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3.7.15

If you have suffered from a certain person the tendency is to find blame in that person's world view. One tends to think that if the system was different evil would be eradicated.

People that have suffered from people that are theists tend to say theism is the problem. If one has suffered from people that believe in a different system, the tendency will be to blame that system. Another example is if people have suffered under the Nazis, then the tendency is to say the belief system of Nazism is the trouble. And this kind of thinking is sometimes justified. After all blaming Nazism for the Holocaust does not seem like much of a stretch. But there are other times that it seems to me that building ones world view on what he sees as negative influences is a dumb way of going about thinking about these things.

Human evil is the type of thing that even people believing in a good system will get the virus of evil. No system is immune. But that does not mean all systems are alike. Nor are all social memes alike. You find one social meme  you think is bad and try to eradicate it you will probably find two that have grown in its stead.

But like Nazism there are certain social memes which are pernicious.

Sometimes one has just found a bad group inside a decent system.
 Personally I go with my parents system, Judaism, but I modify that with a good dose of traditional learning Talmud and keeping Jewish Law. But the basic structure of belief--the world view of my parents of what makes a man into a "mensch" I think they knew more about that than anyone I have ever met.

But their beliefs were not really in accord with Reform  even though we went to a Reform Shul in Hollywood.--a great place--Temple Israel of Hollywood. But teh belif system of my parents was a lot more traditional that official Reform.

To get an idea of what my parents thought and what I think is the proper approach to life I recommend learning Musar. That is the  basic set of medieval books חובות לבבות אורחות צדיקים מסילת ישרים  etc. there are about thirty in all. This is hard reading. The ideas are not hard. It is rather that by reading these books and saying them out loud as you read you get fear of God. And that is hard work. It is not supposed to be light reading.


Learning Torah is not a business. כל תורה שאין עמה מלאכה סופה בטילה

What attracts people to yeshivas? You have to say it is at least the social aspect. At least to some degree. It promises to be a kind of social glue.  This is the aspect that I found to be weak. This is the reason that in the past I have been hesitant to recommend Litvak yeshivas on my blog.
The fact is I recognize that in such places there is a tremendous spirit. [I recognize that there was a tremendous spirit of God that filled Lithuanian yeshivas. But I think a lot of that depended on the sincerity of belief. When it all became about money and status the spirit of the Lord left.]
But the social cohesion aspect is weak.

Let me try to explain this. Lets us look at the ideal. The ideal is you have
city states like ancient Greece. That is  "the yeshiva world." Each yeshiva is like an island in a vast sea in turmoil. And each island is part of a loose federation of other such islands. And more or less being a citizen of one means one is a citizen of all the islands.
In practice this ideal has fallen apart. The reason it did was that it was the ideal that joined it together. One Torah become a means to making a living the social glue of what Torah is ceased being an effective glue.


If one is no longer socially acceptable,  then the yeshiva world spits them out. That means it is good only as long as one is young handsome and has rich parents.

My advice is to renew the original idea. To make yeshivas that learn for the sake of God alone. The original Litvak yeshiva model. And then Torah will again be the social glue.

That is money and Torah have gotten too much mixed up with each other. Torah is now considered a way of making money. This has to stop right now.

In every book of Musar it says the Torah ideal is to work and to learn. People seeing a golden opportunity have attempted to betray that ideal and make up a make believe Torah in which is is some group of elite astronauts that the lowly secular and Baali teshuva  (newly religious) are supposed to support by the sweat of their brow. This is false and has to be stopped. when Torah will be learned for its own sake and not for pay then it will begin to make a difference.






2.7.15

Music for the glory of God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and of my parents.

b105 
I am upset by the attacks against the USA. Mainly because the USA, the country that I grew up in, was  wholesome and wonderful, and so unrecognizable from what there is today I simply can't comment on it. It is like the first Temple that Solomon built. I am sad it is gone, but there is not much I can do about restoring it.
Mainly I think it was a communist plot. The idea was to undermine American values in universities, and then Americans themselves would destroy it from within. Most people I know don't think the KGB had that kind of influence. But first of all the KGB was highly compartmentalized. And the part of it devoted to disinformation in the USA would not have been known to other department people. Also, I should mention the budget of the KGB for these kind of operations was enormous. And once you have gotten to people in collage and convinced them of the "truths" of socialism, then even when they becomes senators or judges or even the president, they continue with those same policies.
Today the KGB is gone, and I doubt if Russia has the same goals as the USSR. They might want an expanded Russian empire, but I highly doubt if they are interested in the downfall of the USA.
Today the main threat against the USA are Muslims, but they are not the only ones. The Democrats are hard at work undermining the basis of the USA in other ways.

b98  I think I  posted this before some time ago. I am just doing so again just in case.
People are open to argument. You have probably met left wing fanatics who are not. And also religious fanatics who are not.

But in the high school I attended  and in the different universities i have been at and also in some yeshivas I have found people open to rational argument.--to some degree.

To me it seems probable that many intellectuals were drawn to socialist ideas because of the seemingly strong intellectual rationals behind it. Historically you have got to say this is in fact what happened.

So for freedom and  and American ideals of equality of opportunity not equality of outcome you need an intellectual foundation. And especially if one is religious there needs to be some kind of rational interface between the ideas of Freedom and Equality and the Old Testament.

What I am trying to say is at least Hegel and Marx had something that looked like a system. Right wing things don't seem to have much of a system. They have a few axioms free market, small government but not much of a system --until you get to the Friesian School.Kant-Friesian School

It may not have the glitter of Marx and Hegel but it is the most comprehensive and deepest system that I have seen. [Also the most logically rigorous way beyond Hegel and Marx.]