Spiritual Education: The Educational Theory and Practice of the Lubavitcher Rebbe Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson
The seventh Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson (1902-1994) was perhaps the twentieth century’s most well-known Jewish religious leader, best identified for spearheading the world-wide reconstruction of post-Holocaust Jewish religious life and inspiring a re-awakening of Jewish awareness and observance. Overseeing a primarily educational organization in over fifty countries, he addressed a vast range of educational matters in his correspondence, essays and public addresses. This book, the fruit of the author’s exhaustive research, closely examines Rabbi Schneerson’s substantive corpus and identifies the cohesive educational theory that underlies it. The defining elements of that innovative theory are shown to provide a vision for education that is of practical relevance to communities and individuals far beyond the Jewish community and for the wider world. After illustrating how Rabbi Schneerson’s practical agenda is a consequence of his theory, implications of his educational theory for current educational practice and policy in the wider setting are found to frequently surpass the limitations of popular educational thinking about religious and moral education. Cosmic Education illustrates a new, sometimes radical, model of “theosocial” education.
Aryeh Solomon was educated in Sydney, Australia where he completed undergraduate studies at Sydney University. Having studied in yeshivot in Melbourne, America and Israel, he and his family settled in Sydney where since 1984 he has served as College Rabbi to 1,600 students at Moriah College and he is the spiritual leader of its Hugo Lowy Synagogue. For more than twenty years, Dr Aryeh Solomon has scrutinized the vast educational discourse of Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson and is the author of two doctoral dissertations on the topic. At the Graduate School of Education at Melbourne’s La Trobe University, Dr. Solomon’s second dissertation, “From Theory to Practice: The Educational Philosophy of Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson,” was awarded the prestigious Nancy Mills Medal for “a thesis of exceptionally high quality”.