Today in History: The Rabbi of Habad

Today in 1994, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, passed away.

R. Menachem Mendel was born in 1902 in Mikulyev, in the Russian Empire (now southern Ukraine), to a Chabad Hasidim family attributed to the “Ba’al HaTanya”. In his youth he studied mainly Torah, but as an adult he focused a significant part of his time on high studies and science, and even received accreditation as an electrical engineer. Shortly after the creation of the Soviet Union, he moved to Eastern Europe and later to the West, and with the outbreak of World War II he managed to escape to the United States and settled in New York. He married the daughter of Chabad’s Rebbe, Joseph Isaac Schneerson, and replaced him in office after he died in 1950. The Rabbi changed Chabad’s character and made it more prominent, with various trends such as the establishment of Chabad houses around the world for distant closeness, the establishment of educational networks and charitable institutions, the desire to “spread springs across,” and more intense discourse regarding Messiah and redemption. His 40 years in office left a huge mark on the world of Hasidism and American Jewry, and after his death in 1994, many of his followers began to turn more fervently to his image, which has sparked intense controversy to this day.

Photo Source: Wikipedia

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