ב"ה
Thursday, 14 Kislev, 5780
  |  December 12, 2019

The Rebbe I Knew

Op-Ed by Yanky Kramer: The recently published books about the Rebbe cannot give you the fire; the kedushah, the battle for only the most pure yiddishkeit. Full Story

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So True
Guest
So True

You make an excellent point. Well said. If only more people shared your views!

disagree
Guest
disagree

Couldn’t disagree more

Surprisingly... I agree!
Guest
Surprisingly... I agree!

Well said without any rambling

Powerful Words
Guest
Powerful Words

I’m resonating with your thoughts. When I read parts of those books, I was uncomfortable with some of the reference to the Rebbe.

I was crying
Guest
I was crying

Thank you rabbi Kramer for articulating so beautifully what my soul has been crying about .I also respect the way you wrote ,expressing your pain,without lashing out on anybody. I feel you have an acharya us to spread your message to our children.

100%
Guest
100%

The books are not written for Unzer!
Don’t become ufgeklert, retain the pnimiyusidke emese ahavah for our Rebbe!

Great mighty and awesome
Guest
Great mighty and awesome

My G-d is not (merely) “great, mighty and awesome”, yet that is how we describe him in Tefillah, because as humans, we use human words. These human words do not belittle our G-d or distant us from Him nor denying ourself of a relationship with G-d.

The same applies to the Rebbe – we CAN use human words such as genius, mystic, social revolutionary to describe him without diminishing his stature. He still remains great, mighty and awesome by any measure, even yours. Kop Doctar

DGS
Guest
DGS

I share very much your opinion ! I read one of the books that just came out and felt bad to see how the words were far from what really the Rebbe is. WE HAVE TO LIVE IT, FEEL IT ! There is no warmkeit from the book ! Gevalt !

A chassid
Guest
A chassid

Well said, thanks for sharing, each of the books are replete with inaccuracies.

I'm with you
Guest
I'm with you

Short simple and to the point. The books are wonderful but not for our children. We need to convey what we saw, not what others are telling. Not through research. Through having lived with the rebbe. May we be zoicheh to the Geulah now!!

important comment
Guest
important comment

“in such a book – if the author does his work well – there is a depth, a clarity, which must be compromised”

i beg to disagree. true some books must be tht way. but by defenition, a biography could and should be a correct overveiw. it MUST be done today. yesterday. for our sake.

Gut gezogt!
Guest
Gut gezogt!

I didn’t buy any of these books for this reason.

Which one is the best of the three though?

Beautiful
Guest
Beautiful

You’ve expressed yourself quite clearly. However for those of us that were born after gimmel taamuz, its very hard to get the “had to be there” feeling. Yes we should try to connect to those who were there, but not all of us are capable.
I completely agree with the desensitizing that happens, but what can we do… were stuck in a catch 22

It's the only way
Guest
It's the only way

Lubavitchers today lost a lot of connection to the rebbe. We lost the pride of being part of lubavich that is “lechatchila Ariber”, moshiach and lemala mtam vdaas.
With all of technology and the transformation of the world, people just lost the “chushim” to perceive the rebbe the way you describe.
Therefor when a Lubavitcher reads these books it gives him pride to be part of Chabad and a student of this great rebbe.
It may be sad, but its reality.

true, however...
Guest
true, however...

while I can understand completely with the point being made in the article, I would like to say that for all those who did not grow up with the rebbe, did not see the rebbe, hear the rebbe… this book can help them understand the rebbes impact on the world. and while it may not give them the feelings you have, it can give them a certain level of understanding. of course watching rebbe videos and learning sichos and maamorim are crucial, but don’t completely discredit the books. while it is hard for many to realize, many of the younger… Read more »

thank you
Guest
thank you

for putting this in clear words. i have already said to many people, that while these books have done a nice job, and they are good to give to those not yet totally “in”, i would not keep them in my house. they do not portray the rebbe the way i want my kids seeing the rebbe.

I ditto the sentiments
Guest
I ditto the sentiments

I have been quoted saying “I do not want my children to learn about The Rebbe from these books”

No one should!

