Toras Chaim (Chabad)

Toras Chaim

Toras Chaim, 1826 edition, Kapust
Author Rabbi Dovber Schneuri, the second Chabad Rebbe
  • Kapust, 1826 (first edition)[1]
  • Warsaw, 1866[2]
  • Kehot Publication Society, Shanghai, 1946
  • Kehot Publication Society, Brooklyn, NY, 1975, 1993, 2004
Pages 1,812 (current hardcover edition)
ISBN 0-8266-5588-2

Toras Chaim (Hebrew: תורת חיים) is a two volume work of Hasidic discourses on the books of Genesis and Exodus by the second Chabad Rebbe, Rabbi Dovber Schneuri.[1][3] The work is arranged in a similar fashion as Likutei Torah/Torah Or, a fundamental work on Chabad philosophy authored by Rabbi Dovber's father, Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi, the founder of the Chabad movement. Both works are arranged according to the weekly Torah portion.

The treatises in Toras Chaim are noted for their length and complexity, as well as their elucidation of concepts discussed in Likutei Torah/Torah Or.[4]



Elucidation of Tanya and Torah Or

The seventh Chabad Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, recommended the study of Torah Or and Toras Chaim after one completed the study of Tanya, the central text of Chabad philosophy. Rabbi Schneerson explained that Torah Or expanded on the ideas in Tanya, however, through studying Toras Chaim these concepts would be fully elucidated.[4]

Published editions

Toras Chaim was published slowly over the course of many years. The various editions slowly expanded the multi-volume work until it had included Hasidic treatises covering the first two books of the Bible, Genesis and Exodus.


The first printing of Toras Chaim occurred during Rabbi Dovber's lifetime; it was printed in Kapust, 1826.[1] The Kapust edition contained Hasidic treatises covering just the first half of the book of Genesis.[7]


1866, Warsaw edition

The next edition of Toras Chaim was published in Warsaw, in 1866. The edition was published by Rafael Mordechai Schneerson, the great-nephew of Rabbi Dovber Schneuri, together with Schneur Schneerson, a grandson of Rabbi Dovber. This edition included treatises covering the second half of the book of Genesis.[7]


In 1946, the Chabad yeshiva in Shanghai and the central Chabad publishing house, Kehot Publication Society, republished the Warsaw edition of Toras Chaim. Additionally, a series of unpublished Hasidic treatises by Rabbi Dovber covering the book of Exodus were included in a separate second volume. The edition was published. The second volume was never typeset. Instead, those treatises remained a photocopy of the original handwritten transcripts.[7][8]


The central Chabad publishing house in Brooklyn, Kehot Publication Society, republished Toras Chaim in 1974,[9] 1993[8] and 2004. The 2004 edition is a 1,812 page, three volume set; the Exodus treatises have been typeset and all treatises include extensive footnotes and annotations.[10]

See also


  1. 1 2 3 The Mittler Rebbe. Accessed April 5, 2014.
  2. Miller, Chaim. Maimonides: 13 Principles. Kol Menachem Press. Accessed April 5, 2014.
  3. Kabbala and Chassidism. Accessed April 4, 2014.
  4. 1 2 Schneerson, Menachem Mendel. Igros Kodesh Vol. 19. Kehot Publication Society. Brooklyn: New York. p. 55.
  5. Schneerson, Menachem Mendel. Lechaim Dodi: 5714. Accessed July 9, 2014.
  6. Schneuri, Dovber. "V'Eleh Toldos." Chapt. 12. Toras Chaim, Vol. 1. Kehot Publication Society. Brooklyn: New York. (1975).
  7. 1 2 3 Schneerson, Rafael Mordechai. "The Publication of Toras Chaim of the Mitteler Rebbe." Oholei Shem 4:7. Machon Oholei Shem - Lubavitch. Kfar Chabad: Israel. (1992): pp. 73-74.
  8. 1 2 "Editor's preface." Toras Chaim. Kehot Publication Society. 1993.
  9. Catalog of Copyright Entries. Third Series: 1975: January-June. Library of Congress. Copyright Office. 1976.
  10. Kehot Book Page. Kehot Publication Society. Accessed April 7, 2014.
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