The Rebbe and Colel Chabad
The Rebbe’s first public letter
Colel Chabad is the oldest continuously operating tzedakah organization in Israel. It was established in 1788 by Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, the founder of Chabad Lubavitch, and has been personally overseen by each one of our Rabbeim, in our times, by the Rebbe.
From the days following the passing of the Previous Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Schneerson, and even before, the Rebbe took an active role in continuing the work of Colel Chabad.
The first public letter penned by the Rebbe after officially accepting leadership was in support of Colel Chabad.
Purim Katan 5711
To our good friends, anash, wherever they may be, sheyichyu,
Colel Chabad, which was founded by the Alter Rebbe and established with mesiras nefesh, and continued by the Rabbeim is currently in dire straits. The following are the words of the Frierdiker Rebbe on the Yud-Tes Kislev before his histalkus.
“Every single individual of anash must always remember that the support of Tzidkas Reb Meir Baal Haness is a personal obligation, incumbent on every man and woman, at every time and every place, for generations. The Rabbeim’s blessings are upon all those who support this holy cause, which is set forever and ever.”
These words are surely etched into the hearts of anash, and this is merely an attempt to encourage all those who may not yet have a pushka of Reb Meir Baal Haness in their homes.
The merit of this tzedaka can invoke Hashem’s kindness, with blessings for them and their entire households, for all their needs, physical and spiritual.
With blessings for the material and spiritual,
The Rebbe and Colel Chabad fundraising events
The Rebbe encouraged and cherished gatherings, galas, and banquets for the benefit of Colel Chabad. The Rebbe would send letters addressing the participants of these events. Additionally, the Rebbe spoke about it at farbrengens, encouraging people to participate, and even edited a full sicha on the subject.
The Rebbe discusses Colel Chabad with Chief Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu
The Torah tells us that when Yosef supported his brothers, he gave them bread “according to the children” in their family. The Rebbe explained that Yosef was giving us a powerful message of how a person should give charity and how a soup kitchen should operate.
The Rebbe often directed people to donate to Tzidkas Reb Meir Baal Haness, specifically before candle lighting each Erev Shabbos and Yom Tov, explaining that it would serve as a segulah for blessings for all sorts of issues —infertility, healthy pregnancy, good health, bad dreams, shalom bayis, and more. The Rebbe writes, “It is incumbent upon every man and woman, a custom to be upheld in every place and at all times… to have a shofar (pushka) of Reb Meir Baal Haness–Colel Chabad in their homes.” The only pushka the Rebbe kept on his desk was Colel Chabad’s.