A Talmudic exegesis by the Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson. Adapted from two siyumim delivered by the Rebbe (on tractates Makkot and Yoma), Of Tears and Laughter focuses on two moving Talmudic stories that occurred in the aftermath of the destruction of the second Beit Hamikdash.
With his unique, holistic approach to Torah study, the Rebbe explores the positions taken by the leading Sages of that time, and examines their lives and teachings. With a spotlight on Rabbi Akiva and his response, the Rebbe searches the Talmud for laws taught by Rabbi Akiva, his life's story, and allusions to the composition of his very soul, to provide a comprehensive and insightful reasoning for Rabbi Akiva's optimism. In the final analysis, the Rebbe provides a breathtaking mosaic of the leaders of the Jewish people in the post-second Beit Hamikdash era.