Prayers of gratitude and thanksgiving to the Al-mighty fill our hearts on reaching this exciting milestone — the publication of volume 26 of SICHOS IN ENGLISH. This volume includes the English translation of the discourses of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Shlita, which were spoken at all the Farbrengens from the Eleventh of Nissan, through Shabbos Parshas Shelach (26th of Sivan) in the year 5745.

The free-style translations of the Sichos are structured to appeal to the English-speaking reader who has some basic familiarity with the teachings of Chassidus. The original contexts of the Sichos are generally maintained, and the form and style in which they were said is adhered to. Only slight adaptations or omissions have been permitted, when it facilitates the smooth flow of the translation. As always, great effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the translations; however, they carry no official authorization. As in all works of this nature the possibility of inadvertent error exists.

The importance of studying Rambam’s Mishneh Torah was again emphasized by the Rebbe during this period, and he also pinpointed the lesson to be gleaned from the Rambam’s self-sacrificing service to his fellow Jews and to all humanity. The gentile Nations of the globe, too, recognize the important role that Maimonides played in the world of the 12th century, as attested to by the programs and celebrations organized in Egypt, Morocco and Spain in honor of the 850th anniversary of the Rambam’s passing. The Rebbe also urged that Siyum celebrations should be organized wherever possible and the lectures should be published and disseminated.

During the period covered by this volume the Rebbe had opportunity to speak twice to the children of Tzivos Hashem, during Chol HaMoed Pesach and prior to Shavuos. He also addressed the annual convention of N’Shei uBnos Chabad in which he praised the womanly attributes of caring for the physical and spiritual beauty of the home and its corollary — the ability to see how all G‑d does is for the good. He also extolled the importance of the Jewish family and the need of proper childhood education.

One of the highlights of the Rebbe’s discourses during the summer months each year is his penetrating analysis of the weekly chapter of Pirkei Avos. Several of those discourses are presented in this volume. The 13th day of Iyar also presented the opportunity for the Rebbe to speak about his late brother, R. Yisrael Aryeh Leib, and the different levels of Divine service of Tzaddikim and penitents.

An enlightening and novel thought emerged from the Rebbe’s Siyum of the Tractate Sotah, on the 5th day of Sivan, when he deduced that the title page of the Tractate Sotah is counted as page “1” and included in the custom of studying 49 pages during the 49 days of the Omer.

From time to time during the year, the Rebbe discusses topics which have special significance to the general Jewish public in areas of current Jewish events, Torah study, philosophy or the enhanced observance of Jewish life. We give special attention to such subjects and issue timely essays devoted solely to the particular topic of importance.

In this volume we have included two such essays: Pride and Humility — which discusses the different approaches in Divine service epitomized by the Torah portions of Behar and Bechukosai; and the essay: Prisons and Reform — A Torah View. This essay includes the Rebbe’s thoughts on this important subject which we have gleaned from the Sichos of Purim 5736, Purim 5743 and Shabbos Parshas Naso 5745. The Rebbe, shows his concern for the needs and rights of Jewish prisoners as well as what we may all learn from life in prison.

With the publication of this volume, Sichos In English takes a quantum leap forward in the field of in-house publishing. The entire book was typeset on the new state of the art computer and laser printer now operating in the offices of Sichos In English.

The procurement of this modern equipment was made possible by a grant from the well-known supporter of Torah, Rabbi & Mrs. Yossel Gutnick of Melbourne Australia, to whom we wish to express our sincere thanks and appreciation.

In addition to the increased dissemination of the fountains of Chassidus by the written and printed word — Sichos In English has also become an aggressive pioneer in the area of audio Torah tapes. No sooner was the monumental task of recording the English translation of Rambam’s Mishneh Torah and Sefer HaMitzvos completed, with the help of the Al-mighty, then Sichos In English undertook the recording and disseminating of Tanya tapes in English and the weekly Torah portion, expounded in the light of Chassidic philosophy. These tapes are heard on call-in telephone lines around the world and are also available to the public.

Our fervent hope is to make the light of Torah accessible to a much wider circle of Jewish readers, to disseminate the wellsprings of Chassidus and to bring new inspiration and vitality into the daily lives of English-speaking Jews. The accomplishment of this goal will be our greatest satisfaction and reward.

Sichos In English

Purim, 5747