Originally from Crown Heights, Rabbi Lipskier now lives in Melbourne, Australia, where he serves as both a teacher and “mashpia” at the boy’s Mesivta for almost twenty-five years.
As a young boy himself in the heart of Chabad Lubavitch culture, Lipskier was lucky enough to learn the Rebbe’s sichos in real time, as they continued spreading their light around the world. In the 80’s and 90s’, he was a young “bachur” immersing himself in Chassidus and the Rebbe’s wisdom- something which he continues to do today, and with even more enthusiasm.
“Sometimes you think you understand something your first time learning it. But even your second time, you’re often not scratching the surface. The Rebbe’s Torah is layered and nuanced, and requires us to dive in deep.”
For a good few years before Project Likkutei Sichos began, Rabbi Lipskier was spreading the Rebbe’s sichos through his own weekly YouTube channel, in addition to his daily classes at the Mesivta. And just about a month before the project kicked off, he began a podcast in honor of Yud Shvat, actualizing his dream in making sichos accessible to English speakers, starting with the unedited sichos and maimarim.
Shortly afterwards, Lipskier saw the project advertised, and reached out immediately!
The rest is history. Rabbi Lipskier has been involved with Project Likkutei Sichos from the very beginning, and continues to share the Rebbe’s weekly sichos in an accessible and straightforward way. He teaches two of the project’s weekly classes- one of the full sicha, and one as a quick overview.
Often people aren’t fully comfortable with the original language of the sichos, be it Hebrew or Yiddish, and Lipskier is committed to sharing the sicha straight through in English, in a smooth and direct way. He covers every word without pause, and presents the Rebbe’s words unedited and unchanged, for those looking for a simple read-through.
With his overview lesson, Lipskier summarizes the sicha’s main points in about 10 minutes, intended to be used as an aid, when trying to learn the whole Sicha. He answers the overarching questions of the sicha, and covers all the bases while giving the full picture, creating some order and clarity where the Rebbe’s words may get quite complex.
“One of the most rewarding parts of the process is feeling like I did justice teaching a sicha, and succeeded in sharing its depth and nuance. Sometimes we rush to finish things in order to cover more ground- when learning Torah and in life. But we miss the real essence of the words when we skim through them. I have been learning Likkutei Sichos my whole life, but nothing like this. Learning it in order to teach is a completely different experience, and an extremely fulfilling one.”
Preparing a sicha comes with its challenges as well, as you have to understand every single aspect, including the tangential sources the Rebbe brings down. Sometimes its complexity becomes heavy and intense, but when the pieces finally come together, as Lipskier explains, there is nothing like it- especially when you have the opportunity to share it with others.
“The experience really comes together when I have people thanking me for the classes I give, especially other teachers, who use my classes to prepare their own!”
Lipskier has friends reaching out to him he hasn’t spoken with in over 30 years, telling him how nice it is to learn together again! He even has old students reminiscing with him about the “good old days”; his shiurim take them back 25 years, sitting in Lispkier’s classroom once again.
But the inspiration felt isn’t only for his audience; Rabbi Lipskier himself sees the profound way the project has impacted his own life. The Rebbe puts great emphasis on the kind and compassionate way we are to treat others, and the importance of our influence on those around us. The Rebbe reminds us that we each have a mission in this world, and Lipskier knows that being a teacher for Project likkutei Sichos is part of his.
“We are taught that everyone must do what they can for Yiddeshkeit- one with his body, another with his money, and someone else with his speech. Every one of us can carry the Rebbe’s mission in our own unique way. I use my teaching; and I am extremely blessed to have the opportunity to spread light in this incredible way.”
For seven years, Rabbi Hoffinger has dedicated his life to making Torah accessible in a new way; one that accommodates the needs of the masses, using one of our generation’s greatest resources: technology.
This happened within days of his birthday, and to Hoffinger, it feels like a birthday gift from the Rebbe himself, blessing him with the opportunity to teach and spread his Torah.
However, the Rebbe’s Torah doesn’t always follow the same flow, and each sicha is a world unto itself, leaving ample room for Hoffinger’s creativity.
Spreading consciousness isn’t quantitative, but rather a quality that slowly seeps throughout our lives. However, looking back, Rabbi Hoffinger sees over 100 sichos he has already taught, and watches that number grow each week.
Meet Rabbi Chaim Wolosow.
Wolosow has always loved teaching. He loves spreading knowledge in a simple, clear and accessible way. He loves the eureka moments his students experience when understanding dawns on them, having successfully internalized the complex and deep concepts of Torah.
