In celebration of the
200th Anniversary
of the liberation of the Alter Rebbe
Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi
5559 - 5759 (1798 - 1998)

The Lubavitch Library presents
The works of the Alter Rebbe

A Unique Exhibition Featuring
Seforim (books) Manuscripts and Portraits
and the Lifetime Saga of
the Alter Rebbe
Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi

Yud Tes Kislev - Yud Alef Nisan, 5759
(December 8 - April 28 1998)

At the
Exhibition Hall
The Lubavitch Library


RESPONSA (Sh'elot U'tshuvot)
SIDDUR (Prayer Book)
MAAMORIM (Discourses)


TUESDAY, THE 19th of Kislev, 5759 (December 8, 1998) marks the 200th anniversary of the liberation of the Alter Rebbe, Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, on the 19th of Kislev 5559.

In celebration of this anniversary and in tribute to the Alter Rebbe's lifetime of scholarship and achievement, the Lubavitch Library will hold a limited exhibition dedicated to the Alter Rebbe's works.

The display, to be opened for a limited time only in the Library's Exhibition Hall, will present to the public rare portraits, manuscripts, early prints and current editions of seforim written by the Alter Rebbe.

Presented in this booklet is a catalog and description of each item on display, preceded by a brief overview of the turmoil and triumph that was the Alter Rebbe's personal history.



The dates of the solar year are given according to the Julian calendar
used in Russia till the communist revolution

On the 4th of Sivan, 5558 (May 8th1, 1798) a formal denunciation of the Alter Rebbe, signed by one Hirsh Ben David of Vilna, was submitted to the Imperial government of Russia. With very little basis in fact, the writ of denunciation accused Rabbi Schneur Zalman of gathering bands of wild, lawless youths, encouraging the support of the French Revolution and the leading of bohemian, hedonist lifestyles. Casting them as an up-and-coming threat to Russian society, Hirsh recommended their "relocation" to the frozen wilds or induction into the Imperial Army - both sure sentences of a bleak future in those dark days.

Hirsh's loyalty to Judaism, or even his Jewishness itself, may be questioned. Hirsh followed up his denunciation with a formal, written complaint against the secretary of the mayor of Vilna - two days later, in the midst of the holiday of Shavuos!

Some three months passed. The Attorney General formally opened the Alter Rebbe's case file on the 10th of Elul, 5558 (August 11th, 1798). Noting the threat of lawlessness in the documents at hand, he notified the Czar of Hirsh's accusations against the Alter Rebbe and his followers.

The Czar wasted little time in taking action. On the 13th of Elul, 5558 (August 14th, 1798), he ordered the charges to be investigated, ordering full prosecution of any party who should be found guilty and appearance before the Czar of any persons found to be participants in any uprising.

Following imperial orders, the Attorney General transferred the case to Governor of Lithuania, on the 15th of Elul, 5558 (August 16th, 1798).

Within two weeks, the Governor completed his investigation. On the 29th of Elul, 5558 (August 30th, 1798), an official report was returned to the Attorney General - recommending the worst - the arrest and interrogation of Rabbi Schneur Zalman and 30 followers from Vilna and vicinity. The Attorney General reviewed the report and immediately dispatched it to the Czar.

On the 13th of Tishrei, 5559 (September 12th, 1798), the Czar ordered the arrest and incarceration of Rabbi Schneur Zalman and some of his Chasidim. These were to be brought under heavy guard to S. Petersburg. The remainder of the marked Chassidim were to be held locally for further investigation.

The Czar's Imperial decree was acted upon a mere three days later. On the 16th of Tishrei (2nd day of Sukkos), 5559 (September 15 1798), the Attorney General ordered the Governor of White Russia to arrest Rabbi Schneur Zalman and send him under heavy guard to Peterburg with all his "incriminating" documents. He also ordered the Governor of Lithuania to apprehend the leaders of the Chasidim in Vilna2.

A report of the Alter Rebbe's arrest had been dispatched by the Governor of White Russia to the Attorney General on the 30th of Tishrei, 5559 (September 29, 1798), detailing his transfer under guard from Liozna to Peterburg.

On the 8th of MarCheshvan, 5559 (October 7th, 1798), the Attorney General notified the Governor of White Russia that Rabbi Shneur Zalman was being brought to Peterburg.

