Originally published 5/4/11, 3:27 pm.
These snippets are based upon actual statements made to me directly or reported to me. Some of these paraphrases were technically NOT from actual rabbis, but from other self-styled "experts".
In Part 3 I will advance my hypothesis. These underlying attitudes will serve to support my findings.
Rabbi A - Astrology is only for the feeble minded
Rabbi B - Philosophy as per Rambam and Aristotle is essential
Rabbi C - Philosophy is treif - do Kabbalah * [see more detail on this below]
Rabbi D - secular learning is essential
Rabbi E - secular learning is Treif
Rabbi F - Kabbalah is good, and Yesodei Hatorah the Moreh and the first Shaar of Hovot Halvaavot is Kosher "Mechqar"
Rabbi G - Kabbalah is good, and Yesodei Hatorah the Moreh and the first Shaar of Hovot Halvaavot is Treif "Mechqar"
Rabbi H - Kabbalah up to the Arizal is good - afterwards it's bad
Rabbi I - Kabbalah before Arizal is a waste of time
Rabbi J -the Pardeis Rimonim is an important introduction to Kabbalah
Rabbi K -the Arizal made the Pardeis obsolete, thus the Pardeis has been superceded.
Rabbi L - all Kabbalah is a waste
Rabbi M - Kabbalah is not a waste but it must be a closely guarded secret
Rabbi N - Kabbalah is for everyone and ought to be promoted.
Rabbi O - Mussar Good. Kabbalah Bad
Rabbi P - don't bother with anything else besides Tanya
Rabbi Q - don't bother with anything else besides [Rav Nachman's] Likkutei Moharan
Rabbi R - don't bother with anything else besides [R Chaim Volozhener's] Nefesh Hachaim
Rabbi S - R Aryeh Kaplan teaches sufficient Kabbalah for any good Jew
Rabbi T - R Aryeh Kaplan teaches a superficial subset of Kabbalah which is really not sufficient for any intelligent Jew
Rabbi U - Since the answer to your question requires advanced Kabballah, I'm not addressing it
Rabbi V - Since the answer to your question requires advanced Kabballah, therefore it's incumbent upon me to coach you on Kabbalah so that I may fully explain to you the answer.