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Videos About R. Schneur Zalman

Scholarship and Song: A Documentary on the Alter Rebbe
A special video presentation in honor of the 24th of Tevet, the yahrtzeit (anniversary of passing) of Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, the first Chabad Rebbe, who’s known as the Alter Rebbe.
The Alter Rebbe's Legacy
Academics discuss the founder of Chabad
Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi founded Chabad Chassidism. He was imprisoned in czarist Russia in 1798 for his revolutionary ideals, and subsequently released. He is also known as “the Alter Rebbe.”
Leadership Despite Opposition
There are many similarities between Maimonides and the Alter Rebbe, the Founder of Chabad Chassidism. They both faced extreme opposition to their teachings, yet the opposition fell away. Eventually, their detractors became ardent disciples.
Too Good for G-d?
Video | 7:38
Too Good for G-d?
It happened once on Shabbos that in the midst of prayer, the Alter Rebbe removed his Tallis and went to the edge of the town. There, he found a woman who had just given birth. The Alter Rebbe had sensed that she needed help...
Hearing the Cry of a Child
A story with a living lesson
Once, in the middle of the night, one of the Mitteler Rebbe’s children fell out of bed. Entirely engrossed in his studies, he did not hear the child’s cries. However, his father, the Alter Rebbe, heard the cries, closed his Torah books, and went to comfort the child. The Alter Rebbe later said to his son: no matter how deeply immersed you are in holy pursuits, when a child cries you must hear it; you must stop what you’re doing and soothe their pain.
When the Alter Rebbe Chopped Wood
In the early 1980s, the Rebbe began to speak on the importance of raising awareness about the Seven Laws of Noah among non-Jews.
It Takes Two
Video | 6:22
It Takes Two
How the Alter Rebbe gave away his dowry to Jewish farmers
When the match was proposed between the Alter Rebbe, the founder of Chabad Lubavitch, and Shterna, the daughter of one of the wealthiest Jews of his day, the Alter Rebbe set a tough precondition: His dowry was to be used to help settle poor Jews on the land, and help them earn a livelihood.
Two Luminaries
Video | 7:13
Two Luminaries
There are many similarities between Maimonides and the Alter Rebbe, the Founder of Chabad chasidism. They both issued decisions on Jewish law that guide all later generations.
Twice the Light
Video | 6:33
Twice the Light
The twenty-fourth of Teves marks the passing of Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, the founder of Chabad Chassidism. He is famous among Jews today as the author of both the Tanya and a version of the Code of Jewish Law. His name, Schneur, hints to his unique ability to teach and expound on both the revealed and the more esoteric parts of the Torah.
Two Luminaries
Video | 6:59
Two Luminaries
There are many similarities between Maimonides and the Alter Rebbe, the Founder of Chabad Chasidism. They both issued decisions on Jewish law that guide all later generations.
Gathering in Honor of the Alter Rebbe
24 Tevet: Yahrtzeit of the Alter Rebbe
The 24th day of the month Tevet is the yahrzeit (anniversary of the passing) of the first Rebbe of Chabad-Lubavitch, Rabbi Shneur Zalman (1745-1812). His successor, the seventh Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, would often convene a special gathering (known as a farbrengen) to commemorate this date. This video is from the gathering held in the year 5741 (1981).
Reflections on
The liberation of the Alter Rebbe from czarist imprisonment
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Chassidic Esoteric Teachings and Communal Leadership
The case of Purim
A Chassidic Tract for Non-Jews
A chink in the wall of the Ghetto
The Lubavitcher Rebbe's curious choice to print an obscure manuscript in the dark days following the Second World War.
Rationality in the Mystical Theology of Chabad
Logic and demythologization in the teachings of Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi
Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi cohesively incorporates rational elements into his mystical ontological system. Examples include the demythologization of philosophically obscurities and adherence to certain logical principles, some of which were transcended by successive Chabad rebbes.
Bonding With G-d Via Torah
Chassidic and Mitnagdic Perspectives on Torah as a Path to G-d
The legal aspect of the Torah has been described by Kabbalists as concealing a deeper, more mystical dimension. But Mitnagdic and Chassidic thinkers both argued—in similar but different ways—that study of legal topics “for its own sake” could itself embody a mystic purpose. But what is the nature of that purpose?
