Why I Support Chabad
If you’re not Jewish, then I wouldn’t be surprised if you’ve never heard of Chabad, but it is a cause that’s close to my heart. Raised within a Jewish community, I was taught to embrace the values of Chabad in my everyday life. Some of the charitable acts I’ve been involved in include donating to synagogues and funding scribes responsible for the writing of Torah scrolls. These both classify as Chabad.
So what is Chabad, you ask? Chabad-Lubavitch is more than just a Jewish charity; it is an Orthodox Jewish, Hasidic movement and way of life that traces its roots back to 1775 when Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi founded it upon the principles of Rabbi Bael Shem Tov, the founder of Hasidism and a loving philanthropist for the Jewish people. Supporters of Chabad have been persecuted for their beliefs, especially in Czarist and Communists Russia when Chabad leaders fought for the survival of Torah Judaism. The spirit of endurance runs through the veins of Chabad and that is one of things I admire most about it. Today, Chabad has grown into a global movement, with over 3,500 Chabad centers around the world. According to chabad.org, “Chabad has become the most dynamic and dominant force within the Jewish community.”
I support Chabad not just because I’m Jewish, however, but because I identify with its values of love and aid. Chabad is all about connecting with other Jews through friendship, service, and education. The idea is to view a person for more than just their outward traits- to look deep within their soul. If you don’t agree with someone’s beliefs or behaviors, instead of arguing with them and trying to change their ways, find common ground. Connect with their soul and become one. Chabad houses, which are centers that practice the teachings of Chabad within their communities, are open to all Jewish people and traditionally do not charge membership for that reason.
Chabad has sometimes come under fire from those who are not familiar with its teachings (namely the media) as being too extreme or “ultra-Orthodox,” but that attitude is ignorant and marginalizing. Chabad is simply a Jewish movement founded upon love and charity that upholds those values to this day, and that is why I support it.