Discovery of the "Reshimot"
In the Rebbe's correspondence and his annotations
to Chassidic texts, there are occasional references to his reshimot--“journal”
Three such notebooks came to light about a month
after the Rebbe's passing, when they were discovered in a drawer
in his desk.
The entries in these journals date between the
years 1928, the year of the Rebbe's marriage, and 1950, the year
of his father-in-law's passing, which was followed by his assumption
of the leadership of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement. Throughout these
years--which included his evacuation from Berlin in 1933, his escape
from Nazi-occupied Paris in 1941 and his subsequent wanderings as
a refugee in Vichy France and Fascist Spain--the Rebbe kept these
notebooks with him at all times, jotting down the scholarly and
sublime products of his phenomenal mind also in the most precarious
of circumstances. One entry, for example, is dated the evening before
he boarded the ship that was to rescue him from Nazi-occupied Europe
in June of 1941.
Over the next five years, excepts from these notebook
were prepared for publication by a team of scholars, providing tens
of thousands of thirsting Chassidim with a weekly infusion of "new"
teaching and insight from the Rebbe
Aside from the tremendous scholastic and historical
value of these notes in their own right, they also provide a unique
perspective on the entire body of the Rebbe's teachings. Here one
can find the seeds of many a concept which the Rebbe subsequently
developed in the decades to come and made available in the 300,000
pages of transcribed talks, essays and letters that issued from
his lips and pen in the years 1950 to 1994.