As these lines are being written, our Twitter feeds, Facebook accounts, e-mail inboxes, evening headlines and phone lines carry ominous reports of troubled times ahead in Israel. Our extended Jewish family is under fire. Rockets are raining down on Israeli cities and towns, and war looms.

And every Jew is asking him or herself: What can I do to help?

Is there anything we can do? Most of us are hundreds or thousands of miles away, in our own communities. Yet our very being cries out: What can we do?

The Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory, taught us that yes, there is something we can do.

The Rebbe taught us the power of a mitzvah.

The Rebbe’s Calls to Action: A History


Peace Upon the Land
May, 1967

A talk by the Rebbe several days before the outbreak of the Six-Day War, from the film Peace Upon the Land

On the eve of the Six-Day War in 1967, when the entire world predicted Israel’s demise, the Rebbe initiated the tefillin campaign, and assured us that great miracles are in store. He quoted the divine promise that in the merit of the mitzvah of tefillin, “all the nations of the world will see that the name of G‑d is called upon you, and they will fear you” (Deuteronomy 28:10).

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Jewish Children Bring Peace
Silence the Enemy

The Rebbe explains how Torah study weakens the enemies of Israel

In the summer of 1973, shortly before the surprise outbreak of the Yom Kippur War, the Rebbe asked that Jewish children gather to pray and say words of Torah at the Western Wall and other locations in Israel, in fulfillment of the verse, “Out of the mouths of young children You established the power . . . to neutralize the enemy” (Psalms 8:3).

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In 1976, during the Entebbe hostage crisis, the Rebbe encouraged the fulfillment of the mitzvah of mezuzah, and emphasized the protection it brings. As our sages have said: “A human king sits inside his palace, and his servants guard him from the outside. But you sleep on your beds, and G‑d guards you (i.e. through the mezuzah on your doorposts) from the outside.”

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A Letter for Every Jew
Empower the Troops

A talk by the Rebbe during the 1982 Lebanon War about acquiring a letter in the Torah

In 1982, during the Lebanon War, the Rebbe initiated a campaign to have every Jew acquire a letter in a Torah scroll to foster Jewish unity.

On numerous other occasions, when the people of Israel faced threats from their enemies, the Rebbe urged us to respond by increasing in Torah study, prayer and charity.

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Peace Upon the Land
January, 1991

“The Land of Israel is ‘The Land which G‑d’s eyes are upon from the beginning of the year until the end.’ I tell everyone that it is safe to travel there. Someone who is already there is forbidden by Jewish law from leaving. And those who planned to travel there, but cancel their plans, will be perceived by others as having violated Jewish Law.”

In 1991, as Saddam Hussein lobbed missiles and brandished threats to “burn” the Holy Land with his chemical warheads (G‑d forbid). Quoting the Torah's assurance that G‑d's eyes are upon the Land of Israel from the start of the year to the end of the year, the Rebbe spread a message of confidence and trust.

In response to queries as to whether to leave Israel for safer havens, the Rebbe’s reply was clear and unequivocal: the Land of Israel is the safest place in the world. These words remain salient until this very day.

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A mitzvah, a G‑dly deed, has the power to reach deep into the core of our being—where we are all one, and the physical distance between us is of no consequence. At this core, a positive deed on our part will help bring salvation to a brother and sister in distress.

During past conflicts in the Land of Israel, and during times of danger for the Jewish people, the Rebbe made practical suggestions of mitzvot that would elicit G‑d’s blessings and protection (see insert above).

Let us not underestimate the power of good! With a single good deed on our part, here and now, we each can contribute toward the victory and safety of our fellow Jews in Israel.

Take a minute to do one or more of the following. You can make a difference!

  • Torah study (suggestion: our Daily Study page contains selections from the Torah)

  • Say a prayer for the safety of the soldiers of the IDF, and for all residents of the Holy Land (suggestion: Psalms 20, 22, 69 and 150 are traditionally said in times of distress).

  • Charity and acts of kindness: Put a coin in a charity box, give a gift of money to a fellow in need or to a charitable cause, or extend a helping hand to someone who needs it.

  • Tefillin: If you already put on tefillin every day, encourage a friend to do so. If you don’t yet, now is a good time to start! Click here to find out how to put this important mitzvah into practice, or contact your local Chabad center for assistance.

  • Mezuzah: If you don’t yet have mezuzahs, get them now, one for each doorway in your home! If you already do have mezuzahs, it may be time to have them checked to ensure that the words on the parchment have not faded. Click here for more information about this special mitzvah.

  • Purchase a letter: Be a part of a special Torah scroll written in Israel right now. Joining together to write a scroll expresses our inherent unity. One nation, one Torah, one G d. Moreover, a letter in the Torah places its owner in “G d’s book.” “At that time,” the prophet Daniel says, “your people will be delivered, everyone who is found inscribed in the book . . .”