Author Topic: Tanya Shiur  (Read 3420 times)

Offline Freddie

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Tanya Shiur
« on: August 26, 2014, 03:40:25 PM »

:) phew!
But, It's more fundamental than that. It's about a perspective on humanity, and the world .  But as I said, I don't want to get too philosophical here.

Like I said, there needs to be a Tanya shiur thread.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2014, 03:45:33 PM by Dan »

Offline AnonymousUser

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Re: Tanya Shiur
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2014, 03:50:45 PM »
Like I said, there needs to be a Tanya shiur thread.
Nu, why don't you start?

Offline Sport

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Re: Tanya Shiur
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2014, 03:54:57 PM »
Can't wait.. But please start with basics.

Offline Freddie

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Re: Tanya Shiur
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2014, 04:09:12 PM »
Thanks mods for starting this thread. I guess I will start with a question. Is perfection attainable? Add this to the one-liner thread but Reb Steven Wright said, "When I was young they told me that practice makes perfect. Then they told me nobody's perfect. So I stopped practicing."

The question is this, if I say, "Come on, chevra, let's have a DO right now. I am driving. By the way I have a 99% record of NOT falling asleep at the wheel!" Are you comfortable with my lack of perfection? Or would you prefer a comitment to perfection?

So this is the discussion. In baseball, a batter who hits .400 is amazing. For a pilot who lands .9999 of his flights is terrible.

On the other hand, what do you want from me? I should be like Dovid Hamelech who chazal say killed his yetzer harah with fasting until he could say "libi chalal b'kirbi"? It's not happening so soon.

Discuss.

Offline Achas Veachas

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Re: Tanya Shiur
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2014, 04:11:24 PM »
Is this a Tanya Shiur or discussion group? :P
Curiosity made the cat smarter.

Offline Super Speed

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Re: Tanya Shiur
« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2014, 04:13:12 PM »
Both?

Offline Freddie

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Re: Tanya Shiur
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2014, 04:23:41 PM »
Is this a Tanya Shiur or discussion group? :P

My hope (maybe I am being overly optimistic) is that people will put the same "koch" into discussing things on this thread that they put into discussing other stuff. I am trying to tap into the natural excitement of the forum style. If I just "darshan" it could get stale. But mods will have to be on top of people derailing the shiur.

Offline Dan

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Re: Tanya Shiur
« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2014, 05:06:13 PM »
A baseball player strives for perfection even though it's impossible...
Save your time, I don't answer PM. Post it in the forum and a dedicated DDF'er will get back to you as soon as possible.

Offline wayfe

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Re: Tanya Shiur
« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2014, 05:26:31 PM »
When I first started reading Tanya, it was one of the biggest blows to me that I couldn't be a tzaddik, no matter how hard I would try. It was such a blow to the beautiful and dramatic idealism that powers life.

How can you motivate yourself when you know your goal is not reachable?

How about leaving perfection to others and just focusing on being a good Jew, a better Jew. There is a humble glory in that.
"I would rather have questions that can't be answered than answers which can't be questioned."
Richard Feynman

Offline Freddie

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Re: Tanya Shiur
« Reply #9 on: August 26, 2014, 05:38:39 PM »
A baseball player strives for perfection even though it's impossible...

So that's what this is about? Know what a tzadik is just so you can set the bar high even though you will fail? Or is it possibly about a new definition of perfection that IS attainable?

We have to distinguish between being and doing (in the language of Tanya, kochos and levushim, or in simple English feelings and behaviors.) Having perfect feelings, that means a truly pure heart with no DESIRE for evil, that is a tzadik. A tzadik IS perfect.

A beinoni can never BE perfect, but he can DO perfect.

I may have no choice about how I feel, but I can choose what I do. Is it hard? Yes, but at least it's within the realm of choice. Hence, we have a new definition of perfection -- behavioral perfection.

Offline Sport

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Re: Tanya Shiur
« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2014, 05:55:02 PM »

When I first started reading Tanya, it was one of the biggest blows to me that I couldn't be a tzaddik, no matter how hard I would try. It was such a blow to the beautiful and dramatic idealism that powers life.

How can you motivate yourself when you know your goal is not reachable?

How about leaving perfection to others and just focusing on being a good Jew, a better Jew. There is a humble glory in that.
I think I'm out of my league here but I think we might be using perfection in the wrong sense. When we talk about shlamos, it's not an objective level to try and reach, everyone's shlamos is different depending on their capabilities and is attainable. Yet we (almost) never reach it otherwise there's no point in living anymore.
Although this still doesn't answer the question: if (personal)perfection is the goal and we almost never reach that goal, how can we not view ourselves as failures?
I do think this question is based on a mistaken premiss that attaining our goals is what determines our self worth. Perhaps our self worth is not conditional to our accomplishments. Perhaps it's not conditional at all.

