I heard from some people that the Vilna Goyn wrote a letter saying that if one doesn't learn Zoyhar, he shouldn't render decisions about Jewish law; where can we look to find this letter?

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    I have my doubts he wrote such a thing. What about the Rishonim that didn't see the Zohar, who made halachic rulings?
    – robev
    Commented Feb 22, 2021 at 20:00
  • @robev ya that's why I wanted to find the original source of the letter, to see all of the qualifications, it could be he didn't say zohar explicitly, maybe he only said the deeper meanings of torah, maybe he only said in some cases etc., I have heard from a few different people on multiple occasions that some kind of response exists, but again I don't know the original source so all of the details could be clarified there Commented Feb 22, 2021 at 20:18
  • The Gr"a never said that. You may be referring to a different comment attributed to the Gra that if someone thinks there is a stirah between nistar and nigleh then he probably does not understand either.
    – The GRAPKE
    Commented Feb 22, 2021 at 22:48
  • @TheGRAPKE hmm interesting I haven't heard that before, but its possible, but I think this is different, I've heard people quote a letter from the Rebbe that mentions that the g"ra said [something along the lines of] someone who doesn't learn the deeper parts of Torah [and don't know exactly what that means, if only zohar, or kabbalah etc., which is why I Want to see the source], then he shouldn't pawskin halacha, I've personally heard it from at least 2 people, although I didn't ask them at the time where they heard it, I want to find the original source to see the context Commented Feb 22, 2021 at 22:51
  • 6
    @bluejayke Please don't edit a post to make it less readable.
    – Isaac Moses
    Commented Jun 3, 2021 at 20:51

2 Answers 2



I found a lead, in a sicha from toldos, 5728, section 14, note 109, it gives a references to igeres hakodesh of the Rebbe volume 23 page 57 (don't have it with me at the moment)

The language in the sicha is: "The Gra himself, in his commentary to Mishley, brings that it's forbidden for one to make a psak din in nigleh, if he doesn't know the inner dimension of Torah" (free translation of a translation (originally from Yiddish, I'm reading the Hebrew translation, and now translating from that translation to English), but you get what you pay for)

The letter mentions various references to verses in Mishley where the Gra mentioned this concept, one would have to look them all up to get a clear picture of what's happening, here are the references to Mishlei mentioned in the letter by chapter and verse:

5:18, 7:12, 4:22, "and mainly" 20:9

Then it mentions also his explanation to "Heichalos" to parshas pikudei, 17

As well as Tikunei Zohar 107:3, then it adds in bold letters "and more, in many places"

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    I can't find your sicha (what volume is it in?), but here is the igeres. It says that for matters of פנימיות you should ask someone who studies such matters, and for matters of איסור והיתר you should ask someone who studies such matters, etc. Does it say that you need to study פנימיות to give a פסק in איסור והיתר?
    – magicker72
    Commented Nov 11, 2021 at 0:05
  • chabadlibrarybooks.com/…
    – wfb
    Commented Nov 11, 2021 at 0:57
  • Welcome to MiYodeya and thanks for this first answer. Great to have you learn with us!
    – mbloch
    Commented Nov 11, 2021 at 4:11
  • @magicker72 hi, saw the letter after it was referenced by wfb, yeah basically i think the note 109 , which is written by some later people, were mainly referencing the letter because it gives the different sources of the gra's commentary to Mishley, the letter itself though isn't so clear, as it appears to be responding to someone in the middle of a context, the sicha just says in matters of "nigleh" and doesn't elaborate, i don't even know if it's printed anywhere, they handed it out in 770 and many of the notes seem to be written recently, i would recommend checking toras Menachem, year 5728 Commented Nov 11, 2021 at 4:37

I haven't seen any quote from the GR"A that states that one shouldn't paskin, but he speaks about the importance of learning Kabbalah in Even Shleimah in 8,24 and 11,3 and in his commentary to Mishlei in 5,18


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