Kehot Publication Society

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Kehot Publication Society
Founded 1942
Founder Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn
Focus Publishing

Kehot Publication Society is the publishing division of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement. It was established in 1941 by the sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Schneersohn. In 1942 he appointed his son-in-law, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson as director and editor-in-chief.[1]

Only a handful of classic Chabad texts were available for study in 1942, but under the leadership of Rabbi Schneerson Kehot became the world's largest publisher of Jewish literature, with more than 100,000,000 volumes printed to date in Hebrew, Yiddish, English, Russian, Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, German, Persian and Arabic.[2]

Rabbi Schneerson dedicated much time to his editorial responsibilities, and in a 1946 letter noted the many obligations: "recently I have had to edit a booklet about Purim and Passover in French (similar to the one about Tishrei), one about Purim in English, the first volume of Our People in English, the final proofreading of [the Hassidic discourse] Mayim Rabim. In the middle of being proofread are: the appendices to Tzemach Tzedek, the booklet Ha-Tzemach Tzedek Ve-haHaskalah, a collection of the Rebbe [Rashab]’s talks. At the beginning of being proofread are Kuntres Eitz HaChaim, a booklet about the Rebbe Maharash, the talks of the Rebbe [Rayatz], a book of Hassidic Discourses, a book of questions and answers between a teacher and a child regarding Jewish religion and practice in English, a code of Jewish law for youth in English etc., etc."[3]

The name Kehot (קה"ת) is an acronym for Karnei Hod Torah ("the rays of the Torah's glory"), and the three Hebrew letters feature in the publishing house's logo. The letters also refer to the Hebrew year, 5505 (תק"ה), in which the founder of Chabad, Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, was born.

Kehot has started to host an annual book-a-thon with the purpose of promoting Jewish literacy as well as helping to build Jewish libraries.[4]

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