The recently-released Bamidbar volume of the highly acclaimed ‘Selection from Likkutei Sichos’ set is now also available for free browsing or study online.
Among Chabad chassidim, sitting down to learn a Sicha, alone, with a chavrusa or with a group of friends is fundamental to life as we know it.
Described as the heart and soul of the Rebbe’s teachings, Likutei Sichos, which were extensively edited by the Rebbe, present a unique fusion of all elements of Torah—from the nigleh to nistar and from halachah to lomdus—and a key to grasping the Rebbe’s view on Judaism and life itself.
However, the fact that the Sichos were published in either Yiddish or Hebrew has long presented a barrier to those who require an English translation to help them understand their meaning and limited their ability to study these treasures in their original format.
In 2019, the first of a multi-volume set was published by Sichos in English in partnership with Kehos.
It was the start of an ambitious new project, to select several Sichos for Parshah as well as for each holiday and present an accessible English translation alongside the Yiddish or Hebrew original.
In addition to merely translating the text, the team of scholars also translated the original footnotes, many of which are scholarly dissertations of their own, and added interpolated explanation and footnotes to further aid students.
The work, which is revolutionary in its approach, was also released online on Chabad.org, so that the wider public could take full advantage of its offerings.
This week, the essays on the Book of Bamidbar have been published online, allowing students of all backgrounds to delve into the Rebbe’s teaching on the weekly Torah portion for the next several months, when we read through this sefer ever week.
“We are excited for our readers to have this opportunity,” says Rabbi Meir Simcha Kogan, director of Chabad.org, “and grateful to Sichos In English for their steadfast dedication to the ideal of sharing the Rebbe’s teachings as widely as possible.”
The translation and annotation were done by Rabbi Eliyahu Touger and Rabbi Sholom B. Wineberg and edited by a team of scholars.
The project had been initiated by Rabbi Yonah Avtzon, the founding director of Sichos in English, who passed away at the age of 61 in 2019. It was brought to print by his son, Rabbi Shmuly Avtzon, who now leads the publishing house.
“Publishing Sichos, talks of the Rebbe, is central to our mission,” says Avtzon. “In Likkutei Sichos, the Sichos have a rich structure and depth of scholarship that does not always come through in other renderings. To learn Likkutei Sichos in the original allows a person to really experience the teachings of the Rebbe in a whole different way.”