If something is interesting does that mean it is good? On that essay on that Catholic site there
there is a mention that Kant is not that interesting. True. And that is a negative I admit.  But I also know the Dark Side can impart flavor to bad things. Even more than they would have naturally.

What I suggest is that habit is the ruler. And that one has the knowledge and ability to direct his or hers own will towards things they know are good.
One can direct his will into learning
Math, Physics, learning Torah, etc.
But it helps if there is some kind of numinous [holy] taste in what one is doing. Reb Nachman felt there is luminosity in everything. One can serve God through everything.

(Personally, I find Reb Nachman's books fascinating. They are if anything even more spiritually full of power even more than the Ari.  I also find the Ari to be griping.)

This is the quote from that site:

The sublime spiritual sterility of the texts of Kant’s philosophical maturity, for instance, could scarcely provide a more perspicuous glimpse into the personality of perhaps the single most boring man ever to darken a wigmaker’s doorway. The leaden, caliginous bombast of Hegel’s prose was a pure emanation of his grindingly pompous soul. The turgidity of Derrida’s attempts at playfulness were little more than clinical specimens of his insufferable self-infatuation. As a general rule, to put it simply, if one wanders into one’s library in search of mirth, good fellowship, or wit, one does well not to seek out the company of the philosophers.


Failure to be in accordance with God's Will results, not from a failure to think for oneself, but rather from the fact that people are told what to think by people who see themselves as more holy and thus closer to the truth than ordinary mortals. And they have the gall to ask us to pay for their holiness.

And I should add that there are people that set themselves up as teachers of Torah or who wish to bring other to Torah, They are the most dangerous of all.  Nachman from Uman correctly identified them as demons. Torah scholars that are Jewish Demons. Is one of many terms he used for them. It was not that he was against Torah. Nachman from Uman believed in Torah. The problem was the people making money off of Torah tend to lose their Jewish souls and instead are possessed by some demon.

Yeshivas were originally simply the local synagogue  in town.
There were simply places where people gathered to learn Torah after the morning prayers.

It was Reb Chaim from Voloshin that made them into  a kind of institution. He went to the Gra to ask his opinion about this making such a kin of place. The Gra did not agree. There is a some debate if after being asked a few times if he did agree or not.

I do not know what the Gra was thinking but I have noticed that there is a kind of problem that arises when Torah is made into  a mode of making a living. I think the Gra was aware of this. What you have nowadays is people have no other way of making money except by being a  a yeshiva and then asking people to support them and then they say they are not using Torah to make money. That seems like a contradiction.  If they are not working and asking for charity because they are learning Torah it seems that they are using the Torah to make money.

The reason this is important is this. I want to be able to say to people that in order to repent one needs to learn Torah. So far I am afraid to write that people should learn Torah because I fear they might take me seriously and walk into some yeshiva like the ones we have today. What will happen? He will walk into one place and they will accuse him of being there to steal their hot-dogs at lunchtime. So he will say that is just the exception. The next place will say he is a murderer or child abuser. Then he will start to see the pattern. The next one he will walk into he will wear fancy clothing. Or look like a university student. And then they will make themselves out to be his best friends. Thus it will go on and on. Every yeshiva he will find will be full of lies. The reason is none of them are for learning Torah. They are all money factories that care only about the money they can con out of secular Jews.

Until yeshiva will be about learning Torah alone, there is no way I can be responsible for saying they are good places.

Failure to be in accordance with God's Will  results, not from a failure to think for oneself, but rather from the fact that people are told what to think by people who see themselves as more holy and thus closer to the truth than ordinary mortals.


I am not a fan of pseudo sciences nor of "great books" education.
The trouble with most of what is taught today as exact  sciences are pseudo sciences. Even if they can be used for making a living they are still evil. That is psychology, and all it related fields. Obviously they can con people into giving them vast sums of money and have a strong hold over the educational system in the USA even though they have nothing of worth to offer just mirrors and delusions couched in scientific jargon.
People should learn real science and Torah. And when it gets time to get married to learn a honest vocation also.

