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Understanding the Tanya: Volume Three in the Definitive Commentary on a Classic Work of Kabbalah by the World's Foremost Authority (v. 3) Hardcover – August 17, 2007

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (August 17, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 078798826X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0787988265
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 6.3 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,284,721 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Praise for Rabbi Steinsaltz

“Steinsaltz is a genius of the highest order…the sort of mind that comes around only every couple thousand years.”—Newsweek

“[Steinsaltz has] a searing wit and is also a man for all seasons…as well versed in fundamental Jewish texts as he is in modern literature and scientific studies.”—Los Angeles Times

“The scope of Steinsaltz's work can only be compared to Rashi's [the great medieval commentator].  He has revolutionized the way the Talmud is studied. His commentaries will live for centuries.” —Washington Post

“Rabbi Steinsaltz is a distinguished educator and his commentary is extremely clear.” —Association of Jewish Libraries Newsletter

“Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz is one of the world’s most respected Jewish scholars. His books are exceptionally clear commentaries on rabbinic, mystical, and Hasidic teachings.” —St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“Steinsaltz, a scholar of international renown, plumbs the depths of the Tanya (an eighteenth-century Jewish classic) in a line-by-line commentary on the text. He explores the intricacies of the human soul and body and the correlation between the two.” —Cleveland Jewish News

“Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz presents a comprehensive picture of the Tanya, the first and most fundamental book of Hasidism.” —San Diego Jewish Press Heritage

From the Inside Flap

Understanding the Tanya guides the reader through one of the most extraordinary books of moral teachings ever written. The Tanya is a seminal document in both the study of Hasidic thought and of Kabbalah—Jewish mysticism. With a keen understanding of the profound struggles within the human soul, the Tanya helps us understand how we can raise ourselves to higher and higher spiritual levels.

Timeless in its approach, the Tanya addresses specific moral problems and dilemmas and delves into their root causes, distilling the universal predicaments of humankind and offering solutions that can change the way we view ourselves and conduct our lives. The Tanya explores the workings of the soul and examines the complexities, doubts, and drives within all of us as expressions of a single basic problem—the struggle between our Godly and animal souls.

The internationally celebrated Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz, who has dedicated his life to the study, teaching, and writing of books that explain Jewish scripture, religious practice, spirituality, and mysticism is the author of this explanation and commentary on the Tanya.

The first book in the series, Opening the Tanya, introduced us to the "beinoni," that person who is neither inherently righteous nor evil, but who seeks to reach moral perfection even as he struggles with animal soul. The second volume, Learning from the Tanya, offers a deeper description of the moral tensions within each of us. This third volume, Understanding the Tanya,continues where volume two left off in its page-by-page commentary on the linear sequence of the Tanya's original text.

More About the Author

Rabbi Adin Even-Israel Steinsaltz is a teacher, philosopher, social critic and prolific author who has been hailed by Time Magazine as a "once-in-a-millennium scholar."

He has devoted his life to making the Talmud accessible to all Jews. After a 45-year effort, Rabbi Steinsaltz completed a monumental elucidation of the entire Talmud in modern Hebrew, now used all over the world. Rabbi Steinsaltz then partnered with Koren Publishers Jerusalem to launch the Koren Talmud Bavli, a groundbreaking new edition of the Talmud which includes modern English translation, color illustrations and previously-censored passages.

Rabbi Steinsaltz has written 60 books and hundreds of articles, has established the Makor Chaim network of schools in Israel and the former Soviet Union, and holds several honorary degrees. He was born and lives in Jerusalem.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Michael R. Perkins on March 16, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Tanya is a remarkable book. This is the third in a three part series about the Tanya authored by Rabbi Adin Steisnsaltz (a genius) that helps the reader understand the primary source. The Tanya is a work on Chassidus and Kabbalah. The primary source, the Tanya, was authored by the first Chabad rebbe Shneur Zalman of Liadi, who is also known as the Alter Rebbe. The whole series is an excllent guidebook for understanding the Tanya. For each chapter he provides the original work, then breaks it down in shorter sections with his own commentary and explanation. This volume, like the other two, has an excellent glossary, and index. Without guidance, without help, it is very difficult to read the Tanya. As a matter of fact over the years I have stopped and started the process many times. Even with Rabbi Steinsaltz help it is a rigorous undertaking. Why am I writing this review?

I started studying the Tanya every day in an online class, and finally started reading this third volume of Steinsaltz's commentaries for added insight. I have hardly touched the first two volumes! Everything finally started to come together. The first part of the Tanya was very difficult for me, because the work itself is very meticulous in laying the foundation. I stuck to it this time although I wanted to stop many times. I just was not getting it. Now I am going to finish the third volume, and then go through the other two volumes which I have never been able to complete.

I don't think there are any shortcuts in studying the Tanya. At least there have not been for me. My current study program will take me a year. This book certainly helps, but only after I started a disciplined, daily, program. After that, I was able to make some progress.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Shlomo Rosenthal on June 28, 2009
Format: Hardcover
A remarkable work on the moral teachings of Judaism. Sublime book.
Add it to your library. You will enjoy it for years to come. Mazel Tov!
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