The Tanya as Chabad Psychology

Irving Block Tradition Online | July 8, 2024

Tomorrow (Tuesday, 3 Tammuz) marks the 30th yahrzeit of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson zt”l. In his memory, read an archived TRADITION essay published 60+ years ago for the 150th yahrzeit of his forebear, R. Shneur Zalman of Liady (1745-1812), known as the Alter Rebbe, author of the Tanya.

In our Fall 1962 issue, Dr. Irving Block considered the character of the “Benoni” and his role in the psychological theories of Chabad.

Following the Rebbe’s death in 1994 claims of his messianic status roiled the Jewish world. Perhaps most well-known to readers of TRADITION was Prof. David Berger’s strident opposition to these troubling theological claims—claims which some believe have sadly cast a shadow over the Rebbe’s heroic work on behalf of the Jewish revival in America and around the world. Read Yaakov Kermier’s review of Berger’s book, “When a Messiah Dies” (Summer 2002), and the exchange of letters to the editor in its wake.

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