Section One, Likutei Amarim, Beinoni. classes

There are 23 classes in this section. An Introduction to the Entire Weekly Tanya Series

There are 23 classes in this section. An Introduction to the Entire Weekly Tanya Series

This class moves right into studying the Shaar Blaat (Title Page), Haskomos (Approbations), and Hakdama (Introduction) to the Tanya. Some of the topics covered include: why Haskamas were written, the practical function of Haskamas, who wrote them, and stories associated with this period in Chabad history. Rabbi Paltiel explains his view on the role of the Hakdama (Introduction). In short, it is intended to communicate to Chassidim that the Tanya is a sefer (book) about avodas Hashem (how to serve the G-d). The class also includes an overview of the concepts Tzadik, Beinoni, and Rasha. In particular, why these terms are defined differently in the Gemara and in the Kabbala. Finally, before the Alter Rebbe can teach one how to become a spiritually developed person, he has to attack a more basic question - What is a person? The first nine chapters of the Tanya cover this fundamental question.

The weekly Tanya class #4 covers chapter 10 (two levels of tzadik), chapter 11 (two levels of rasha), and chapter 12 (the beginning of the discussion of the beinoni).

Chapters 12 - 14 focus on the Beinoni. To be a tzaddik is a gift from Hashem (the bottom line from chapter 14). A key focus in this class is that the life of the Beinoni revolves around the time that he or she davens. At this time one can be as close to a tzaddik as possible for a brief time. We have to invest and give the time to make moments of inspiration possible. Chapter 15 explains that there are two kinds of Beinoni - including one who is a Beinoni who does not have to struggle (based on a person’s natural tendencies or developed habits). Most people however, fight with the yetzer hara their entire life. Among Beinonis who fight there are two categories. Listen in and find out about the fighting Beinoni (e.g., most of us!) in Chapters 16 and onward. Chapters 12-15 are summarized very clearly at the end of this class.

This class covers chapters 2 through 5 of the Tanya. The Alter Rebbe discusses the G-dly soul in Tanya Chapters 2, 3, and 4. In each of these chapters, one of the three dimensions of the soul is discussed. The inner dimension is the etzom (essence) of the soul which is its connection to G-d. The center dimension is the chochos (tools or faculties) of the soul which comprises the personality of the G-dly soul. Finally, the outer dimension, the levushim (garments) of the soul, make possible the relationship between the soul and its surroundings.

This class covers Chapters 16 - 18 (detailed description coming). Class #6 is ready for listening.

Description coming soon.

This week’s class starts with a review of chapter 19 and then goes on to cover chapters 20, 21, and 22. Chapters 18 and 19 of the Tanya describe the superrational nature of the neshama (soul) – the fire and the power in every Jew. The next chapters explain how to make use of this potency on a regular basis. Chapter 20 and half of chapter 21 discuss achdus (the unity of G-d). This means, that not only is G-d one but that the Creation is one with Him. Firstly, because it is created from a word. Secondly, because that word continues to be one with Him. The second half of chapters 21 and 22 discuss Creation as Man perceives it - a real separated entity from G-d. The worlds of kedusha (spiritual worlds) - not withstanding their bitul (nullification) - are also separate from Him. This is especially true of klippa (something in which G-d's presence is covered).

This class includes a rich introduction that discusses Kabbala and the significance and relevance of Kabbala’s contribution to Yiddishkeit – the idea of G-dliness (Elokus). Chapters 23 and 24 apply the theoretical notions of achdus (oneness) and avodah zara (idol worship – literally alien worship) discussed in chapters 20-22. Chapter 23 discusses mitzvos and Torah – each mitzvah is a merkava (a chariot) for the unity of G-d. Torah is the unity itself. Chapter 24 discusses averos (sins) and avodah zara. Each avera (sin) is a merkava for the plurality of Creation – avodah zara is the plurality itself. This model of Torah and mitzvos and their opposite indicates how each mitzah is equal to any other – as they all declare Hashem’s unity. The same is true in the converse for all averos. The Alter Rebbe argues, that any distinction drawn between one mitzvah and another is rooted in ruach shtus (a spirit of folly). The conclusion is that this mindset – that in reality all mitzvos are equal and all sins are equal - can motivate a person to do all mitzvos and never to sin in the same way one would not worship idols.

