The Chabad.org Blog

New Translation of Mishnah for Gimmel Tammuz

July 4, 2019 3:03 PM

In Jewish tradition, it is customary to learn Mishnah, the foundational text of the Talmud, in merit of the soul of our departed loved ones. Many study several chapters, each one beginning with another letter of the name of the deceased.

Shabbat will be Gimmel Tammuz, the 25th anniversary of the passing of the Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory, and we will be studying Mishnah in the Rebbe’s honor. Chabad.org is pleased to have partnered with Koren Publishers to bring you a beautiful PDF booklet (to be printed before Shabbat), which presents the Mishnah selections for the Rebbe’s name in Hebrew and a clear, flowing English adaptation by Rabbi Adin Even-Israel (Steinsaltz).

Wishing you a most meaningful and inspiring Gimmel Tammuz,

The Chabad.org Editorial Team

Access the PDF booklet here

Thought Leaders Rave About Positivity Bias

New Book from Chabad.org Gives In-Depth Look at the Rebbe’s “Positivity Bias”

July 3, 2019 11:59 AM

Positivity Bias, a newly released book by Rabbi Mendel Kalmenson, has been garnering acclaim from thought leaders around the world for its simple yet profound perspective on how to approach life. Inspired by the example and teachings of the Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, of blessed memory, the book demonstrates how positive perception is applicable and accessible to all. Produced by Chabad.org and published by Ezra Press, the book has been so popular that an additional printing had to be commissioned just two weeks after its initial release. The book’s release was timed with the 25th anniversary of Gimmel Tammuz, the Rebbe’s passing, and the popularity of the book is a powerful testament to the continued and increased relevance of the Rebbe and his teachings to people of all walks of life.

Professor Tal Ben-Shahar, who has authored many books on positive psychology and created the most popular course in Harvard’s history on the topic, writes, “Growing up, my parents and teachers would tell me stories about the Lubavitcher Rebbe. These stories impacted me in a profound way, and still affect the way I see—and experience—life. In Positivity Bias, Rabbi Mendel Kalmenson beautifully weaves some of the stories I grew up on—as well as many others—using rigorous research and uncommon wisdom to provide us with a life-changing and life-enhancing perspective.”

“Through his new book, Positivity Bias, Rabbi Kalmenson brings a vital and energizing message to the Jewish world—a message of hope, positivity and optimism, which is deeply rooted in faith in G‑d and faith in the Jewish future,” writes Chief Rabbi of South Africa Rabbi Dr. Warren Goldstein.

Elliot R. Wolfson, Chair of Jewish Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, says that the book’s release couldn’t have been more timely. “In a time of divisiveness and acrimony dominating our sociopolitical and individual realms, it is an opportune time for Mendel Kalmenson’s Positivity Bias: Practical Wisdom for Positive Living to enter into the world,” he writes. “As the title suggests, Kalmenson, following the teachings of the Rebbe, accepts that there is no way for a person to be totally objective and to avoid a personal bias. The bias that he promulgates is to inculcate a positive orientation in life. As the author states, the basic premise of the book is that living a life of positivity is a matter of choice and not circumstance, deriving from perspective and not personality. Kalmenson elicits from the treasure-trove of the Rebbe’s teachings a philosophy of life that is more necessary now than ever before in history in a time of increased insensitivity to the other and the amplification of negativity and derision. Transmitting one of the major contributions of the Rebbe, Kalmenson’s book offers a guide for the reader to change the way he or she looks at the world so that the world he or she is looking at will change. Effectuating such a change in perspective is nothing short of realizing the potential of the Rebbe’s optimism and his boundless energy to bring humankind closer to the messianic redemption.”

According to Yossi Klein Halevi, senior fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem, the book explains to the reader how the Rebbe transformed the Jewish world in the wake of the Holocaust. “In explaining the profound theology behind the Rebbe’s relentless optimism, this beautifully written and inspiring book helps us understand how the Rebbe, working initially with a small group of battered survivors in a remote corner of Brooklyn, managed to spiritually revolutionize the post-Holocaust Jewish world,” he writes. “As Positivity Bias so compellingly reveals, the Rebbe’s optimism was so powerful precisely because it came in response to the brokenness of the Jewish people and to his own personal tragedies. Whether or not you are a chassid of the Rebbe, Rabbi Kalmenson has given us all a gift, to be read and re-read as a companion through life.”

Rabbi Benjamin Blech, professor of Talmud at Yeshiva University, writes, “Profound, persuasive, practical—these are the first few words that came to my mind after reading Positivity Bias, Rabbi Mendel Kalmenson’s magnificent latest work. Bringing together the brilliant psychological insights of the Rebbe with a keen understanding of the most recent studies of human behavior, the author aims for nothing less than a guide to self-transformation in the spirit of Torah and Jewish teaching. Rarely have I so often interrupted my reading to share with family and friends fascinating anecdotes and ideas as I did in the midst of devouring this extremely well-written book, which I simply could not put down. Trust me—it is a must-read you’ll treasure evermore.”

Learn more about this book and place your order at www.chabad.org/PositivityBias.

Marking 25 Years

July 2, 2019 2:59 PM

Dear Friend,

This Shabbat will be the 3rd of Tammuz, the 25th anniversary of the passing of the Rebbe—Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory.

In Aramaic, an anniversary of passing is often called a hillula, which literally means “celebration.”

A celebration on the day of passing? The mystics explain that on the day a righteous person passes away, his Torah scholarship and good deeds are revealed in an elevated state, which makes this day a deeply meaningful and joyful one for all of his disciples.

And we are all disciples of the Rebbe.

If you are reading this e‑mail, your life has been influenced by the Rebbe’s teachings. If you’ve ever stepped into a Chabad center, you too have been touched by the Rebbe’s abounding love for every Jewish person. If you’ve visited our site (like so many million others), you’ve benefited from the Rebbe’s embrace of technology as a medium through which G‑d’s presence can be spread to all parts of earth.

If you think about it, the underlying factor of the Rebbe’s multifaceted leadership was his drive to transform our world into a place where G‑d will feel at home. So, let us commemorate the day of his yahrtzeit by continuing his mission, adding more mitzvahs and good deeds. Together, we can make his dream a reality.

The Chabad.org Editorial Team

New Site Showcases Rebbe’s Social Teachings

July 1, 2019 1:35 PM

Ahead of the 25th yahrzeit of the Rebbe—Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, of righteous memory—his visionary approach to many social questions and challenges faced by society has been made available in one place for the first time.

This new section of Chabad.org combines hundreds of transcripts, clips of original footage and personal correspondence of the Rebbe, highlighting how he applied the deep wisdom of Chassidic philosophy to real-world issues.

Among the topics addressed are mass incarceration, the importance of renewable energy and the imperative of transforming public education for the greater good.

According to Rabbi Mordechai Rubin, associate editor at Chabad.org, the new section “shines a spotlight on the centrality of the Rebbe's teachings about society as a whole and about how it can be reshaped for the better.”

“The Rebbe taught us,” Rubin continues, “that by engaging, partnering and giving to others, the individual is not diminished, but is rather enhanced two-thousand fold.”

Explore the new site at chabad.org/socialteachings.

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