Torah should be learned thus: a fast session Gemara, Rashi, Tosphot, Maharsha, and Maharam--one עמוד  this one side of a page per day. Not a whole Daf. Rather a 1/2 a Daf. That is the fast session. The slow one should be with a learning partner. And that depends a lot on the particular subject.
After one finishes the Talmud then the Ari. (I Luria). But no pseudo Torah.  [All  supposedly mystic books written after the Ari are pseudo Torah. The exceptions are the books of Yaakov Abuchatzaeia and Shalom Sharabi.]
After one has gone through the Talmud once in the above way, the next thing is to do the Jerusalem Talmud in the same way with all the commentaries on the page. The main thing is to say the words and go on. You will understand much more in this way than if you stayed on every little detail. The you go through the rest of the halachic Midrashim. That is one fast session per day. That takes about 40 minutes if you do it with the Maharsha and Maharam. If you have more time you can do more than a 1/2 a Daf per day. But this seems like a lot already.
There should be another short session in the midrashei hagadah in such a way that after a few years one has finished the entire Oral and Written Law (Old Testament). Every last word. This only seems like a lot because I am not talking about reading novels. If I would say to go through a  novel by Tom Clancy  in a few days it would seem like nothing to most people. But all of a sudden when it is Torah it sounds like a momentous task.
The slow in depth learning I can give any kind of guidance on. The normal way of going about it is to be in a authentic Lithuanian Yeshiva. You prepare for the Rosh Yeshiva's class in the morning. Then the class is he giving over his original ideas on the Gemara. It is not just reading over some one else's  ideas. That is in any case how things were at the Mir. But to get to be able to do this yourself takes more than the regular four years. It might take twenty or more. It is like in the Middle Ages when apprenticeship could last for twenty of more years until one was  a master of the art


David Abuchatzeira was murdered by Muslims on the 14th of Kislev. That is why I thought to write a few words about the Abuchatzeira family. The major thing that was special about this family was their idea of education. They had the basic approach that you would find in any Lithuanian yeshiva straight Gemara and Musar and Poskim. But their way of keeping Torah was significantly simplified..They were not reading too much Dante I should say. At at a certain point they would get into the Ari-Isaac Luria. But that went along with a good deal of fasting.
Let me mention a few things as samples of the events surrounding them. Israel Abuchatzeira once was  one  a bus going going from one town to the next. It go to be time for the afternoon prayer. {Mincha}. He told the person he was with to ask the bus driver to stop the bus so he could get out and pray. The driver laughed at such a ridiculous request.  So the fellow returned to his seat. Then Bava Sali (Israel Abuchatzeira) told him to get ready to get off the bus. Then suddenly the engine broke down. They got off to pray as the bus driver got out to see of he could fix the engine. Bava Sali took his own sweet time to pray as was his custom. After he finished they got back on the bus and he told the person his was with to tell the driver he could start the bus now. The driver  yelled at him and said can't you see I have been trying to start this thing for the last hour? So he returned to his seat. Bava Sali told him to tell the driver to just put the key in the ignition and see what happens. He did so and the bus started with no problem.

One thing you in Bava Sali--is the idea of authentic  Torah. He was not involved with "Tikunim." That is he was not taking any one particular Mitzvah. His was straight learning and keeping Torah. The oral and written law. The פירוש המקובל. That is the explanation of the Written Torah that was received by the sages of the Mishna and Talmud. Things written later are not the oral nor written law. They can at best explain some aspects of the oral or written law but do not override them and when they go off into their own explanation not based on the oral law then they are ספרים חיצוניים-books that the sages say one loses his portion in the  next world by reading them. [That means most so called Torah books today are in fact ספרים חיצוניים]. See the Rif and Rosh there on the mishna in Sanhedrin.

Bava Sali was not a fan of the "great books" education. STEM maybe but not secular education outside of the natural sciences or straight forwards learning a vocation.

I thought it would be proper to say a few words about David Abuchatzeira, the older brother of Bava Sali. It is after all 14 Kislev on the Jewish Calendar.
The main phenomenon of the Abuchatzeira family was really located in Morroco.. That is where the family lived until the State of Israel was founded.
This family seemed to be blessed with ascetics. That is they would be married but they would be living the kind of life you would associate with a ascetic in other ways. It is hard to explain.
But without going into too much detail let me at least mention that their general path was what you would call straight Torah and Mitzvah. It would be the same thing as you would have in any Lithuanian Yeshiva. The only difference would be that after some member of the family would have gone through Shas a few time they would begin to learn the writings of Isaac Luria and at that point begin to go up in levels of holiness and separation from this world,--but they would still be married.

