Many English-speaking chassidim, veterans and newcomers alike, have long wished for a friendly elder chassid at their elbow who could show them — discreetly — just how a younger chassid should conduct himself throughout his day and throughout his year.
It is precisely this role that the present unique volume fills, by citing the custom practiced by Chabad-Lubavitch chassidim wherever the Shulchan Aruch (The Code of Jewish Law) allows for a variety of practices.
Beyond its practical role, this classic work fascinates many serious readers chiefly by virtue of its extensive annotation, most of which was penned by the Rebbe.
The footnotes, some of them consisting of entire letters, trace many of the cited customs to their Talmudic, Rabbinic, Kabbalistic and chassidic sources.
Moreover, while discussing variant traditions, this analytical documentation allows the reader a glimpse into the astounding wealth of legal and mystical considerations that cause one specific custom to be preferred over another.
The text proper is comprised almost exclusively of brief verbatim quotations from a wide variety of books, letters and published talks of the leaders of the Chabad-Lubavitch chassidic movement over the last seven generations.
Basically, these quotations are arranged in calendrical sequence.
In order to further streamline the reader’s searches through this abundance of chassidic scholarship and tradition, a detailed Table of Contents, an alphabetical Subject Index, and a battery of strategically-placed cross references are always on hand to guide him to the precise item of information that he seeks.
In making the present translation public, the publishers are confident that the English reader will find this long-awaited elder chassid at his elbow approachable, instructive and authoritative.