To number 1
Guest
To number 1

If only more people shared the authors views… Then what??

Thank you!
Guest
Thank you!

Thank you for articulating what has been bothering me!
I couldn’t explain what was wrong, but as a Lubavitcher I felt instinctively that the books were missing something. I feel that a true chosid does not try to explain our connection to the Rebbe, it just IS.

wow
Guest
wow

So powerful honest an signs name.

To number 7
Guest
To number 7

In Davening the only words describing Hashem’s greatness are those that are mentioned in Tanach, it clearly says (Megilah 25a) that one should not add his own praises of Hashem.

Generation gap
Guest
Generation gap

I honestly think this divide is a generational one. Let me be blunt to the author: Your son did not grow up with the Rebbe. No matter how hard you try to convey the feelings that you felt, it is utterly impossible to do so with human limitations. As many stories you tell or as many pictures as you hang your children will not be able to feel the awe that you felt when you went to visit the Rebbe. To stand before the Rebbe for dollars, to watch him dance on Simchas Torah, to hear a farbrengen – these… Read more »

Very well said!
Guest
Very well said!

The Rebbe is our Mishaleach! We are the Rebbe’s shluchim to bring Moshiach and spread yiddishkeit all over!
May we merit the coming of Moshiach speedily now!

The Rebbe Lives--Adam Ha Elyon, MHM
Guest
The Rebbe Lives--Adam Ha Elyon, MHM

Thanks to HaShem Yisborach I am too A.D.D. to even sit down with one of these books. Listening to Rabbi Reuvan Wolf and Rabbi Yitzhak Ginsberg, scanning “A Chassidisher Derher”….Halevai I should do Chitas properly.

agree and disagree
Guest
agree and disagree

Of course NO book could ever hope to “capture” the Rebbe. With the 20th Gimmel Tammuz approaching it keeps running through my mind that there is now a whole generation who did not personally experience the Rebbe. So I understand how the young people feel, they are trying to grab what they can. But I agree with the author of the article that these books will not replace that experience, and I would recommend instead to watch the farbrengens that were videotaped, and listen to the ones from the pre-video era that were audiotaped — honestly when you hear that… Read more »

I agree with #7
Guest
I agree with #7

I agree with you. Although it is not the same as we are describing Hashem in davening, I get your point. It is valid and well articulated. Maybe write an Op-Ed Response.

 AGREE AGREE
Guest
AGREE AGREE

This is book is not for us its for the the world to learn about the Rebbe

dear generation gappers
Guest
dear generation gappers

these books do not bridge the gap they CREATE it.

add to the list
Guest
add to the list

add to the list of the rebbes battles:
having many children. a minyan.
a book that doesnt disscus these values, is a crime the rebbes legacy.

difference between misleading lying
Guest
difference between misleading lying

to lie is to misquote.
to missead is to only quote the parts u like.

a biography on the rebbe that doesnt describe the rebbes distain for olam haze and its values, is missleading at best.

!00% agree
Guest
!00% agree

I don’t want to read these books (I came to Crown Heights in 1978, in my 20’s) and wish other Chassidim wouldn’t. I would rather spend the time learning the Rebbe’s Torah and fulfilling his hora’os. I am eagerly waiting for JEM to release a video purely of Chassidim trembling as they approach the Rebbe for dollars, the bochurim running as if for their lives to hide when the Rebbe approached 770, and people showing other signs of emotion, so that the younger generation can witness, not just the mayors and dignitaries, but the plain, honest-to-goodness Chassidim relating to the… Read more »

rewriting history
Guest
rewriting history

atwisted version of the rebbe.
i could write a book on the chofetzchayim, quoting only true quotes, and make him sound a zionist.
fact: this book does not reflect most of the rebbes sichos and letters. therefore it doesnt discus the rebbe. at all.

