Chabad-Lubavitch is a philosophy, a movement, and an organization. It is considered to be the most dynamic force in Jewish life today.
The word "Chabad" is a Hebrew acronym for the three intellectual faculties of: chachmah-wisdom, binah-comprehension and da'at-knowledge. The movement's system of Jewish religious philosophy, the deepest dimension of G-d's Torah, teaches understanding and recognition of the Creator, the role and purpose of Creation, and the importance and unique mission of each Creature. This philosophy guides a person to refine and govern his and her every act and feeling through wisdom, comprehension and knowledge.
The word "Lubavitch" is the name of the town in
Following its inception 250 years ago, the Chabad-Lubavitch movement -- a branch of Hasidism -- swept through
The movement is guided by the teachings of its seven leaders ("Rebbes"), beginning with Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, of righteous memory (1745-1812). These leaders expounded upon the most refined and delicate aspects of Jewish mysticism, creating a corpus of study thousands of books strong. They personified the age-old, Biblical qualities of piety and leadership. And they concerned themselves not only with Chabad-Lubavitch, but with the totality of Jewish life, spiritual and physical. No person or detail was too small or insignificant for their love and dedication.
In our generation, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson King Moshiach, known simply as "the Rebbe," guided post-holocaust Jewry to safety from the ravages of that devastation.
The origins of today's Chabad-Lubavitch organization can be traced to the early 1940's when the sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn of righteous memory (1880-1950), appointed his son-in-law and later successor, Rabbi Menachem Mendel, to head the newly-founded educational and social service arms of the movement.
During more than four decades of inspired leadership the Rebbe made Lubavitch the world’s largest Jewish outreach organization.
Today, some 3,300 Chabad-Lubavitch institutions span more than fifty-five countries on six continents. These educational and social-service institutions serve a variety of functions for the entire spectrum of Jews, regardless of affiliation or background. Programs geared to humanitarian endeavors reach out beyond the Jewish community, to all people.
On the (currently) last conference of Shluchim (Chabad Rabbi's), when the Rebbe addressed his emissaries, the Rebbe emphasized the fact that our generation is the last generation of exile and the first generation of redemption. Therefore the duty falls on every Jew and especially those who are his emissaries to prepare the world to welcome King Moshiach into reality.