On that same day, the Attorney General filed a report to the Czar about the interrogation. He pointed out that the Rebbe was not the unruly brigand he haad been made out to be. The Alter Rebbe had answered the interrogators' questions with bracing intellect, piercing logic and calm demeanor-clearly, not a dangerous man. No, he did not establish a new movement with radical social ideas. No, he does not "launder" money for the French - he merely sends charity out of Russia to Jews who live in the Holy Land, who for many years have traditionally received support from Jews elsewhere throughout the world. And no, he is not a threat to Russian society - he is only involved in solving the spiritual problems of his fellow Jews.

The Alter Rebbe had indicated that he could not answer some of the questions properly without a interpreter. The Czar therefore ordered Rabbi Schneur Zalman to respond to these in writing, using the "local language of the Jews".

When the interrogation continued, this time focusing on the philosophy of the movement itself, the Alter Rebbe responded in elegant Hebrew handwriting. Concerning the chassidic movement, the Rebbe explained at length the concept of davening with concentration, various prayer formats, the purpose and function of chassidic discourses, and the study of Kabbalah. The Alter Rebbe also touched upon the persecutions by the Mithnagdim, financial support for his movement, and the funds he raised for chassidim in Israel. His response was brought back to the Attorney General.

To the Attorney General, a native Russian, pages of writing in a language foreign to him were useless. So, on the 12th of MarCheshvan (October 11), he put in a request to one Mr. Gavriel of the S. Petersburg Academy, to find someone who could translate Rabbi Schneur Zalman's replies. On MarCheshvan 14th (October 13) Mr. Gavriel responded that his search had come up empty-handed. The Attorney General then requested from the Czar that documents be sent to Vilna, where two birds might be killed with one stone: the documents could be used in the Imperial investigation being conducted there, and also, a suitable translator might be found in Vilna's large, scholarly Jewish community.

On the 18th of MarCheshvan 5559 (October 17, 1798), the Czar instructed that the documents of Rabbi Schneur Zalman's testimony be sent to the Governor of Lithuania. There, they should be translated secretly and returned as soon as possible. The Czar also ordered that the Governor return the investigation documents at the end of the investigation, and that the arrested Jews should remain under arrest in Vilna temporarily.

On the 19th of MarCheshvan (October 18), the Attorney General passed on the instruction along with the original documents to the Governor of Lithuania.

On the 29th of MarCheshvan, 5559 (October 28, 1798), the Governor of Lithuania received the letter of the Attorney General along with the testimony of Rabbi Schneur Zalman.

On the 4th of Kislev, 5559 (November 1, 1798), the Governor of Lithuania returned the documents along with a French translation of the document.

A summary was prepared in Russian from the French translation of the Alter Rebbe's replies. The Attorney General then wrapped up the investigation for the Czar.

On Tuesday, 19th of Kislev, 5559 (November 16, 1798), Rabbi Schneur Zalman was informed that he had been found innocent of the charges, and was released. Simultaneously, the Czar ordered the Governor of Lithuania to release all the Chasidim "since nothing was found in the conduct of the Jews belonging to the Chasidic movement that was inimical to the State, nor any corruption or anything that disturbs the general peace".

On the 20th of Kislev, 5559 (November 17, 1798), the Attorney General issued a certificate to the Alter Rebbe stating that "the individual possessing this document is the Jew Rabbi Zalman Boruchavitch, who was here for a special purpose, and is now released to his home in White Russia."

He also informed the Governor of White Russia that Rabbi Schneur Zalman was released, and that he received a freedom certificate to that effect.

[On the 26th of MarCheshvan, 5559 (October 25, 1798), the Governor of Lithuania (according to a order that he received from the Czar on the 15th of September) sent seven of the Chassidim to Peterburg under heavy guard (supervised by a inspector of the Vilna police), along with the documents of investigation.

On the 29th of MarCheshvan, 5559 (October 28, 1798) he notified the Military Governor of Riga to detain these seven Jewish prisoners in Riga. He requested from the Attorney General to notify the Military Governor of Riga as to whether they should remain under guard in Riga or be returned to Vilna.

On the 9th of Kislev (November 6, 1798), the Military Governor of Riga notified the Attorney General that the seven Jewish prisoners were being held in Riga.

On the 13th of Kislev (November 10, 1798), the Attorney General instructed the Military Governor of Riga that he should return the Jews to Vilna.

On the 20th of Kislev (November 17, 1798), the Attorney General instructed the Governor of Lithuania to release all the Chasidim.

On the 21st of Kislev (November 18, 1798), the Military Governor of Riga sent the seven Jewish prisoners (under the supervision of Inspector Gretch) back to Vilna.

On the 28th of Kislev (November25, 1798) the Governor of Lithuania received the directive to release all the Chasidim, and they were released on the fifth night of Chanukah.

