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As Divided for a Leap Year
Tanya for 22 Kislev
I speak, however, of those who know me well, each and every one of Anash of our country and those countries nearby, with whom affectionate words were often exchanged [in private audience], and who revealed to me all the hidden recesses of their heart and mind in matters related to the service of G-d which is dependent on the heart.
To them shall my words seep through, and  my tongue shall take the form of a scribe's pen, in these pamphlets entitled Likutei Amarim ("A Compilation of Teachings"), being compiled from books and teachers, heavenly saints, who are well known to us.
[The "books and teachers" alluded to have been explained above, in the comments on the title page.]
Some of these teachings, the wise [for whom "a hint is sufficient"] will find alluded to in the sacred letters of our teachers in the Holy Land.
[As mentioned above, the Alter Rebbe considered certain senior disciples of the Maggid of Mezritch as his mentors, especially Rabbi Mendel of Vitebsk, who then resided in Eretz Yisrael.]
Some of them I heard from their saintly mouth when they were here with us [before they moved to Eretz Yisrael]. All of them are answers to many questions posed continually by Anash of our country seeking advice, each according to his stature [in the service of G-d], so as to receive guidance for themselves in the service of G-d, because time no longer permits [me] to reply to everyone individually on his particular query, and also because forgetfulness is common.
I have therefore recorded all the replies to all the questions, to be preserved as a sign, and to serve as a reminder in everyone's mind.  No longer will one need to press for a private audience, for in these Likutei Amarim one will find tranquillity for his soul, and true counsel on everything that he finds difficult in the service of G-d.
Thus his heart will be firmly secure in G-d who completes and perfects everything for us.
He whose mind is too limited to understand how to derive advice from these pamphlets, let him discuss his problem with the foremost scholars of his town and they will enlighten him.
Of [these scholars] I request that they not lay their hand upon their mouth, [i.e., not to keep silent when asked for advice, for fear of appearing to be proud in their knowledge], to conduct themselves with false modesty and humility - [for misplaced modesty is falsehood].
It is well known how bitter is the punishment of him who  "withholds food," [i.e., who withholds Torah knowledge from him who seeks it], and also how great is the reward [granted to one who provides such knowledge. This is well known] from the comment of our Sages  on the verse, "G-d enlightens the eyes of them both."
[The verse reads, "The pauper and the wealthy man meet; G-d enlightens the eyes of them both." The Gemara applies this to a pauper in Torah knowledge and to one who is wealthy in Torah. When they meet, and the wealthy one teaches the pauper, G-d enlightens the eyes of both of them - with a light that transcends them both.]
Thus G-d will cause His face to shine upon them, with the light of the countenance of the King [which provides] life.
May He who provides life to the living grant us the privilege of living to see the days when  "no longer will one man teach another...[to know Me], for they will all know Me, [... from the smallest to the greatest],"  "for the knowledge of G-d will fill the earth as the waters fill the sea."
Amen. May this be His Will.
- (Back to text) Tehillim 45:2.
- (Back to text) As in the expression concerning the tefillin (Shmot 13:9): "They shall be for you as a reminder between your eyes."
- (Back to text) See Sanhedrin 91b on Mishlei 11:26.
- (Back to text) See Temurah 16a on Mishlei 29:13.
- (Back to text) Mishlei 29:13.
- (Back to text) Yirmeyahu 31:33.
- (Back to text) Yeshayahu 11:9.
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