Rabbi Wolosow began his life in Brooklyn, and many years later found himself a teacher in Boston, where he has lived for close to 41 years teaching and leading the community of Sharon, Massachusetts, and currently serves as a shaliach with his wife, Sara.
When the founders of Project Likkutei Sichos approached Rabbi Wolosow, he was already knee deep in his own teaching, with in-person Torah classes every day, his own Youtube Torah channel, and a website geared towards spreading the in-depth Torah of Chassidus. But Wolosow quickly jumped at the opportunity to learn with the project. The Rebbe’s sichos are nothing new to him, but the structure and incentive that the project provides in learning the Rebbe’s Torah creates a whole new experience: one that is unparalleled.
“It’s extremely important to have a defined time of study whenever we begin a new project, or a new endeavor. When you have a timeline, you push yourself where you need to be pushed in order to succeed. The Rebbe’s Torah is vast, with so many sichos to learn; but the Rebbe knew we could push ourselves a bit harder. He knew that we could succeed.”
And when a group of people come together with a shared vision, they are nothing less than unstoppable. Project Likkutei Sichos provides the framework for a challenging task, making it accessible to the masses. Even Rabbi Wolosow himself sees the huge benefits to his own learning. In the past, he never felt the pressure to finish all of Likkutei Sichos, as it is undoubtedly a big undertaking. However, with the project, Wolosow has committed to learning and teaching 2 sichos each week.
He admits that with a strict schedule to adhere to, it’s possible for people to rush through the learning. But that is exactly where the teachers come in, to make the learning a bit easier; to help support participants reach their goal within 7 years, something that Rabbi Wolosow is deeply passionate about.
Wolosow’s classes are known for their accessibility. For years as a teacher, he would see students reading Jewish texts over and over, but without truly understanding them. He doesn’t want to simply read words; he wants to share a message in a clear and simple way. Before he dives into the sicha itself, Rabbi Wolosow always gives a bit of an introduction with the basic ideas and themes of the sicha, preparing listeners for what is to come.
“Sichos are an endless fountain of insight, and the Rebbe has an amazing ability to bring out the core human experience in even the most esoteric concepts. He brings Torah down to earth.
There is no individual who would not be mesmerized with the wisdom of the sichos, even for those who didn’t grow up with it. They are so applicable to anyone and everyone, in ways that other commentary may not be.”
The Rebbe was a revolutionary, who saw deep into the hidden wisdom of the text, even when it seemingly defies all simple “pshat”, or translation. In many instances, the Rebbe stood alone in his viewpoints, and in doing so, revealed unparalleled truth. As Rabbi Wolosow explains, with each sicha, there is a whole new wave of enlightenment. Knowing the Rebbe’s greatness is one thing, but experiencing it firsthand through his writing is mind-blowing each and every day.
If there’s one thing Wolosow has learned about himself through his time with Project Likkutei Sichos, its that no dream is unattainable, and no task is too hard. There is always more time in the day for learning if you just look for it; and when you work a bit harder, you can accomplish anything.
“The Rebbe always taught us of the importance of action. We learn Torah in order to live Torah; in order to make this world a home for G-d with good deeds and mitzvos.
With the Rebbe’s blessing, may we take the immense power of our learning through Project Likkutei Sichos, and create a better world.”
Meet Rabbi Levi Avtzon.
Meet Rabbi Moshe Klein.
Originally from the “City of Gold”, Jerusalem, Moshe Klein has been living in Crown Heights for fifty-one years now. When he is not managing his Judaica business, selling mezuzot, teffilin and other Judaica items to Jews from around the world, he is traveling the world himself as a mohel, welcoming in the newest members of our nation. For Rabbi Klein, living a life connected to the Rebbe, is of utmost importance. We connect with the holy energy of the Rebbe through infusing our lives with Torah and Mitzvot; and most importantly, through learning his Torah.
When Project Likkutei Sichos began, Rabbi Klein saw just how many fires it ignited within people around him. Jews from all over the world, both Chabad and non-Chabad, were tuning in weekly to be inspired. He began the weekly learning himself, and quickly realized the lack of Yiddish language learning present in the project. Without a second thought, he jumped on board as one of the few teachers spreading the Rebbe’s Torah in Yiddish.
While the majority of the Rebbe’s sichos were originally taught in Yiddish, most have been translated into English, Hebrew, Spanish etc.; and while translations may bring greater accessibility to the masses, we often lose the magic of the Yiddish language- something that Rabbi Klein doesn’t ever want to forget.
For 19 years, Rabbi Klein has been giving his own weekly classes on Likkutei Sichos in Yiddish at his local shul. But for the past year and a half, he has taken on the 8-year commitment of learning Likkutei Sichos along with the Project, with a structure that pushes him to explore even the most challenging sichos.
