By COLlive reporter
Rabbi Chaim Miller, compiler of the Gutnick Chumash and other works, is attaching his name to two internationally respected scholars who have written about the Rebbe.
In the lead-up to the 20th anniversary of the Rebbe’s yartzeit, the Jewish world has been eagerly anticipating two new biographies about the Rebbe that have been well researched and in the works for years.
The first to be announced was “Rebbe – The Life and Teachings of Menachem M. Schneerson, the Most Influential Rabbi in Modern History,” to be released on June 10, 2014 by HarperWave, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.
It was written by Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, author of some of the bestselling books on Judaism of the past two decades and named by Talk Magazine as one of the 50 best speakers in the United States.
COLlive has learned that Telushkin has already been booked to speak at major Jewish events around the Unites States, starting from Gimmel Tammuz and the months following it.
Telushkin’s book is also being discussed at branches of Barnes & Nobles Booksellers around the country, where local Shluchim will be leading question and answer sessions about the book and the Rebbe’s lifetime work.
The second publication to be announced was conceived immediately after 3 Tammuz 5754 by Rabbi Adin Even-Israel Steinsaltz, the legendary Talmud scholar and prolific author who was hailed by Time Magazine as a “once-in-a-millennium scholar.”
Within two weeks after its release, “My Rebbe” has been selling fast, according to Maggid Books, an imprint of Koren Publishers Jerusalem. The book is described as “part biography, part memoir” about the leader of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement.
Now, Rabbi Miller announced the publication of a 590 page “Turning Judaism Outward – a biography of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the seventh Lubavitcher Rebbe,” which according to a source was written in the last year.
Asked why it was necessary to pen another offering, Miller explained: “Everyone who has written about the Rebbe’s life picks and chooses the bits that they personally feel are impressive. That’s the ‘short, long way.’ You get some nice information, but in the end you lack a really substantial picture. It’s a bit like eating the dessert before the main course–it tastes good to start with, but then you don’t feel satisfied.”
At the recent meeting between Senator Cory Booker and Israel’s Chief Rabbi David Lau, Rabbi Menachem Genack, CEO of the Orthodox Union (OU) Kosher Division known for his political connections, said that Miller asked him to write the Forward to the book.
Malcolm Hoenlein, Executive Vice Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, praised the new work as, “A riveting biography… this will prove to be a fascinating read even for those distant from Chabad or who knew little about this dominant figure in Jewish life.”
The book is being published by Kol Menachem – The Gutnick Library of Jewish Classics, based in Brooklyn’s Crown Heights neighborhood. It will be available soon in Jewish bookstores. (Read Chapter 11 of the book here)
The publisher, Rabbi Meyer Gutnick, said: “We felt it was important to address the Rebbe’s life in its entirety, with all of its paradoxes and mysteries. It’s a greater challenge, an impossible one really, but that doesn’t mean we can’t try.”
For more information visit kolmenachem.com or call 718-951-6328.