Every edition I've seen of Tanya includes a list, in chronological order, of every edition of Tanya ever printed. For each edition, bibliographic information is included: the publisher, the city and year of publication, the exact title as printed on the title page, the format (octavo or the like), and the number of pages.



2 Answers 2


As recollected here this was on specific instruction of the most recent Lubavitcher Rebbe to illustrate the unity of all of the locations where the Tanya was printed.

Shaar Blatt

One of the instructions that the Rebbe gave regarding the printing of the Tanya’s was regarding the Shaar Blatt, the cover page. Every Tanya has as page one, a cover page on which it states the city in which the Tanya was printed.

The Rebbe wanted that in addition to the standard Shaar Blatt which appears in every addition [sic] of Tanya, there should be a special Tanya in which should be included every single Shaar Blatt of all the previous editions that were printed.

The Rebbe explained the reason for this. When Tanya’s are printed all over the world, this serves to unite all the cities which participated in printing Tanya’s. To illustrate this unity, all the Shaarei Blatt of each edition should be collected and bound into one volume.

In 5742-1982 on Yud Aleph Nissan after the Farbrengen the Rebbe handed out to everyone a maroon colored Tanya in which were collected all the Shaarei Blatt of Tanya’s that had been printed up until then. The Rebbe gave out Tanya’s for seven hours, from 12 AM to 7 AM (see Yoman in Yud Aleph Nissan section).


First, some background information:

Allegedly, Israel ben Eliezer Baal Shem wrote a letter to his brother in law wherein he states that on Rosh HaShanah of 5507 (1746), he spiritually ascended to the "Chamber of Moshiach" and has a conversation with the future mashiah. In the course of the conversation, the mashiah supposedly tells him that "When your wellsprings flow to the outside" (i.e. when your teachings are spread throughout the world) then he would come to redeem Israel.

Now, to answer your question:

Essentially, they are "documenting" the supposed fulfillment of the teachings of the Baal Shem Tov being spread throughout the world in the form of the Tanya. I.e. the more places and printings take place, the more the doctrines of Hasidism are spread throughout the world, the closer the coming of mashiah [supposedly] is.

  • Sounds plausible, but do you have any source or proofs for this?
    – HodofHod
    Oct 7, 2013 at 6:14
  • What @HodofHod said; plus, this answer doesn't really answer the question: why are they documenting the fulfillment of this teaching of the Baal Shem Tov?
    – msh210
    Oct 7, 2013 at 8:01
  • Well, why do they feel the need to get a bunch of rabbis to sign proclamations of the supposed meshihuth of Rabbi Schneersohn when it does not actually effect anything in reality? This is along those same lines. They are documenting a self-fulfilling "prophecy." Take the answer or leave it.
    – user3342
    Oct 17, 2013 at 4:14
  • the prophecy is not self-fulfilling. It may be controversial, but not self-fulfilling. Oct 27, 2013 at 21:05
  • Okay, so define the difference between "prophecy" and "self-fulfilled prophecy"
    – user3342
    Oct 27, 2013 at 21:50

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