Clocking in at 137 pages and eighteen sichos (excluding the supplementary letters and selections of sichos), the twelfth volume of Likkutei Sichos is one of the slimmest of all thirty-nine.
But do not be fooled. Its pages are dense with complex halachic and talmudic analysis, penetrating Rashi sichos, and illuminating interpretations based on the “inner Torah.” If anything, the terse, matter of fact presentation of the sichos demands even greater diligence on the part of the student.
Which makes the accomplishment of its completion by thousands of Jews with Project Likkutei Sichos even more moving and impressive.
Conceived several months ago, just before Yud Shvat, Project Likkutei Sichos aims to unite the world in the study of the magnum opus of the Rebbe, the thirty-nine volumes of Likkutei Sichos. To keep the cycle in sync with the weekly Parsha, the project began with Parshas Bishalach, in the middle of volume eleven.
Those were simpler times. All across the Chabad world, people gathered to study the weekly sichos in Crown Heights shuls, Chabad Houses, schools, and homes.
In advance of Yud Alef Nissan, as volume twelve approached, Project Likkutei Sichos seized the timing as a chance to encourage and recruit even more people to at least gift the Rebbe with one complete volume of Likkutei Sichos.
Unknowingly, the weekly sichos would become a much-needed source of stability as the Coronavirus spread and forced the world into isolation.
The project moved seamlessly to the internet, with live-streamed classes, groups gathering to learn on Zoom, and dozens of podcasts uploaded onto hosting platforms.
Now, a little more than two months later, thousands of chassidim have fulfilled their pledge and completed the twelfth volume of Likkutei Sichos.
Rabbi Moshe Goldman, a Shliach to the University of Waterloo, is a coordinator of the English translation team. He shared his reflections on the accomplishment. “Many of these Sichos have never been available to the English reader until now,” he says. “This is probably because their brevity and complexity makes translation a real challenge.”
“But these past months there’s been a steady stream of people who have shared their excitement about being able to learn these Sichos for the first time. It keeps us motivated.”
To celebrate, a grand, live-streamed Siyum is scheduled for Tuesday, the 3rd of Sivan (May 26th).
The actual completion of the Chelek will be taught by the two steadfast teachers of Project Likkutei Sichos, Rabbi Fishel Oster, Maggid Shiur in Oholei Torah, and Rabbi Moshe Gourarie, Shliach in Toms River, NJ.
The Siyum will also feature live music. Rabbi Yosef Chaim Kantor of Chabad of Thailand, and Rabbi Sholom Moshe Paltiel, Shliach in Port Washington, will also address the virtual gathering.
Anyone who has completed the Chelek is encouraged to fill out the duch in the link below. All who sign the duch will be entered into a raffle for a complete set of Likkutei Sichos (or a gift card at Kehot of comparable value).
To learn more about Project Likkutei Sichos and to browse through the dozens of resources in Hebrew and English, and to join the project, go to Projectlikkuteisichos.org