Toward a Meaningful Life

4.94 out of 5
(82 customer reviews)












Toward a Meaningful Life is a spiritual road map for living based on the teachings of one of the foremost religious leaders of our time: Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson. Recognized throughout the world simply as “the Rebbe,” Menachem Mendel Schneerson, who passed away in June 1994, was a sage and visionary of the highest order

Toward a Meaningful Life offers every individual — regardless of background — fresh perspectives on every aspect of life; from birth to death, youth to old age; marriage, love, intimacy, and family; the persistent issues of career, health, pain, and suffering; and education, faith and science. These perspectives empower us to bridge the divisions between accelerated technology and decelerated morality, between unprecedented worldwide unity and unparalleled personal disunity.

At the threshold of a new world where matter and spirit converge, the Rebbe proposes spiritual principles that unite people as opposed to the materialism that divides them.

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Additional Information

Weight 2 lbs
Dimensions 1.1 × 6 × 8.5 in

Hardcover, Softcover, Spanish, Hebrew, Kindle

82 reviews for Toward a Meaningful Life

  1. 5 out of 5


    I could not resist this title, for I , like most of us, search for ways to make life meaningful. I was not disappointed. The Rebbe taught that we find joy not through material things and momentary pleasures, but by living a life that involves caring, compassion, respect, and duty. He covers the everyday things we all deal with: children, work, death, and life. This book is probably the most practically inspirational book I have read, and is definitely ecumenical. I highly recommend it for anyone seeking to find more meaning and more joy in life.

  2. 5 out of 5


    Deserves more than 5 stars! I can’t tell you how many times, while reading this book, I said ‘this is so true’ or ‘I wish I knew this earlier’. Do yourself a favor, buy it and READ it!

  3. 5 out of 5


    Exactly the kind of humanism you would expect from a wise Rebbe. He has not let us down in this book.

  4. 5 out of 5


    This book covers the fundimental things in life.It inspires conversation and maintains focus on what the family and the individual should be conscious of throughout the day.We regularly give this book as a gift to Jews and Non-Jews alike.It’s about living as a good person and not getting lost in the superficial.

  5. 4 out of 5


    My mother is a Lubavitcher and she sent me this book. I read it a year later and was delighted to find that it is one of the most humanistic, clear-headed, non-dogmatic collections of wisdom about how to live one’s life as a moral, responsible, righteous person. It covers different part of life—birth, adolescence, marriage, death—as well as some of the toughest issues of our time. A fountain of wisdom that I felt driven to share with others!

  6. 5 out of 5


    This book has had a huge impact on my life– so much so, that I have purchased 30 copies for friends and family. Anyone seeking to learn about the spiritual depth of Judaism will find this book hard to put down! If you, like me, have had a hard time finding meaning in Reform or Conservative Judaism, and seek a greater understanding of “What does it mean to be Jewish”, then you will get a tremendous amount from this book.

  7. 5 out of 5


    Both the title and the jacket of this book caught my attention, but little did I know what an incredible book this was until I began to read it. “Wisdom” only begins to describe it. It is so much deeper than that word conveys. Every time I read a selection from it, I see it with fresh eyes, and get something new from it. I’ve read it, and recommended it, over and over. I can’t get enough of it.

  8. 4 out of 5


    This book gives a hasidic, yet not sectarian view on many aspects of life. Whereas most hasidic books stand still at questions on faith, this book explores the mind in a more philosophical way. The last few chapters can be missed; as the writer is repeating himself to much. Hence the 4 stars in stead of 5.

  9. 5 out of 5


    Everything you always wanted to know ….. and now it appears in print. This book is an amazing tour de force as it gives us guidelines on living a successful life. It is for all ages and all people regardless of their personal beliefs or lack of them. You won’t ever look at the world the same or take things for granted again. So simple, you will wonder how come no one ever told you these things before.

  10. 5 out of 5


    Simon Jacobson’s Toward A Meaningful Life is a true classic which pairs spiritual and intellectual concepts with advice and perceptions of everyday life: while its roots are in Judaism, its advice and insights will appeal to a wide audience and may be used as a self-help approach to finding wisdom in a chaotic modern life.

