For over 240 years, the seven Chabad Rebbes supported a tzedaka organization, and its pushka was the only one on the Rebbe’s desk. What was the organization, and why did it merit such clear support?
From the Alter Rebbe to our Rebbe, for 240 years the Chabad Nse’im have initiated support for Colel Chabad, for the vital aid the Colel provided to millions of Yidden in Eretz Yisroel throughout the years.
Our Rebbe continued this special connection to Colel Chabad as was expressed through many different ways during the Nesius.
On Purim Kattan 1951 (5711), one month after the Rebbe assumed the Nesius, the Rebbe wrote a letter addressed to Anash. In the letter, he quoted a letter that was written by the Frierdiker Rebbe just 19 days before his histalkus. In this letter, the Rebbe emphasized the importance of donating to Colel Chabad. “…The directive of the Rebbeim throughout the generations to support Colel Chabad is incumbent on every man and woman and applies at all times. In a similar manner, the brachos given by the Rebbeim to its supporters throughout the generations extend to the present day as well…” (free translation)
There was only one pushka that graced the Rebbe’s desk; the pushka of Colel Chabad. As updated versions of the pushka were made, the newest version would be displayed on his desk at all times.
The Rebbe was a constant contributor to Colel Chabad. In the later years, the Rebbe would give $100 cash to Colel Chabad almost every time he went to the Ohel. The Rebbe would also forward to Colel Chabad various donations that he received especially tzedekah in connection with Shiva, Shloshim, Yizkor, Yahrzeit, etc.
Additionally, the Rebbe would provide a letter in Hebrew to be read at their annual fundraising Melaveh Malka and a letter in English to be read at the Dinners. The letters were sent annually from the year 5738 (1978) and the Rebbe would also send a bottle of Mashke from the farbrengen to these fundraising events.
The Colel Chabad Luach is a valuable tool that is published yearly by Colel Chabad and contains the most comprehensive Jewish/English calendar containing all Chabad customs and practices. Throughout the years, the Rebbe always kept a Colel Chabad Luach at his side and encouraged others to do the same. At times, the Rebbe would offer insight, write commentary, and recommend certain updates and corrections that were subsequently included in the Luach.
Colel Chabad continues and works hand in hand with the Israeli government to provide relief and nourishment to hundreds of thousands of individuals in need.
To learn more about the activities of Colel Chabad visit Colelchabad.org