By COLlive reporter
Photos, Video: Shneor Shif
L’chatchila Ariber, the known chassidic melody of Chabad’s 4th Rebbe, the Maharash, was sung on Thursday evening at the Rebbe’s Room at 770 Eastern Parkway in Crown Heights.
Singing the niggun was Rabbi Shlomo Cunin, Head Shliach of California and a long-time activist for the return the Schneerson Collection from captivity in Russia back to the Chabad-Lubavitch movement.
The old volume of Gemara Yevamos that Rabbi Cunin held in his hands as he was singing belonged to the Rebbe Maharash (1834-1883) and was recently redeemed before being sold at an auction house in Jerusalem.
People involved said that it was after an intense legal and diplomatic effort, including a court order by U.S. Senior Judge Royce Lamberth, that the sefer ended up in the United States at Lubavitch World Headquarters.
Since 1992, just 8 volumes of the collection have been returned to Chabad. The sacred library, currently held at the Russian State Library and the Russian State Military Archive, consists of 12,000 books and 30,000 pages.
Earlier this year, all 100 members of the U.S. Senate wrote to Russian President Vladimir Putin requesting the release of the collection. A single volume from the collection found its way to an auction house and was now returned to Chabad.
On Sunday, Shluchim and Chabad’s attorneys Nat Lewin and Steve Lieberman will accompany the sefer when it is officially brought to the Agudas Chassidei Chabad Library adjacent to 770 where it will be permanently kept.