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Tanya, the Masterpiece of Hasidic Wisdom

Selections Annotated & Explained

Translation and annotation by Rabbi Rami Shapiro
Foreword by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi (z"l)

5.5 x 8.5, 240 pp, Paperback, 978-1-59473-275-1

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The wisdom of Jewish spirituality and mysticism can be a companion for your own spiritual journey.

Tanya, “It Was Taught,” is one of the most powerful and potentially transformative books of Jewish wisdom. Written in 1797 by Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, the founder of Chabad Hasidism, Tanya sets forth the fundamentals of Jewish spirituality and mysticism. While a focus of daily study by tens of thousands of Hasidic Jews, Tanya is little known outside the world of Jewish mysticism. Until now, its kabbalistic terms and esoteric language have made this essential text of Jewish spirituality inaccessible to most readers.

In this engaging volume, Rabbi Rami Shapiro offers a contemporary English translation of key selections of Tanya coupled with commentary designed to clarify and amplify the wisdom it contains. He also outlines the philosophical and spiritual framework on which Tanya is based—God’s nonduality; the five dimensions of reality and their corresponding intelligences (body, heart, mind, soul, and spirit); the purpose of mitzvot, the practices of Jewish life, as catalysts to God realization and the hallowing of all life through godliness—to help you understand the selected Tanya translations in a way that enhances your own spiritual development.

Now you can benefit from the wisdom of Tanya even if you have no previous knowledge of Judaism or Hebrew terminology. This SkyLight Illuminations edition presents the core teachings of Tanya, with insightful yet unobtrusive commentary that will deepen your understanding of the soul and how it relates to and manifests the Divine Source from which all life comes, in which all life lives and to which all life returns.

“Rami Shapiro is one of the great Jewish spiritual teachers of our generation. This volume opens one of the all-time classics of Jewish spirituality for beginning students of all faiths. Through his poetic translations and paraphrases, he not only unlocks Tanya but also adds a classic of his own to our library of personal yearning.”      

Rabbi Lawrence Kushner, Emanu-El Scholar, Congregation Emanu-El, San Francisco; author, The Way Into Jewish Mystical Tradition and other books

 “A masterful unfolding of Tanya … paves a way for readers to find a path to God that is a ‘returning through kindness.’ I can’t ever imagine teaching Tanya again without pointing toward this edition.”

Reb Mimi Feigelson, mashpiah ruchanit (spiritual mentor); lecturer of Rabbinics, Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies, American Jewish University

 “With insight and nuance ... opens the mystical wisdom of Hasidism to spiritual seekers of all faiths. Both the translation and the commentary guide the reader to a transformed religious consciousness.”      

 —Dr. Eitan Fishbane, author, As Light Before Dawn: The Inner World of a Medieval Kabbalist

 

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