The source cited in Part One, associating Mendelssohn, Wesseley and Satanow with various levels of Klipah, is an example of antagonism directed towards Mendelssohn from the Chasidic camp specifically, and it seems quite clear that the Non-Chasidic Traditionalist contemporaries of Mendelssohn did not necessarily see him in such a negative light.
Amongst the Chasidic leadership, perhaps the most prominent in his attacks on Mendelssohn and his associates was Rabbi Pinchus Horowitz, Chief Rabbi of Frankfurt, author of the Hafloah (by which name he is often referred to) and a disciple of Rabbi DovBer, the Maggid of Mezritch. In an impassioned sermon delivered in 1782, he justified his opposition to Mendelssohn and the other Biurists, with a withering attack centering on the Biur’s rendering of the following verse:
לא תשנא את אחיך בלבבך הוכח תוכיח את עמיתך ולא תשא עליו חטא (ויקרא יט, יז)
Mendelssohn explains this to mean, “You may rebuke your friend if he has insulted you earlier”. Here is the offending passage (click to enlarge):
Not only does this rendering ignore the obligatory imperative, “You shall” and substitute it with a far more polite, “You may”, it also interprets the verse to be referring to a social context, a case where affront has been caused between man and man specifically, rather than between man and G-d.
This may appear to be a small matter, but its subtlety belies its subversive nature. Indeed, this is a very good example of how Mendelssohn sought to whitewash the Torah and transform its connotation to conform to his program of rationalist universalism. Apparently Mendelssohn considered it more important to portray Judaism in the image of western liberalism and tolerance, which he sought to propagate, than to uphold G-d’s laws and rebuke (and even punish) those who transgressed them. The implications of such a distortion undermined the principle of mutual responsibility for the religious behaviour of one’s fellow man (arvus), and Rabbi Horowitz – the Hafloah – paraphrased Mendelssohn in more explicit terms:
Why should it matter to him if his friend sins, let every man do as his heart pleases...
The Hafloah continued:
Look and see that all their books turn on this, that they wish to establish corrections and guidelines for the conduct of Torah Scholars, how to conduct themselves in matters of the world...
Clearly this example was seen as indicative of the broader Mendelssohnian agenda – namely, to cast the Torah and its scholars in a light that would conform to the philosophical and social norms made fashionable by the trendsetters in Berlin. Such a path, however carefully trod, was one that was implicitly heretical, for it placed a secular philosophy and agenda as being more edifying and desirable than the precepts of the Torah. As we have already noted in Part One, the principle here is that Mendelssohn and his associates got their priorities dangerously wrong.
The Hafloah was not alone in his abhorrence for the insidious undertones reflected in Mendelssohn’s Biur, and indeed his suspicions were echoed by many prominent disciples of his teacher Rabbi DovBer, the Maggid of Mezritch, amongst them Rabbi Elimelech of Lizensk, his brother Rabbi Zushe of Hanipoli, Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Barditchev, and others. According to an account transcribed by Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Shneersohn of Lubavitch, the initial suspicion with which the early Chasidic leadership treated Mendelssohn was also rooted in a far-sighted warning that the Baal Shem Tov had delivered some thirty years earlier. See רבנו הזקן ותנועת ההשכלה here.
On the other hand, it is apparent from the approbation of Rabbi Yechezkal Landau – the Chief Rabbi of Prague, famed as the author of Nodeh Beyehudah – to the Biblical commentary of Shlomo Dubno, that his reservations regarding Mendelssohn’s Biur had little to do with the subversive nature of the content, but rather concerned the language it was written in. Dubno authored the Biur that accompanied Mendelssohn’s German translation to Genesis and much of Exodus, but abruptly left Berlin before its completion. Now that Dubno was publishing the Biur independent of the German translation, the Nodeh Beyehudah explained, he was happy to give his approbation.
