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Way of the Torah

Rabbi Chaim Tabasky15 Adar 5767
515
Question
I am exposed to different Hashkafot and Trains of thought - in terms of Mitnagdim who dissapprove of the study of Chasidut and Kabbalah and Chassidim who emphasize it, Charedim who close themselves off from the world, and modern orthodox who live comfortably in Chutz La’aretz etc. - are there differences? What is the best way to serve Hashem?
Answer
Learning kabbalah can enhance avodat Hashem, or it can stifle it, depending on the method and the person involved. The same is true in regards to a woman learning gemorah. I know womenfor whom this is a crucial aspect of their avodah, others who do it to prove they sre like men. All avodas HaShem requires great personal honesty, more so when one changes established custom. That said, another aspect of the question are the norms of a certain society. People have to choose the environment in which they can flourish spiritually and emotionally. Sometimes that choice necessitates accepting some of the rules of that society (such as chassidic garb, extreme separation of sexes, or school curriculums that encourage/forbid certain subjects. There is no obligation to make all such decisions at once, one has to grow into them. The key is that each decision must be both within halacha and be with the intention to maximise avodat HaShem.
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