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I heard that Chabad instituted a requirement for shluchim to be married because Zalman Schachter-Shalomi went off the derech. Is this historically accurate, and are Chabad shluchim required to be married nowadays?

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I don't think that it has anything to do with Zalman Schachter. I think that it has to with more practical concerns - couples counseling, tznius, etc. – Shmuel Brin Nov 6 '13 at 21:44
Well, it definitely wasn't a requirement back when Schachter and Rav Carlebach were shluchim. I had thought that at least part of it was to make sure the shaliach was "grounded" and thus less likely to start veering from Orthodoxy. – Malper Nov 6 '13 at 21:49
I thought that they were "Merkos Shluchim" (Roving Rabbis) who are still unmarried. – Shmuel Brin Nov 6 '13 at 23:53
There are definitely unmarried shluchim (and a couple shluchos, too, IIRC); may be that they are all widows/widowers – SAH Dec 3 '15 at 15:13

There's several types of Shlichus

  • Merkoz Shlichus. This is temporary shlichus. Often Bochurim in small groups, often 2 people, travel around to areas temporarily. They'll visit the Jewish homes in the area and move on to the next place. Also included is when they go to places to make a seder.

    • Groups of Bochurim travel to another city and help the bochurim in a Yeshivah or school; normally for a year or two, usually after finishing 3-4 years at Yeshivah gedolah before starting smicha. Sometimes they'll help out at a chabad house for an extended period. Some girls also do this sort of Shlichus after seminary, going to girls schools and making programs.

    • A married couple/family goes somewhere, opens up a chabad house or works under another shliach at a chabad house. Or they can go somewhere to help in chinuch. This is normally permanent.

Zalman Shachter-Shalomi went with Shlomo Carlebach on Shlichus to a university campus. Especially back then, but even now, there were elements in university campuses that aren't so good. There's the problem of mingling with the opposite sex, among others issues. Therefore, many Lubavitchers avoid and discourage sending unmarried people to university campuses, though I'm not so sure that it's directly caused from Shachter, and I've never heard of a ban. But plenty of unmarried people go on Shlichus.

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I'm not going to comment on your example b/c I don't know enough about him. However, yes, shluchim must be married, or when they are single they never go out somewhere by themselves. Shlichus must not be done alone. Not only this, but a big aspect of the success that shulchim have is be inviting people to their house to give their guests a glimpse of the beauty of a chassidishe family who are happy to keep Mitzvas and be close with the Rebbe and how chassidus permeates everything they do with a refinement not often seen in the secular world. Also another important point to be made is when bocherim go on shluchis they don't go as individuals but they at least as a pair.

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You didn't answer the first part of the question, and I believe your answer to the second part of the question is incorrect. I know a Chabad Rabbi who is an official shaliach to a university who is divorced. – Daniel Nov 3 '15 at 13:49
@Daniel, a divorced person is a poor counter example, unless he was appointed after his divorce. – Yishai Nov 3 '15 at 15:00
@Yishai It's not a poor counterexample to the claim that Chabad shluchim must be married. If that claim were true, then a divorced person would have to stop being a shaliach. – Daniel Nov 3 '15 at 15:04
@Daniel, there is a big difference between what is required to get appointed and what is required to get recalled. Even if he was asked to step down, they might not make a fight if he refused. – Yishai Nov 3 '15 at 15:05
@Yishai agreed. The question isn't about what's required to be appointed a shaliach, it's about what's required to be a shaliach. – Daniel Nov 3 '15 at 15:07

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