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1916: World War I
Feeding the hungry in Moscow, Russia
Feeding the hungry in Moscow, Russia

The First World War sent floods of refugees streaming into the interior of Russia.

Many arrived in Yekatrinoslav, where, in addition to severe shortages of food, shelter and other basic necessities, they had to contend with the hostility of the local authorities.

The Jews, in particular, suffered from the classically anti-Semitic accusations of collaboration with the enemy, and were subject to arrest, seizure for ransom, and even execution.

The Rebbe's mother and father opened their home to the refugees and undertook to provide for them, ransom the captives, and intercede with the government on behalf of the accused-at great risk to their own life and liberty. The Rebbe was a full participant in these activities. Years later, he recalled the deep and lasting impression the devotion of his parents-particularly of his mother—had upon his fourteen year-old self.

Refugees during the World War I
Refugees during the World War I

Attending to the material needs of one's fellow has been a cornerstone of the Chabad Movement since its inception. The Rebbes of Chabad never saw themselves as "spiritual" leaders: the bodily condition of their people was no less important to them than the state of their souls. In Czarist Russia, they established agricultural settlements and factories to provide a livelihood for destitute Jews; under the communist regime, they clandestinely supported the "counter-revolutionaries" who had been deprived of all means of support; in the wake of the Holocaust, they sent emissaries bearing succor and aid to the DP camps.

Today, the Rebbe's disciples are running drug rehabilitation centers in California, airlifting children out of the radioactive Chernobyl area in Belarus, and operating soup kitchens in cities from Jerusalem to Moscow. By the Rebbe's directive, every Chabad House has a free loan fund and devotes a significant portion of its resources to serve the social needs of its community.


Adaptations of the Rebbe's Teachings:
 Jewish Unity
 A History of Love
 A Gathering with the Rebbe
 Love According to the Rebbe
 Social Responsibilty

An Archivist Discovers the Rebbe:
 What the Rebbe Did Before Prayers

 Love According to the Rebbe
 Do You Feel Another’s Pain?
 Are you a “Farginner”?

 1941: Flight from Europe
 1950: Leadership
 1986: "Sunday Dollars"

Correspondence From the Rebbe:
 Displaced Persons
 Can Torah Truth Be Compromised?

 The Myth of Chabad Outreach

News Updates: The Rebbe’s Reach Continues:
 Focus on Love Mends Fences

Scholar, Visionary and Leader:
 Shadows of War: Extending a Hand in Aid

Special Dates on the Calendar:
 The Significance of Yud Shevat
 Love According to the Rebbe

 A Jew in Brooklyn
 The Blow
 The Rebbe's "Exaggerated Love"

The Rebbe & World Leaders:
 A Mystical Covenant

The Rebbe's Family:
 Shadows of War: Extending a Hand in Aid Video:
 One Sukkah, One Lulav, One People
 Love Your Fellow As Your Fellow Needs
 Hashem’s Presence, through Love
 Love that Knows No Barriers
 Unconditional Love
 Completely Unwarranted Love
 Love Your Fellow As Your Fellow Needs
 Creatures of Holiness
 Of Love and Marriage
 A Time for Loving
 The Heart of the Matter
 The Common Thread

Video: Memories of My Mother
The Rebbe recalls his mother's activities during World War I.
Play Video

Attending to the material necessities of a fellow in need is a most spiritual endeavor.

The Rebbe, quoting the founder of Chabad Chassidism, Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi

The Rebbe: Timeline Biography
1902: Childhood
1915: Learning
1916: World War I
1923: Soviet Jewry
1928: Marriage
1930s: Torah & Science
1941: Flight from Europe
1939-45: Holocaust & Rebuilding
1943: Author & Teacher
1950: Leadership
1953: Chassidic Feminism
1960: Technology
1963: Rebellion
1967: The Six-Day War
1972: Retirement?
1974: The Mitzvah Tank
1977: Illness & Challenge
1983: Mankind
1986: "Sunday Dollars"
1988: Passing of Rebbetzin
1989: The End of the Cold War
1991: Missiles & Miracles
3 Tammuz 1994: Transmission
1994: Discovery of the "Reshimot"
Today: The Goal