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Monday, August 28, 2006

A Man of Many Talents....

I have always been fascinated by how people make transitions from one career to another. Some seem logical, some do not. For example, did you know that adult film legend Ron Jeremy started out in life as a special education teacher before becoming an "actor"? Did you also know that 80's rocker Eddie Money was first a New York City Police Officer?

Yesterday, I was surfing the web and happen to come across a biography of Rabbi Menahem Mendel Schneerson (a.k.a "The Rebbe"). Though I do not hold the same opinion, many Jews, including some non-Jews regard Schneerson as a messianic figure, even twelve years after his death. While I am not included in that group of Jews, and nor am I a believer in their philosophy of Judaism, I am curious to learn more about this man who is so amazingly revered throughout the world. This is also stemmed in the fact that that Rachel and I have many friends who "go to Chabad" and that we have professional relationships with a few Chabad Rabbis.

Schneerson became an ordained Rabbi in the early 1920's in the Ukraine and then later become educated as an electrical engineer through the University of Paris, commonly known as The Sorbonne. That is perhaps one of the most interesting career transitions that I have ever heard. What was his motivation? What are the similar skill sets to be a rabbi and an electrical engineer? I have yet to be able to find a lot on this in the scholarship about his life, but am confident through a little bit of prodding, I can certainly find out.

As much respect as I have for their movement, I do not ever see myself becoming a Lubavitch Jew. In practice, it is just so out of touch with the vision of Jewish life that Rachel and I have for ourselves and our sons. That being said, I will continue to try and learn as much about Rabbi Schneerson as I can. While I can not believe entirely in what he espouses (on political issues, we would more than likely agree more than we would disagree), I can still learn a lot from the story of his life and his ability to lead so many devoted followers.

1 comment:

yoniqua said...

im curious to know what that "vision of Jewish life" that you and your wife have is...
And if you have Qs about Chabad, I may be able to answer some, but I myself have asked many questions and am always seeking more knowledge.
A good source is chabad.org.

Visit my blog so that I can get back to you! Lots of luck to you...