  11. 5 out of 5


    A book that adds meaning throughout each chapter. Some of the words do repeat themselves from time to time. However, the wisdom of the Rebbe always seems to have a positive reflection with hope for a better world. Even when dealing with death, The Rebbe reflects how the departed person’s soul has risen to a higher plain. Other inspiring moments include the birth of a child, the importance of keeping healthy, and the many joys of marriage.
    This book may not be easy to absorb if you are first learning how to be spiritual. But give it some time and you will certainly feel fine.

  12. 4 out of 5


    I agree with most of the positive comments made by other reviewers. One minor caveat: some of the essays are much more dated than others (which is probably why a new edition came out). For example, one essay on youth rebellion was probably written (or spoken) in the 1960s, and some of the essays are a bit too gee-whiz optimistic to be totally persuasive in 2003 (after the Sept. 11 disaster and the worldwide explosion of anti-Semitism that followed it).

  13. 5 out of 5


    Rarely is such universal wisdom and guidance captured between book covers. This book is a must read for anyone in search of objective truth and personal relevance.

  14. 5 out of 5


    The author of this book compiles teaching from the Rebbe in a simple and skillful way, dividing them into topics that can be readily addressed. There are chapters on children and education, marriage and choosing a wife, sadness and how to cope with it, death; basically, all major emotions and events in life. The chapters are full of anecdotes, which make for a very vivid way of teaching.

    Though I am not a deeply religious man, I certainly appreciate the comfort provided by the book. It is not restricted to Jews, though I think Jews would be more familiar with the stories. It does an attempt to reconcile religion with science (a feeble one, I should add), being this I think the only more controversial part of it; otherwise, I can almost picture the old man whispering in my ear, pointing in the direction of righteousness and goodness.

  15. 5 out of 5


    The friend who suggested that I buy this book told me that if he had the funds, he would buy enough copies of this book that would give him the chance to take them up in a plane and parachute them down everywhere he could. Filled with humorous notes and tidbits, this English language volume seeks to capture Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson’s wisdom regarding techniques and perspectives on generational living. Each chapter is focused as a guide for navigating different phases of life, from infancy to senior living, from being loved to loving. And while the reader may not find every chapter relevant, there is more than enough in this work to bring many smiles of recognition along with lots of “Ah-ha!” moments.

  16. 4 out of 5


    Even if you aren’t Lubavitch this book is a great read. Very spiritually moving and easy to read.

  17. 5 out of 5


    The Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson’s wisdom, foresight and teachings are truly a blessing to humanity. Finally a palapable compendium filled with thousands of teachings. Each word is truly a gem.

  18. 5 out of 5


    I regard R. Simon Jacobson’s popularization of the teachings of the Lubavitcher Rebbe as an excellent book, and would recommend it to persons of any or no formal religious belief. The second edition, with citations of sources, is an improvement; but should be followed by an electronic edition giving hyperlinks to those sources, both in traditional Jewish texts and in the verbatim transcriptions, in English or English translation with glossary, of the talks of the Lubavitcher Rebbe.

  19. 5 out of 5


    A tremendous body of work, both illuminating and thought provoking. Rabbi Jacobson delivers a profoundly deep and purposeful manual for meaningful existence in a cogent, easy to read package. I recommend it wholeheartedly to persons of all religious backgrounds.

  20. 5 out of 5


    An excellent book for all people. It is simple, uncomplicated, and gets to the point. I really enjoyed the way this books presents Judaism to people like ‘me’. No camels, no rocking back and forth, no goats. Simply put this book teaches you to be nice, act kindly, and try to find Godliness in everything you do, all the time. I really hope you’ll read this book.

  21. 5 out of 5


    If your looking for inspiration and truth then this is the book for you. I heard the author being interviewed on the radio and knew I had to get my hands on a copy asap and thank G-d with Amazon I was able to. Must read.

  22. 5 out of 5


    This book is like reading Proverbs. So much wisdom about living life. So concise and interesting.

    I put it on my must read list.

  23. 5 out of 5


    I really enjoyed the book. It is a good mix of deep philosophy combined with very practical and real world application and insights. It is a huge task to tackle the Rebbe’s Wisdom but the author did a great job all around.