The figure of Dubno, his relationship with the circle of Mendelssohn, and his subsequent relationship with the circle of Rabbi Eliyahu, the famed Vilna Gaon, has been the subject of much contention. While I may not be impartial on this point, it seems quite implausible that despite working closely with Mendelssohn for a number of years, Dubno remained unaware of the direction in which he was headed and did not share any of his aspirations. Nevertheless, he was welcomed by many of those closest to the Vilna Goan, and the Biur that he originally wrote to accompany and support Mendelssohn’s translation received the approbations of such figures as Rabbi Chaim of Volozhin and his brother Rabbi Shlomo Zalman (Zelmele). It would seem that, unlike their Chasidic counterparts they did not see Mendelssohn as particularly dangerous.
This brings me to the following passage, which appears on page 253 of The Making of a Gadol (thanks to my friend A. for bringing it to my attention), and juxtaposes the (assumed) attitude of Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Lubavitch (the Tzemach Tzedek), with that of the son and successor of Rabbi Chaim of Volozhin, Rabbi Yitzchak (Reb Itzeleh):
Another interesting and distinctly Chasidic example of antagonism to Mendelssohn appears in a discourse printed in the appendixes of the edition of Keter Shem Tov (a compilation of teachings attributed to the Baal Shem Tov) published by Kehot Publication Society. The authorship of the discourse is unknown, but it is clear that it was written by a student of Chabad Chasidism. Here is the relevent text (thanks to a reader, Rabbi Avrohom Bergstein, for drawing my attention to the source):
The reference to Mendelssohn appears in the midst of a discussion of the difference between “these times” when the spiritual station of the Jewish people is so low that some are no longer inspired by the teachings of Chasidism, and the times of the Baal Shem Tov and Rabbi Shneur Zalman (referred to as Admor Hazaken), when Divinity was manifest explicitly, and no one could bring themselves to sin. However, the present misfortune is explained to be a blessing in disguise, for now latent evil can never be hidden or ostensibly overcome by good, but must always be openly manifest and recognisable, and therefore will never cause damage to some unknowing innocent how cannot discern the evil beneath the veneer of good. Whereas if Divinity was manifest as in earlier times, even the evil would not openly sin, but “the bad would remain hidden in their hearts and they would be able to damage others” – an interesting discussion in itself, but lets not distract ourselves from the reference to Mendelssohn – “like Mendelssohn and his students may there memory be erased who caused many souls to sin, because they considered them to be upright, but now that they have publicly gone in an evil way no one will learn from them”.
Here Mendelssohn is equated with the “souls that are rejected and lost to the three impure Klippot”; a more extreme designation than that applied to Mendelssohn by the Mitteler Rebbe and cited in Part One. But in the same breath we find again acknowledgement of his religiosity on a practical level and his ostensibly upright conduct. Whatever 'evil' lay in his heart, it was veiled in subtleties and difficult to discern.
Today, all Orthodox communities – whether Chasidic or non-Chasidic – view Mendelssohn as the arch-Maskil; a destroyer of Orthodoxy, and an usurper of Rabbinic Authority and the Jewish Tradition. How did such a state of unanimous agreement come about? How is it that in communities that disagree on any number of Halchic, Philosophical and Sociological issues, Mendelssohn is so universally infamous?
It would seem that the answer lies with the famed author of Chasam Sofer, Rabbi Moshe Shreiber (Moses Sofer). His paraphrase of the Talmudic dictum “Chodosh is Biblically forbidden” has become famous as an expression of his opposition to any form of modernization or reform. Not as famous but perhaps no less influential, was the stringent imperative recorded in his ethical will; “do not touch the works of Mendelssohn”.
The Chasam Sofer was a student of the Hafloah, whose fierce opposition to Mendelssohn has already been discussed, and it is clear that much of much of his abhorrence to Mendelssohn and his works was passed on to his student. Despite the Chasam Sofer’s Chasidic influences, he resided in an area that was geographically removed from the centers of Chasidism in Poland and Russia, and did not conduct himself in the manner of a Chasidic Rebbe. As such, he is identified neither as Chasidic, nor as specifically non-Chasidic or opposed to Chasidism. For these reasons, he has become a unanimously accepted figure of authority for all branches of Orthodox Judaism. This is especially so in regards to the Orthodox response to the movements of modernity and Reform, which took hold first and fastest in the regions of Germany, Austria and Hungry. As the Rabbi of Pressburg (situated sixty kilometers east of Vienna and today called Bratislava), the Chasam Sofer has become famous for the battles he fought against the Reformers, and in many ways it was he who shaped the Orthodox response to modernity, setting the boundaries that are seen to uphold the integrity of Rabbinic Judaism to this day.
