The Tanya

Written more than 200 years ago, the Tanya is a revolutionary philosophical guide, based on Kabbalah texts, whose innovative approach to human psychology provides us the keys to a better knowledge of ourselves, and allows us to get closer to our Creator.

Man is incessantly subjected to dualism, in the form of a perpetual conflict between his selfish and materialistic self, and a Divine part in him who only seeks to establish an ultimate truth, hidden behind the mask of the world. Every ordinary being encounters this duality in his existence.

In the Tanya, Rabbi Shneor Zalman invites us to establish harmony between these two antagonistic parties, through a profound philosophical system that commits us to action.

Immediately posing as a fundamental axiom that man is composed of two souls, the animal soul and the divine soul, the Tanya, book of “spiritual recipes” par excellence, proposes original solutions to resolve the apparent conflict between these two poles of human existence. Life being a constant struggle between these two aspirations, material and spiritual, the Tanya – which is a simple collection of texts from the Jewish Tradition – adopts, thanks to the original contribution of its author, a rigorous approach that is accessible to everyone, regardless of their abilities, education and personality.

The author’s voice is that of a master concerned with the spiritual progress of his disciples : profound and holy, but human and paternal, sometimes demanding, but always encouraging and positive.

In the Tanya, in a constant concern to arouse the curiosity of modern man, the main concepts of Kabbalah – the esoteric part of the Torah, transmitted from generation to generation, from master to student since Moses – always lead to a practical dimension and application in our daily lives.

The Tanya helps us to understand how we can raise our soul and body to a higher level of awareness of the Divine, how we can better understand G.od’s existence, until His goals and aspirations become an integral part of us. From then on, a Jew can hope to fulfill the Divine Will by using each and every fiber of his divine potential.

Today, the Tanya is studied worldwide by those who appreciate its depth and perspective, with the same fervour and respect accorded to the study of the Bible, the Talmud and the Zohar.

Over the years, more than five thousand editions of the Tanya, in various formats, have been printed in many cities around the world. The first seven editions were published during Rabbi Shneor Zalman’s lifetime. There are translations into Yiddish, English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Arabic, Portuguese. The Tanya has even been translated into Braille for the blind. In addition, many comments and explanations have been published and taught on radio (first in New York, in 1960), through CDs and on the Internet. The Lubavitcher Rebbe, on several occasions, asked that the Tanya be printed for personal distribution to men, women and children.

According to the expression of the Holy Zohar, « it is through the merit of knowledge and study of the esoteric part of the Torah that the Jewish People will definitively leave their exile with mercy », and will see their final deliverance concretely with the imminent coming of our Just Moshiach.