By COLlive reporter
The third volume of a groundbreaking series translating the Sichos of the Frierdiker Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yizchak Schneersohn of Lubavitch, into English has just been released.
The series, the brainchild of Crown Heights businessman Yossi Malamud, was born after he stumbled on a word in Yiddish he did not know while learning a sichah.
After trying to find out the translation from scholars and Yiddish experts without success, Malamud resolved to undertake the task of translating the works of the Previous Lubavitcher Rebbe’s Sichos into English for all to learn and easily understand.
“All that we know about our Chabad roots was told to us by the Frierdiker Rebbe in Yiddish,” Malamud told COLlive. “It is critical that these talks are not forgotten by the next generation.”
The first 2 volumes, which include the Previous Rebbe’s historic talks of 5705 (1944-1945) and 5700 (1939-1940) were completed within a year of each other.
The new sefer, the third volume in the series, printed on heavy antique paper stock with black leatherette binding, has now been released, with the Frierdiker Rebbe’s talks from the eventful year of 5701 (1940-1941).
The talks in this volume, delivered in that agonizing year, are translated for the first time in this volume. They resound throughout with his urgent call to American Jews: firstly, to sensitize them to the realization that the European Jews who were under mortal threat were their own unnamed brothers and sisters; and secondly, to rouse them to read Heaven’s blatant signals The Rebbe Rayatz repeatedly affirmed that the current upheaval – the birth pangs of Mashiach – was an urgent wake-up call from Above.
It was time for assimilating Jews to recall that each of us was sent down to This World not in order to blandly materialize the Great American Dream; we were sent here in order to make This World a dwelling place for G-d, by living a life that is sweet and selfless and purposeful and spiritual – a Jewish life. At the same time he warned against escapist denial, against reliance on any noisy political talk that offered quick solutions as an alternative to that eternal ideal.
The series was translated by Uri Kaploun, with the assistance of Rabbi Yonah Avtzon of Sichos in English and the staff at Kehot Publication Society.
The entire project has been underwritten by the Malamud family of Crown Heights, who have been involved in translating Sichos of the Chabad Rabbeim for more than 3 decades.
The next volume, which will include the talks from the year 5702, is expected to be released in time for Tishrei.
“We are looking forward to releasing one volume a year in the coming years, until the completion of the entire set representing all of the Sichos of the Frierdiker Rebbe in Yiddish,” Malamud says.