Monday, June 16, 2014

Late Lubavitcher Leaves Large Life Legacy

Taking a stroll through my local Seforim store, I noticed that there was not one, but three new biographies of the Lubavitcher Rebbe.

This is quite strange, considering that biographies are usually written soon after the passing of the individual.

I imagine that there being 3 biographies issued within a short time span, a score after the demise is unprecendented.

Perhaps this is because the subject lived a larger than life existence. Whether one agrees with his Hashkafa or not, he single-handedly revitalized a large segment of Judaism. He made one proud to be a Jew, encouraged one to practice Mitzvos openly, and encouraged followers to set up shop in the most far-flung places of the globe.

Or perhaps it is because he hasn't reappeared in over 2 decades that makes people realize he is not coming back.

Update 6/19/14:

Jewish Star


  1. Maybe it has to do with the fact that Lubavitch wanted to put out alternative biographies after the release of The Rebbe: The Life and Afterlife of Menachem Mendel Schneerson, by Samuel Heilman and Menachem Friedman (Princeton University Press) over four years ago, which enraged them after it dared to deviate from the official Lubavitch line in some areas.

    The three new books, from what I have seen and gathered, are all very deferential to, if not advocates for Lubavitch and the Rebbe. Of the three new authors, Steinsaltz and Miller are Lubavitchers, and Telushkin is a long time sympathizer , with long standing ties to them,

    The approaching twentieth anniversary of the rebbe's passing is a good excuse as well.

    1. Heilman and Friedman's book has been answered already some years ago by R Chaim Rapoport.

      And since these books take years to research and write, I doubt the 20 year mark means anything. I just found it quite coincidental that all 3 were published in such close proximity and after so many years.

      Welcome to the blog, and do stay a while!

  2. The aspect of the Miller book in particular being a reaction to Heilman and Friedman's work can be seen by the author's words in his Foreword. Additionally, the fact that Rabbi Chaim Rapoport, prominent Lubavitcher Rabbi in England, who was very active in attacking the Heilman and Friedman work, was heavily involved in it, as the author mentions in the acknowledgements, also is telling in that regard.

    Miller does address your question in his Foreword by the way.

  3. Interestingly, Telushkin's Rebbe book is #1 in the Best Sellers in Christian Leadership category at (via Dennis Prager, who had the author on as a guest on his radio program last week).

    1. IIRC joe telushkin's zeideh was a rov, Rav Nissan Telushkin, a huge TK, mechaber if a sefer on mikvaos, an early life inflential figure on Rav Shlomo Freifeld and a talmid/ chossid of the the 5th Lubavitcher Rebbe the Rebbbe RaSha"B

    2. Thanks for the info. Always nice to hear from you.


Locations of visitors to this page