A construction plan for the chotzer in Lubavitch that was seemingly filed by the Frierdiker Rebbe over 100 years ago was recently discovered, shedding new light on the history of the cradle of Lubavitch chassidus.
By Anash.org reporter
Previously unknown details about the chotzer in the town of Lubavitch have come to light after the discovery of a century-old construction plan.
The plan, filed as a ‘Property and Construction Plan’ under the name of the Frierdiker Rebbe, was to build a brick house in the chotzer of the Rebbeim in the town of Lubavitch. The brick houses were built in 5672, and the plans were filed before their construction.
The document shows a basic blueprint for the houses, which were later known as the ‘beis choma’ which roughly translates as ‘brick houses’. They were also known as ‘Beis Avraham v’Rochel’ after the donor R’ Avrohom Rosentzveig and his wife.
The chotzer in Lubavitch was the seat of Lubavitcher Chassidus for 102 years, from the time of the Mittler Rebbe until the Rebbe Rashab left with his family. Inside the courtyard complex were the homes of the Rebbeim, as well as the buildings that served as the zal for the original Tomchei Tmimim and other functions.
The brick houses, which were built on the south side of the chotzer, also served the Rebbeim and the bochurim. One house was designated for Pesach, and was where the Rebbe Rashab baked shemura matza, according to R’ Refoel Nachman Kahan.
This hall was also where the famous ‘Moshiach’s Seudah’ was held on the last day of Pesach in the presence of the Rebbe Rashab, all the bochurim, guests, and residents of Lubavitch. It was at one of these seudos when the Rebbe Rahsab told the bochurim to drink four cups of wine, a custom kept until today.
The second house served as a “Tea House”. It contained a large cauldron, and hot water was available all day for the students of Tomchei Temimim. In the second room of the Tea House was a classroom where the bochurim who were in the shiur of Reb Shmuel Ber Barisover studied.
In 5681 -1921, after the headquarters of Lubavitcher Chassidus had already moved to Rostov, a fire destroyed almost all the wooden structures of the chotzer. Since they were built out of stone, these two structures were not destroyed in the fire. They were allocated for use as a shul, and at the time, it was the only shul in Lubavitch. When the Frierdiker Rebbe returned to Lubavitch for a visit, he said a ma’mar in these houses, being that they were the only ones remaining in the chotzer.
Just recently, over 100 years later, the construction plans were discovered, confirming the exact location of the beis choma. Thanks to the discovered plan, fragments of the foundations of these buildings were found buried underground in the chotzer, which is once again in the hands of Chabad chassidim.
Over the past four years, an ongoing project has been taking place in Lubavitch to rebuild the original structures in the chotzer of the Rebbeim. The first to be rebuilt was the large ‘zal’ which housed Tomchei Tmimim. The work was recently completed, and a grand dedication is planned in the coming weeks.
After the discovery of these plans, the coordinaters, headed by shliach Rabbi Gavriel Gordon, announced that the restoration of the beis choma will also begin in the near future.