Chabad mitzvah campaigns

Mitzvah Campaigns, or Mivtzo'im (Heb. מבצעים) refer to the various mitzvah campaigns launched by the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, for observance by all Jews. During the years 1967 to 1976, Rabbi Schneerson called all Jews to observe ten basic "beginner's mitzvot"— which, because of their centrality to the Torah's guide to life, are ideally suited for a first experience of the mitzvah connection.[1] In the years that followed there were campaigns for additional mitzvot as well.

Rabbi Schneerson urged all Jews to reach out to those less affiliated than themselves and encourage them to undertake specific practices of Judaism.

The ten campaigns

Seasonal campaigns

Additionally, Rabbi Schneerson called for numerous other campaigns. Some were related to the holidays in that time of year:

Other year round campaigns

Others campaigns applied all year round:

History of Mitzvah Campaigns

Rabbi Schneerson encapsulated his outreach activity in the slogan of "Uforatzto" (Heb. ופרצת) "you shall spread out." The origin of this phrase is in God's words to Ya'akov, "You shall spread out to the west, to the east, to the north, and to the south."[11] Rabbi Schneerson would use it in a borrowed sense to refer to the global scale of the outreach activities that he was calling for.[12][13][14]

Rabbi Schneerson's general outreach activity began already in the early years of leadership, but was accelerated with the call for encouraging these specific practices.[15][16]

Tefillin campaign

The first Mitzvah Campaign was the Tefillin campaign, an international campaign by Chabad Hasidim to influence all male Jews, regardless of their level of religious observance, to fulfill the mitzvah of Tefillin (phylacteries) daily. Rabbi Schneerson announced this campaign two days before the outbreak of the Six Day War, on June 3, 1967.[17][5][18] After the victory of the Six Day War and the liberation of the Western Wall, Rabbi Schneerson intensified this call, and his Hasidim gave hundreds of thousands of Jews the opportunity to don tefillin, many for the first time.[17]

The campaign received some opposition at first. Over the course of that summer, some torah observant Jews raised halakhic questions about the propriety of the campaign. In the fall, Rabbi Schneerson publicly addressed these issues at the farbrengen of parashat bereshit that year, later published in the rabbi's books of Likkutei Sichos.[19] Shortly afterward, the yearly conference of the heads of the World Agudath Israel took place, at which one of the speakers publicly criticized Rabbi Schneerson and the tefillin campaign. Rabbi Schneerson responded to this criticism at the farbrengen of parashat toledot that year.[17]

On one occasion Rabbi Schneerson gave two reasons for his particular choice of campaign, saying, "The first reason is that there is a passage in the Talmudic tractate of Rosh Hashanah[20] which says that once a Jew wears Tefillin on his headeven one time in his lifehe falls into a different category as a Jew." Secondly, "When a Jew in Miami sees pictures of Jews at the Western Wall wearing Tefillin, he gets an urge to put on Tefillin himself."[21]

Letter in the Sefer Torah campaign

Schneerson called for Jewish unity by encouraging each Jew to buy a letter in specific Torah scrolls (sefer Torah) and encouraging his followers through the Tzivos Hashem youth group to carry out this campaign.[22] He instructed that all the letters should be purchased prior to the beginning of writing the scroll since he claimed that purchasing a letter in a Torah scroll unites that person with all the other Jews who had purchased letters in the same scroll.[23][24] Former Chief Rabbi of Israel Mordechai Eliyahu declared of this campaign, "Only a brilliant mind like our master and teacher, genius and splendor of the generation, the holy Rebbe of Lubavitch, may he live long, can come up with such a grand idea of uniting Jewish children through the writing of letters in a Torah scroll. Indeed, only within Torah, and through Torah, is the true unity of close friendship, love, brotherliness, peace, and companionship possible. We must learn from the Rebbe, and we must do everything in our power to ensure that not a single Jewish child remains without Torah, God forbid."[25][26]

Torah Study campaign

One should strive as much as possible, and more, to influence every single Jew, regardless of his location or circumstances, to designate a set time for Torah study. When one encounters a Jew in the street, one should ask him if he has already set a time for Torah study. If he has, one should influence him to increase further—ideally, by influencing him to become a teacher himself.[27]


Rabbi Schneerson would refer to these outreach activities as "the ten Mitzvah Campaigns." He emphasised their importance, saying:

