Monday, November 24, 2014

The Haskamos to Likutey Moharan

Otzar Nachmani
, Vol. I, sec. 92-93
Collected Talks of Rabbi Nachman Burstein, zatzal
Translated by Dovid Sears (unedited)

[Reb Nachman Burstein writes:] I heard from Reb Elyah Chaim Rosen, zal, that prior to the first printing of Likutey Moharan, the Rebbe sent Reb Zalman “Der Kleiner” (“the small,” due to his physical stature) to the celebrated leaders of the generation to receive haskamos (approbations) for the holy book. He also had a special mission to the Chozeh of Lublin concerning the secret of the Redemption. Reb Zalman was on the road for about a year, from shortly after Pesach of 5567 (1807) until Pesach of 5568 (1808), approximately.

When he returned from his long journey, Reb Zalman confided to Reb  Noson and Reb Naftoli that he had learned many things that even they didn’t know concerning the secret of the Redemption. And he had obtained many haskamos from the great rabbis and Chassidic leaders. However, the Rebbe, for his own hidden reasons, didn’t want to print them at all. Only five were printed subsequently [i.e., by Reb Noson, following the Rebbe’s passing]: 1) from the Chozeh of Lublin; 2) from the Maggid of Koznitz (author of Avodas Yisrael); 3) from Rav Ephraim Zalman Margolios (author of Beis Ephraim, Yad Ephraim and Matteh Ephraim); 4) from Rav Meir, Av Beis Din of Brod; from Rabbi Zalman Chaim of Zlotchov (author of Orach Chaim). The rest of the haskamos were either lost in the course of time, or burned along with the other manuscripts that the Rebbe ordered to be burned immediately after his death (as mentioned by Reb Noson in Yemei Moharnat).

I heard from Reb Itche Meir Korman that Reb Zalman Der Kleiner used to describe the various facial expressions and emotional reactions of all the great rabbis and tzaddikim, which he had witnessed when they first studied the hand-written manuscript of the Rebbe and the wondrous chiddushim (novel Torah insights) contained therein, each in his own manner. One raised the manuscript toward the heavens and exclaimed, “Hott Rebbe Nachman azoy yung massig gevven azoyne hoykhe toirois vos men zeht nisht azalkhes (Rabbi Nachman grasped at such a young age such lofty teachings as these, the like of which have never been seen)!” Another begged [Reb Zalman] that as soon as the holy book was printed, he should immediately, without delay, send it to him, and he would pay twice the price. For he saw there such lofty and hidden matters, “secrets of secrets,” and wondrous mysteries.

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