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Open Secret
Author: Elliot R. Wolfson

ISBN: 9780231146302
Format: Hardcover
Number Of Pages: 472
Published: 16 June 2010
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.2 x 3.6
Menahem Mendel Schneerson (1902-1994), the seventh and seemingly last Rebbe of the Habad-Lubavitch dynasty, was both a paragon of Hasidic ultraorthodoxy and a charismatic proponent of a unique mystical rationalism for post-Holocaust Jews that appealed to the contemporary fascination with science and technology, but which rejected scientific method when its conclusions challenged traditional beliefs. Schneerson was a man marked by conflicting tendencies: a radical messianic visionary, who promoted a conservative political agenda; a relatively reclusive contemplative, who built his hasidic sect into an international movement; a man dedicated to the exposition of mysteries, who nevertheless harbored many secrets. Schneerson displayed the capacity to combine contradictory sensibilities, astutely masking views that might be deemed heterodox by the canons of orthodoxy, engineering a fundamentalist ideology that could potentially subvert the traditional gender hierarchy, the halakhic distinction between permissible and forbidden, and the social-anthropological division between Jew and Gentile.While most literature on the Rebbe focuses on whether he identified with the role of Messiah, El...

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