Rebbe Schneerson’s death marked by talk
By Eli MacKinnon
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Rabbi Simon Jacobson, best-selling author of “Toward a Meaningful Life,” will mark the anniversary of the death of Chabad-Lubavitch leader Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson with a talk in Brooklyn Heights tomorrow night.
Jacobson is a disciple and one-time oral scribe of Schneerson. Revered by his followers as “the Rebbe,” Schneerson led the Crown Heights-based Lubavitch movement for 44 years before his death in June of 1994 and helped to greatly expand its reach throughout the world.
“It’s guaranteed that anyone who comes to the talk will definitely be inspired,” said Rabbi Aaron Raskin, spiritual leader of Congregation B’nai Avraham, where Jacobson will speak on Wednesday, June 20, from 6 to 7:30 p.m.
Raskin said that Jacobson will discuss “Toward a Meaningful Life,” which presents Schneerson’s teachings on how to approach the “everyday world — man, nature, life, children, faith.”
The book provides practical insights to people of all faiths, Raskin said, noting that everyone is welcome to the free event.
As an example of one of Schneerson’s generally applicable lessons, Raskin cited a prescription to view the universe as a system that is “50 percent good deeds and 50 percent bad deeds, so that even one small act of kindness can bring remedy and salvation to the whole world.”
Jacobson was a close associate of Schneerson’s during the Lubavitch leader’s lifetime. He headed a team of religious scholars who tasked themselves with memorizing Schneerson’s three- and four-hour-long talks, which were often given on the Sabbath, a time when Orthodox Jews are not allowed to use recording equipment or take written notes.
When the Sabbath was over, Jacobson and his colleagues would transcribe the lectures from memory, bolstering and checking each other’s work, before returning them to the Rebbe for his approval.
Known in part for its globetrotting spiritual emissaries, the Lubavitch movement is one of the best-known and most far-reaching Orthodox Jewish organizations. Some of its members believe that Schneerson is the messiah.
B’nai Avraham is at 117 Remsen St., between Clinton and Henry streets. Refreshments will be served.