Last updated on: 2/5/2009 | Author: ProCon.org

Menachem Mendel Schneerson Biography

Title:
Chief Rabbi and Spiritual Leader of the Chabad-Lubavitch ultra-orthodox Jewish movement
Position:
Pro to the question "Is Sexual Orientation Determined at Birth?"
Reasoning:

“It makes no real difference what causes an individual to presently choose this form of relationship [a homosexual relationship]. Even one who was born with this inclination, and was not educated in his youth to correct it (no matter who is to blame) and is now an adult, must also be motivated to educate him/herself, now; for it is still just as destructive, it is still just as abnormal, etc.”

“‘Rights’ Or Ills,” a speech delivered on Purim in 1986, available on the Jews Offering New Alternatives to Homosexuality [JONAH] website

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Congressional Gold Medal, U.S. Congress, 1994
  • His birthday, according to the Jewish calendar, proclaimed Education and Sharing Day, an annual holiday in the United States, by U.S. Congress, 1994
  • Seventh and, to date, final Rebbe (Chief Rabbi and Spiritual Leader) of the Chabad-Lubavitch ultra-orthodox Jewish movement, 1951-1994
  • Most of his followers believe there can be no successor to him as chief Rabbi and some of his followers considered him the Jewish Messiah
  • Considered the patriarch of Jewish unity, he trained thousands of rabbis and developed schools, community center, youth camps, college campus centers and other outreach efforts to connect Jews across the world
  • Instituted “mitzvah campaigns” to make the Jewish concept of performing acts of kindness a regular part of Jewish public life
  • National Scroll of Honor, U.S. Congress, 1983
  • His 80th birthday, according to the Jewish calendar, proclaimed a National Day of Reflection, U.S. President Ronald Reagan, 1982
  • Initiated “Sunday Dollars” program, in which thousands of followers would visit him every Sunday to ask him to pray for them or for advice and he would give them each a $1 bill to donate to charity, 1986
  • Director of Education and Social Services, Lubavitch movement, 1942-1950
  • Fled from Europe to Brooklyn, New York to escape Nazi persecution, 1941
Education:
  • None found
Other:
  • Born: Apr. 18, 1902
  • Deceased: June 12, 1994
Quoted in:
  1. Does Judaism Accept Same-Sex Behavior?