Competing Ideals of Ascent and Struggle
Rabbi Moshe Chaim of Luzzatto and Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi in comparative perspective
Less than a year before the passing of the former, in 1746, the latter was born. The most famous works of both of these greats have become the mainstay of contemporary Jewish spiritual movements, and there are many fascinating similarities and differences between them.
Intelligent Faith
Video | 1:30:00
Intelligent Faith
Reflections on 200 Years of Chabad
Thoughts on the 200th anniversary of the passing of Chabad's founder, the Alter Rebbe, R' Shneur Zalman of Liadi. What is Chabad? What did the Alter Rebbe accomplish? How can we apply his teachings today?
Completing the Tanya
A very short overview and background of the Alter Rebbe’s teachings in Tanya, and the final message conveyed at the very end of Tanya.
The Historic Significance of Yud Tes Kislev
Documents show that the arrest of Chabad's founder in 1798 was part of a broad investigation that threatened to put the spread of the fledgling Chassidic movement to an end. The miracle of his redemption is the everlasting miracle of Chassidism itself, which endows finite reality with the infinitude of G-d.
The Sefirot and the Educational Process
A Mystical Model for Understanding the Teacher Student Relationship
Rabbi Shneur Zalman, founder of the Chabad school of Chasidism, uses the Sefirot to describe the relationship between teacher and student. Using practical examples, Dr. Loewenthal shows how this model has been applied by Chabad leadership in the modern era.
Prisoners of Light
Video | 45:26
Prisoners of Light
The Biblical story of Joseph’s descent into Egypt and subsequent incarceration is often read in the same week in which we celebrate the liberation from Czarist imprisonment of the Alter Rebbe, Rabbi Schneur Zalman, founder of Chabad. This class will explore the link between these events and offers insight into the nature of redemption. (Likutei Sichos volume 25, Parshas Vayeishev)
Moses, Maimonides and the Alter Rebbe
Letters and Numbers of Torah - Shemot
When G-d shows Moses a sign by having him turn a staff into a snake, G-d asks Moses, (Exodus 4:2) "What is this in your hand?" But the two words, "mah zeh" ("what is this") are spelled in the Torah as one word, "mizeh" ("from this.") How does the term "mizeh" hint to the Alter Rebbe and Maimonides whose yahrzeits are this week?
A Chassidic Gathering in Honor of the First Chabad Rebbe
The 24th of Tevet marks the passing of the Alter Rebbe
Join a farbrengen in Thornhill, Ontario on the anniversary of passing of the Alter Rebbe, the founder of Chabad. Rabbi Mendel Kaplan will lead a discussion on how the Tanya authored by the Alter Rebbe, serves as a practical roadmap for a fulfilling life today, and enables us to attain joy, inner tranquility and experience satisfaction in serving G-d.
The Heavenly Court Case
What Really Happened on 19 Kislev
On the 19th day of the month of Kislev, the first Chabad Rebbe, R' Shneur Zalman, was released from prison in 1798. It is said that his trial was the result of a parallel case in the heavenly court. What were the charges and how are we to understand the idea of heavenly prosecution altogether? What difference did the ruling make in our lives today?
The Ushpizin, Day Three of Sukkot
Leading the delegation of ushpizin on the third day of Sukkot is Yaakov our patriarch. Understanding the special qualities of 3rd day, and the connection to the chassidic ushpiz, the Alter Rebbe.
How is Chassidus Chabad Different?
The Alter Rebbe’s Unique Approach
What is the special contribution of the Chabad approach of chassidus, and what are we meant to accomplish with it?
Spirituality for Materialists
Why you need a body to be spiritual
Great spiritual treasures lie hidden in the most material aspects of our world—a unique chassidic perspective on physicality.
Israel's Oldest Charity
The History of Colel Chabad
Colel Chabad, founded in 1788 by the first Chabad-Lubavitch Rebbe, R' Schneur Zalman of Liadi, is the oldest continuously operating charity in Israel. This video was produced in honor of the 200th anniversary of the passing of R' Shneur Zalman.
The Physical World According to the Alter Rebbe
A conversation about the nature of existence
On the 200th anniversary of the passing of the Alter Rebbe, founder of the Chabad school of mysticism, two scholars sit down to discuss the significance of one of his teachings—the meaning and value of the physical universe.
