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    Yankelberl, thanks for the “Rav” suggestion. It would surely apply to first/last names like “Rav Avigdor Miller”, but not to pen names like “Chofetz Chaim”.

    Chaim Volozhiner seems like an intermediate case, Volozhiner being sort of a nick name. I consulted reb Google, and it seems that appellation is more used than not, so your correction seem to be more correct than not. I also notice that he was also known as _Reb_ Chaim V… Maybe we can follow psak of R Gershon Kamenetsky who puts R for everyone and suggests to read it as Reb/Rav/Rebbe/Gaon Hatzaddik according to reader’s preferences.


    Always, we are not talking about your political preferences, we are talking about da’as Torah. Advising people to move from western Europe to Russia was impractical — you have to know the metzius of the situation.
    And, be’chlal, who could have advised anyone to move to Russia in view of the fact that their army would go into Ukraine in 2022?

    yankel berel

    @ always ask
    You mean
    According to the Sh’A preferences [- meaning the RBSH’O ‘s preferences ……]
    Appellation of R is mandated by Sh”A .
    Not optional .
    Neither to satisfy ‘readers preferences’ .
    No difference whether the towns name is following the first name, or not .
    This is Accepted all over klal yisrael .
    Met someone in shul a few months ago , a very nice guy , a talmid chacham , was discussing some halacha with him and in the middle of the conversation he tells me the following – you know Moshe Feinstein writes about this ….
    Was SHOCKED to hear his name mentioned without appellation…..


    Arso, sorry I didn’t explain myself better (wasn’t sure if necessary) I didn’t mean a friend with a spouse the way you’re describing. I meant it in a visceral sense- if you have an interaction with your spouse that goes wrong, what was your part in it.

    And to analyze this it’s better with a spouse because, once you know each other, they won’t get put off as easily by external things.

    But the way I’m seeing Rashi is that if you approach an interaction with yeshus- it won’t end as well. And if you want to improve, you can easily see it there in those interactions


    Aaq everyone has bechira chofshis and many people did go off in lubavitch as well. However- lubavitch as a whole had the strength to uphold Yiddishkeit under the most adverse conditions. That was the point. Whereas the Alter Rebbe saw 100 years earlier that Chassidus hadn’t yet been given the chance to blossom and ingrain Yiddishkeit to such an extent.

    As to your second post-historical context is everything… what applied then clearly doesn’t apply now bH


    I agree that Davening today is a huge challenge. The Baal HaTanya writes openly in Tanya that davening with kavanna is true mesiras nefesh, and a person should not get down on himself even if he needs to stop and refocus a hundred times. I also, as with everyone else, have trouble living up to what davening SHOULD be ideally. In our generation, we can only try our best. But if we rush through it, we have no chance at all.

    As for the maamarim, please do not get the impression that I have learned every maamar of these three rabbeim. That is a lifetime of work. I envy those people who are capable of writing the notes on these seforim and quoting all sorts of other places in these seforim that a topic is discussed.

    Also, sorry it took me so long to reply. For some reason, the system stopped giving me notifications of follow-up posts.


    CS – I’m impressed that you would consider learning Reb Aharon, as many Lubavitchers would not. If you’re interested, you should know that שערי היחוד ואמונה was recently reprinted but שערי עבודה has not yet been reprinted. I hope that it will come out soon, as the new reprinted volume is a pleasure to learn. You might want to consider picking it up.


    Also, in my previous post, I misstated something. Reb Aharon was not a talmid of the Baal Shem Tov; he was a talmid muvhak of the Baal HaTanya.


    R Aharon is not my derech in Avodas Hashem but iyH when Moshiach comes (ASAP) and I’ll be able to devote all my work time to learning Torah (will I need to teach then as well, or everyone will learn things directly from moshiach (I know we will) without needing an additional teacher? Actually I know we will need additional Yoatzim so maybe teaching will still be a thing.

