Written by Adina Saban

This Fall, we launched the official podcast for Chai Lifeline Canada, On Air With Chai. While the first season will feature many guests connected to Chai in different ways, our first two episodes feature the best person to get our podcast started: Rabbi Simcha Scholar. Rabbi Scholar is THE founder and CEO of Chai Lifeline. Without him, everything we do would not exist because the organization would not exist. We are honoured to be featuring him on our podcast as our inaugural guest.

In Rabbi Scholar’s two episodes, a lot is discussed. He talks about the roots of Chai Lifeline and its sub-organizations such as Camp Simcha, the importance of Chai Lifeline and its case managers, and fundraising for the organization. Throughout the conversation, Rabbi Scholar infused his wisdom, which resulted in sharing some important life lessons. Here are five messages we took away from Rabbi Scholar’s episodes that we want to share with you:

1. The “mitzvah factor” is what drives Chai Lifeline.

There are incredible organizations across the globe who do great deeds, but at Chai Lifeline, we push ourselves to our limits. We have professional standards, but we push ourselves because the essence of what we do is all about mitzvot [good deeds]—a more divine, higher code leading us in our values and work. We’re patient and respectful and are there for people.

2. Respect where people are.

While the context in the conversation was about parents making decisions for their children and case managers needing to respect those decisions, it is something to remember in all aspects of life. People make choices and decisions all the time and even if you don’t agree, you have to respect it because they’re doing what’s best for them at this point in time. You can always share concerns, but don’t push if they’re not interested. Just let them know that you are there for them and support them.

3. The ability to be fluid and adapt is a strength.

While Rabbi Scholar shares this in the context of strengths of Chai Lifeline, it is a strength to emulate in everyday life. It is important to be flexible and evolve according to the needs of: a client, a friend, a job, etc. It is a great skill to have and will ultimately work in your favour should you practice it.

4. Know what you don't know.

This piece of wisdom comes from Rabbi Scholar’s father. Recognize what you know and be confident in it while recognizing what you don’t know and try to find the answers for that. Be open to new and innovative ideas.

5. The concept of leading vs. walking beside

At the beginning of the podcast, Rabbi Scholar was called a leader of Chai Lifeline. He amended the statement by saying that leading is walking ahead of someone, but he walks beside them. Walking beside someone is giving them strength when they need it, holding their hand in support when they are going through tough times, etc. We all may feel the urge at times to be the leader and take charge. While that is appropriate for certain scenarios, sometimes the best thing to do is walk beside someone and let them know that you’re there.

Although we have only shared five lessons from the two episodes, there is so much more wisdom to be found in the podcast. We hope you check it out for yourself, give it a listen and continue to listen as we release new episodes featuring a myriad of incredible guests. On Air With Chai is hosted by Rabbi Mordechai Rothman, Executive Director of Chai Lifeline Canada, and Bryan Strasberg, Volunteer Coordinator at Chai Lifeline Canada.


We’re just getting started!

Listen to on Air with Chai featuring Rabbi Simcha Scholar Episode 1

Listen to on Air with Chai featuring Rabbi Simcha Scholar Episode 2