• In Honor of Gimmel Tammuz, “The Ultimate Jew” Reprinted

    For the past six decades, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, has been the most dynamic spiritual leader in the Jewish world and a man of great renown and admiration in the world at large. What is the Rebbe’s secret? Why are so many people attracted to him? Where did he come from? How did he become “the Rebbe”? What are his fundamental teachings? • Full Article

    For the past six decades, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, has been the most dynamic spiritual leader in the Jewish world and a man of great renown and admiration in the world at large. What is the Rebbe’s secret? Why are so many people attracted to him? Where did he come from? How did he become “the Rebbe”? What are his fundamental teachings?

    The Ultimate Jew attempts to answer these and similar questions. The book begins with an overview of the origins of the chasidic movement, transitions into an illustration of the Chabad dynasty and its distinguishing features, and finally focuses on the Rebbe’s continuous influence. The Rebbe’s fundamental teachings, his bond with his followers, his attention to matters concerning the Land of Israel, his perspective on so-called contradictions between Judaism and science — all of these and much more are addressed in The Ultimate Jew.

    Perhaps most importantly, The Ultimate Jew broadly addresses the matter of Chabad’s raptness with Moshiach and the Redemption, its centrality in the Rebbe’s teachings, and its extraordinary impact on the Jewish people and the entire world.

    THE AUTHOR, THE CHASID

    Professor Herman (Yirmiyahu) Branover is a world-renowned scientist and Jewish educator. As both a magneto hydrodynamics expert and as a chasid of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, the professor has had tremendous impact on the spiritual lives of many Jews worldwide and on the scientific and economic development of the Israeli tech industry.

    For many years, this physicist was privileged to have a very close relationship with the Lubavitcher Rebbe and was active in all areas of Jewish and scientific life working toward one goal – to fulfill the Rebbe’s instructions. This was unique for a professor who enjoyed a celebrated academic and intellectual status, yet in no way did it diminish from his fervent devotion as a true chasid.

    His life is a portrait of determination and idealism.

    Born in 1931, in Riga, Latvia, to an atheist Jewish family, he completed his academic studies in engineering, physics, and mathematics at the Polytech Institute in St. Petersburg, Russia, and then obtained a Ph.D. from the Moscow Aviation Institute.

    Under the communist regime, and while serving as a leading scientist at the Latvian Academy of Science, Professor Branover discovered G-d and the Torah, and became observant under great danger. He later joined the Chabad-Lubavitch movement.

    He then fought for the right for Jews to immigrate to Israel and became a refusenik. Eventually, after much hardship, he succeeded and moved with his wife, Fania, and son, Daniel, to Israel in 1972, where he was appointed as a professor at the Tel Aviv University.

    He then accepted an invitation to join the Ben-Gurion University, in the city of Be’er Sheva. With great idealism and altruism, he moved with his young family to the south of Israel. There, in the desert, he worked tirelessly to develop this institution and established a scientific research center in his field.

    At that time, this staunch Zionist traveled to New York to meet the Lubavitcher Rebbe, who instructed him to head the SHAMIR Association of Religious Professionals, through which he would actively help Jews in Russia. Professor Branover was extremely dedicated to this mission. As a result of his efforts, countless Russian-speaking Jews have returned to their roots with the help of the hundreds of basic Torah books that were published in Russian, under his astute guidance.

    His work with the Russian community did not stop there. At the Rebbe’s instruction, he set up an employment infrastructure in Israel to serve the influx of Russian Jewish immigrants in the late 80s and early 90s, by providing them with opportunities to contribute their talents to the society and the economy. The unforeseen blessing was that this enterprise was the catalyst for the incredible high-tech boom today in Israel.

    The eminent scientist and Jewish thinker traveled extensively to lecture around the world and was appointed as adjunct professor at the New York University.

    A prolific writer, he authored over 20 scientific books and hundreds of publications in many languages. Among the spectrum of books that Professor Branover wrote on Jewish topics, is the poignant autobiography Return – an inspirational chronicle of his spiritual journey.

    Ironically, after the fall of communism, he was appointed as a member of the prestigious Russian Academy of Sciences by the very government that had persecuted him.

    While his heart remains in the Land of Israel, today the 83-year-old lives surrounded by his loving family in New York.

    Professor Herman Branover, having co-authored this biography of the Lubavitcher Rebbe with the assistance of the late Ma’ariv journalist Avraham Nave, depicted the Rebbe’s image and leadership from not only the points of view of an academic and a journalist, but – no less important – from the point of view of a chasid.

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