Book Rec #1: Positivity Bias by Rabbi Mendel Kalmenson

  • By Neil Bodner
  • Jun 22
Book Rec #1: Positivity Bias by Rabbi Mendel Kalmenson

Today, Gimmel Tammuz, marks 29 years since the passing of The Rebbe – Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, of righteous memory – and is an auspicious day for reflection, prayer and of course, in The Rebbe’s fashion, positive action.

I find two apprehensions come up when approaching learning the works of Chabad Lubavitch and learning from the Rebbe. 1) Sometimes one looks at the thousands of books that Chabad has published over the years and can easily get overwhelmed by where to start and what to learn. 2) When one desires to bring more of a Tzaddik’s light and influence into their lives it can also be hard to glean practical life advice from various sources. Positivity Bias by Rabbi Mendel Kalmenson successfully puts these anxieties to rest as it quotes hundreds of inspiring teachings, letters, and anecdotes and yet 

is extremely easy to read, while also provides countless practical ways to infuse the Rebbe’s positivity into your life.

R. Kalmenson suggests, based on the life and teachings of the Rebbe, that “every person has a bias of some kind,” so why not make it a positive one? He shares sound bite after sound bite showing and proving that “it is not the events in our lives that shape us, but the meanings we assign to those events. In other words: if you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” (Preface pg. 13-14)

The Baal Shem Tov zy”a taught that everything that happens to a person, everything they hear, and everywhere they visit are all messages from Hashem - The Rebbe lived by this and showed his followers the path as well. In 1967, the Rebbe received a call from a group of women who attended a Chabad conference in Detroit asking him what to do as they were “stuck” in Detroit after their flight was cancelled due to a snowstorm. The Rebbe’s secretary placed the pay phone call on hold and when she came back said, “The Rebbe does not understand the word stuck.” The leader of the group began to translate the word but before she could finish the secretary said, “The Rebbe knows what the word 'stuck' means. The Rebbe says that a Jew is never stuck.” The message was clear – Hashem placed you in this situation and you are not stuck, rather, as always, you are on a divine mission. (Pg. 272)

The effect and reach the Rebbe has had on the Jewish people and the world is completely indescribable – A larger than life true leader. There are many ways to connect to the Rebbe and his teachings, Positivity Bias offers a clear path to incorporating the Rebbe’s radical positivity into your daily life. This book can help train you to see yourself, your life, and the world through a bias of positivity and help you realize how much good there truly is all around you.

In honor of Gimmel Tammuz this year we are releasing a new sticker in our 'Places Collection' - The 770 Sticker is now available for purchase

Positivity Bias can be purchased on Amazon and Kehot


Learn more:

  1. Yonatees products - 770 Sticker, 770 Hat, Shliach Apparel
  2. Songs: Tzama Lecha Nafshi