“I used to choose the easier sichos in the past for my classes- the ones that were the easiest to digest and understand. I wanted to make sure it was accessible to everyone. But I missed so much of the Rebbe’s wisdom because of it. Now with the Project, there is no way around it. I dive into even the most complex and long sichos, and have learned how to turn some of the hardest sichos into classes.”
As Klein explains, the project has encouraged him to create a whole new style of learning for himself, as well his teaching. He spends hours each week poring over the sicha, reading each footnote in detail, and then learning the original sources too! The Project reaches Jews around the world, and as the Tzemach Tzedek once said, ‘something printed is forever’. Taking the time to be thorough and correct is important to Rabbi Klein as he records his classes each week. And when he does not know the answer, he runs through 770, until he finds the answer he needs.
While many of his listeners are Lubavitchers, well-versed not only in Yiddish but in Chabad Chassidus, many are not. Rabbi Klein has students tuning in from around the world, in non- Chabad Chassidish communities where Yiddish is still spoken- a large number of them living in Israel- and he takes the time to explain Chabad concepts, ensuring everyone’s ability to tune in and understand.
Rabbi Klein teaches with passion and love, and his own enthusiasm inspires that of his students, who now feel the Rebbe with them throughout the week. The students are beginning to feel like Torah scholars themselves, each week expanding their horizons with the Rebbe’s brilliance and knowledge. Often, Rabbi Klein even gets calls from students, excited to share their experience- how a sicha changed their outlook on life, or a lesson came exactly when they needed to hear it!
Learning Likkutei Sichos is not just about learning Torah. It goes much deeper than that, as each and every person steps into a personal connection with the Rebbe’s wisdom, and the Rebbe himself.
“It’s hard to describe the feeling of being so connected to the Rebbe. It’s hard to put into words, you begin to live with the Rebbe.
In Tehillim, we are taught that when we learn a piece of Torah, the writer of that Torah is right there, with you. And when you learn the Rebbe’s sichos, he is right in front of you, learning together with you and G-d”
As he continues his journey through Likkutei Sichos, Rabbi Klein understands one thing very clearly: when there is a will, there is a way. No matter how tall the mountain, you will get there with the right determination and patience; although Project Likkutei Sichos may be a big mountain, it is a beautiful one, and from the top you will see a whole new world.
Meet Rabbi Eliahu Stiefelmann.
Already from a young age, Rabbi Stiefelmann was deeply enchanted by the wisdom of Likkutei Sichos; and at the age of 15, he made the commitment to spend the next eight years of his life learning the Rebbe’s words each and every night. Whether in yeshiva, at 770, or even on vacation, Rabbi Stiefelmann would open up Likkutei Sichos, and get lost in the world of the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s Torah. With strong determination and a carefully planned yearly schedule, Stiefelmann achieved his goal, entering the profound world of the Rebbe’s light; and he has never looked back since.
His curiosity and passion for Likkutei Sichos swiftly grew with each sicha he learned, and he began creating his own personal evaluation system for the sichos, in addition to writing a short synopsis for each one- which he still uses for his classes today!
“I had a whole chart in place, rating every sicha according to its complexity and level of challenge, the themes it teaches us, and what situation it could be used in- at the Shabbos table, in a shiur, or maybe during mivtzaim… My life was filled with the Rebbe’s sichos, and I am proud to say that it still is today. I even use the 2 filled booklets of my notes from years ago!”
Today, Rabbi Stiefelmann lives with his family in S. Paulo, Brazil, and serves as a Shaliach for the Jewish community, teaching Torah classes and running the Kollel learning program. For twelve years, Stiefelmann has been teaching three sichos a week, creating classes inspired by the Rebbe’s wisdom and infused with his lessons for life. Likkutei Sichos was written for the masses; the Rebbe spoke to the people of our generation, and Rabbi Stiefelmann is committed to continuing this vision by sharing the Rebbe’s Torah wherever he can- in his Chabad house, on social media, and even through his own Spotify podcast.
Stiefelmann first learned of Project Likkutei Sichos about two years ago when a fellow shaliach in Brazil became involved in the project, and asked Stiefelmann to join him in spreading the Rebbe’s light. His colleague would teach the first sicha, and Rabbi Stiefelmann would take on the second each week, recording their classes for the Portuguese speaking community.
“It was complete Hashgacha Pratis, brought to me directly by G-d! I was so surprised when the opportunity came my way, but I knew he asked the perfect person to join him. Likkutei Sichos have been my life’s passion for over a decade, and although the task seemed a bit daunting, I was excited to give it my all!”