On the 18th of Teves 5559 (December 15, 1798) the Governor of White Russia sent a special directive to the commissioner in charge of the small towns of the Vitebsk district (according to an order from the Czar, relayed to him by the Attorney General), informing him that "freedom was granted to Rabbi Zalman Boruchovitch, who had been arrested in Liozna, after the investigation of the circumstances. The Jewish sect, called Karlinist, retains its former status. Hence I command you to cancel the search for the Jew Aharon Movshovitz of Ostrovna, and not to demand his transfer to me"].


Even after the release of the Alter Rebbe and the chasidim, the mithnagdim of Vilna did not calm down, and continued to lodge complaints with the government against Rabbi Schneur Zalman and against chasidim in general.

In the beginning of the winter of the year 5560 they sent an additional request to the Attorney General to allow them to eradicate the chasidic movement.

On the 20th of Kislev, 5560 (December 7, 1799), the Attorney General replied to the Governor of Lithuania, that according to the Czar's directive, the chasidic movement must be allowed to continue.

On the 8th of Shvat, 5560 (January 23, 1800), the Governor of Lithuania notified the police of Vilna that "by order of his Imperial Majesty, the Karlinist sect must be tolerated."

A mithnaged by the name of Avigdor Chaimovitch, who had bought the leading rabbinical position of Pinsk in the summer of 5545 (1785) and later moved to Vilna, filed a complaint with the Czar's representative in Lithuania against the Alter Rebbe in particular and chasidic doctrine in general.

In his complaint he asked some questions on things stated in Tzavas Harivash, and accused the Chasidim of being followers of Shabtai Tzvi. He blamed the Chasidic sect in his community for his ouster from the rabbinate of Pinsk, which he had bought after the ouster of Rabbi Levi Yitzchok (who then moved to Berditchev). He also charged that the Alter Rebbe was sending substantial sums of money to Turkey.

On the 10th of Iyar, 5660 (April 23, 1800), the Attorney General received Avigdor's complaint and accusation from the Czar's representative in Lithuania.

On the 26th of Sivan, 5560 (June 7th 1800), the Attorney General sent the material to the Military Governor of Lithuania, with a request to investigate the complaint of the plaintiff and to report on the sect. Likwise a request was made of the Attorney General of Lithuania to investigate the matter. The Military Governor, having found no evidence in his territory to substantiate the charges, sent the material over to the Civil Governor of Minsk, since the town of Pinsk (the locale of the case) fell under the latter's jurisdiction.

In a dispatch dated the 2nd of Menachem Av, 5560 (July 12, 1800), the Military Governor conveyed to the Attorney General the information he had received from the Governor of the Minsk region. The latter's report referred to the sect in that area in favorable terms, describing its adherents as peaceful and law-abiding subjects, "like the other Jews." As for the plaintiff's claim for damages, he recommended no action, since there were no documents to substantiate the claim. He recommended that the suit be dismissed on all counts.

On the 20th of Menachem Av 5560 (July 30, 1800), the Military Governor sent a detailed report on the results of his own investigation. He reports about the first accusation against the Alter Rebbe and his Chasidim and the arrest, and that after the investigations the Czar did not find anything suspicious in the ways of the Chasidim and ordered that they be released.

On the 26th of Tishrei, 5561 (October 3, 1800), the Civil Governor of the Minsk region received the Attorney General's report, with the request to satisfy Avigdor's demand for financial compensation from the coffers of the Jewish community. On the 8th of MarCheshvan (October 15, 1800), he responded that he did not know of which Jewish community Avigdor is demanding this amount. Therefore, he suggested to the magistrate in Pinsk to demand from Avigdor a document proving that he lent them this amount.

On the 19th of MarCheshvan, 5561 (October 26, 1800), a Russian senator by the name of Derzhavin, returning to S. Petersburg from a mission in White Russia, submitted his report to the Attorney General, stating (among other things) that "a Jew, Zalman Boruchovitch, has gained fame as an arbitrator and enjoys authority even among foreign Jews. He lives in a small town, Liozna... In him believe especially the Chasidim, whose patriarch he is considered... Some Jews complain that they alienate their children, and take away their gold and silver, which he is said to send to Palestine in expectation of the Messiah and the rebuilding of their temple in Jerusalem".

On the 23rd of MarCheshvan, 5561 (October 30, 1800), the Attorney General sent an urgent order to the Governor of White Russia to apprehend "the head of the Karlinists, or Chasidim, the Jew Boruchovitch" and to send him to S. Petersburg.

