In recent years, a number of new books in multiple languages have brought the teachings of the Rebbe—Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory—to an ever-expanding audience, making the Rebbe’s profound messages more accessible than ever before. Along with events marking the 29th anniversary of the Rebbe’s passing on 3 Tammuz — corresponding the year to Thursday, June 22—people around the world are rededicating themselves to studying the Rebbe’s teachings, or just beginning to explore them for the first time. Here are some highly-recommended books that cover the widest ranges of topics—from the deeply esoteric to the urgently practical—of importance for every person and for humanity as a whole. The following summaries are adapted from synopses by the publishers.

Positivity Bias

Practical Wisdom for Positive Living

Inspired by the life and teachings of the Lubavitcher Rebbe

By Mendel Kalmenson

Through a mix of nature, nurture, social conditioning and free will, we each possess a personalized lens that frames, forms, clouds and distorts the way we see ourselves and the world around us. In order to live in the most meaningful and effective way possible, each of us needs to continually assess and adjust the default frames we have developed.

In Positivity Bias, we learn that life is essentially good; that positive perception is applicable and accessible to all; that it derives from objective, rational insight, not subjective, wishful imagination, and that positive living is a matter of choice, not circumstance.

An inspiring and life-enriching tapestry woven from hundreds of stories, letters, anecdotes, and vignettes—highlights how the Rebbe taught us to see ourselves, others and the world around us.

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Published by Kehot

Likkutei Sichot: ‘Bamidbar

The fourth volume of six-volume set of Likkutei Sichot

Edited and translated by Eliyahu Touger and Sholom Ber Wineberg

Likkutei Sichot, the vast collection of the Rebbe’s Torah teachings published as Hebrew and Yiddish essays over a period of roughly three decades, and collected into 39 volumes—has been described as the heart and soul of the Rebbe’s teachings, a unique fusion of all elements of Torah, from the exoteric to the esoteric, and a key to grasping the Rebbe’s view on Judaism and life itself.

Bamidbar, the book of Numbers, is fourth volume of a projected six-volume compilation of selected teachings.

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Published by Sichos in English

Wisdom to Heal the Earth

Meditations and Teachings of the Lubavitcher Rebbe

By Tzvi Freeman

If there is a single, overarching theme that has been at the center of Jewish thought and practice throughout all time and across all borders and denominations, it is the desire and hope that the physical and spiritual universe should be brought to a state of complete and everlasting perfection, once and for all.

This great, mystical drive and goal, known as tikun olam, has been manifest in Jewish thought and practice in myriad ways over the past 4,000 years, not the least in modern Jewish life through social activism—the concern for and practical help to people and things in need—which from the time of Abraham and Sarah has been a signature drive of the Jewish people.

Wisdom to Heal the Earth is a revolutionary new look at tikun olam from the perspective of “the most influential rabbi in modern history”—the Rebbe.

Through 15 profoundly engaging essays and almost 400 daily meditations, the book’s author, Tzvi Freeman, brings the Rebbe’s worldview of tikun olam to individuals and communities everywhere, preparing readers for the inner and outer-directed work that will permanently transform life on earth for the good.

Winner of the 2019 Ben Franklin award for best book on religion and spirituality.

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Published by Ezra Press/Kehot

My Rebbe

By Rabbi Adin Even-Israel Steinsaltz

For legendary Talmud scholar and prolific author Rabbi Adin Even-Israel Steinsaltz, the Lubavitcher Rebbe embodied a lifelong mission to better the world. Far surpassing the role of teacher, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson was at once a scientific mind and faithful believer; educational innovator and social activist; spiritual guide and master network builder.

My Rebbe is Rabbi Steinsaltz's long-awaited personal testament to the man whose passion and vision transformed Chabad-Lubavitch from a tiny group of Chassidim into an educational and spiritual movement that spans the globe. With the admiration of a close disciple, the astute observation of a scholar and the spiritual depth of a mystic, Steinsaltz crafts an intimate portrait of a revolutionary religious leader whose dedication to intellectual, religious, and spiritual principles impacted generations of followers.

Part biography, part memoir, part manual for great leadership, My Rebbe explores the evolution of Chabad's global success, its central beliefs and practices, the Rebbe's personal history and his vision to inspire change. This moving narrative, written by one of today's most influential Jewish thinkers, will motivate readers to contemplate their own mission in the world and aspire toward meaningful living.

