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30.4.17

Human problems

It is hard to erase problems. I am not really sure what to say about in terms of  a solution. My own approach is to do Physics and learn Rav Shach and other parts of Torah and hope that the light of Torah will erase all my problems. That is the best I can figure out. I also try to say over to myself a few statements of Musar in the morning when I get up that deal with issues I need to work on. There is a great Musar book called "Madragat HaAdam" by a disciple of Reb Israel Salanter that has a passage in it about Trust in God that he brings from the Gra's commentary on Proverbs which I try to say over to myself to remind myself about trust in God.  
But that is just for me. 

I am not sure about the issues that other people need to work on. But whatever they are I think the best idea is: learn Muar and when you find something that deals with some problem you are having then to write in down and repeat it to yourself every day when you get up in the morning

29.4.17

Shavuot page 43

R. Akiva says if a lender loses the pledge he has for a loan, then  the lender loses the amount that the pledge was worth. The pledge might very well be worth more than the loan and thus the lender might owe to the borrower money.  However Shmuel says the pledge goes for the entire loan.. Thus even if the pledge is worth more the lender would not owe anything. This seems to me to be  a proof for Rabainu Chananel. For to Rashi Shmuel is when nothing was said and R. Akiva is when the lender said something. But why would the lender say something that results in his losing money? Rabainu Chananel says on the contrary that Shmuel is when something was said and R. Akiva is when nothing was said.

Shavuot page 43
Here is a link to the book on Shas where I added this idea: Ideas in Shas
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ר. עקיבא says if a lender loses the pledge he has for a loan, then  the lender loses the amount that the pledge was worth. The pledge might very well be worth more than the loan and thus the lender might owe to the borrower money.  However שמואל says the pledge goes for the entire loan. Thus even if the pledge is worth more the lender would not owe anything. This seems to me to be  a proof for רבינו חננאל. For to רש''י the case of  שמואל is when nothing was said and ר. עקיבא is when the lender said something. But why would the lender say something that results in his losing money? רבינו חננאל says on the contrary that שמואל is when something was said and ר. עקיבא is when nothing was said.
I am not saying that the lender is allowed to take a pledge that is worth more than the loan. I am only addressing the issue of if this happened.


ר. עקיבא אומר אם מלווה מאבד את המשכון שיש לו בגלל הלוואה, אז המלווה מאבד את סכום שהמשכון היה שווה. המשכון יכול מאוד להיות שווה יותר מן ההלוואה, ולכן המלווה עלול להתחייב  כסף ללווה. אולם שמואל אומר המשכון כנגד ההלוואה כולה. לכן גם אם המשכון שווה יותר המלווה לא חייב שום דבר. זה נראה לי להיות הוכחה עבור רבינו חננאל. לפי רש''י המקרה של שמואל הוא כאשר לא שום דבר נאמר ור. עקיבא הוא כאשר המלווה אמר משהו. אבל למה המלווה היה אומר משהו שגורם לאבד כסף שלו? רבינו חננאל אומר להיפך כי שמואל הוא כשנאמר משהו ור. עקיבא הוא כאשר לא שום דבר שנאמר. אני לא אומר כי המלווה רשאי לַעֲבוֹט משכון שהוא שווה יותר מן ההלוואה. אני רק מתייחס למצב אם זה קרה

Is it possible to worship Satan while believing one is worshiping G-d?

The signature of the Gra on the letter of excommunication opens an interesting question: Is it possible to worship Satan while believing one is worshiping G-d?  It seems clear that this is true as we know from Sanhedrin page 63 that there is such a thing as idol worship that is not intended.  And we know from the Rambam in the Guide that the Spirit of the World in not the same thing as God. So the issue of the excommunication is more severe and serious than people are aware of. [The Ari also brings this same theme in a few places]. It is no wonder that people joining that cult and thus worshiping the Devil believe they are being good religious Jews.
And this opinion of mine was apparently shared by the Gra and the sages of Musar [Reb Israel Salanter and his disciples] who rigorously excluded any mention of that cult. Clearly Rav Shach was also of this opinion. So I am not a lone voice of reason in the wilderness.  The greatest sages of Israel agreed with me and yet their opinions are ignored.

