Friday, December 03, 2004

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A Holiday of Redemption

Among certain hassidim (in particular, the Chabad or Lubavitch hassidim), the hebrew date of the 19th of Kislev, which was December 2 this year, is a special occasion.

On this day, the founder of the movement was released from prison and a death sentence which he received for teaching Torah (Jewish religious studies) in Russia. This day starts a learning cycle for his primary work of hassidic philosophy and kabbalah...

A Compilation of Teachings
The Book of the Intermediates

“For this thing is very near to you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it”; explaining clearly how it is exceedingly near, in both a lengthy and a short way, with the aid of the Holy One, blessed be He.

Also known as The Long Shorter Way, and best known by the first word of the book in hassidic circles, 'Tanya'.

It is written of the author...When my master and teacher was in a state of d'veikut (lit. "attachment," a trance-like state of ecstatic cleaving to G-d) he would cry out: "I want nothing at all! I don't want Your 'garden of eden,' I don't want Your 'world to come'... I want nothing but You alone."

The book explains the path for the average person (the intermediate, neither a saint nor an evil person) to become perfectly in sync with the master of the world in all ways.

Seek those who are truly pious, who's great words are studied centuries after they are written, and who's wisdom survives generations.


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