Divided for the Sake of Heaven
The fraught relationship between the Vilna Gaon and R. Schneur Zalman of Liadi
For 18th-century Jewry in Eastern Europe, the city of Vilna was the bastion of Torah scholarship and the center of Talmudic learning, while Mezheritch was the cradle of Chassidism and deep spirituality. The precedence and relevance of these two foci of Jewish life have been debated for close to 300 years.
Mission Statement and Overview
A Journey Through Tanya, Lesson 1
A brief historical overview of the author and the background of Tanya, the purpose and structure of this unique book.
An Encounter with the Alter Rebbe
Rabbi Yehuda Leib Schapiro heard Rabbi J.B. Soloveitchik retell the story of the Alter Rebbe’s attempt to visit the Vilna Gaon, as it had been passed down through his own family, all the way back to the Gaon’s chief disciple.
200 Years of Hindsight
Detractors to chasidism still point to the Vilna Gaon’s opposition as the basis upon which they rely. But would the Vilna Gaon count himself among them today? (from a 1963 encounter)
Chassidus – The Crown Jewel
Why were chasidic teachings widely revealed only in later generations?
The mystical secrets of Torah were always studied by the Jewish people, but during most of Jewish history they were guarded and only accessible to a scholarly elite. In later generations these teachings were disseminated to a wider extent, but even then, they were only comprehensible to the initiated; the spiritual illumination of these teachings reached the outside world through those who studied them.
Nigun “Tzomah L’cha Nafshi”
Song lyrics: “My soul thirsts for You, my flesh longs for You; (as one) in a desolate and dry land without water, so (I thirst) to see You in the Sanctuary, to behold Your might and glory.” (Psalm 63)
Nigun “Kol Dodi”
The translated lyrics of this chassidic melody are: “Hark! My beloved is knocking: Open for me, my beloved, my dove, my perfect one.” (Song of Songs 5:2)
The Rebbe Sings “Tzomah Lecha Nafshi”
Niggun “Tzomah Lecha Nafshi”
“My soul thirsts for You, my flesh longs for You; (as one) in a desolate and dry land without water, so (I thirst) to see You in the Sanctuary, to behold Your might and glory.” (Psalm 63) This Niggun was first taught by the Rebbe on 28 Nissan, 5714 – 1954.
Nigun “Avinu Malkeinu”
6 Tishrei, 5740 · September 27, 1979
“Our Father our King, we have no king but You.” From the Rosh Hashanah liturgy.
Nigun “Daled Bavos”
12 Tammuz, 5740 · June 26, 1980
Chassidim sing the Alter Rebbe’s “Nigun of Four Stanzas.”
Nigun “Sholosh Tenuos”
18 Elul, 5742 · September 6, 1982
Chassidim sing the “Nigun of Three Stanzas.” The Baal Shem Tov, the Maggid of Mezritch and the Alter Rebbe each composed one stanza of this meditative song.
Practical Spirituality
Video | 1:42:30
Practical Spirituality
An Overview of Tanya
A fast and exciting tour of the structure, contents and flow of Tanya, the foundational text of the Chabad system of chassidism. Perfect for complete beginners and seasoned scholars alike.
Transforming the Self
The book of Tanya, a masterpiece of Chassidic philosophy, has captured the mind and heart of many. What is its message?
Secret Weapon
Video | 5:24
Secret Weapon
Rabbi David Bouskila translated the Tanya into Arabic thinking that he would enable Jews from Arabic-speaking countries to learn about G-d. Little did he know, he was stepping into the middle of an age-old cosmic battle and turning the tides of the war... (1980)
Master Mind
Video | 16:51
Master Mind
The sages teach that the mind, by its very nature, has the ability to master the heart...
The Crown Jewel
Video | 6:50
The Crown Jewel
The dissemination of the teachings of Chassidus is compared to the parable of the king who ground up his crown jewel in order to heal his son, the prince; Chassidus made accessible the precious stone of G-d’s crown – the Torah’s deepest secrets, for the benefit of G-d’s children.
Sacrifice of the Great
On the 19th of Kislev 5559 (November 27, 1798) the founder of Chabad Chasidism was released from prison after being falsely accused of treason. A Jewish leader sacrifices his own standing to find every Jew in need of guidance and ensure that they receive it.
Light Unto the Nations: Part 1
19 Kislev: All the Way to the Top
After being freed from Russian prison on the 19th of Kislev, 1798, the Alter Rebbe wrote a letter describing the circumstances surrounding his liberation. It is striking to see how much emphasis he places on the impact his liberation had on the non-Jews of S. Petersburg.
