1

Is it just his opinion? Cause it is kinda depressing.

From "Lessons in Tanya":

As true definitive terms, tzaddik and rasha describe the quality of the good or evil in one’s soul. Viewed in this perspective the person described above is classified as a rasha even after he repents and is pardoned, for he still retains his predisposition toward sin, and his animal soul still tends to dominate him.

This catagorization puts many fellow Jews I know in the Rasha catagory. And the fact that any mitzvah you do goes to Kelipah... So doing mitzvos will not hasten the redemption.

And Why does Chabad do mitzvos with non-religious people? (Rishoi'm?) These mitzvos are just strengthening Kelipah!

http://www.sichos-in-english.org/books/letters-rebbe-1/25.htm:

On the contrary, through their observance of the Torah and its mitzvos, they are temporarily adding power to the kelipos, as the Alter Rebbe rules in Hilchos Talmud Torah 4:3. See also Iggeres HaTeshuvah, ch. 6, and Kuntres U'Mayon, maamar 7.

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    אל תהיה רשע בפני עצמך, מסכת אבות. The baal hatanya isn't against the mishna – kouty Nov 16 '17 at 10:35
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    "And the fact that any mitzvah you do goes to Kelipah... So doing mitzvos will not hasten the redemption" - what part of Tanya did you get that from? – Yishai Nov 16 '17 at 14:27
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    @YaacovDeane Tanya says the Benoni is the capability of the average (Benoni) person. Not that most people are currently benonim. – mroll Nov 16 '17 at 21:47
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    Notably, R. Meir Mazuz Shlita writes here that the Tanya's views on this topic are for very lofty people, and encourages one to instead study Rambam's Hilkhot Teshuva. – mevaqesh Nov 16 '17 at 22:53
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    Having studied both, in some ways the Rambam's Hilchos Teshuva is harsher than Tanya. – Yishai Nov 16 '17 at 23:57
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It sounds to me that the reason you are getting upset about putting most Jews into the catagoty of "rasha" is that you associate that term with evil people (pick your favorite, hitler, stalin..,).

What the alter rebbe is doing is redefining the word rasha. So that instead of talking about actions it talks about a persons inner state. (See first perek of Tanya right in the beginning)

The Tanya isn't saying that people who are called a rasha are vile, that's a association we make. To give a terrible allegory. The words meat and meet sound exactly the same but have different meanings. That is how the word rasha should be treated. The Tanya uses the same word we use to mean truly evil people, but means something totally different.

  • On the one hand the Tanya say: אל תהיה רשע בפני עצמך. On the other hand he goes on to qualify most average people as a Rasha. How do you reconcile that? – larry909 Nov 16 '17 at 22:03
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    @larry909, First off, that's the Tanya quoting the Mishna. Second, that's literally the question that the Tanya is asking. How do we reconcile not considering oneself a rasha with the fact that there are all these places in Chazal that say that someone who does the slightest misdeed is a rasha? To be honest, all these questions seem to be because you only read the first chapter, which only asks the questions. The answers are further in! – HodofHod Nov 16 '17 at 22:21
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    exactly the rasha being spoken about in the tanya isn't a bad person but a weak person – Laser123 Feb 2 '18 at 0:52
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This catagorization puts many fellow Jews I know in the Rasha catagory.

Including most of those who study Tanya. And that's ok. Because you can become a beinoni in the very next moment. Teshuva is a real thing. To quote from Chapter 11:

[...] whenever one commits even a minor transgression in thought, speech or action, he is called rasha, wicked, at that time;

Afterwards, [...] the good that is in his divine soul asserts itself, and he is filled with remorse over his transgression in thought, word or action; he will seek pardon and forgiveness of G‑d for his transgression, and [...] G‑d will indeed forgive him.

In fact, the Lubavitcher Rebbe comments there (same link), that as soon as he repents, he is considered "perfectly righteous" in terms of his judgement by G-d.

And the fact that any mitzvah you do goes to Kelipah... So doing mitzvos will not hasten the redemption.

Huh? Certainly not!

And Why does Chabad do mitzvos with non-religious people? (Rishoi'm?) These mitzvos are just strengthening Kelipah!

Because even if we considered them reshoim (like us), (which isn't true at all, since basically all have the status of tinokos shenishbu), their mitzvos still have value, and connect them with G-d, the same as every other Jew who has transgressed.

A rasha is neither irredeemable, nor incapable of good, and most of us will be one at one time or another.

  • "On the contrary, through their observance of the Torah and its mitzvos, they are temporarily adding power to the kelipos, as the Alter Rebbe rules in Hilchos Talmud Torah 4:3. See also Iggeres HaTeshuvah, ch. 6, and Kuntres U'Mayon, maamar 7." [sichos-in-english.org/books/letters-rebbe-1/25.htm] – larry909 Nov 20 '17 at 11:11
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In accordance with the opening line of the OP, “Is it just his opinion?” I’d like to provide another opinion on the definition of a Rasha, which is probably even more depressing. The following is a quote from Rambam, Hilchos Teshuvah 3:1, translated by Sefaria and parts bolded by me:

כָּל אֶחָד וְאֶחָד מִבְּנֵי הָאָדָם יֵשׁ לוֹ זְכֻיּוֹת וַעֲוֹנוֹת. מִי שֶׁזְּכֻיּוֹתָיו יְתֵרוֹת עַל עֲוֹנוֹתָיו צַדִּיק. וּמִי שֶׁעֲוֹנוֹתָיו יְתֵרוֹת עַל זְכֻיּוֹתָיו רָשָׁע. מֶחֱצָה לְמֶחֱצָה בֵּינוֹנִי.

Each and every one of the sons of man has virtues and vices. He whose virtues exceed his vices is a just man, and he whose vices exceed his virtues is an evildoer; if both are evenly balanced, he is mediocre.

At the end of §2 he notes that only Hashem knows how much each sin is worth and how much each merit is worth, but if one’s sins’ total worth is even one “point” more than that of his merits, he’s labeled a Rasha.

It gets worse, as according to the Rambam, at the beginning of §2, anyone who is a Rasha will die (which the Raavad explains to mean die early, not necessarily immediately).

Does the Tanya sound better to you yet?

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