Return of Tzemach Tzedek’s Maamar Seen As Fortuitous

The past few months have seen a number of kisvei yad kodesh from our Rebbeim returned to the Rebbe’s library, but the one returned on Monday was seen as especially timely. 

By reporter

After years of struggles to return the books and manuscripts of the Chabad Rebbeim to the Rebbe’s library, the past few months have seen a steady trickle of seforim and ksovim being returned. Still, the return of another manuscript on Monday was seen as especially timely.

It has been over three decades that Chabad has been battling Russia to return two separate collections that belonged to the Rebbeim: The Schneerson Collection, held captive in the Lenin Library in Moscow, and the Frierdiker Rebbe’s library held in the Russian military archives.

The lawsuits are still ongoing, and Chabad continues to try every avenue to have the library returned. At the same time, efforts are expended to make sure that seforim or manuscripts that were taken from the Russian collections and made their way to the market are returned as well.

Aside from the abovementioned ‘Schnerson Collection’ and the military archive, a separate section of the Frierdiker Rebbe’s library was looted by the Nazis following their invasion of Poland. These archives were later taken by the Russian Government following their defeat of Nazi Germany.

In 5738, after extensive negotiations with the Polish government, these treasures were brought back to the Rebbe. However, unscrupulous individuals stole a small but significant portion of holy kisvei yad and they disappeared into the black market of collector’s items.

One of the many stolen items was a book of manuscripts of the Tzemach Tzedek in his ksav yad kodesh. A wealthy Jew named Halperin redeemed the book and returned it to the Rebbe. Unfortunately, the sefer was compromised and a number of pages had been removed.

On Monday, a number of pages from this manuscript were returned to Chabad. This one was a ma’amar of the Tzemach Tzedek in his ksav yad kodesh. The ma’amar was originally printed in Ohr HaTorah – Devorim volume two, on Parshas Eikev.

As we are just two weeks away from Parshas Eikev, the return of this manuscript on Monday was seen as especially timely. This hashgacha pratis will surely encourage Chassidim to learn this ma’amer in the coming weeks.

Over the past few months, items from all three collections have been making their way back to their rightful location in an almost steady manner; Every few weeks, a sefer or manuscript was redeemed one way or another and brought to the Rebbe’s room before finally returning them to the Rebbe’s library, where they belong.

These include a sefer on Kabbalah that had belonged to the Rebbe Rashab and Frierdiker Rebbe, an original handwritten letter by the Tzemach Tzedek, and 3 pages from a manuscript in the Tzemach Tzedek’s ksav yad kodesh.

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