‘The Life and Afterlife of Menachem Mendel Schneerson’
humanizes the Lubavitcher Rebbe, but is its premise flawed?
Rabbi Shmuley Boteach
Special To The Jewish Week
‘The Rebbe: The Life and Afterlife of Menachem Mendel Schneerson” by Samuel Heilman and Menachem Friedman (Princeton University Press) fills a considerable void in the biography of one of the towering religious figures of the 20th century. But on reading it, one wonders whether the object of the biography is the same Lubavitcher Rebbe the world came to know and admire for pioneering Jewish outreach in the modern age and for being arguably the figure most responsible for the global resurgence in Jewish affiliation.
Steve Hoffman sees the world in black and white — at least when he is looking through a camera lens. In 1998, Hoffman focused on the Chabad-Lubavitch community of Crown Heights, in part because he knew the community would photograph well in his preferred palette.
The chasidic sect’s spiritually infused, communal lifestyle and its distinctive look — men characteristically wear black suits and fedoras — appealed to Hoffman, who says the group has an “old-world look in a modern society.”
Thursday, February 26th, 2009
(Because of a formatting error on the main site, here’s a corrected version of this week’s “Edge of Town” column).
Uncanny Tales Of Survival
“Small Miracles of the Holocaust,” and the mysteries of coincidence
by Jonathan Mark