Rebbe: The Life and Teachings of Menachem M. Schneerson, the Most Influential Rabbi in Modern History

Rebbe: The Life and Teachings of Menachem M. Schneerson, the Most Influential Rabbi in Modern History

by Joseph Telushkin

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Overview

“One of the greatest religious biographies ever written.” – Dennis Prager

In this enlightening biography, Joseph Telushkin offers a captivating portrait of the late Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, a towering figure who saw beyond conventional boundaries to turn his movement, Chabad-Lubavitch, into one of the most dynamic and widespread organizations ever seen in the Jewish world. At once an incisive work of history and a compendium of Rabbi Schneerson's teachings, Rebbe is the definitive guide to understanding one of the most vital, intriguing figures of the last centuries.

From his modest headquarters in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, the Rebbe advised some of the world's greatest leaders and shaped matters of state and society. Statesmen and artists as diverse as Ronald Reagan, Robert F. Kennedy, Yitzchak Rabin, Menachem Begin, Elie Wiesel, and Bob Dylan span the spectrum of those who sought his counsel.  Rebbe explores Schneerson's overarching philosophies against the backdrop of treacherous history, revealing his clandestine operations to rescue and sustain Jews in the Soviet Union, and his critical role in the expansion of the food stamp program throughout the United States. More broadly, it examines how he became in effect an ambassador for Jews globally, and how he came to be viewed by many as not only a spiritual archetype but a savior. Telushkin also delves deep into the more controversial aspects of the Rebbe's leadership, analyzing his views on modern science and territorial compromise in Israel, and how in the last years of his life, many of his followers believed that he would soon be revealed as the Messiah, a source of contention until this day.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062319005
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 06/14/2016
Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 640
Sales rank: 94,061
File size: 4 MB

About the Author

Joseph Telushkin is a rabbi, scholar, and bestselling author of eighteen books, among them A Code of Jewish Ethics and Words That Hurt, Words That Heal. His book Jewish Literacy is the widest-selling work on the topic of Judaism. He lives with his wife, Dvorah, in New York City, and lectures regularly throughout the United States.

Table of Contents

Preface xv

Author's Note xxi

Part 1 Leadership of the Rebbe

Chapter 1 A Rebbe for the New World 3

Chapter 2 1950-1951: Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson Becomes Rebbe 16

Part 2 On Being a Rebbe

Chapter 3 Connecting to Individuals: The Experience of Yechidus (One-on-One Meetings) 43

Chapter 4 The Ten Campaigns: Taking Judaism into the World 74

Part 3 Seven Virtues

Chapter 5 Love Your Neighbor: The Focus on the Individual 91

Chapter 6 Creating Fearlessness, Creating Leaders 100

Chapter 7 Optimism and the Careful Choosing of Words 109

Chapter 8 "I'm Also Tired. So What?": The Rebbe's Work Ethic 118

Chapter 9 Expressing Disagreement without Being Disagreeable 131

Chapter 10 Anything Worth Doing Is Worth Doing Now 145

Chapter 11 Judaism's Mission to the World 156

Part 4 Life Lessons according to the Rebbe

Chapter 12 "It Is a Commandment to Tell the Story": The Rebbe and Journalism 165

Chapter 13 Chess, Thieves, Astronauts, and Atoms 178

Chapter 14 Going to the Poolroom with the Rebbe's Blessings, and Gratitude without End 189

Part 5 Uniting the Jews: The Rebbe's Approach to a Fractured People

Chapter 15 "There Also Needs to Be a Girl": Women, Judaism, and the Twentieth Century 215

Chapter 16 Reform Jews, Conservative Jews, and the Rebbe's Open Door 223

Chapter 17 No One Is beyond the Possibility of Repentance 230

Chapter 18 Differences That Don't Affect a Friendship: The Rebbe and the Rav 236

Part 6 Judaism Confronts Modernity: Controversial Views of the Rebbe

Chapter 19 United States: Prayers in the Schools, Menorahs in the Streets 257

Chapter 20 Israel: Territorial Compromises Won't Bring Peace 273

Chapter 21 Soviet Jewry: Public Demonstrations Will Hurt Russian Jews 293

Chapter 22 When It Is Wrong to Make Aliyah 307

Chapter 23 The Revolving Sun, Evolution, and the Age of the World: A Dissenting View 318