  24. 5 out of 5


    The book is very inspiring. The wisdom inside is awesome. Don’t be fooled by the simple title. Recommend for readers of any faith, and even more for those without faith.

  25. 5 out of 5


    This was by far the most life-changing book I’ve ever read. It put to words so many things I’ve felt in life. The lessons I learned from this book have inspired me and informed my life on a daily basis.

  26. 5 out of 5


    This book was recommended to me during a time in my life where I was suffering from serious clinical depression – although I didn’t know it at the time. One of my significant steps towards self-healing was through the reading and re-reading of chapters in this book coupled with application. I continually use different chapters as a source and for reminders. I have recommended this book to many and given it to others – and, uniformly, each has appreciated the contents.

    The messages are sound, thought-provoking, and for me, provided guidance and answers. The book is very rich – probably more relevant to an older, more mature/experienced-in-life reader, but many parts can be excerpted for dealing with children, husbands, wives, parents and, of course, life.

  27. 4 out of 5


    Rabbi Schneerson was a very wise man and for anyone seeking guidance in a chaotic world, they will find straightforward and time-tested values here.

  28. 5 out of 5


    This book entails great meaning toward great understanding and the wisdom needed to apply to one’s life journey!
    I have and will purchase more copies to give to people whom will benefit from the read! Applies great knowledge.

    G-d Bless all


  29. 5 out of 5


    I have read this book cover to cover twice.
    Highly recommended for anyone who believes in something beyond what we can see and touch.

  30. 5 out of 5


    This is not only a good read but a great resource to go back to when you are looking for another perspective to what is going on in your life and how to change your paradigm. It really is about living your purpose.

  31. 5 out of 5


    Great book.

  32. 5 out of 5


    Probably the most insightful books I have ever read. It is a gem, packed with wisdom, addressing the real needs of people in this frightful age we all live in. Jew, gentile, atheist, whatever….. read this book, refer to it constantly, and change your life and those around you for the better.

  33. 5 out of 5


    This may be the most moving book I’ve ever read! When I first read this book, I was surprised by how universal in scope the lessons taught by the Lubavitcher Rebbe were. When I started reading this book I had trouble putting it down. I think I finished it in a couple days. I am far from a Torah Scholar but most of the messages in the book are so universal in scope as well as extremely well written that I was inspired. I highly recommend this book.

  34. 5 out of 5


    Everyone should read this, regardless of your religious persuasion.

  35. 5 out of 5


    It makes no difference if you are Jewish or Christian, the Rebbe has the wisdom of a Solomon. Lots of chapters to help you get through life. The Rebbe is a gift to the world.

  36. 5 out of 5


    Very good.

  37. 5 out of 5


    Always a great speaker and a wonderful spiritual, uplifting writer.

  38. 5 out of 5


    Great book, I re-read it often, highly recommended!

  39. 5 out of 5


    The Rebbe had insight that few religious leaders have. If you want a self-help book without the hype, buy this.

  40. 5 out of 5


    Great book!!! I recommend this book to everybody. The reading is easy to understand and the message is clear. This will help change you life and how you view the world and others.

  41. 5 out of 5



  42. 5 out of 5


    Can’t wait to read it again

  43. 5 out of 5


    Excellent book, arrived promptly, thank you.

  44. 5 out of 5


    Excellent – thank you!

  45. 5 out of 5


    If you are looking for added meaning, drive, motivation, or inspiration in your personal, spiritual, and professional lives, this book will do that and more. It helped me see life through a different lens, and I am grateful for that.

  46. 5 out of 5



  47. 5 out of 5


    Rabbi Schneerson is a uniquely, brilliant communicator, who spoke of religious belief in such an intelligent way that even “secular” Jews, like myself, feel his spiritual message.
    His admiration from his many, many followers, Jew an non-Jew alike, is well deserved. His Gold Medal bestowed by unanimous consent for his contributions is testament to his compassion and insight. Everyone should read Toward a Meaningful Life.

  48. 5 out of 5


    Wonderful book with glorious insight and written in such a way that we all can relate.

  49. 5 out of 5


    Brilliant advice for living life! The chapter on love , marriage, and intimacy is must reading for everyone! No need to read it in order! A keeper for your library!