On the 4th of Kislev, 5561 (November 9, 1800), Rabbi Schneur Zalman was arrested and sent to the capital, accompanied by two couriers of the Senate,

Four days later (on the 8th of Kislev, 5561 (November 13, 1800)), the Governor of White Russia sent a dispatch to the Attorney General, informing him of the arrest, and notifying him that he had already conducted a secret investigation of the chasidim, finding no fault in them. The report continued that their leader Boruchovitch had never engaged in anything but the study of holy books and prayer, and is a successful arbitrator between disputing parties to their mutual satisfaction, never giving any cause for complaint.

One of the chasidim of the Alter Rebbe, Yehuda the son of Faivish of Kopust, was sent by the chasidim to S. Petersburg to thwart the efforts of the Misnagdim. On the 10th of Kislev (November 15, 1800) he was deposed by a special committee of the Senate investigating the charges against the Alter Rebbe.

On the 11th of Kislev, 5561 (November 16, 1800), the Attorney General instructed the Governor of White Russia to search the house of the Alter Rebbe, confiscate books and documents, and send them to S. Petersburg.

When the Alter Rebbe arrived in S. Petersburg, he was interrogated by the Attorney General. the Alter Rebbe was then asked to respond in writing to Avigdor's questions. The first two questions Avigdor wrote in Russian, and the Alter Rebbe also responded to them in Russian. The remainder (17 points) were written in Hebrew, and the Alter Rebbe also responded in Hebrew.

The Attorney General submitted a summary of the Alter Rebbe's responses to the Czar. On the 21st of Kislev, 5561 (November 26, 1800), the Czar instructed that the case be referred back to the Senate to be investigated in conjunction with the general question of the kahal. On the 22nd of Kislev (November 27, 1800), the Attorney General notified the Senate of the Czar's instruction, and the investigation was transferred to the Third Department of the Senate.

On the 23rd of Kislev, 5561 (November 28, 1800), the Czar instructed that the Alter Rebbe be released from prison. The Alter Rebbe was, however, ordered to remain in the capital, pending the final outcome of the Senate investigation.

On the 24th of Kislev, 5561 (November 29, 1800), the Alter Rebbe's house was searched, and the trustees of the Liozna community signed a document, confirming that the books and writings of the Alter Rebbe had been taken to Peterburg and that the house was sealed.

On the 18th of Teves, 5561 (22nd of December 1800), the books and writings of the Alter Rebbe were transferred to the Chief Prosecutor of the Third Department of the Senate.

On the 24th of Teves, (December 28, 1800), Avigdor submitted another memorandum, with excerpts from the Tanya which, Avigdor claimed, showed the "treacherous" tendencies of the movement, not only in relation to the Jewish faith, but also in relation to the government. Avigdor also demanded that the leaders of the chasidim in other Russian provinces be brought to the capital.

About fifteen weeks passed without any conclusive action in the case. In the beginning of Nisan 5561 (March 1801) the Alter Rebbe filed a petition with the Czar, together with which he enclosed two documents that had been received during the years 1798-1800, in which the chasidim were granted full freedom of activity, under the directive of the Czar.

On the 9th of Nisan 5561, Czar Paul was assassinated; and his son, Alexander, succeeded him as Czar of Russia.

On the 19th of Nisan, 5561 (March 21, 1801), the Czar instructed that the Alter Rebbe be released and allowed to leave Peterburg. On the 27th of Nisan (March 29, 1801), an official document to that effect was sent to the Governor of White Russia. He was also notified that the Alter Rebbe had received full permission to continue spreading chassidus throughout White Russia.

The Alter Rebbe chose to remain in Petersburg a while longer, until the end of the Senate investigation.

Around that time, Avigdor filed another appeal against the Alter Rebbe, demanding that he should be declared a rebel against the Czar.

On the 10th of Iyar 5561 (April 11, 1801), the documents that the Alter Rebbe had sent to the Senate were filed with the investigation dossier.

In the month of Sivan, 5561 (May 1801), the Alter Rebbe filed a petition with the Senate, recounting the hardships which had been caused to him by the false accusations of Avigdor Chaimovitch. He recalled that two years earlier he had similarly been denounced by a prejudiced accuser, whereupon he was arrested, investigated and discharged. Yet the accuser suffered no adverse consequences. This had emboldened Chaimovitch to try the same thing again. Rabbi Schneur Zalman appealed to the Senate to restrain Chaimovitch "from interfering with me and the rest of the chasidim".

