By COLlive reporter
Radio talk show host Dennis Prager dedicated his weekly nationally syndicated “Ultimate Issues Hour” segment to discussing a new book about the Rebbe, on Tuesday.
Prager interviewed his friend, Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, author of the new and already bestseller “Rebbe: The Life and Teachings of Menachem M. Schneerson, The Most Influential Rabbi in Modern History,” published by Harper Wave.
Calling the Rebbe “saintly,” Prager said that he read the 640 page book “realizing that there are some remarkable human beings who live in any given time and he was one of them.”
“One does not sense that one knows him in the way we get to know others intimately, ” Prager went on to point out. “Because he didn’t reveal much of himself. ‘Himself’ was his religious work, his community and his wife.”
In an interview with Publishers Weekly, Telushkin agreed with the assessment: “I had to work very hard to research this biography; the Rebbe really said very little about himself.”
With three weeks to go until 3 Tammuz—the Hebrew anniversary, or yarhtzeit, of the Rebbe’s passing, this year on July 1—interest is expected to mount, as people from all over the world continue to draw wisdom and inspiration from the Rebbe’s legacy and vision, Chabad.org reports.
“It is rare to see so much interest in a new title so quickly,” said Katherine Beitner, director of publicity for HarperCollins Publishers, about the book that went on sale on June 10, and immediately rose to the top of several best-seller lists, remaining in the top 25.
“The demand has been so great that we have already gone back to press in order to more than double our original printing. 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,” Beitner said.
Writing for Commentary magazine, Professor Ruth R. Wisse pointed out how Telushkin’s new book—along with the more scholarly and well-received “My Rebbe” by noted scholar Rabbi Adin Even-Yisrael Steinsaltz—resonates with people from all walks of life.
She said it offers a picture into how the Rebbe “harnessed American freedoms not to free Jews from the perceived limitations of their national religion but to demonstrate the power and attractiveness of the Jewish way of life. His welcoming confidence inspired confidence in the way of life he was offering and the faith tradition he embodied.”
AUDIO: Dennis Prager speaks with Rabbi Joseph Telushkin
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