By COLlive reporter
One of the most euphoric events at Lubavitch Headquarters – 770 Eastern Parkway was the “great Yud Shevat” on the eve of the 10th of Shevat in 5730 (1970).
Months earlier, the Rebbe announced that a special ‘Sefer Torah to Greet Moshiach’ will be concluded, fulfilling the request of his predecessor, the Frierdiker Rebbe.
The first letters of this scroll were written in the year 5702 (1942) in the midst of the Holocaust of European Jewry by the Nazis and their anti-Semitic accomplices.
Years later, as the Rebbe led the revival of world Jewry, this Torah was going to be completed and chassidim were hopeful and overjoyed.
This event and the Rebbe’s talk during the ceremony are detailed in the newly released volume 59 of the “Toras Menachem” series, compiling the Rebbe’s talks in the second book covering the eventful year of 5730.
The volume spans the period from Shabbos Parshas Shmos 5730, through Shabbos Parshas Tzav (20 of Adar Sheni) 5730. Many of the talks have never before appeared in print and others have never been published in book form.
Included in the 488 pages volume are sichos, letters, answers and 14 maamarim said during that period, 4 of which were reviewed by the Rebbe for publication.
The editorial staff of Lahak publications working on this volume are Rabbis Dovid Feldman, Yisroel Shimon Kalmenson, Aharon Leib Raskin, Menachem Mendel Kaplan, Chaim Eliezer Twersky, Yisroel Zilberstrom and the director Chaim Shaul Brook.
One of their finds as they were preparing the new book was a rare note the Rebbe wrote to the organizing committee of the Sefer Torah to Greet Moshiach.
Writing on a simple yellow lined paper, the Rebbe specified who should be honored with reciting verses of “Atah Hareisa” during the ceremony.
The first and last verses are “mine,” the Rebbe wrote and then added the names of the Chassidic elders who would be asked to recite the rest and the reason they were chosen.
The full list, as given to COLlive by Lahak editors:
Rabbi Shmarya Gurary, son in law of the Frierdiker Rebbe and brother in law of the Rebbe
Rabbi Shmuel Levitin, Mashpia of the Central Yeshiva Tomchei Tmimim Lubavitch at 770
Rabbi Eliyahu Yachil Simpson, reviewer of the Rebbe’s talks
Rabbi Azriel Selig Slonim, Director of Colel Chabad and the Tzemach Tzedek Shul in Jerusalem
Rabbi Shlomo Maidanchik, Chairman of the Kfar Chabad village
Rabbi Zalman Serebransky, Mashpia of Chabad in Melbourne, Australia
Rabbi Nissan Neminov, Mashpia in Russia and Yeshiva Tomchei Tmimim in Burnoy, France
Rabbi Shlomo Chaim Kesselman, Mashpia in Yeshiva Tomchei Tmimim in Tel Aviv, Lod and Kfar Chabad
Rabbi Binyomin Eliyahu Gorodetsky, representing North African Jewry
Rabbi Benzion Shemtov, representing the imprisoned Russian Jewry
Rabbi Berel Baumgarten, representing South American Jewry
Rabbi Shmarya Fectar, the sofer of the Torah and a Kohen
Rabbi Adin Even Israel (Steinsaltz), representing the Torah study group in Jerusalem (chaired by President Zalman Shazar)
Rabbi Dovid Skolnick, survivor of Soviet oppression
Rabbi Chaim Mordechai Hodakov, Chief of Staff of the Rebbe
The Rebbe held 3 fabrengens during in connection to the celebration and delivering sichos that discussed the idea of self sacrifice of a Rebbe, the need for Israel to stand strong against it enemies and to “conquer” the world with spirituality.
Over the period, as the new volume documents, the Rebbe spoke about the Tanya on Air radio show, the infamous Israeli identity law of “Mihu Yehudi” and the danger of demonstrations to free Russian Jews.
The book is currently on sale for $17.56 as part of the Yud Shevat sale at Kehot.com