On the 15th of Av (July 13 , 1801), the Governor of Vitebsk gave a document to the Alter Rebbe, certifying that he was free to return to Liozna, and live wherever he wanted throughout White Russia.

The Alter Rebbe then settled in Liady.

During the month of Elul, 5661 (August 1801), the Alter Rebbe lodged his second appeal with his Imperial Majesty, requesting "that throughout the House of Israel none should dare molest me or the chasidim, by means of any unfounded slander". The petition concluded with a request that Chaimovitch be duly adjudged to compensate for the damage he had inflicted.

On the 18th of Teves, 5565 (December 9, 1801), the Czar Alexander signed the law of the Jews, in which a special paragraph (No. 53) was inserted, stating that "If in any area there is a split within the community, and the division has reached the point where one camp does not want to coexist with the other camp in the same shul, one of them is allowed to build a shul for themselves and appoint their own rabbis".

In this paragraph, permission was given to the community of chasidim to build a shul in every city and appoint their own rav without disturbances from the Mithnagdim.


In his introduction to the Tanya, Rabbi Schneur Zalman states that it includes "responsa to many questions which all our faithful in our country have constantly asked, seeking advice, each according to his station, so as to receive moral guidance in the service of G-d, since time no longer permits of replying to everyone individually and in detail on his particular problem. Furthermore, forgetfulness is common. I have, therefore, recorded all the replies to all the questions, to be preserved as a sign-post".

As early as 5552 (1792), handwritten copies of the Likutei Amarim (Tanya) by Rabbi Schneur Zalman had begun to circulate among the Chasidim. In the year 5556 (1796) the Alter Rebbe reviewed the Tanya, added some chapters and released it for printing. On Tuesday, the 20th of Kislev, 5557 (1796), the printing was completed.

There was a great demand for this Chabad classic, and new printings appeared frequently. During the first ten years of its printing, that is between the years 5557-5566, the Tanya was reprinted at least six times.

The first edition appeared under the title Likutei Amarim ("Collected Essays") and contained only the first part, known as Sefer Shel Beynonim ("Book of the Intermediates") and the second part, Sha'ar Hayichud Vehaemunah ("Portal of Unity and Belief").

A new edition of the book, bearing the title Tanya (after the initial word with which this work begins), appeared in 5559 (August 9, 1798, according to the official stamp of the censor) in Zolkiev. It included also as a third part, what the author had written on the topic of Teshuvah ("Repentance"). The second imprint of this edition appeared in 5565 (1805), also in Zolkiev. Subsequently it was reprinted there twice again.

In the year 5566 a new edition appeared, bearing the title Likutei Amarim. The material on Teshuvah was rewritten and divided into 12 chapters, and renamed Iggereth Hateshuvah ("Epistle of Repentance"), and printed as the third part of Likutei Amarim.

In 5574 (after the passing of Alter Rebbe on the 24th of Teves 5573), his sons printed a new edition in Shklov, with the name of the author now printed on the title page. They also included the last two sections: Iggereth Hakodesh ("Sacred Epistles") and Kuntres Acharon ("Supplement").


The original manuscript of the Tanya in the Alter Rebbe's handwriting has not survived. It was probably destroyed in the great fire that burned down his house in the year 5570. But the "Iggereth Hateshuvah", edited in the handwriting of the Alter Rebbe, has survived and is preserved in the archive of the library, where it is the first item in the exhibit.

1. A volume that includes discourses of the Tzemach Tzedek, some of them in his own handwriting, and in some places also the handwriting of the Rebbe Maharash.
Also: "Iggereth Hateshuvah" in the handwriting of the Mitteler Rebbe, with handwritten corrections of the Alter Rebbe.
24*18 cm. (1), 294 p.

After the printing of the Tanya, in a definitive edition from which scribal errirss hav been removed, there was no longer any need to preserve erroneous manuscripts of the first versions. Therefore there are very few copies of those manuscripts.

Those manuscripts that are preserved in the archives are displayed in the exhibit:

2. two pages of a manuscript of the first version of the Likutei Amarim (Tanya). It has not yet been established if they are written in the handwriting of the Alter Rebbe. A facsimile is given in most editions of the Tanya.

3. A manuscript of the Tanya, written aparently during the year 5552 (1792).
It includes the first version of the Sefer Shel Beynonim, Shaar Hayichud Vhaemunah, and Iggereth Hateshuvah. Followed by the discourses of the alter Rebbe from the months of Tishrei-Kislev 5553 [referring many times to the Tanya and Iggereth Hateshuvah with the expression "as mentioned above"].
As well as discourses and letters by the Alter Rebbe, and a few by his son, the Miteler Rebbe, and his grandson, the Tzemach Tzedek.
22*18 cm. 67, 35-55, 16, (5), 56-121 p.

