6 weeks. 1 letter. Why?

Submitted by Rabbi Yossi Nemes

In the Rebbe’s Reshimos of Tanya  a letter of the FR is referenced  that includes the story about the Maharil, the Alter Rebbe’s brother, coming into the AR study during the time period he was writing the Tanya. The Maharil found the AR with a pen in his hand and in a state of devikus – deep meditative thought. After an hour the AR looked up and said that it’s already the third week that he is debating whether to write a word in Tanya (Chapter 41 V’ikra) with a Vov or without a Vov. The AR said that “on a vov of Beinonim one can ponder for six weeks until it becomes one with one self.”

Why did it take the Alter Rebbe six weeks to decide a vov in Tanya. Was it due to the perfect Dikduk needed in such a work? Well certainly a master in Dikduk like the AR does not need six weeks to figure out a vov. Obviously it has to do with the centrality of the Tanya, Torah Shebksav Of CHassidus, to our lives. Still one could ask why the need for six weeks on one Vov and what is this unusual expression ‘for a vov in Beinonim…’
One can say that the six weeks were needed to establish Tanya in a way that relates to every person in his generation. Furthermore what makes Tanya truly unique, thus needing such a high level of concentration in the writing of every letter, is (see Likutte Sichos vol. 26) that the Alter Rebbe wrote the Tanya tailor made to everyone learning Tanya in whatever generation it may be.
So ‘for a vov in Beinonim’ means that for the aspiring Beinonim of all generations, the AR addresses us as individuals.
Tanya is not only still relevant, like everything in Torah which is timeless, but it’s lessons are personal and Tanya addresses our particular challenges and situations.  This is true whether our name is Reb Hillel of Paritch or Bob Goldberg who lives in Peoria and is learning Tanya for the first time.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s