The Structure of Likutei Amarim

The Tanya is made up of 5 volumes, as mentioned in a previous post. We will start our discussions on the most famous volume, Likutei Amarim, which means “collection of sayings”.

The subject matter of this volume can be broken down as follows:

Chapters 1-8                 The Spiritual Composition of the Jew

Chapters 9-17               The War Between the Souls

Chapters 18-25            Revealing the Hidden Love

Chapters 26-31            Fighting Depression and Negativity

Chapter 32                   Loving Your Fellow Jew

Chapters 33-34           Fighting Depression and Negativity (continued)

Chapters 35-37           Man’s Ultimate Purpose: A Dwelling Place for G-d

Chapters 38-40          Intent in Torah Study and Prayer

Chapters 41-50           Fear and Love

Chapters 51-53           Revealing G-d’s Presence in the World

 

So let’s begin…

The Author of the Tanya, Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi, z”tl

The Tanya was written by the first Chabad Rebbe, Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi. In order to get a good idea of his biography, let’s head right to the source: the Chabad official biography. This brief bio was written by Nissan Mendel

Rabbi Schneur Zalman was born on the 18th day of Elul (which is also the birthday of the Baal-Shem-Tov), in the year 5505 (1745), in the town of Liozna, province of Mohilev, in White Russia, which was part of Poland at that time. His parents, Baruch and Rivkah, had three sons, all of whom were outstandingTalmud scholars and Rabbis.

Rabbi Schneur Zalman’s father was a man of some means. He came from a family that originally lived in Bohemia and directly traced its ancestry to the famed Rabbi Yehuda Lowe (Maharal) of Prague. R’ Baruch was a secret follower of the Baal-Shem-Tov, and when Schneur Zalman reached the age of three years, his father took him to the Baal-Shem-Tov for the traditional haircutting ceremony. That was the only time that Rabbi Schneur Zalman saw the Baal-Shem-Tov in his life, though he was fifteen years old when the Baal-Shem-Tov passed away. It was the Baal-Shem-Tov’s wish that Rabbi Schneur Zalman should find his own way of Chassidus.

Until the age of twelve Schneur Zalman studied under a scholar of noble character, Rabbi Issachar Ber, in Luba­vitch. Then his teacher sent him back home, informing his father that the boy could continue his studies without the aid of a teacher.

When Schneur Zalman reached the age of Bar Mitzvah and, in accordance with custom, delivered his first public discourse on the Talmud, he was acclaimed as an outstanding Talmud

scholar. He was thereupon elected as an honorary member of the local Chevra Kaddisha and entered into the pinkas (Register) of the community with titles and honors given only to mature scholars of exceptional merit.

The fame of the young iluy (prodigy of learning) reached Vitebsk, where one of its most prominent Jews, Yehuda Leib Segal, a man of considerable wealth and scholarship, and a leader in the com­munity, desired to have him as his son-in­law. Rabbi Schneur Zalman was fifteen years old when he married Sterna, Yehuda Leib’s daughter. She proved to be a worthy mate, who stood by him through­out his lifetime. As was the custom in the better families of those days, the young couple was fully supported by the wife’s father for several years, so that the young scholar could dedicate all of his time to the learning of Torah.

Before his marriage, Rabbi Schneur Zalman began to take an active interest in the economic position of his brethren. He had always felt that the towns and cities were too overcrowded to offer many opportunities to the Jews for mak­ing a living, and that more Jews should settle on the land and engage in agricultural pursuits. In his younger days he stood up on a wagon in the market place in Liozna, where many Jews had gathered for the local fair, and delivered a talk on the need of settling on the land. Now that he was married and in possession of a substantial dowry, he created a special fund, with the consent of his wife, to help Jewish families settle on the land.

Rabbi Schneur Zalman’s father-in-law had dealings with the nobles and high officials in and around Vitebsk. Two occasions presented themselves to him to introduce his brilliant son-in-law to these circles. One occasion was when the sun-dial in the garden of the governor of Vitebsk suddenly stopped func­tioning perfectly. Severa1 scientists whom the governor had called in, failed to solve the mystery. Finally, the young Rabbi Schneur Zalman was invited to take a look at it and he discovered the cause of the malfunction in an obstruction created by trees that had grown tall on a hill at a certain distance away. The other occasion was when he solved a mathematical problem with which the local academy of science had been wrestling for a long time. Rabbi Schneur Zalman’s reputation and acquaintance with the local nobility later stood him in good stead.

