Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Some background...

Thought I'd give you a little background:

There was a man called the Alter Rebbe. He was a remarkable scholar. He studied the works of our Torah, Prophets, Megillas, Mishna and Talmud until he knew them by heart. He wrote an absolutely comprehensive code of Jewish law covering all aspects of modern Jewish law beginning at the remarkably young age of 25.

Then he became an expert in philosophical and kabbalistic works of the Zohar, Maimonides, the Kuzari, Rabbi Isaac Luria-the Arizal and many others. He was a personal student of the greatest Torah greats of his generation. And then, THEN, he took all that knowledge and he became a Rebbe, a loving Torah guide and mentor to teach students how to live. He helped so many people. The more he helped, the more came. More and more came until he just didn’t have enough time to meet with all of them personally.

But through the years of Rabbi S”Z’s study he hadn’t merely amassed vast Torah knowledge, he had internalized that knowledge and used it to transform his inner self. He had become a Tzadik. He had refined himself to a point of purity that is as pure as G-d allows a human being to become. That is what a Tzadik is. And G-d had given him such a soul that he knew his students and their struggles from the inside out. He knew their essence and therefore automatically he understood their external struggles.

He collected the guidance that he had shared with his students, and remember, that guidance was based on thousands of years of Torah, legal and mystical teachings. It was based on the writings and teachings of the greatest scholars, philosophers and mystics of all time. He collected all that wisdom and advice and he organized it into a program. He organized it into a program to understand yourself and improve yourself. He put that program into a book called the Tanya. In that book he gave us a treasure. In that book he gave us himself.

Ready to explore this sacred work? Let's begin...

Rabbi Shmuly Altein
your local JLI instructor

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