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26.7.17

FOR ANYONE THAT WANTS TO KEEP TORAH THERE IS A STUMBLING BLOCK PLACE IN THEIR PATH--THE SO CALLED TEACHERS OF TORAH THAT TEACH TORAH OF THE SITRA ACHRA.
 The Gra tried to deal with this problem by putting his signature on the letter of excommunication that warned people about these fake scholars that are actually demons.

The trouble is that until this problem is taken care of there is really almost no way to keep Torah. The entire religious world is a den of the Satan and his minions. So one can try to keep and learn Torah by oneself. In fact nowadays that might be the only way. [Though I think of  few places that are still pure, like Ponovitch and the great NY Litvak yeshivas. But these kind of places are rare.]
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Clearly the ideal way to go about learning Torah is to combine two factors (1) accepting the yoke of Torah. That is to be committed to sit and learn Torah no matter what the cost. (2) Trust in God with no השתדלות No effort.

The problem with this in Israel is the way the system is set up. It only works in such a way that one need to use Torah to make money--or he can't be learning at all. That is the whole system is set up in such a way as to make only Torah not for its own sake possible. Not Torah for its own sake.

The USA has at least in NY where the system is set up as to make Torah for its own sake possible. But in Israel the only place that seems to work is in Bnei Brak in Ponovitch.

Just one example would be the idea of taking tests to show you did the learning in order to get the paycheck. An open violation of the prohibition of learning Torah to make money.
To me it seems the only way to learn Torah for its own sake in Israel is to do it own one's own time and expensive. And in some way that is probably a good thing because the religious community there is anyway pretty messed up. The leaders tend to be demons in human form and their vicious anti Israel agenda just goes to show it.
The general path that was accepted in the Mir and also in Shar Yashuv was that Torah should be learned without any intention of using it for money. As for a vocation, the general advice was to go and learn a trade or go to university. How it got to be accepted to use Torah to make money as the entire religious world does today is a complete mystery to me.  I thought that everyone knew that Torah should not be used to make money or to be asking for donations. It is not just that it is in Pirkei Avot. It is something I thought was common knowledge. But hanging out in the religious world I found out that using Torah for money seems to be perfectly acceptable nowadays.--even admirable.
And in terms of kollel which comes under the category of accepting money to learn Torah--if it is done in that way then it is OK to Rav Joseph Karo the author of the Shulchan Aruch, but that is not how it is done nowadays.





25.7.17

Though natural law became a big thing in the West because of Aquinas, I have come to see that to the Rambam there is no essential difference between Torah Law and natural law. Torah Law is simply the fulfillment of natural law.


Divine Law has always been a problem in the West because of the Antinomianism of Paul. Even Catholics when they appeal to something in the Law of Moses always suggest the reason is because of Natural Law.

Though חוקי השכל [laws of Reason] really was suggested as the reason for the laws of the Torah by Saadia Gaon, still no one made much of a distinction between the laws of reason and the laws of Torah until Aquinas.

There is a famous law in Sukka גוד אסיק מחיצתא we consider the walls of a roof to be extended upwards in order to make the Sukka valid. The Rambam brings this in Law of Suka 4:11 [if memory serves correctly.] It says there that if one builds the Suka on the roof with just four poles the walls of the roof are considered to extend upwards to make it valid.


 But then he also brings the law of a mound of dirt in 4:14 to say the walls are not extended upward. There it says if one has a Suka in which the covering branches are too high (above 20 yards) and puts in a mound of dirt (10 hand-breaths high)in the middle to make the difference between the floor and cover to be less that is not valid.
Reb Chaim Soloveitchik brings down this question and so does Rav Shach.
Rav Shach adds an additional piece of information that a mound of dirt is considered a private domain in Shabat.  That means even for a mound of dirt we do say גוד אסיק מחיצתא we bring up the walls even though there is nothing to distinguish between the mound itself and what we would be calling its walls.

I do not know why no one seems to say this but to me it seems the main difference must be that we do not say  גוד אסיק מחיצתא to make the covering branches valid but we do say it to make the wall valid.
I still do not have any idea why this would be so but to me it seems clear that this is the only possible explanation for this problem.

