A picture of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson of righteous memory, was chosen as one of the 25 "Most Memorable Covers" in the last 100 years of The New York Times Magazine by its editors. The covers are displayed on the newspaper's web site.

Editors at the magazine had the arduous task of selecting the 25 covers from over 5,000 of the last century, to celebrate the anniversary of the purchase of the paper by the Sulzberger family.

"The image was so evocative we certainly thought it deserved inclusion in the group," said Kevin McKenna, editorial director of The New York Times Electronic Media Corporation.

McKenna explained that the criteria for selecting the more recent cover images was that "all [had to agree] that it was literally memorable. You could say about it, 'Oh yeah, I remember that one.'" For the covers of earlier decades, editors were looking for the images that best evoked the era.

The image of the Rebbe did both. "It certainly was evocative of the man, the movement, and the time," he said.

In addition, McKenna pointed out, the magazine cover with the Rebbe's image turned out to be the only one with a spiritual theme. "Nothing else really evoked the spiritual world."

Freelance photographer Mark Asnin, who shot the winning photograph while on assignment for the Times, said that his interaction with the Rebbe was different than with any prior subject. "When you looked in his eyes. . . he was just very intense," he said. "It was not the average interaction. There was a different energy flowing from him. You're not going to see too many people affect people like that."

"It was the most special assignment I've ever had," Asnin said.

The Rebbe's picture appeared on the March 15, 1992 issue of the Times Magazine, along with an award-winning article by Michael Specter, currently the Times' Moscow bureau chief. It depicted a close-up of the Rebbe, as he listened intently to a man who had come to seek his counsel.

"The picture has a lot of energy," said Kathy Ryan, photo editor of the New York Times Magazine. "He (the photographer) caught spirituality."