    Regardless, iyH then, I’ll have more time to devote to learn everything in Torah without forgetting it etc. (ASAP amen.)

    Until then, there’s recently been a project started to learn all the Likutei Sichos over 8 years. And that’s just likkutei sichos, not Toras Menachem, Sefer Hasichos, Sefer HaMaamarim etc. And all that’s just The Rebbes Torah!!

    And there’s so many Rebbeim before that I need to learn things in depth because The Rebbe doesnt elaborate fully in the sichos- I need to look up footnotes. And The Alter Rebbe is the source of Chassidus Chabad, everything links to him ultimately, and were encouraged to learn his maamarim, so basically, practically I don’t have time for sefarim that are not my derech, as I have a wealth to learn from and I get what I need for my Avodas Hashem. In principle though I have no issue studying other sefarim in depth if I had the time. I recently saw that the Maharal wrote a seder on geula. I’d love to learn it too. On my bucket list if I finish and apply what I have on geula already.

    I really would like to learn more Halacha in a regular basis- but I’m glad I started learning Rambam. In the footnotes it says what applies today or not, and regardless it’s good to have a background to know where a shaila may come in (as well as uniting with others).

    But yah. Hilchos shabbos is high on my priority list to review in depth (grey set) BH we have so much to choose from!!!


    Yeah; you can spend a lifetime learning only Lubavitch seforim and still not know it all. It’s pretty incredible.

    You mention learning more Halacha. The Lubavitch shita would seem to be that the ikar should be halacha/nigleh as opposed to chassidus. It’s important to have a balance between nigleh and nistar.


    Yes definitely important to have a balance. I’m telling you- Hashem loves me. I opened my derech Mitzvosecha today and pretty much the whole page was quoting the Maharal.

    I guess some of the hesitancy on learning outside hashkofa sefarim on my own, is that unless I feel I have my own derech down pat (which looks impossible until Moshiach’s coming because there’s always deeper concepts referenced everywhere you learn within Chassidus Chabad, and I can’t even look all that up), I might misapply something learned outside.

    For example, The Rambam writes that Hashem’s essence is sechel (later in life the Rambam learned nistar and apparently said he would have written some things differently if he had known.) the Maharal says that he’s bang on wrong- as Hashem is way beyond any description.

    The Alter Rebbe clarifies that the Rambams description applies from Atzilus and below but not above that.

    So imagine I’d learn the Rambam and mistakenly think that Hashem is just the ultimate Wise one!

    I guess this would be similar to a litvak who has no background in Chassidus opening a sicha to the page where The Rebbe wrote that a Rebbe is Atzmus Umehus etc. With his non knowledge of Chassidus, he would very likely take it the wrong way.

    That’s why I like learning everything from within Chassidus because there’s no misapplications then. And of course because I find everything I need in Avodas Hashem within. Otherwise- I’d keep searching in the sea of Torah:)


    Yankel, we do say Hillel and Shammai, shem is greater than Rav… I think some people feel same way towards rav Moshe?also some people here omit rav in front of names they disagree with, please police them …

    I also witnessed a Rav where he had to introduce himself and a reform clergy person. So, he said: HI, I am Yankel and she is Nancy…
    PS what is sh’a say about capitalizing names of

    yankel berel

    @always ask
    I ‘ll let you in in to a secret . The guy who said Moshe Feinstein [without rav] was a habad hasid .
    Don’t tell me rubbish that he meant it similar to Hillel and Shammai.
    Would he also say Menachem Mendel , like Hillel or Shammai ?
    Or would he say ‘the rebbe’ ?
    So why is R Moshe any different ??
    Sh’A says Lo Yikra Et Rabo BiShmo . And gadol Hador Kmo Rabo Muvhak . You do not call your parent by their first name either .
    Alef Bet.


    CS, Rambam never learnt Kabbola.

    Menachem Shmei


    Rambam never learnt Kabbola.