II. Turning Point

Being a very ardent student, and gifted with a brilliant mind, Rabbi Schneur Zalman had become proficient in the en­tire Talmudic literature ,with all its com­mentaries and early and late poskim (codifiers), before he was eighteen years old. Soon afterwards he decided to leave home in search of a teacher and guide to help him attain a higher degree of Divine service. From wandering scholars that passed through Vitebsk he had heard about the saintly teacher of Miezricz, Rabbi Dov Ber, the disciple and successor of the Baal-Shem-Tov. It was said: “In Wilno you learn how to master the Torah; in Miezricz you learn how to let the Torah master you.” Rabbi Schneur Zalman made the momentous decision to go to Miezricz. This was the turning point in his life.

Rabbi Schneur Zalman’s father-in-law was vehemently opposed to his going to Miezricz. Like many other Jews at that time, who knew very little of Chassidus and what it stood for, Yehuda Leib Segal was a bitter opponent of the new move­ment. He threatened to deprive his son-in-law and daughter of any further financial assistance if Rabbi Schneur Zalman did not change his mind. But Sterna stood by her husband and agreed to his leaving home for eighteen months. She sold some of her precious possessions to buy a horse and cart for her husband to make the long trip. Rabbi Schneur Zalman set out for Miezricz together with his brother Rabbi Yehuda Leib. Having made their way to Orsha, a distance of fifty miles, the horse collapsed. Rabbi Schneur Zalman then learned that his brother had left home without his wife’s consent. He urged him to return home, while he himself continued his journey to Miezricz on foot.

His first impressions were not encouraging, but Rabbi Schneur Zalman decided to stay, and before long he rea­lized how saintly and learned Rabbi Dov Ber was, and became his devoted disciple.

Returning to Vitebsk after eighteen months, as he had promised his wife, Rabbi Schneur Zalman met with a great deal of animosity on the part of his wife’s family and other members of the community. But he also gained a number of followers who were eager to learn about the Chassidic teachings and way of life. Soon Rabbi Schneur Zalman went to Miezricz again, and continued to visit his master from time to time, following him also to Rovno and Anipoli, where Rabbi Dov Ber moved towards the end of his life.

For several years Rabbi Schneur Zalman and his wife suffered many hard­ships. Finally, in the year 5527 (1767), he was offered the position of Maggid(preacher) in his home town Liozna. He accepted this post, which he held for the next thirty years, until he moved to Liadi after his second arrest and liberation (in 1800).

When Rabbi Schneur Zalman was barely twenty-five years old, Rabbi Dov Ber chose him, the youngest of his disciples, to re-edit the Shulchan Aruch. It was 200 years since Rabbi Joseph Caro had written his famous work. During this time much material had been added to the Halachah literature, and it was Rabbi Schneur Zalman’s task to examine and sift all the new Rabbinical material, make decisions where necessary in the light of the earlier codifiers and Talmudic authorities, and finally embody the re­sults into the new edition of the Shulchan Aruch, thus bringing it up-to-date. Rabbi Schneur Zalman superbly accomplished this task, which gave him an honored place among the great codifiers of Jewish Law. The work became known as the “Rav’s Shulchan Aruch,” in distinction from its forerunner.

Several years later he began to work out his Chabad system of Chassidus, which he eventually published in his famous work Likkutei Amarim, or Tanya.’

