'Rebbe:The Life & Teachings of Menachem M. Schneerson'

A review of the just released biography of the most influential rabbi in modern history.

Ronn Torossian

OpEds Ronn Torossian
Ronn Torossian

“Rebbe: The Life And Teachings of Menachem M. Schneerson, The Most Influential Rabbi in Modern History”, the just released biography of the Chabad Rebbe by Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, is a must-read for every Jewish household. The book is easy to read, and will leave people of all religious backgrounds feeling good – about themselves – about the Jewish people, and inspired by the leadership and example of Rabbi Schneerson, one of the greatest Jews of recemt generations.

The book contains countless practical lessons for life ("do not delay – do it now") and recollections of stories on marriage, parenting, business and more in which the Rebbe shared his wisdom with people of all walks of life.  The man had endless Ahavat Israel – a love for every Jew, and was relentless in his commitment to continually better the Jewish people.

As Telushkin recounts, “an innovation of the Rebbe lay in expanding the search for spiritual and ethical lessons to the worlds of business, science, the professions, and even recreational activities…”.  How special it is to read about this great Jews’ passion to continually better Jews from all walks of life.  Simply amazing.

Of course, for those of us who are passionate about the Land Of Israel, Rabbi Schneerson is quoted emphasizing over and over again that “territorial compromise will not bring peace.” As the book quotes him telling countless world leaders, “I am completely and unequivocally opposed to surrender of any of the liberated areas under negotiation..”

Telushkin further notes that “The Rebbe… did not think that concessions could end the state of war, since, as noted the Arabs had threatened and murdered Jews before any Israeli conquest (Writer's note: How about now, after Gaza and Lebanon withdrawals?)

Wherever one stands politically, this book is a must-read for straightforward life-affecting inspiration in learning about a great man.  He conducted himself righteously daily, was a tremendous leader for the Jewish people who impacted many, many Jews all over the world.

In fact, a testament to his greatness remains in the continued success worldwide of Chabad all over the world - through the vast project which he pioneered, having Chabad "shluchim" (emissaries) in every far-off place a Jew might reach or where Jews had built a community.

From details on his relationship with Rav J.B. Soloveitchik, to discussions about his actions for Soviet Jewry during communism and the Iron Curtain, why he never visited Israel to the unique way he viewed every single person, Rabbi Telushkin did a great job of keeping the book interesting. 

“Rebbe: The Life And Teachings of Menachem M. Schneerson, The Most Influential Rabbi in Modern History” is a great book which should be in every single Jewish home. As Telushkin noted in the book “"I am a happier and more spiritual person as a result of writing this book.”

Anyone who reads this book will be happier, smarter – and more spiritual.

Am Israel Chai.

Ronn Torossian is CEO of 5WPR, a top 25 US PR Firm, Author of best-selling book “For Immediate Release” – and a proud Jewish admirer of Chabad and the Rebbe