    The fact that the Rambam learned Kabbala (at least at the end of his lifetime) has been discussed and passed down by all of the Chabad Rabbeim in the name of the Baal Shem Tov.

    Here are some non-Chabad sources:

    The Migdal Oz (student of the Rashba) writes in his peirush to Mishneh Torah (הל’ יסודי התורה פ”א ה”ט) that he found proof that the Rambam learned Kabbala at the end of his life:
    ולדעתי שר”מ ז”ל ידע בהם בסוף ימיו שאני מעיד שראיתי בספרד ארץ מולדתנו כתוב במגלה של קלף ישן מיושן ומעושן לשון זה. אני משה ב”ר מימון כשירדתי לחדרי המרכבה בינותי בענין הקץ וכו’, וקרובים היו דבריו לדברי המקובלים האמיתיים שרמז רבינו הגדול הרמב”ן ז”ל בתחלת פירושו לתורה. גם ראיתי תשובה אחרת ממנו והיה ז”ל מגיד בה שהתחיל לפרש הגדות על דרך נסתר …

    Shomer Emunim (ויכוח ראשון יג – brought also in Avodas Hakodesh) writes that a certain Rav Yaakov traveled to Mitzrayim and taught the Rambam Kabbalah, and the Rambam would praise it to his students:
    גם הרמב”ם בסוף ימיו זכה לקבל זאת החכמה מפי מקובל, כמו שכתב אחד ממפרשי הרמב”ן בפרשת בשלח וזה לשונו ורבי יעקב זה הלך למצרים ומסר הקבל להרמב”ם ז”ל, ולרוב שמחתו בה היה משתבח בה לתלמידיו, אמנם לא זכה לזה עד קרוב לאחרית ימיו כו’

    Abarbanel (נחלת אבות ספ”ג) writes that the Rambam was taught Kabbalah, and the Rambam lamented that if he would have discovered it earlier in life he would have retracted several things that he wrote (!!):
    וגם אני שמעתי שהרב הגדול המימוני כתב באגרת שלו אלו הדברים: ‘בסוף ימי בא אלי אדם אחד ואמר לי דברים של טעם ואלולי שהייתי בסוף ימי ונתפשטו חבורי בעולם הייתי חוזר מדברים רבים שכתבתי בהם’. אין ספק שדברי קבלה היו אשר שמע באחרית ימיו.

    The same idea was written in Seder Hadoros:
    וראיתי בספר אגרת חמודות שחיבר רבי אליהו חיים שכתב: וראיתי איגרות הרמב”ם שכתב מירושלים למצרים לתלמידו, והיה אומר אחרי בואי לארץ הצבי מצאתי זקן שהאיר את עיני בדרכי הקבלה, ואילו ידעתי אז מה שהשגתי עתה, דברים רבים שכתבתי לא הייתי כותבם

    So why, dear mdd, do you state so unequivocally that the Rambam didn’t learn Kabbala?

    P.S. There are indeed other sources that imply (from the Arizal) that the Rambam did NOT learn Kabbalah. There are source both ways.

    The Radziner Rebbe (Rav Yerucham Leiner) once wrote on the topic of the Rambam knowing Kabbalah (הגר”א איש הנגלה והנסתר).
    The Lubavitcher Rebbe wrote him a letter (אגרות קודש י”ח כסלו תש”י – אגרת תקנא) with several he’oros, and among them:
    ג) ע’ 174. שהרמב”ם ידע תורת הקבלה, כעין זה סיפר כ”ק מו”ח אדמו”ר שליט”א שקיבל מרבו (הוא אביו) ורבו מרבו עד הבעש”ט, אז דער רמב”ם איז געווען א גרויסער מקובל (נדפס בספר השיחות-קיץ ש”ת ע’ 41)15. וכבר העירותי שם בשולי הגליון שלכאורה צע”ג ממש”כ בשער הגלגולים להאריז”ל הקדמה לו ובספר הגלגולים בלקוטים, אשר הרמב”ם לא למד חכמת האמת וזה מתאים לשרשו. וציינתי שם לשה”ג לחיד”א וכו’ וכו’.

