Kollel Upgrades Has Yungeleit Climbing the Walls

After decades of seforim purchases started overwhelming the shelf space in Chabad’s flagship Kollel in Crown Heights, a few individuals came together to solve the issue. A ladder and some climbing was involved.

By Anash.org reporter

For decades, the vast library of seforim at Chabad’s flagship Kollel in Crown Heights has only grown and grown. But bookshelves to hold the books remained limited. It took a group of people thinking out of the box to come up with a solution.

Kollel Menachem – the Chabad Lubavitch Kollel, was established by the Rebbe in 5722/1962, under the aegis of Machne Israel and the Mazkirus. Under the leadership of Harav Yosef Heller, it has since become a renowned institution of Torah study serving students from around the world.

Nearly every year the Kollel exists, newly published seforim covering topics in Nigleh, Chassidus, Halacha, and many other topics are purchased for the kollel or donated by supporters. With the library consistently growing in size, while the Kollel’s location only moving once, in 5760, the library capacity was quickly overwhelmed.

In recent months, the Kollel has been undergoing a series of renovations and upgrades to transform the Beis Medrash into a place truly befitting Torah study. It began with small projects, such as purchasing a new water machine and a printer for the Otzar Hachochma computer program, and continued on with bigger projects, including the installation of a new floor.

After some months, it came the turn of the library. With limited space and thousands of seforim, it seemed like the only solution would be to relegate hundreds of seforim to sheimos, or to continue having overcrowded shelves.

But then, with a little bit of creative thinking, a solution was found.

A large, floor-to-ceiling, bookshelf was built, where a previous bookshelf of average height had stood. The additional shelves gave space for hundreds more seforim, and the entire Chassidus library was moved to the new unit, which was able to hold the thousands of volumes of the Torah of the Chabad Rebbeim.

With the solution, however, came a new issue. How would yungerleit who wanted to access the seforim reach the higher shelves, a number of feet above their head?

The answer was both obvious and out-of-the box.

A sliding ladder was installed, reaching all the way to the highest shelves, with the ability to slide from one end of the bookshelf to the other. Similar to methods used in libraries across the globe, but less often seen in batei medrash, the ladder allowed maximum use of the limited space the Kollel offers.

In the weeks since, it has become a common sight to see a yungerman suspended mid-air, searching for a volume of the Alter Rebbe’s ma’amrim or Sefer Hasichos of the Frierdiker Rebbe, bringing a smile to the faces of Kollel members and visitors alike.

Organizers also moved other reorganized other sections of the library, and sources tell Anash.org that other plans are in the works for the coming months.

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