If one is not Lubavitch or Breslov is it correct to read their seforim?

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    What does it mean to 'be' Lubavitch or Breslov and why would that status affect the appropriateness of those works? – Double AA Nov 19 '15 at 4:15
  • (Puts on moderator hat.) Folks, I'm deleting comments here. Comments on a question are meant for clarifying or seeking clarification or other improvement of the question. If you wish to do that, then comment. If you have an answer, post one. If you wish to chat, we have Mi Yodeya Chat for that. – msh210 Nov 19 '15 at 6:41
  • Is there a reason why you specifically mention Lubavitch and Breslov as opposed to other Chasidic or non-Chasidic groups? – Daniel Nov 19 '15 at 14:38
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    This question would be more answerable if you would edit in more information addressing @DoubleAA's and Daniel's questions, what you mean by "correct" (permissible? worthwhile? best practice?) and also what makes you curious that this may be an issue. – Isaac Moses Nov 19 '15 at 15:07
  • I know that during the time of the Gemarah, there seemed to be a staunch fear against reading or associating with heretics. Nonetheless, despite the fact that Elisha ben Avuya became one, he is often cited in the Mishnah, and many of his adages are still there. My point - even if you were to consider Lubavitch and Bresslov "heresy", please explain why you suspect there is a problem learning from the wisdom of other wise Jews regardless of whether you follow their practices? – DanF Nov 19 '15 at 19:40

Yes, at least for some non-Lubavitch, non-Breslov people. The proof is from the myriad great Torah scholars who cannot reasonably be described as Lubavitch or Breslov but who quote their books. As just one example, Mishna B'rura extensively cites the Shulchan Aruch of the first Lubavitcher rebbe.

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    And only for some Lubavitch/Breslov works (that's the key caveat here: accepting the ShA Harav as an interesting and talented legal exegete doesn't imply endorsement of nearly any of his Hashkafa oriented books). – Double AA Nov 19 '15 at 7:04
  • True, but the question seems to be asking whether it's okay to read any books. If it were asking about hashkafa books specifically, it'd presumably say so. "Is it correct to read their books?" Yes. – msh210 Nov 19 '15 at 7:06

This is a personal Hashkafah question IMHO.

Certainly most Lubavitchers and Breslevors would emphatically say it is good for everyone to read their seforim ! :)

The best approach is to choose a path in self development within Torah that really speaks to your soul. In other words, it is better for you to learn seforim that inspire you to live as a better Jew.

One popular way is to follow your father's way in life and ask him for a path consistent with your family's Torah growth. Another way (and in addition) is to join a Yeshivah and follow their path. Your Rebbeim there will show you their seforim selection for such things.

If your soul reads different seforim with different approaches, you may get the feeling of contradiction or at least mixed messages about how to serve Hashem. If that is happening, you should probably pick one main path and not look elsewhere; or merely dabble in other seforim.

If however you are like me, and wish to drink in all truth and process all approaches, then read everything. However, you should understand the difference in pathways from let's say Mussar compared to Tanya. Asking an experienced Rebbe who follows the path you wish to explore, would be very helpful.

After reading the above, my answer is obviously that it doesn't depend upon you being a Lubavitcher or Breslevor; but rather, if their sefarim inspire you.

  • Editing into your answer post a source for its claims would improve its value. – msh210 Nov 19 '15 at 6:42

I can't speak for Breslov but chasidi chabad is intended for all Jews to learn. The Tanya is a very important work and can and will help anyone who learns it with their avodas Hashem.

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    Editing into your answer post a source for its claims would improve its value. – msh210 Nov 19 '15 at 6:42
  • I'm not sure why the intended use of the author is relevant here. – Double AA Nov 19 '15 at 6:58
  • @DoubleAA, I suspect "intended" here means that life, the universe, and everything — or God — intends it, not that the author does. But perhaps the answerer can clarify. – msh210 Nov 19 '15 at 7:10
  • hidabroot.org/he/question/164707 – Lee Nov 19 '15 at 8:36

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