Book Includes the Rebbe’s Answers to Mazkir’s Parsha Questions

A new sefer brings the Rebbe’s many handwritten answers and notes responding to the questions that his Mazkir Rabbi Leibel Groner had on the sichos of parshiyos in sifrei Vayikro, Bamidbar and Devarim.

Beginning in the year 5725, the Rebbe began to explain every Shabbos a passage from Rashi’s commentary, while paving a completely new way in the simple interpretation of the Chumash, a wonderful way in its genius and simplicity at the same time.

The Rebbe often revealed his holy will that the words of Torah he delivers at the farbrengens, will not remain as “given at Sinai”, but that they will be reviewed, commented on, and refreshed. Indeed, when in the kovtzim of Haaros questions or comments were printed about the Rebbe’s comments at the farbrengens, the Rebbe’s face glowed when he conveyed these comments during the farbrengens that followed.

We were privileged that many of the Rebbe’s explanations that were initially given at the farbrengens and even considered and translated by Anash later, the Rebbe proofread and printed in “Likkutei Sichos”. These are comments and changes in the Likkutei Sichos series over the years.

And as his actions were towards those outside the Anash community, so too towards those within. Just as the Rebbe publicly encouraged his Chassidim to reflect on the words of his teachings, so too in his inner sanctum, as the Rebbe repeatedly asked his secretary, Rabbi Yehuda Leib Groner, of blessed memory, to comment and ask about the things stated orally and written in print, without delay.

Following the Rebbe’s request, and despite all his busy work as secretary that took up all of his time, Rabbi Groner made time to study and delve into the Rebbe’s words with great attention, to open the sources in the Rishonim and Acharonim, to research them deeply, to compare them to the Rebbe’s comments in other sources, until he was always fortunate to find some comment, difficulty, or proof on the Rebbe’s statements.

Every Motzaei Shabbos following a farbrengen, Rabbi Groner would return to his home and relearn all the issues that the Rebbe had clarified and the sources he cited, until very late at night, so that he would not appear empty-handed the following morning, and he would be able to enter the Rebbe’s room with a comment, question or addendum to the words that were said, thereby giving the Rebbe much pleasure. “And an arousal from below elicited an arousal from Above.”  

Rabbi Groner was privileged to have the Rebbe reply to him on his comments. Whether briefly or at length, whether in writing or verbally, in the special style of a rebbe to his disciple, he thus discovered many explanations and innovations at all levels of Torah study, “in his rooms”, explanations that the Rebbe never uttered and wrote only as a response to the secretary’s questions.

From reading the words of Rabbi Groner in proposing the questions before the Rebbe, innovations and precisions are revealed that were said during the farbrengens, but never appeared in print, and the Rebbe replied, corrected, and added to them.

Another new light that emerges from the Rebbe’s answers here is an additional explanation and elucidation of the issues with which the Rebbe was dealing, edited and printed in Likkutei Sichos. Questions about Nigleh and Chassidus, which were seemingly explained from every aspect within the sichos themselves, are illuminated here in new ways. Queries answered by the Rebbe one way in Likkutei Sichos, he answers here in another way, and so on.

This series establishes for itself the way for studying the Rebbe’s sichos on Rashi’s Torah commentaries. From the answers before us, they are revealed like new “Rashi sichos”. New explanations in portions of Rashi’s commentaries that the Rebbe never discussed publicly, puzzling passages in Rashi’s commentaries regarding which we were not privileged to receive the Rebbe’s explanations. Yet, out of Rabbi Groner’s questions on the Rebbe’s explanations on Rashi in one place, we have been privileged to glean explanations on Rashi in other places as well.

The interpretation section presents a manner of possibly interpreting the Rebbe’s answers.

As mentioned, a significant part of the answers is written in vigorous brevity, where the Rebbe answers a long and complex question in a few words, to the point that sometimes even the answer cites a reference without clarifying what the Rebbe meant when referring to this source. Sometimes the Rebbe highlighted or deleted a word from those of Rabbi Groner, and only after further study, it was found that there is an answer to a question or a new explanation. It is understood that the work of editing required repeated study of the sicha to which Rabbi Groner referred, and a very thorough study of the Rebbe’s answers by the editorial staff, in order to determine the Rebbe’s intention as precisely as possible. However, it must be made clear that the explanations in the seifer do not claim to encompass the entire breadth and depth of the Rebbe’s words, rather to give the person learning a direction and a way to interpret and understand the Rebbe’s intention in the best possible way, in terms of giving to the wise and making him even wiser.

The order of writing the interpretations is as follows: At the beginning of each subject, they bring the verse or pertaining section in Rashi’s commentary on which the discussion revolves. This is followed by the Rebbe’s explanation brought at the farbrengen or printed in Likkutei Sichos noted by Rabbi Groner, and after that the body of the explanation – the content of Rabbi Groner’s question, the Rebbe’s words as they were written, and their possible explanation.In the footnotes, we have added elucidations that broaden the Rebbe’s answer, including references to the sources where the matter was discussed in Likkutei Sichos, while comparing and paying attention to the changes between the sources; innovations arising from Rabbi Groner’s suggestions not printed in transcriptions, along with an additional elucidation of matters that we could not explain fully in the language of the Rebbe.

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