In order to save the life of her father, the Alter Rebbe, and the teachings of Chasidut, Rebbetzin Devorah Leah gave up her life. Fulfilling her final request, the Alter Rebbe raised her young orphaned son, Menachem Mendel.
Encouraged by his illustrious grandfather to write his own Torah thoughts, the Tzemach Tzedek became known for his prolific writings in Chasidut and Halachah. In his unique style, he combined the two dimensions of Chasidut and Nigleh into one. Similarly, during his lifetime, he brought about an unprecedented unity between the chasidim and misnagdim.
When he agreed to become the third Rebbe of Lubavitch, the Tzemach Tzedek stipulated that his leadership be limited to teaching and guiding the Chasidim. But when the Czar`s tyrannical decrees threatened Jewish education and the Jewish way of life throughout Russia, he rose to battle for the survival of Russian Jewry.
The Tzemach Tzedek tirelessly combated the Enlightenment (Haskalah) Movement and set up underground networks to help the Cantonist soldiers maintain their Jewish identity. Single-handedly, he derailed the Czar`s insidious plans to wreak havoc on Jewish life.
Establishing agricultural communities, finding livelihoods for tens of thousands of Jewish families, setting up chadorim throughout Russia helping agunot were just some of his many accomplishments. His devotion and concern were directed to every Jew, chasid and non-chasid alike.
It is an honor to present the third volume in the The Rebbeim Biography Series. By reading about the Tzemach Tzedek`s actions, teachings and conduct - many presented here in English for the first time - may we become connected to him and emulate his ways.