On the 19th of Kislev, in the year 5532 (1772) , Rabbi Dov Ber passed away. His disciples resolved to continue spreading the teachings of Chassidus in their respective territories. Rabbi Schneur Zalman’s task was to capture the very stronghold of the opposition, the province of Lithuania, with Wilno, the seat of the famed Gaon Rabbi Elijah. During the next three years Rabbi Schneur Zalman visited many important communities, where he preached publicly and won many followers. But the spread of the Chassidic movement only sharpened the opposition. Rabbi Schneur Zalman, accompanied by his senior colleague Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Horodok, went to Wilno in the hope of convincing the Gaon that his opposition was based on misinformation. But Rabbi Elijah refused to see them. Rabbi Menachem Mendel and some other Chassidic leaders and followers left for the Holy Land. Rabbi Schneur Zalman undertook to raise funds for their support. When Rabbi Menachem Mendel died (in 1788) , Rabbi Schneur Zalman was recognized as the chief leader of the Chassidim.

I would encourage you to visit and read through the materials related to the life and works of the Alter Rebbe.

Forward to the Tanya by the Alter Rebbe

Being an Epistle sent to the Communities of our Faithful. May the Almighty guard them.

To you, O men, do I call. Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness, who seek the Lord; and may G-d hearken to you, both great and small, all the faithful in our land and those adjacent to it. May each in his place achieve peace and eternal life, for ever and ever. Amen. May this be His will.

Behold, it is known as a saying current among people— all our faithful— that listening to words of moral advice is not the same as seeing and reading them in books. For the reader reads after his own manner and mind, and according to his mental grasp and comprehension at that particular time. Hence, if his intelligence and mind are confused and wander about in darkness in G-d’s service, he finds difficulty in seeing the beneficial light that is concealed in books, even though the light is pleasant to the eyes and [brings] a healing to the soul.

Apart from this, the books on piety which stem from human intelligence, certainly have not the same appeal for all people, for not all intellects and minds are alike, and the intellect of one man is not affected and excited by what affects [and excites] the intellect of another. Compare with what our Rabbis, of blessed memory, have said with reference to the blessing of the “Wise One in Secrets” (חכם הרזים ) upon beholding 600,000 Jews, because their minds are dissimilar from one another, and so on. As also Rabbi Moses ben Nachman, of blessed memory, [explains the reason for this blessing] in Mikhamot,elaborating on the commentary of the Sifre concerning Joshua who is described as “a man in whom there is spirit,” “who can meet the spirit of each and every one,” and so on.

But even the books on piety, whose basis is in the peaks of holiness, the Midrashim of our Sages, of blessed memory, through whom the spirit of G-d speaks and His word is on their tongue; and [although] the Torah and the Holy One, blessed be He, are one and the same, and all the 600,000 general [souls] of Israel with their individual [offshoots] down to the “spark” in the most worthless and least estimable members of our people, the children of Israel, are thus bound up with the Torah, and the Torah binds them to the Holy One, blessed be He, as is known from the holy Zohar— this [bond] pertains [only] in a general way to the community of Israel as a whole. [As for the individual] although the Torah was given to be interpreted, in general and in particular down to the minutest detail, to [apply to] each individual soul of Israel, which is rooted in it [so that these books pertain to every person], nevertheless not every person is privileged to recognise his individual place in the Torah.

[A further difficulty is the complexity of Torah interpretation.] Even in the case of the laws governing things prohibited and permitted, which have been revealed to us and to our children, we find and witness differences of opinion among Tana’im and Amora’im from one extreme to the other. Yet “these as well as these are the words of the living G-d.” The plural is used as a reference to the source of life for the souls of Israel, which are generally divided into three categories — right, left, and centre, namely, kindness (chesed), might(gevurah), and so on, so that the souls, whose root originates in the category of kindness, are likewise inclined towards kindness in the leniency of their decisions, and so forth, as is known. All the more, a minori ad mains, in the case of those things which are hidden [yet revealed only] to the Lord onr G-d, these being the awe and love that are in the mind and heart of each and every one according to his capacity, i.e. according to his heart’s estimation, as explained in the holy Zohar on the verse, “Her husband is known in the gates(she’arim), . . .”

