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This World Spotlight was created on Dec 14, 2014 @ 09:14:54 pm

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Teachers Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson

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I have chosen to Spotlight the Rebbe because when I was three years old my parents sent me to the Yeshiva Jewish Day School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I was in the first class when the Yeshiva was established in Pittsburgh. When my Grandchildren were small I prayed that they would go to the Chabad Yeshiva. My oldest Grandchild is in High School there and will be graduating next year. My youngest Grandchild attends the Grade School. The Rebbe's presence and guidance has been a tremendous blessing in our lives. I am positive that he has had a spiritual impact in the development of One World Blue given the fact that it is known as the Good Network and the Rebbe was all about good.

The following is a biographical excerpt on the Rebbe's life:

Menachem Mendel Schneerson (April 5, 1902 – June 12, 1994), known to many as the Rebbe,[3][4] was an Orthodox rabbi, and the last Lubavitcher Rebbe. He is considered one of the most influential Jewish leaders of the 20th century.[5][6][7][8]

As leader of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement, he "took an insular Hasidic group that almost came to an end with the Holocaust and turned it into one of the most influential and controversial forces in world Jewry,"[9] with an international network of over 3000 educational and social centers.[10][11] The institutions he established include kindergartens, schools, drug-rehabilitation centers, care-homes for the disabled and synagogues.[12]

The Rebbe's published teachings fill more than 300 volumes and he is noted for his contributions to Jewish continuity and religious thought,[13] as well as his wide-ranging contributions to traditional Torah scholarship.[14] He is recognized as the pioneer of Jewish outreach.[15][16]

In 1978, the U.S. Congress designated Rebbe Schneerson's birthday as the national Education Day U.S.A.,[17] honoring his role in establishing the Department of Education as an independent cabinet-level department.[18] In 1994, he was posthumously awarded the Congressional Gold Medal for his "outstanding and lasting contributions toward improvements in world education, morality, and acts of charity."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Menachem_Mendel_Schneerson. Retrieved on 12/14/14.

Menachem Mendel Schneerson was born on Friday, April 18, 1902, equivalent to 11 Nissan, 5662, in the town of Nikolaev.[20] His father was Rabbi Levi Yitzchak Schneerson, a renowned Talmudic scholar and authority on Kabbalah and Jewish law.[21] His mother was Rebbetzin Chana Schneerson (nee Yanovski). He was named after the third Chabad rebbe, the Tzemach Tzedek, from whom he was descendent in direct paternal lineage.

In 1907, when Menachem Mendel was six years old, the Schneersons moved to Yekatrinislav (today, Dnepropetrovsk), where Rabbi Levi Yitzchak was appointed Chief Rabbi of the city. He served until 1939, when he was exiled by the Soviets to Uzbekistan.[22] Schneerson had two younger brothers, Dov Ber who was murdered in 1944 by Nazi collaborators and Yisrael Aryeh Leib, who died in 1952 while completing doctoral studies at Liverpool University.[20]

Schneerson who was described as a slim boy with blond hair,[23] was gifted with extraordinary intelligence and empathy.[24] During his youth, he received a private education and was tutored by Zalman Vilenkin from 1909 through 1913. When Schneerson was eleven years old, Vilenkin informed the boy's father that he had nothing more to teach his son.[25] At that point, Rabbi Levi Yitzchak began teaching his son Talmud and rabbinic literature, as well as Kabbalah. Schneerson proved gifted in both Talmudic and Kabalistic study and also took exams as an external student of the local Soviet school.[26] He was considered an Illui and genius, and by the time he was seventeen, he had mastered the entire Talmud, some 5,894 pages with all its early commentaries.[27]

Throughout his childhood Schneerson was involved in the affairs of his father's office. He was also said to have acted as an interpreter between the Jewish community and the Russian authorities on a number of occasions.[28] Levi Yitzchak's courage and principles were a guide to his son for the rest of his life. Many years later, when he once reminisced about his youth, Schneerson said "I have the education of the first-born son of the rabbi of Yekatrinoselav. When it comes to saving lives, I speak up whatever other may say."[29]

Schneerson went on to receive separate rabbinical ordinations from the Rogatchover Gaon, Rabbi Yosef Rosen,[30] and the Sridei Aish, Rabbi Yechiel Yaakov Weinberg.[31]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Menachem_Mendel_Schneerson. Retrieved on 12/14/14.

Impact

Schneerson initiated Jewish outreach in the post holocaust era and believed that world Jewry was seeking to learn more about their heritage. He sought to bring Judaism to Jews wherever they were and was the first person in all of history to try reach every Jewish community and every Jew in the world.[15] British Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks said of Schneerson "that if the Nazis searched out every Jew in hate, the Rebbe wished to search out every Jew in love.”[160] He oversaw the building of schools, community centers, and youth camps and created a global network of emissaries, known as Shluchim.

Today there are Shluchim in 49 of the 50 US States, in over 80 countries and 1000 cities around the world, totaling more than 3,600 institutions including some 300 in Israel.[161][162] Chabad is very often the only Jewish presence in a given town or city and it has become the face of Jewish Orthodoxy for the Jewish and general world.[163]

Schneerson's model of Jewish outreach has been imitated by all Jewish movements including the Reform, Conservative, Orthodox and Haredi.[11][164] His published works fill more than 200 volumes and are often used as source text for sermons of both Chabad and non-Chabad rabbis.[14] Beyond the Jewish world, Peggy Noonan has written that moral issues would be better addressed by leaders such as Schneerson then by politicians,[165] and since his death, Schneerson has been referred to as the Rebbe for all people

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