In practical terms, each Jew must proceed in Torah and Mitzvos, the channels for his growth being the Ten Mivtzoim, beginning with oneself, and then spreading forth Torah and Jewishness to the fullest extent of his influence ... As stated on the cover page of “Tanya” — “this service is not far removed from you, in the heavens or across the sea, but rather close to you and within your potential, with your mouth and heart, and able to be accomplished in deed”. And as our Sages emphasized, “deed is the most essential.[5]

Furthermore, he stressed a joyful approach to outreach:

The Mivtzoim should be spread with joy. Just as we fulfill the Mitzvos with joy, so too, must we try to share that joy with others... However, we realize that “serve God with joy,” is a fundamental Torah principle.[28] All our efforts in the Miztzoim must be carried out with joy. This joy, in turn will bring greater success to the Mivtzoim. Our inner joy will light up our faces, and light up our approach toward another Jew. And then, the joy will break down barriers, including the barriers of the person whom we are trying to influence. The happiness will bring us to a complete unity, without any separations.[2]

He also stressed warmth and friendliness:

When he starts to speak with another Jew he might think that the way to bring him to complete fulfillment of the Mitzvos is to show him a sour face, and to let him know that he is unhappy to have to deal with him. We must realize that such actions are contrary to the relations that must exist between one Jew and another. “Love your neighbor as yourself” is a fundamental principle of Torah, as the Talmud[29] declares: “the fulfillment of this Mitzvah is the entire Torah and the others are merely an explanation.”[2]

He taught that the Jewish education and love your fellow Jew campaigns are all-encompassing campaigns, of which all the other campaigns are a subset.[30]


  1. Mitzva campaigns
  2. 1 2 3 Public Address of Vayeishev, 5740 Archived May 16, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  3. Medina, Jennifer (December 18, 2009). "With Tin Menorahs, an Outreach to Promote Faith". New York: The New York Times. Retrieved 30 December 2009.
  4. Sicha of 25 Kislev 5747 (1987)
  5. 1 2 3 A Six-Day War Inspiration: Forty Years Later, And Still Binding (
  6. Prayers For Our Times Archived September 3, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  7. Arizal, beg. of Shaar HaKavanos; Pri Etz Chayim Shaar Olam Ha’asiyah, ch. 1.
  8. Psalms, 140:13
  9. See A birthday: Cause for celebration.
  10. Likutei Sichot, Vol. 25, p. 192
  11. Genesis, 28:14
  12. "Finding Comfort Following Tragedy - Two New Nachamus". Retrieved Oct 1, 2014.
  13. "Bernikow JCC to offer 6-week Holocaust course". Retrieved Oct 1, 2014.
  14. "NEVER AGAIN: Survivors stress importance of remembering, and never repeating, the Holocaust". Retrieved Oct 1, 2014.
  15. "Beyond Never Again: New Course to Explore Modern Lessons from the Holocaust, April 28th". Retrieved Oct 1, 2014.
  16. "Staten Island Yom Hashoah services recall those lost in Holocaust". Retrieved Oct 1, 2014.
  17. 1 2 3 Levine, Rabbi Sholom Dovber (2009). Treasures From the Chabad Library (in Hebrew and English). Daniel Goldberg. Brooklyn, New York: Library of Agudas Chasidei Chabad and Kehot Publication Society. pp. 22–23, פח. ISBN 978-0-8266-0657-0.
  18. Collier, Bernard L. (May 27, 1968). "Hassidic Jews Confront Hippies to Press a Joyous Occasion". New York: New York Times. p. 49.
  19. Schneerson, Menahem mendel. Likkutei Sichos (in Hebrew). 6. Kehot Publication Society. pp. 271–275. ISBN 0-8266-5724-9.
  20. 17a
  21. Why Tefillin? - First Person
  22. "JLI For Teens At Chabad Of The Five Towns". Retrieved Oct 1, 2014.
  23. Excerpts of Sichos delivered by The Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson Yud-Gimmel (13th) Tishrei, 5742
  24. "Talmudic, civil law similar, rabbi says his course comparing legal systems has turned out to be 'an eye-opener'". Retrieved Oct 1, 2014.
  25. "Canadian rabbi offers lessons on leadership". Retrieved Oct 1, 2014.
  26. "New Series Explores Inspirational Personalities". Retrieved Oct 1, 2014.
  27. Hitva’aduyot 5745, Vol. 1, pp. 461-2
  28. "Asheville's JLI to offer 'Welcome to Hollywood' course for teens". Retrieved Oct 1, 2014.
  29. Shabbos 31a
  30. Public address of 13 Tammuz, 5742

External links

This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 11/18/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.