This week's class covers Chapters 25 and 26 pf the Tanya. This is a powerful class and the discussion of Chapter 26 in particular provides practical steps for everyone to fight off the yetzer hara (evil inclination) on a daily basis. You do not need the previous classes to understand this class.

A Description of Class #10 is coming soon. The class is ready for listening.

This class presents chapters 29-31 out of order in order to provide clarity. In chapter 30 the Alter Rebbe introduces us to a novel possibility of self- criticism in which one considers conforming to a standard expected of someone else! At the beginning of chapter 31 breaking one’s own spirit is justified as a means of reinvigorating oneself. He also introduces us to the idea of merirus – bitterness as opposed to depression. At the conclusion of chapter 29, the Alter Rebbe, surprisingly, explains the effectiveness of mussar – the emergence of the neshama and real clarity. Chapter 31 continues discussing the idea of focusing on the positive in our lives and drawing joy from it rather than focusing on the negative and being depressed by it. This is achieved through teshuvah – the constant performance of Torah and mitzvos to return to G-d. The class includes an interlude to discuss a landmark ma’amar of the Rebbe (Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson) ("Mar'gla b'pumei diRava", Kislev 5746 - 1985 or '86) that addresses the practical application of the material presented in Chapters 30 and 31 specifically for the post-Holocaust generation.

The model established in the earlier chapters continues in this class. Chapter 32 delves into the commandment to love our fellow as ourselves. The Alter Rebbe clarifies that this is to be taken literally. He explains that it is possible to experience real love for every Jew as he loves himself by deemphasizing the body and celebrating the joy of the soul. This is effective because on the soul level all Jews are one. In general, it is virtually impossible to have a Jew who does not deserve love. Chapter 33 discusses another mechanism for accessing the soul through Chabad meditation – specifically meditating on the unity of G-d. This brings joy to the person as it reveals the inner faith of the soul as one’s mind becomes a host for G-d “in the lowest realm”. Chapter 34 presents the idea that no Jew is exempt from learning and meditating in Chabad Chassidus, rather each must do it to the best of his/her ability. Additionally, if we fill our lives with good deeds, Torah, and mitzvos, all aspects of ourselves will be in the service of G-d.

Description coming soon! Class 13 is ready for listening.

This week's class presents Chapter 37 of the Tanya. In sum, when you do a mitzva you are involving the physical world around yourself. You are not only giving your mind to G-d and your body and animal soul to G-d but by the use of physical things you are giving the physical world to G-d. Judaism provides the possibility to give G-d your piece of this world. Collectively, when we all do mitzvos we give G-d the whole world. Listen to the class to hear all the exciting details.

This class covers most of Chapter 38. Full description coming soon.

This class covers Chapters 39 and 40. Full description coming soon.

This class covers Chapter 41 and discusses the importance of fear of Hashem. Don't miss this installment - it is full of Chassidic stories. Expanded description coming soon.

This class covers both Chapter 42 and the beginning of Chapter 43. Expanded description coming soon.

This class covers the end of Chapter 43 and all of Chapter 44. The focus of the class is love of G-d. Expanded description coming soon.

This class covers Chapters 45, 46, and 47. Chapter 45 addresses the middle pillar of serving Hashem - the path of mercy and compassion. The first step is to have rachmanus (mercy) on your neshama (G-dly soul) by doing mitzvos. Chapter 46 - 49 are centered around the idea that the further you are from G-d, the more you should love G-d. Expanded description coming soon.

if you are looking for a solid and clear introduction to core Kabbalistic concepts, this is the class for you! This class covers Chapters 48 and 49 of the Tanya which are the most Kabbalistic chapters in the first section of the Tanya. These chapters continue to build on the theme of motivating love for Hashem out of indebtedness. However, in this installment of the series, Rabbi Paltiel focuses on presenting the Kabbalistic concepts of ein sof, sovev, tzimtzum and more.

This class covers Chapter 50 and provides a wrap up to the long discussion of the role emotions play in our relationship with Hashem.


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