Haskamos-Approbations on the Tanya

Haskamos – Approbations[1]

1. The Haskamos given to the Sefer:
  • There are three printed Haskamos to the Sefer Hatanya, from the following individuals.
  • Reb Zusha of Anipoli.
  • Reb Yehuda Leib Hakohen
  • The three sons of the Alter Rebbe, Reb Dov Ber, Reb Chaim Avraham, and Reb Moshe
2. The Haskama of Reb Zusha of Anipoli:
  • Date: Tuesday, Parshas Ki Savo, year 6556
  • No name: The Alter Rebbe first wrote the Tanya anonymously, and hence his name is not written explicitly in the Haskama.[2]
  • Why it was published: The Alter Rebbe did not desire to publish the Tanya and was forced to do so due to the many inaccuracies that were being published in the uncontrolled Kuntreisim.
  • Who printed it: Two individuals brought the Tanya to print, one of them being the son in-law the of the Alter Rebbe, named Reb Shalom Shachna, who was the father of the Tzemach Tzedek, and the second being Reb Mordechai Gorowitz, who was the printer in Shklov.
  • Where it was printed: It was printed in Slavita publishing house.
  • Hasagas Gevul: A prohibition was placed against anyone else printing it for the next five years.
3. Haskama of Reb Yehuda Leib Hakohen:[3]
  • Date: Tuesday, Parshas Ki Savo, year 6556
  • Who the Alter Rebbe studied by: The author received his wisdom from his master [the Maggid of Mezritch[4]] and from the wellspring of water [the son of the Maggid, Reb Avraham[5]].
  • Israel [the Baal Shem Tov[6]], will rejoice with his work [as now his teachings have been spread and invested in intellectual words].
  • His words need no approbation as it is common knowledge and needs no proof.
  • Hasagas Gevul: A prohibition was placed against anyone else printing it for the next five years.

(LY) 20th Kisleiv

4. Haskama of the sons of the Alter Rebbe to Igeres Hakodesh and Kuntrus Achron:[7]

  • Date: Thursday, 22nd Iyar, year 6574. First printed in Shklov 1814, when Igeres Hakodesh and Kuntrus Achron were first printed.
  • Tanya is the word of the living G-d, Dach.
  • The Alter Rebbe personally wrote the letters.
  • The purpose of Igeres Kodesh: The letters written to ignite people’s hearts, to draw them close to G-d.
  • The purpose of Kuntrus Achron: Kuntrus Achron introduces new material and explanation on certain chapters of Tanya and was written by the Alter Rebbe when he wrote the Tanya. It also resolves contradictions in Kabbalah.
  • Hasagas Gevul: A prohibition was placed against anyone else printing it for the next five years.
  • Due to the loss of the original manuscripts, we were forced to publish the Sefer based on copies, and hence mistakes may have occurred which you should inform us of.
  • Signed by his sons Dovber, Chaim Avraham, and Moshe.[8]

[1] For the background story behind this introduction, see, Igros Kodesh [Rayatz] Vol. 4, pp. 264-267 where the Rebbe Rayatz recounts its background story in name of the Mittler Rebbe; See also Lessons in Tanya, introduction to Haskamos

[2] The Alter Rebbe’s name did not appear in neither the title page nor the approbations in the first seven editions. It was only in the eighth edition (Shklov, 5574 [1814]) and onwards that the Alter Rebbe’s name was written, posthumously, when the Haskamos of the Alter Rebbe’s sons first appeared. [Lessons in Tanya]

[3] Student of Maggid, Author of Or Haganuz, who also lived in Anipoli. See lessons in Tanya for a story relating to how Reb Yehuda Leib and Reb Zusha met in middle of the night after receiving the manuscripts

[4] Beis Rebbe 1:156

[5] Tanya Mevueres footnote 7; Lessons in Tanya

[6] Likkutei Dibburim 1:61; Beis Rebbe 1:156

[7] See Likkutei Sichos 17:519

[8] See gloss of Rebbe printed in lessons in Tanya

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