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Rebbe: The Life and Teachings of Menachem M. Schneerson, the Most Influential Rabbi in Modern History Hardcover – June 10, 2014

4.7 out of 5 stars 284 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* The subtitle’s claim that Schneerson, of the Chabad-Lubavitcher sect of Orthodox Jewry (and thought by some of his followers to be the Messiah), was the modern world’s most influential Jewish religious leader is proven throughout this highly readable book. He was visited by everyone from Robert Kennedy to Cory Booker, had a warm correspondence with Ronald Reagan, and received a Congressional Gold Medal. With outreach programs that extended far beyond his tiny sect, he made the love of one’s fellow Jew a visible symbol throughout the world. Telushkin introduces the Rebbe through the stories and memories of those who knew or were touched by him. A wide range of topics is discussed: Schneerson’s connection with his family, his congregation, and other Jewish denominations; his position on Israel; his outside-the-box thinking on a number of religious issues. Although this account doesn’t contain any real critical assessment, it is not hagiography. Rather, readers are left to draw their own assessment from the wide-ranging portrait. For instance, what to make of the fact that though Schneerson was highly trained in the sciences, he insisted that the sun revolves around an earth that is less than 7,000 years old? For those who wish a more ordered look at the Rebbe’s life, the author provides a detailed time line. Extensive notes bolster the text. Fascinating. --Ilene Cooper

Review

“[An] excellent new biography of Chabad’s great 20th-century leader… For all his immense achievements, the Rebbe’s power ultimately came from a simple message that anyone can appreciate. As Mr. Telushkin puts it: ‘Love your fellow, and not just those who agree with you….’ Mesmerizing.” (Wall Street Journal)

“Through his clear and unambiguous prose cultivated from many sources, Telushkin recounts how the Rebbe fundamentally transformed notions of human potential, as he believed individuals were capable of much more than we imagine for ourselves... Rebbe will be a staple of rabbinic biography for years to come.” (Huffington Post)

“The subtitle’s claim that Schneerson was the modern world’s most influential Jewish religious leader is proven throughout this highly readable book… Readers are left to draw their own assessment from the wide-ranging portrait… Fascinating.” (Booklist (starred review))

“A vivid, panoramic view of Rabbi Schneerson-in each of his many roles as dynamic spiritual leader, inspiring teacher, and even motivating life coach and management guru… Telushkin’s Rebbe is a man in constant motion, a non-stop whirlwind of faith-driven energy and action possessed of a spiritual calm.” (The Jewish Week)

“An admiring but honest look at Schneerson and his legacy… What stands out is Schneerson’s engagement with the principles by which he managed to wield a considerable influence upon the American cultural scene and the Jewish world… An engaging account.” (Publishers Weekly)

“Well-qualified to write about his subject, [Telushkin] draws on Schneerson’s public statements as well as his voluminous correspondence and his thousands of private audiences, with his followers and others, both Jewish and non-Jewish. An approachable and admiring introduction appropriate for readers interested in modern Jewish thought.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“One of the greatest religious biographies ever written. Generations from now, Rebbe will be read by people of every faith.” (Dennis Prager, national talk show host and New York Times bestselling author of Still the Best Hope)

“An iconic figure comes alive in these pages, a man of wisdom and learning, yes, but also of deep personal caring and kindness… An astounding personal biography.” (Ruth Messinger, President, American Jewish World Service)

“Whether you are a believer, an admirer or a respectful skeptic, you will learn much from this deep and accessible account of a truly great man by a great writer.” (Alan M. Dershowitz, professor emeritus, Harvard Law School, and author of Taking the Stand)

“Joseph Telushkin’s earthbound study introduces ‘the most influential rabbi in modern history’ by documenting the incremental process through which his influence was acquired… Illuminating.” (Commentary Magazine)

“Telushkin offers a rounded portrait of life in the shadow, or the sunlight, of the Rebbe. We meet dozens of followers and hear their stories, get a feel for the texture of their devotion, for why they loved him… It is worth studying how and why his method worked.” (The Jewish Daily Forward)

“[Rebbe] should be in the personal library of Americans of every faith.” (Front Page Magazine)

“[Rebbe] is an enjoyable book to read, with insights and perspectives as well as details that inform and engage, shedding light on a towering, influential figure.” (Chicago Jewish Star)

“With this book, the Rebbe no longer is incomprehensible. Spend some time getting to know the Rebbe. You’ll be glad you did.” (Jewish Herald Voice)

“Provides a comprehensive history of the Rebbe’s hallmark focus on the individual-from heads of state to the everyman” (JNS)

“To understand why he inspired so many, do yourself a favor and pick up this moving, new biography. You don’t need to be a Jew or even be a religious person to learn from this monumental man.” (New York 1)

“Rebbe is that extremely rare thing: a perfect book about a perfect man. [It] brings the great man alive and gives the reader powerful motivation to examine his own life... The Rebbe touched the lives of millions; through Telushkin’s book, he will touch the lives of many more.” (NY Journal of Books)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 640 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Wave (June 10, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062318985
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062318985
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (284 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #42,453 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have been familiar with the Rebbe and Chabad for most of my life but only from a distance. But alas, Rabbi Telushkin is a favorite author of mine and he doesn't disappoint. I feel that I now have a more intimate familiarity and perhaps appreciation for the Chabad and certainly for Rebbe.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is the result of 5 years of intensive research, into the life of a rather introverted man. Telushkin does an incredible job of portraying Rabbi Schneerson, not only by illustrating key biographical moments and pouring over private correspondence, but also by highlighting his most influential teachings. I can't think of another biography that is as detailed and inspiring.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An amazing book for every Jewish (& non Jewish) home. Will change your life just like it did for the author. You will think speak & behave differently. How one person can be so great, and influence presidents, yet never loosing site of the individual even a child.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I got my copy of Telushkins Rebbe. Telushkin explained the man, gave his history and life ideas. This is not a conventional biography, rather, the author carefully chose a number of issues which capsulize Schneerson's life. I liked Telushkins assessment of Schneerson's controversial views, which take up a section of the book. The author rightfully disagrees with some of them. I found the book very enlightening and informative. It's an extremely well-researched text, bolstered with hundreds of source notes. What is immediately apparent, is the amount of effort Telushkin must have put into the research of this book. Telushkin's sources contain information he gleaned from tens of interview's he conducted with those who knew Schneerson, including President Reagan's adviser Gary Bauer and Israel's President Shimon Peres. I think this book deserves very high ratings. Highly recommendable.
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Format: Hardcover
Telushkin has taken the impossible in putting the Rebbe in a book. But he has done so masterfully in his inimitable style and in doing so he truly gives you a glimpse in the life of this giant of a man and the influence he has on the world at large. i bought quite a few copies, one for each of my friends. Highly recommended!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Full of uplifting anecdotes and stories, Rebbe is not a book to read once, It is a book to go back to when in need of inspiration. Telushkin put himself on a different level.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An astounding accomplishment. Artfully compiled. Honestly analyzed. Provides a wealth of information and perspective on the life, ideas and accomplishments of the Rebbe. Works through controversial stances with great balance and clarity. A most comprehensive biography. Provides deep understanding and frame of reference. A window into the mind and soul of a most dynamic, gifted and rare personality. A giant.
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By Samg on June 10, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Much to be said about this book, but simply put I could not put it down. Fascinating insights into the life of a great person. Gives me much to think about in my own life.
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