Thursday, May 25, 2006

"Scorched From The Fire Of Kabbalah And Chassidus"

From Heichal Hanegina:

"Everything that is lofty contains a danger of harming someone if it is misused. In the physical realm, we can see this with fire, which can give light and warmth, but can also destroy whole buildings and even towns. We know that the Chassidic movement was faced with fierce opposition at its outset, led by the Vilna Gaon and others. A few generations later, the author of the "Aruch HaShulchan," R. Yechiel M. Epstein, paid a visit to the Tzemach Tzedek, the third Lubavitcher Rebbe. He noted that the Rebbe was learning Shulchan Aruch with the commentary of the Vilna Gaon.

The Tzemach Tzedek related that he once remarked to his grandfather, the Baal HaTanya that something good came out of the sharp opposition that the Gaon had towards Chassidus, for without that opposition, Chassidus might have retreated from where it was – the Torah could have been "scorched" from the fire of Kabbalah and Chassidus. "The opposition of the Gaon led the leaders of Chassidus to feel without a doubt that the Shulchan Aruch is the yesod of Judaism and not to budge from it. This prevented any mistakes in later generations."

(Shulchan Aruch, Chukei Daas - Sudilkov: 1835)

UPDATE: Related Posting over at Circus Tent: CE: Change Is Good


At May 25, 2006 at 11:23:00 AM EDT, Anonymous A Yid said...

What is the original source of this story?

At May 25, 2006 at 4:25:00 PM EDT, Blogger Tamara said...

What's interesting about all this is that many secular Jews I know view Chasidim as the contemporary version of the Misnagdim - old guard, reactionary, somber, etc.

At May 25, 2006 at 6:07:00 PM EDT, Anonymous A Yid said...

That's because they think that immoral ways are "new", "progressive", and "fun". It can't be compared to conflict between chasidim and misnagdim.

At May 25, 2006 at 9:00:00 PM EDT, Anonymous ilàn said...

i love that storyy


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