Three years in the making: the Wednesday night Tequila & Tanya men’s class, led by Rabbi Yossi Lipskier from Sherman Oaks, CA, completed the study of the whole Tanya.
By Rabbi Yossi Lipskier
It was Rosh Chodesh Kislev 5781. Brett and I were having a casual conversation, and out of nowhere he said ten words. Ten words that would change many, many lives.
“Rabbi, we need to start a Torah class for men”.
The Covid era was still at its height. Regular programming was at an all-time low, the lights inside our Chabad house hadn’t been turned on in months (remember outdoor Minyanim?), and people were looking for connection.
I agreed. At first, we learned something on the Parsha, but I could see the guys wanted something more serious, a project they could commit to.
And that’s when Tequila & Tanya was born.
The format was simple. Every Wednesday, the men were invited to Chabad. At 7pm we served a full dinner, and at 7:30 we sat down to learn, covering the content of one Perek in Tanya each week.
Word began to spread, and friends began to bring friends. It was turning into something big.
When we finished Likkutei Amarim, the guys weren’t satisfied. “We want to learn the whole book,” they said, “cover to cover”.
I couldn’t say no, so there I was, preparing classes on Shaar Hayichud V’haemunah. A few months later, it was Iggeres Hatshuva.
And after Chanukah last year, when we started Iggeres Hakodesh, I knew there was no turning back. We were going to see this through to the end.
Baruch Hashem, after 3 years, last Wednesday the dream became a reality.
35 men around the table, learning the last letter in Kuntres Acharon.
The very last word in the Tanya is כו׳, which means “etc.” Why is that the last word? Because like the Torah, we never really finish learning Tanya.
There’s always more insight, more meaning and more relevance to be found on every page.
Indeed, when I asked the men what they would like to learn next, it was a unanimous decision: “we want to learn the Tanya again”.
And B’ezras Hashem, that’s the plan.
Click here to listen to any of Rabbi Lipskier’s 124 classes on the whole Tanya: