Home Arrows_Brown(navigation) copy.jpg Chabad Arrows_Brown(navigation) copy.jpg Rebbe
The Rebbe
Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson
What is it about the Rebbe that exudes so much
love – that makes him so immanent – binding
Jews from every walk of life to him so deeply?
THE REBBE: A Brief Biography
The Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M.
Schneerson, this century’s most dominant Jewish
figure, is clearly the one individual singularly
responsible for stirring and awakening the
conscience and spirit of post-holocaust world
Often described as the most phenomenal Jewish
personality of our time, “the Rebbe,” as he is
reverently referred to by millions of followers and
admirers around the world, radiates hope,
motivation and encouragement in an era rent with
confusion and despair.












 The Rebbe is seventh in the lineage of Lubavitch leaders, which began in the 18th
 century with Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, author of the basic work of Chabad
 philosophy - Tanya, and the Code of Jewish Law.
 The Rebbe was born in Nikolaev, Russia, on the 11th day of Nissan, 1902, to Rabbi Levi
 Yitzchak and Rebbetzin Chana Schneerson. The Rebbe’s father was a renowned
 Kabbalist and Talmudic scholar. The Rebbe’s mother was an aristocratic woman from a
 prestigious rabbinic family.
 From early childhood the Rebbe displayed a prodigious mental acuity and soon had to
 leave the cheder because he was far ahead of his classmates. His father engaged
 private tutors for him and, after that, taught him himself. By the time he reached his
 Bar Mitzvah, the Rebbe was a Torah prodigy.
 The Rebbe met the sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn, in
 1923, in Rostov, Russia. In December, 1928 the Rebbe married Rebbetzin Chaya Moussia,
 second daughter of Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak. The Rebbetzin, well educated and
 accomplished in her own right, is known throughout the Jewish world for her
 exceptional erudition, leadership and compassion, yet unpretentious and humble
 On June 23, 1941, the Rebbe and the Rebbetzin arrived in the United States, having
 miraculously escaped the Nazi onslaught. His father-in-law, who had arrived in the
 United States a year earlier, appointed him to head Chabad’s newly formed
 educational, social service, outreach and publication organizations.
 After the passing of Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn on the 10th of Shevat, 1950,
 Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson ascended to the leadership of the flourishing
 Motivated by a profound love for the Jewish people, the Rebbe launched an
 unprecedented program to bring Judaism to every individual Jew, wherever he or she
 may be. Inspired by the Biblical mandate: “And you shall spread forth to the West and
 to the East and to the North and to the South” (Genesis 28:14), the Rebbe established
 a corps of shluchim (Lubavitch emissaries) and charged them with establishing Chabad-
 Lubavitch centers in every corner of the world. These dedicated men and women
 reflect the commitment of Lubavitch to the entire Jewish people. It is no wonder that,
 for many communities throughout the world, Chabad-Lubavitch, with its vast array of
 educational and social service programming, has become the central address for all
 matters Jewish.
 Throughout his years of leadership of Chabad-Lubavitch, the Rebbe established
 Chassidism – the study and practice of the Torah’s teachings of kindness -  not as one
 of the limbs, but as the heart and life of Judaism, with its emphasis on love for one’s
 fellow, and serving G‑d with joy.
 During more than four decades of inspired leadership the Rebbe made Lubavitch the
 world’s largest Jewish outreach organization.
 Today, some 3,300 Chabad-Lubavitch institutions span more than fifty-five countries on
 six continents. These educational and social-service institutions serve a variety of
 functions for the entire spectrum of Jews, regardless of affiliation or background.
 Programs geared to humanitarian endeavors reach out beyond the Jewish community,
 to all people.
 In Israel, the “Chabadniks” are particularly endeared to all. Their programs reach all
 segments of the community, and they enjoy the respect of the population, regardless
 of affiliation.  From the soldier stationed on the front to the farmer on the kibbutz,
 feelings of veneration and respect for the Rebbe run deep, as all have benefited in
some way from his concern.
It was in Russia, specifically from
the small Belarus town of
Lubavitch (literally ‘city of love’)
that Chabad-Lubavitch was born
more than 200 years ago. A
history of heroic, clandestine
efforts by Lubavitch kept Judaism
alive under the most oppressive
and excruciating circumstances
conceivable, before and
especially after the Bolshevik
revolution and during the
Communist regime.
When the Soviet Union crumbled,
Lubavitch emerged from the
underground and the work
continues publicly unabated. The
Rebbe’s emissaries have
established some 200 institutions
 for Jewish learning and humanitarian
 aid throughout the FSU.
 Under the Rebbe’s guidance, Chabad Lubavitch publishes and distributes millions of
 books, pamphlets, cassettes, DVD’s and educational materials in Hebrew, Yiddish,
 English, French, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Portuguese, Arabic, Farsi, Dutch, Swedish and
 German.  The Rebbe himself is author to over 400 volumes of Torah understandings,
 letters, responsa and talks.
 The Rebbe was often heard saying that “we dare not rest until every Jewish child
 receives a proper Jewish education.”
 The American Jewish day-school system, initiated and pioneered by Lubavitch in the
 1940’s, has displaced across a wide spectrum the once-prevalent ideology that Jewish
 education was a dutiful appendage to the real business of acquiring a secular
 education. Jewish day schools have since become accepted and desirable even to
 those who once opposed them. This, as well as the outreach programs of Chabad-
 Lubavitch, have served as a guide for others to emulate.
 Innovative and creative programs such as Chabad Day Schools and Gan Israel Summer
 Camps for unaffiliated children, Jewish Holiday and Moshiach Awareness Campaigns,
 Chabad Houses on college campuses, and the famous Mitzvah Mobiles, have raised the
 awareness of Jewish life and Jewish practice among millions of Jews, motivating them
 to explore and to examine their identity.
 There is a story told about the Rebbe’s early life that seems to be almost symbolic of
 much that was to follow. When he was nine years old, the young Menachem Mendel
 dived into the Black Sea to save the life of another boy who had fallen from the deck
 of a moored ship. The sense of other lives in danger seemed to dominate his
 conscience. People “drowning” and no one hearing their cries for help; children
 deprived of a Jewish education; young Jews on campus; families in isolated
 communities, under repressive regimes…all in need of help.
 The Rebbe motivated all those whom he reached to take part in this task to reach out
 to others, to help them, to educate them and bring them together.
 For many years, every Sunday morning, huge crowds of men, women and children
 gathered at Lubavitch World Headquarters and patiently awaited their turn to meet
 the Rebbe face-to-face to receive his blessing. The Rebbe gave each individual a crisp,
 new dollar bill to be given to charity, often explaining that the most important thing
 two people could do when they meet is to help a third person. This extraordinary
 custom attracted people from all walks of life, many of whom traveled thousands of
 miles just for this momentary, yet unforgettable encounter.
 From the Rebbe’s Childhood
 From the time that I was a child attending cheder, and even before, the vision of the
 future Redemption began to take form in my imagination – the Redemption of the
 Jewish People from their final Exile, a redemption of such magnitude and grandeur
 through which the purpose of the suffering, the harsh decrees and annihilations of
 Exile will be understood...
 (from a letter written by the Rebbe on his 54th birthday in 1956; free translation)
 Reciprocating Love
 A promising young man who became close to a group of Lubavitcher yeshiva students in
 France was quite taken with the Chabad-Chassidic way of life and its teachings of
 warmth and spirituality, with one exception.  He was uncomfortable with the extreme
 reverence the Chassidim have for the Rebbe. He shared his feelings with his friends and
 they proposed that he travel to New York and pose his concerns to the Rebbe
 “Why is it that the Chassidim literally venerate you?” he asked.  “I love every Jew
 débordement” (literally, overflowing, in French), the Rebbe answered.  “The love the
 Chassidim have for me is simply a reflection of my love for them.”
 The Main Objective
 But at the core of all these accomplishments is the Rebbe’s main objective – to inspire
 all of us to revere and love G‑d, His people, His creations, and to devote our lives,
 individually and communally, to Torah and the fulfillment of G‑d’s will. 
 The Rebbe’s brilliant insight into the human experience and world events, his genuine
 compassion for others, his strong leadership and his profound, endless flow of genius,
 and his inspiring a generation to earn and longingly anticipate Moshiach’s arrival, made
 him a legend in his lifetime, and won him the admiration, respect and awe of all who’ve
 come to know him.
 But what we know best is what the Rebbe himself has told us in no uncertain terms,
 that the role of our generation is to actually bring about the Torah-promised
 Redemption and to prepare ourselves and the entire world for it.
 One objective pervades it all. One goal is at the forefront of a century of life and
 achievement: a world devoid of hate and greed, a world free of suffering and strife, a
 world suffused with the wisdom and goodness of its Creator. No less.
 In virtually every talk the Rebbe gave, every letter he wrote and every action he
 initiated, the theme, the sign-off and the objective was: the coming of Moshiach, the
 attainment of the Redemption.
 The idea of a universal redemption, heralded by a global leader called Moshiach (“the
 anointed”) is a basic tenet of the Jewish faith. The Jew believes that the world which
 G‑d created possesses the potential to fully reflect the infinite goodness and
 perfection of its Creator. And the Jew believes that the realization of this goal is the
 very purpose to which his or her soul has been invested within a physical body and life.
 But perhaps no leader in history emphasized the urgency and immediacy of Moshiach as
 did the Rebbe. In this, the Rebbe was echoing the great Jewish sage Maimonides, who
 more than 800 years ago had said: a single deed, a single word, even a single thought,
 has the power to tip the scales and bring redemption to the world.
 The Rebbe believes that if we open our eyes to this reality, we can bring redemption
 to the world. Today. In the words of the Rebbe, “We want Moshiach NOW!” “Moshiach
 is now ready to come…all we have to do on our part is to add in deeds of goodness and
 kindness” and “The time for your redemption has arrived!”
                  May the Rebbe’s prophecy of “Moshiach Now” be fulfilled immediately!
Click here for more on the Rebbe