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PostRe: Lubavitch Jews (Ed Jajko, US) (John Eipper, USA, 02/13/06 9:36 pm)
I wrote: It is almost impossible to keep track of the various subdivisions of Christians, Muslims and Jews. The February 2006 issue of the National Geographic has an article "A Faith Grows in Brooklyn. Lubavitch Jews spread their message as never before", The fuse which lit that revival was rebbe Menachem Schneerson, who some believe is the Messiah and revere him as such. He was born in Ukraine; does that mean Odessa, which had a large Jewish population? The name is not Slavic. Is it German? The name Lubavich refers to the Russian town where the movement was born in the late 1700s.
Ed Jajko comments: The birthplace of the late Rebbe Menachem Mendel, from www.chabad.org:
The Lubavitcher Rebbe, Menachem Mendel Schneerson, was born on Friday, April 18, 1902 (Nissan 11 on the Hebrew calendar) in the Ukrainian-Russian town of Nikolaev.
His father, Rabbi Levi Yitzchak Schneerson, was a renowned Kabbalist and Talmudic scholar; his mother, Rebbetzin Chanah, an aristocratic woman from a prestigious rabbinical family.
At age seven, the Rebbe moved with his parents to Yekatrinislav (today, Dnepropetrovsk), where Rabbi Levi Yitzchak was appointed Chief Rabbi of the city.
Further biographical information is available on the cited web page. "Chabad," by the way, is an acronym based on the Hebrew words "chochmah" (wisdom), "binah" (understanding), "da'at" (knowledge). For "chochmah," I employ a romanization that fits Lubavitcher usage. "Chabad" is what the Lubavitchers call themselves.
Schneerson is a Yiddishism meaning 'son of Shneur.' 'Shneur' is a medieval-late medieval European Jewish name that derives from either Spanish 'senor' or Italian 'signore;' at the moment I can't recall which although I believe the Spanish root is the source. Schneerson, or a variant spelling of Schneersohn (the form Shneurson is also found), became the family name of the descendants of the founder of what became Lubavitcher Hasidism, Schneur Zalman ben Baruch of Liadi (1745-1813), who was born in Liozna, White Russia. Shneur Zalman, the Alter Rebbe, was the author of Tanya, which remains the basic, much-studied and commented-on text of Lubavitcher Hasidism. The movement became Lubavitcher under Shneur Zalman's son, Dov Ber of Lubavitch (1773-1827). Dov Ber settled in Lubavitch, White Russia, which remained headquarters for more than 100 years. The sixth rebbe, Yosef Yitzhak Schneersohn, was exiled from the Soviet Union in 1927. In 1940, he left Poland and settled in New York. I'm not sure when the famous current headquarters at 770 Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn was acquired.
As for current activities in Russia, www.chabad.org lists the following Chabad centers, each of which is clickable on the web page for more detailed information:
Chabad-Lubavitch Centers in "Russia". Please select from the following cities: Astrakhan, Birobidjan, Bryansk, Chelyabinsk, Derbent, Dzerzhinsk, Irkutsk, Kaliningrad, Kazan, Kemerovo,Khabarovsk, Kostroma, Krasnodar, Krasnoyarsk, Kursk, Malakhovka, Moscow, Mytischi, Nalchik, Nizhny Novgorod, Novgorod Veliky, Novosibirsk, Omsk, Orenburg, Perm, Rostov-on-Don, Samara, Saratov, Smolensk,Don, Samara, Saratov, Smolensk, Sochi, St. Petersburg, Togliatti, Tomsk,
Ufa, Vladivostok, Volgograd, Yekaterinburg,
RH: My advice to WAISers: cultivate chochmah, avoid chutzpah.
Plan to attend the WAIS conference on "Critical World Issues " at Stanford July 31-August 1, 2006. It will be a rare opportunity to meet other WAISers. Tell interested friends.