An eager audience filled Nosson’s Shul on 534 Empire Blvd. in Crown Heights Wednesday night, 10 Kislev for a special opportunity to enrich their understanding of Tanya on the day that the Rebbeim referred to as “the birthday of a chossid.”
Arranged by Yagdil Torah, the overview of Likkutei Amarim was presented by Rabbi Shais Taub, author of the Tanya Map from Kehot as well as the JLI Tanya course, Soul Maps. Taub is known for his practical approach to Tanya and his ability to make its tools accessible to all.
In his presentation, Taub took the group through the flow of the 53 chapters showing them how the Alter Rebbe is “actually speaking to you in yechidus right now, telling you everything you need to know at this step in your growth.”
As for the unique challenges of teaching Tanya to Lubavitch men in Crown Heights, most of whom have been through Tanya many times on their own, Taub said that he gains a special excitement from learning Tanya with anash.
“It’s one thing to introduce Tanya to someone who’s never heard the name of the book before. But to ‘introduce’ Tanya to people who already know what’s inside and make them see the book with new eyes is for me the greatest thrill there could be.
“Since the Soul Maps course ran two years ago, literally hundreds of shluchim who taught the course have come up to me complaining that they had never been given the ability to apply Tanya as a practical guidebook and not just an encyclopedia of chasidus.
“The Alter Rebbe wrote Tanya for every Jew to be able to use,” he added.
“I think there is a strong movement today of young chassidim who want to really live with the Tanya and consult it as their manual, just like the Alter Rebbe describes in the introduction. People today are demanding, ‘Show me how to use this. Show me how this actually helps me live my life.'”