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Published by Koren Publishers

Rebbe: The Life and Teachings of Menachem M. Schneerson, the Most Influential Rabbi in Modern History

By Joseph Telushkin

In this enlightening biography, Joseph Telushkin offers a captivating portrait of the late Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, a towering figure who saw beyond conventional boundaries to turn his movement, Chabad-Lubavitch, into one of the most dynamic and widespread organizations ever seen in the Jewish world. At once an incisive work of history and a compendium of Rabbi Schneerson's teachings, Rebbe is the definitive guide to understanding one of the most vital, intriguing figures of the last centuries.

From his modest headquarters in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, the Rebbe advised some of the world's greatest leaders and shaped matters of state and society. Statesmen and artists as diverse as Ronald Reagan, Robert F. Kennedy, Yitzchak Rabin, Menachem Begin, Elie Wiesel, and Bob Dylan span the spectrum of those who sought his counsel. Rebbe explores Schneerson's overarching philosophies against the backdrop of treacherous history, revealing his clandestine operations to rescue and sustain Jews in the Soviet Union, and his critical role in the expansion of the food stamp program throughout the United States. More broadly, it examines how he became in effect an ambassador for Jews globally, and how he came to be viewed by many as not only a spiritual archetype but a savior.

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Published by HarperWave

Early Years: the Formative years of the Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson

By Boruch Oberlander and Elkanah Shmotkin

The product of an exhaustive, years-long, worldwide research project, Early Years tells the riveting story of the early life of the man who, as much as anyone else, set the course of Jewish history in the twentieth century. What was his childhood like? What type of schooling did he receive? Who were his mentors and teachers? When did he first meet his father-in-law and predecessor, and what was the relationship between them like? At what point did the ideas that were to transform the landscape of post-Holocaust Jewry begin to take form in his mind? These questions and others about the Rebbe's early life have never been answered comprehensively. Presenting newly-uncovered government documents, private journals, letters and diaries, Rabbis Boruch Oberlander and Elkanah Shmotkin have produced a highly-engaging account which offers an unimpeded view of the formative years of modern Judaism's most recognized personality. Over 450 documents and photographs are beautifully reproduced in full color, illuminating and informing the text. Meticulously researched and engagingly presented, Early Years tells the fascinating story of the Rebbe's early life, including newly-uncovered details of: The Rebbe's first meeting with his future father-in-law, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn of Lubavitch. How the match between the Rebbe and Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak's middle daughter, Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka, came about. The identity of the Rebbe's childhood teacher who lived in his home and whom he described as "a great Torah scholar." The details of the Rebbe and the Rebbetzin's wedding in Warsaw, and of the simultaneous celebrations across the globe marking the event. The Rebbe's life in Berlin, where he lived with Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka, hundreds of miles from his father-inlaw and the seat of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement..

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Published by Kehot

Spiritual Education

The Educational Theory and Practice of the Lubavitcher Rebbe Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson

By Aryeh Soloman

Overseeing a primarily educational organization in more than fifty countries, the Rebbe addressed a vast range of educational matters in his correspondence, essays and public addresses. This book, the fruit of the author’s exhaustive research, closely examines the Rebbe’s substantive corpus and identifies the cohesive educational theory that underlies it.

The defining elements of that innovative theory are shown to provide a vision for education that is of practical relevance to communities and individuals far beyond the Jewish community and for the wider world. After illustrating how the Rebbe’s practical agenda is a consequence of his theory, implications of his educational theory for current educational practice and policy in the wider setting are found to frequently surpass the limitations of popular educational thinking about religious and moral education. Spiritual Education illustrates a new, sometimes radical, model of “theosocial” education.

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Published by Herder and Herder

Social Vision

By Phillip Wexler

Despite wide recognition of the Rebbe’s impact on the world, this is the first volume to seriously explore his social ideas and activism. The Rebbe not only engineered a global Jewish renaissance but also became an advocate for public education, criminal justice reform, women's empowerment, and alternative energy. From the personal to the global his teachings chart a practical path for the replacement of materialism, alienation, anxiety and divisiveness with a dignified and joyous reciprocity.

Social Vision delves into the deep structures of social reality and the ways it is shaped and reshaped by powerful ideologies. Juxtaposed with sociologist Max Weber’s diagnosis of “inner worldly asceticism” as “the spirit of capitalism,” the Rebbe’s socio-mystical worldview is compellingly framed as a transformative paradigm for the universal repair of society. The library of the Rebbe’s talks and writings is voluminous, but critics have described this distillation as artful, engaging, ambitious, bracing, relevant, and imperative.

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Published by Herder and Herder

Torah Studies

By Jonathan Sacks

A Torah discourse of the Rebbe usually revolves around a question, sometimes seemingly microscopic tension serving as a point of departure for the Rebbe's discussion. To hear or read such a discussion is to embark on a journey in which we are challenged and forced to move, and at the end stand far from where we began.

