Vilna, Slavita and the Rebbe’s Sefer Torah

In the mid 1830, a fierce dispute broke out in the world of Jewish printing, one that had tragic results. How is this saga connected to the small Sefer Torah known as ‘The Rebbe’s Sefer Torah’?

By reporter

Thousands of priceless treasures lie on the shelves and safes of the Central Chabad Library, right next door to 770. The average chossid, however, won’t have the chance to see the most precious of them. Until now, that is.

A new series, launched by in partnership with the Rebbe’s library, will showcase some of the most unique and historic books and items in the Rebbe’s library.

In this week’s episode, Chief Librarian Rabbi Berel Levin takes us to one of the most challenging moments in the history of Jewish printing.


In the mind 1830s, the Slavita Print House, then headed by Reb Shmuel Aba and Reb Pinchas Shapiro, began printing the fourth edition of the Slavita Shas.

At the same time, the Romm publishing house in Vilna began printing an edition of their own.

A dispute broke out between them, one that roiled the Jewish world. The end was a tragic one.

How is that connected to the small Torah known as ‘The Rebbe’s Sefer Torah’?


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