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Unread 08-24-2004, 02:22 AM   #1
Kookoo Kabalist
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Key to chassidus

Doesn't it mention somewhere about a specific sefer being a "key to Chassidus"? Does that mean that you need to learn this book before beginning to study the works of Chassidus? If this statement is true, what book is this?
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Unread 08-24-2004, 07:38 AM   #2
noahidelaws
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Hayom Yom 15 Adar II, Shushan Purim

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My grandfather said that the Mitteler Rebbe wrote specific maamarim and a special book for every different kind of maskil and oveid1 in the Chassidic community. Shaar Hayichud and Shaarei Ora, however, are general, written for all chassidim. Shaar Hayichud is the key to the teachings of Chassidus; Shaarei Ora is the alef-beit of Chassidus.
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Unread 08-24-2004, 11:03 PM   #3
Kookoo Kabalist
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Again...Does that mean that you need to learn this book before beginning to study the works of Chassidus?
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Unread 08-24-2004, 11:23 PM   #4
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Lechura not..(as most mashpim will tell you including r' yoel) Although I suspect that 'chassidus' will disagree and say that yes...(smiles not working...)

[For someone starting it should be with Derech Mitzvosecho or Kuntres Umayon, (see the hakdoma to Derech Mitzvoisecho) as is done in most Yeshivas]
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Unread 08-26-2004, 05:36 PM   #5
chasidus
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Re: Key to chassidus

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Originally Posted by Kookoo Kabalist
Again...Does that mean that you need to learn this book before beginning to study the works of Chassidus?
See Igros Kodesh of the Friediker Rebbe, Vol.3, P.363
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Unread 05-29-2007, 08:38 AM   #6
afikeimayim
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somewhat surprised

I am a little perplexed that Sefer HaTanya has not been mentioned in this discussion so far... assuming that Tanya is still regarded as Chassidus Chabad... ( )
Based upon the (quite reasonable, I think) assumption that in order to engage properly with the whole gilui of Chassidut Chabad, one should start with the Alter Rebbe; and since it is generally thought that Sefer HaTanya was a book into which the Alter Rebbe poured the essence of his thought and took a long time to compile; and since it is written b'lashon kol bnei adam (in a language everyone can understand); and since it mentions all (or most) of the concepts a person will need to understand the basics of Chassidut as a hamshachah of the gilui of the Arizal; then I think Sefer HaTanya still deserves the prime place as the "key to Chassidus"...
Kal vaChomer that, at the end of the translation of the Tanya, is Schochet's brilliant Mystical Concepts in Chassidism..which is a fantastic propaedeutic to the Kabbalistic ideas necessary to begin to understand Chassidut...
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Unread 05-30-2007, 04:19 PM   #7
yanqui
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Key Keys and keys

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Originally Posted by afikeimayim View Post
I am a little perplexed that Sefer HaTanya has not been mentioned in this discussion so far... assuming that Tanya is still regarded as Chassidus Chabad... ( )
is it? it's a distillation of the yechidus experience with the alte rebbe, so that his followers wouldn't all have to travel to him. since current chabad chassidus is not based on the yechidus with a rebbe, i would think that other treatments of chassidish ideas might come to the fore. otoh, it might actually assume more importance since it's the way to be miskasher with the alte rebbe.

however, the avodah of each generation is different, so again, it might be less relevant to the post-seventh generation.

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Based upon the (quite reasonable, I think) assumption that in order to engage properly with the whole gilui of Chassidut Chabad, one should start with the Alter Rebbe; and since it is generally thought that Sefer HaTanya was a book into which the Alter Rebbe poured the essence of his thought and took a long time to compile; and since it is written b'lashon kol bnei adam (in a language everyone can understand); and since it mentions all (or most) of the concepts a person will need to understand the basics of Chassidut as a hamshachah of the gilui of the Arizal; then I think Sefer HaTanya still deserves the prime place as the "key to Chassidus"...
I think the one that's called "key to Chassidus" is the Shaar haYichud of the Mittler Rebbe. I've been learning it, and it does seem to be the key to the older-style chassidus. After the frierdiker Rebbe made kiruv part of Chabad's derech, and the late Rebbe made it the focus, as well as his other shifts in the concept of dirah betachtonim (see R' Faitel Levin's book), the old meditative chassidus mostly fell away. Tanya, and the books of the Mittler Rebbe and some of those of the Rebbe Rashab, speak largely to that style of chassidus, that some today talk about their zeides engaging in, but few do it today.

Shaarei Orah of the Mittler Rebbe has similarly been called the Alef-Beis of Chassidus.

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Kal vaChomer that, at the end of the translation of the Tanya, is Schochet's brilliant Mystical Concepts in Chassidism..which is a fantastic propaedeutic to the Kabbalistic ideas necessary to begin to understand Chassidut...
That might be the key for today.

If you want to learn the Shaar haYichud, though, R' Walters' CD-ROMs are terrific, and R' Markel's translation/commentary at http://www.truekabbalah.com/ is good as well. Does anyone know anything about Bitzalel Malamud's translation/commentary of the first 15 chapters (available via Lulu.com)?
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