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The Chabad.org Blog

How to Fight Darkness

January 31, 2017 12:52 PM

Jewish communities around the world are preparing for 10 Shevat, the anniversary of the passing of the sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe (Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn, of righteous memory), and the day his son-in-law, the Rebbe (Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory), assumed leadership.

In his inaugural address, the Rebbe outlined his vision for the Jewish people and the world. Basing his ideas on the works of his predecessor, the Rebbe expounded on the Divine purpose for which we were all created. In its inception, this world is a garden, a place of Divine revelation. Our mission is to reveal that.

Yes, the world today seems full of falsities that can cloud our vision. The darkness can be so intense that the worst of humanity—hate and evil—can rear its ugly head. We can live in a world of falsehood, where agents of terror and fear seem to set an unnerving tone.

None of that, however, is the truth. Our mission is not just to subdue the darkness, not to fight it or to be dragged down by it, but to subvert it. To turn the source of untruth on its head, revealing its Divine vision and elevating the world.

May we be blessed to make this world a “dwelling place for G‑d” with the revelation of Moshiach!

Mordechai Lightstone
on behalf of the Chabad.org Editorial Team

The Two Lights

January 19, 2017 3:44 PM

Dear Friend,

Bundled into his coat and hat, backpack at his side, my son would sit beside me each morning, waiting for the school bus to arrive. During those precious snatched moments, I would read to him a page or two from our current book choice. One of our favorites was a biography of Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, founder of Chabad, whose anniversary of passing we marked this Sunday.

Rabbi Schneur Zalman is known as the author of the Tanya, the fundamental text of Chabad Chassidic philosophy, and the Shulchan Aruch HaRav, an acclaimed codification of Jewish law. These works and the approaches that they represent are also hinted to in his first name: Schneur is a composite of the Hebrew words shnei ohr, meaning “two lights.” Mystic philosopher and brilliant legal scholar, Rabbi Schneur Zalman illuminated the world with both the esoteric and the exoteric lights of Torah, uniting the two into a cohesive whole. He taught us that the lofty ideas that we contemplate and the down-to-earth details of our everyday lives must seamlessly complement each other, both expressions of the same Torah.

Read about the life of Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi and study his teachings here.

Rochel Chein,
on behalf of the Chabad.org Editorial Team

Never Miss Your Personal Dates With Chabad.org’s Calendar

January 16, 2017 5:24 PM

A new calendar year offers the chance to look at your daily schedule, prepare for upcoming dates and get your schedule in order.

Chabad.org’s online Jewish calendar makes essential Jewish dates and personal events readily accessible on any device, so that milestones can be noted well in advance.

You can customize your calendar with Jewish birthdays, yahrtzeits, weddings and anniversaries by logging on with your free Chabad.org account.

Your personal calendar can be synced with your iCal, Google or Outlook calendars, giving you access to your important dates wherever you are. Reminders of these dates are sent to you via text message or email, which can then be shared with others, allowing the entire family to stay informed of upcoming events, such as grandma’s yahrtzeit or a sibling’s Jewish birthday.

Chabad.org calendar also integrates with “Hayom,” Chabad.org’s daily Jewish planner app, allowing you to get push reminders directly to your phone about upcoming dates and events from your personal Chabad.org calendar.

To start using Chabad.org calendar, go to: Chabad.org/MyCalendar.

High Risk Investment

January 12, 2017 4:51 PM


People invest money. G‑d invests people.

People invest money into whatever they think could give them back more money.

G‑d invests people into those situations He knows could give Him back better people.

So, this week, we read the story of G‑d investing His people into slavery in Egypt.

Definitely a high-risk investment. But, without it, there would be no Torah, no eternal Jewish Nation, no concept of freedom or human dignity in our world.

Good investors study good, successful investments. That’s another good reason to read this week’s parshah and all the wisdom our sages have taught on it. And then to apply that wisdom to our lives.

Let me know what you gained this week from the situation G‑d has invested you in. Is He turning a profit?

Tzvi Freeman
on behalf of the Chabad.org Editorial Team

Will You Say Chazak?

January 9, 2017 11:52 AM

Dear Friend,

In my wonderfully multi-cultural Jerusalem neighborhood, there are more than 100 synagogues, each founded by Jewish immigrants from different parts of the world, each with their own unique customs. In the century-old Iraqi shul downstairs from my home, shouts of Chazak ubaruch (“Be strong and blessed!”) can be heard every Monday, Thursday and Shabbat at the conclusion of each person’s aliyah to the Torah.

In Ashkenazic synagogues, the custom is for the congregation to say chazak only five times a year, at the conclusion of each of the Five Books of Moses. These congregations will stand this Shabbat at the conclusion of Parshat Vayechi and the completion of the Book of Genesis, and call out Chazak, chazak, v’nitchazek (“Be strong, be strong, we will be strong!”).

This week, Yehudah Shurpin shows in The Great “Shabbos” vs. “Shabbat” Debate how the differences in custom and pronunciation between different communities has proven throughout the centuries to be a source of strength and mutual respect among the Jewish people. And strength it is we need.

We need the strength to confront anti-Semitism and assimilation around the world. We need the strength to overcome our own personal struggles. This week, Tzvi Freeman asks the question: Who Will Fix the World? The answer is: All of us, standing together as one.

And for that we need the strength and guidance of Torah. Chazak!

Yaakov Ort
on behalf of the Chabad.org Editorial Team

Did You Know That Chabad.org Is in 8 Languages?

January 4, 2017 11:25 AM

Dear Friend,

This week we’re excited about a new (and already very popular) listicle featuring 7 classic Jewish books that were originally written in Arabic.

While there is not (yet) an Arabic-language edition of Chabad.org, we are so very proud that Chabad.org has dynamic sister sites in Hebrew, Spanish, Russian, French, German, Portuguese, and Italian.

Much of what you’ll find on these sites is the same as what you can read in English, but there’s also lots of original material (and video) on each platform, unique to the interests and needs of the diverse populations they serve.

Are you comfortable in one of those 7 languages? How about a friend? Please browse around, sign up for the magazine, and enjoy the pleasure of Judaism in the language of your choice.

The Chabad.org Editorial Team

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