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Approach to study

Question
Today there is a lot of confusion over which approach to take in Judaism! Is it not better that one becomes learned firstly in Tenach Mishna followed by Talmud, Halacha & Ethics before deciding to take up a philosophical approach such as hasidic groups ? The way I see it people jump too quickly for the icing on the cake eg Kabbalah, Tanya Chassidus but forget the ingrediants how to get there in the first place!
Answer
I sense some confusion in your words. Tanach, Mishnah, Talmud, Halacha and ethics are the bread and butter of any authentic Jewish community, whether it is Chassidic, Lithuanian Charedi, “Shas” Sephardi, Modern Orthodox, religious Zionism or any other for that matter. In the study of the above list there is no essential difference between them all. There are differences most of which are minor and insignificant. Different groups put more emphasis on some parts of Torah more than others, which is perfectly acceptable, one should study what he feels close too and in the place that suits him. (Avoda Zara 19a) You can’t conclude the study of the whole Torah. (Avot 2, 16) a mans task in life is to serve Hashem to the best if his ability through living full life of Torah and Mitzvot and if you think you will be able to do it better by being part of a specific community with all its infrastructure and support – that is perfect. As for Kabbala I share the same approach, that is “the icing on the cake” and shouldn’t be studied or rather can’t be properly studied without the above deep background knowledge and practice.
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