Now You Know The Rest Of The Story..........
The Torah Matzav
Monday, July 29, 2019
WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO THE YOM TOV OF כ"ו תמוז?
WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO THE YOM TOV OF
כ"ו תמוז? In 1916 a
bookseller named Naftali Zvi
Shapiro offered to sell to Abraham
by the Baal Shem Tov
that had been stored in
some Geniza (cache
of old documents).
There was confusion as to where
the Geniza was, if in
St. Petersburg, Kiev,
In 1921, the letters appeared again in
Odessa, having originated (supposedly) in
the government archive in Kherson. This
cache was supposedly confiscated from
the Ruzhiner Rebbe zt"l. when he was put
The story that went around was that in the
confusion following the
revolution in 1917,
the letters were removed from
the Kherson archive
to Odessa. There most of the letters were
by a wealthy Chasid Shmuel
Gurary who presented them to
his Rebbe the Maharshab, Rabbi Shalom
Dov Ber zt"l..
In the 1930s, Rabbi Yosef
Yitzhak, zt"l (Frierdiger Rebbe) published
some three hundred letters, purportedly
from the pen of the Besht etc. in
the Chabad journal- Hatamim.
It soon became apparent, that the
authenticity of the manuscripts
Close inspection of the contents, form, and
paper cast serious doubt on
Today, outside of Chabad there are
virtually no authorities who
letters anything other than forgeries.
Scholars examined the letters from
the Kherson Geniza attributed
Baal Shem Tov and matched up the dates
to the day of week in which they were written. it was discovered
that some of the dates coincided with Shabbosos & Yomim
Tovim. Also, the type of paper that was used on the manuscripts was
not yet available then.
The Imrei Emes (Gerrer Rebbe) ,R. Yisochor Dov Rokeach (Belzer
Rebbe), and Minchas Elozor (Munkatcher Rebbe) zt"l
all took issue with the authenticity of these letters.
Outside of Chabad there are no sources that suggest they were
The last Lubavitcher Rebbe Zt"l who was an expert on old Seforim and
manuscripts insisted that they are indeed authentic and
wouldn't give in to the academics who tried to convince him
In the Sefer Hatamim, there are two Besht letters from the Kherson Geniza declaring
the Yom Tov of
It is interesting that as far as I know. no one, not
even Chabad celebrates כ"ו תמוז.