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The רמב''ם brings in הלכות סוכה ד:י''א גוד אסיק מחיצתא we consider the walls of a roof to be extended upwards in order to make the סוכה valid.  If one builds the סוכה on the roof with just four poles, the walls of the roof are considered to extend upwards to make it valid. But then he also brings the law of   הלכות סוכה ד:י''א  א that is if one has a סוכה in which the סכך is too high למעלה מעשרים אמה and puts in a תל of dirt עשרה טפחים גובה in the middle to make the difference between the floor and cover to be less that is not valid. The מחיצות are not extended upward. צריכים מחיצות הניכרות כמו שאמר רבא.
רב חיים הלוי brings down this question and so does רב שך.
רב שך adds an additional piece of information that a תל of dirt is considered a רשות היחיד in שבת.  That means even for a תל of dirt we do say גוד אסיק מחיצתא we bring up the מחיצות even though there is nothing to distinguish between the תל itself and what we would be calling its מחיצות. To me it seems the main difference must be that we do not say  גוד אסיק מחיצתא to make the סכך valid but we do say it to make the מחיצות valid. I still do not have any idea why this would be so but to me it seems clear that this is the only possible explanation for this problem.



רמב''ם מביא הלכות סוכה ד: י''א גוד אסיק מחיצתא אנו רואים קירות הגג להתארך כלפי מעלה על מנת להפוך את הסוכה תקף. אם אחד בונה את הסוכה על שפת הגג עם רק ארבעה עמודים, קירות הגג נחשבים להאריך כלפי מעלה כדי לגרום לזאת תוקף. אבל אז הוא גם מביא את החוק  בהלכות סוכה ד: י"ד לומר אם לאחד יש סוכה ובה סכך גבוה מדי (למעלה מעשרים אמה) ומכניס עמוד בגבוה עשרה טפחים באמצע כדי להשלים את ההבדל בין הרצפה ולסכך להיות פחות כי הוא לא תקף. המחיצות לא הוארכו כלפי מעלה. צריך מחיצות הניכרות כמו שאמר רבא. רב חיים הלוי מביא את השאלה הזו וכך גם רב שך. רב שך מוסיף   של מידע נוסף כי תל  נחשב רשות היחיד בשבת. כלומר, אפילו עבור עמוד ותל אנחנו אומרים גוד אסיק מחיצתא, אנו מעלים את המחיצות אף אם אין להבחין בין העמוד או התל עצמו ומה שהיינו קוראים מחיצות שלו. לי זה נראה ההבדל העיקרי חייב להיות שאנחנו לא אומרים גוד אסיק מחיצתא להפוך את הסכך חוקי, אך אנו אומרים את זה כדי להפוך את המחיצות תקפות. אני עדיין אין לי שום מושג למה זה יהיה  כך אבל לי זה נראה ברור כי זהו ההסבר היחיד האפשרי עבור בעיה זו.













24.7.17

I am not sure how to put this in short. I saw that Rav Shach has an answer for the Rambam [Laws of Forbidden Sexual Relations 12:1] that is a little different than the answer I put down in my little booklet on Bava Metzia.

In short the Rambam says it is a prohibition from the Torah to marry a gentile. The curious thing about this is that it seems to be going like R Shimon that we look at the reason for  a verse. The gemara in Kidushin and Yevamot says one can not marry a gentile. It asks why not? To R. Shimon it is clear because the verse says בתך לא תתן לבנו Do not give your daughter to his son nor your son to his daughters because they will tilt the hearts of your children towards idolatry. {Deuteronomy.}
But that is only to R. Shimon who looks at the reason for a verse. But to R. Yehuda the verse is only talking about the seven Canaanite nations.[The Gemara answers it is a decree.]

In short Rav Shach brings another argument in Sanhedrin about the verse that says a king should not have many wives because they might tilt his heart. The Sages say no more than 18. R. Yehuda says He can marry more than 18 as long as they do not tilt his heart. R. Shimon says even one that tilts his heart is forbidden. Then why say "He should not have many"? To tell us even if they are a righteous as Abigail.
 The way Rav Shach says it is that we see R. Yehuda holds דורשין טעמא דקרא (we go by the reason for the verse, not the literal meaning) if the reason is stated in the verse. So to R. Yehuda only the seven nations would be forbidden because they are very attached to idolatry but others not. However the Sages would hold that the simple explanation of the verse would be referring to all gentile nations. [This is different than my own explanation  but still closely related.] One problem I see with this is that R Yehuda holds if the reason for the verse is stated then it would mean you could marry anyone as long as they do not tilt your heart. That is one possible question on Rav Shach's approach.

[That is the exact parallel to what R. Yehuda says about a king where there also is written the reason for the verse.]

[I might mention that the Tur, the son of Rabbainu Asher decided the halacha like R. Yehuda that we do no go by the reason for the verse, but rather by the literal meaning which in this case means only the seven Canaanite Nations are forbidden.]

 It is also important to point out that idolatry is not limited to gentiles. Thus anyone doing idolatry would be forbidden to marry. כל המסירות all that could cause one's heart to stray from God to serve false gods.will be forbidden. And the religious world is sadlly jam packed with false gods-(non with standing the extreme emphasis on rituals).