4. A volume that includes the discourses and letters of the Alter Rebbe, and the first version of the Likutei Amarim (Tanya).
16*10 cm. 206 p.

5. A volume that includes the first version of the Likutei Amarim (Tanya), and some discourses of the Alter Rebbe.
In the title of the Tanya: "Kitzur Likutei Amarim ... Tanya".
16*10.5 cm. (39), 81 p.

6. "Kitzur Likutei Amarim", a early version of the Tanya.
Written in Shklov.
16*10.5 cm. (9), 46 p.

7. An early version of the Tanya.
16*10.5 cm. 2-7, 6-31, 47 p.

8. A volume that includes an early version of the Tanya, and the discourses of the Alter Rebbe and his son the Mitteler Rebbe.
Written in Tchaves, (completed on the 27th of Cheshvan) in 5556.
18*11 cm. 2-20, (8), 21-25, 4, (12), 49, 38-43, (9) p.

9. A volume that includes an early version of the Likutei Amarim, Shaar Hayichud Vhaemunah, Iggereth Hateshuvah. and letters of the Alter Rebbe.
10*16 cm. 56-65, 70-71, 76-85, 110-121, (2), 46 p.


10. Tanya, Slavita 5557.
8. 86 p.

11. Tanya, Zolkiev 5559
8. (2), 74 p.

12. Tanya, Zolkiev 5565
8. 73, (1) p.

13. Tanya, Zolkiev after 5565.
8. 59 p.

14. Tsnya, Zolkiev after 5565.
8. 58, (1) p.

15. Tanya, Shklov 5566.
8. 95, (1), 20 p.

During the year 5566, the Alter Rebbe revised the Iggereth Hateshuvah, and printed it together with the Tanya. The Iggereth Hateshuvah was also printed as a Booklet by itself:

16. Iggeret Hateshuvah, Shklov 5566.
8. 20 p.

17. Tanya Shklov 5574.
Printed by the sons of the author with the addition of the Iggereth Hakodesh and Kuntres Acharon.
8. (2), 52, 8, 28, (6) p.

18. Tanya, Sdilkov (the year of print is not listed).
In general, it follows the Zolkiev edition. It contains the first version of Iggereth Hateshuvah, and it does not include the Iggereth Hakodesh and Kuntres Acharon.

It was probably printed prior to the 5574 edition, and pherhaps even before the 5566 edition.
8. (3), 2-59, (1), 60-69, 50-55 p.

Later Prints

A revised edition of the Tanya was published in Vilna in 5660. and has been reprinted many times since.

In 5714 the Rebbe prepared for publication (in Brooklyn, N. Y.) a revised edition of the Tanya (based on a photostat of the Vilna edition) with supplements



In 5530 (1770), when Rabbi Schneur Zalman was in Mezritch, the Maggid assigned to him the task of re-editing the code of Jewish Law, the Shulchon Aruch.

He started with the section of "Orach Chayim", and completed it within two years. Later, over a number of years, he composed the section on "Yoreh Deah", and selected laws from the section "Choshen Mishhpat", etc. But even then he did not print the Shulchon Aruch, but continued simply to revise it. This continued for approximately 40 years, up until the passing of the Alter Rebbe in the year 5573, at which point the Shulchon Aruch was not yet printed.

In the year 5570 (1810), while Rabbi Schneur Zalman was in Berditchev, a fire broke out in Liadi. In that fire, the major part of his Shulchon Aruch was destroyed. Another fire broke out at the end of the year 5572 (1812), when the Alter Rebbe fled with his family during the War of 1812. In these fires the Alter Rebbe's original manuscripts of the Shulchan Aruch were destroyed, And all that remained were copies, from which the Alter Rebbe's children printed the Shulchon Aruch.

From all these manuscripts only one volume exists in the library:

19. It includes many versions of the Alter Rebbe's Shulchon Aruch. As well as: the laws of tzitzis in the Alter Rebbe's siddur; laws of tzitzis from the big Shulchon Aruch with notes; six editions of the laws of salting from Sheris Yehuda; notes to the Alter Rebbe's Shulchon Aruch, etc.
Mostly in the handwriting of the Maharil of Yanovitch, the Alter Rebbe's brother.
17 *23 cm. 87 p.


