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Publisher's Preface

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Chapter 30a

Chapter 30b

Opening Talk

Closing Talk

Chapter 31

Chapter 32

Chapter 33

Chapter 34

   The Imprisonment of 1927 Part I

A Letter of the Rebbe Rayatz On His Seven Terms of Imprisonment*

The Imprisonment of 1927 Part I

Chapter 35

Chapter 36

Chapter 37

Chapter 38


Founders of Chassidism and Leaders of Chabad-Lubavitch


Likkutei Dibburim - Volume 4
An Anthology of Talks by
Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn of Lubavitch

Chapter 34
The Imprisonment of 1927 Part I
Translated by Uri Kaploun

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  Lag BaOmer 5704 (1944)A Letter of the Rebbe Rayatz On His Seven Terms of Imprisonment*  

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Publisher's Foreword by the Rebbe

Gimmel Tammuz 5712 (1952)
Brooklyn, N.Y.


In honor of the forthcoming Festival of Liberation, Yud-Beis-Yud-Gimmel Tammuz, celebrating twenty-five years since the deliverance of my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe [Rayatz], whose soul is in the hidden realms on high, we are hereby publishing one of his maamarim of Chassidus, and a memorandum written by him, each in a separate booklet.

The maamar was written on Rosh Chodesh Tammuz, 5687 [1927], during his incarceration at Spalerno Prison. The memorandum, describing his imprisonment, was completed in Riga on 15 Sivan, 5688 [1928], the first anniversary of his arrest. It is introduced here by a letter* (dated 17 Iyar, 5694 [1934]) in which the Rebbe [Rayatz] outlines his seven terms of imprisonment.

The significance of this celebration has already been explained in the letter* which the Rebbe [Rayatz] wrote [also on 15 Sivan] in 5688 [1928] in anticipation of the first anniversary of Yud-Beis-Yud-Gimmel Tammuz. In it he urges that these days be set aside as a time of farbrengen -- "a day on which people arouse each other to buttress the Torah and Yiddishkeit in every place according to its needs."

Moreover, he blesses "all our brethren who love the Torah and who study and teach it -- that G-d open wide His goodly treasure-store and bestow upon them and upon all our fellow Jews life and blessings in endless abundance; that He fortify their hearts with growing resoluteness in the dissemination of Torah and in the upholding of Yiddishkeit." He concludes: "And may we all be found worthy of seeing children and grandchildren engaging in Torah and in mitzvos and being blessed with ample livelihoods."

May G-d fulfill the blessings of a tzaddik, the Nasi of our generation, in full.

Menachem Schneerson


* See Kuntreis [58], Lag BaOmer, 5710 [1950], p. 215. [For the Rebbe's halachic analysis of R. Hillel's arguments in full, see Sefer HaMinhagim: The Book of Chabad-Lubavitch Customs, p. 84, and footnote 322 there.]

** Cf. Tractate Sanhedrin 22b.

Refreshments that included pastries: In the original, a seudas mezonos.

It's difficult: A reference to the avodah it involves; see the above Publisher's Foreword to this farbrengen written by the Rebbe (dated 2 Iyar 5711).

At three periods: I.e., when the author was between ten and fifteen years old.

Three arks made by Betzalel: See Rashi on Ex. 25:11.

* See also the end of Kuntreis HaAvodah. [Regarding the current custom, cf. Sefer HaMinhagim: The Book of Chabad-Lubavitch Customs, pp. 1-2 and p. 43.]

** See Beis Yosef on Tur Yoreh Deah, beginning of sec. 69, citing the Riva.

The higher level of awe: In the original Heb./Aram., yirah ilaah.

The lower level of awe: In the original Heb./Aram., yirah tataah.

The vegetative kingdom: In the original, tzomeiach -- lit., "that which grows."

* [Ps. 119:12.] This verse evidently compensated for those times at which no occasion arose for a formal berachah.

** This order differs somewhat from the discussion of reshimah, chatzivah, chakikah and asiyah (in the maamar beginning LeHavin Inyan Reshimah, in the bichl [= manuscript booklet] known as LeHavin Inyan HaBerachos). See the maamar beginning Kodesh Yisrael, towards the end of Hemshech 5666.

G-d's Name and the attribute of His Majesty: In the original, shem umalchus.

