Demand for Books of Rebbe’s Teachings Leaves Print Houses Scrambling for Paper

2018/6/21 0:07:14

The Rebbe recites a “maamar,” or Chassidic discourse, at a farbrengen gathering in the central Chabad synagogue at 770 Eastern Parkway in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, N.Y., on Sept. 4, 1975. While attendees mostly sat, the custom is to stand while the Rebbe teaches a discourse. The man wearing a hat in front of the Rebbe to his right is Rabbi Yoel Kahn, the Rebbe's chief chozer. (Photo: JEM/The Living Archive)


By Dovid Margolin for, June 13, 2018 3:48 PM


In recent weeks, thousands of people have received their brand-new sets of Toras Menachem, 60 Hebrew-language volumes of the teachings of the Rebbe—Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory. An email sent to purchasers notified anyone picking their books up in person in Brooklyn, N.Y., that they ought to come with a car: the three boxes weigh in at a total of 122 pounds.

The books are a collection of the Rebbe’s talks and teachings, both formal and informal, which have been painstakingly collected, transcribed, translated, edited and footnoted over the last 25 years by the small team of scholars at Vaad Hanachos B’Lahak (Lahak). Volume One begins in 1950, the first entry during the shiva mourning period held following the passing of the Rebbe’s father-in-law and predecessor, the sixth Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn, of righteous memory. Volume 60 runs through the summer of 1970.

A year ago, Lahak, whose name literally translates as Committee of Transcribing into Hebrew, announced it would offer the entire set of 60 volumes for $440, or a third of the usual price. The rest, ultimately around $4.8 million, would be footed by donors. The declaration resulted in surge of orders, and during this year that will culminate this Shabbat, Gimmel Tammuz, corresponding to June 16—the 24th anniversary since the Rebbe’s passing in 1994—330,000 volumes of his talks and teachings, a number not including various other publishing projects, have rolled off the presses and straight onto kitchen or dining-room tables around the world—literally.


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