Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi – The Author of the Tanya

Forty-seven years after the birth of that great light, our teacher the holy Baal Shem Tov on Elul 18, 5458, Rabbi Shneur Zalman Schneerson Zatzal was born in 5505. The author of the Tanya and the founder of Chabad Chassidut, Rabbi Shneur Zalman was born in the small town of Liozna, in the province of Mohilov.

Rabbi Shneur Zalman learned most of his Torah with Rabbi Issachar Ber in Lubavitch, and as early as the age of 11 his teacher discovered extraordinary talents in him. He therefore exiled himself to a place of Torah, and at the age of 18 he was fully versed in every Torah subject. Indeed, everyone who met him was amazed.

Rabbi Shneur Zalman settled in Vitebsk after his marriage, and from there he went to study Chassidut with Rabbi Dov Ber, the great Maggid of Mezritch. The Maggid predicted that he would lead a community of myriads. Rabbi Shneur Zalman began to direct the community after the passing of his teacher, and thousands of Jews gathered around him in the small town of Liadi, which became a shining beacon of Torah. It was from there that Torah and Chassidut went out to the entire Diaspora.

The Baal HaTanya (as Rabbi Shneur Zalman became known) was arrested several times due to false allegations. When he emerged from prison a second time, on Kislev 19, everyone realized that he was a holy man. From then on, Kislev 19 became known as the “Rosh Hashanah” of Chassidut, the day that the Rebbe was freed.

During the Napoleonic wars, Rabbi Shneur Zalman fled into the heart of Russia due to his opposition to Napoleon. However due to his many travels, he fell ill and ascended to the celestial academy on Tevet 24, 5573. He is famous for having written the Tanya, as well as for his own Shulchan Aruch, known as Shulchan Aruch HaRav. Rabbi Shneur Zalman is buried in the town of Hadiacz. May his merit protect us all.




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