    There were several other occasions where the Lubavitcher Rebbe commented on this as well.


    Yankel, you mean YD 242:2? And then 244 says that a hoshuve rav is like your teacher. It seems to carve exceptions when not in front of him. Also, this chosid might not have felt that he is bound by R Moshe’s psakim, but rather by his chasidus, so then the logic of YD 244 does not apply.

    See also Kesubos 85b for when Tuvia might or not include Rav Tuvia.

    Again, I am with you in terms of being respectful to Rabonim one disagrees. I do not like especially when this happens b’davka, ie using multiple titles for rabbis from your side and mr or dr for those one disagrees with. But I don’t think occasionally omitting titles of well known Rabbis or those who have pen names is a bog deal. For example,we say Chofetz Chaim, not Rabbi Yisroel Kagan.


    CS, Calling books that are not from your Rebbe “outside” is unfortunate, despite all your best intentions. Maybe you need to davka learn them? The precedent is Beis Hillel that were accepted _because_ they would quote B Shammai before their own. And it goes without saying that they knew each other’s opinions as they were able to marry each other, warning of potential mamzerim that are by other opinions.


    Menachem…, I wrote what I did because it is accepted by Klal Yisroel – from the Litvishe to Sefardi Mekubalim that Rambam did not learn Kabbolah. Arizal said so (!!), Arizal (!!). I mean which bigger source would Chabad want?
    Your sources to the contrary do not appear to be strong. And the Besht argued with the Arizal?!?!


    mdd: “Your sources to the contrary do not appear to be strong. And the Besht argued with the Arizal?!?!”

    Menachem can throw back the same question upon you: You are arguing with the Abarbanel, with Seder Hadoros, with the Shomer Emunim, with the Migdal Oz, et al. (?!?!)


    Ujm, you do not realize the unbelievable chashivus ascribed by Chabad to the statements of Arizal.

    Menachem Shmei


    you do not realize the unbelievable chashivus ascribed by Chabad to the statements of Arizal.

    You’re not the first one who asked this strong question.

    In the letter of the Rebbe that I quoted above, he writes: צריך עיון גדול

    Indeed, this is a great question.

    In a later letter (אגרות קודש טז שבט תשכ”ב – אגרת ח’שלב), the Rebbe points out a possible way to solve the argument: The difference between the Rambam and Ramban (that the Arizal meant) is that the Ramban studied Kabbalah during the main part of his life, because this was connected to his שרש הנשמה.
    Whereas, the Rambam only studied at the end of his life, as it’s possible that it was בבחינת עיבור (neshoma stuff – I don’t understand exactly).

    it is accepted by Klal Yisroel – from the Litvishe to Sefardi Mekubalim that Rambam did not learn Kabbolah

    Were the Shomer Emunim and Avodas Hakodesh not great mekubalim?

    Is the Migdal Oz not an accepted peirush on the Rambam?

    And the Abarbanel?


    Menachem…, I did not mean every single mechaber. I meant generally speaking.


    Mdd if I was obligated in the Mitzvah of Talmud Torah I would definitely make the time to have a balanced seder with a good chevrusa at least twice daily etc:)


    Just so you know though, I learn many other sefarim through Chassidus. It quotes from all over Torah. I’ve probably learned pieces of sefarim that you haven’t:)


    Finally mdd I’ll leave you with a question, do you
    learn daily a balanced seder of nigle and nistar (as appropriate) sefarim?


    Cs, outside of chabad, you will not find rabbonim teaching to have a balanced seder of nigleh and nistar. Even in shu”a harav, the baal hatanya does not say that in hilchos talmud torah.

