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What is the Tanya?

by Rabbi Naftali Silberberg

  

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Tanya is the name of a book written by Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi (1745-1812), founder of Chabad chassidism. Rabbi Schneur Zalman called his work "Likutei Amarim (a collection of sayings)," but the book is better known by the first word of the first chapter - Tanya. [The word Tanya literally means "we have learned."]

The Tanya is the most basic, fundamental work on Chassidut (a practical application of Kabbalah). And it is a guide for life; offering advice and answers for every spiritual problem which a person might encounter on this world.

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RELATED CATEGORIES

Jewish Identity » Jewish "Labels" » Chabad
Chassidism » Chassidic Concepts

Chabad
Chabad, an acronym for Wisdom, Knowledge, and Understanding, is the name of a Chassidic Group founded in the 1770s. Two of the most fundamental teachings of Chabad are the intellectual pursuit of understanding the divine and the willingness to help every Jew who has a spiritual or material need.
Kabbalah
Jewish mysticism. The word Kaballah means "reception," for we cannot physically perceive the Divine, we merely study the mystical truths which were transmitted to us by G-d Himself through His righteous servants.
Chassidut
The teachings of the Chassidic masters. Chassidut takes mystical concepts such as G-d, the soul, and Torah, and makes them understandable, applicable and practical.
Tanya
Foundation text of Chabad chassidism. Authored by Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, founder of the Chabad movement, and first published in 1796. Considered to be the "Bible" of Chassidism.