‘Rebbe': The Most Influential Rabbi in Modern History

rREL2718970A just released book, Rebbe: The Life And Teachings of Menachem M. Schneerson, The Most Influential Rabbi in Modern History” should be in the personal library of Americans of every faith. This multifaceted biography details the work and beliefs of the late Rabbi Schneerson, whose organization, Chabad-Lubavitch, remains the largest Jewish organization in the world.  Schneerson, in a timeless manner, used authentic Jewish values to make the world a better place – and his disciples continue to work to make America and the world brighter and better.  America, which is often said to be built on Judeo-Christian values should encourage more student Bible Clubs, and prayer and references to God in the public sphere.

Rabbi Schneerson uniquely recognized how America was created as a nation of high ideals, a country which demands moral behavior from people, and that “In God We Trust” was amongst the bedrock principles of the special uniqueness of America. This biography shares many viewpoints on this tremendous man whose wisdom was personally imparted to politicians of all political parties – and Americans of all religious and political stripes – including world leaders Ronald Reagan, Robert F. Kennedy, Menachem Begin and others.

The Supreme Court has held, “[N]othing in the Constitution … prohibits any public school student from voluntarily praying at any time before, during, or after the school day” – yet, despite this many school officials mistakenly believe that student prayer inside the public schoolhouse violates the  so-called “separation of church and state.” Rabbi Schneerson – affectionately known as the Rebbe – wisely noted that “a daily prayer in the public schools is for a vast number of boys and girls the only opportunity for cultivating…an awareness of God.” Indeed, whether a moment of silence, or a prayer, these values one must believe could only strengthen America, as this amazing personal biography reassures us.

Schneerson noted in a letter to an academic, “children in the public schools should be allowed to begin their day with the recitation of a nondenominational prayer, acknowledging the existence of a Creator and Master of the Universe, and our dependence upon him.” There must always remain a constitutionally guaranteed right of public school students to pray, and one hopes that when protecting freedom in America, one also protects religious liberties of public school students and their families

In 2014, a debate continues about the public placement of a Ten Commandments monument on Oklahoma’s Capitol lawn, which the American Civil Liberties Union’s local chapter has opposed. One sees Bibles being confiscated in schools, and religious symbols forbidden from court houses and government buildings- and that is simply wrong.

The Rebbe often spoke of how religion and its positive values brought “light” and good values. Schneerson wrote of religion in the public sphere that his emissaries should “go out into the courtyard into the public domain, and create light which illuminates the entire world.”  Prayer in school, public advocacy of a belief in God and the like have important spiritual and moral ramifications and benefits for Americans of all faiths.

As Telushkin’s book shares — which in today’s world of heroic athletes and reality stars is vital to note — “belief in a personal good before whom all people are accountable is exactly what the Rebbe believed was required.” What Jewish and non-Jewish children alike need – adults, too for that matter – is understanding that “the world in which they live is not a jungle, where brute force, cunning and unbridled passion rule supreme, but that it has a (Supreme Being) who… takes a ‘personal interest’ in the affairs of each and every individual, and to him everyone is accountable for his or her daily conduct.”

Personal responsibility is an important positive value, as is fear and respect for God. Self-empowerment and belief that there is something larger than us in this world are values which can only strengthen America.

Rebbe is a book which discusses how empathy, wisdom, learning and knowledge are just some of the many aspects of what made Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson such a special and great man who left an amazing impact on the Jewish people, American culture and the world.

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  • Miriam A

    Chabad Rebbe was an amazing man, thanks for this review, I just ordered the book.

  • WillielomanIII

    Thanks for writing this…A great story about The Rebbe comes from Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, former Chief Rabbi of England….He stated that The Rebbe saw that the nazis chased the Jews in hate all around the world, and the The Rebbe’s idea with Chabad was to chase the Jews with Love all around the world. And by doing this, The Rebbe has truly changed the world

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  • Tracy McRomick
  • u go to my head

    oh please enough of these self-absorbed “holy men”, if you want to know what Gd wants from you as an individual ask Him yourself

    • Americana

      This country was founded on avoiding adherence to ANY PARTICULAR CHURCH so to claim we were adherents to Judeo-Christian principles is a bit far-fetched. You were and are welcome to worship your own faith and your own god(s) in this country but that’s as far as the founding fathers went in advocating for a religious perspective at all. They were for FREEDOM OF RELIGION and FREEDOM FROM RELIGIOUS CONTROL OF CIVIC LIFE (let’s not forget, this principle works in well w/the wish to NOT instate sharia law). To the extent this rabbi taught good values and ethics across all religions, he’s highly respectable to me.

  • liz

    I’m all for freedom of religion, but here’s a thought – contrary to what many religious teachers claim, belief in a supreme being is not the only alternative to a life in which “brute force, cunning and unbridled passion rule supreme”.
    A life guided by reason works equally well in helping one to avoid these pitfalls, as well as helping one to become a fully rational human being.

    • chiam

      the nazis were full of reason as were the communists the humanisits and the progressives

      • texanboy

        As the book explaines, Schneerson studied at University in Berlin with Prof. Schoordiger who two years later became a Nazi. Thus, explains Telushkin, was a message that one can be on a high intellectual level, but if missing god, there will be no morality. When Schneersin came to the US in 1941 je volunteered at the Brooklyn Navy Yard to help the country with the war efforts. He later held extensive correspondence with Robert Kennedy, Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. Telushkins book is a masterpiece. It showed me who Schneerson was.

      • liz

        Everyone “reasons” to a degree – even believers need reason to understand what they believe. But neither their reasoning or their faith helped Christians to avoid perpetrating the Inquisition, or Muslims to avoid committing terrorism.
        But you have a better chance at being reasonable when you are committed to reasoning based on facts than when you reason based on religious dogma or an irrational ideology.

  • kaukasian jew

    just a’n other fake moshijach.

  • kavkasian jew

    read the next time here.

    how the rebbe defeeted the german wehrmacht alone.
    how he led the US-USSR-GB on the feeld of honour and
    konstrukted the Atomic Bomb. how he alone won all the war’s
    of Israel and on hes own captured Berlin whre he raised the red
    flag of chabad lubawitsch. how he disguised him self and was
    the real, jabotinski, bengurion and juri gagarin, stan laurel
    and merelin monroe, all together, and the mashijach!….

    didnt you know the rebbe turned darth vader in to a good guy?

  • kavkasian jew

    it is like the storry of the guy who want to buy a parrot in a pat shop.
    the bigest, nicest exemplar was to expencive.
    the second nice next to it costs double as much cuz it speaks two languages.
    the less pritty one is translateing in 5 languages and
    costs 150.000$ and a brown grey one costs as much as all the others
    becaus it talks like obama and sings like elvis, is translateing in 7 languages
    and can count as fast as a computer.
    the iritated guy asks what about the ugly parrot in the corner, without
    fethers and with just one leg left. this one is not for sale,
    it costs to much. the guy askd what this parrot can do, how much languages
    it speaks, if it can sing or what and got the answer
    “nobody knows what this parrot can, but the other parrots
    call him R E B B E!”

    the most influential rebbe of chabad for the
    chabadnikim ok, not more then this.

    some argue that chabd is the closest (new-) religion to judaism.

    think about it, and stop harming the god name of
    the nice rabbi with such soperlatives.