    Chaz say that only one who is a full fledged talmid chacham will uave to answer in shomayim for not learning maysoh merkava; we are not commanded to learn nistar until we are experts in nigleh.

    Chasidus, much like a mussar seder, is for 30 minutes to an hour at most during a 12 hour a day learning schedule.

    Neo-chabad spending so much time on chasidus is part of why they have veered from mesoras hachasidus.


    CS, I do not know why you decided to address me with these questions.
    As far learning Kabbolah goes, it is okay to do it only for a few select indivduals in Klal Yisroel. Mishna in Hagigah says: “we are not to give over sisrei Torah but only to a wise one who understadns on his own…”. There are other mekoros, and that is the mesorah of the Ashkenaz Jewry. One of the main reasons is the possibility of coming out with a terribly wrong pshat.
    I personally have knowledge of Nistar on an introductory level.

    yankel berel

    Ayen Darke Moshe Hearuch OC 472:3 in name of Terumat Hadeshen and mechaber hilchot kvod rabo [YD] ,re status of gadol hador / chacham muflag , that they are like rabo muvhak .
    R moshe is accepted as qualifying for the above , so the appellation of Reb / or rabbi / or rav , is mandatory in his case, not voluntary, nor depending on readers preference.
    seems to me , based on my experience at least , that in all circles in klal yisrael [from satmar to mizrachi , from hasid to mitnaged , from sefaradi to ashkenazi] , whether they agree on a specific issue or not , this appellation is universally employed.
    Besides for one circle ….


    All of Chassidus is based on kaballah. It is applied Kaballah. It is OK to learn nistar nowadays; in fact, it’s a chiyuv on everyone to learn all parts of the Torah that he is able to. There are many mekubalim, including non-chassidim, who have written this.

    Without chassidus/kaballah, it is virtually impossible in today’s generation to maintain a true connection with Hashem.

    Don’t pin kaballah on Chabad, although their chassidus is much closer to open kaballah than others’. It’s a chassidh/misnagdish thing, and the misnagdim will not come out on top of this.


    Emunas Lakewood is doing quite well today. Though there aren’t really misnagdim today. But you’re implying that anyone who doesn’t blindly follow subtle messianism is a misnaged.


    Emunas, can you please explain why the shu”a harav does not say to have a “balanced” seder of nigleh and nistar, with hours of chasidus as is done in neo chabad?


    And there’s only one group as far as i know which advocates for hours to be spent on chasidus, and that’s neo chabad


    Emunas, that is the shitah of Chabad and Mekubalim, and it is a chiddush. Look what I wrote to CS. Even a statement from Arizal about everybody learning Kabbola can not help against the chashash of the stumbling block. The Shabbtai Zvi and Ya’akov Frank sects and Chabad are primary examples of this concern being fullfilled.


    Emunas: “in fact, it’s a chiyuv on everyone to learn all parts of the Torah that he is able to. There are many mekubalim, including non-chassidim, who have written this.”

    So it’s the mekubalim who hold one should learn Kabbalah. What a surprise!

    Where I come from, and hang around, learning Kabbalah as a limud is virtually non-existent for those who don’t have Shas and Poskim “in their pockets”. I believe it is because of the inherent dangers of someone whose mind is not fully attuned to Torah when he comes face to face with esoteric concepts in depth. It can lead to hagshama, and, as I have posted elsewhere, I believe that that is where many Lubavichers have fallen prey.

    “Without chassidus/kaballah, it is virtually impossible in today’s generation to maintain a true connection with Hashem.”

    What a terrible sweeping claim. Every Shomer Torah uMitzvos can, on his level, have a true connection with Hashem. Although I am of the chassidishe velt, and I am certainly not enamored of the Litvishe velt (sorry to all the Litvishe out there), I certainly believe that there are multitudes of Litvaks who never learn chassidus/Kabalah and who have a true connection to Hashem.