Here, the late Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, the former chief rabbi of Great Britain, serves as guide to that journey, elucidating the question in each discourse and explaining its context. In this collection of lucid adaptations of the Rebbe`s talks on the weekly Torah readings and Jewish holidays, each question is not only resolved but also revealed to be the starting point of a major spiritual search, a journey to the inner sanctum of Torah. With descriptive introductions to each chapter and extensive indexes, Torah Studies is an important gateway to the Rebbe`s teaching and legacy.

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Published by Kehot

Daily Wisdom

Inspiring insights on the Torah Portion from the Lubavitcher Rebbe

Translated and adapted by Moshe Wisnefsky

In his public discourses, his private audiences, and his voluminous correspondence, spread over the 44 years of his public leadership, the Rebbe demonstrated how the Torah’s teachings are eternally relevant and applicable to every aspect of life, even those that have come to existence only in modern times.

This book contains a concise insight from teachings of the Rebbe for each of the seven sub-sections of the 54 sections of the Torah – one for each day of the week, for the full year of Torah study. Each weekly section is prefaced with a short summary of the entire section, and each daily sub-section with a synopsis of the content of the Torah’s narrative leading up to the verse being expounded.

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Published by Kehot

A Time to Heal

The Lubavitcher Rebbe’s response to loss and tragedy

By Mendel Kalmenson

A beautiful meditation and compilation, this book explores numerous instances throughout the Rebbe’s four decades of leadership where he offered insight and consolation to individuals and communities in their greatest moments of need, highlighting the manner in which he incorporated both staunch devotion to G‑d and deep compassion for humankind.

Whether dealing with the tragic, premature death of Ariel Sharon’s son, a child’s loss of her parents, the 1956 massacre at Kfar Chabad, or discussing a religious response to the Holocaust, the Rebbe had the ability to console and also to validate the anguished feelings and suffering of those in pain.

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Published by Kehot

‘My Story’ Volumes 1 and 2

A Colorful Glimpse Into Personal Relationships With the Rebbe

By Jewish Educational Media

From the first-time mother to the commander in Israel’s Air Force, the struggling dentist to the community rabbi, My Story Vol. 1 features 41 inspirational true stories of the Rebbe from the My Encounter with the Rebbe oral history project, complemented by family photos and documents, as well as a stunning selection of portraits of the Rebbe from the Living Archives picture collection, printed on beautiful glossy paper, on over 400 full color pages. In a follow-up to the original My Story, My Story 2 presents 33 personal encounters with the Rebbe, from a homesick 12-year-old to a presidential advisor; a budding artist to the mother struggling to make ends meet. Like the first volume in the series, My Story 2 is handsomely produced and illustrated with unique photographs and documents.

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Published by Jewish Educational Media (JEM)

Lessons in Sefer HaMaamarim

Translated and adapted by Sholom Ber Wineberg and Eliyahu Touger

A maamar means something said, from the Hebrew word amar, which means “to say.” But in Chabad, a maamar is no ordinary statement. The saying of a maamar carries unique significance. In fact, it is in delivering an original maamar to his chassidim that the role of a Rebbe is most essentially epitomized.

Chassidim would stand when their Rebbe would say a maamar, because they understood that he was drawing a new light into the world, a new vision for each of them as individuals and for the world as a whole. For generations to come they and those who came after them would study the maamar carefully, striving to comprehend it as much as possible, to repeat it and explain it in their own words, to integrate it into their worldview and into the way they live, and to illuminate all reality with its vision.

Maamarim from the Rebbe in this collection include Basi Legani 5711 "I came into my garden", which refers to the love a leader has for his people. Lo Sih'yeh Meshakeilah 5712 "there shall be no barren woman", on the state of being devoid of the emotions of love and fear. BeYom Ashtei-Asar Yom 5731 "on the 11th day" on the 11th day of the gifts of the princes of the Twelve Tribes to the Tabernacle. The 11th prince is Asher, and how the Rebbe's birthday is on 11 Nissan. Mayim Rabim 5738 "many waters' on how the waters of worldly involvement can't extinguish the divine soul. VeAtah Tetzaveh 5741 "and thou shalt command", about Moses to command the people to bring pure olive oil, crushed for the luminary. The luminary referrs to the King, or ultimately, the Messiah. Here, with the concept of ‘crushing’, the core Chassidic concept of humility as the central aspect of a Jewish leader, is discussed.

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Published by Kehot/Sichos in English