Unprecedented Farbrengens and Activities Held for Charedi Londoners

Throughout the month of Nissan, an unprecedented amount of farbrengens and activities were held at the recently opened center Merkaz LeToras Hachassidus for the wider Stamford Hill community.

Throughout the month of Nissan, an unprecedented amount of farbrengens and activities were held at the recently opened center Merkaz LeToras Hachassidus for the wider Stamford Hill community.

Starting with Rosh Chodesh and Beis Nissan, Rabbi Mechel Ganz, Shliach to Finchley led a farbrengen, focusing on the last farbrengen with the Rebbe, Parshas Vayakhel 5752, discussing the relevance and meaning of this sicha to us today, for Yidden in general, as well as for every person in his personal Avodah.

In preparation for Pesach and Yud Alef Nissan, Reb Shiye Rabonovitch, Mashpia and Menahel of the Yeshivah in Antwerp came to London to lead a Farbrengen, which attracted a large crowd of over sixty people.

Rabbi Rabinovitch is known for his fiery bren and tremendous chayus in which he imbues his talmidim, and spoke about how in every generation, every person needs to leave their own Mitzrayim. With great details and elaboration, replete with stories of Rebbeim and Chassidim, Reb Shiye brought out the color and depth which Chassidus teaches us on this Yom Tov.

Motzei Shabbos, the night of Yud alef Nissan, Rabbi Shimon Yisroel Posen at the farbrengen about living with the Rebbe’s Sichos and Maamorim on a day-to-day basis.

For the Tzemach Tedek’s yahrzeit, on the night of Yud Gimmel Nissan, a farbrengen took place, focusing on the message of the meaning of the personal Yetzias Mizrayim with the message of the Maamer byom ashtei Assar.

Pesach Farbrengens

Every Pesach, hundreds of Bochurim and Yungerliet come home to London, coming back from their Yeshivos and Kollelim in Eretz Yisroel or America. A number of the guests came to give Shiurim and lead Fabrengens as well.

Reb Zalman Hyzler, Rosh Kollel of Maayonei Yisroel in Yerushalayim, comes to London most years for both Tishrei and Nissan, when he is sought out for Shiurim and Fabrengens. Another guest who came this year is Reb Ahron Brier of Beit Shemesh, who is known in Eretz Yisroel for his warm and inspiring farbrengen. During Chol Hamoed, Acharon Shel Peach as well as Shabbos Mevorchim, they fabrenged and gave shiurim, attracting a crowd of up to seventy people.

Hakhel event

In lieu of Hakhel, a grand “Niggunim Uviurim” event was planned. Many of the Chabad Niggunim are well known to the wider circles, but people always want to learn more niggunim. People also want to know the stories or meaning behind the niggunim.

Reb Getzel Itzinger planned the event in collaboration with local organisers, choosing a selection of niggunim, both joyous niggunim as well as slow ones, known niggunim and lesser known. The event was a great hit and brought over two hundred and fifty people, including bochurim, yungerliet as well as Rabbonim and leading Baalei Batim.

Rabbi Mendel Itzinger explained the niggunim and their background, sharing much information unknown to many. Many of the participants took out their phones or recording devices to record the niggunim.

Following the grand niggunim event, Reb Michel Vishedsky of Kfar Chabad led a farbrengen related many stories of the mesirus nefesh of chassidim in communist Russia, including stories of his own upbringing and about his father Reb Moshe Vishedsky.

This event became the talk of the town, with many people requesting to produce a CD of the recordings.

Last days of Yom Tov

Shvi’i shel Pesach. Chabad has a Minhag to stay up the night of Shvi’i Shel Pesach and learn, so a shiur was planned with Rabbi Zalman Hyzler at the Heichal Limmud, which attracted an unexpected amount of about twenty people, and had another twenty people learning in groups or by themselves on the side.

The Moshiach Seudah also attracted a large crowd and lasted until late in the night. Rabbi Binyomin Zilbershtrom of Yerushalayim, who comes annually to fundraise at this time of the year, started the farbrengen, speaking about the Emunah in Moshiach, and the constant personal Geulah.

Rabbi Zilbershtrom was followed by Rabbi Nachman Yosef Wilhelm, who led the Farbrengen and Seder Nigunim. Sometime later, he was joined by Reb Ahron Blier of Beit Shemesh, who continued the farbrengen until one thirty in the morning.

Heichal Hallimud

The tremendous growth in activities is largely thanks to the opening of a Heichal Hallimud dedicated to Chassidus, located in the center of Stamford Hill, on the ground floor of the Lubavitch boys’ school. The central location makes the center accessible and noticeable and attracted Bochurim and Yungerliet to learn both nigleh and Chassidus at all hours of the day and night.

This center, being open 24/7 allows many people to open a sefer Chassidus who would otherwise not have been able to. A working Ballabos has a set time to learn at seven in the morning for half an hour. Another sometimes comes in at six or five-thirty. A Melamed from a local cheder often comes in during his lunch break, and the Kollel Yungerman comes in often after his afternoon seder at 7 pm. A nightly evening Kollel was busy in the evenings, and yet others come later, staying to learn until midnight or later.

Thursday nights attract many more to come, with shiurim and chavrusos going on from eight in the evening until two or three in the morning. 

Merkaz Chassidus thanks the Hanholla of Lubavitch UK for dedicating this location for this purpose.


Yiddish Haggadah

 As a project for Yud Alef Nissan last year, a sixty-page booklet was written up, containing the Rebbe’s explanations on the Haggadah in Yiddish. Though there are many Lubavitch publications out there on Haggadah, this is the first time that the Rebbe’s ideas on Pesach and Haggadah are presented in a easy and clear Yiddish, written in the modern Yiddish of today, in a short format. This project, taking both the rebbe’s letters and sichos, with great focus on each detail, was Bh a major success. The Haggadah booklet, entitled “Der Neshama fun Haggadah” elegantly designed, reached hundreds of people in a way never seen before, both locally in London, as well as in new York, Monsey, Lakewood and others. 

Booklet on Pesach in English

Launched last year on Yud Alef Nissan, as part of the 1210 new Mosdos, a new publication department was established to produce publications of Chassidus for the wider chareidi circles. The style and language of the general Chabad publications ar geared either for the typical Chabad House people, or for Lubavtcher Chassidim, with very little written specifically for the average frum reader. The style of writing is similar to the style of the frum magazines such as Mishpacha, Ami, Bina etc, which have their own vernacular and terms. 

The Pesach publication is the fifth such publication this year, and presents an overview of the Pesach topics from the Rebbe’s Sichos and letters in a clear and easy style. Hundreds of copies were distributed through local shuls, seminaries as well as at the central Pesach shop, with many readers expressing their appreciation for the new insight they see in this Yom Tov. 

Series of publications in Hebrew

The English and Yiddish publications came in sequence to a Hebrew series on all the Yomim Tovim, produced by the Merkaz Letoras Hachassidus of London, which present an overview of each Yom Tov in the light of Chassidus. A series of six chapters on Pesach, discussing Yetzias Mitzrayim, Matzah, Korban Pesach, Kriyas Yam Suf and other topics, were produced and distributed, enjoyed by many Bochurim and Yungerliet from all circles.

This is in addition to the weekly publications of Likutei Sichos as well as a publication “Ohr Vechayus Nafsheinu”, a uniquely designed reader for the wider community, which both are distributed to up to forty local Shuls.

To help support future projects, please contact [email protected].

Click here to download the English Pesach booklet.
Click here to download the Haggadah.

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  1. Would be nice if you can make the booklets available for download.

    Yasher koiach!

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