The Oracle: Portraits of Rebbe Mendel SchneersonZoom

The Oracle: Portraits of Rebbe Mendel Schneerson

Item# Oracle
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In 1992, Rebbe Mendel Schneerson appeared on the cover of the New York Times Magazine, which dubbed him “The Oracle of Crown Heights.” The feature, in time for the Rebbe’s ninetieth birthday, described his influence on the Jewish world and the Chabad movement, which he nurtured into an international juggernaut.

Award-winning photographer Marc Asnin spent several weeks in Crown Heights for the article and took thousands of photos, only a few of which were published in the magazine. Now, in time for the thirtieth anniversary of Rebbe Schneerson’s passing, Redux Pictures presents these never-before-published photos in a coffee table book, The Oracle: Portraits of Rebbe Mendel Schneerson.

The book also includes newer work from Asnin, who took portraits and interviewed forty-five individuals who had relationships with the Rebbe—dignitaries, artists, and politicians, as well as regular people.

Through Asnin’s intimate photos and personal reflections, The Oracle examines a pivotal moment when Rebbe Schneerson was at the height of his influence and tells of the Chabad movement that continues to thrive decades after his passing.

Photos: Marc Asnin
Foreword: Michael Specter
Reflections: Senator Joe Lieberman, Speaker Newt Gingrich, Congresswoman Elizabeth Holtzman, NY Attorney General Robert Abrams, Rabbi Yehuda Krinsky, Curtis Sliwa, Rabbi Yisroel Friedman, Malcolm Hoenlein, Mrs. Chave Hecht, Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky, Mrs. Devorah Halberstam, Alan Dershowitz & More
Interviews: Dovid Zaklikowski
Editors: Sarah Ogince and Julian Anderson
Hardcover: 384 pages, 280 photos
Product dimensions: 8.5 x 11 inches
Publisher: Redux

From inside the Book

Michael Specter, staff writer for the New Yorker:

Reporting on Chabad for the New York Times Magazine was surreal, a sensation crystallized by Marc Asnin’s searing, evocative, Brueghel-like photographs.

Marc Asnin, award-winning photographer:

It was a moment that changed me, when I stepped through the doors of 770 Eastern Parkway. Some people believe life is predestined—that’s above my pay grade—but with this assignment to photograph the Rebbe, I was led toward what I had been looking for my entire life.

Elizabeth Holtzman, former New York congresswoman:

Rabbi Schneerson was a charismatic person. He was a powerful advocate for his community and for Jews around the world. His synagogue at 770 Eastern Parkway was not just a community institution; it had worldwide significance.

Alan Dershowitz, professor emeritus of law at Harvard University:

Because the Rebbe adapted to American culture, he had more influence on Jewish life in America than anyone else in the twentieth century.

Joe Lieberman, former Connecticut senator:

A blessing from the Rebbe mattered. I knew many who were not religious—some not even Jewish—and yet they considered the Rebbe a holy man.
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