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31.8.15


Pantheism really just does not come up in the Talmud. The belief system of the Talmud is monotheism.. But this really never gets articulated until Maimonides and Saadia Gaon. And it would not even be of any interest if not for people trying to claim that the Torah is pantheistic.


In any case the discussion seems to be more relevant to philosophy than to any Talmudic or halacha issue. However this issue does seem to have some bearing on the halachic nature of idolatry. After all if "everything is godliness," then those who happen to be into some form of idolatry have a free ticket.


This discussion has some bearing on the issue of learning Musar. One advantage of the Musar movement was that they emphasized learning the basic books of medieval ethics before anyone started pushing pantheism.

Once people started pushing pantheism, it became rare to find any books that don't include pantheism of some form, and present it as authentic Torah.

 כשאני עוסק בנושא של עבודה זרה  אני חושב  שדיון על הפנתאיזם  יהיה רלוונטי. פנתאיזם אינו בתלמוד. מערכת האמונה של התלמוד היא מונותיאיזם. אבל זה לא מקבל ביטוי עד הרמב"ם וסעדיה גאון. וזה אפילו לא יהיה של כל עניין, אם לא שאנשים מנסים לטעון שהתורה היא חובקת פנתאיזם
 לנושא זה יש יחס לעבודת אלילים. אחרי הכל, אם "הכל אלוהות, אז אין עבודה זרה. יש לדיון זה יחס לנושא של לימוד מוסר. אחד היתרונות של תנועת המוסר היה שהם הדגישו לימוד הספרים הבסיסיים של תורה של ימי הביניים לפני שמישהו התחיל לדחוף פנתאיזם. ברגע שהאנשים התחילו לדחוף פנתאיזם, זה הפך נדיר למצוא ספרים שאינם כוללים פנתאיזם של צורה כלשהי ולהציג אותו כאותנטי תורה

30.8.15


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l97


I don't know how to go about learning Torah. It seems to me the best idea --if at all possible to to get a small Talmud Bavli, [Babylonian Talmud] and set of Musar [medieval Ethics] books and to learn at home.
It is not that this is the best way to go about it but rather that any other way seem to be unworkable.
Hillel's are more for activities. synagogue are also for other thing.

In eastern Europe there was a concept of a place where people would go when they were off from work and be able to go in a sit and learn Torah but today there are no such places. Yeshivas  are private, and certainly not anyone can walk in and sit and learn. So the old concept of  a beit midrash is largely extinct.


Now if you have a Hillel or a Reform Temple in your neighborhood in theory you could set aside a place inside for learning Torah alone. But that would depend on other people's desires. and you  don't want your learning Torah to be dependent on other people's desires.
n100 needs editing. a lot.


n99  It needs work.

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n96

29.8.15

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I think this needs editing but I am not sure about which part.

(2) p120
(3) CHS

(4)organ piece


organ 2

(5)n103

(6)n102 [some editing]

(7) n101
 needs editing. a lot.
There is a divide between Jewish people and Conservatives in the USA. Jews always vote for as close to Communism and Socialism as they can get. And our support of blacks can be interpreted as not so much a love of blacks, but more because they are enemies of white people.

So what I suggest to correct this situation is that people should learn Torah.
This will be helpful in two directions. One is that when Jewish people learn Torah, they will see that the Torah's values are not socialism, but rather identical with conservative values. On the other hand when Conservatives learn Torah, they will benefit by gaining a more consistent world view.

The left is so antisemitic it is a wonder to me that any decent person can associate themselves with them. My advice is thus to vote for what would be considered conservative values in the next election. And in the meantime to start learning Torah. For those who need an introduction to Torah I recommend the Horev of Shimshon Refael Hirsch--but only as an intro. At some point you need to start serious learning on your own. That is to get a Talmud Bavli and start working your way through it. I also recommend coming to Uman for Rosh Hashanah as this I think has the effect of coming to one's tikun [correction]. [Avraham Kook's books also are very good for an introduction in Torah.]

Nachman's books are good but they are mysticism, and not introductions to Torah. It is best to learn them after one has finished the Talmud at least once and also the main writings of Isaac Luria. Without that basic background the tendency is to misunderstand him.