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International Jewish Book Day

The 5th day of the Hebrew month of Tevet is a day of rejoicing observed in the Chabad-Lubavitch community, a day which celebrates the "victory of the sefarim"—the victory of the Torah books. On Tevet 5 in 1987, a U.S. federal court issued a ruling regarding the Chabad-Lubavitch library at 770 Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn, New York, the library of the 6th Rebbe of Chabad Lubavitch, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn. The decision—upheld in appeals—said that books that had been removed from the library, including priceless and rare volumes, belonged to the Chabad-Lubavitch community, not to any one individual. The ruling applied to all of the books, not just the books that had been removed. The books were ruled the property of a communal library and everyone who used it. The basis for the ruling was that Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn was a communal figure.

Following the ruling, Schneersohn's son-in-law and successor, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, urged observance of the anniversary of the ruling with the studying of Jewish or Torah books (sefarim) and the acquisition of new Torah books. The Chabad-Lubavitch community marks the day with Chassidic gatherings, the holding of book sales, adding Jewish books to their home collections, and studying sefarim.

How to Observe International Jewish Book Day

Some ways to observe the day include attending a Chassidic gathering, purchasing Torah books at book sales to add to your home collection, and reading Torah books.

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