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Turning Judaism Outwards: A Biography of the Rebbe, Menachem Mendel Schneerson Paperback – May 29, 2014
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"A masterful work of scholarship, beautifully written, with new insight into the life of an introverted, brilliant scholar who created the largest and most influential outreach program in Jewish history."-Rabbi Menachem Genack, CEO Orthodox Union Kosher
About the Author
RABBI CHAIM MILLER, was educated at the Haberdashers’ Aske’s School in London, England and studied Medical Science at Leeds University. At the age of twenty-one, he first began to explore his Jewish roots in full-time Torah study. Less than a decade later, he published the best-selling Kol Menachem Chumash—Gutnick Edition, which made over a thousand complex discourses of the late Lubavitcher Rebbe easily accessible to the layman. His 2011 compilation, the Lifestyle Books Torah, Five Books of Moses—Slager Edition was distributed to thousands of servicemen and women in the U.S. Army. In 2013, he was chosen by the Jewish Press as one of sixty “Movers and Shakers” in the Jewish world. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife Chani and seven children.
"Wonderfully written as well as intensely thought provoking, Turning Judaism Outward is the most in-depth treatment of the life of the Rebbe ever written. The author has managed to successfully reconstruct the history of one of the most important Jewish religious leaders of the 20th century, whose life has up to now been shrouded in mystery. A compassionate, engaging biography, this magnificent work will open up many new avenues of research."
-Dana Evan Kaplan, author, Contemporary American Judaism: Transformation and Renewal; editor, The Cambridge Companion to American Judaism
"In contrast to other recent biographies of the Rebbe, Chaim Miller has availed himself of all the relevant textual sources and archival documents to recount the details of one of the more fascinating religious leaders of the twentieth century. Through the voice of the author, even the most seemingly trivial aspect of the Rebbe's life is teeming with interest.... I am confident that readers of Miller's book will derive great pleasure and receive much knowledge from this splendid and compelling portrait of the Rebbe."
-Elliot R. Wolfson, Abraham Lieberman Professor of Hebrew and Judaic Studies, New York University
Top Customer Reviews
There are a few mistakes such as referring to the former President of the American Bar Association who represented Chabad in the famous book trial, Jerry Shestack, as "Joe" Shestak. I think it vastly underplays JJ Hecht and some others but it is well researched and documented.
It only falls apart, in my view, at the very end dealing with the will - it doesn't mention the second will - and puts too positive a spin on the Moshiach issue, focusing on the Rebbe's opposition to identifying him as the Moshiach rather than addressing the ambiguity and the reality of what occurred in the last years or the split within the secretariat regarding the post-stroke care and presentaion of the Rebbe such as the attempts at coronation are vastly underplayed. These are glaring primarily because of the relatively even handed and in depth treatment of all of the disputes in the earlier years. Perhaps it is too soon to address these issues but it undercuts the book.
Overall it captures the Rebbe's beliefs and philosophy. It addresses the Satmar and Shach disputes but again falls apart on the Moshiach disputes in the larger community.
I would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone who want to get a better understanding of the Rebbe. It does have some very interesting anecdotes including the Rebbe's role in developing the US food stamp program.
The earlier attempts at a biography of the Rebbe simply do not compare. In short, this is an amazing biography of an amazing individual.
What Chaim Miller has done has really surprised me.
Not only is the text lengthy and informative, but it's so well elucidated and thorough, while remaining easy to read.
He treats the Rebbe with reverence and veneration, while still staying honest and loyal to the job of a biographical author.
I not only would recommend this book to read, I would tell everyone to go out and buy for their friends and families, as well as anyone who was touched in some way by this great man and the message which he gave to the world.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Fabulous read. I'm not Chabad, and not only could I not put the book down, I can't stop referring it either!Published 10 months ago by Ralph Djmal
This review is a year overdue and I've had the words simmering in my head for a long time... My apologies for not writing it sooner. Read morePublished 13 months ago by DeeKay
Very one sided and hagiographic review by one of his loyal followers. Many details not ordinarily known and a very one sided view of the family litigation.Published 19 months ago by PERRY HOOKMAN
This reads more like a text book but is very informative. A very good readPublished 19 months ago by Sarah Leah
This book is very well sourced and is a remarkable view of a remarkable man. Very thorough and objective without any agenda. Parts are quite esoteric but overall a good read.Published 19 months ago by Morris Tuchman