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Thursday, February 01, 2007

The Gutnick Kol Menachem Shul Chumash

The Gutnick Kol Menachem Shul Chumash is a story of outstanding Torah achievement. In November 2002, the Torah world was introduced to the first volume of the Kol Menachem Chumash. Coordinated with its issue date, the first volume was Chumash Shemos, with an English translation of commentaries titled Toras Menachem of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, zt”l (1902‑1994), revered Lubavitcher Rebbe. The volume also incorporated a running question-and-answer annotation by Rabbi Chaim Miller, integrating classic commentaries. The Torah text was translated into English, faithful to Rashi’s interpretations.

With the release in May 2005 of Kol Menachem’s fifth volume, Bamidbar, the Chumash was completed. From the time of its initial introduction, the world of Judaic and Torah scholarship rejoiced in the availability of the colossal work, recognizing its highly professional presentation, exceptional clarity of language, and the broad scope of information that each volume contains.

Kol Menachem’s Book of Haftaros was released in November 2006. It, too, is beautiful to behold. It gives a clear understanding of the messages of the Haftaros. The Haftaros are presented to us according to Chabad, Ashkenazi and Sephardic customs with a commentary anthologized from classic rabbinic texts as well as from the works of the late Lubavitcher Rebbe.

As the work on the Kol Menachem volumes of Chumash ensued, the reception was so thrilling that the Kol Menachem staff was “inspired to work 14-hour days to finish the project,” commented Rabbi Meyer Gutnick, founder of the Kol Menachem foundation that publishes the Chumash. “Can you imagine how it feels to have phone calls, letters and emails flying in all day from people whose lives have literally been changed by the Chumash and are begging for more? For many thousands of people, it was their first exposure to the Rebbe’s teachings. Others tell us how it has enabled them to bring Torah study into their busy lives, and it has even inspired many to become ba’alei teshuvah. So we just had to pull out all the stops to get this project finished.”

The Gutnick Chumash contains more than 1,000 sichos (essay discussions) of the Rebbe, which were meticulously researched, analyzed, and carefully adapted to retain the flavor of the original sichah. Each adaptation was then reviewed by a board that included both scholars and laymen, to ensure that the commentary would be both completely accurate, yet accessible to a person who had not studied Torah before.

The Gutnick Chumash has become the best seller amongst all Lubavitch works. Rabbis, scholars, laymen, and ba’alei teshuvah have come to rely upon it to more fully understand and appreciate the weekly Torah readings. Recognizing its unique value, The Jewish Press, in particular, has elected to provide its readers with excerpts.

Now that their work on the Chumash and Haftaros are complete and combined, the Gutnick Shul Chumash has become an excellent alternative and supplement. Its size and handsome format are comfortable to its users. It is a masterpiece addition for shul use and is now available from Judaica stores worldwide or from the publisher at www.kolmenachem.com, or by calling 1-888-580-1900.

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