July 24, 2024

Understanding the Chabad Movement: Compassion Is at the Core of Our Philosophy

Close Up of a Tefillin Box

Colel Chabad is the oldest operating Tzedakah network in Israel. Established in 1788 by Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, our Jewish faith-based charity organization has a long history of supporting the people of Israel.

The charity is guided by the Chabad philosophy, grounded in acts of kindness, spiritual awareness, education, and prayer. In this blog, we will explore the Chabad movement and its teachings better to understand the inspiration behind Colel Chabad’s charitable initiatives.

Origins of the Chabad Movement

The roots of Chabad trace back to the 18th century, with the founder, Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, known as the Alter Rebbe. He laid the groundwork for the Chabad movement’s growth, emphasizing the study of mystical texts, ethical behavior, and spreading Hasidic teachings. 

Rooted in the changing landscape of Eastern Europe, Hasidism sought to revitalize Jewish spirituality, emphasizing personal connection with G-d and acts of kindness. The movement became influential in Orthodox Jewish circles.

The Chabad movement has become known for its extensive outreach efforts and educational initiatives. The movement established Chabad Houses and centers worldwide, providing a range of services, educational programs, and support to Jewish communities.

The Meaning of the Chabad Philosophy

At the heart of Chabad-Lubavitch movement lies a profound philosophy championed by Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi. Rooted in the Hasidic dynasty, its name ‘Chabad’ signifies acts of kindness (Chesed), charitable giving (Tzedakah), as well as the intellectual faculties of wisdom (Chochmah), comprehension (Binah), and knowledge (Da’at). 

The Chabad-Lubavitch movement encompasses a profound view of the world that combines Jewish philosophy and practical guidance for daily living. It also emphasizes establishing a connection with G-d and stresses outreach and education, encouraging followers to share Jewish teachings, foster community, and promote the observance of Jewish traditions.

Now, the Chabad philosophy serves as a guiding light for several Jewish charity organizations and non-profit initiatives that represent the Chabad movement as we know it today. 

Monumental Figures of the Chabad Movement

Chabad boasts a lineage of revered leaders, known as Rebbes, who have played pivotal roles in shaping its course. Alter Rebbe, the Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, founded the Chabad movement and is arguably the most significant individual in the history of the movement. 

However, Chabad’s expansion into a global movement owes much to the leadership of subsequent Rebbes, such as the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Meir Baal Haness, and Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson. These and other key figures have left an indelible mark on Chabad’s philosophy and practices.

The Sacred Texts

Chabad’s teachings are anchored in sacred texts that guide its followers toward spiritual enlightenment. The foundational text is the Tanya, authored by the Alter Rebbe. It explores the nature of the soul, the relationship with G-d, and the role of intellect in spiritual growth. 

Other essential texts include the Hayom Yom daily teachings and the Likkutei Sichot.

The Hayom Yom

The Hayom Yom is a collection of daily teachings, insights, and aphorisms compiled by Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson. Each entry is associated with a specific date on the Hebrew calendar.

The Likkutei Sichot

The Likkutei Sichot is the essence of the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s teachings, this text stands as the foremost authoritative source of the Chabad philosophy, presenting the Rebbe’s distinctive, innovative, and frequently revolutionary elucidation of Judaism.

Holistic Teachings

As mentioned, the Chabad teachings encompass a holistic approach to life, emphasizing the integration of spirituality into daily existence. 

The movement implores Torah study, prayer, and the performance of mitzvot (commandments). Chabad’s outreach initiatives are dedicated to inspiring Jewish observance, fostering education, and providing support globally. 

The philosophy emphasizes the power of positive actions, spreading light through acts of kindness, and fostering a vibrant Jewish identity.

The Impact of Colel Chabad

Reflecting on the lessons of the Chabad philosophy, history, and teachings highlights the importance of giving back. Colel Chabad’s history has deep roots in the movement of charity, and makes it our mission to support those in need.

Don’t hesitate to stand alongside Jewish charity organizations, contribute to non-profit initiatives, and donate time and resources to these worthy causes. There are plenty of ways to donate to Jewish charities and just as many opportunities to get involved in support of meaningful causes like:

No matter how much you give, every contribution makes a difference in illuminating Israel’s path toward a brighter future.

With the help of supporters and dedicated volunteers, Colel Chabad’s childcare services, widows and orphans programs, and medical services have made a positive impact on the lives of countless Israeli families. Together, we can continue to support Israel, uplift communities, and spread the legacy of Chabad’s teachings. Support us and our mission by donating today.


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