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The Extraordinary Life of Haskel Besser By Warren Kozak (200 Pages)Publisher: Harper Collins, 2004
Hasidic rabbi on Manhattan's Upper West Side, Rabbi Haskel Besser is a powerful and unique presence: a deeply religious man who is at home in the secular world. With an easy smile, Rabbi Besser spreads joy wherever he goes, enriching the lives of his many friends and congregants with his profound understanding of both Orthodox Judaism and human nature. Journalist Warren Kozak befriended Rabbi Besser in 1988 and writes with warmth and admiration about the rabbi's extraordinary life.
Growing up in a Poland rich with Hasidic culture and the music, art, and literature of a vibrant Europe, Haskel Besser and his family lived a charmed life. With the first hints of the growing wave of anti-Semitism that would destroy their world, the rabbi and his family miraculously escaped to Palestine. This engrossing narrative takes the reader through some of the most significant historical moments of the past eighty years as they were experienced by the rabbi and by his friends and family.
The Rabbi of 84th Street is also the story of Judaism in the 20th century; of the importance of centuries-old traditions to the 21st century; and of the triumph of faith, kindness, and spirit. Readers will be inspired and uplifted by the rabbi's life and wisdom, which have made him such an important spiritual leader.
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