Archive for the ‘Reb Zalman Articles’ Category

The Rebbe’s Prescription for Anxiety

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

In the following article, Reb Zalman makes accessible some of the core practical teachings of the Alter RebbeRabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, the founder of Chabad-Lubavitch.  With Reb Zalman’s help, the Baal Tanya‘s teachings extend to universal applicability.  You will find at the end prescriptions for Anxiety.  The message from the Sefer Beinonim is pertinent to all, regardless of identifications or level of observance.  Please feel free to leave comments at the end with any thoughts or reactions.  Gabbai Seth Fishman, BLOG Editor

Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Ladi on

by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi


Anxiety And the Beinoni
The Psychology of Beinoni
The Rational Soul
Habad and Affect
The Vicissitudes of the Beinoni
The Remedy
Inner and Outer Reality


The Four Worlds and the Economy

Tuesday, March 17th, 2009

Reb Zalman writes: 

The Four Worlds and the Economy was transcribed from talks I gave on two occasions covering how the Four Worlds impacts on the Physical Plane and, by extension, the economy.

“We are eager to find solutions for the current financial breakdown of society and the marketplace.  While we are giving our support to President Obama and giving him credit for his efforts to solve a global financial crisis, there is another perspective which comes from an awareness we can garner from our mystical tradition.  From the Four Worlds, we learn that changes in the Physical World, (i.e., financial), are energized from other planes of existence.  

“We must activate the repair across the board: Physical; Affective / Emotional; Mental / Intellectual; and Intuitive / Spiritual.  If we can successfully integrate with all the levels and access those other worlds, then we will nurture ourselves on higher planes along with our physical (financial) needs.  

“I hope these thoughts will help show ways we can do our part and this will thereby help with the president’s efforts so that they will bear fruit.  May you gain insights you need to steer through the difficulties of these times and may our efforts heal the markets of labor and goods, and of employment and housing.”

The Four Levels

by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi

The union of male and female needs some explanation. 

[Note:  “The union of male and female” is employed frequently in traditional liturgy and chassidut representing redemption.  A world out-of-balance is like a husband and wife in separation, or the Shechina / Feminine God-aspect (literally, “Indwelling Presence”) exiled from the Kadosh Baruch Hu / Masculine God-aspect (literally “Holy One Blessed be He”).  Another usage is from the way of interpreting Shir haShirim / Song of Songs as an alegory of love between God (here considered masculine) and Israel (here considered feminine).  While traditional symbolism portrays this as a heterosexual union, this image may not work for all Jews.  Nonetheless, Reb Zalman’s point here is related to the physical and and the higher worlds and this message transcends orientation.  gabbai Seth.]


For Shavuot: The Sinai Gathering

Friday, June 6th, 2008

The following article appeared in Reb Zalman’s book, Paradigm Shift, (Jason Aronson Inc., 1993, pp. 3-11).   I have taken the liberty to make some minor changes for enhanced accessibility.  Gabbai Seth Fishman, BLOG editor

Prayers of Peace

by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi

This report to the P’nai Or community appeared in the B’nai Or Newsletter, June 1984 issue. The content speaks for only one part of me.  All I can say is that there are other levels that are beyond what I describe below.  What happened on the deeper and the higher levels is not accessible to verbal description.  And yet, as you follow in your imagination, I ask that you think of it as though you were there.  Better still, think of it as tied to when in fact you were there, when you stood at Sinai. 

While the impact on me is beyond my fully capturing, I want to mention that we weren’t able to follow up then with the kind of political and social action that this meeting would have required to bring the vision to fruition.  Our hands were tied through an agreement with the Egyptian authorities that we could not publicize this meeting in the media for fear of repercussions from religious and political hard-liners.

Many months of constant work on the part of many individuals, in particular, Ms. Maurine Kushner, (click here, to see an article about Ms. Kushner’s works), had made this meeting possible.

To this day I am warmed by the memories.


So You Want To Learn Kabbalah

Tuesday, December 25th, 2007

Regarding Kabbalah / Jewish Mysticism, Reb Zalman says:

“All blessings to you in your studies.  As you hear these ideas from time to time, and as you allow yourself to be receptive to the images that they stir up in you, I hope that the words of the Kabbalah will be transparent to you, and that you begin to understand, feel and know depths that you couldn’t previously.”

Many thanks go to Rabbi Marcia Prager for her permission to include drawings from her Siddur called, “A Siddur for Shabbat Morning.” Gabbai Seth Fishman (BLOG Editor)


By Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi

Table of Contents:

Being Receptive
The Universes
Divine Names
B’Tselem Elokim / In God’s image
Ten Sefirot
Looking Inside
A Blessing
As Below, So Above
Reformatting Hierarchical Into Humanistic
Sayings of the Hasidic Masters
Mystery of the Shechinah
Movement and Prayer
When One Must Reprove
Beyond Mind


The Endgame In Job

Thursday, December 20th, 2007

Some thirty-five years ago, Reb Zalman wrote an article called “The Endgame in Job,” in which he gives a brilliant analysis of The Book of Job.  

Karl Jung, in his book, Answer to Job, says that Job’s suffering was necessary and he explains why.  According to Jung, at some point in ancient times, YHVH, as the godhead, was not as useful and relevant as before.   The Book of Job stirs up a question in us that Jung wanted to address:  “Was there some reason, some utility in Job’s experience and suffering?”  Jung’s answer:  “Yes.  Humanity needed to be promoted in the hierarchy of the godhead.  God became incarnate in man.”  Jung would have answered Job that Job’s relationship with YHVH in the story helped make the incarnation happen.

Reb Zalman’s article provides a different, Jewish perspective on this book.  Just as YHVH is eternal, so does the The Book of Job stand the test of time as part of tanach / Jewish scriptures.  Please read Reb Zalman’s wonderful article and feel free to share any thoughts in the comment section at the end.   Gabbai Seth Fishman (BLOG Editor)


(Winnipeg 1972) 

Table of Contents:

The Prologue
The Experiment and its Implication for God
Job’s Punishment for Silence
History and Authorship
Significance of Names in the Book
The Outcome:  Man is the Winner
Myth and Theology
Job, the Mystic’s End-Game
Catharsis of the Book of Job
The Messianic Era