Chapter 24 Why People Shouldn't Go to College, and Why Those Who Do Shouldn't Drop Out 329

Part 7 The Rebbe and His Family

Chapter 25 Mrs. Schneerson from President Street 363

Chapter 26 Devotion beyond Measure 378

Part 8 "It Is the Books That Were Victorious"

Chapter 27 The Courtroom Battle That Tore Apart a Family 387

Part 9 The World of Messianism

Chapter 28 The Rebbe and the Messiah 415

Part 10 Leadership after Life

Chapter 29 Leadership after Life: The Rebbe's Priorities as a Blueprint for Shaping the World 441

Part 11 The Life of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson

Chapter 30 Major Events in the Life of the Rebbe: A Timeline Designed to Be Read 457

Glossary 521

Notes 525

Acknowledgments 597

Index 603

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Rebbe: The Life and Teachings of Menachem M. Schneerson, the Most Influential Rabbi in Modern History 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You can learn a lot about fulfillment in life, living, and true happiness, even if you are not a jew. The writtings are very easy to follow and appealing to anybody with any level of education. I love it and recommend it to all.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is fascinating from cover-to-cover. I was always a friend of Chabad, but now I truly understand their passion and drive (that they get from the Rebbe)... and it is contagious, as I think that I am catching the "bug" after reading this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
AMSV More than 1 year ago
The person we gifted this to has told me what a wonderful book it is and how much she is enjoying it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Rabbi Telushkin omits much in his treatment of the issue of Moshiach. Namely, he ignored the remarkable positive responses from the Rebbe to activities identifying the Rebbe as Moshiach as proof of both: the Rebbe acknowledges his identity as Moshiach and approves of activities to make the public aware with an acceptable approach. There are edited talks of the Rebbe which are unequivocal. Yet, a few are offered for illustrative purposes and to counter the unsubstantiated claims of Rabbi Telushkin. In Kuntres Beis Rabbeinu Sh'B'Bavel, ch. 5, the Rebbe states 'The leader of the generation is also the Moshiach of the generation.' In Sefer Hasichos 5751, vol 2, p. 501, the Rebbe states 'One should especially learn these topics from the teachings of Chassidus, and especially in his Torah (the chassidic discourses and Likkutei Sichos) of the leader of the generation, as a foretaste, example and preparation for the learning of the Torah of Moshiach.' Here the Rebbe openly describes the Nasi Hador's Torah as Likkutei Sichos, which is his own, which when joined with the previous excerpt means he is the Moshiach of the generation. The Rebbe also said that 'the leader of our generation is our Righteous Moshiach' in Sefer HaSichos 5752, vol 2, p. 373. In Sichos Kodesh 5752 vol 2, p. 317-18, the Rebbe declares "The first redeemer is the last redeemer, the redeemer of our generation, my father in law, leader of our generation, additionally and mainly, since the aspect of 'he was victorious' has already transpired, there must already be the true and complete redemption through our righteous Moshiach, leader of our generation, the Previous Rebbe; the same applies to his successor." Here the Rebbe is referring to himself as Moshiach. In Parshas Mishpatim, 5752, footnote 148, the Rebbe inserts, "And more specifically pertaining to our generation, the acronym 'MiYaD' indicates the three eras of the Rebbe, my father in law, leader of our generation, from the most recent in order: Moshiach (whose name is Menachem), Yosef Yitzchak, Dovber (the second name of the Rebbe Rashab." Lastly, in Parshas Chayei Sarah 5751, ch. 12, and footnote 108, the Rebbe says "Melech HaMoshiach . . . stands on the rooftop of the Holy Temple and announces to Israel, 'Humble ones, the time of your redemption has arrived' as has been announced and is being announced lately . . This announcement is coming from the diaspora . . ." Here, the Rebbe is referencing the numerous times he has stated 'the time of your redemption has arrived' as a sign of his identity as Moshiach. On Parshas Tazria Metzora 5751 the Rebbe spoke in the sicha that the students in Gemara Sanhedrin p 98b all described their teacher as being Moshiach. Here the Rebbe writes 'anan naneh basrei', that Chassidim should follow their example .