web analytics
September 20, 2014 / 25 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Apartment 758x530 Africa-Israel at the Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York

Africa Israel Residences, part of the Africa Israel Investments Group led by international businessman Lev Leviev, will present 7 leading projects on the The Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York on Sep 14-15, 2014.



Inside The Lubavitcher Rebbe

book-Outward

Here was a man with a grand, universal vision. Unlike most leaders he had no interest in personal gain or aggrandizement. Neither was he interested in travel. He lived within his brownstone Brooklyn world and his father-in-law’s mausoleum in Queens. He soon established himself as a powerful, humane, and brilliant leader. People began to flock to him for his sensitive and perceptive advice and guidance. His soft but piercing eyes engaged everyone he met, and his ability to focus on whomever he was speaking to was overwhelming.

The zeitgeist of the U.S. had a profound impact on him. He adopted American methods of publicity and public relations to achieve his mission and combined this with the discipline and devotion that came from the Russian campaigns. He did not hold back from public displays of overt Orthodox Judaism even in a society that separated State from Religion. And he was able to instill a universal character of openness, bonhomie, and altruism amongst his followers.

There were three broad goals. To build up the movement organizationally through divisions that involved youth, women, and emissaries, using publications and every means available to spread his ideology; to reach out to Jews anywhere and everywhere and offer them a path into intense Jewish life regardless of background or affiliation; and to extend his influence into the wheels of power wherever there were Jewish communities – even to the point of having a lobby in Washington.

It was inevitable in such a broad and dramatic campaign that there would be setbacks. Some of those he encouraged in outreach, like Shlomo Carlebach, went beyond his comfort zone. Some of his followers who had to go out and create their own little empires used financial methods that bordered on the illegal. As in any large movement there were crooks and manipulators.

His “Army of God” succeeded because of the authority of the Commander in Chief and because everyone had to adhere to the rules of uniform, style, and content he laid down. His writings became the new Oral Law for his movement and this was what enabled his representatives to keep the faith no matter where.

Perhaps his most controversial influence was felt in Israel where he encouraged his followers to integrate into Israeli society. But he was profoundly opposed to making any territorial concessions and campaigned strongly against any modifications of the traditional definition of Jewish identity.

It is a matter of debate as to whether his refusal to name a successor was intentional or not. His catchy campaign “We Want Messiah Now” led some to think he would be the Messiah himself. When he died some thought he would return for a “Second Coming.” But the organizational framework he established held firm and has expanded as perhaps the only example of a successful religious franchise. Certainly the influence of Chabad continues to grow and that is his legacy.

It has now been 20 years since his death and a range of new biographies has hit the bookshelves. Those by Adin Steinsaltz and Joseph Telushkin have been widely reviewed. There have been more critical and less adulatory works such as The Rebbe: The Life and Afterlife of Menachem Mendel Schneerson by Samuel Heilman and Menachem Friedman. None of them actually gets into the mind of the man. But for a well-researched inside picture that gives one a deeper insight into the ideology, background, and achievements of the Rebbe (despite minor quibbles over errors and inaccuracies of dates), I heartily recommend Chaim Miller’s to you as the most worthwhile.

This review was originally printed in the Algemeiner Journal.

About the Author:


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.

No Responses to “Inside The Lubavitcher Rebbe”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
ISIS executioner holding British aid worker Alan Henning as a hostage.
Muslims Plead with ISIS for Life of UK Aid Worker Alan Henning
Latest Sections Stories

Three sets of three-day Yomim Tovim can seem overwhelming – especially when we are trying to stay healthy.

Plotkin-092614

Is a missed opportunity to do a mitzvah considered a sin?

Teens-Twenties-logo

The sounds and scents of the kitchen are cozy, familiar, but loud in the silence.

Baim-092614-Plate

Everyone has a weakness. For some people it is the inability to walk past a sales rack without dropping a few hundred dollars. For others, it’s the inability to keep their house organized.

His entire life was dedicated to Torah and he became a pivotal figure in the transmittal of the Oral Torah to the next generation.

When you don’t have anyone else to turn to… that’s when you’re tied to Hashem the closest.

While we all go to restaurants for a good meal, it is dessert, that final taste that lingers in your mouth, that is the crown jewel of any dining experience and Six Thirteen’s offerings did not disappoint.

Today, fifty years and six million (!) people later, Israel is truly a different world.

There will always be items that don’t freeze well – salads and some rice- or potato-based dishes – so you need to leave time to prepare or cook them closer to Yom Tov and ensure there is enough room in the refrigerator to store them.

In Uzbekistan, in the early twentieth century, it was the women who wore the pants.

This is an important one in raising a mentsch (and maybe even in marrying off a mentsch! listening skills are on the top of the list when I do shidduch coaching).

While multitasking is not ideal, it is often necessary and unavoidable.

More Articles from Jeremy Rosen
book-Outward

He combined intellectual achievement with deep spirituality and religious devotion.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/books/book-reviews/inside-the-lubavitcher-rebbe/2014/07/14/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: