“Rebbe: The Life and Teachings of Menachem M. Schneerson, the Most Influential Rabbi in Modern History,” published by HarperCollins, has debuted on The New York Times bestseller list for the week of June 29.
This comes after skyrocketing to the top of both the Amazon and Barnes & Noble best-seller lists and completely selling out its first printing almost before it went on sale on June 10.
The “captivating portrait” of the Rebbe is described by its publisher as “the definitive guide to understanding one of the most vital, intriguing figures of the last centuries.”
As Jewish communities worldwide gear up to mark the 20th yahrtzeit anniversary of the Rebbe’s passing, on the third of the Hebrew month of Tammuz (July 1 on the Gregorian calendar), interest in Rebbe is expected to mount.
“It is rare to see so much interest in a new title so quickly,” said Katherine Beitner, director of publicity for HarperCollins Publishers. “The demand has been so great that we’ve already gone back to press a fourth time. Clearly, people all over the globe have been affected by the Rebbe’s message, which remains just as relevant and strong, if not stronger, 20 years after his passing.”
Critics, too, have given the 640-page book by Joseph Telushkin high marks.
Calling it “mesmerizing” and “accessible” for even “the non-Jewish or nonreligious reader,” The Wall Street Journal wrote a 2,000-word glowing review of ‘Rebbe,’ explaining that “it will appeal to those curious about the Rebbe’s influence on public life … [and also reveals] the Rebbe’s thoughts on subjects ranging from evolution to baseball.”
In her detailed analysis of both Telushkin’s ‘Rebbe’ and noted Talmudic scholar Rabbi Adin Even-Israel (Steinsaltz)‘s new book “My Rebbe” for the Journal, novelist Dara Horn finishes by declaring: “For all his immense achievements, the Rebbe’s power ultimately came from a simple message that anyone can appreciate. As Mr. Telushkin puts it: ‘Love your fellow, and not just those who agree with you.”
On New York 1’s popular Book Reader program, esteemed Wall Street Journal editor Bari Weiss urged listeners to “do yourself a favor and pick up this biography. You don’t need to be a Jew or even be a religious person to learn from this monumental man!”
And The Huffington Post gushed that “through his clear and unambiguous prose cultivated from many sources, Telushkin recounts how the Rebbe fundamentally transformed notions of human potential, as he believed individuals were capable of much more than we imagine for ourselves. Rebbe will be a staple of rabbinic biography for years come.”
Concurring, the New York Journal of Books asserts that ‘Rebbe’ “brings the great man alive and gives the reader powerful motivation to examine his or her own life and ask what obstacles need to be faced.”
As if adding to that, The Jewish Herald Voice declares, “Spend some time getting to know the Rebbe [with this book]. You’ll be glad you did.”
Rebbe is available on Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com and bookstores throughout the United States.