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
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    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
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    @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
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    @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
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    @msh210 see books.google.com/… – Shmuel Brin May 22 '12 at 17:22

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