There Will Never Be
Another Diamond Like . . .
This book was written for the sake of one breath in one person--you. How
so? Read on. . . .
Once,1 on the holiday of Simchas Torah in the Jewish year of 5648
(1888), the Rebbe Rashab,2 Rabbi Shalom DovBer of Lubavitch, delivered
a discourse that discusses the special qualities of the simple Jew.
In it, he cited the metaphor of the "heel and the hot water": the heel lags
far behind the head in intellectual capacity, but when a person wants to
enter a tub of hot water, the heel ventures forward while the head is reluctant
to proceed. Simple Jews, explained the Rebbe Rashab, are blessed with a greater
degree of self-sacrifice and wholehearted devotion to the Almighty than their
more learned brethren.
At that particular discourse was the learned diamond merchant Reb Monia Mosenson,
one of the Rebbe Rashab's most eminent disciples. At one point, Reb Monia
expressed his bewilderment at the Rebbe's veneration of these simple folk.
"Why does the Rebbe devote so much of his invaluable time to them?" he asked.
Rabbi DovBer began to tell Reb Monia of the special qualities that so endeared
them to him.
"Rebbe, I don't see it," objected Reb Monia.
"Do you have any of your diamonds with you?" the Rebbe asked. He did, said
Reb Monia, and, as a man accustomed to discussing his profession, he began
to describe his most recent acquisitions. "This time, Rebbe, I managed to
acquire some real beauties," he exclaimed, "but I cannot show them to you
just now--the sun is shining too brightly."
Later, the diamond merchant was sufficiently satisfied with the lighting
to spread his wares on the table.
"Look at this one," he prompted the Rebbe, proceeding to extoll its particular
virtues. But the Rebbe Rashab failed to understand the specialness of the
"I just don't see it," he protested.
"Ah, Rebbe," said Reb Monia, "on a diamond, one must be a maven [a knowledgeable
or experienced person]."
"Ah, Reb Monia," the Rebbe countered, "on a Jew, one must also be a maven
. . ."
Our generation's maven of Jews is Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, or as
he is known to millions around the world, the Rebbe.
Who was this Rebbe whose utterances could sway Israeli elections, whose blessing
could cause a company's stock to soar, who saw the entire Jewish world as
his flock and who translated that premise into programs to benefit everyone?
Until now, we know him by his holy life, his all-embracing smile and deep-well
eyes, his writings, his talks via videos and pamphlets, his letters, his
directives, his prophecies, and his more than three thousand emissaries who
can be found in every Jewish nook and cranny in the world.
Now this book: a collection of twenty-eight accounts of men and women who
were reinspired to lead decent Jewish lives once they were touched by the
The lives range from poet Herb Brin, who had the longest personal meeting
with the Rebbe to musicologist Kalman Cowl, who thought the Rebbe would dismiss
him outright from his presence if he dared reveal to the Rebbe his real thoughts
about Judaism. Hear how Russian Professor Herman Branover heard with his
own ears the Rebbe predict, in 1985, the precise details of the downfall
of the Soviet Union--and what Branover must then do about it. Hear what the
Rebbe told Jackie Mason to do if he wanted to continue his show biz success.
How Sid Davidoff's Jewish soul finally put him in his place--and why. What
Leslie Fiedler did with his life when the Rebbe personally told him, "The
house is burning . . . save the children." And why real estate broker Charlie
Roth continues to live in the best of both worlds of Orthodox Judaism and
Gestalt therapy, thanks to the Rebbe's total acceptance of him.
In this book there will be stories that will, at first, make you scratch
your head and wonder:
Why the Rebbe blessed Catholic Alberto Fujimori and his come-from-nowhere
election as president of Peru, which is still hailed as a miracle--including
by Fujimori himself.
Why does Black peacemaker Richard Green continue to carry the Rebbe's photo
in his wallet?
This is the beauty, charm and mystique of this book about the Rebbe and the
Jews and non-Jews he touched. To put it another way, to quote one of the
Rebbe's emissaries, "Other great spiritual leaders left you humbled, but
the Rebbe has the knack of making you feel as though the extra swing to make
the world a better place depended on you."
In his thoughts and prayers, the Lubavitcher Rebbe always kept you in mind:
you, the simple Jew, whom the Rebbe blessed many times; you're the one he
still depends on to make the world a better place. Oh, you didn't know that?
It's a holy fact--for each Jew. "Mountains of charcoal are burnt in the thickness
of the earth," wrote a Jewish poet, "to bequeath to the world the precious
diamond;/Countless winds are blowing and are vainly spent/For the sake of
one breath in man."3
For the sake of this one breath in you, may your Jewish spark ignite. Then,
I won't have to tell you why this book was written for you.
As you let your heel venture forward, you'll soon learn why yourself.
One more thing: I sincerely also dedicate this book to you. So, please paste
your photo in the picture frame below, keeping in mind yourself--the Rebbe's
most important diamond--as you read about some other diamonds that have been
shaped in part by the Rebbe's blessing.