THE RABBI OF LUBAVITCH, RABBI MENACHEM M. SCHNEERSON, IS THE SEVENTH LEADER OF THE CHABAD LUBAVITCH MOVEMENT.
He has been described as the most emblematic and charismatic person of Jewish personalities of our time. For his hundreds of thousands of followers and millions of sympathizers and admirers throughout the world, he is the “Rebbe”, the most dominant figure of Judaism and, unquestionably, the only being able to shake consciousness and spiritual awakening. of the entire Jewish community.
Born in 11 Nissan 1902 in Nikolaev, Russia, he is the son of a renowned cabalist and Talmudic scholar, Rabbi Levi Yitzchak and Rabbanite Hanna Schneersohn. He is the great-grandson and namesake of the third Rabbi, Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Lubavitch. (His mother, the Rebbetzin ‘Hanna, 1880-1964, during the Soviet exile of her husband to a remote village in Asiatic Russia, showed a legendary courage and ingenuity, for example she struggled to make ink with herbs that she picked in the fields, to allow Rabbi Levi Yitzchak to continue writing his commentary on Kabbalah and other Torah topics).
To save life. A story is told about the Rabbi’s childhood, which seems to be almost symbolic of everything that should follow. When he was 9 years old, the young Menachem Mendel bravely plunged into the Black Sea and saved the life of a little boy who had fallen from the deck of a moored boat. This sense of “saving lives in danger” seems to have shaped his consciousness ever since; from Jewish drowning through the assimilation, to ignorance and alienation of appeals for help that no one heard, coming from campus Jews, isolated communities, or under the control of repressive regimes. Since his earliest childhood, he has shown a prodigious mental acuity. When he reached the age of Bar Mitzvah, the Rabbi was considered a prodigy in Torah. He spent his adolescence immersed in the study of the Torah.
Wedding in Warsaw. In 1929, Rabbi Menahem Mendel married the daughter of the previous Rebbe, Rabbanite Haya Mouchka, in Warsaw. (The Rabbanite, born in 1901, was chosen by his father, the previous Rebbe, to accompany him during his forced exile to Kostroma in 1927. For 60 years, she was the wife of the Rebbe, and died on 22 November. 5748/10 February 1988.) Later he studied at the University of Berlin and at the Sorbonne in Paris. It was probably during those years that he acquired this tremendous knowledge of mathematics, medicine and science.
Arrival in the United States. On Monday 28th Sivan 5701 (June 23rd, 1941), the Rabbi and Rabbanite arrived in the United States, miraculously saved by the Divine grace of the European Holocaust. This day marks the launching of new efforts for the dissemination and development of Torah and Judaism in general, and Chassidic teachings in particular, through the creation of three central Lubavitch organizations under the direction of the Rebbe: Merkos l’Inyonei Chinuch (Central Organization for Jewish Education), Kehot Publishing Company, and Ma’hané Israel – a social service agency. Shortly after his arrival, the Rebbe began writing notes on various Chassidic and Kabbalistic treatises, as well as answers to vast Torah topics. With the publication of his works,
In 1950, Rabbi Menachem Mr. Schneersohn was elected head of the Lubavitch movement, whose seat was – and still is – at 770 Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn, New York. The Lubavitch institutions and their activities quickly took on a new dimension. The Habad Lubavitch philosophy of openness was translated by concrete actions such as the opening of Lubavitch centers in thousands of cities and university campuses around the world.
On 3 Tamuz 5754 (June 12, 1994), in the early hours of the day, the Rabbi’s soul flew to the afterlife, leaving an entire generation orphaned.
With the Rabbi at the helm, the Lubavitch Movement was quickly present throughout the world, and its many and varied activities carry its vision; It is hardly surprising to wonder: “What makes his leadership of the Lubavitch Movement so unique? Why are important personalities and leaders of the moment feeling such deep respect and admiration for him?
Past, Present and Future
Some leaders know how to detect the need of the moment and respond to it with courage and determination. This is their strong and admirable side. Others, to respond to the worries of daily life, appeal to the faculty Gd gave them, to know what the future holds in order to consider it at best. Still others, excellent in another field, that of having a very developed sense of history and tradition; their advice and direction are shaped by a great sensitivity to the past.
But the only one who possessed these three qualities at once, and who managed the Lubavitch movement in an extraordinary manner, was the Rabbi. Combining strength and courage, combined with a keen sense of urgency, demanding with his entourage, and more with himself, the Rebbe directed, above all else, by example.
Anticipation and not Reaction
The Rebbe is a rare mixture of prophetic visionary and pragmatic leader synthesizing the deep insight into the current needs of the Jewish people with a broad vision of his future. In a sense he drew the map of the course of Jewish history, because in addition to reacting to the news, he was ahead of it. All the statements and actions of the Rebbe were rooted in our holy Torah. Time and time again, he demonstrated that what was clear to him at first, became apparent to other leaders with hindsight, decades later.
The Unique Role of Everyone
Upon his arrival in the United States in 1941, his great intelligence was revealed through the following ideal: he would not divide nor separate. Indeed, every Jew – a human being – has a unique role to play in the course of events and is an integral part of the universe created by Gd.
For almost five of the most critical decades in recent history, the Rebbe began to touch every corner of the world with love. No sector of the community was excluded, young and old, men and women, leaders and laymen, scientists and workers, students and teachers, children and even infants. He had the odd ability to meet everyone at his own level – he advised state leaders on issues of national and international importance, even exploring with professionals the complexities in their own areas of expertise, and speaking to little children with warm words and a father’s smile.
Realize your potential!
With extraordinary understanding, he perceived the richness of each person’s potential. Indeed, his inspiration increased his perception of the individual, igniting his consciousness of this hidden wealth and thus motivating his desire to fulfill his potential. In the same way, many communities were transformed according to the Rabbi’s message and – directly or indirectly – gave a new meaning to their future and hence to their faith. At each meeting, the same strong and subtle message is communicated at the same time: “You are divinely endowed with an immeasurable force and energy, realize it! “