Influence of Hasidic Leader Lives On 10 Years After His Death

July 9, 2004

Source: The Dallas Morning News

On July 9, 2004 The Dallas Morning News reported, "Most Hasidic Jews live their lives within the confines of insular communities. Yet, in cities around the world, from Dallas to Shanghai, members of one Hasidic movement offer kosher food to travelers, run soup kitchens, operate centers for Jewish life on college campuses, and study Torah with Jews and non-Jews alike. These charitable acts can be traced to the worldview of one man, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the seventh rebbe (spiritual leader) of the Chabad-Lubavitch Hasidic movement. Though he rarely left the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn, where the group is based, his influence, Jewish scholars say, has been immense. Despite predictions that Rabbi Schneerson's death 10 years ago – on June 12, 1994 – would be the beginning of the end for Chabad-Lubavitch, the movement has continued to grow rapidly since it lost its beloved leader. And while headlines have mostly focused on a faction of Chabad promoting the idea that the rebbe would return from the dead as the Messiah – a notion he tried to dissuade when he was alive – Lubavitchers have continued carrying his message of love for all Jews to new, often remote locales."