MembersChabad and the Rise of Jewish Missionaries

Chabad is a very active movement within Judaism, and works tirelessly to strengthen religious faith among young Israeli Jews

By Avshalom Kapach | | Topics: Missionaries, Chabad
Chabad disciples claim their last spiritual leader will return soon as Messiah.
Chabad disciples claim their last spiritual leader will return soon as Messiah. Photo: Yehuda Haim/Flash90

In 18th-century Europe, the current of Hasidism developed among the Jews. The work of Rabbi Israel ben Elieser, known as Baal Shem Tov, was formative. Around the work and image of the Baal Shem Tov, various Hasidic courts developed centered on the person of a revered Zaddik (righteous man), who guided the Hasidim throughout their lives.

Most Hasidic courts regard Chabad as unusual and eccentric. The name Chabad (חב״ד) is an acronym meaning: wisdom, insight, knowledge. Devotees are taught to always respect their spiritual leader.

Chabad (also known as “Lubavitch”) is a Hasidic dynasty within Orthodox Judaism founded in Russia by Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi (1745–1812). Followers of the movement are referred to as “Lubavitcher” or “Chabad Hasidim.” Since the beginning, seven rabbis have led the dynasty, up to Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson. In the book of Tanya, the first Rebbe left guidelines for living with God and articulated principles that combine feeling and reason as the recommended path of faith. The book of Tanya is of great importance to...

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