Redemption song

Shifra Hendrie’s Global Geula Summit brings leaders from across the spectrum of the Jewish world to discuss nothing less than ‘geula.’

By ARIEL DOMINIQUE HENDELMAN
July 17, 2019 21:52
RABBIS AT the International Conference of Chabad Emissaries, in Brooklyn, in 2016.

RABBIS AT the International Conference of Chabad Emissaries, in Brooklyn, in 2016.. (photo credit: ELIYAHU PARYPA/ CHABAD.ORG)

Shifra Hendrie is a woman of gumption. One has only to speak with her for a few moments to be struck by her infectious drive and sincerity.

Growing up in Minnesota, Hendrie moved to the Chabad epicenter of Crown Heights, Brooklyn, in 1979. She got married and delved into studying Chabad Hassidism in the years that ensued.

Her third child, the victim of malpractice, was strangled by the umbilical cord and died tragically at six months old.

During this trying time, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, suddenly announced that he had done everything he could to bring the Messiah and that all he could do was to give it over.

“When I heard this, I was very sensitized by what was happening with my baby,” Hendrie recalls. “I’m now sure that her soul came down to push me.

“Hearing those words, for me, was an event that split time. It changed my view of the world permanently. I thought I had no power and what could I do, but I kept waiting for all the people to rise up and bring Moshiah [the Messiah] – and nobody was doing it. I thought it could happen that night, if we just never went to sleep.

“It took me a few days to start pushing the issue, because it seemed like nobody was paying attention or doing anything. I had no idea that I would become a leader or that I had the capability inside of me.

“After this trauma with my baby, it opened me up. Somehow, things conspired on a spiritual level to really wake me up. I realized that I could rile people up to do things, and it empowered me tremendously.”

Hendrie organized a group of Chabad leaders into what was called the Moshiah Committee, to spread and publicize the time of geula (redemption). She describes her role as the one who would push to move things forward.

Hendrie would read and learn from the talks that the Lubavitcher Rebbe gave every Shabbat, which were then typed out the following week. Her tendency to take his words literally was a powerful force in her journey.

“If the Rebbe said he had done everything he could and now it’s our turn, I thought that means we can do it, that means we can end death, nobody would ever have to suffer again and all we have to do is figure out how,” Hendrie says.

“I can’t even describe how life-changing it was because of my circumstances. I would go pick up the siha [weekly talk] hot off the press and sit with two friends to dissect it. I would look for the literal instructions on bringing the geula and then go try to implement them. People were willing to do it, once they were initiated.”

Hendrie explains that after losing her baby so gut-wrenchingly, the barrier between worlds was lifted, which granted access to a different level of perception. Things that normally don’t seem real started seeming quite real.

During the 11 months from the time of the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s talk that lit a fire in her soul until his subsequent stroke, which rendered him unable to speak, Hendrie was charging forward, believing geula was truly just around the corner. Then, on June 12, 1994, the Rebbe died.

“The Moshiah fervor was so intense at that time that it was such a trauma when that event happened,” Hendrie explains.
Hendrie and her family moved to New Jersey, where life quieted down somewhat. She began studying coaching and energy healing.

She then created a workshop with a couple of friends called the Geula Workshop, which integrated some of the things that the Lubavitcher Rebbe had taught.

Hendrie decided to put it online and turned it into a more extensive workshop called Turning Walls Into Doorways, intended for a mixed Jewish and non-Jewish audience. Around the same time, she began teaching Chabad Hassidut (Hassidism).

IN 2009, a woman from Hendrie’s workshop email list contacted her about a class on how to host telesummits. Hendrie was reticent at first, because the class was out of her price range, but the woman continued to pursue her with the same dogged intensity that Hendrie had exhibited time and again.

“She promised me the moon,” Hendrie states. “I didn’t have the money, but I finally agreed and put it on a credit card with the promise that I would follow whatever she said, no matter how scary it was.

“I got a couple of famous names in the healing world and had my first telesummit. From that, I found out I could interview and got a lot of positive feedback.

“My list started building. I interviewed an astronaut who landed on the moon; the guy who wrote The Celestine Prophecy. My list built to a pretty good size, and that’s how I got online and was using New Age terminology to make the Hassidut more accessible for more people. All the while, it’s changing the way I saw things. I’m reading in a siha that it’s time to do miracles by our nature, and I’m thinking that energy healing is like that and technology is like that.”

Between 2010 and 2014, Hendrie did a couple of telesummits per year. In 2012, she and her family made aliyah and settled in Jerusalem, where they live to this day. Eventually, the telesummit market became flooded and was no longer a successful avenue for Hendrie to pursue.

BUT – CALL it the boomerang effect, or simply a woman’s mission manifest – this past February the seeds were planted for Hendrie to launch what would become the Global Geula Summit. Rivka Malka Pearlman’s Geula Gathering, a worldwide movement of women creating gatherings of prayer and song, which galvanized approximately 24,000 women in total, impacted many segments of the Jewish world. Hendrie was similarly moved.

