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Appreciations

Personal Reflections on the Rebbe and his Leadership

Walking the Distance, Feeling the Closeness
The Tahaluchah Experience
It’s Yom Tov, and scores of Chabad chassidim are leaving the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn on foot—some walking as far as Queens and Upper Manhattan! No, it’s not some fitness craze. It’s Tahaluchah.
A Rosh Hashanah/Yom Kippur Sermon 2014
Find a Zalman Zlatopolsky Bench Near You
Once, while we were walking along the seashore, amidst that glorious scenic setting, my father showed me a bench nestled in the brambles, between the sea and the forest.
Four Oaths
A Tribute to the Lubavitcher Rebbe twenty years after his passing
Who was this man? And what made him probably the most influential rabbi in modern history and perhaps in much more than modern history?
Local Is Global
The Lubavitcher Rebbe's Modus Operandi
The Rebbe believed to his core in the value of the individual. He never lost sight of each tree in the forest.
What is the Difference Between a Rabbi and a Rebbe?
I have been reading up on the late Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson and he was obviously a great man. But what made him a Rebbe and not a regular rabbi?
A Line of Dollars and Sense
Changing the World One Person at a Time
I envision Jethro encountering a long, unkempt, and slow-moving line winding its way through cactus and brush to the open flaps of Moses’ tent where he offered counsel and blessing...
Are you a “Farginner”?
There is a Yiddish word which has no precise English translation. The word is fargin. It translates loosely as “rejoicing in another’s joy.” For whatever reason, people generally find it easier to commiserate with others when they suffer loss, than to rejoice with them in their good fortune...
Finding the Individuals within the Community
One might have imagined that the Rebbe's standards for, and expectations from, his own followers might have declined, since his outreach extended to people entirely unaffiliated with Judaism.
Rebbe of the Abandoned and the Privileged
Who Sat Shiva for the Rebbe?
The Rebbe saw every Jew as family, as having the same background, that of our Patriarchs and Matriarchs, and, therefore, as having the same potential for a full Jewish life.
Are You Successful?
Is success all about the bottom line?
We all seek quick success. We pursue individuals whom we deem "successful." Likewise, we run from our failures and are embarrassed to admit them.
Is Anybody Listening?
Have You Had Your Daily Dose of Empathy?
Over fifty years ago, my parents were sent by the Rebbe to serve as his emissaries here, in Toronto, Canada. My mother had a hard time adjusting to her new role in the community. She spoke candidly with the Rebbe about the hurdles of adjusting to her new life.The Rebbe would listen, full of compassion...
Do You Feel Another’s Pain?
When we, G-d forbid, hear that something horrible befell another individual, do we feel their pain? Or do we simply move on with life?
The Ache in My Heart
It was merely the expectation that I would see the Rebbe again. Or, to be more precise, that he would see me . . .
Greatness
How does one measure greatness? In the case of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, the answer is easily obtained. I know of no one who has left the Rebbe, even after a moment of yehidut (one-on-one meeting), without being deeply affected, if not changed, by their encounter...
Windows
Of course, you could always paint pictures on the walls. Perhaps even illuminate them from behind. Or use mirrors, even a battery of television screens. But only a tzaddik can be your window
How Many Friends Do You Have?
On being a Rebbe
The suicidal boy informed the Rebbe of his plans. The Rebbe listened, and tears began to course down his cheeks...
Touched by Holiness
A lifeless staff blossoms, and a young boy astounds his listeners with a profound mystical response -- both presumably a result of being touched by holiness. What do we do when we are denied such an opportunity?
34th St. between Fifth and Seventh
Was the Rebbe a rabbi? Well yes, but no. Forget it, I'm not going to be able to explain what the Rebbe was, what the Rebbe is. Years already since his passing, and I don't see any perspective...
His Army of Activist Intellectuals
A mid-eighties examination of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement and its leader
Despite the activist manifestations of the Lubavitch Movement, it should be remembered that Lubavitch is primarily an intellectual movement.
Marching Orders
In the Rebbe's writings and talks one will find mention here and there of the past -- the Rebbe's own past, the past of his people and of humanity. But the focus is on the future
I Miss Him
This is what I long for. Someone I can look up to to teach me by example what a leader should be. So that I can be a better leader of myself, of my family, my community...
Gimmel Tammuz
Just about everything imaginable was happening--except for what everyone had predicted would happen
Leave Your Bubble
In potential, every event occurs some six billion times, experienced uniquely by every person who becomes aware of the happening. In a sense, we don't share a world; we each have our own.
The Lubavitcher Rebbe
For 92 years, virtually every talk he gave, every letter he wrote and every directive he issued, the theme, the sign-off and the goal was: the coming of Moshiach and the attainment of the Redemption.
Convergence
We live on shifting sands... The past 100 years, even more so the past fifty, and most of all the past ten, have created a burning need for people who can provide points of convergence...
Love According to the Rebbe
What if someone said to you, "I love you, but I don't like your children"? You'd probably say: "You don't know anything about who and what I am, and you don't know what love is, either!"