    Lakewhut to Emunas: “you’re implying that anyone who doesn’t blindly follow subtle messianism is a misnaged.”

    SUBTLE messianism? There ain’t nothing subtle about it!


    Avira> Chasidus, much like a mussar seder, is for 30 minutes to an hour

    Maybe we shouldn’t mix these together? True they historically came in response to a perceived disconnect between traditional elite learning and every person’s need to deal modernity, the actual effect is through different pathways. The first approach has the dangers we are discussing here of being swept up by esoteric concepts skipping the basics, while mussar is grounding a person with work on his middos. The only danger here is like R Naftoli Amsterdam who was dressing like a shlepper disregarding his wife’s wishes


    Yankel, I agree, but if a specific community doesn’t follow a posek respected by others, we can’t force them without Sanhedrin or even a city beis din… in my area, beis din consists of excellent talmidei chachamim, but they are slightly personally moderni, not in halochos, but in outlook. As far as I know, black hat community, of which rabonim are a part of, do not use this beis din …


    And more to whether r Moshe is universally accepted:
    I don’t think his psak counts in Israel;
    Not that everyone respects every opinion r Moshe had.. he had respectful relationship with r Soloveitchik and I think, lubavitch Rebbe also, didn’t stop anyone from having different opinion .

    People feel free to disrespect r Moshe’s SIL, despite r Moshe doing the shidduch

    I am not trying to question r Moshe’s stature, just trying to have a realistic picture of what statute is there in modern world


    ARSo: I agree with you regarding the dangers of Hagshamah. For the most part, chassidus solves this problem by clothing the kaballah in language that is not dangerous. The Baal haTanya was generally very carefull how he worded things. Of course, the second and third rebbes of lubavitch are much more in depth than the first, and assume a lot of kaballah knowledge, but the average modern-day lubavitcher probably doesn’t learn these deep maamarim. I am willing to be דן לכף זכות for most modern-day lubavitchers in this matter, even though I have no love for the direction of modern-day lubavitch.

    Regarding your second point, I stand corrected. You are right. Although I did not intend for the statement I made to mean what you took from it, after rereading it I definitely understand that I should have worded it more carefully. There are שבעים פנים לתורה. I am sorry.


    lakewhut: I am at a loss as to how you understood that I am a meshichist in any way, since I have openly stated in earlier posts in this very thread that the idea that the Rebbe is moshiach after he dies borders on apikorsus.

    Let me be clear: There is absolutely nothing anywhere in chassidus that states that your rebbe has to be THE biggest godol hador in the world, and certainly not that he has to be moshiach. Moshiach cannot be someone who has already died.


    OK, sure.

    The Baal HaTanya explains that when you do a mitzvah in the physical world, you are taking something which is part of the kelipos (k’klipas nogah) and elevating it to Kedushah. On a simple level, this is because this item appears (to us) as separate and distinct from HKB”H, and it can be used for any matter of things which is not for Avodas Hashem. By using it for Avodas Hashem, that item is raised to Kedushah. The mitzvos, in general, are rooted at a higher level in the סדר השתלשלות than לימוד התורה.

    Nevertheless, the mitzvos are compared to a levush for your neshama, and learning Torah is compared to מזון for your neshama. מזון goes to the inside, into the פנימיות, while the mitzvos, even though they are rooted in a higher place, only go to the חיצוניות of the neshama. [As with many things in Chassidus and Kaballah, you will find over and over again that it is wrong to ask the question, “which is on a higher level of kedushah?” Generally speaking, each has a מעלה that the other does not have].

    The יסוד of limud hatorah going into the פנימיות of your neshama is based on the idea that it is the פירוש of the mitzvos (i.e. the peirush is the פנימיות). This is discussed at length in Torah Or and other places. A good starting point would be תורה אור ד”ה יביאו לבוש מלכות.