Ploiney   Ben  ploiney
Guest
Ploiney Ben ploiney

My father obm lived in Reb פרץ
Mochkins home in 1953 .
He once asked רב פרץ ” What is A Rebba ?
So רב פרץ answeard him
” every thing you see by the Rebba
Every thing you hear by the Rebba
Is only a הקדמה To who the Rebba is “

my mashpia said its better to read a goisher book
Guest
my mashpia said its better to read a goisher book

he explained:
a secular book may fill my head wih garbage, but wont ruin my veiw on torah, yidishkeit and the rebbe.
this book will. forever.

thank u
Guest
thank u

i will read this out to my class tomrow.

finally
Guest
finally

some clarity!

mr kramer, please keep on writing.

go yanky kramer!
Guest
go yanky kramer!

i like your pen. i hope your son does too…

just like the bochur in his video!!!!
Guest
just like the bochur in his video!!!!
Yeh. But.
Guest
Yeh. But.

Well written. Your passion, pain and frustration are palpable. But your son cannot experience your Rebbe as you did. No one who didn’t when he was alive can. You wish your son would experience that which you did, and therefore wish he would what – mimic your footsteps. 1 – Impossible, 2- Unfair. Classic parent pitfall. Not allowing a child their own fingerprint. Stay in the family business it’s good for you. The closest your child will get to your experience will be possible if you consistently model and truthfully believe in what you model. He will see things through… Read more »

agree with number 11
Guest
agree with number 11

most valid point

where are the rabbonim?
Guest
where are the rabbonim?

this is precisely when we need clear directions.

we want
Guest
we want

more articles like this

whats your issue?
Guest
whats your issue?

why can u guys not grow up?
th rebbe was human. an exceptional human. but still human.

It's definitely a challenge, but I have to add this:.
Guest
It's definitely a challenge, but I have to add this:.

These books are bestsellers for a reason; they do what the prototypical Chossid USUALLY can’t do, which is to bring down many of the ideas and novelties of what the Rebbe is to a crowd that isn’t interested in hearing THOSE WORDS verbatum, like, “Ker a velt heint”, or “We want Moshiach now”.They WANT to hear about how amazing and smart the Rebbe was, yet theres no denying the beauty and value to hearing and learning the original, authentic sichos and farbrengens.. (Which btw I completely agree with comment 25 about regarding how one can more naturally become in sync with… Read more »

well said
Guest
well said

could not have said it better. this ought to be published and distributed to every lubavitch home.

Thank you
Guest
Thank you

This is so right, so well expressed. The books are an excellent medium to make the Rebbe’s teachings and example accessible to all Jews. But they do not express who the Rebbe is as OUR REBBE. Keep your mind, your memories, your essence as a chossid pure.

shakespere was just some drunk goy
Guest
shakespere was just some drunk goy

yes, thats what the rebbe said. but u wont find it in that book. so tell me, is it an honest potrayal?

i read one book and regret it
Guest
i read one book and regret it

its not for a chossid

excellent
Guest
excellent

every word a gem.

straight from the heart
Guest
straight from the heart

and touched mine

M.Z. agrees 100% and thanks the author
Guest
M.Z. agrees 100% and thanks the author

I read (part of) the excerpt of one of these books, and had to stop. It was too distasteful to read the Rebbe’s and Rebbetzen’s names over and over, no title, no respect. My neighbor was given a different one of these books as a gift from his student,and he had the same reaction. Even before he accepted the nesius, the Rebbe was the RaMaSh, not Mendel C”VS! To me this is the same as listening to Rap or Rock and Roll music with Jewish words. It MAY help someone who was nurtured on that trash move towards kosher music.… Read more »

Best seller list
Guest
Best seller list

Getting these books to be on top best seller lists doesn’t add anything to the Rebbe’s greatness. Obviously.
Yet, hundreds of thousands of people have now been reading about the Rebbe. A great accomplishment. Obviously.
Yet for chasidim this is the hispashtus of the Rebbe, not his essence.
Learn a maamar of the Rebbe, in the original or in translation, and connect to the Rebbe’s essence.
Want to be connected to the hispashtus? Read the bios.

to 44
Guest
to 44

there is a diference between bringing the rebbe down, and pulling him down.
for a bochur, reading this book, will make him more worldly, not more connected. for a mekurav, its good.

like poro aduma
Guest
like poro aduma

purifies the impure, and has the opposite affect on the pure.

