The people of Israel comprise a single body ~ Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi
The above quotation is attributed to Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi. Commonly known as the Alter Rebbe, he authored the Chassidic mystical text known as the Tanya, and was the first Rebbe of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement, which today has a massive amount of followers, scattered all over the world. This isn’t his most famous quote. And compared to sections from the Tanya, it is simple, corporeal even. So why is it so important?
Simply put; those eight words, ”The people of Israel comprise a single body”, form the essence of Chabad Chossidism. There’s no mention of mysticism, of sefirot, or even of halachos. But what are laws, compared to unity, to chesed? We are one. Every Jew is family. And we can’t turn against each other. Yes, families fall out. Yes, families have problems. But at the end of the day, we need each other. We are each other. The man wrapping tefillin for the first time? The woman who drives on shabbes? The child who doesn’t know what a yarmulke is? They’re you. They’re all you. They are, not only your flesh and blood, but your spirit.
This article also appeared here.