The 18th day, also called ‘Chai’, Elul, celebrates the birth of two of the greatest Torah luminaries of all times—the Baal Shem Tov, who illuminated the world with the Torah of Chassidus, and the Baal Hatanya who was the founder and progenitor of Chabad-Lubavitch. Hence this day is commemorated by Lubavitch chassidim worldwide through the festival known as Yom Habahir (Day of Clarity).
The Raaya”tz, zy”a, instituted this day as a festival for the Chassidus. His father, the Rasha”b, zy”a, revealed the intrinsic holiness of this day to him, exhorting him not to recite Tachanun on Chai Elul.
“When I entered into my father’s study, I found his spirit extremely elevated. As soon as I entered, my father told me with great joy, ‘Today is a happy occasion for us, as it is the birthday of two of the great luminaries. Monday, 18 Elul, 5058, is the birthday of the Baal Shem Tov; and Wednesday, 18 Elul, 5505, is the birthday of the Alter Rebbe (Baal Hatanya).”
The Raaya”tz, zy”a, added, “Chai Elul is a day auspicious for joy and blessing for all chassidim, and Lubavitch chassidim especially.”
Since then, 18 Elul was marked as a festival among Lubavitch chassidim, many of whom flock to the burial site of the Baal Hatanya in Haditch specifically on this day to spill their souls in poignant prayer.
During the week of Chai Elul, guests enjoy the benefits and services available in Kiryas Rabbeinu Hagadol of Haditch, including choice accommodations and the service of extra hired staff who gladly provide for all their needs. Sumptuous hot meals in the restaurant and a delicious variety of cakes, baked goods, hot and cold beverages are provided to our guests free of charge in the coffee room.