Recently I have been reading the Tanya so that I can discuss Chabad Chassidus with my friend. I think it's only fair to see what the other side has to say, so is there any work that the mitnagdim published that I would have access to and could read? Alternatively, if there isn't, is there any work published that explains why some people don't follow Chabad Chassidus?

  • Do you mean why people don't follow specifically Chabad chassidus or any type of chassidus? – Daniel Mar 23 '16 at 14:15
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    @Gabriel Nefesh HaChaim might be considered the misnagdish counterpart to the Tanya. – jj2 Mar 23 '16 at 14:17
  • Gabriel welcome to Mi Yodeya, and thanks very much for the interesting question! I hope you'll look around and find other Q&A of interest and stay learning with us. – mbloch Mar 23 '16 at 14:32
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    Since when does not following the innovations of the Chasidim need an explanation? Many Jews simply continue the time-honored tradition dating back millenia of not being Chasidim. – Double AA Mar 23 '16 at 15:02
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    I think Toras Moshe was written by a non-chasid. The one by R. Moshe Sofer. Oh, and the one by R. Moshe Alshich. Oh, and the one by Moshe Rabenu. – msh210 Mar 24 '16 at 4:22

The most important misnaged was the Gaon of Vilna. The most substantial collection of his metaphysical teachings is his commentary on ספרא דצניעותא, which you can find here: http://www.hebrewbooks.org/24946

His two leading disciples were חיים מוולוז'ין and מנחם מנדל משקלוב. As mentioned in the comments, Nefesh HaHayyim, by the former, is a major work of misnagdic metaphysics, and is widely-available.

In the third generation, יצחק אייזיק חבר continued the work of his predecessors, forming the material into a comprehensive and systematic re-interpretation of עץ חיים. His work is called פתחי שערים and is available here: http://hebrewbooks.org/34671

In the fourth generation, the בעל הלשם continued this lineage and deepened it. The book of his that he meant to serve as an introduction to his teachings is called הקדמות ושערים and is available here: http://www.hebrewbooks.org/37238

  • Thank you so much! Are there any that have English translations or books written in Hebrew? – Gabriel Mar 23 '16 at 16:44
  • Gabriel, in English, discussing the teachings of חיים מוולוז'ין, there is a book by Norman Lamm called "Torah Lishmah: Torah for Torah’s Sake in the Works of Rabbi Hayyim of Volozhin and His Contemporaries ". – paquda Mar 23 '16 at 16:58
  • (re the comments) I'm very unfamiliar with the works cited in this answer, but I seem vaguely to recall that the Leshem has been translated into English. No? – msh210 Mar 24 '16 at 4:24
  • msh210, I've never seen a translation of anything by the Leshem. It would be hard to imagine a translation of it. – paquda Mar 24 '16 at 11:38
  • @Gabriel, it looks like there is an English translation of Nefesh HaHayyim that was published recently: urimpublications.com/Merchant2/… – paquda Mar 29 '16 at 15:44

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