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Advice for Life: Wisdom of the Lubavitcher Rebbe

Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, better known as the Lubavitcher Rebbe, or simply as “the Rebbe,” was—and continues to be—a most unique positive force in human history. In the last half of the twentieth century, in
 a world reeling with universal destruction and despair, he was determined 
to inspire and heal humanity, both its individuals and its communities. He longed for each soul to realize its potential, for each life to take a leap forward, and for the universe to mend its relationship with its loving Creator. 

To accomplish his universal goals, the Rebbe dedicated decades of his life to meeting and corresponding with world leaders, politicians, spiritual heads, community activists and leaders, and people of influence in the fields of education, medicine, law, science, art, and so on. 

At the same time, most remarkably, the Rebbe found endless hours for ordinary individuals from every walk of life. Bulging sacks of mail arrived daily at his doorstep, and his published correspondences are predictably voluminous. Private audiences (known as yechidut) cost him entire nights, several nights a week. He later traded audiences for the weekly “Dollars,” distributing bills for charity alongside personal blessings and guidance to each of the thousands who filed by for a brief but powerful exchange. 

Digital records and first-hand reports of these audiences and exchanges, and also the Rebbe’s published correspondence, cover every imaginable area of life, both personal and communal. Beyond offering encouragement and blessings, they are a treasury of often refreshingly unique guidance to finding meaning, direction, and clarity. 

In advance of the thirtieth anniversary of the Rebbe’s passing, The Rohr Jewish Learning Institute (JLI) is delighted to release Advice for Life: The Rebbe’s Guidance for Leading a More Purposeful Life, a novel course that mines his teachings and guidance for wisdom and counsel, as applied to six key areas of life. 

Advice for Life permits the Rebbe’s perspectives to spring to life organically via first-hand stories and original footage of individuals recalling their dilemmas and the clarity and insights they received, as
well as of the Rebbe’s private and public interactions. The Rebbe hardly slept and never took a vacation, because he had endless lives to inspire— including yours. 



Money and Career 

Having a career and earning a living is generally considered a necessary evil. In the Rebbe’s perspective, conversely, holding down a job is a necessary goodness with cosmic importance beyond the paycheck. On the basis of his unique understanding of the purpose and meaning of life in general and of work in particular, his guidance on work-related matters and monetary decisions is insightful and empowering. 


Family and Home 

Home and family is perhaps Judaism’s most central institution. It is also perhaps the institution most fragile and prone to attack from external distractions in today’s society. The Rebbe’s correspondences and interactions include a gold mine of clarity on family relationships and harmony, educational issues, and insights for transforming a home into a sanctified space conducive to forging a family unit with the right priorities and perspectives. 


Physical Health and Well-Being 

From homes and hospitals around the globe, patients, physicians, and professors bombarded the Rebbe with communications regarding health matters. The Rebbe’s extensive responses form a treasure trove of guidance and deeper perspectives, and convey his holistic approach, in which physical health is intertwined with emotional and spiritual well-being. 


Emotional Health 

Today’s society is awash with awareness of, and struggles with, unprecedented prevalence and degrees of anxiety and mental health challenges. All are seeking the keys to unlock tranquility and emotional health, and to build a healthy concept of self. The Rebbe’s trademark feature was his unending positivity. This study of his communications on emotional health guides us in adopting his effective and uniquely positive approach. 


Challenge and Adversity 

Life includes bewildering moments when seemingly insurmountable challenges and obstacles threaten our path to health, livelihood, relationships, raising children, and the like. Thousands turned to the Rebbe in desperation or for inspiration to continue under such circumstances. In his responses, the Rebbe guides individuals to search for the inner meaning and purpose of the challenge, and to use that as a key to discover an effective method of handling the challenge. 


Spirituality and Relationship with G-d 

Some are ultimately practical and realistic; others are quixotic, with exceedingly high expectations. When it came to assisting individuals in their personal spiritual journeys, the Rebbe forged an entirely unique path, harnessing both extremes: he was extraordinarily practical and at the same time set incredible goals. He did this by allowing individuals to realize that they are far greater than they knew, with far greater potential than they imagined. This study guides us into achieving that liberating perspective. 

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