    Anyway, this reasoning is not relevant to קבלה in the same way as nigleh. on a deep level, kaballah is meant to add a neshama to your avodas Hashem, not to explain the mitzvos. As a result, Reb. Aharon Strusele explains in his seforim that I discussed above that the idea that Torah is מזון לנשמה only applies to nigleh, not his seforim. As a result, he specifies that the main limud should be nigleh, not nistar.

    I hope that this was somewhat understandable in the way I explained it.

    That being said, different people have different שרשי הנשמה and as a result, they have different חלקים in Torah. I myself can DEFINITELY relate to Chabad’s desire to spend the day learning Chassidus, as this brings one extremely close to Hashem in a different way than regular limud torah. That’s why I said earlier that everybody needs to find a balance for himself. Even a person whose שרש הנשמה requires more chassidus and/or kaballah still needs to learn nigleh. And I definitely disagree with a blanket rule that one should only learn it for a half an hour a day.

    One Rav who I am close to, who was the first person I learned שער היחוד ואמונה with, suggested that perhaps 2/3 nigleh and 1/3 nistar, and this has always felt like a good balance to me.

    yankel berel

    The issue is NOT whether R Moshe’s psakim are universally accepted or not.
    The issue is whether he is universally RESPECTED .
    Whether he should be mentioned as Moshe Feinstein or rather [as should be] R Moshe Feinstein .
    That was the topic under discussion .
    My point is that UNIVERSALLY he is quoted with respect , as R Moshe .
    As opposed to Moshe.
    And that this respect is MANDATORY , not voluntary .
    Not depending on readers preference .
    Not depending on expediency . .
    And that ONLY in one specific circle that respect is not there .
    For a reason .
    Which happens to be the main bone of contention between them and all the rest of klal yisrael.


    the previous lubavitcher rebbe said, (not quoting exactly) although there is no measurement, but earlier chassidim said when they leaned a maamer 10-15 times, then contemplated on it 20-30 times, they felt a chayus penimi.
    point it chassidus chabad needs to be learned in depth and contemplated many times to see the results.


    Emunas, you and your Rabbi might feel like 2/3 1/3 is a good balance, but you’ve yet to address the simple fact that halacha disagrees with your feelings. The shulchan aruch harav, who os considered the “baal shmatsa,” or preeminent authority on hilchos talmud torah in even the yeshiva world, rules what one must learn, and chasidus/kabalah is NOT on the menu for people who are not experts in shas and poskim in terms of obligations. If you’re a man, you need to spend as much time as you have on shas and poskim, and learn chasidus for no more than an hour or so, if it’s for mussar, if it’s for yedios, then it has to be without a seder, which the taz rules in OC 307; more would be bitul Torah.

    And if you’re a woman, well…if a woman can’t learn gemara, I can’t fathom how she’d be allowed to learn kabalah.


    The simple fact is, there are dozens, hundreds of gedolim that disagree with you. How dare you dismiss something you don’t agree with as against halacha when so many gedolim who know much more than you have said differently. I see there’s no talking to you so I’m done.


    Emunas, who are these hundreds of Gedolim?


    Emunas, which gedolim disagree with the halacha outlined in shulchan aruch, nosei keilim and shulchan aruch harav?

    I’m not dismissing what gedolim say – please tell me which gedolim said to ignore what the poskim say and learn chasidus for hours upon hours a day.

    If such questions make you uncomfortable, to the point where you do not wish to speak with someone who casts doubts on your feelings-based halachik decisions, maybe that should tell you something about how secure you are in said beliefs? When someone asks me to justify a yeshiva custom, I don’t feel threatened, i simply answer the question and give the relevant sources; if i don’t know the sources, I’ll say that, but i am secure enough in my mesorah to speak with people who are coming from a different perspective.


