web analytics
October 23, 2014 / 29 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz On His Relationship With The Lubavitcher Rebbe

Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz (picture courtesy of Collive.com)

Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz (picture courtesy of Collive.com)

In the last two months, no fewer than three new biographies of the seventh Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, have been published: My Rebbe by Adin Steinsaltz, Turning Judaism Outward by Chaim Miller, and Rebbe by Joseph Telushkin.

The release date of the latter two was likely selected to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the Rebbe’s passing coming up on July 1. In the case of My Rebbe, though, it was simply a case of writer’s block.

“When you are removed from a subject,” Steinsaltz told The Jewish Press in a recent interview, “you can deal with it, say, cold bloodedly. But I had, and still have, a very strong personal connection [to the Rebbe], and this personal connection was not a simple one that can be put into words. Because of that it was very hard to go on and to do anything…. I was involved with it for years and years and years.”

For Steinsaltz, the Rebbe was no less than “the greatest man I have ever met,” as he writes in the preface to his book. What about the Rebbe so impressed a man like Rabbi Steinsaltz – author of 60 books, translator of the entire Talmud into Hebrew, and once dubbed by Time Magazine as a “once-in-a-millennium scholar”?

“Let me put it this way,” Steinsaltz said, “I’ve met quite a number of people who were [great in the sense that they produced] a great work or had a certain great attribute. But in general, they were not like this. It’s like when you see a peacock – of course it has a magnificent tail, but the peacock itself is not anything magnificent…. The Rebbe was a great man – great in every dimension, every way you measure it. And that is quite unusual.”

Asked to elaborate, Steinsaltz said, “You look at Everest – that’s a great mountain. How do you describe it? How do you define anything that is great? How do you define a great work of art?”

Rabbi Steinsaltz acknowledges that the Rebbe had many detractors during his lifetime, but he argues that the antagonism was never personal. “I don’t think people disliked him. Let’s put it this way: they hardly knew him. He met thousands of people. I know of hardly anybody who after their meeting had any [sort of feeling] of dislike.”

Any hostility toward the Rebbe, Steinsaltz said, was really hostility to his vision. “He went in a certain way, and he was very clear cut and very unyielding in many ways. He went against the ideas of so many people.”

For example, Steinsaltz said, the Rebbe’s particular manner of reaching out toward unaffiliated Jews (and irreligious non-Jews) bothered many. And yet 20 years after the Rebbe’s passing, outreach has become mainstream. “One of the highest levels of victory,” Steinsaltz said, “is when people begin to imitate you…. People [might not] say, ‘Okay, we changed our mind,’ but they did.”

Rabbi Steinsaltz – like the authors of the other two recently published biographies on the Rebbe – is not a disinterested party to Lubavitch or the Rebbe. He met the Rebbe numerous times, was enthralled by him and – most importantly – has the Rebbe to thank for his son’s life.

“When my son was fifteen years old,” Steinsaltz writes in the book, “he was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. The prognosis was poor. We asked the Rebbe for a blessing and instructions. The Rebbe was deeply encouraging and blessed our son with a long life. However, he added that we should not permit a bone marrow transplant to be done. The doctors were furious when we chose to follow the Rebbe’s guidance, not theirs. Despite their prediction, our son healed, married, and had children – without undergoing the transplant procedure.”

About the Author: Elliot Resnick is a Jewish Press staff reporter and author of “Movers and Shakers: Sixty Prominent Personalities Speak Their Mind on Tape” (Brenn Books).


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

3 Responses to “Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz On His Relationship With The Lubavitcher Rebbe”

  1. Avis Johnson says:

    Wonderful article !! We Miss You Rebbe so much ! Will purchase all the books

  2. A wise man to follow a very wise mans advice

  3. I am looking forward to getting and reading this book. Thank you Rabbi Even Yisrael!!!

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat meet with security officials over Oct. 22 terror attack.
Netanyahu Convenes Top Brass in Jerusalem Over Terror Attack
Latest Indepth Stories
Bills to restore the balance of power in Israel will be fought by the not-so-judicial left.

Widespread agreement in Israel opposing Palestinian diplomatic warfare, commonly called “lawfare.”

Chaye Zisel Braun

Arab terrorism against Jews and the State of Israel is not something we should be “calm” about.

Peace Now Chairman Yariv Oppenheimer

The Israeli left, led by tenured academics, endorses pretty much anything harmful to its own country

Grave site of terror victim Leon Klinghoffer.

We were devastated: The exploitation of our father’s murder as a vehicle for political commentary.

Judea and Samaria (Yesha) have been governed by the IDF and not officially under Israeli sovereignty

While not all criticism of Israel stemmed from anti-Semitism, Podhoretz contends the level of animosity towards Israel rises exponentially the farther left one moved along the spectrum.

n past decades, Oman has struck a diplomatic balance between Saudi Arabia, the West, and Iran.

The Torah scroll which my family donated will ride aboard the USS Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier

The Jewish Press endorses the reelection of Gov. Andrew Cuomo. His record as governor these past four years offers eloquent testimony to the experience and vision he has to lead the Empire State for the next four years.

I think Seth Lipsky is amazing, but it just drives home the point that newspapers have a lot of moving parts.

Myth #1: It is easy to be a B’nai Noach. It is extraordinarily hard to be a B’nai Noach.

The question of anti-Semitism in Europe today is truly tied to the issue of immigration.

Polls indicate that the Palestinians are much more against a two state solution than the Israelis.

Turkey and Iran the 2 regional powers surrounding the ISIS conflict gain from a partial ISIS victory

More Articles from Elliot Resnick
Resnick-102414-Pergament

I think Seth Lipsky is amazing, but it just drives home the point that newspapers have a lot of moving parts.

FE_PR_100112_22Learning_CableTV425x282

Can teenagers seriously be expected to behave properly when they are surrounded by so much suggestive material? Is it fair to expose them (and ourselves) to so much temptation and then tell them, “Just say no”?

If you remember, in 2006, a Jewish kid in Paris, Ilan Halimi, was abducted, beaten, and held hostage for three weeks… These are the kinds of people attending these Gaza solidarity rallies.

King Solomon said it long ago: “Cast your bread upon the waters” because you don’t know when you’ll hit something. Our job is to do.

Formerly an attorney at the prestigious law firm Proskauer Rose for 40 years – six of those years as its chairman – Fagin holds degrees from both Columbia and Harvard Universities. He retired in 2013 to devote more time to the Jewish community.

The message is that Zionism, which used to be great, is today very institutionalized and [consists of a] bunch of people who are just squabbling over titles and budgets.

For Steinsaltz, the Rebbe was no less than “the greatest man I have ever met,” as he writes in the preface to his book.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/interviews-and-profiles/rabbi-adin-steinsaltz-on-his-relationship-with-the-lubavitcher-rebbe/2014/06/03/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: