders and turn over the page. Take a moment and think, when was the last time you really listened to your girls? When was the last time you truly showed your appreciation? Or have you been mistreating your girls without even realizing? Please remember these are little girls, girls whose insecurity levels have risen higher this year than ever before. Please remember that you are representing the Rebbe who taught Ahavas Yisrael to us time and time again. Please remember us, the forgotten girls.
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