Yaasher Koach
Guest
Yaasher Koach

Thank you for the article, it was fantastic. You put things in their proper perspective. So hartzig! Devorim min halev nichnasim el halev! I needed to hear it.You’re so on target, bullseye!

you write very well
Guest
you write very well

dear rabbi kramer,
how could contact you?

urgent
Guest
urgent

we need a normal book on the rebbe. one that says the true story.

important point
Guest
important point

there are hundreds of thousands of frume yidden who would be nisrachek by reading one of these books. they will think the rebbe is modern etc. besides for being false, it will drive them away from chassidus and the rebbe.

like
Guest
like

like

Hayom yom of 24 Sivan a few days ago!!
Guest
Hayom yom of 24 Sivan a few days ago!!

A Chossid once wrote to the Friediker Rebbe, asking how he can have Hiskashrus since the Rebbe never saw him. The Friediker Rebbe answered: Real hiskashrus comes from learning the Rebbe’s Torah Learning the Rebbe’s Maamorim and Sichos, learning and farbrenging together with Anash and Tmimim, saying Tehillim after davening (that’s the Friediker Rebbe’s takana), and learning Torah every day — that’s Hiskashrus!! ( from Chitas for kids and adults too) I never saw the Rebbe myself but I ll trust the Rebbe ‘ s advice best. We have plenty if our Rebbe s directives to the chassis im about… Read more »

 22
Guest
22

I meant number 22, sorry 24. That when we are shared stories of the Rebbe, it is very helpful indeed. Of course not as seeing the Rebbe for ourselves, but we post-3 Tammuz can have our own stories as well. There s plenty of stories. Our Rebbe is very much with us. Of course, ratzoneinu liros es malkeinu. We have a Neshama , we ain’t “only human”!! Let’s remember that more often, and we ll know we can expect the impossible of ourselves, because our Neshama can. ( the way to reveal the Meshama is by learning Torah, i just… Read more »

To the children of this generation: watch Rebbe videos!!
Guest
To the children of this generation: watch Rebbe videos!!

Watch Rebbe videos.
The best way to get a glimpse of our Rebbe

to all critics
Guest
to all critics

if someone doesnt like the book please go ahead and write a better book

Rabbi Lesches said many times
Guest
Rabbi Lesches said many times

If you want to know what Abaya & Rovo ate, what clothes they wore and what type of house they lived in, ask a Talmud professor. If you want to know what they SAID, ask a Rosh Yeshiva!

Agreed
Guest
Agreed

Learning the Rebbe’s Sichos with my teens on Parshas Korach and Gimmel Tamuz this past Shabbos does it for me. Those books aren’t coming into my home whilst I have a say.

Great for FFB Lubavitchers but an insult to the rest of us
Guest
Great for FFB Lubavitchers but an insult to the rest of us

For those of us who came to Chabad after 3 Tammuz, these books and JEM videos add a realism and human dimension to the Rebbe that just learning sichos cannot. Yes, we must study his words and his actions. To you, he was a living and breathing human being. To you, a Tzadik for sure, but also a person. To me and those of us who came later, we need his biographies and descriptions in all their mundane detail to help give us a sense of being in the Rebbe’s presence. Consider yourself blessed to have been there. Please don’t… Read more »

Still
Guest
Still

I saw the Rebbe as a child, have learnt the entire likutei sichos and a number of years of hisvaduyos, watched videos of farbrengens and dollars, and yet I still find that books like these help me appreciate the Rebbe even more and add to my hiskashrus. I don’t think I’m the only one.

I find the books add a new dimension to my hiskashrus
Guest
I find the books add a new dimension to my hiskashrus

THere is absolutely no way the books can or should replace learning, videos, as the primary form of hiskashrus , but I find that paradoxically, reading about the Rebbe and Rebbetzin in more basar v’dam terms adds to my awe of them, my small bit of understanding that they are ish elokim on one hand , but on some level–people, but so much more and so not people in the conventional sense, they are not abstract figures to me now. it is inspiring that they DID have conversations, feelings, a goshmiousdike life AND are simultaneously tzaddikim, nosi’ b’yisrael and not… Read more »

To #66
Guest
To #66

VERY WRONG. I came to Chabad in the end of the Mems.
I read the books and I learn the Sichos etc. and I saw a few years. THE REBBE i met in those few years was not the muindane Rebbe in those books. They DO NOT describe what I felt being in the Rebbe’s presence.

