By the Grace of G‑d

The summer of 5705 (1945) marked a threefold anniversary for my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe Shlita: fifty years of public activity; twenty-five years as the Nasi of Chabad chassidim; and eighteen years since he was liberated from incarceration for his dedicated labors for the buttressing of Torah study and the practice of Yiddishkeit.

At that time, therefore, the administration of Otzar HaChassidim undertook the task of assembling his maamarim, letters, talks and so forth, and preparing them for publication.

The proposed division of these materials is as follows:

Heichal Shemini1 (i.e., the works of the eighth nasi, counting from the founder of Chassidus, the Baal Shem Tov) comprises: Shaar Rishon2 – Maamarim (a) written in the Holy Tongue, and (b) written in Yiddish; Shaar Sheni – Letters; Shaar Shlishi – Sichos; and Shaar Revi’i – Memoirs.

* * *

This volume includes the sichos delivered by my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe Shlita, on various occasions between 9 Adar Sheni, 5700 (1940), the day of his arrival in New York, and 29 Elul, 5700 (1940). Only some of these talks were drawn from his own notes (reshimos). Most of them are based on the notes (hanachos) later recorded from memory by various listeners; hence the variety in the language and style of presentation.

* * *

As in the other publications of Otzar HaChassidim, here too I have added sources and brief footnotes.3 In addition, appended to this volume is an extract from the diary kept by one of the passengers4 who accompanied the Rebbe Shlita on the ship to America. It describes the voyage, and the summer of that year.

Menachem Schneerson