Monday, March 9, 2015

The Philosophy of Chabad

The Philosophy of Chabad, by Nissim Mendel, is part two of an introduction to Chabad.  This book was written in 1973, before the incredible rise of Chabad’s outreach programs.  So, the book has a getting-to know-you feel, which people who are very knowledgeable about Chabad Chassidus will already understand.   

Part one was a biography of the Alter Rebbe, who laid the groundwork for Chabad.  This work provides a detailed explanation of his particular brand of Chassidus, drawing mainly from his well-known work the Tanya.

Chabad, classically conceived, is a very intellectual brand of Chassidus.   This volume reflects this orientation.  Different souls, different levels, intellectual conceptions of worship, God, and reality; but this is not a rational religious philosophy as we know it.  Rather, the Alter Rebbe was a mystic of the rational variety. 

Despite knowing a great deal about the dynamics of the human soul, still, at the heart of everything, is an evolving mystery. 

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