Two important articles, containing many of the primary sources for this post:
הרב דוד קמנצקי, הסכמותיהם של גדולי הרבנים לחומשים של רבי שלמה דובנא
ישראל נתן השל, דעתם של גדולי הדור במלחמתם נגד המשכיל נפתלי הירץ וויזל (ד)
Related Articles and Blog Posts:
Shnayer Z. Leiman, Rabbi Moses Shick: The Hatam Sofer’s Attitude Toward Mendelssohn’s Biur
Y. Mundshine, הסכמות שתוקות מוולוז'ין ומווילנא
Rabbi Dov Eliach, R' Shlomo Dubno (a response to Y. Mundshine)
On the Main Line, Solomon Dubno in Yated Ne’eman; how to make a Maskil a Rabbi (comments to Rabbi Dov Eliach)
See also articles cited here and most recently, Eliyahu Stern, Genius and Demographics in Modern Jewish History
 Another report that illustrates the nuance (or perhaps the paradox) that informed the Chassidic attitude towards Mendelssohn – acknowledging his Religious Observance (frumkeit) but decrying the subversive affect of his persona to the nth degree – concerns Rabbi Zvi Elimelech of Dinov, famed as the author of Bnei Yisoschor, a disciple of the Chozeh of Lublin (himself a student of the aforementioned Rabbi Elimelech of Lizensk):
 Although there is evidence that Dubno and Medelssohn were involved in a dispute over the introduction to their joint work, Dubno himself attributed his departure from Berlin to pressure placed upon him by his much respected teacher Rabbi Naftali Hertz Halbershtat of Dubnow. While he does express his recognition that some of those involved in the project “had removed from themselves the yoke of Torah”, he refers to Mendelssohn himself with respect and stresses that he has “no reason at all to change my mind or regret that I participated in this endeavor”. According to Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Shneersohn of Lubavitch, Rabbi Naftali Hertz Halbershtat of Dubnow was influenced by the Baal Shem Tov and his teachings, this might be supported by the fact that – unusually for a Lithuainian Rabbi – he is often referred to as ha’goan hamekubal (see for example here), suggesting an unusual involvement and perhaps adherence to Kabalisitc customs, in the fashion of the Baal Shem Tov and his disciples.
 It should be noted that the Nodeh Beyehudah and many other non-Chasidic Rabbinical figures were fierce opponents of the educational reforms proposed by Wessely. However, such antagonism did not extend to Mendelssohn and seems to be an exception rather than the rule.
 The Mitteler Rebbe refered to Mendelssohn as “the bad component of Nogah”, in this connection my friend of A. reminded of the statement of Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi in Tanya, Chapter 6:
והן הם כל המעשים אשר נעשים תחת השמש אשר הכל הבל ורעות רוח וכמ"ש בזהר בשלח שהן תבירו דרוחא כו' וכן כל הדבורים וכל המחשבות אשר לא לה' המה ולרצונו ולעבודתו שזהו פי' לשון סטרא אחרא פי' צד אחר שאינו צד הקדושה
In A.’s words, this implies “that the very use of Nogah for something that isn't kedusha is in essence degrading it to sholosh klipos hatmeos... any human contact with anything will change it either to kedusha or sholosh klipos hatmeos, there is no such thing as remaining static in nogah...” In other words, two people can enter into the same realm of grey area, and nothing but their own intention or perception of what they are doing, and why they are doing it, can distinguish between wrong and right, black and white.
 It has been noted that the Chasam Sofer’s own father-in-law, the famed Rabbi Akiva Eiger, was a subscriber to Mendelssohn’s Biur and even quotes it with respect. See Yitzchok Adlerstein, R. Akiva Eiger, Mendelssohn, and the Shema.