The first edition of the Shulchon Aruch was printed during the years 5574-5576, in the cities of Shklov and Kopust. Six volumes, each volume printed as a separate book.

20. Shulchon Aruch Orach Chayim, the laws of Pesach, Shklov 5574.
8. (5), 2-248 p.

21. Laws of Nidah. Kopust 5574.
4. (1), 48, 54, (16) p.

22. Shulchon Aruch from selected laws from "Choshen Mishpat" and also from the laws of "Ribis" . Kopust 5574.
8. (1), 94, 20 p.

23. Sulchon Aruch Orach Chayim [first volume]. Kopust 5576
8. (s), 3-8, 83, 73-299, (1) p.

24. Shulchon Aruch Orach Chayim, laws of Shabos. Kopust 5576.
8. (1), 2-92, 97-(2)80, (2), 98 p.

25. Shulchon Aruch Orach Chayim, laws of Eiruvin. Kopust 5576.
8. (1), 2-164, 169-203, (2), 23 p.

Since then, the entire Shulchon Aruch has been reprinted many times as one set that contains six volumes:

26. [Sdilkov] 5586.

27. Sdilkov 5591.

During the winter of 5597 (1836) the Russian government closed down the Jewish printing presses, except for one printing press in Vilna, which did not have the capacity to publish all the Jewish books that had to be printed.

The next print of the Alter Rebbe's Shulchon Aruch was printed in Poland, where there was great local demand for it:

28. Warsaw 5598-5600

The publisher is Rabbi Avrohom Mordechai (son of Rabbi Yitzchok Meir Alter of Ger, author of Chidushei Harim).

During the years copies of aditional simanim, Kuntres Acharon, and responsa were discovered. In the year 5607 the entire set was newly revised, with many additions, with a special introduction by Rabbi Chayim Avrohom (the Alter Rebbe's son), and with haskamos from the greatest rabbis of Chabad:

29. Zhitomir 5607-5608.


Despite the fact that the Shulchon Aruch was not printed till after the passing of the Alter Rebbe, two small portions (that have a connection to the Shulchon Aruch) had already been printed earlier, by the Alter Rebbe. The first of these is Hilchoth Talmud Torah, which is the first of his works to be printed, more than two years before the Tanya.

30. Hilchoth Talmud Torah, Shklov 5554.
Printed with haskamoth, but without mentioning the name of the author.
8. 35 p.

31. Talmud Torah from the author of the Tanya, Lemberg 5559.
With new haskamoth.
12. (2), 34 p.

32. Talmud Torah, [Sdilkov] missing the year of print.
Printed according to the edition of Lemberg 5559, with a few minor changes etc. and the date was changed to 5558.
8. (1), 31 p.

When the Shulchon Aruch was published in 5574-5576, the Hilchoth Talmud Torah was incorporated in it. In the first edition it was printed amongst the selected laws from the Choshen Mishpat. in the later editions, it was printed in the "Yoreh Deah" section.

33. Hilchoth Talmud Torah, warsaw 5600.
A special reprint from the Shulchon Aruch that was printed then.
8. (1), 20 p.

34. Talmud Torah, Lemberg 5610.
8. (24 ) p.

In the year 5725 a new edition of Hilchoth Talmud Torah was printed, with notes by Rabbi Nissan Mangel:

35. Hilchoth Talmud Torah, Brooklyn 5725.
8. (3), 37 p.


The second book of halacha that the Alter Rebbe printed is the "Luach Birchoth Hanehenin".

The Shulchon Aruch (which includes a earlier version of these laws), was first printed in 5574-5576 (as mentioned above). but the "Luach Birchoth Hanehenin" (a later version of these laws) was printed already in Shklov 5660.

36. Luach Birchoth Hanehenin, Zholkiev 5561.
12. 27, (1) p.

37. Luach Birchoth Hanehenin, Koretz [5561-3 ?].
8. (25) p.

38. Luach Birchoth Hanehenin, Lemberg [5564].
8. (26) p.
[The date of the Haskamah is the 23d of Marcheshvan 5564. It seems that the publisher did not posses a copy of the later version (which was printed in the Siddur in 5563 under the title of "Seder Birchoth Hanehenin")].

39. Luach Birchoth Hanehenin, [Russia? Poland?], year of print not mentioned.
During the year 5663 the Alter Rebbe printed the Siddur, which includes "Seder Birchoth Hanehenin", which is a third version of these laws by the Alter Rebbe.

(Sh'elot U'tshuvot)

In the first editions of the Shulchon Aruch, only a few responsa were printed. They were not printed as a separate section, rather each responsum was printed in its appropriate place within the Shulchon Aruch.

