Maamarim (Chabad)

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Sefer Toras Chaim, Hasidic Maamarim mystical discourses on the books of Genesis and Exodus by the second Chabad Rebbe, Dovber Schneuri

Maamarim/Ma'amorim (Hebrew: מאמרים‎, meaning "Discourses", singular Maamar Hebrew: מאמר‎) in Chabad Hasidism are the central format texts of in-depth mystical investigation in Hasidic thought by each of its 7 leaders. In Chabad philosophy, the textual format of the Maamar is used in a great number of published works.

Maamarim build upon the founding intellectual Chabad method of the Tanya by the first Rebbe, each subsequent Rebbe developing the thought in successive stages, to seek broader explanation, communication and application. Chabad texts tend to systematic characterisation and presentation compared to the more homiletical-faith aims of most Hasidic literature.[1] Particular themes of focus emerge in the teachings of each subsequent leader according to the mystical and social circumstances of the times. In the last generation, the 7th Lubavitcher Rebbe, while developing the Maamar in Chabad to its cumulative conclusion, made its in-depth Kabbalistic exegetical method secondary to the newly emphasised Chabad format of informal analytical Likkutei Sichos talks, his central teachings, to enable greatest application of Hasidism to tangible spirituality and outreach. Chabad Maamarim are usually named after their opening quotation from Scripture, though are sometimes arranged as Kuntreisim studies or collected Sefarim books. From the 4th Rebbe onwards, Maamarim often comprise extended Hemsheichim series on a theme.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hasidic Thought: Text and Commentary, Norman Lamm, Yeshivah University, introduction

English bibliography[edit]

Studies on the successive development in Chabad thought, represented in each Rebbe's Maamarim:

  • Communicating the Infinite: The emergence of the Habad school, Naftali Loewenthal, Chicago University Press 1990, ISBN 0-226-49045-9. Academic study of the distinctive emergence of Chabad from general Hasidism by Shneur Zalman of Liadi, and its methodological clarification between Dovber Schneuri and Aharon HaLevi of Strashelye in the second generation
  • The Seven Chabad Lubavitch Rebbes, Chaim Dalfin, Jason Aronson 1998, ISBN 0-7657-6003-7 Anecdotal and sourced study from Habad tradition of the developing nature of thought of each Rebbe
  • Heaven On Earth: Reflections on the Theology of Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Faitel Levin, Kehot publications 2002, ISBN 0-8266-0488-9. A study of the cumulative development of Chabad thought in the last Rebbe's Atzmus and Dirah Betachtonim theology, contrasted with previous Habad thought. The relation of Hasidism to Mashiach and Atzmus begins to emerge in later Chabad writings, but is embodied fully in the 7th generation

Select classic examples of Maamarim in English translation, published by Kehot Publication Society: