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There are stories of Rabbis who have composed works only later to burn or otherwise willfully destroy them (Rabbi Nachman and The Kotzker Rebbi come to mind). I would understand if they had these works buried as sheimos, but what gives them the right to actually burn divrei torah?

Rebbi Nachman - Sefer HaNisraf

The Kotzker (Actually the Chiddushei HaRim)

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Can you cite these stories? –  Double AA May 21 '12 at 21:19
The Alter Rebbe also burned his sefer shel tzaddikim. Another story is that he had it bound on both sides so no one could open it. –  user1292 May 21 '12 at 22:24
@mochinrechavim I thought it was burned in one of the relatively common "city fires" that took place then? –  Shmuel Brin May 22 '12 at 1:17
@mochinrechavim There is a famous story how after it got burned, the Alter Rebbe asked the Mitteler Rebbe if he ever looked at it. When he replied in the negative (since there was a Cherem of Rabbeinu Gershon on reading it), the Alter Rebbe said "What about Mesirus Nefesh for Torah"? –  Shmuel Brin May 22 '12 at 1:21
@msh210 see books.google.com/… –  Shmuel Brin May 22 '12 at 17:22

1 Answer 1

You are wrong. It is forbidden to burn a holy books, and no Rabbis do that

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Chani poz, welcome to the site, and thanks for your answer, which would be much improved if you could cite a source for your claim that no rabbi burns holy books, or at least for your two (implied) claims that it's forbidden to burn holy books and that any book written by a holy man is a holy book. I hope you stick around and enjoy the site. –  msh210 May 21 '12 at 21:28
Chani, please back up your assertions, as @msh210 suggested. Also, please bear in mind that if someone (especially a Rav) is burning books, he presumably does not consider it to be holy. RaMBa"M's books were burned by the rabbis of his time, for example. –  Seth J May 21 '12 at 21:37
@SethJ Rabbi's burning their books for fear that their holy writing would not be used properly are not the same as Rabbi's publicly burning another Rabbi's work that they consider hersy which is the case with the Rambam's seforim. –  user1292 May 21 '12 at 22:23
@mochin the former is not spelled out in the question or this answer. –  Seth J May 21 '12 at 22:33
@mochin the question does not specify why the rabbis burned their own books. But, yes, this answer is not successfully addressing the question, nor is it reflective of historical fact. –  Seth J May 21 '12 at 22:52

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