Offline Freddie

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Re: Tanya Shiur
« Reply #11 on: August 26, 2014, 06:06:40 PM »
I think I'm out of my league here but I think we might be using perfection in the wrong sense. When we talk about shlamos, it's not an objective level to try and reach, everyone's shlamos is different depending on their capabilities and is attainable. Yet we (almost) never reach it otherwise there's no point in living anymore.
Although this still doesn't answer the question: if (personal)perfection is the goal and we almost never reach that goal, how can we not view ourselves as failures?
I do think this question is based on a mistaken premiss that attaining our goals is what determines our self worth. Perhaps our self worth is not conditional to our accomplishments. Perhaps it's not conditional at all.

We're not talking about shleimus here at all. We are not talking about achieving a goal or becoming fulfilled. Honestly, who cares about our fulfillment? We're talking about what we can give the Aibershter. Can we give him perfect emotions (only pure and holy desires) or can we give him perfect behaviors (do the next right thing, one thing at a time)? Where is the bechira and where is the "I was born this way"?

At any rate, you remind me that one time R' Mendel Futerfas was farbrenging in Kfar Chabad late shabbos afternoon and some bochur had been davening "b'avodah" and just finished and was circling around the table looking for lechem mishneh to make kiddush. Finally Reb Mendel looked at the bochur and said, "Bochur! Voz zuchstu?" (What are you looking for?) The bochur said, "Shleimos." (Full bulkelach as opposed to the scraps he was finding.) Without missing a beat, Reb Mendel said, "Shleimus?!" (In the thick Russian Chabad accent the last sylable is always a segol-ayen anyway so shleimOs and shleimUs are bothe pronounced shleimEHs.) "A tamim zucht nit kein shleimehs! A tamim zucht temimehs!"

(The Lubavitcher yeshiva is called tomchei temimim and a bochur is called a tamim. BTW this week, parshas shoftim is "tamim tihyeh im Havaye Elokecha.  :))

Offline wayfe

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Re: Tanya Shiur
« Reply #12 on: August 26, 2014, 06:07:51 PM »
I think I'm out of my league here but I think we might be using perfection in the wrong sense. When we talk about shlamos, it's not an objective level to try and reach, everyone's shlamos is different depending on their capabilities and is attainable. Yet we (almost) never reach it otherwise there's no point in living anymore.
Although this still doesn't answer the question: if (personal)perfection is the goal and we almost never reach that goal, how can we not view ourselves as failures?
I do think this question is based on a mistaken premiss that attaining our goals is what determines our self worth. Perhaps our self worth is not conditional to our accomplishments. Perhaps it's not conditional at all.
I was using "perfection" as in absolute love of good and absolute hate of evil, with no desire to do wrong.

With the concept of "personal perfection," by definition, if it's personal it has to be attainable.
"I would rather have questions that can't be answered than answers which can't be questioned."
Richard Feynman

Offline wayfe

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Re: Tanya Shiur
« Reply #13 on: August 26, 2014, 06:11:20 PM »


Honestly, who cares about our fulfillment?

We do. You can't negate that, it's inborn. Maybe it isn't the ideal, but it can be used as a springboard.
"I would rather have questions that can't be answered than answers which can't be questioned."
Richard Feynman

Offline AnonymousUser

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Re: Tanya Shiur
« Reply #14 on: August 26, 2014, 06:13:19 PM »
So that's what this is about? Know what a tzadik is just so you can set the bar high even though you will fail? Or is it possibly about a new definition of perfection that IS attainable?

We have to distinguish between being and doing (in the language of Tanya, kochos and levushim, or in simple English feelings and behaviors.) Having perfect feelings, that means a truly pure heart with no DESIRE for evil, that is a tzadik. A tzadik IS perfect.

A beinoni can never BE perfect, but he can DO perfect.

I may have no choice about how I feel, but I can choose what I do. Is it hard? Yes, but at least it's within the realm of choice. Hence, we have a new definition of perfection -- behavioral perfection.
What makes someone a beinoni that precludes him from being perfect?
How does that shtim with כל אחד מישראל יכול להיות כמשה?
IIRC, it seems from the Mesilas Yesharim that it's possible to reach the level of not having taivos, although it's extremely hard.