In addition to those, one responsum was printed in a booklet by itself:

40. Teshuvath Admur Hagaon, Kopust 5575.
4. (1) 10 p.

In the Zhitomir 5607 edition of the Shulchon Aruch, all the responsa were assembled and printed in a seperate booklet, published jointly with the edition of the Shulchon Aruch.

41. Sh'elot U'tshuvot, Zhitamir 5607.
8. (1), 2-44 p.

42. Sh'elot U'tshuvot. with additions and footnotes by Rabbi L. Bistritzky. N. Y. 5748.
8. (15), 494 p.

SIDDUR (Prayer Book)

Arranged by Rabbi Shneur Zalman in accordance with the version of Rabbi Yitzchok Luria (ARIZAL), after careful study, comparison and selection of the versions of sixty different prayer books.

First published in Shklov in 5563.

In the year 5647, Rabbi Avrohom Dovid Lavut reprinted the Siddur of the Alter Rebbe:

43. Siddur Torah Or, According to the editions printed in Shklov and Kopust during the life time of the author. With Shaarei Tfilah. Vilna 5647.

In the year 5656 a new edition was published under the title:

44. Seder Tefilah with Torah Or and Shaar Hakolel. Vilna 5656.

After the passing of the Alter Rebbe, his son, Rabbi Dov Ber (the Mitteler Rebbe) reprinted the Siddur together with discourses of the Alter Rebbe, that he (Rabbi Dov Ber) recorded:

45. Siddur, with added commentaries and explanations (from the Alter Rebbe) as recorded by Rabbi Dov Ber, son of the Rav (the Alter Rebbe). Kopust, 5576. 2 Volumes.
4. (2), 104, 54, 68, 9 p.

46. Siddur Tehilath Hashem, Published by the Merkos L'inyonei Chinuch, N. YU. 5705.
8. 190, (2) p.
Mostly a photostat of the Siddur "Seder Haavodah" Vilna 5671, with many corrections.

47. Sidur Tehilath Hashem, N. Y. 5707
8. (2), 53, (1) p.
Mostly a photostat of "the Rostov Siddur", which was a Siddur Tehilas Hashem printed in Rostov during the year 5678.


48. Torah Or (Torah Light), Chasidic discourses on portions of the Torah (on the Books of Bereishith, Shemoth, and Esther), mostly recorded by the Rav's brother , Rabbi Yehudah Leib of Yanowitz [arranged by the "Tzemach Tzedek"], Kopust 5597.

49. Likutei Torah (Torah Gleanings), Chasidic discourses on topics from the portions of "Beshalach" and "Pekuday"; from the books of Vayikrah, Bamidbar and Devarim, and Shir Hashirim. Zhitomir 5608.

50. Biurei Hazohar (Commentaries on the Zohar) , recorded by Rabbi Dov Ber. Kopust 5576.
4. 139, 57 p.

51. Shnei Hameoroth
Discourses from the Alter Rebbe (5558-5561), recorded by Rabbi Dov Ber. Lemberg 5642.
8. 48 p.

52. Meah Shearim (One Hundred Portals). Collections of fifty letters and fifty short chasidic discourses, selected from the writings of Rabbi Schneur Zalman, Rabbi Dov Ber and Rabbi Menachem Mendel (Tzemach Tzadek). Berditchev 5673.

53. Boney Yerushalayim - Brief discourses. Jerusalem 5686.
8. (4) 180 p.


54. A picture of the Alter Rebbe's Tefilin.

The Tefilin were brought from Russia during the year 5726.

55. The Alter Rebbe's yarmulke.

56. A Shabbos candlestick of Rebbetzin Menucha Rochel Slonim (daughter of the Mitteler Rebbe), which she received from her grandfather, Rabbi Schneur Zalman, given to the Rebbe by her grandson, Rabbi Moshe Shlomo Slonim.

57. A Parochet that, according to one tradition, is the Alter Rebbe's. This Parochet was contributed by Meir Itkin. In the attached description he writes:

This Parochet I purchased from Aharon Eliyahu [Gershuni], sun-in-law of Pinchas of Rakshik [shraiber] O. B. M. He says it came to him from his brother-in-low Eliezer Sholkes, who said in name of Shmuel Akiva Shneersohn that it is the Alter Rebbe's.


On the wall hang portraits of the Alter Rebbe - from the first printed portrait to drawings based on that portrait that were presented to the Rebbe and preserved in the archive of the Library.