    The shu”a harav clearly lays out how to learn; tanach, shas and poskim all day and night until you know everything clearly; and he says you should learn sifrei mussar based on medrashim and kabalah, but spending hours on mussar was unthinkable


    Since you’re not asking a question, but giving me a lecture, I don’t really feel like you’d take any answer seriously. Nevertheless, i will respond. Comparing mussar to chassidus, and especially to kaballah is fundamentally flawed. Chassidus is not a replacement for mussar, and learning mussar does not patter you from learning kaballah.

    The Baal HaTanya says that as the generations have gone on, people need additional things to maintain a kesher with Hashem. He says this is the reason that the earlier tannaim sometimes davened very quickly, a portion of shema and that was it, while for us, we need pesukei d’zimra and all of the tefillah to do a proper hisbonenus and maintain a kesher with Hashem. As the generations have fallen further, it is completely understandable that people would need to learn more chassidus and kaballah simply to maintain a kesher with Hashem that the earlier generations (and you, obviously) take for granted.

    the Arizal already stated that the main avodah in our generation is tefillah, more so than Torah, even though talmud torah k’neged kulam. This is the reason. All the more so in our generation, where we have fallen to the depths of the kelipos, that without learning nistar, we are at even more of a disadvantage against the kelipos and tumah.

    Now as for the gedolim question, as I have already said, the gedolei hamekubalim are of one mind that the kaballah was passed on from R. Shimon Bar Yochai, elucidated by the Arizal (and decoded by the Baal Shem Tov) specifically for our generation. If you want a brief overview of the topic, check out R. Daniel Frisch (the baal masok mi’dvash) sefer shaarei zohar which gives a brief but compelling summary of the topic.

    As for your quotes from Shulchan Aruch HaRav, that sefer was written much earlier in the Baal HaTanya’s life, and includes significant differences between what he held at the end of his life. I am not saying that the Baal haTanya would say that people should spend all day learning chassidus; he would not. I’m just saying that you cannot bring a definitive proof from this.

    Now, if you want to ask an honest question, let me know. But please stop lecturing and calling me a halacha-breaker.


    Emunas, here’s the question – which gedolim say to spend a substantial amount of time on chasidus when one is not a massive talmid chacham, against the psak of your very own posek achriti – please name a posek, not statements in the kisvei Arizal (which the baal hatanya was well aware of) or a contemporary mekubal – a posek, someone like rav landau in bnei brak, who is Lubavitch, for instance.

    You can’t, because they don’t exist.

    And this is the first time I’ve ever seen a Lubavitcher take the heiligeh words of the baal hatanya and say that they don’t apply in halacha! Ths shu”a harav IS Lubavitch halacha, not only in chabad but in chassidishe circles everywhere, and even in litvishe circles, his shitos are taken very seriously, as the mishnah beruruah quotes him extensively.

    Truly amazing. Did the Lubavitcher poskim who followed the baal hatanya, such as the tzemach tzedek, ever make this distinction between the shu”a harav and what the baal hatanya held “later in life”? Or is this just your own pretzel of an answer of how to get around a glaring, huge hole in your ideology – the rosh verishon of chabad did not hold of learning chasidus for hours a day, and that’s that.

    There’s no “chiyuv” in halacha to learn kabalah until one masters shas and poskim. Many Achronim recommended learning it for yiras shomayim,and it’s true that the Arizal held that generations in our time need it – but how much do they need it? He never said to spend hours on it before one masters shas. Ever.

    And what he meant about tefilah being “ikar” has been discussed at length in the past; it’s a gross misrepresentation, besides the fact that no poskim take it that way in halacha, as talmud torah’s status in haladha vis a vis other mitzvos does not change, because halacha doesn’t change. We’re not reform. Again, the shu “a harav quotes talmud torah kneged kulam word for word from the rambam, that there’s no mitzvah even among the “keneged kulams” that is equal to Torah. And the shu”a harav knew the Arizal plenty more than we do.

    Not only that, but in tanya perek 5 and 25 he goes through the importance of Torah, and doesn’t say it’s any less “nowadays”.

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