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There seems to be a negative connotation around Chabad Lubavitch - mostly caused by the mashichists. For someone that does not adhere to the beliefs of the mashichists (someone who believes that the Rebbe is the mashiach with different versions: he died but will come back, he never died, etc.) but admires the teachings of the chasidut of chabad, would learning the Tanya be detrimental?

If the learning is done with a chavrusa who happens to be a mashichist is that a reason for concern?

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  • This is definetly a question to ask your rav/rebbi, though. Not a random group of internet people.
    – Kovy Jacob
    Aug 14 at 4:51

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Seeing as how the group you are calling "mashichists" are a very recent group, and the Tanya was written more than 200 years ago, there is no reason to worry about that.

In regards to having a "mashichist" Chavrusa, that really depends on the person, but that's true of any Chavrusa. If he's just teaching you Tanya though it should be fine, because once again the Tanya is not "mashichist" propaganda in any sense, being over 200 years old (and I say that also based on having learnt through the whole of Tanya).

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    Sefer Yeshaya isn't Christian propaganda, but I wouldn't be chavrusas with a Jew who thinks Yeshaya predicts Yeshu. Nov 24, 2019 at 22:13
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The Baal hatanya was a huge Talmid Chochom who's Sefer Shulcan Aruch Harav is a classic in Halacha. His Sefer, Tanya, as well is a very holy Sefer learnt by Talmedei Chochomim of all stripes. Even Rav Yoshe Ber Solleveichik, a total Litvak, was very fond of Tanya (having learnt it as a child from his Chabad Melamed), and would quote it. The Satmar Rebbe, as well, a stark opponent of Chabad, considered Tanya to be a very important Sefer. Many Roshei Yeshivah have learnt it including Rav Aharon Lopiansky Shlita who gives Shiurim on it (you can find them online). The Tanya has nothing to do with the Meshichists. Not learning Tanya because the Meshichists learn it would be like not learning Gemara because the Meshichists learn it. As for learning it with a Meshichist,i don't see why it would be a problem, unless they are going to read that ideology into the Tanya.

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The Meshichists give Chabad a bad name. They are like those 10 people making tons of noise in an extremely crowded room, making it seem like the entire room is rowdy for someone who comes in and immediately runs out because of the ruckus.

These animals came in not just the last generation of Chabad, but even at the VERY END of the last generation. It is no thanks to these guys, that the GOOD NAME that Chassidus bought itself over CENTURIES was tarnished and practically brought back to where we started, over 230 years ago.

The original war against Chassidus was due to many, many misunderstandings and tons of false accusations. By the third generation of Chabad Chassidus (led by the Tzemach Tzedek), all the original issues the Jewish world may have had with it were solved. The questions were answered, and peace was held. The ensuing battles were mostly fought together by all of Orthodox Jewry against the haskallah movement, and the antisemitism that reigned.

That being said, Tanya was written by the first Rebbe of Chabad, so following the period when the orthodox Jewish world made peace with Chassidim, there is no official view that negates its authenticity.

Next point: the entire point of Chassidus is to bridge the various parts of Torah - the PARDES (pshat, remez, etc.) in a way that makes everything clearer and more relatable. It is NOT, as is a common misconception, a "distilled version" of Kabbalah. Much to the contrary.

Learning with a Meshichist, I would highly NOT recommend, for the most part, for one simple reason: from my 7-8 years being ALL OVER various Chabad communities, yeshivas, etc., I have seen that for the most part Meshichists have a very feeble, extremely shallow understanding of Chassidus, and in general learning with one will not bring justice to the depth and richness that Chassidus has to offer. Again, I speak with experience.

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