For most of the 20th century, liberal Judaism, proud of its rational, academic underpinnings, had distanced itself from — sometimes even disparaging — the mystical, fanciful chasidim of Eastern Europe. And yet, by the 1960s and increasingly with every decade since, Rabbi Zalman Schachter — or Reb Zalman as he preferred — mystical and fanciful, became the rebbe of the disconnected.
Sara Davidson |
Special To The Jewish Week
He was my friend, teacher, purveyor of love and joy, and literary collaborator.
We published “The December Project: An Extraordinary Rabbi and a Skeptical Seeker Confront Life’s Greatest Mystery” (HarperOne 2014) in March. Three months later, on July 3, at the age of 89, Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi died — and he was ready.
Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, father of the Jewish Renewal movement and a Holocaust survivor, died today at age 89 in Boulder, Colo. The news was announced by his wife, Eve Ilsen, on the online journal she used to chart his health complications.