"Since no one knows when his appointed time will come, I have decided to arrange matters, to instruct you in how to proceed after the length of my days." When only 27 years old, Reb Shalom DovBer of Lubavitch, penned the above words, addressed to his wife, Rebbetzin Shterna Sara. With this poignant preface, he proceeded painstakingly to compose his ethical will. Born on the 20th day of Cheshvan, in the year 5621 (1860), the fifth Lubavitcher Rebbe, married just shy of his fifteenth birthday. Five years after his marriage, his first and only child was born, the sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak. Most of the ethical will is devoted to the subject and importance of education, and proffers sagacious advice to the reader regarding raising a child at different ages. Discipline, self-restraint, prayer and mazal are also explored at length. All this is written in a terse but vibrant style, interwoven with fascinating quotations. Indeed, R. Shalom DovBer's writing exhibits phenomenal erudition. He draws upon teachings from the Talmud, Midrash, Zohar, and countless commentators. Chanoch Lanaar might well be regarded as the definitive anthology of classic Jewish thought in many areas of education and child rearing. Chanoch Lanaar gives the modern reader a thoughtful perspective on every aspect of education. Parents, educators, and anyone else who wishes to better appreciate the tremendous importance of child raising, will be well rewarded for turning their attention to this monumental work. Included in this volume, by the translator, are a few vignettes dramatizing R. Shalom DovBer's approach to education, as well as comprehensive biographical notes on the numerous authorities cited.
by Rabbi Shalom DovBer Schneersohn
Translated by Rabbi Eliezer Danzinger