Photo Credit: Jewish Press

Tuesday was the 19th of Kislev. On that day over 200 years ago, the Alter Rebbe left a Russian prison. His students explain that on that same day Chasidut also left prison and began to spread, breaking through every boundary.

Here are three crucial truths from Tanya, the fundamental text that Chabad chassidim study in its entirety every year, concluding it on the 19th of Kislev:

  • “Every Jew has a soul which is an actual part of G-d.” Do we keep in mind that there resides within ourselves and within everyone else an actual part of G-d that we call a soul?
  • “The mind rules the heart.” The powerful surrounding culture strives to convince us to go with the flow, to do whatever feels good. However, the truth is that human beings can control their desires, exercise self-restraint, and govern their emotions. It isn’t easy, but it’s possible. The mind is stronger than the heart.
  • “A little bit of light dispels a lot of darkness.” We do not need to occupy ourselves all day long with darkness, evil, and the failures of others and ourselves. If we only add a little light, darkness will go away and disappear all on its own.