Farbrengen: 19 Kislev, 5742
Three complete talks of the Rebbe at a farbrengen in 1981.
Farbrengen with the Rebbe: 19 Kislev, 5744
An hour-long excerpt from the Rebbe’s 1983 farbrengen on the 19th of Kislev. This Chasidic holiday celebrates the liberation of the first Chabad Rebbe, R' Shneur Zalman, from czarist imprisonment in 1798, due to trumped up charges of treason by opponents to the Chassidic movement.
Chabad: What Is Chassidus?
After his liberation from Czarist prison on the 19th of Kislev, 1798, the Alter Rebbe recounted that the souls of his masters, the Baal Shem Tov and Maggid of Mezritch, had visited him in prison, explaining that his ordeal on earth was the result of a decree against him in Heaven above, because of his widespread dissemination of Chasidic teachings. When he asked if he should stop teaching, his masters replied: “On the contrary. Your liberation from prison will be the Heavenly sign that you must not only continue, you must increase!”
The Inner Meaning of Yud Tes Kislev
The liberation of the Alter Rebbe
With the Alter Rebbe's release from prison in 1798, he began to teach Torah's secrets in a way that would brighten every Jewish home, and would permeate the outside world.
Spreading the Light
Bread, water, wine, and oil represent various dimensions in Torah.
By Natural Means
Video | 6:45
By Natural Means
Although the Alter Rebbe was known for his piety and greatness in Torah, he also gained a reputation as a miracle worker.
Rising To the Challenge
The nineteenth of Kislev marks the release of Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi from imprisonment in Czarist Russia. He was imprisoned as a result of his efforts in spreading chasidic teachings, but it was only after this that he was able to continue his work without hindrance, and with greater success and intensity.
Mayanot Moment - 19th of Kislev
In prison, the Alter Rebbe offers a deeper interpretation of G-d's question to Adam of Where are you?" Presenter: Rabbi Moss
A Rosh Hashanah Meditation
Once, after Rosh Hashanah prayers, the Alter Rebbe asked his son, the Mitteler Rebbe, “With what meditation did you pray this Rosh Hoshanah?” He replied, “With the verse, ‘All mankind shall prostrate themselves before You’.” Then the Mitteler Rebbe asked his father, “With what meditation did you pray?” The Alter Rebbe responded, “I prayed with my lectern.”
The Blessing within the Curse
The Alter Rebbe would read the Torah in public. One year, he was away during the Torah reading of Ki Savo, and his young son and future successor, Rabbi Dovber, heard someone else read the portion, which includes G-d’s severe rebuke of the Jewish people. The son became so distressed that he fainted, and weeks later it was still questionable whether he’d be able to fast on Yom Kippur. The chasidim later asked him: “In previous years you didn’t faint; what happened this year?” The boy responded, “When father reads it, I don’t hear curses.”
Three Innovations, Three Accusations
Three factors in the Alter Rebbe’s arrest and liberation
The Alter Rebbe relates that he was informed of his release from prison as he was reciting the verse in Psalms, “He redeemed my soul in peace from the battle that came upon me, because of the many who were with me.”
Where the Penitent Stands
A Talmudic passage about marriage helps us gain a deeper understanding of the journey of teshuva, repentance.
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Your Very Own Sacrifice
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Gifting a divine flame to every Jew
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The art of organized spontaneity
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Divinization of the Self and the World
The Ethical Path of Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi
Ethics can be understood as the vehicle that moves the self, and the world at large, towards the ontological good. For Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, that good is synonymous with G-d, and the path prescribed by the Torah is the vehicle which draws humanity and the world into the singularity of the divine good.
The Secret to Success
Modeled after Joseph and the Alter Rebbe
The Torah describes Joseph as a 'Man of Success'. By examining his exploits, as well as the story of the Alter Rebbe's arrest and liberation, this class reveals two levels of success and provides the inspiration to achieve it.
Parshah Mnemonics: Shemot
Decoding the hidden messages
The parsha of Shemot contains 124 verses and the mnemonic for are the words ‘vayikach’ and ‘maday’. Explore the coded message in the mnemonic and its connection to the general themes of the Parshah.
The life, teachings and works of Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, founder of Chabad.