By Motti Wilhelm for Chabad.org
Nearly 6,000 rabbis and guests from around the world will converge this week in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, N.Y., for the annual International Convention of Chabad-Lubavitch Emissaries (Kinus Hashluchim). Coming together from 100 countries and all 50 states, the shluchim will assemble for a weekend to rejuvenate, and gather strength and inspiration that they then bring back to their home communities.
But what motivates these emissaries? Where do they draw inspiration to dedicate their lives to helping others? For Chabad.org senior writer Rabbi Tzvi Freeman, the answer is obvious.
“Chabad is built on the Rebbe’s teachings,” says Freeman, “the ideas he transmitted to us over more than 40 years. These ideas are everlasting. We continue to be inspired by them year after year.”
Freeman is the author of the best-selling Bringing Heaven Down to Earth, and now, a new condensed compilation, 101 Meditations: Selected from Wisdom to Heal the Earth, which offers a concise collection of transformative insights from the Rebbe—Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory, first published in Freeman’s Wisdom to Heal the Earth.
While the Rebbe’s wisdom is readily accessible in an abundance of material on the Rebbe’s life and times, his personal correspondence, books and writings, and personal encounters, many of the most novel ideas are to be found in Chassidic discourses replete with Kabbalistic terms and abstract concepts. Others are to be found in talks and writings delving into complex Talmudical discussions or sandwiched between explanations of passages in Rashi, the foremost biblical commentator.
As he has done for decades, Freeman sets out in 101 Meditations to present the Rebbe’s wisdom in a concise form, within reach of anyone who so desires. More than merely a translation, the goal is to bridge the gap between Chassidic philosophy and Western consciousness. In what can only be described as a work of art, Freeman took concepts that one might expect to read long chapters on and abbreviated them to a mere few lines in an almost poetic fashion.
Peering into the world around us, Freeman shows how in light of the Rebbe’s wisdom, individuals can make sense of and find their place and purpose in today’s world by focusing on the inherent spirituality present in everything encountered.
To have these timeless messages reach even further, Chabad.org partnered with Ezra Press, an imprint of Kehot Publication Society, to publish 101 Meditations. Culled from Wisdom to Heal the Earth (published in October 2018, also by Ezra Press), and produced by Chabad.org, the smaller version presents selected teachings in a convenient, pocket-size format, granting the ability to study the wisdom contained within in a more personal setting.
“Many have expressed their appreciation to me for presenting the Rebbe’s teachings in a short, condensed manner,” says Freeman. “I am sure that with the publication of 101 Meditations, the teachings will become all the more accessible and reach a much broader audience than ever before.”
“101 Meditations: Selected From Wisdom to Heal the Earth” can be purchased online here and in Jewish bookstores. Chabad.org’s growing selection of best-selling books can be viewed and ordered at www.chabad.org/books.