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The Rebbe

The Life and Afterlife of Menachem Mendel Schneerson

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Description

From the 1950s until his death in 1994, Menachem Mendel Schneerson--revered by his followers worldwide simply as the Rebbe--built the Lubavitcher movement from a relatively small sect within Hasidic Judaism into the powerful force in Jewish life that it is today. Swept away by his expectation that the Messiah was coming, he came to believe that he could deny death and change history.

Samuel Heilman and Menachem Friedman paint an unforgettable portrait of Schneerson, showing how he reinvented himself from an aspiring French-trained electrical engineer into a charismatic leader who believed that he and his Lubavitcher Hasidic emissaries could transform the world. They reveal how his messianic convictions ripened and how he attempted to bring the ancient idea of a day of redemption onto the modern world's agenda. Heilman and Friedman also trace what happened after the Rebbe's death, by which time many of his followers had come to think of him as the Messiah himself.

The Rebbe tracks Schneerson's remarkable life from his birth in Russia, to his student days in Berlin and Paris, to his rise to global renown in New York, where he developed and preached his powerful spiritual message from the group's gothic mansion in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. This compelling book demonstrates how Schneerson's embrace of traditionalism and American-style modernity made him uniquely suited to his messianic mission.

From Publishers Weekly

May 17, 2010 – Eminent Jewish scholars Heilman, of City University of New York, and Friedman, of Bar Ilan University in Israel, have teamed up to produce an outstanding biography of Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the seventh Lubavitcher rebbe. Their well-grounded contribution carefully avoids hagiography, but their restraint leads them to avoid characterizing some of the more outlandish claims made by the rebbe and his adherents. The issue of whether the rebbe is the Messiah, as contended by some of his disciples, is also treated with respect. More significant is the thorough analysis offered by Heilman and Friedman of the rebbe’s great organizational success in sending emissaries throughout the world to persuade Jews to become pious. In addition, the history and influence of the Lubavitcher movement is carefully and candidly traced, including a complete account of Schneerson’s experiences before and after he became the rebbe. The disputes that followed his death are methodically depicted. This well-written presentation, based on exhaustive scholarship, will stand as the definitive statement about the life and times of a highly influential religious leader.

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The Rebbe
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  • $13.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Biographies & Memoirs
  • Published: May 10, 2010
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Seller: Princeton University Press
  • Print Length: 368 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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