After its first printing sold out more rapidly than expected, a new printing of the Practical Tanya has arrived in the U.S. this week.
Since the book’s release a few months ago, scholars and laymen around the world have praised the work as a major breakthrough in the understanding and translation of Chassidus.
The venerable Rabbi Moshe Wolfson, Mashgiach Ruchani Yeshivas Torah Ve-Da’as, Rav of Cong. Emunas Yisrael, described the book as, “An astonishing accomplishment… and suitable for anyone… even those who do not read in Hebrew and are not familiar with esoteric texts.” Rabbi Gavriel Zinner, author of the Nitei Gavriel series, honored the book with a formal haskama, stating “it is wonderful that this sacred text has been clarified in a way that anyone can benefit from it.”
But the most excitement has come from Lubavitcher Rabbonim and shluchim, who are using the book on a day to day basis. Rabbi Yehuda Leib Schapiro, was particularly impressed at how the commentary explains how each line of the Tanya flows logically from the previous one, “so that all can more easily understand, and more importantly, makes the flow of the Tanya very clear for all who study.” Rabbi Moshe Bogomilsky praised the “lucid and scholarly translation.” Rabbi Dov Greenberg, shliach in Chabad of Stanford University, described the book as “quite simply the best version in the English language.” Rabbi Shalom Ber Groner, Rav of the Chabad Community in South Africa, was particularly impressed with the book, suggesting that “It is the first time the lofty concepts of the Tanya have really been made available to ordinary people.” Rabbi Mendel Lew, Rav of Stanmore United Synagogue in London, referred to it as “the best book yet in the Gutnick series.” Rabbi Nochum Kaplan of the Merkos Chinnuch Office, praised the book’s “masterful command of the English language. Rabbi Miller has managed to open up the Tanya to the wider public… not an easy task.”
In Yeshivah University, Mashpia, Rav Moshe Weinberger has cited the Practical Tanya extensively in his shiurim and “strongly recommends” it. Rabbi Mark Wildes, director of the Manhattan Jewish Experience, praised it as “A wonderful work which makes the Tanya accessible and understandable to a whole new generation of spiritual explorers.”
In the academy, Dean of Touro College, Henry Abramson, found that the book was helpful for “emphasizing the concrete strategies for personal spiritual growth that might be otherwise lost by novice readers wading through kabbalistic arcana.” Hebrew College Professor Nehemia Polen described the book as “A miracle of expository brilliance! The complex strands of this hasidic classic have been translated into sparkling English prose… Rabbi Miller is to be congratulated for this landmark achievement, which reflects the profundity and scope of his understanding, together with his remarkable abilities as a sophisticated translator, interpreter, and presenter of our great religious texts.” Daniel Matt, translator of the Pritzker Zohar was impressed that the book is “simultaneously profound and practical… this book will awaken, inspire, and challenge you.”
The Practical Tanya is available in Judaica Stores everywhere and online at https://www.kolmenachem.com/itemdetail.asp?ItemID=35