My Rebbe the Rebel
There were never any followers of the Rebbe -- followers couldn't keep up. The Rebbe had only leaders, those who rebelled with him
The Emissaries
What do you do if you have a vision, and are determined to see that vision implemented in the life of every man, woman and child on the face of the earth?
The Reinvention of Man
Two thousand years after all the sages of Israel, both the pessimists and the optimists, agreed that man was a failed experiment, the Rebbe re-opened the question...
The Cure for the Common Cynicism
The Rebbe is the antidote to cynicism. Even the calloused cynic, the one who triple-checks affidavits, can't help but trust the Rebbe...
An Antidote for the Post-Holocaust Generation
In many people's estimation, Rabbi Sacks among them, the Rebbe was healing the world as a whole, and the Jewish People in particular...
The Man Who Turned Judaism Outward
A great leader has died and the Jewish world has become a smaller place. History will chart the achievements of the seventh Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson.
A Rehearsal for Redemption
Fallacious arguments flew away like frightened bats as we toned the walls of our hearts to prepare for an all-out war -- fairly fought, wind against wind
60 Years: An Appreciation
The Rebbe simply delivered a chassidic discourse and henceforth formally assumed the leadership of the movement. In this historic discourse, the Rebbe laid down the mission statement for his followers...
Footsteps in the Rebbe's Shadow
The memories begin to flood back to me
As I am surrounded by his ways
The visits that we paid to him
As we traveled through our many stays
A Silence Louder Than Words
On the 27th of Adar the Rebbe suffered a stroke, and spoke no more. How are we to view this event? What does it demand of us?
The Three Eichas and the Rebbe’s Example
Three Jewish prophets opened their hearts to their beloved nation using this mysterious word: Moses, Isaiah, and Jeremiah.
Putting Women in the Picture
The Rebbe’s views on women today
A personal account of the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s attitude towards feminism.
The Rebbe's Big Idea
Is Chabad relevant to world peace?
The Rebbe had a certain vision, a very radical vision, of heaven, earth and the human being. Radical, but somehow completely grounded in the same tradition in which all these crazy modern values are rooted.
The Rebbe’s advice on maintaining a good relationship with your parents and in-laws
A chassidic son-in-law who aspired to be a shliach (emissary) of the Rebbe was something they had never planned for their daughter.
The Rebbe Who Had No Box
How the Rebbe taught us to ride the waves of modernity
No, the Rebbe did not respond to modernity—he grabbed it by its horns and harnessed it to plow his field.
What Does a Dollar From the Rebbe Represent?
Many, many years ago my parents took my brother and me to see the Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson. He gave each of us a crisp dollar bill. Now that I am older, with a family of my own, I feel that there is spiritual value in the dollar. What should I do with it?
I Have Come to My Garden
Exploring the chassidic discourse that defines our generation
Which garden? Who’s coming to the garden? And why is this arrival in the garden such an important message for our generation?
Joyful Remorse?
The common notion is that repentance consists of tears and intense remorse. After all, if one really feels bad for a wrongdoing, it is only natural to cry. Why is this notion totally wrong?
Retaining Gravity on the Moon's Surface
Millions worldwide watched in awe as the lunar module raced through space. People held their breaths at what was seen as the almost impossible mission. But many religious people felt disoriented...
The Chabad Approach to Life
Wherever Jews are: in Hawaii, in Hong Kong, in Alaska or Australia, there you will find a Chabad-Lubavitch Rabbi, a direct personal emissary of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, of righteous memory.
Sanctifying Science
Velvel Greene, chair of epidemiology public health and professor emeritus at Ben-Gurion University and director of the Lord Jacobovitz Center for Jewish Medical Ethics, discusses science & religion.
The Power of the Individual
A series of correspondence between the Rebbe and professionals treating people with special needs was published this week.
A Man of Letters
Judges and Kindergartens
Government and the idea of education in the teachings of the Lubavitcher Rebbe
These two protocols are now at war, with western civilization (human rights) on one side, and the world of Islam (subjugation of the individual to the supreme will of Allah) on the other. Where does Judaism stand?
Lubavitch Rabbi Marks His 70th Year With Call for 'Kindness'
Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the Lubavitch rabbi, reached the Biblical age of 70 yesterday, but he has been living in the age of the Bible every one of those years.
World Jewry Thrives Seven Decades Later
Seven decades ago the center of world Jewry in Europe was in the midst of being destroyed. Mass murder by the Germans was the norm, targeted against Jews of all backgrounds and nationalities, who were executed on the streets and gassed in concentration camps.
Beyond Lubavitch
Perhaps this milestone anniversary is not really about the story of Lubavitch. Of course, Lubavitch comprises an important piece of the Rebbe's life. But it may still not be "the" story...
The Rebbe’s Investment
My Thoughts on the Rebbe's Modality of Leadership
Leadership, to many, means leading the masses. To the Rebbe, leadership meant empowering individuals, each one, one by one.
Awakening: A Tribute to the Rebbe
The Lubavitcher Rebbe is someone to whom I owe a lot, for many different reasons.
The power and influence of these two personalities was captured in a picture I found in the Jewish Press around my bar mitzvah.
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