“The Geula Gathering reawakened that dormant energy that I had, and I saw the possibility of doing a summit,” she adds.
Hendrie was originally going to do a summit like the ones she stopped doing in 2014 with certain secular speakers who have always said yes to her in the past. But after reaching out to a few and hitting roadblocks for various reasons, she realized that it was time to host a summit with leaders from the Jewish world: Hassidut teachers and a variety of Jewish leaders.

Thus the Global Geula Summit was born, featuring speakers such as Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, Rabbi Simon Jacobson, Rabbi Daniel Lapin, Rabbi Avraham Trugman, Dr. Rivkah Lambert Adler, Rabbi David Aaron and Rivka Malka Perlman. The summit, which features video calls (which are also available as audio recordings) on various topics and perspectives relating to geula, reads like a Who’s Who in the Jewish world. Hendrie is offering the recordings for free for a limited period of time, as they are being shared live until July 18, and downloads are also available for purchase.

“The world is increasingly ripe and ready to fall off the tree into divine geula consciousness,” Hendrie adds. “I see that this has taken on a life of its own, but at the same time I want to do whatever I can so that more and more people will have the opportunity to be a part of it.”

Putting together the summit has been a massive project, but thankfully Hendrie has a team of friends who have been helping her, including Jerusalem-based painter Ma’ayan Kossoff-Steinberg, who has been responsible for all of the Summit’s graphics.
“I feel that Hashem is completely supporting this,” Hendrie shares.

“The Rebbe says that the first stage of geula is not the time when there will be peace in the world, everyone will serve God and there will be no more wars or death. We’re in the time when we’re meant to make the final preparations for that ultimate stage.
“These preparations are to switch what we connect to, where we’re beyond the laws of nature and partnering with Hashem in using the world as raw material to co-create the divine vision. I see us moving in that direction.

“The Rebbe says when you make that switch, we won’t have to search for the vessels, they will come to us from above. That’s what I feel is happening, even though it’s really hard. “This summit is presenting geula through a variety of perspectives in a really transformative way, in grounded and accessible language. Geula and Torah are for everyone. My mission is to help people understand what’s going on, that this is part of a divine vision, and that history is not repeating itself anymore; we’ve spun out into something completely new.

“Everyone has a purpose that is essential for this unfolding. Sometimes we take a step forward in a linear way, and other times we make a commitment that is bigger than we are, and we’ll never be ready. I spent a lot of time in my life waiting to be ready to do what it is that I really want to do, and you never get ready. It’s more like, you have to make a commitment, which will pull something out of you that wasn’t available otherwise. That’s exactly what happened to me.”

Hendrie is offering the Global Geula Summit under the brand of an online platform she launched a few years ago called the Gate of Unity.

Her vision for the Gate of Unity is for it to be a globally known brand that brings divine consciousness through the Torah, Kabbalah and hassidut to people of all backgrounds worldwide, in a way that brings the reality of the unfolding of geula into their minds and hearts, and hopefully empowers them to activate their purpose. So the summit, in some ways, is just the beginning.
When asked about her highlight thus far, Hendrie is understandably at a loss for which moments have stood out the most. But when pushed a little by this writer, Hendrie relates that her interview with Jerusalem-based Kabbalah teacher and author Sarah Yehudit Schneider, called “The Paradox of Geula Consciousness,” was especially inspiring.

“I’ve interviewed her before and read some of her books, so I got her Torah, but I didn’t get her energy until this interview. I saw the joy, love, humility and infinity radiating from her face, being on a video call with her. The reality of a deeper dimension was front and center – you could just feel it. She really helped me put together the missing pieces about what’s unfolding in this geula process.”

Other summit topics include “Divine Relationships: How to Create Intimacy through Connecting with Your Soul,” “Self-Love as a Portal to Redemption,” and “Secrets of the Messianic Age.” If redemption is an all-encompassing, higher consciousness, then the summit is certainly doing an extraordinary job of covering the many different facets of this most important topic.

“When I first got involved in the Moshiah movement around 1991, nobody was very interested,” says Hendrie. “Now Hashem has moved the world forward and pretty much everybody knows that something is happening that is unexpected. Some people might blame Trump or be holding on for dear life out of terror and anger, but a lot of people of many different religions and faiths feel we are moving into the promised times, whatever that means to them.

“The world has a lot of questions, and the Torah has the answers. Geula is not just the coming of Moshiah. It is that, but it’s also a personal, internal, spiritual and emotional transformation. The farther I go along into this, the more it seems to me that the paradigm shifts that leave us seeing life in more spiritual ways are part of that process.”

To learn more about the summit and/or to access the interviews, visit:
www.globalgeulasummit.com


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