As we have discussed in the past (see, for example, here), even though the Chassidic movement broke with traditional Ashkenazic practice in certain areas, such as nusach hatefillah, nevertheless, in other areas some Chassidim maintained traditional Ashkenazic stances.
I recently saw a interesting report in a newspaper published in Eretz Yisroel, called בקהילה (Bakehilla), about the Sanzer Rebbe of Netanya, speaking out strongly against people getting involved in Kabbalah when they are not on the proper level to do so (בקהילה פלוס, כה אייר תשע”ב, p.15). Under a title of סוד ה’ ליראיו, it reported that the Rebbe strongly condemned the spreading of קבלה indiscriminately to the masses, and said that people should first learn the whole ש”ס (Talmud) with תוספות, among other aspects of standard תורת הנגלה. He warned of serious danger in learning Kabbalah for people not on the level to do so.
That is in accordance with traditional Ashkenazic belief and practice, which limits Kabbalah study to people properly prepared for it (in the past this has been a point of contention at times between some Chassidim and non-Chassidim). The words would not have been so surprising to me had they been uttered by a non-Chassidic Rosh Yeshiva or Rav. But it was somewhat surprising at first to see such strong talk on the topic from a Chassidishe Rebbe. A pleasant surprise though.
Looking for info about it online, I couldn’t find a recent report like the one in the newpaper, however I did find one of the Rebbe delivering similar remarks (though milder and less developed than in the recent report), three years earlier, on the occasion of the yohrzeit of the דברי חיים of צאנז. Looking further, I noted similar sentiment at the Wikipedia page of the Rebbe’s ancestor, the דברי חיים, as well.
In the course of my searching, I also found an interesting report from a few years ago in which the Rebbe spoke out against Chassidim who institute new customs, such as abolishing the recitation of ונתנה תוקף on Yom Kippur, as well as certain other controversial actions such as dancing in the streets before שבת.
Boruch Hashem, it is nice to see a Chassidishe Rebbe speak so strongly on such an important matter, expressing the Ashkenazic viewpoint so clearly and forcefully. Hopefully we will see more such manifestations in the future, אכי”ר.