* See at length: at the beginning of the Hosafos (Addenda) to Biurei HaZohar; Or HaTorah, Parshas Toldos, in the maamar s.v. VaYigdelu HaNearim.

The laws by which this world was carved out: Cf. the wording of a verse that speaks of Creation (Jer. 33:25): chukos shomayim va'aretz lo samti... "[If not for My covenant by day and by night,] I would not have ordained the statutes of heaven and earth."

A man of the fields: Cf. Gen. 25:27.

You... have not expired: Mal. 3:6.

* R. Avraham is described in detail in the Zichronos (Memoirs) of the Rebbe Rayatz.

** See Kuntreis Erev Rosh Chodesh Tammuz, 5702 [1942], p. 29.

* See the farbrengen of Pesach, 5694 [1934], sec. 6. [See Vol. I of the present translation, p. 246ff. and p. 255ff.]

** See also Kuntreis Lag BaOmer, 5708 [1948].

*** III, 294a.

Revealed glimpses of his hidden self: In the original, "there were giluyim."

Basically, there are five middos: These bear the same names as the Supernal Sefiros from which they respectively evolve, viz., Chessed through Hod.

The sixth middah: I.e., Yesod.

There is a seventh Sefirah: I.e., Malchus.

Avraham Avinu was distressed: See Rashi on Gen. 18:1.

Even the heavens: Job 15:15.

Even His angels: Op. cit. 4:18.

G-d knows the days: Ps. 37:18.

I shall fill: Ex. 23:26.

And the glory of G-d: Isa. 40:5.

The first of your dough: Num. 15:20.

* See the sichah of Pesach, 5703 [1943], sec. 39, [in Vol. III of the present translation, p. 131].

Six days shall you work: In the original, sheishes Yomim ta'avod; Ex. 20:9.

Provides nourishment and sustenance: In the original, zan um'farnes; from the Grace After Meals, Siddur, p. 89.

The L-rd Your G-d will bless you...: In the original, u'veirachacha Hashem Elokecha b'chol asher ta'aseh; Deut. 15:18.

People used to think about themselves; today people think about others: Taken alone, this sentence could be misunderstood to describe a commendable progression -- from self-centeredness to caring. From the context, however, (and especially from Section 16 below,) it is clear that it describes a regrettable regression: People used to be responsibly vigilant about their spiritual health; today they are over-concerned with the reactions of their peers.

Meaning...devout concentration: See Rashi (s.v. b'chal kocho) on Shabbos 119b.

Fulltime married students: In the original, yoshvim -- lit., "sitters".

* See Zichronos (Memoirs) [of the Rebbe Rayatz], pp. 167, 344.

Divine Providence: In the original, hashgachah peratis.

Resting place: In the original, tziyun (lit., "monument"); synonym: ohel.

* Tractate Sukkah 45b.

The blessing... over the Torah: Siddur, p. 70.

* Appears in HaTamim, Vol. VII, p. 60, [and in Igros Kodesh (Letters) of the Rebbe Rayatz, Vol. III, p. 79ff.].

[Riga]: The Rebbe Rayatz lived in the capital of Latvia from late 1927 until he moved to Warsaw in 1934.

Gimmel Tammuz: Anniversary of the day on which the Rebbe Rayatz was released in 1927 from imprisonment under capital sentence in Leningrad, and exiled to Kostrama. The Rebbe discusses the significance of this date in Sefer HaMinhagim: The Book of Chabad-Lubavitch Customs, pp. 88-89.The maamar was written: It was not reprinted in Likkutei Dibburim.

The memorandum, describing his imprisonment: Known in the original as Reshimas HaMaasar.

* Appears in Kuntreis 59 (published in honor of Yud-Beis Tammuz, 5708 [1948]), p. 263 [and in Igros Kodesh (Letters) of the Rebbe Rayatz, Vol. III, p. 80-82]. [The complete letter, together with the maamar it accompanies, appears in English translation in Defiance and Devotion, pp. 96-101. For its historical setting, see footnote 5 there (or Sefer HaMinhagim: The Book of Chabad-Lubavitch Customs, footnote 155 on p. 40).]

  Lag BaOmer 5704 (1944)A Letter of the Rebbe Rayatz On His Seven Terms of Imprisonment*  
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