In the beginning, Rabbi Stiefelmann committed to an 8-month trial run of the project, before stepping into the 8-year role. But fast forward 6 months, and the trial run became ancient history, as Stiefelmann himself completely forgot about his 8-month pilot. He was addicted; and there was never even a question whether he would continue to be a part of such an incredible initiative.
While Rabbi Stiefelmann may have spent decades exploring the deep waters of Likkutei Sichos on his own, the project has given him even more than he ever imagined. It challenges him on the complex sichos he so often skipped in the past, and pushes him to dive even deeper, immersing himself unlike ever before.
“I have never learned the Rebbe’s sichos this way. I have never absorbed them in such a way that they become such an integral part of me. I understand the Rebbe’s Torah on a whole new level now, which allows me to share that very wisdom with others.”
Every Sunday morning, Rabbi Steilfelmann sits in his office and pours over the sicha of the week, exploring each “ha’ara” or reference, to really understand the full picture of the Rebbe’s words. Just a few weeks ago, Stiefelmann excitedly finished the longest and most intricate sicha he’s ever learned, a siyum on Masechet Chagigah, marking his longest recording for Project Likkutei Sichos yet.
The project has given him the opportunity to explore sichos that a 15-year-old Stiefelmann found scary and untouchable; and it is precisely in those very challenging and detailed sichos where often the most meaning can be found. He has a newfound appreciation for sichos that were once too tedious and detailed, discovering that within each sicha is a vast world of knowledge and expertise waiting to be explored.
Living with the Rebbe in such an intimate way has been lifechanging for Rabbi Stiefelmann, who lets the Rebbe’s words guide him into his week with the sichos.
“You begin to see life in a different way. The Rebbe talks to us through his sichos, and reminds us how to live. There is more trust in G-d and more faith in life. I not only bring these life lessons into my classes, but keep them for myself in dealing with the personal, emotional and financial challenging moments that life brings to us all. It’s transformational.”
As a young bachur, Rabbi Steilfelmann looks back and remembers his awe in the many Rabbis who always had a piece of Torah to share, ready at a moment’s notice with the perfect words in any situation. Today, he finally understands how; and as he continues his journey with Likkutei Sichos, Rabbi Stiefelmann is beginning to teach exactly the same way.
For almost twenty-three years, Rabbi Shishler, along with his wife and 8 children, have had the privilege of building and expanding their thriving Chabad house in Strathaveon- Johannesburg, South Africa. Although it has always been a family affair, things became official when their eldest son recently married and joined them on their mission of the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s shlichus. Together, they are continuing to help their vibrant Jewish community grow.
“Every week, each sicha reveals a new and innovative perspective on Judaism. Even with the sichos I have learned before, I find a whole new perspective every time I open up Likkutei Sichos. We are learning sichos that in the past may have been challenging, and even glossed over. Now, we have to opportunity to dive into them, and learn their deep truths.”
“The Rebbe addresses modern issues for our generation; we simply need to find the right language to make his Torah both easily digestible and accessible to anyone and everyone who wants to learn the Rebbe’s wisdom.”
Just a year after the passing of Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka, Daniella Golan received the lasting blessing from the Lubavitcher Rebbe himself to open a place of Torah study for women in Israel; and in 1989, Golan officially opened Ohr Chaya, named in blessed memory of the Rebbetzin, which has been a warm and transformative home to thousands of Jewish women ever since.
“With every sicha you learn, it becomes a part of you. You are right there with the Rebbe, learning Torah with him. And it is just incredible.”
Meet Mrs. Rivky Slonim
For Rivky, her weekly time with Project Likkutei Sichos is a time to cherish.
Meet Rabbi Moshe Spalter
Spalter encourages the project’s students to continue learning alongside its weekly study schedule.
Meet Mrs. Freidy Yanover
It is with this understanding that Freidy approaches her weekly classes for Project Likkutei Sichos.
Freidy is committed to following the learning path that the Rebbe has laid out within each sicha, a brilliant framework connecting the dots from all across Torah. The references in the Rebbes sichos navigate the entire world of Torah thought. References lead us to the Talmud, followed immediately by another that leads us to Kabbalistic sources. And as we piece it all together, the journey we are on suddenly becomes clear, and the message clear as well.
Originally from Detroit, Michigan, today Gourarie and his wife run the Chabad House of Tom’s River, NJ, where they have lived with their 12 children for 18 years and counting. What began as a more typical “Chabad house” style community- focused primarily on outreach- slowly blossomed into one with a thriving religious Jewish life, as more traditional families began joining the community in recent years.
Not only is outreach a part of their mission, but imbuing the community with chassidus is now a big part of it too.