The Vital Need to Spread Chassidus in Print
Rabbi Y. Oliver
When the Baal Shem Tov asked Moshiach, “When will my master come?” he answered, “When the wellsprings [of your teachings] break forth to the outside.” Thus, the coming of Moshiach depends upon the wide dissemination of Chassidus.
Although delivering classes in Chassidus is very important in this regard, it appears that the medium of text is the key to disseminating these teachings on a large scale. As the Rebbe writes:
It was with great joy and satisfaction that I received the report from our mutual friends, the young men who arrived from Shanghai, that you undertook the proposition to devote yourself to raise the means to print the texts of our holy teachers, the teachings of the living G-d, in Shanghai.
As is self-evident, I conveyed the matter to my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe shlita, who was exceedingly happy to hear this ... I am certain that, to you, it is unnecessary to elaborate on the immense merit generated by giving thousands of Jews the opportunity to study texts that contain the teachings of our Rebbeim. I would like, however, to touch on one example mentioned in the words of our Sages.
Our Sages relate that the entire difficulty of exile began as a result of lashon hara, undesirable speech, spoken by the spies [sent by Moshe]. Through this they brought calamities on themselves and on generation after generation that followed including our own generation.
The Talmud (Erchin 15b) relates that the advice to correct [this flaw] is through Torah study, as it states: "The remedy for the tongue is the Tree of Life." And "the Tree of Life" refers to the Torah.
The enormity of the punishment for undesirable speech—which is heard only by people in a specific place and at a specific time—gives us some appreciation of the great merit and reward that one receives for speaking [words of] Torah in a particular place and time. And from that we can extrapolate the magnitude of the merit and reward for printing [words of] Torah. For then the text and the words of Torah it contains reach people in all other lands. And the text remains and is studied tens and hundreds of years after it was printed.
I conclude with the wish that this great merit will sustain you in all that you need, and that you will continue to participate in similar projects. ...
From a letter of the Rebbe of 16 Menachem Av, 5706.
Understandably, assisting this endeavor also brings one tremendous personal blessings, as the Rebbe writes:
By helping publish a Torah text and disseminating it … motivating change, helping people find the proper path and resolve their problems ... the reward for this manifests in this world—with abundant material and spiritual good.
The Rebbe also states that awareness of the tremendous privilege one has to enable the publication of words of Chassidus should lead one to tremendous joy:
The tremendous greatness of printing Chassidus is evident, for when one prints one-and-a-half, or two thousand copies of a sefer [holy book] of Chassidus, words of Chassidus reach two thousand Jews, for surely the [presence of] the holy book will move the person to open it and delve into it. When one then prints two thousand copies of another sefer, one disseminates the wellsprings of Chassidus in a doubled manner, and more.Please contact me to support my writing and publication of the teachings of Chassidus.
Thus, even a moment’s reflection on the greatness of this privilege will surely bring the person to great joy.
Hisva’aduyos 5749, Vol. 4, p. 324.
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