Wellspring Part 6
(Click here for Part
the Scenes at
the Vaad L’hafotzas Sichos
Zalman Chanin, As Related To Rabbi Shalom Yaakov Chazan
Should Give, No Need To Ask
time a major supporter of the Vaad L’Hafotzas Sichos came up with an
idea to organize a fundraising event on behalf of the Likkutei Sichos,
and proposed that a permanent board of directors be created to oversee
the Vaad’s ever-increasing expenses. The plan was for me to accompany
him to Brazil, where I would explain to potential contributors the great
merit they would have in publishing the Rebbe’s sichos.
brought the suggestion to the Rebbe’s attention, and asked if he
approved the idea. The event was scheduled to take place on a Monday; I
asked the Rebbe the previous Thursday. The Rebbe agreed.
Motzaei Shabbos my telephone rang; it was Rabbi Hodakov, who told me
that the Rebbe had withdrawn his permission. He also told me that the
Rebbe had requested that I accept the new directive “with joy and
gladness of heart.” Needless to say, the fundraising event never took
place and I eventually forgot about it.
few months later I was standing on the front steps of 770 with another
major supporter of the Vaad when the door suddenly opened and the Rebbe
stepped outside. As he walked down the stairs he paused to give us a
friend took the opportunity to ask the Rebbe why he hadn’t allowed me
to travel to Brazil. The Rebbe replied, “For printing sichos
people should give money; one shouldn’t have to ask. And this
pertains to everyone.”
my friend countered that such individuals have to first be generated,
the Rebbe said, “Who needs to generate them? I don’t need their
All Over The World
Zev Horowitz of Brazil is one of the major financial backers of the Likkutei
Sichos. One time during Sunday “dollars,” when Reb Zev presented
the Rebbe with the newest volume that had just been published, the Rebbe
asked him if he knew the reason why the Brazilian coin is known as the
“cruzeiro.” Reb Zev did not know, so the Rebbe explained:
is similar to the English word “cruise,” which means to sail by
boat. In the same way a ship sails from place to place over the sea,
money passes from hand to hand and makes its way around the country.
books,” the Rebbe said, indicating the Likkutei Sichos, “also
‘sail’ from place to place, and are likewise found all over the
time when Reb Zev Horowitz presented the Rebbe with a new volume of Likkutei
Sichos, the Rebbe handed him five dollars and said, “In the Torah
everything occurs in fives: five Chumashim, five books of Tehillim,
etc. When you’ll finish printing the next five volumes, I’ll give
you another five dollars.”
In Investments, But…
Rebbe’s high regard for contributors to the Vaad L’Hafotzas Sichos
is illustrated by the following story:
few years ago the economy of Brazil was in serious decline, to the point
that the entire financial standing of the country was in danger. One
Sunday by “dollars,” a businessman asked the Rebbe if it was
worthwhile to invest money in Brazil, given the economic situation
there. The Rebbe replied that he was not an expert in investments, and
told the man to consult with financial advisors.
half-hour later I passed by the Rebbe with Reb Zev Horowitz and he asked
the same question. After giving him a dollar for tzedaka and a bracha
for success, the Rebbe said, “It is advisable that you invest a great
deal of money in Brazil, as I’ve heard that its whole economy is going
to turn around for the good.”
time by Sunday “dollars” the Rebbe remarked to Reb Zev Horowitz,
“I have many s’farim in my possession that you have printed.
Thus, I am reminded of you all the time…”
Will Give Me Something to Learn From”
Rebbe’s special appreciation for the Likkutei Sichos was not
limited to first printings, but extended to subsequent editions as well.
time Reb Yisroel Zayantz, a generous contributor to the Vaad
L’Hafotzas Sichos, presented the Rebbe with a volume that was in its
second or third printing. The Rebbe said, “Thank you very much for
this book – it will give me something to learn from. Even though it is
not a first edition, ‘every day it should be to you as new.’ And not
just ‘as new,’ but actually new!’ You should know that I will
learn from this book, and in the same way you’ve given me this merit,
you have a responsibility to learn from it, as well.”
