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Bringing fire into our lives

אש בשיעור תניא

* Translation by Yehoshua Siskin ([email protected])

I recently saw a picture that uniquely inspired me. The caption to the picture reads “Fire in a Tanya class.” But where’s the fire? We see three Jews sitting around a rabbi, Baruch Slonim, in a synagogue in the city of Modi’in. Based on the caption, it is evident that they are learning the book of Tanya, a foundational Hasidic work.

At first glance, you might not think there was anything fiery going on here. After all, only three people came to the class. But you would be wrong. I wrote to Rav Slonim and asked if he would permit me to write something about this picture, which he had posted; in my opinion, it explains the revolution brought about by the Hasidic movement.

This past Shabbat fell on the 19th of Kislev, a day of celebration for Chabad Hasidim. Many special events and grandiose celebrations are being held throughout Israel and the entire world. Yet the Hasidic movement emphasizes the significance of every “little” person and every “little” good deed because the main thing is not quantity but quality, soulful connection, and perseverance. It’s enough to hold a Torah or a Tanya class, regardless of the number of participants.

Hasidism calls upon all of us — particularly during these challenging days — to focus on creating a little more light, a little more goodness, drop by drop.

The rabbi enthusiastically agreed that I should write: “The three souls learning Hasidut are three worlds! And soon there will be thirty and then three hundred.”

I looked again at the picture. Yes, fire. May all of us keep using it to light up the world with every “little” thing that we do.

May we hear an abundance of good news.


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