Likkutei Amarim, Shaar HaYichud
VHaEmunah, Igeres HaTshuva
lectures listed below can be purchased singularly as MP3
downloads. They are also available on CD as part of the complete
Two hundred years ago, this small
volume known as the Tanya revolutionized Jewish thinking and
life. In the Tanya, the Alter Rebbe introduced us to our G-dly
soul: to the ineluctable Jewishness of every Jew, to the joy of
being in touch with our G-dly selves. The effect of these
teachings was felt immediately as the Tanya pamphlets spread
throughout Russia and Eastern Europe.
Nor has the effect waned over the
Today Jewish life everywhere around
the globe is alive and growing due to the Divine wisdom and
vision of our Rebbe, of sacred memory, and the philosophy of the
The reawakening of the Jewish soul
and the return to mitzvah observance was according to the Tanya
inevitable. The Alter Rebbes belief in the readiness of every
Jew, man and woman, to serve G-d through the observance of all
mitzvos informs the outreach phenomenon of our times. And his
love for every Jew and the feeling of interdependence of all
Jews fuels our commitment to spreading Yiddishkeit to the far
corners of the world!
This belief, love and commitment is
the content and substance of the holy Tanya a small but
The Tanya Theme
The Baal Shem Tov taught that every Jew can serve
G-d with love and joy:
the Alter Rebbe taught us how.
In Tanya the Rebbe presents both a long and short
path to the service of the heart. The first path is through
study and contemplation. For although the heart and its emotions
are not always responsive to our wishes, the mind is always
available to us to think the thoughts we choose. Thus Chabad
is the intellectual style of Chassidus: using the mind to
stimulate the heart; contemplate G-ds greatness; understand His
true existence; become thoroughly familiar with G-dliness that
fills the universe and the G-dliness that transcends creation.
Recognize the total nothingness of all existence;
there is nothing besides Him and your heart will fill with
awe and love for G-d and you will fulfill His mitzvot with all
your heart, soul and might. This is the long way.
The first seventeen chapters of Tanya are
devoted to this theme. Chapter 18 introduces a path of service
more easily available to every Jew. Unlike the recalcitrant
heart, the obedient mind is amenable to Divine contemplation
but to contemplate, one must first understand. Since most Jews
in our era will not attain understanding, contemplating G-ds
greatness is not an option to us.
We must look to the Jewishness of the Jewish soul
in us all.
Our soul embodies a love and fear of G-d
expressed in the Alter Rebbes words: a Jew cannot be, nor
does he want to be, separated from G-d. In the realization of
the true nature of our soul, we fulfill every mitzva with love
and joy greater and truer than the love born of contemplation.
For our souls are truly a part of G-d from
The struggle between good and evil begins with
creation. As does the need for Tikkun Olam, bringing the world
to G-dliness. Because creation appears independent of a creator,
we experience two realities instead of one: creation and
This duality represents a loss of oneness, it
introduces the G-dly and the ung-dly,
which then deteriorates to good and evil.
Part Two of Tanya (Shaar HaYichud) teaches
us to see the truth of creation.
He is everything and everything is Him.
Part Three of Tanya (Igeret HaTshuva)
illuminates the subject of Tshuva,
forgiveness and reconciliation