As you consider supporting Judaism, it is important to understand its long and incredibly complex history. From the earliest days of Abraham in ancient Mesopotamia to the foundational work of Rabbi Meir Baal Haness, to the modern-day practice of Rabbinical Judaism, the community has evolved greatly over millennia. In this article, we will explore the key phases of Jewish history, the tenets that define the religion today, and how you can support Judaism through the Colel Chabad initiatives.
Exploring the History of Judaism
Judaism is one of the oldest religions in the world, and its history dates back to around 2000 BCE. It originated with Abraham who lived in what is now Israel and was later passed down through his descendants. The main religious text for Judaism is called the Torah which contains various laws, teachings, and stories that are still followed by Jews today.
How the Jewish People and Faith Have Changed Over Time
Judaism has gone through several different phases since its beginning. The first phase was the era of Abraham and Moses, in which the Jewish religion was established with a focus on monotheism.
Adjusting to New Norms
The second period began during Babylonian captivity when Jews were forced to live in exile for more than 70 years. During this time, many of their traditions and beliefs changed as they tried to adjust to their new surroundings and assimilate into a foreign culture. This resulted in what we now refer to as Rabbinical Judaism, which is focused more on rituals and traditions than strict adherence to the laws of the Torah.
Modern Judaism is the form of the faith people recognize today. Dating back to the mid-1700s, it was largely influenced by the Enlightenment and reformers who sought to make the religion more accessible to those outside of its traditional boundaries. This period of Jewish history can be best characterized by its more egalitarian views on gender roles, greater emphasis on social justice, and shift away from traditional rituals in favor of spirituality and morality.
The Beginning of the Chabad Movement
The Chabad-Lubavitch Movement began in 1775, shortly after the advent of Modern Judaism. Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi founded it in what is now Belarus. He became known as the Alter Rebbe among Chabad key figures, and his teachings formed the core of what would become the Chabad-Lubavitch Movement that prominent Chabad Rebbes continue to lead today.
This is how Colel Chabad got its start. Our organization was founded in 1788 to further Rabbi Zalman’s vision of social justice and spiritual enlightenment. As a non-profit organization, Colel Chabad works to provide the Jewish community with food, clothing, educational opportunities, and financial aid.
How the History and Beliefs of Judaism Relate to Chabad Charity
Though the faith has evolved over time, the beliefs of Judaism remain constant: love for G-d above all else; respect for others regardless of their background or faith tradition; commitment to studying Torah knowledgeably; devotion to prayer and good deeds; and acts of kindness, justice, and righteousness.
Chesed and Tzedakah
Acts of kindness and charitable giving are core elements of the Jewish faith. They manifest in two important concepts, chesed and tzedakah. Chesed refers to acts of kindness done out of compassion or love, such as supporting a widowed community member or helping the poor.
The value of Chesed is something Jews strive to uphold in their everyday interactions. Tzedakah, on the other hand, is more about giving one’s resources for the betterment of others. Whether it is helping fill hampers to fight food insecurity, fundraising to support the vulnerable with healthcare, or donating to a worthy cause such as orphan development or disaster relief, giving tzedakah is an important part of Judaism.
How We Put the Chabad Philosophy Into Practice
The Chabad Movement has developed significantly over the last few centuries – from its inception as a movement based on religious principles into an international network of organizations dedicated to providing social services.
Colel Chabad’s Jewish Charity Initiatives
Colel Chabad operates a wide range of programs dedicated to serving specific causes within the Jewish community – most notably initiatives for the poor, orphaned children, and widows in need of support.
Our organization began the history of Jewish charities and still stands as the largest of all Jewish charities in Israel. That’s because we don’t just focus on providing monetary assistance to those in need; we strive to provide a holistic approach to emotional and spiritual support. This includes offering educational opportunities, social activities, job training programs, health services, and more.
Donate to Jewish Charities That Make a Difference
The world has no shortage of Jewish organizations to donate to, each offering plenty of ways to give. Colel Chabad’s long track record of success and positive outcomes makes it the best place to donate for those wishing to make a lasting impact. No matter how much you choose to contribute, all donations go to support the Jewish community.
Join us as we honor the history of Judaism by investing in its future. Donate to Israel through Colel Chabad today.