The summer (Tammuz 12-13) of 1705 (1945) marked a three-fold jubilee in the life and work of my venerable father-in-law, Rabbi Joseph Isaac Schneersohn, the Lubavitcher Rabbi:

  1. the completion of fifty years of public service as a leader in Israel,
  2. the Twenty-fifth Anniversary of his leadership as the Head of the Chabad movement, being the eighth in the line of succession to Rabbi Israel Baal-Shem-Tov, founder of Chassidism, and
  3. the Eighteenth Anniversary of his release from prison in Soviet Russia, where he was imprisoned as a result of his relentless championship of Torah and Judaism.
In connection with this memorable jubilee, the Editorial Board of "Otzar Hachassidim" undertook to publish a series of commemorative publications from the harvest of the Lubavitcher Rabbi's pen. These include a series of dissertations in Hebrew and Yiddish, collections of pastoral letters and messages, public addresses and talks (Sichot), and, last but not least, memoirs, published with the authorization of the Lubavitcher Rabbi.
The "Memoirs" reveal an important phase in Jewish history in recent centuries, and, particularly, in the history of Chassidism. They portray a gallery of Jews who paved the way for the founders of the movement, and who, as Nistarim (scholars and mystics in disguise), prepared the ground for the movement to take root and flourish.
The material on which the "Memoirs" are based represents an accumulation of memoranda preserved in the family archives or in the oral tradition of the Lubavitcher Rabbis since the time of Rabbi Shneur Zaiman of Liady, founder of Chabad Chassidism.
The present volume of the LUBAVITCHER RABBI'S MEMOIRS represents a part of his notes which he wrote in Hebrew since his arrival in the U. S. A. in 1940. The Memoirs (Zichronoth) were first published in Yiddish in serial form in the Jewish Morning Journal of New York from October 7, 1940 to February 23, 1942, and subsequently, for the most part, in book form in 1947. The first part of these Memoirs is now published in the present volume in a free and concise English rendition. For the benefit of the reader I have added The Line of Chabad - Chasidic Tradition, Biographical Data and the list of Published Works by the Lubavitcher Rabbi.
Grateful acknowledgment is herewith tendered to Dr. Nissan Mindel, author and scholar, for the English rendition and glossary which he has executed with great ability and devotion.
Chairman, Board of Editors
Kislev 10, 5709, Brooklyn, N. Y.


Since the Preface to the first Edition was written, the author, Rabbi Joseph Isaac Schneersohn, of saintly memory, passed away on the tenth day of Shevat, 5710. He was succeeded by his son-in-law, the present Lvbavitcher Rabbi, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson.
The first two editions having been exhausted, and in view of the considerable demand for the "Memoirs," we are publishing this volume in ifs third edition.

Tamuz 12-13, 5716, Brooklyn, N. Y.
Back to table of contents
Back to
Back to Shtetl
© Iosif Vaisman
Feedback, questions: send e-mail to