Shmuel Schneersohn

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Shmuel Schneersohn
Lubavitcher Rebbe
Stamp of Rabbi Shmuel Schneerson.jpg
Stamp of Shmuel Schneerson
Term 17-Mar-1866 – 14-Sep-1882 OS
Full name Shmuel Schneersohn
Main work Likutei Torah - Toras Shmuel
Born 17 March 1834 OS
Lyubavichi, Russian Empire
Died 14 September 1882 OS
Lyubavichi, Russian Empire
Buried Lyubavichi
Dynasty Chabad Lubavitch
Predecessor Menachem Mendel Schneersohn
Successor Sholom Dovber Schneersohn
Father Menachem Mendel Schneersohn
Mother Chaya Mushka (daughter of Dovber Schneuri)
Wife 1 Sterna (daughter of his brother Chaim Shneur Zalman)
Wife 2 Rivkah (granddaughter of Dovber Schneuri)
Children 2 Shneur Zalman Aharon
Sholom Dovber Schneersohn
Avrohom Sender
Menachem Mendel
Devorah Leah Ginsburg
Chaya Mushka Horenstein

Shmuel Schneersohn (or Rabbi Shmuel of Lubavitch or The Rebbe Maharash) (17 March 1834 – 14 September 1882 OS) was an Orthodox rabbi and the fourth Rebbe (spiritual leader) of the Chabad Lubavitch chasidic movement.


Schneersohn was born in Lyubavichi, on 2 Iyar 1834, the seventh son of the Tzemach Tzedek. He faced competition from three of his brothers, primarily from Rabbi Yehuda Leib Schneersohn who established a dynasty in Kapust upon their father's death. Other brothers also established dynasties in Lyady, Nizhyn, and Ovruch.[1]

In 1848 Rabbi Schneersohn was married to the daughter of his brother, Rabbi Chaim Shneur Zalman Schneersohn. After several months, she died, and he then married the Rebbetzin Rivkah, a granddaughter of Rabbi Dovber Schneuri, the Mitteler Rebbe. He had three sons, Rabbi Zalman Aharon, Rabbi Shalom Dovber and Rabbi Menachem Mendel as well as one daughter, Rebbetzin Devorah Leah.

Rabbi Schneersohn was said to have had chariots on call for the evacuation of books in time of fire.[2]

Besides his communal activism, he had wide intellectual interests. He spoke several languages, including Latin.[3] He wrote widely on a range of religious and secular topics, and much of his writing has never been published and remains in manuscript form alone.[3] His discourses began to be published for the first time under the title Likkutei Torat Shmuel in 1945 by Kehot, and 12 volumes have so far been printed.[3]

He died in Lyubavichi, on 13 Tishrei 1882, leaving three sons and two daughters, and was succeeded by his son Sholom Dovber.[3]

Schneersohn urged the study of Kabbalah as a prerequisite for one's humanity:

A person who is capable of comprehending the seder hishtalshelus (kabbalistic secrets concerning the coming-into-being of all existence every moment) - and fails to do so - cannot be considered a human being. At every moment and time one must know where his soul stands. It is a mitzvah (commandment) and an obligation to know the seder hishtalshelus.[4]


"The world says, 'If you can't crawl under, climb over.' But I say, Lechatchilah Ariber--'At the outset, one should climb over.'"[5]

"You cannot fool God; ultimately, you cannot fool others either. The only one you can fool is yourself. And to fool a fool is no great achievement."[6]


  1. ^ Sefer HaToldot Rav Shmuel, Admor Maharash, Glitzenstein, A. H.
  2. ^ The Messiah of Brooklyn: Understanding Lubavitch Hasidim Past and Present, M. Avrum Ehrlich, ch.16 note.12, KTAV Publishing, ISBN 0-88125-836-9
  3. ^ a b c d Encyclopedia of Hasidism, entry: Schneersohn, Shmuel. Naftali Lowenthal. Aronson, London 1996. ISBN 1-56821-123-6
  4. ^ Sefer HaToldos Admur Maharash Archived 2007-05-14 at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ See footnote number "[58]", of "The Blessings Of The Lubavitcher Rebbe Shlita / After Minchah Erev Yom Kippur, 5752". Archived from the original on March 27, 2002. [As the Rebbe Maharash himself explained, this approach runs contrary to the approach of the world at large. "The world says, 'If you can't crawl under, climb over.' But I say, LeChatchilah Ariber, 'At the outset, one should climb over.' "] 
  6. ^ The Nechama Greisman Anthology Archived 2003-11-04 at the Wayback Machine.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Menachem Mendel Schneersohn
Rebbe of Lubavitch
Succeeded by
Sholom Dovber Schneersohn