Whether you were born a Lubavitcher, or you became a Ba’al Teshuva, you need to learn the Alter Rebbe Shulchan Aruch to know what to do and how to perform the Mitzvos of the day. However, the language barrier is big, and you find yourself looking for English alternatives to the Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch.
Although many books have been published in English during recent years, which are based partially or fully on the Alter Rebbe, the original text has remained inaccessible to many.
Over the past 15 years, Sichos in English has embarked on a groundbreaking project, to translate the Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch into English. After publishing ten volumes, Rabbi Yonah Avtzon can finally say his first Shehecheyanu, with the publishing of the sixth volume of Chelek Aleph, which completes the first section of Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch, dealing with the laws pertaining to every day, from Shacharis in the morning to the order of blessings on food, and everything in between.
The project, spearheaded by Sichos In English, and published in conjunction with Kehot Publication Society, has served as one of the greatest (if not, THE greatest) innovation in Hafotzas Hama’ayanos of the Seventh Generation.
The editors, which have followed a style commonly refered to as “The Chassidic Heritage Style,” present the Hebrew text of the Shulchan Aruch with full punctuation on one side, and a fully annotated and elucidated translation on the opposite side, replete with explanations, drawings and cross-references to modern-day dilemmas which may arise when applying the laws to the 21st Century.
The original translation was prepared by Rabbi Eli Touger, with the help of Rabbi Sholom Ber Wineberg (Chabad Shliach to Kansas), and reviewed by the late Rabbi Levi Bistritzky (Chief Rabbi of Tzfas) and afterwards by Rabbi Levi Raskin (Rov of the Chabad community in England).
With the first section completed, you can finally know what to do, learning from the original.
Aside for these six volumes, Sichos In English has also released two volumes detailing the laws of Rosh Hashana, Yom Kipur and Sukkos; one volume with the laws of the Study of Torah, and one volume which comprises half of the Alter Rebbe’s Business Laws.
Additionally, Rabbi Feivel Rimler translated a large section of the laws of Shabbos, which were published in booklets.
The first person to publish a section of the Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch in English was Rabbi Shimon Cowen of Melbourne Australia, who translated Seder Birkas HaNehenin and Seder Netilas Yadayim in English, and published it in the format now popular with the newer volumes.
It is our fervent hope, that this publication serve as a major catalyst for the coming of Moshiach, as this is a giant step for humanity, a new level of Hafotzas Hama’ayanos.