I speak, however, of those who know me well, each and every one of our faithful who lives in our country and in lands adjacent to it, with whom words of affection have been frequently exchanged, and who have revealed to me all the secrets of their heart and mind in the service of G-d which is dependent on the heart. May my word percolate to them, and my tongue be as the pen of the scribe in these kuntresim that are entitled Likutei Amarim (“Selected Discourses”), which have been selected from books and teachers, heavenly saints, whose souls are in Eden, and who are renowned among us. The subjects of] some of [these discourses] are hinted to the wise, in the sacred epistles of our teachers in the Holy Land, may it be built and established speedily in our days, Amen; some of them I have heard from their saintly mouth when they were here with us; and all of them are responsa to many questions which all our faithful in our country have constantly asked, seeking advice, each according to his station, so as

to receive moral guidance in the service of G-d, since time no longer permits of replying to everyone individually and in detail on his particular problem. Furthermore, forgetfulness is common.

I have, therefore, recorded all the replies to all the questions, to be preserved as a sign-post and to serve as a visual reminder for each and every person, so that he will no longer press for admission to private conference with me. For in these [responsa] he will find peace for his soul, and true counsel on every matter that he finds difficult in the service of G-d. His heart will thus be firmly secured in the Lord Who completes everything for us.

As for him whose mind falls short in the understanding of the counsel given in these kuntresim, let him discuss his problem with the foremost scholars of his town, and they will elucidate it for him. And I beg of them not to lay their hand on their mouth, to conduct themselves with false meekness and humility, G-d forbid. It is known what bitter punishment is his who withholds food [i.e. knowledge], and the greatness of the reward [in the opposite case], from the Rabbinic teaching relating to the Scriptural text, “The Lord lighteneth the eyes of them both,” for G-d will cause His face to shine upon them, with the light of the countenance of the King [the Source of] life. May the Giver of life to the living make us worthy to live to see the days when “no longer shall one man instruct the other … for all shall know Me,. . ,” “for the world shall be full of the knowledge of G-d….” Amen. May this be His will.

Since the said kuntresim have been disseminated among all our faithful, as mentioned above, by means of numerous transcriptions by the hands of various and sundry scribes, the multitude of transcriptions brought about an exceedingly great number of copyists’ errors. Therefore the spirit of the noble men, named on another page, has generously moved them to a personal and financial effort to have the said kuntresim published, cleared of chaff and errors, and thoroughly checked. I congratulate them on this worthy deed.

And inasmuch as there is an explicit verse, “Cursed be he that removeth his neighbour’s landmark”— and “cursed” includes both damnation and shunning, G-d forbid— therefore, “like Judah and scripture in addition” I come to invoke a strict prohibition on all publishers against printing the said kuntresim, either themselves or through their agency without the authority of the above-named, for a period of five years from the day that this printing is completed. And it will be well with those who conform, and they will be blessed with good.

These are the words of the compiler of the said Likutei Amarim.

 

Rabbinical Approbations for the Tanya – Original

By the famous rabbi and chasid, G-dly man, of saintly renown, our teacher Rabbi Meshulam Zusil of Anipoli:

I have seen the writings of this rabbi and gaon, G-dly man, saintly and pure, lucid speculum; and well he did; G-d in His wonderful kindness having put into his pure heart to accomplish all this in order to show the G-dly people His holy ways.

It was [the author’s] intention not to publish these writings in print, since it is not his custom. However, because these kuntresim have spread in the midst of all Israel in numerous copies by sundry copyists, and, as a result of the many transcriptions, the copyists’ errors have multiplied exceedingly, he was impelled to bring these kuntresim to the printing press.

And G-d has aroused the spirit of the [two] partners, the outstanding and distinguished scholar R. Sholom Shachne, the son of R. Noah, and the outstanding and distinguished scholar R. Mordechai, the son of R. Shmuel haLevi, to bring these kuntresim to the printing house in Slavita. So I said of this good deed, More power to you. However, they were apprehensive of the growing number of printing establishments which are wont to cause damage and ruin to the accredited ones. In view of this, we have resolved to give this approbation so that no man should dare lift his hand and foot to cause any damage, Heaven forfend, to the said printers by encroaching upon their exclusive right in any manner. It is to restrain any person from reprinting this book without the knowledge of the said printers for a period of five full years from the date below. He who will heed these my words will be blessed with good. These are the words of one who demands this for the glory of the Torah, this day, the third, twice blessed with “it is good,” of the weekly portion Tavo, in the year פדותינו (556). The insignificant MESHULAM ZUSIL of Anipoli

by the famous rabbi and chasid, G-dly man, of saintly renown, our teacher Rabbi Yehuda Leib haCohen:

