A Chasidic Discourse by Rabbi Shalom DovBer Schneersohn of Lubavitch
Translated By: Rabbi Zalman I. Posner
Edited & Annotated By: Rabbi Avraham D. Vaisfiche
Kuntres Umaayan, a comprehensive treatise written in the spirit and style of traditional ethical Torah teachings, touches upon the various challenges one experiences when faced with the reality of material existence obstacles that stand in the way of achieving true spiritual heights.
Written in 1903 by the fifth Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Shalom DovBer Schneersohn, of blessed memory, in response to the challenges of secularism and non-Jewish ideologies that faced Russian Jewry at that time, this is a book that looks deeply into the oldest battle man against his own evil inclination.
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Kuntres Umaayan discusses the true purpose of man, the numerous mistakes and follies in all levels of ones character that can mislead one from the true path in Divine service, and how to guard oneself from them.
-Kovetz Lubavitch, Issue 1
The point of the treatise is this: every single person has the strength, the wellspring, that quells the folly of man. One has the ability to act contrary to this natural impulses.
Rabbi Shalom DovBer of Lubavitch presents Overcoming Folly, a bilingual English/Hebrew treatise written in the style of traditional ethical Torah teachings. Overcoming Folly especially investigates the reality of material existence, and its obstacles to earning true spiritual understanding. Taking a Chasidic approach that emphasizes the mystical-spiritual aspects of the goals an individual should strive for, Overcoming Folly guides the reader in means to overcome stumbling blocks to enlightenment. A supplemental section of discourse summaries in the back of the book will prove useful to first-time readers. For example, the summary of Discourse Two reads, "Succumbing to sin caused by (a) strength of animal soul through constant indulgence of desire for the permissible, and (b) misconception that he will not be separated from G-d through it, and he shall have peace. True vitality is G-dliness and the `realm of holiness.`" Grounded firmly in quotes and wisdom from Biblical, Talmudic, and Kabbalistic sources, Overcoming Folly lives up to its title in its instruction for not only avoiding worldly follies, but also committing and devoting oneself to Torah in a manner that is above reason, and thus embodies the positive side of non-rational behavior. Enthusiastically recommended for serious students and scholars, as well as for deeply faithful individuals committed to the Chasidic principles of striving for self-improvement.
--Midwest Book Review