Though the charlatans called kabalists abound nowadays, still this family was different. They were the real thing. And their powers came from the side of Holiness. {There are plenty of people with powers from the Dark Side, and you need a certain degree of talent to be able to spot them.}

There was a time that you could go anywhere in Israel and just mention the name of Bava Sali and someone would have a story to tell you of how they went to him with some problem and it was magically solved afterwards.

The stories were astounding. And it seemed impossible to say they were all lying or had some agenda.

We have the Rambam in laws of accidental sacrifices 7:3 :  If one does a work on Shabat and he knows it is Shabat but he forgot that kind of work is forbidden or else he forgot the punishment then he brings a sin offering.  Even if he did all 39 he brings 39 sin offerings, Someone asked Avraham the son of the Rambam in what way did he remember it is shabat? {That is needed in order so that this does not deteriorate into a simple case when one forgot it is Shabat and he brings just one sacrifice.}

Avraham said the beginning of the halacha is not connected to the end or he remembered the branches of the work.

These both sound to me like great answers.
We were reading the Avi Ezri of Rav Shach and he brings the Beit Joseph who asks on the answer of Rav Avraham.
The questions comes from Rambam Laws of Shabat 7:8. If one does a work and its branch in one span of forgetting he brings just one sin offering. Even if he did all 39  he brings 39 sacrifices.

I don't see the question. I think the halacha in Shabat is when he remembered one branch. (For example he knew picking the weeds out of his garden is forbidden but did not know any other kind of work) And the case in laws of accidental sacrifices is either the same or he remembered all 39 kinds of work and forgot the punishment. Just like the first answer of Rav Avraham!

Now  why my learning partner thinks this question of the Beit Yospeh is a good question I think is this: Let us start out at the beginning. He he forgot a work and its punishment, or just the punishment he brings one sin offering. Keep going. He forgot 38 works and their punishishment or he knew they were all forbidden but forgot the punishment. He brings 38. Then what? It is no longer symmetrical We can't have he forgot 39 and their punishments because in what way did he remember Shabat? And if you answer he remembered a branch of a work then that is the second answer of Rav Avraham--not the first!

But to me it seems that is the exact point of Rav Avraham. The end is not connected to the beginning. For all 38 kinds of work he could have forgotten both or just the עונש, but when we get up to the 39th one it can only be he forgot the עונש. If he forgot both and for all 39 works then that is שכחת שבת and he brings only on sacrifice.


I am not sure how to say this. There seems to be some argument between my learning partner and myself and I can see my side of the argument and I can sort of see the side of my learning partner.
To start off let me just say over what the issue is.
We have the רמב''ם in הלכות שגגות ז:ג :  If one does a מלאכה on שבת and he knows it is שבת but he forgot that kind of מלאכה is forbidden or else he forgot the עונשן then he brings a חטאת.  Even if he did all ל''ט he brings ל''ט חטאות, Someone asked אברהם the son of the רמב''ם in what way did he remember it is שבת? That is needed in order so that this does not deteriorate into a simple case when one forgot it is שבת and he brings just one חטאת no matter how many acts of מלאכה he did.

רב אברהם said the beginning of the הלכה is not connected to the end or he remembered the תולדות מלאכה .

These both sound to me like great answers.
We were reading the אבי עזרי of רב ש''ך and he brings the בית יוסף who asks on the answer of רב אברהם.
The questions comes from רמב''ם הלכות שבת ז:ח . If one does a work and its branch in one span of forgetting he brings just one חטאת. Even if he did all ל''ט  he brings ל''ט sacrifices.

I don't see the question. I think the הלכה in שבת is when he remembered one תולדה. For example he knew picking the weeds out of his garden is forbidden but did not know any other kind of מלאכה. And the case in ז:ג  הלכות שגגות is either the same, or he remembered all ל''ט kinds of מלאכה and forgot the עונשים. Just like the first answer of רב אברהם!

Now  why my learning partner thinks this question of the בית יוסף is a good question I think is this: Let us start out at the beginning. He he forgot a מלאכה and its עונש, or just the עונש he brings one חטאת. Keep going. He forgot ל''ח מלאכה and their עונשן or he knew they were all forbidden but forgot the עונשן. He brings ל''ח. Then what? It is no longer symmetrical. We can't have he forgot ל''ט and their עונשן because in what way did he remember שבת? And if you answer he remembered a תולדה of a work, then that is the second answer of רב אברהם, not the first!