The wisdom of the man illumines the face of the earth— on seeing the work of the saintly hands of the author, rabbi and gaon, G-dly man, saintly and pure, pious and humble, whose hidden [powers] had been revealed long ago, when he dwelt in the council of the wise with our lord, master and teacher, the world gaon, and drew water from the well of living waters. Now, Israel shall rejoice as his saintly words are revealed in this compiled work which is about to go to press, to teach the people of G-d the ways of holiness, as anyone can see in the inwardness of [the author’s] words.

That which is common knowledge requires no proof. Only because of the apprehension of a wrong, lest a loss be caused to the printers, I come to confer sanction and prohibition, that no man lift up his hand or foot to reprint this work for a period of five years from below date. Whoever will heed these my words will be blessed with good.

These are the words of one who speaks for the glory of the Torah, this third day of the weekly portion Tavo, 556.

YEHUDA LEIB HACOHEN

by the rabbis (long may they live), the sons of the gaon the author (of blessed memory, whose soul is in Eden).

Whereas it has been agreed by us to give authorisation and prerogative to bring to the printing press, for a remembrance unto the children of Israel, the written words of uprightness and truth, the words of the Living G-d, authored by our lord father, teacher and master, of blessed memory, recorded personally in his saintly expression, whose words are all burning coals to set the hearts aflame to bring them closer to their Father in heaven; they are entitled Igeret hakodesh (“Holy Epistle”), being mostly epistles sent by his holy eminence, to teach the people of G-d the way by which to walk and the deed which they should do;

And inasmuch as he has made references, in many places, to the Sefer Likutei Amarim, since the words of the Torah are scanty in one place and ample in another, especially also as he introduced new material in the Kuntres Acharonon certain chapters which he wrote when he composed the Sefer Likutei Amarim, profound discussions on passages in the Zohar, Etz Chayim and Peri Etz Chayim, which [passages] appear contradictory to one another, but he, with his inspired perception, has reconciled them, each statement in its own manner, as he has written in the Likutei Amarim, we have seen fit and proper to join them with the Sefer Likutei Amarim and Igeret hateshuvah of his saintly eminence, our lord father, teacher and master, of blessed memory;

[Therefore], we come to place a great fence and the rabbinic injunction of נח”ש(excommunication) for which there is no remedy, that no man lift his hand to reprint them in their present form, or in part, a period of five years from the date below.

However, this should be made known: To our misfortune the manuscripts written by his personal saintly hand which were composed with great punctiliousness, without a superfluous or deficient letter, have become extinct; only this little has remained from the abundance, and it has been carefully collected one by one from the copies spread among the disciples. Should, therefore, an error be discovered (who can understand [and prevent] errors?) the evident error will be identified as a scribe’s error, but the meaning will be clear.

Declared by DOV BER, the son of my lord father, teacher and master, gaon and chasid, saint of Israel, our teacher and master SCHNEUR ZALMAN, of blessed memory, נבג”מ

Also declared by CHAYIM ABRAHAM, the son of my lord father, teacher and master, gaon and chasid our teacher and master SCHNEUR ZALMAN, the memory of the tzaddik be blessed, נבג”מ .

Also declared by MOSHE, the son of my lord father, teacher and master, gaon and chasid, SCHNEUR ZALMAN, of blessed memory, נבג”מ.

