Mem Gimmel - Introduction, Vyadata and Mem Gimel.
The Mem Gimmel Class series includes a full year of study at a relatively advanced level. The classes delve into an important area of the chassidus of Rabbi Shalom Dov Ber Schneersohn (Rashab, the fifth Rebbe of Lubavitch). The first 18 classes in this series cover a discourse from 5657 (1897) (Vyadata). The topic is Achdus Hashem (the unity of G-d) based on the pasuk (line) "Hashem Hu ha'Elokim" (e.g., the Divine Name "Havaya" - an acronym for the 4 letter name of G-d - and the Divine name "Elokim" are one and the same). The discourse explains this concept of unity on three levels: (1) Havaya and Elokim are like the Right and Left Hands of One G-d; (2) Elokim conceals only from the perspective of the creation not the Creator; and finally (3) deep spiritual service makes it possible for us to experience the truth of the unity of Hashem in creation. Vyadata concludes with two practical discussions. First, earning a parnassa (a livelihood) while keeping a balance between faith and human effort. Second, the significance of personal tests.
Samach Tisamach 5657
The Ranat ma'amar is a series of discourses given by the fifth Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Shalom Dov Ber Schneersohn (the Rashab) in the Fall of 1898. "Shiteif eemo midas harachamim" Creation is an act of judgement and concealment (from the Divine name Elokim). In order for the world to achieve its purpose, some measure of mercy and Divine revelation must be incorporated into the Creation. Human beings also play a role in realizing the Divine plan. The Ranat series discusses this process in detail.
Tov Raish Samach
Samech Vav - Earliest Version
The Samech Vov (published in 5666 or 1906) is a classic work of Chassidic philosophy written by Rabbi Shalom Dov Ber Schneersohn (the Rashab, the fifth Rebbe of Lubavitch). It is one of the largest series of Chassidic discourses ever written. Its core focus is the topic known as "Dira b'tachtonim" (making Hashem a home in the lowest world). To this end, two distinct views of the purpose of Creation are discussed with emphasis placed on bringing G-dliness down into the physical realm (as opposed to lifting the world up to G-dliness). The Samech Vov series describes this process, e.g., the union of the infinite (sovev) and the limited (mimaleh) as a response to the higher level of atzmus (truth). The Rebbe describes two types of avodas Hashem (service to G-d): the rich and experiential service of studying the Torah, and, the service of mitzvos which is exemplified by discipline and acceptance of Hashem's yoke. He extends this contrast with an analysis of two types of people: an "eved" (common slave), who nullifies himself in his interaction with his master; versus a "ben" (son), who has an intimate relationship with his father. The discourse culminates with the novel concept of "ben sh'naaseh eved" (a son who achieves the advantages of servitude). The lectures in this series cover about 25% of the entire Samech Vov.
Samech Vav- second round
The classes in this series were given over the course of a few years. For the most part, I have classes on all the Maamarim. There are several things to note. One: The classes are unedited. Two: Most of the lectures are oral. This means that I don't necessarily read all of the Maamar inside. Instead, I read select portions. Three: Some of the classes on Yom Tov Shel Rosh Hashanah and Vayelech Ish (Vayechi) are from other occasions. It may, therefore, seem a bit out of sync as you listen. Four: For technical reasons the two Maamarim Hachodesh and Vayolech Hashem are text-based classes.
Samech Vav- Third Round, Slower (more in depth)
These classes are being at Achei Temimim (at Tomchei Temimim 885 Eastern Parkway). The classes are no less in depth than the earlier versions of the Samach Vov, but they are far more in depth and detailed. You may actually find them more useful in many ways than the more fast paced more structured classes given in the past.
This Hemshech deals (in part) with the issue of דעת תחתון and דעת עליון journeying through all levels of Hishtalshelus.