Lessons in Tanya accessible and clear for all to study, and will awaken you, inspire and challenge you 📚
Tanya means " It was taught " and is one of the most powerful and transformative books in Jewish wisdom. Tanya is written in 5557 ( 1797) by Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, and founder of Chabad Chassidim. While the daily study of thousands of Chassidic Jews, Tanya is little known outside the world of Jewish mysticism. The philosophical and spiritual foundation which Tanya is based on G-d's nonduality, the five dimensions of reality corresponding with intelligence : boby, heart, mind, soul and spirit. The purpose of Mitzvos, and the practices of Jewish life. A realization that all life is through G-dliness, a deeper understanding of the soul and how it relates to the Devine Source from which all life comes, in which all life lives and eventually which all life will return.
" And you will return and see ". When you return to you penimiyus (Divine nature), you will see clearly and act G-dly.
The difference between the righteous and the wicked, between the ones who serve HaShem and those who do not. The two types of people, the righteous and the wicked, the Alter Rebbe takes it a bit further and refers to four kind of people.
The Tzaddik ( righteous ), the rasha ( wicked), the inbetweener who serves HaShem, and the inbetweener who does not. These two types of inbetweeners, those who serve HaShem, are not wicked, but more passionless, lacking a sense of self, strong enough to ignite selfish desires or deeds. They keep HaShem's ways, by default. They practice the Mitzvos simply because it never occured to them to be differenlty. This is why they are said not to serve HaShem at all.
The true Eved HaShem actively bring out love for HaShem. This can be done in two ways. First, by immersing the intellect in the infinity spaciousness of HaShem. Sencondly, by bringing out the passion for HaShem, at right side of the heart. Both are ways of serving HaShem, but by immersing it is the perfect service.
The inbetweener who serves HaShem is a passionate feeling person, who is troubled by the competing voice of the heart, and who learns to honor the left side of selfishness by adjusting it with the right side of G-dliness. The alignment comes in three ways.
For some whom passion is weak and their actions to do good strickly to the Mitzvos, this is the way of Nefesh. Some whom passion is stronger, and focus their attention on the heart and yearning for HaShem, this is the way of Ruach. For the other whom passion is strong, but find themselves drawn more to the mind than the heart, and set their mind to contemplation of HaShem's infinite spaciousness and in doing so, they empty themselves completely into the One.
To achieve true joy is the realization of HaShem, in all things manifest as indescribable joy.
Joy is not the same as happiness and very important not to make this mistake. Happiness comes and goes and depents on the circumstances of the moment, but joy is a deeper sense of the magnificent that is sustained regardless of the circumstances.
HaShem is infinite. To say that one thing is HaShem while another is not, is to a limit on HaShem that reduces G-d to god. We are in the habit of saying that HaShem is in Shamayim, or that HaShem is in us, but the truth is that heaven and earth, you, me and all creations are in HaShem, and of HaShem. The same way a wave is in the ocean, and of the ocean.
When you study nonduality, deeply and at length, you are filled with great joy and a faith so tremendous as to realize your own oneness with HaShem.
This is a intense faith, a faith that has nothing to do with belief, idea's or ideology. This faith that leaves you with nothing to cling to and nowhere to hide.
This faith leaves you exposed to the truth: Everything is G-d.
Torah study is a way of realizing HaShem's will. When we study Torah we are searching for the very nature of HaShem. But before we can take the practice of Torah study, we have to find a way to understand the untity of Torah and HaShem.
As HaShem wants us to undrstand His Will, in a manner that we understand, knowing this and in doing so, HaShem is opening divine will to the limitations of human language, As humanity matures, deeper and deeper insights into Torah will result, further clarifying our understand of HaShem's Will. Who's neshama is open to more inclusive reality revealed by tapping into Chayah and Yechidah levels of intelligence. In every generation we seen people capable of seeing and living beyond the zero- sum game of egoic consciousness( the neshama) and infusing the world of seeming separate of connetion with love and compassion. To achieve more inclusive levels of consciousness that reveals a connection of all life in G-d ( Chayah ) and ultimately the nonduality of all life as G-d (Yechidah ).
When studying Torah we should start looking to get past the material obsessed world with power and control and dive deeper into the material of love, compassion and justice.
One way to do this, is to study Torah through the five words of body, heart, mind, soul and spirit. Or through the first four as the fifth world, Adam Kadmon, can't be worked but only surrendered to.
This methode of Torah study of ancient rabbinic approah to Torah is called PaRDeS.
Our Sages taught us that there are four levels to any given passage of Torah:
Pesat, is simply reading.
Remez,is the allegorical reading.
Drash, the interpretive reading.
Sod, the mystical reading.
Together they make up PaRDeS, which is the Hebrew word for " and orchard " and reffering to Gan Eden.
The four levels of reading do not fit neatly into a whole. Peshat need not lead to remez, nor does remez leads to drash and drash doesn't mecessary lead to sod. Each of these readings are complete in and of itself and may well be incompatible to one or more of the others.
The Alter Rebbe's rabbinic teaching reminds us of the highest level of Torah study, Torah Lismah. We do not study for the fame or merit, we study because the spacious mind needed for study Torah, and is the mind open to PaRDeS, enlightment and the realization that all things are of One Thing, G-d.
When we generate our spacious mind by turning Torah.and knowing that Torah is not an unconscious being, but the living wisdom of HaShem by spiritual geniuses of the past and in the language of their time they trigger our own awakening in our own time.
How does turning Torah works:
When we take a word or a phrase of Torah and work with it,we call it turning and this means that we use the text to trigger one insight after another in our minds. The more we turn, the more possibilities we will see. Not just one or two, as we do not get our minds to attach to any insight but continue to turn and turn the text until the flow of wisdom overwhelms the simple linear thinking of the egoic, narrow, Neshama mind. In other words, we slip the mochin d'katnut, this is the narrow mind which is associated with Neshama consciousness, to mochin d' gadlut, the spacious mind associated with Chayah consciousness. When at times we do get lost in the turning, we are surrendered yechdah consciousnes and will experience bitlul, self- emptying, as we slip into the nondual awareness of Yechidah consciousness, which sees both the narrow and the spacious, all words and all awareness, are the infinite play of HaShem. At that moment the turning is no longer work, but sheer joy. Torah study becomes Torah play, true lishmah.