  50. 5 out of 5


    Simply the best book I have ever read in this genre. it answers all the critical questions of life. If you need guidance read this book. If you read the book and are still having major problems reread it. It is that good.

  51. 5 out of 5


    I have had the honor of meeting the author , a brilliant mind . Must read for all . Truly puts things in to perspective for you . If you a re looking for meaning read this book .

  52. 5 out of 5


    Beautiful and inspiring, perhaps the most important book ever written.

  53. 5 out of 5


    A must read for those looking for G-d in their everyday life.

  54. 5 out of 5


    It is exactly what the title says. It gives you insight in how to lead a more meaningful life. It is for everyone not just Jews. You may not agree with some of it but it will get you thinking. And there is so much you will agree with. It is well worth the investment in time and money.

  55. 5 out of 5


    It is exactly what the title says. It gives you insight in how to lead a more meaningful life. It is for everyone not just Jews. You may not agree with some of it but it will get you thinking. And there is so much you will agree with. It is well worth the investment in time and money.

  56. 5 out of 5


    Great meaningful book.

  57. 5 out of 5


    Love this Rabbi and his way of sharing about the Rebbe. Bought one for each of my kids.

  58. 5 out of 5


    Love this book. It’s really good for anyone to read.

  59. 5 out of 5


    Fabulous book. I am learning a lot about life and how to feel I am accomplishing my life’s purpose.

  60. 5 out of 5


    Excellent book. Relevant messages.

  61. 5 out of 5



  62. 5 out of 5


    I think every home should have this book. I am reading and discussing a chapter every week and it is so informative to every human being. I love what I am learning about me from this book.

  63. 5 out of 5


    Inspiring and thought provoking. Would recommend to anyone who wishes to challenge their beliefs about what makes one’s life fulfilling and purposeful.

  64. 5 out of 5


    This is an excellent book for anyone! Great insights to help you as you navigate through your daily life.

  65. 5 out of 5


    The most amazing book.

    I give to friends for gifts and they love it.

  66. 5 out of 5


    One of the most important books I have ever read. Wish I had read it when I was a youth

  67. 5 out of 5


    Amazing book.

  68. :

    My husband and I run a monumental masonry business and we give out many copies of your book Towards a Meaningful Life to families we assist. The reason we have chosen your book to be our gift to families is because of the wonderful sections on ageing and death which offer meaning and support during the difficult period of losing a loved one.

  69. 5 out of 5


    I wish I had read this book of wisdom from the Rebbe 20 years ago. It is so amazing I told everyone about, including my non Jewish friends. I even ordered another copy in Russian for my mom! If you have teenage children, let them read this book! I believe that every human being should read this book of great wisdom, especially our politicians! If everyone applied morals and values provided by the Rebbe, this world would have been a better place. There would peace among every human being! This book deserves 100 stars!!!

  70. 5 out of 5


    Wish I read this book 40 years ago! A plus!

  71. 5 out of 5


    Excellent product and service.

  72. 5 out of 5


    You do NOT have to be Jewish to like this book. To me, it fits in with The Power of Now and so many other books that put things into a more theological and spiritual context. It is so easy to read, so deep, and many of the essays with stay with you for hours. I was gifted this as a hardcover by a rabbi I did a show for. I recently ordered it so it’s on my kindle and I’ve gifted my copy to my sister. This is such a deep, easy to read book — and it cuts across all theologies. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

  73. 5 out of 5


    Bought it as a present and the person really enjoyed it

  74. 5 out of 5


    Spectacular. I wish I had read it a decade ago when my Rabbi suggested that I read it.

  75. 5 out of 5


    Prompted by the devastation wreaked on September 11 to again reflect on the challenges life presents, Jacobson has submitted a revised edition of his 1995 volume, which shares wisdom gleaned from his lifelong religious teacher and mentor, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, fondly known as the Rebbe to his Lubavitch followers and as a Torah luminary to Jews around the world. Divided into three sections-Man, Society, and G-d-and including the addition of a new chapter, “Upheaval and Change,” Jacobson offers readers spiritual nourishment to help them experience personal fulfillment and continual growth. Each chapter begins with quotes from scripture and the Rebbe: “The world says that time is money; I say that time is life,” the Rebbe opined, and “We are the seventh generation, the one that will actualize G-d’s reality on this earth.” To best demonstrate the Rebbe’s insights, Jacobson offers anecdotes that stress the importance and accessibility of each idea, as well as its ultimate reward. Perceptive and thought-provoking, this compilation of the Rebbe’s thoughts and themes can be as useful to the reader previously acquainted with the Rebbe and Torah thought as to the novice.

