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Reflections on the Theology of Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, the Lubavitcher
Author: Rabbi Faitel Levin
For the first time ever, the Lubavitcher Rebbe`s theology - the philosophy
that spurred the growth of Chabad Chasidism into a worldwide movement-
has been encapsulated in one volume for the English reading public.
Better known for the social programs he created, the Rebbe`s profound genius
is brought into sharp focus in this thoughtfully written work. Drawing
on the vast treasury of discourses and written works by Rabbi Schneerson,
the author explores the metaphysical implications of placing the essence
of holiness squarely within the mundane. This radical outlook is
then applied to offer a distinctly Lubavitch perspective on Jewish observance
, the soul, the afterlife, and Jewish outreach.
Heaven on Earth tackles this intellectual task with the layperson in
mind, and the author`s skillful use of everyday analogies - from laser
beams to chocolate ice cream - keeps this heavenly exploration down to
"...Very well written and readable. Examples and analogies especially excellent and illuminating...."
-J. Immanuel Schochet
on Earth, Rabbi Faitel Levin draws on the writings of the movement`s
late leader Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson to reframe Chabad`s divergent
expressions as the product of one coherent, revolutionary theology.
lens that Rabbi Levin terms "dirah betachtonim" - literally a "dwelling
place in the lower realms" - utter physicality is the essence of G-d. Unlike
previous Jewish approaches to G-d, "dirah betachtonim" brings G-d into
the here and now without having to transcend physical limitations. "The
physical is actually the essence of G-d", writes Rabbi Levin. "Not because
the physical serves as a spring board for the spiritual, nor because one
learns to find some redeeming feature, some transcendent dimension in the
physical. No, physicality itself provides the ultimate mystical encounter."
centuries of religious thought, the centerpiece of Heaven on Earth shows
that the corporeal body is primarily not an enemy but a friend. To make
his provocative point, Rabbi Levin culls from Talmud, early Jewish thought,
kabbalah and early chassidic writings.
comprehensive and approachable, Heaven on Earth reveals how the
Lubavitcher Rebbe revolutionized Jewish theology and exposed the Divine
within as simply, exhilaratingly skin deep.
Jewish Civic Press
On Earth is a thoughtful amalgamation of reflective commentaries on
the theology of Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, the Lubavitcher Rebbe. Author
Rabbi Faitel Levin reviews and discusses metaphysical concepts such as
the drama of creation and the language and logic of Dirah Betachtonim,
the spiritual role and function of Mitzvot, the afterlife, and much more.
A profound testimony, written with careful, scrupulous reasoning, which
is invested with a palpable emotional strength, Heaven On Earth
is highly recommended reading and a significant, much appreciated contribution
to Judaic Studies collections and reading lists.
Rabbi Faitel Levin was born in England
and educated in England, France Israel and the U.S.A. He received his rabbinical
ordination from Yeshiva Tomchei Tmimim Lubavitch in 1982. From 1979 to
1981, Rabbi Levin served on a team of chozerim, memorizing verbatim the
Rebbe`s many hours long addresses and producing the published transcripts.
Levin, author of Halacha, Medical Science and Technology, and founding
editor of The Australian Journal of Torah Thought, is Australia`s
most sought after lecturer on Halachic issues. Presently, Rabbi Levin is
rabbi of the Brighton Hebrew Congregation in Melbourne.