 

הסכמת הרב החסיד המפורסם איש אלהי קדוש יאמר לו מוהר”ר משולם זוסיא מאניפאלי:

הנה בראותי את הכתבים של הרב האי גאון איש אלקים קדוש וטהור אספקלריא המאירה וטוב אשר עשה ואשר הפליא ה’ חסדו ונתן בלבו הטהור לעשות את כל אלה להראות עם ה’ דרכיו הק’. ורצונו היה שלא להעלות את הכתבים ההם לבית הדפוס מחמת שאין דרכו בכך. רק מחמת התפשטות הקונטרסים ההם בקרב כל ישראל בהעתקות רבות מידי סופרים משונים ומחמת ריבוי העתקות שונות רבו הט”ס במאד. והוכרח להביא הקונטרסים ההם לבית הדפוס. והעיר ה’ את רוח השותפים ה”ה הרבני המופלג הותיק מוהר”ר שלום שכנא במהור”ר נח וה”ה הרבני המופלג הותיק מהור”ר מרדכי במהור”ר שמואל הלוי להביא הקונטרסים ההם לבית הדפוס בסלאוויטא ולפעלא טבא אמרתי יישר חילא אך עלו בלבם מגור מסביב מן הדפוסים אשר רבו שדרכן להזיק ולקלקל המאושרים אי לזאת גמרנו בלבינו ליתן הסכמה לבל ירים איש את ידו ואת רגלו לגרום להמדפיסים הנ”ל שום היזק חס ושלום בהשגת גבול בשום אופן. ואסור לשום אדם לדפוס הספר הנ”ל בלתי ידיעת המדפיסים הנ”ל עד משך חמש שנים רצופים מיום דלמטה ושומע לדברי אלה יבא עליו ברכת טוב הכ”ד הדורש זאת לכבוד התורה היום יום ג’ שנכפל בו כי טוב פ’ תבא שנת פדותינו לפ”ק.

הקטן משולם זוסיא מאניפולי.

הסכמת הרב החסיד המפורסם איש אלהי קדוש יאמר לו מהור”ר יהודה ליב הכהן:

חכמת אדם תאיר פני הארץ בראותי ידי קדש המחבר הרב הגאון איש אלוקים קדוש וטהור חסיד ועניו אשר מכבר נגלה מסתריו יושב בשבת תחכמוני אצל אדונינו מורינו ורבינו גאון עולם ודלה מים מבאר מים חיים וכעת ישמח ישראל בהגלות דברי קדשו המחובר להביא לבית הדפוס ללמד לעם ה’ דרכי קדש כאשר כל אחד יחזה בפנימיות דבריו והמפורסם אין צריך ראיה רק מחשש קלקול הדבר שלא יגרום היזק למדפיסים באתי ליתן תוקף ואזהרה לבל ירים איש את ידו ורגלו לדפוס עד משך חמש שנים מיום דלמטה ושומע לדברי אלה יבוא עליו ברכת טוב הכ”ד המדבר זאת לכבוד התורה היום יום ג’ פרשה תבא תקנ”ו לפ”ק.

יהודה ליב הכהן.

הסכמת הרבנים שי’ בני הגאון המחבר ז”ל נ”ע.

היות שהוסכם אצלינו ליתן רשות והרמנא להעלות על מכבש הדפוס לזכרון לבנ”י כתוב דברי יושר ואמת דברי אלקים חיים של א”א מו”ר ז”ל כתובים בכתב ידו הקדושה בעצמו ולשונו הקדוש שכל דבריו כגחלי אש בוערות ילהיבו הלבבות לקרבן לאביהן שבשמים. ובשם אגרת הקדש נקראו שרובם היו אגרת שלוח מאת כ”ק להורות לעם ה’ הדרך ילכו בה והמעשה אשר יעשון ומחמת שבכמה מקומות הציב לו ציונים בס’ לקוטי אמרים שלו וד”ת עניים במקום אחד ועשירים במ”א ומה גם בשביל דבר שנתחדש בו קונטרס אחרון על איזה פרקים אשר כתב בעת חיברו הס’ לק”א פלפול ועיון עמוק על מאמרי זהר וע”ח ופע”ח שנראים כסותרים זא”ז וברוח מבינתו מישבם כל דיבור על אופניו שכתב בלק”א ראו ראינו שראוי ונכון לחברם עם ספר לקוטי אמרים ואגה”ת של כ”ק א”א מו”ר ז”ל. אי לזאת באנו להטיל גודא רבה וגזרת נח”ש דרבנן דלית לה אסוותא שלא ירים איש את ידו להדפיס כתבניתם או זה בלא זה משך חמשה שנים מיום דלמטה ברם כגון דא צריך לאודועי שבעז”ה ספו תמו כתבי ידו הקדושה בעצמו אשר היו בדקדוק גדול לא חסר ולא יתר אות א’ ולא נשאר כ”א זה המעט מהרבה אשר נלקטו אחד לאחד מהעתקות המפוזרים אצל התלמידים ואם המצא תמצא איזה טעות שגיאות מי יבין ימצא הטעות דמוכח מטעות סופר והכוונה תהיה ברורה:

