The Power of Chitas

It was in the beginning of the year 5617 (1856), that my great grandfather, the Tzemach Tzedek, sent his son my grandfather, the future Rebbe Maharash, on a
mission to Petersburg to handle affairs that would benefit the greater public.

Just before the Rebbe Maharash left for his journey, the Tzemach Tzedek related to him: In the year 5603 (1843), when I was summoned to participate in a rabbinical conference that was to take place in Petersburg, I visited the gravesite of my righteous mother (Rebbetzin Devorah Leah) in Liozna. She told me (in a vision) that because of her self-sacrifice on behalf of the Chassidim and (the continuation of) Chassidus she merited to enter the (heavenly) chamber of the Baal Shem Tov in order to invoke mercy for my success.

She asked the Baal Shem Tov to provide her with some segulah (spiritual remedy) for me, that I will be able to stand firm, with G-d’s help, against those who oppose the ways of Chassidus. And the Baal Shem Tov answered: “Your son is after all erudite in the Five Books of the Torah (Chumash), in Psalms (Tehillim) and in Tanya; knowing every single letter by heart. And the verse says, ‘And the terror of G-d was [upon the cities].…’ The Hebrew word for ‘terror’ is “Chitas” (ches, tov, sov), which is an acronym for Chumash, Tehillim, Tanya. And one who is erudite in their letters eradicates all challenges and concealments.”

Wherever you will be – the Tzemach Tzedek continued his instruction to the Rebbe Maharash – whether in government offices or visiting government ministers, you should recite a parshah of Chumash, a chapter of Tehillim and a chapter of Tanya.

The Rebbe Maharash told his son, my father the Rebbe Rashab: “How do you imagine it worked out? It was a precious recipe! Through the first three parshiyos of Chumash, three chapters of Psalms and three chapters of Tanya, all the proposals of the Maskilim (‘enlightened’ secular Jews) were shattered. And the Children of Israel, together with their holy Torah, emerged victorious, while the chief of the Maskilim fled the country out of shame and fear, for he has caused the government major monetary loss due to the books the government has paid to be printed (and would now not be used).”

My father [the Rebbe Rashab] told me: “Great are (advice of) Tzaddikim. During the fifty years from 5617 till now, a chapter of Tanya not only shatters the challenges and concealments, but it also reveals the highest Divine revelations, by revealing the realm that is an ‘essential concealment’ of G-d (He’elem Ha’atzmi), into spiritual and physical blessings.”

Kitzurim V’Heoros L’Sefer Likutei Amarim p. 127