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A modern-day mystic, a maverick Rabbi, a messianic figure. The late Rav Menachem Froman has been called all three. The chief Rabbi of the Israeli settlement town of Tekoa was a lightning-rod of controversy throughout his public life, and has defied easy categorization ever since. Now, for the first time, Chasidim Just Laugh introduces Rav Froman and his bracing vision to an English-language audience.
Translated from the Hebrew original, Chasidim Just Laugh presents Rav Froman in his own words; through a series of reflections, aphorisms, and teachings; along with accompanying commentary and stories about the Rabbi. Culled from classes, interviews, and newspaper columns, these teachings provide the reader with a highly-accessible but thought-provoking overview of Rav Froman’s essential thought. Though better known for his interfaith and peace work with Palestinian religious and political leaders, Chasidim Just Laugh contains Rav Froman’s thoughts on marriage and relationships, Israeli society, faith, doubt, joy, religion, ritual, and so much else.
In a new introduction to this English edition, the celebrated Israeli writer and social critic Yossi Klein Halevi considers what it was that made Rav Froman such a unique personality, while recounting his extraordinary personal experiences with the Rabbi while on a peace mission to Gaza. Additional, extensive end-notes and a glossary provide the reader with important background information and resources for further reading.
Hailed by the New York Times as an “Old Testament seer,” and by Klein Halevi as a “reincarnation of the first Hasidim,” Rav Froman remains as relevant as ever to the present day. As Chasidim Just Laugh makes clear, in the ten years since his untimely death, his thought has become no less original, profound, confrontational, surprising – and vital.