נאום דוב בער בא”א מו”ר הגאון החסיד קדוש ישראל מרנא ורבנא שניאור זלמן ז”ל נבג”מ.

ונאום חיים אברהם בא”א מו”ר הגאון החסיד מרנא ורבנא שניאור זלמן זצ”ל נבג”מ.

ונאום משה בא”א מו”ר הגאון החסיד שניאור זלמן ז”ל נבג”מ.

 

הקדמת המלקט

והיא אגרת השלוחה לכללות אנשי שלומינו יצ”ו:

אליכם אישים אקרא שמעו אלי רודפי צדק מבקשי ה’ וישמע אליכם אלקים למגדול ועד קטן כל אנ”ש דמדינתינו וסמוכות שלה איש על מקומו יבוא לשלום וחיים עד העולם נס”ו אכי”ר:

הנה מודעת זאת כי מרגלא בפומי דאינשי בכל אנ”ש לאמר כי אינה דומה שמיעת דברי מוסר לראייה וקריאה בספרים שהקורא קורא לפי דרכו ודעתו ולפי השגת ותפיסת שכלו באשר הוא שם ואם שכלו ודעתו מבולבלים ובחשיכה יתהלכו בעבודת ה’ בקושי יכול לראות את האור כי טוב הגנוז בספרים אף כי מתוק האור לעינים ומרפא לנפש ובר מן דין הנה ספרי היראה הבנויים ע”פ שכל אנושי בוודאי אינן שוין לכל נפש כי אין כל השכלים והדעות שוות ואין שכל אדם זה מתפעל ומתעורר ממה שמתפעל שכל חבירו וכמו שארז”ל גבי ברכת חכם הרזים על ששים ריבוא מישראל שאין דעותיהם דומות זו לזו וכו’ וכמ”ש הרמב”ן ז”ל במלחמות שם בפירוש הספרי גבי יהושע שנאמר בו איש אשר רוח בו שיכול להלוך נגד רוחו של כל אחד ואחד וכו’. אלא אפילו בספרי היראה אשר יסודותם בהררי קודש מדרשי חז”ל אשר רוח ה’ דבר בם ומלתו על לשונם ואורייתא וקב”ה כולא חד וכל ששים רבוא כללות ישראל ופרטיהם עד ניצוץ קל שבקלים ופחותי הערך שבעמינו ב”י כולהו מתקשראן באורייתא ואורייתא היא המקשרת אותן להקב”ה כנודע בזה”ק הרי זה דרך כללות לכללות ישראל ואף שניתנה התורה לידרש בכלל ופרט ופרטי פרטות לכל נפש פרטית מישראל המושרשת בה הרי אין כל אדם זוכה להיות מכיר מקומו הפרטי שבתורה: והנה אף בהלכות איסור והיתר הנגלות לנו ולבנינו מצאנו ראינו מחלוקת תנאים ואמוראים מן הקצה אל הקצה ממש ואלו ואלו דברי אלהים חיים לשון רבים על שם מקור החיים לנשמות ישראל הנחלקות דרך כלל לשלשה קוין ימין ושמאל ואמצע שהם חסד וגבורה וכו’ ונשמות ששרשן ממדת חסד הנהגתן גם כן להטות כלפי חסד להקל כו’ כנודע וכ”ש וק”ו בהנסתרות לה’ אלהינו דאינון דחילו ורחימו דבמוחא ולבא דכל חד וחד לפום שיעורא דיליה לפום מה דמשער בליביה כמ”ש בזה”ק על פסוק נודע בשערים בעלה וגו’:

