I would like to find the Russian original of one of the presumably very few chasidic works written in that language. The work in question is בד קדש, addressed by the Miteler Rebbe, Rav Dovber of Chabad, to Governor-General Chavansky, of Vitebsk, in 5586-5587.

It appears here in English translation by Eliyahu Touger and Shalom Ber Wineberg as part of a sefer about the Miteler Rebbe's liberation from prison. The letter, which reworks an older discussion by the Alter Rebbe of the sefira of Malchus, including some very interesting comments on the definition of beauty, was a main catalyst for that liberation.

I do not know the Russian title of this work, but one possible transliteration is "Бад кодеш." Any help finding the original either in print or online would be appreciated. Thanks!

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    I looked for this a bit, but I don't see any reference to the fact that that was originally written in Russian. It doesn't say so in the Hebrew book nor in the English translation on chabad.org. Are you sure it was originally written in Russian? (Maybe it was written in Hebrew but sent with an interpreter?) By the way, until recently, Russian orthography required every word that didn't end in ь to end in ъ, so maybe you should be searching for Бадъ кодешъ? – b a May 14 '18 at 8:56
  • @ba The source of my belief that it was written in Russian is this site's description; granted, it could be wrong: asknoah.org/books/a-judgment-of-truth-and-mercy-2 – SAH May 14 '18 at 21:12
  • One observation: The site says "he wrote this Chassidic discourse as a letter to the Gentile governor of his province in Russian." If they were trying to say it was written in Russian, I would have expected the words "in Russian" to appear earlier in the sentence. It looks as if it might just be a typo for "his province in Russia" – b a May 14 '18 at 21:38

I checked Hebrewbooks.org. They have one edition attributed to the Alter Rebbe and one edition attributed by the Rebbe to the Mitteler Rebbe. Neither is in Russian. That is probably in the Rebbe's library at 770. If you contact the library directly and they possess the letter in Russian, they will make you a copy for a modest fee.

Links to the two editions mentioned above follow:

Alter Rebbe edition.

Mittlere Rebbe edition.

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  • Good idea to ask the library. Will try this iyH – SAH May 14 '18 at 21:22
  • @SAH Chag Sameach too! – Yaacov Deane May 14 '18 at 23:04
  • Called them yesterday; no luck yet. It will require at least one more call to find out definitively. Meanwhile maybe the Russian original is in Russia, or nowhere. Chag Sameach to you too! – SAH May 16 '18 at 9:05
  • @SAH The Rebbe’s greeting for this year at this time: שבת שלום ויום טוב שמח וקבלת התורה בשמחה ובפנימיות ולהמשיך כל זה בכל השנה כולה האנשים והנשים והטף, ועד אשר במהרה בימינו ממש; ויהי נועם ה׳ אלקינו עלינו ומעשה ידינו כוננה עלינו ומעשה ידינו כוננהו, בגאולה האמתית והשלימה. – Yaacov Deane May 16 '18 at 13:30
  • Just noticed this--Amen v'Amen, and thank you! – SAH Jun 6 '18 at 2:38

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