Citizen Berel
Guest
Citizen Berel

To Mr. generation gap 22. You need to get out more. Bochurim, the good ones, not necessarily the biggest lamdonim, can smell a rat and know that these offerings are chazer treif. They have plenty bren and rich connection. Just spend time with bochurim, they might inspire you. We have mashpiim and we have moshiach vetoirasoi. You don’t need to worry about the Rebbe and you do not need to worry about the generations connection to him, you need to concern yourself about yourself. You connection to the Rebbe may be based on experience and you may still be thriving… Read more »

What to convey to the post Gimel tammuz generation.
Guest
What to convey to the post Gimel tammuz generation.

When the Fierdiker Rebbe was visiting Eretz Yisroel in 1929 a elderly Jew approached him, gave him Sholoim Aleichem and said “Ich hob gekend eir tateh” I knew your father” ( The Rebbe Rashab.) To which the Rayat”z replied, “Ir hot gezen mein taten, ir hot em nisht gekent.” You saw my father, you didn’t know him” Any book describing the Rebbe can only describe what the author perceives or heard about from others. There is the well know response of the Alter rebbe to his son ‘ You are looking thru physical eyes therefore you see physicality”. What can… Read more »

You had to be here
Guest
You had to be here

How can we explain to an outsider what it was like to live in the kings courtyard?

Please fardry nisht a kop!
Guest
Please fardry nisht a kop!

Whatever your son gets from it is Gut!
You can add MORE to it is noch besser!!
But please don’t fardry him and turn him off .
He will figure it out, Just give him his space to navigate it all.

Books
Guest
Books

These books are very good for the masses,mekurovim, and Anti Moshichitm (who are chassidim and consider the Rebbe human with kedusha)
Obviously that Moshichitm who regards the Rebbe as a prophet , infallible these books are a chillul Rebbe

Supernatural
Guest
Supernatural

The Rebbe is supernatural so everything they used to describe him is what their perspective was. For those of us who did not get the privilege to be by the Rebbe these books are meant to show us the Rebbe’s great personality. Of course children of eligible age should be the ones reading not 8 or 9 year olds. The children have to learn first about the Rebbe the way the Parent wants their children to think of the Rebbe and then to get a bigger picture they can read these books. I think of the Rebbe in the way… Read more »

WRONG!
Guest
WRONG!

Some of the books are not even appropriate for a mekurav.
Do you want your mekurav to be drawn to a Rebbe or to a Jewish leader?

Chochom "ma hu" oimer...
Guest
Chochom "ma hu" oimer...

From what he says to others you can tell who he really is (Frierdiker Rebbe).
A person who presents the Rebbe in such modern light, obviously values that image himself.
Chassidishe shluchim manage to present the real Rebbe to their baalebatim without a problem. If you believe that it’s attractive, you will be able to share it.

Menachem Shemoi
Guest
Menachem Shemoi

His book is for the general public and not a textbook for chassiddim as such.
It will bring out diverse reactions and it has, clearly.
Some will be inspired by the stories.
To the chossid this is not a book that will be useful, but for the general public it is well written and in no way derogatory.

Chill out. Stop Hating.
Guest
Chill out. Stop Hating.

This author’s been sipping on kosher haterade. Leave people who read the bios alone! Nobody every argued that the Rebbe’s greatness can be captured in a biography so the very point the author argues with is imaginary. It’s not “distancing” someone to read about the Rebbe’s life. On the contrary. And nor does it take one away from learning sichos and the Rebbe’s maamarim. On the contrary it inspires people to learn the Rebbe’s Torah even more.