יש איזה ויכוח בין השותף למידה ואת עצמי. כדי להתחיל תנו לי רק לומר על מה היא הבעיה. יש לנו את הרמב''ם בהלכות שגגות ז: ג: אם אחד עושה מלאכה בשבת והוא יודע  שהוא שבת אבל הוא שכח  שסוג הזה של מלאכה אסורה או שהוא שכח את עונשה אז הוא מביא חטאת. גם אם הוא עשה את כל הל''ט מביא  ל''ט חטאות. מישהו שאל את אברהם בנו של רמב''ם באיזה אופן  הוא זוכר את זה שהוא שבת? (שצריך את זה כדי שזה לא יידרדר למקרה פשוט כאשר אחד שכח   ששבת היום והוא מביא רק  חטאת  אחת, ולא משנה כמה מלאכות שהוא עשה. רב אברהם אמר תחילת ההלכה אינה מחוברת לסוף או שהוא נזכר בתולדות המלאכה. שני אלה נשמעות לי תשובות נכונות. אנו קוראים אבי העזרי של רב ש''ך והוא מביא את הבית יוסף ששואל על התשובות של רב אברהם. השאלות מגיעה מהרמב"ם הלכות שבת ז: ח. אם אחד  עושה את המלאכה והסניף שלה בהעלם אחד שהוא מביא רק חטאת אחת. גם אם הוא עשה את כל  המלאכות שהוא מביא ל''ט קורבנות. אני לא רואה את השאלה. אני חושב שההלכה בשבת הוא כשהוא נזכר תולדה אחד. לדוגמא הוא ידע לקטוף העשבים מתוך הגן אסור, אבל לא ידע כל סוג של מלאכה אחרת. והמקרה בז: ג הלכות שגגות היא גם אותו דבר, או שהוא זוכר את כל סוגים ל''ט של מלאכה ושכח עונשן. בדיוק כמו התשובה הראשונה של רב אברהם.
 עכשיו למה שותף הלמידה שלי חושב ששאלה זו של בית יוסף היא שאלה טובה?  הוא שכח מלאכה ועונשה, או רק עונשה הוא מביא חטאת אחת. ממשיכים. הוא שכח ל''ח מלאכות ועונשן, או שהוא ידע שהן כולן אסורות אבל שכח עונשן. הוא מביא ל''ח. עכשיו אם רוצים להמשיך אנחנו לא יכולים לומר שהוא שכח הל''ט ועונשן , כי באיזה אופן הוא זוכר שבת? ואם אתה עונה שהוא זוכר תולדה של עבודה, אז זה התשובה השנייה של רב אברהם, לא הראשונה.

אבל לי זה נראה שהוא הנקודה של רב אברהם. הסוף אינו מחובר להתחלה. לכל סוגים ל''ח של מלאכה יוכל להיות ששכח שניהם הלאו והעונש או רק העונש, אבל כאשר אנחנו מגיעים למלאכה הל''ט  יכול להיות רק שהוא שכח עונש. שאם הוא שכח וגם המלאכה  הל''ט אז זה שכחת שבת והוא מביא רק  חטאת אחת


I had an unusual path that took me from California to the Mir Yeshiva in NY and then to Israel. On this path I learned Torah--that is the oral and written Torah  and towards the last few years in NY I added learning the Ari to me regular sessions.  By the time I arrived in Israel I had  a kind of sensitivity to the kind of energy I would encounter there. It was intense. The path was basically the straight Lithuanian yeshiva path. But I also learned the books of  Nachman of Uman on the side. This path  was a synthesis between Reason and Revelation. It was not faith alone. Nor reason alone. It was the kind of path you see in the Musar medieval ethic books. (Breslov today does tend to discount the value of Reason but that was not my path nor the path  that  the Mir Yeshiva approach.)

After some time I fell from this and so I have no information about how one can fix things in his lie after they have fallen apart. But starting from scratch I did discover something quite remarkable.  But I don't have any way of describing it besides that it was a kind of synthesis between the regular Lithuanian yeshiva approach and  Nachman of Breslov.