28.4.17

Not all religions are created equal. Not all hard work is equal. And not all patriotism is equal.


Some religions encourage really bad behavior. Others are more on the positive side. Some hard work is useless, some gets results. Not all countries have a positive social meme so patriotism towards one's country has value only in so far as that country in itself has positive value.

My basic idea of  proper Torah approach is to learn the Avi Ezri of Rav Shach [with the relevant Gemaras] and all the writings of the Gra, and Physics and Math and survival skills.

[Though I sometimes mention the idea of learning דרך גירסה just saying the word and going on, I found in doing the Avi Ezri that it is better to do review a few times on each chapter before continuing on.]

T52 F major  This still might need some editing

My Parents and Social Justice.

 In any case, it took me good and long to recognize the greatness of my parents even though I knew they were very special. Still the world in those days was very much anti-parents, so it took a lot of effort to see through the facade of society. Israel is much more close to traditional family values than the USA  The interesting thing about my parents was they spoke so little about how to live that the few times they ever said anything, it sticks out in my mind very clearly  -for the fact of it being so unusual. They definitely liked my learning Physics,--but only after I anyway showed interest in that direction. 
I was drawn to philosophy on my own, and  they were definitely not into it  at all. Especially my Dad. He was totally and absolutely oblivious to any philosophical questions what-so-ever. My Mom lent me a sympathetic ear to listen to my thoughts when I got home from school, but  it was not up her alley.They sent us to Hebrew school and expected we would grow up good Jews in the sense that they were. It is hard to explain. They were however cold to the idea of "Social Justice," which even back then was being preached in Temple Israel. They had a good idea of what Torah is about, and knew that Social Justice is not it. When I was getting more religious, I was praying the entire morning prayer every day in English which took me until 12 PM in the summer and my Mom came in and told me I needed to get out and get some fresh air. [They were not into religious fanaticism.]
 Social Justice became in the world of Reform to be the entire message of Torah. My Dad never said anything about it, but my Mom did one time when we were in Temple Israel. They knew it is just a code word  for Socialism. They were cold to the idea completely. They had from their own homes a very good idea of what Torah means.
"Why did Jews support communism do you think?" 
I guess it was the "in thing." Anyone who was anyone in the intellectual world thought Socialism as the wave of the future, and thought it had all the weight of evidence on its side.







Here is my Mom.
Torah, The Law of Moses, Physics, Music, Hard work, being self sufficient, being a mensch, marrying a nice Jewish girl. These were all important principle to my parents. Also loyalty towards family and friends.

They certainly believed in Torah and would have been pleased as a peach if I had managed to combine Torah in Ponovitch or some NY Litvak Yeshiva with learning Physics. As it was, I did not get involved in Physics until later. But the straight path of Torah was clearly their view. They were aware the religious world only makes a show of Torah but is really filled with the Dark Side. They knew something is highly wrong with the religious that make a show of Torah but are really from the Sitra Achra.




27.4.17

The cult and anti cult movement in the USA

The cult and anti cult movement in the USA have had a history of bouncing back and forth. I wish I had time to go into this in more detail. Obliviously the period from 1946 -1965 was quiet in this regard. But at the peak of the counter culture movement from 1965 until 1969, the cults had enormous success.  But it did not end there. A California judge decided in one case that there was no such thing as "brain washing".  That was under the influence of the mad professors of sociology  that  received enormous sums of money  for their "expert" testimony that gave clean bills of health to cults. The 1980's saw a rise in the anti-cult movements but the anti cult movement was brought to a dramatic finish in 1990.
 In any case the signature of the Gra on the Cherem [excommunication] had a similar history. It was meant to be the opening salvo against the cults. But the lukewarm reception of his opinion doomed it to oblivion. Still when the Litvak yeshivas arose  and after that the Musar movement, there was some attempt to distance themselves from the cults with little success. Thus most people that saw through the charade of the cults simply wanted nothing to do with Torah at all since the Sitra Achra [Dark Side] had become so tightly bound up with it.