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 I saw that רב שך has an answer for the רמב''ם   הלכות איסורי ביאה י''ב:א
In short the רמב''ם says it is a prohibition from the Torah to marry a gentile. The curious thing about this is that it seems to be going like ר. שמעון that we look at the reason for  a verse. The גמרא in קידושין and יבמות says one can not marry a gentile. It asks why not? To ר. שמעון it is clear because the verse says בתך לא תתן לבנו Do not give your daughter to his son nor your son to his daughters because they will tilt the hearts of your children towards idolatry.
But that is only to ר. שמעון who looks at the reason for a verse. But to ר. יהודה the verse is only talking about the שבעת העמים.The גמרא answers it is a דרבנן.

Without being aware of what רב שך had written I wrote my own explanation of the רמב''ם that in fact is closely linked to רב שך, but slightly different.

In short רב שך brings another argument in סנהדרין about the verse that says a king should not have many wives because they might tilt his heart. The חכמים say no more than שמנה עשרה. But ר. יהודה says he can marry more than שמנה עשרה as long as they do not tilt his heart. ר. שמעון says even one that tilts his heart is forbidden. Then why say "He should not have many"? To tell us even if they are a righteous as אביגיל.
 The way רב שך says it is that we see ר. יהודה holds דורשין טעמא דקרא if the reason is stated in the verse. So to ר. יהודה only the seven nations would be forbidden because they are very attached to idolatry but others not. However the Sages would hold that the simple explanation of the verse would be referring to all gentile nations.  One problem I see with this is that ר. יהודה holds if the reason for the verse is stated then it would mean you could marry anyone as long as they do not tilt your heart. That is one possible question on רב שך approach.


לרב יש שך תשובה עבור הרמב''ם הלכות איסורי ביאה י''ב: א'. בקיצור רמב''ם אומר שזה איסור מן התורה להתחתן עם גויה. הדבר המעניין בזה הוא שזה נראה שהולך כמו ר. שמעון שהולכים לפי הסיבה של פסוק. הגמרא בקידושין ויבמות אומרת אחד לא יכול להתחתן עם גויה. זה שואל למה לא? ועונה זה ל ר. שמעון  כי הפסוק אומר בתך לא תתן לבנו (אל תיתן בתך לבנו) ולא בנך לבנותיו כי הם יוכלו להטות את לבם של הילדים שלך כלפי עבודה זרה. אבל זה רק  ר. שמעון שמסתכל על הסיבה של הפסוק. אבל אל לר. יהודה הפסוק רק מדבר על שבעת העמים. גמרא עונה היא דרבנן. בקיצור רב שך מביא טיעון נוסף בסנהדרין על הפסוק שאומר למלך אסור להתחתן עם נשים רבות, משום שהן עלולות להטות את לבו. חכמים אומרים לא יותר משמנה עשרה. אבל ר. יהודה אומר שהוא יכול לשאת יותר משמנה עשרה, כל עוד שהן לא נוטות את לבו. ר. שמעון אומר אפילו אחת שנוטה את לבו אסורה. אז למה הפסוק אומר "לא ירבה"? כדי לדווח לנו שאפילו אם הן צדיקות כמו אביגיל. הדרך שרב שך אומר הוא שאנחנו רואים שר. יהודה מחזיק דורשין טעמא דקרא אם הסיבה נאמרה בפסוק. אז אל ר. יהודה רק שבעת האומות תיאסרנה משום שהן קשורות מאוד לעבודה זרה אבל אחרות לא. אולם חז"ל מחזיקים כי ההסבר הפשוט של הפסוק מתייחס לכל אומות העולם. בעיה אחת שאני רואה עם זה היא כי ר. יהודה מחזיק אם הסיבת הפסוק נאמרה, אז זה אומר שאתה יכול להתחתן עם מישהיא, כל עוד שהיא לא נוטה את הלב שלך.
My own answer here was that when the reason for the verse is written then the Sages and R. Shimon agree. [I think that was my answer, but I have not looked it up to check.] But if so then on my answer also there is a question because R. Shimon and the Sages do not look to agree completely in such a case,



23.7.17

Each group seems to have its own particular variety of the evil inclination.

I can see that people feel they are on the side of good just because of some group they belong to. And there is often some reason that justifies their belief. In the groups I have hung out with I have seen this much. But the Sitra Achara--the Dark Side has its own formulas for each group.
There is always some special brand of evil that attaches itself to every group and none are immune.

Dante is a good cure for that delusion.
That is in Dante,  hell is reserved for people with bad character. That is to say when people do evil, they end up in hell and the social group they belonged to does nothing to help them out of it.
I have found this a lot in Jewish groups, but all groups seem to have this problem with unwarranted pride. That however does not mean all groups are the same. Each one seems to have its own particular variety of the evil inclination.