By COLlive reporter
A new book about the Lubavitcher Rebbe, written by legendary Talmud scholar and prolific author Rabbi Adin Even-Israel Steinsaltz, is selling fast just two weeks after its release.
The 250 page “My Rebbe,” described as “part biography, part memoir” about the leader of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement, is ranked #38 in Biographies & Memoirs of religious leaders and notable people on Amazon.com.
“You’ll be pleased to know that we just released it on May 1st and the first edition is nearly sold out,” says Yehudit Singer, Marketing Manager for Koren Publishers Jerusalem. “The second will be available imminently.”
The exact number of the book sales were not provided by Maggid Books, an imprint of Koren Publishers Jerusalem. The release coincides with the upcoming 20th anniversary of the Rebbe’s yartzeit on 3 Tammuz.
The book “breaks down popular (mis)conceptions about ideas on messianism, the Rebbe’s persona as a ‘miracle worker’, etc. so that readers understand who the Rebbe was, what his mission was, and how he contributed to the growth of the Chabad movement,” Singer told COLlive.
Rabbi Even-Israel, the Jerusalem based teacher and philosopher who has been hailed by Time Magazine as a “once-in-a-millennium scholar,” writes in the introduction that “this was not an easy book to write.”
“On the one hand, the subject is vast: the Rebbe’s accomplishments have transformed the Jewish world,” he explains. “On the other hand, my feelings about this great spiritual figure were -and are- emotionally intimate. With many stops and starts, this book has been some two decades in the making.”
The rabbi writes that he first “conceived” of the book in 1994, immediately after the passing on 3 Tammuz 5754.
“Having been devoted to the Rebbe since early adulthood, I wanted to share my understand to his life and mission,” he says. “I hoped that readers would see what I saw: a giant of a man, a giant of our time and of history.”
Singer said that “reviewers are appreciating Rabbi Steinsaltz’s portrayal of the human side to the Rebbe, and his explanations of Chabad’s central philosophical tenets.”
One of them is Rabbi Berel Wein, a known author and a senior faculty member of Ohr Somayach Yeshiva in Jerusalem, who called it “an elegant, gentle, sensitive biography.”
Elimelach C. Estrin, a reviewer on Amazon, wrote: “Unlike previous attempts at putting the Rebbe on paper, this book suffers from neither excited hyperbole nor an axe to grind. Rabbi Steinsaltz puts it all in this book, a highly readable, well-argued yet honest portrayal of the Rebbe and his movement.
“Steinsaltz doesn’t fear controversy or questions – he clearly takes the approach of a modern Chassid, but displays his own perspective clearly as such. Individual Chassidim may find details of the book they disagree with, but that is to be expected. In the end, it is a well balanced synthesis of biography, history, philosophy and reflection.”
According to Maggid, the book explores the evolution of Chabad’s global success, its central beliefs and practices, the Rebbe’s personal history and his vision to inspire change.
Book Trailer: My Rebbe by Adin Even-Israel Steinsaltz
Look inside the book on Amazon.com