אך ביודעיי ומכיריי קאמינא הם כל אחד ואחד מאנ”ש שבמדינותינו וסמוכות שלה אשר היה הדבור של חיבה מצוי בינינו וגילו לפני כל תעלומות לבם ומוחם בעבודת ה’ התלויה בלב אליהם תטוף מלתי ולשוני עט סופר בקונטריסים אלו הנקראים בשם לקוטי אמרים מלוקטים מפי ספרים ומפי סופרים קדושי עליון נשמתם עדן המפורסמים אצלינו וקצת מהם נרמזין לחכימין באגרות הקדש מרבותינו שבאה”ק תובב”א. וקצתם שמעתי מפיהם הקדוש בהיותם פה עמנו וכולם הן תשובות על שאלות רבות אשר שואלין בעצה כל אנ”ש דמדינתנו תמיד כל אחד לפי ערכו לשית עצות בנפשם בעבודת ה’ להיות כי אין הזמן גרמא עוד להשיב לכל אחד ואחד על שאלתו בפרטות וגם השכחה מצויה על כן רשמתי כל התשובות על כל השאלות למשמרת לאות להיות לכל אחד וא’ לזיכרון בין עיניו ולא ידחוק עוד ליכנס לדבר עמי ביחידות כי בהן ימצא מרגוע לנפשו ועצה נכונה לכל דבר הקשה עליו בעבודת ה’ ונכון יהיה לבו בטוח בה’ גומר בעדינו: ומי שדעתו קצרה להבין דבר עצה מתוך קונטריסים אלו יפרש שיחתו לפני הגדולים שבעירו והם יבוננוהו ואליהם בקשתי שלא לשום יד לפה להתנהג בענוה ושפלות של שקר ח”ו וכנודע עונש המר על מונע בר וגודל השכר ממאמר רז”ל ע”פ מאיר עיני שניהם ה’ כי יאיר ה’ פניו אליהם אור פני מלך חיים. ומחיה חיים יזכנו ויחיינו לימים אשר לא ילמדו עוד איש את רעהו וגו’ כי כולם ידעו אותי וגו’ כי מלאה הארץ דעה את ה’ וגו’ אכי”ר:

והנה אחר שנתפשטו הקונטריסים הנ”ל בקרב כל אנ”ש הנ”ל בהעתקות רבות מידי סופרים שונים ומשונים הנה ע”י ריבוי ההעתקות שונות רבו כמו רבו הט”ס במאוד מאוד ולזאת נדבה רוחם של אנשים אפרתים הנקובים הנ”ל מע”ל לטורח בגופם ומאודם להביא את הקונטריסים הנ”ל לבית הדפוס מנוקים מכל סיג וט”ס ומוגהים היטב ואמינא לפעלא טבא יישר חילא ולהיות כי מקרא מלא דבר הכתוב ארור מסיג גבול רעהו וארור בו קללה בו נידוי ח”ו וכו’ ע”כ כיהודה ועוד לקרא קאתינא למשדי גודא רבא על כל המדפיסים שלא להדפיס קונטריסים הנ”ל לא על ידי עצמן ולא על ידי גירא דילהון בלתי רשות הנקובים הנ”ל משך חמש שנים מיום כלות הדפוס ולשומעים יונעם ותבוא ברכת טוב כה דברי המלקט ליקוטי אמרים הנ”ל:

What is the Tanya?

Image

The Tanya (תניא) is an early work of Hasidic philosophy, by Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi, the founder of Chabad Hasidism, first published in 1797. Its formal title is Likkutei Amarim (ליקוטי אמרים, Hebrew, “collection of statements”), but is more commonly known by its opening word, Tanya, which means “it was taught in a beraita“. It is composed of five sections that define Hasidic mystical psychology and theology as a handbook for daily spiritual life in Jewish observance.

The Tanya deals with Jewish spirituality, psychology and theology from the point of view of Hasidic philosophy and its inner explanations of Kabbalah (Jewish mysticism). It offers advice for each individual on how to serve G-d in their daily life.

Credit to Wikipedia for source material