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. The Rebbe was the only rabbi ever to receive the Congressional Gold Medal and to have an American national day, Education and Sharing Day, proclaimed in his honor. No one has succeeded him in his position. Nevertheless, 20 years after his death, his movement has doubled in size, spreading to more than 80 countries, and his impact resonates still. But what was the secret of the Rebbe's success and influence? What principles of leadership guided him? And how did he rally such extraordinary devotion and resolve?
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.
©2015 Joseph Telushkin (P)2015 HarperCollins Publishers
First, I praise Rich Topol whose brilliant reading captured the tone of the book and whose pronunciation of Hebrew and Yiddish words was excellent.
As to the book itself, once again Rabbi Joseph Telushkin has written a highly informative and inspiring volume. One must recognize that this is not an analysis of the Rebbe or the kind of biography that plumbs the psychological or historical reasons that made him what he was. Instead it focuses on the lessons one can glean from the Rebbe's actions and values. These are not only informative, they are inspiring and will likely influence readers to adopt these lessons and improve their lives and characters.
If something is significant, do not delay. Argue against ideas, not against people. Be concerned about your own group but not to the exclusion of concern for all. Focus on education. Even a single good deed or worthy action is worthwhile as it can lead to more good deeds. These are some of the Rebbe's lessons demonstrated by his actions.
Five stars across the board and highly recommended.
Knew about the Chabad Rabbi, but didn't understand how much he did for Judaism. He truly is a holy man. Thank goodness he went beyond lines and valued all Jews.
The author tells a story of a fascinating life in a way that makes you feel as if you personally knew the Rebbe. Packed with well-researched facts and references the book is never dull. Even the timeline at the end is interesting to listen to. I thoroughly enjoyed it and recommend it to those who wish to learn more about thChabad the Lubavitcher Rebbe
As an observant Modern Orthodox Jew I of course knew of the Lubavitcher Rebbe but had only a vague idea of what made him so unique. The book is filled with well documented conversations and events involving not only his Chassidim but Jews of all streams and many non-Jews as well. I came away with a much deeper understanding of not only the Rebbe's great gifts and contributions but of what he stood for and how the Lubavitcher movement blossomed under his direction. A great listen for almost anybody
This book makes you feel as if you personally met the Rebbe, through a prism of three dimensions of Chabad - wisdom, understanding and knowledge. For someone with Jewish roots but without Jewish upbringing it is especially rewarding as it tactfully guides you through rich historical and personal context of one extraordinary life. The performer, Rich Topol, masterfully interprets Rebbe's voice and several languages. This book is an inspiration for deep inner reflection and for positive action.
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