The wisdom of Jewish spirituality and mysticism can be a companion for your own spiritual journey.
Tanya, “It Was Taught,” is one of the most powerful and potentially transformative books of Jewish wisdom. Written in 1797 by Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, the founder of Chabad Hasidism, Tanyasets forth the fundamentals of Jewish spirituality and mysticism. While a focus of daily study by tens of thousands of Hasidic Jews, Tanya is little known outside the world of Jewish mysticism. Until now, its kabbalistic terms and esoteric language have made this essential text of Jewish spirituality inaccessible to most readers.
In this engaging volume, Rabbi Rami Shapiro offers a contemporary English translation of key selections of Tanya coupled with commentary designed to clarify and amplify the wisdom it contains. He also outlines the philosophical and spiritual framework on which Tanya is based―God’s nonduality; the ﬁve dimensions of reality and their corresponding intelligences (body, heart, mind, soul, and spirit); the purpose of mitzvot, the practices of Jewish life, as catalysts to God realization and the hallowing of all life through godliness―to help you understand the selectedTanya translations in a way that enhances your own spiritual development.
Now you can benefit from the wisdom of Tanyaeven if you have no previous knowledge of Judaism or Hebrew terminology. This SkyLight Illuminations edition presents the core teachings ofTanya, with insightful yet unobtrusive commentary that will deepen your understanding of the soul and how it relates to and manifests the Divine Source from which all life comes, in which all life lives and to which all life returns.
“Rami Shapiro is one of the great Jewish spiritual teachers of our generation. This volume opens one of the all-time classics of Jewish spirituality for beginning students of all faiths. Through his poetic translations and paraphrases, he not only unlocksTanya but also adds a classic of his own to our library of personal yearning.”
―Rabbi Lawrence Kushner, Emanu-El Scholar, Congregation Emanu-El, San Francisco; author, The Way Into Jewish Mystical Tradition and other books
“A masterful unfolding of Tanya … paves a way for readers to find a path to God that is a ‘returning through kindness.’ I can’t ever imagine teachingTanya again without pointing toward this edition.”
―Reb Mimi Feigelson, mashpiah ruchanit (spiritual mentor); lecturer of Rabbinics, Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies, American Jewish University
“With insight and nuance … opens the mystical wisdom of Hasidism to spiritual seekers of all faiths. Both the translation and the commentary guide the reader to a transformed religious consciousness.”
―Dr. Eitan Fishbane, author, As Light Before Dawn: The Inner World of a Medieval Kabbalist
About the Author
Rami Shapiro, a renowned teacher of spirituality across faith traditions, is an award-winning storyteller, poet and essayist. He is author of The Sacred Art of Lovingkindness: Preparing to Practice, Recovery―The Sacred Art: The Twelve Steps as Spiritual Practice and The Divine Feminine in Biblical Wisdom Literature: Selections Annotated & Explained (all SkyLight Paths), among other books.
Rami Shapiro is available to speak on the following topics:
- Writing―The Sacred Art: Beyond the Page to Spiritual Practice
- Stop Playing God: 12 Steps as Spiritual Practice
- Biblical Wisdom for Post-biblical Times: An Exploration of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Job
- The Sacred Art of Lovingkindness: Cultivating Compassion in Daily Life
- Hasidic Wisdom: An Exploration of Hasidic Storytelling, Theology and Contemplative Practice
- Saints and Sages: Biblical Prophets, Ancient Rabbis and the Building of a Just World
Rabbi Zalman M. Schachter-Shalomi (z”l), the inspiration of the Jewish Renewal movement, is widely recognized as one of the most important Jewish spiritual teachers of our time. Professor at Temple University, he authored many books including Davening: A Guide to Meaningful Jewish Prayer, winner of the National Jewish Book Award;First Steps to a New Jewish Spirit: Reb Zalman’s Guide to Recapturing the Intimacy & Ecstasy in Your Relationship with God (both Jewish Lights); From Age-ing to Sage-ing and Wrapped in a Holy Flame