with the King’s Imprimatur
the moment the Rebbe Rayatz appointed the Rebbe Melech HaMoshiach in
charge of the Kehos Publication Society, the Rebbe always paid
particular attention to the books’ Foreword (pesach davar).
the early days the Rebbe would compose them himself. Later, when the
Rebbe’s time was at a premium, he would personally edit the Foreword
of every single volume and affix the date on the bottom as a sign of
approval. This was also done with the Likkutei Sichos, each of
which was personally edited by the Rebbe. Even sixth and seventh
editions received the same consideration, with the Rebbe always signing
the date at the bottom margin.
is for this reason that the Vaad always reprints the Forewords of every
previous edition when publishing a new one, even though the text has
remained the same.
“Ba’kol, Mi’kol Kol”
certain Chassid was once going through a very difficult time in his
life. First his business started failing, then some of his children gave
him cause for concern. He also had a daughter who had been married for
two years but had not yet been blessed with children. He asked the Rebbe
for a bracha, and the Rebbe gave him one for success in all these
time passed, and there was still no improvement. I happened to be with
him the day he passed before the Rebbe and said “Nu?” as if
complaining that the bracha had not yet materialized. The Rebbe
looked at him very seriously and said, “Az ich hob gezugt, vet
azoy zayn! Nor vos zol ich ton az ich bin nit kayn kohen? Felt
in ‘ad m’heira yarutz devaro.’” (When I say
something, it will happen! Can I do anything about not being a kohen?
‘His word runs very swiftly’ is lacking.)
short time later we were again standing together by “dollars” when
the Rebbe handed him a dollar and said, “It should be ‘ba’kol,
mi’kol kol.’” Over the next few months the Rebbe’s brachos
began to materialize one after the other. And nine months later his
daughter gave birth to triplets – ba’kol, mi’kol kol!
a Speedy Recovery
was once a member of Anash who wasn’t well, and resolved to
make a sizeable donation to the Vaad L’Hafotzos Sichos. When he wrote
about his decision to the Rebbe, the Rebbe answered: “The merit of
publishing these books will speed your recovery.”
few years ago, during Kislev, Reb Chaim Lapidus presented the Rebbe with
a copy of the seifer Shidduchim V’Nisuyim. The Rebbe
told him, “The month of Kislev is auspicious for making shidduchim,
and my wedding also took place in Kislev.”
You Learn, Your Father
Will Be Rich
when Reb Chaim Lapidus took his son to the Rebbe for “dollars,” the
Rebbe told the boy that he had to help his father print the Likkutei
Sichos. If you learn a lot, the Rebbe told him, your father will
have a lot of money, and he’ll be able to publish many books.
To Give Money To Tzedaka Than To Pay
was once a person who committed himself to donating a large sum to the
Vaad L’Hafotzas Sichos. Months passed, but he neglected to send in the
time later his wife was involved in a terrible car accident in which
both her legs were broken. The woman had to undergo several operations
before she could walk again, but it was a miracle that she survived at
the man wrote to the Rebbe about what had happened he received a very
sharp reply: You did not fulfill your promise to give tzedaka;
perhaps it is your wife who prevents you from doing so? A person’s
money is what sets him on his feet; that is why her legs were broken.
The way to fix this is to immediately give the money to tzedaka.
Subtract the amount of all the doctors’ bills and give the rest at
Opposite is More Logical
year on Erev Rosh HaShana the Vaad would submit a detailed report to the
Rebbe with the amounts of money each contributor had committed himself
to donating over the coming year. The Rebbe would study the information
and sometimes add various comments in the margins.
year a contributor was with me when I handed the envelope to the Rebbe.
The Rebbe looked at him and asked, “Is the contract inside?” When
the man said yes, the Rebbe added, “According to my calculations?”
The man replied that if his business prospered during the coming year,
he would contribute even more than he had already committed himself.
few days later I received the Rebbe’s answer, in which he made
reference to this conversation: On the contrary, the opposite is more
logical. However, b’dieved, this is also for the good –
revealed and overt good. I have mentioned this at the tziyun.
here to continue.)