Typical of the narrow-mindedness and superiority complex infecting the community…

To all those who belive "The younger generation" needs this,
Guest
To all those who belive "The younger generation" needs this,

I was born after 3 Tamuz. I never saw the Rebbe. and yet, through watching videos, hearing stories, looking at pictures, learning the rebbe’s Torois, and seeing the example my parents and Chassidim who WERE there set, I got a glimpse of who and what the Rebbe is. I understood what the Rebbe wants from us, and what needs to be done to have hiskashrus to him. I understood that although I don’t understand, although I will never experience what the “older generation” experienced, I can still get a taste of it and long for it. I read the biographies,… Read more »

distinction
Guest
distinction

there has been some confusion here. its not a question between sichos and story books, its a question between books who tell us about the rebbe and those who fit the rebbe into a different model.

its a question of telling the true story of chassidus and bittul to hashem, over modern half-baked judaism.

I HAVE PITY ON YOU
Guest
I HAVE PITY ON YOU

the fact that you did not feel you sullied your perception by reading it, shows where you were before reding it…

if its not for kids
Guest
if its not for kids

its not for anyone.

sice when are we so strong that we are allowed to read anything?

do we learn enough chassidus a day, that we are so sure we wont be affected.

and if when you read book you are not planning on being affected, then why did you open it?

thank you collive
Guest
thank you collive

more article like this pleeeeeease

wow
Guest
wow

the comments are flying here, faster than on tznius articles…

🙂

great piece
Guest
great piece

really enjoyed

the rebbe is crying
Guest
the rebbe is crying

as he reads some of these posts.

yesomim. orphans. please, get to know our father. the real thing.

just the opposite
Guest
just the opposite

only those who were there b4 3 tammuz could read it, because they have a solid veiw anyways.

the danger is when the post 3 tammuz youth read it, and actually believe that this is the rebbe.

this is rewriting history.

ask the rebbes chassidim. reb yoel, rabbi cunin, rabbi sudak, rabbi groner, etc: is this the rebbe you knew?

some honesty. just some.

thank you for the beautiful article
Guest
thank you for the beautiful article

i havent read anything like it in a long time. yanky, you should write more. your pure chassidisher pen could do so much.

its real
Guest
its real

you know, for a change, this is a real person, with a name, writing a real letter. kudos to you!

It's very important
Guest
It's very important

I think this is a very good conversation for us to all be having as Chassidim. But I am having a very hard time supporting this new trend of being so dismissive of these books and thumping our chests claiming “we don’t need em” … This is like a naturalist getting upset if you take anti biotics when all the medicine we need is found in nature. I don’t need medicine, I only let the nature Hashem created heal me. There is nothing wrong with taking medicine. Hashem created this too. We need to put in perspective that none of… Read more »

i too was born after 3 tammuz
Guest
i too was born after 3 tammuz

i read part of one book and was revolted.
the supporters of these books are people who r looking for ways of making peace with their own lifestyle. enough said.

Healthy
Guest
Healthy

I happen to think it’s healthy to read these books. Filling the house with Rebbe pictures and talking about Rebbe Rebbe the entire day is not going to create hiskashrus, it’s going to create something unhealthy. I say this as chabad from birth. Yes, learning the sichos and ma’amarim is a requisite but so is learning about the rebbe as a person because yes, the Rebbe was a person, and these bios are part of that journey. It’s also important to read about how ‘outsiders’ viewed the Rebbe because only hearing things from one perspective does not create chassidim but… Read more »

Moshiach in Dee Gazetten
Guest
Moshiach in Dee Gazetten

bsd

When the N.Y. Times and the Wall Street Journal and other papers around the world write about these books and discuss the works of Rebbe it is writing about Moshiach in Dee Gazzetten as the Alter Rebbe foretold would happen.

Moshiach Now!!!

Dude, read the book.
Guest
Dude, read the book.

I don’t understand how people feel like they have a right to comment on a book that they have not read.

beautiful!
Guest
beautiful!

