Manatee County celebrates 'most influential rabbi of modern history'

HERALD STAFF REPORTApril 26, 2014 

BRADENTON -- Chabad of Bradenton and Lakewood Ranch will present "Paradigm Shift: Transformational Life Teachings of the Lubavitcher Rebbe," a new six-session course by the Rohr Jewish Learning Institute.

The course will be offered as part of a series of activities in Manatee County marking 20 years since the passing of "the Rebbe," Rabbi Menachem Schneerson.

The Rebbe was a visionary religious leader who inspired countless individuals during his lifetime and established a global network of educational, social, and religious institutions to revive the post-holocaust Jewish landscape.

"Paradigm Shift" will be offered in Lakewood Ranch at 7:30 p.m. over six Wednesdays beginning May 7.

The course will explore Schneerson's philosophy and outlook.

"It's like putting on a new pair of glasses through which everything appears much more vivid. It enables you to see so much more," said Rabbi Zalman Abraham of JLI's Brooklyn headquarters. "The Rebbe guided individuals to see the potential and inherent goodness in themselves, in others, and in every circumstance of their lives -- and we hope to convey a glimpse of this outlook to participants of the course."

"Paradigm Shift" reflects the Rebbe's legacy and is the product of a collaboration of more than two dozen experts on Schneerson's teachings as the most influential rabbi of modern history. It addresses questions such as:

• What were the Rebbe's central teachings and contributions to Judaism and society?

• What was his understanding of the human being and what were his hopes for humanity?

• What stands behind the continued success of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement?

• And how can we apply these insights toward living a more purposeful life?

"We all want to live up to our inherent design, to make the best of the unique set of skills and circumstances that we were given," said Rabbi Mendy Bukiet, JLI instructor in Lakewood Ranch. "'Paradigm Shift' is the first step. It's about visualizing what is possible and seeing how you can make it a reality."

"Paradigm Shift" is designed to appeal to people at all levels of Jewish knowledge, including those without any prior experience or background in Jewish learning. JLI courses are open to the public.

Information: 941-752-3030 or visit myJLI.com.

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