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TOWARD A MEANINGFUL LIFE by Menachem Mendel Schneerson

TOWARD A MEANINGFUL LIFE

The Wisdom of the Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson

By Menachem Mendel Schneerson

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1995
ISBN: 0-688-14196-X
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

 A blueprint for living an ethical and meaningful life, based on the teachings of the late leader of the Lubavitch movement of Hassidic Jewry. Adapter Jacobson has edited and prepared the public talks of Rabbi Schneerson (widely known as the Rebbe and believed by many of his followers to be the messiah) for publication for 14 years. Here he presents the essence of the Rebbe's more universalist teachings, made relevant to non-Jews and assimilated Jews. In three sections (on man, society, and God), Jacobson paraphrases the core of the Rebbe's teachings. Living a moral and meaningful life, according to Rabbi Schneerson, is predicated on the recognition of God. A believer perceives life as a gift from God whose purpose is to allow us to improve the world and use our talents to enrich the lives of others. According to the Rebbe, life without faith would be ``a random series of logical and illogical errors.'' Mankind is morally weak and needs an absolute value system, based on divine revelation, to guide us. While the Torah was given via the Jews at Sinai, all humanity was charged with a moral code before Sinai: ``The very foundation of civilization rests upon the basic principles known as the Seven Noahide Laws.'' They include not only a belief in God, but respect for all life and for the family. Sex, according to the Rebbe, is wholesome and even sacred within the context of marriage. A healthy life is also relatively devoid of materialist pursuits and extraneous material comforts. Death is a journey in another vehicle rather than an end of life. Quotes from the Rebbe, anecdotes from his life, and an array of Jewish commentary supplement the text. While spiritual seekers may find more questions raised than answered, this book lays down the framework of a consistent moral vision. (Author tour)