The oldest continuously operating charity in Israel, Colel Chabad, has established this week as an auspicious time to donate to the organization in memory of its founder, the holy Rabbi Schneur Zalman, commonly known as the Alter Rebbe.
The Hebrew date of the 24th of Tevet (this year, January 5), marks 203 years since his passing. In his lifetime and until today, Rabbi Schneur Zalman was known worldwide for his saintly actions and brilliant mind.
Rabbi Schneur Zalman, the founder of the Hassidic Chabad movement, was deeply involved in the turbulent history of his day. Author of the Tanya and thousands of discourses, Rabbi Schneur Zalman revolutionized every aspect of Jewish life.
“The Alter Rebbe cared about every person, especially those living in the Holy Land,” explained Rabbi Shmuel Lipsker, Administrator of Colel Chabad, to Breaking Israel News. “The Alter Rebbe established Colel Chabad in 1788 to provide the support needed for Jews living in Israel during those very difficult years.”
That care continues on through Colel Chabad. With 1.7 million people presently living in poverty in Israel, the organization is known for helping anyone in need regardless of age, gender or religious background. They work with every municipality in the Holy Land to identify the people in need to assure that they receive proper help.
The name “Chabad” is formed through a Hebrew acronym for Chochma (wisdom), Binah (understanding), Daat (knowledge), the three defining faculties of the intellect which should lead to good actions. Rabbi Israel ben Eliezer, known as the Baal Shem Tov (“Master of the Good Name”) and founder of Hassidic Judaism, taught that each person has the power to access the Divine. Rabbi Schneur Zalman taught how this access can be achieved.
Rabbi Schneur Zalman developed what can be called the most comprehensive system ever – a blueprint for life today. He offers us an approach to living our lives to its fullest potential. He synthesizes the pure experience of the spirit with a deeply intellectual system, teaching us how we can unite faith and reason, spirit and matter in our struggle with physical life.
The Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menaḥem Mendel Schneerson, wrote about Colel Chabad: “The merit of this charity is great enough to awaken goodness from above and to draw down enormous blessings upon each and every participant and their families for all their needs, both material and spiritual.”
By giving to Colel Chabad during the time of his passing, we pray that greater goodness come upon everyone.”