I was very nervous that 20 years after Gimmul Tammuz there were no true chassidim left, but apparently I was wrong. We have such incredible Temimim and Eltere Chassidim, even bochurim who are setting us right, even young children born nuch the darkest day in our lives, who are setting all us lowly faux chassidim straight. Chalilah a person could read a book about the Rebbe and become closer, and strengthen his hiskashrus! What I have learnt from this article and the previous video is that if you can’t have a strong hiskashrus with the Rebbe through Sichos and Maamarim… Read more »

thank you
Guest
thank you

i apreciate this op-ed.
just wondering if author feels same way about all 3 ? or was the one by R Steinzaltz better because he is a chassid.

these posts are not about the rebbe either
Guest
these posts are not about the rebbe either

the Rebbe would not be proud of all this arguing and knocking people’s views.
to the author: your son could be reading goyishe books or watching movies. be happy he wants to read about The Rebbe. and it can enhance all the warmth and hiskashrus you’re trying to Instill in him

very well said
Guest
very well said

what a shame some have fallen so low, they cant even feel the influance of the book on themselves. soe people have really lost it. oh, i pity their kids…
but after all, we are all chassidim.

I agree
Guest
I agree

Anyone who is against this article missed the whole point!!!
Everyone should read the letter of the Rebbe from GIMMEL TAMUZ 5750 there the Rebbe explains what a Rebbe is and to #74 every chassid believes the Rebbe is a prophet the Rebbe even said we should publicize that anti or meshichist it’s a clear Horoah shoftim nun alef

Crown Heights resident since the 1950's
Guest
Crown Heights resident since the 1950's

I am amazed at the number of comments on this article. I do wonder how many of you have actually read all three books. Each one has great merit and each one has shortcomings. For those of us who were blessed to be living here in the years when The Rebbe was with us, we must realize that our experiences are different from the younger generations- as expressed by 15, 22, 39, 66, 67, 68 75. Those of us who were blessed not to have experienced The Holocaust, the ghettos and concentration camps- of course we cannot fully understand what… Read more »

to #97
Guest
to #97

I am #24. I did read Rabbi Steinsaltz’ book and IMO it does not have the problems some people are complaining about… it did not attempt to be a biography, but is more like a memoir. The tone is warm and respectful.

Love a fellow Jew
Guest
Love a fellow Jew

For all of us who have strong feelings on both sides of this table, let’s not forget one of the basic tenents of the Torah, and the Rebbe’s teaching to love our fellow Jews.

how to give it over to are children?
Guest
how to give it over to are children?

The Rebbe always said it’s the women who sets the tone in the house- example when the wife is happy the whole house feels it so too, it’s the women’s achrayus to bring and give the chayos of the Rebbe to their children. the men or women who are starting out have to either have contact with elder chassidim who will give them the feeling of the chayos of the Rebbe or if not then building hiskashrus with the Rebbe as the Rebbe said himself by learning maamarim, chassidus etc.. also if i may add watching videos and if it’s… Read more »

Beyond The Dollar Line
Guest
Beyond The Dollar Line

I agree with comment 101. How could we possibly get an idea of who the Rebbe was if he is no longer with us? We must read anecdotes written by those who have had the honor of meeting the Rebbe and spending time with him. Beyond the Dollar Line by Chana Sharfstein is one such book, regarding personal experiences that really highlight the amazing character of the Rebbe.

the right books
Guest
the right books

of course we have to read books, but the right ones. not those that depict the rebbe the wrong way.

Wow, thank you!!
Guest
Wow, thank you!!

That’s exactly how I felt but didn’t have the words to express it…

well done
Guest
well done

I 100% agree!

There are real alternatives, and to 13, 14, 39, 66 etc.
Guest
There are real alternatives, and to 13, 14, 39, 66 etc.

Kramer makes an excellent point, and has articulated my own misgivings about these books very well. Any focus, no matter how valid, on particular amazing aspects of the Rebbe’s genius, sensitivity etc, distract from an attempt to draw inspiration by connecting to the spiritual essence of what the Rebbe is and was. To posters 13, 14, 39, 66 etc, yes- those who didn’t merit being there physically at the farbrengens, tekios, kos-shel-brocho etc obviously feel a serious void in their ability to relate to certain things on a personal level. However there is enough media available today, B’H, that anybody… Read more »

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