  76. 5 out of 5


    A wise man taught in Brooklyn for 44 years, influencing the lives of thousands and receiving accolades from heads of state. Little known outside of Jewish circles, the Rebbe, as Menachem Mendel Schneerson is lovingly known, was a fount of spiritual strength and good sense. Toward a Meaningful Life is an adaptation of his teachings that convey his strong message of love, productivity, education, and virtue, all with the grace of a good and loving God. This is the type of spiritual wisdom that can be turned to again and again.

  77. 5 out of 5


    The renowned Menachem Mendel Schneerson, who died just over a year ago, was the rebbe, or spiritual leader, for 44 years of the Lubavitcher Hasidim, the best known of the Hasidic groups worldwide. The Lubavitchers, under his guidance, have exerted tremendous influence, both spiritual and political, on all branches of Judaism; many of his devoted followers considered the rebbe to be the long-awaited Messiah himself. The present volume, compiled by one of his disciples, presents a compilation of the rebbe’s thoughts and teachings about spiritual and worldly concepts such as our ideas about God, love, death, sex, and good and evil. As far as this reviewer can ascertain, this is the first time the rebbe’s writings have appeared in English. A highly important and insightful book, this could have a much wider audience than just Jews because the Rebbe’s approach is nonparochial and nonsectarian, and his ideas would be engaging to non-Jewish readers as well. Highly recommended for all religion collections

  78. 5 out of 5


    Rabbi Schneerson was the leader (or rebbe) of the Lubavitch movement of Hasidic Judaism for 44 years until his death in 1994 and was thought by some to be the messiah. Born in the Ukraine in 1902, he conducted his leadership of the movement from his home in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn. The movement was nearly devastated by the Holocaust but then grew to a worldwide community of more than 200,000 members. This book is an attempt to show that the rebbe’s teachings are more relevant today than they ever have been and to demonstrate how they can reshape the way we think and act by introducing us to what Simon Jacobson, Schneerson’s translator and the preparer of this text, sees as a higher level of consciousness and awareness. The subjects addressed include birth, childhood, education, love, intimacy, and health and fitness. The book is, of course, more meaningful for Jews, but all readers can benefit from its sagacity.

  79. 5 out of 5


    Life Changing Book To bringing more meaning to ones Life in Body Mind heart soul. Bless the writer Rabbi Simon Jacobson for His continuous work. The book is written beautifully for every age race or religion. A book for Life. You can read it 100 times with everytime getting a new gifted message.

    Bless the wisdom and teachings of The Rebbe

  80. 5 out of 5

    (verified owner):

    Spiritual Renewal
    Reading this book, made me reflect on my life and how to change it to make it better and more meaningful. Rabbi Jacobson , who himself has such great wisdom shares the wisdom of Rebbe schneerson. The title of the book describes it beautifully. I will read it a second time and it would make a great gift to anyone. Keep up the great work that God chose you to do.

  81. 5 out of 5


    I haven’t read the book (may be for financial reasons), but the plenty and wonderful reviews here tell of how magnificent and impactful it is. I dream to read it someday.

  82. 5 out of 5

    (verified owner):

    Dear Rabbi Jacobson and MLC team,
    It was a privilege and a blessing to come across the MLC website and get enriched with all the available content. Among the rich reading materials, podcast and others, I specify the gift I purchase on Sept 6, I have read the book and I had the chance to use the Shofar on the day of Rosh Hashannah (my apology for the mispealing) even being a non-jew, I felt great! I admit that I had a pivot few months since I read the book and started following some of the courses on the website. Keep the great work you do for others and God Bless with same way I received my blessings during the holy days.
    Souhaira Raydan – Ottawa – Canada

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