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24 Teves

The 24th day of Teves is a commemorable day for Chabad Chassidim. It is the yaartzeit, anniversary of the passing of the Alter Rebbe, the founder of Chabad Chassidus. 

Living and learning as Chassidim, we are constantly bombarded with ideologies, systems, ideas and their practical applications. Many of them find their sources in kabbala, and we discover them in the texts and discourses of all the Rebbeim. Maamarim and Sichos are a basic staple in the study of Chassidus, but there is one text without which the system would not exist-that is the Tanya.

 

The Alter Rebbe wrote the Tanya in order for Chassidus to be accessible for every human being. Based on the Pasuk Ki Karov Elecha HaDavar Meod-The matter is very close to you, the Tanya shows how every human being is capable of raising himself to the level of a Benoni-where one battles with his evil inclination daily yet prevails and does not sin at all. The Alter Rebbe allays the fears of every Jew who feels as if he is torn between two worlds, and explains that we are all suffering from multiple personality disorder, since we contain both a G-dly and an animal soul, each of whom desire separate things for the body and the soul.

 

The Alter Rebbe teaches the concept of Mind over Matter, where the logical certainty of the brain must rule over the fiery passion of the heart, in order to serve Hashem. He describes common problems such as depression and apathy and explains the techniques necessary to overcome such issues. As normal people living in the real world, we can find the Tanya to be applicable to every instance in daily life, where Torah living conflicts with everyday living.

 

On this special day, it is important to reflect on the contribution of the Alter Rebbe to our lives, the lives of Chassidim everywhere, and the lives of all of the Jewish nation. Chassidus was a remedy necessary for the Jewish people to be saved at the end of the Galus period. We should grasp this remedy which exists within our reach instead of looking in the cabinets of other apothecaries. The Tanya contains within every solution to every problem facing a person today. We just need to look inside and find it.