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1.8.15

Catch 22.  There is an absurdity in the frum (orthodox) world. One needs Torah but as soon as one enters the frum world, the basic insanity of that world becomes apparent. And that insanity is catching--it is infectious. And you can't find a nice balance because that balance means in practical terms to be incompetent in both Torah and in secular things.[I can only write decent ideas in Torah though because I am writing down conversations between my learning partner and myself in Torah. And he is totally involved in Torah]

The Talmud mentions this concept as the idea of pulling the donkey from both ends. But the modern way of putting it is catch 22.

It is not just the frum world. Dostoevsky wrote, "If the world would be rational, then nothing would happen." And according to Schopenhauer the "Will" the true reality of this world is essentially irrational--or insane.

The only solution is to learn Torah and keep it the best you can. Joining any organization, not only will not help but will hurt. Not only that but support of organizations that are claiming to be learning Torah is just throwing away money to support private county clubs. They are not helping the poor, nor people that want to learn Torah, but just their buddies. As the Rambam said, there is no mitzvah to give charity to a person that could work if he wanted to.

31.7.15

 Some people from a few Lithuanian yeshivas came to the synagogue of  Nachman in Uman.

One fellow was from Lakewood in the USA and the others from Gateshead and other yeshivas either in London or other places in England.


That got me to be thinking about the pros and cons [for and against such yeshivas.] They can be misused. Many are made for the personal benefit of the people in charge. And though they claim to be for the benefit of the community they are actually geared towards the benefit of the leaders.
Sometimes however they are made for the sake of the holy Torah. And everything depends on what the original intentions are.
Torah is not happy when people use it for personal benefit.

And the main benefit that people seek from Torah is power. It gives people a tremendous ego trip and a power trip,  The ability to control others and tell them what to do --all supposedly for the sake of heaven. This is why I am cautious about which particular Litvak yeshiva I recommend and which ones I disparage and which yeshivas I saw are evil idolatrous cults. It is impossible to put a stamp of approval on all or even most.

The best thing is to get yourself the Horev of Shimshon Refael Hirsh  as an introduction and after that the whole Talmud and spend about two hours a day on your own learning Torah.








30.7.15

There are people that know God is hidden from them and they can search for him. But there are other people that don't know God is hidden. The hidden-ness is hidden. They think they are already close to God. Or they think everything is allowed.



In the Lekutai Moharan of Nachman from Uman, in Vol I chapter 56 he divides Torah, and the hidden-ness, and ruler-ship into two parts each.

Rulership he divides into two. One is open rulership. The other is hidden. Open is the head of a family or a company or a nation. But there is a person that has hidden ruler-ship. There is even a person that visibly has no authority, but in a hidden way he rules over all the tzadikim of the generation.
 But any kind of rulership is a responsibility that is dangerous.  המלכות מקברת את בעליה. So you have to draw life into it. That is by Torah. And this happens in a few ways. One is  by Torah people learn themselves what they are doing wrong and correct themselves. So you don't have to rebuke anyone. You just teach Torah, and the Torah itself corrects everyone. The other way is the Torah is the representative of God. It is his name. And with God is life. So by Torah you are calling to God and that brings life into the rulership.

The hidden-ness is this. There are people that know God is hidden from them and they can search for him. But there are other people that don't know God is hidden. The hidden-ness is hidden. They think they are already close to God. Or they think everything is allowed. They don't recognize that some things are forbidden.  But when one knows that without God, nothing can exist, and that he is even in the darkest of places that one has fallen to, by that the hiddeness is revealed. [Note this is not the same thing as pantheism. The faith of Torah is Monotheism. What Reb Nachman means here is  that the world is not God and is not godliness but that it can't exist without God. Saadia Gaon and the Rambam go into this in great detail in order to clarify the basic belief structure of the Torah.

And God made sure that only the highest level of Torah was contained in the hidden-ness in the hidden-ness. Because if open Torah was contained there, the kelipot would be able to receive nourishment from it.

So what I am suggesting is that this Torah lesson is connected in this way, that the Torah one needs to draw into the hidden rulership is the hidden Torah. That means in English to learn the writings of Isaac Luria.
But to learn Luria's stuff you need  also to learn the Talmud. Or at least to have finished the Talmud once with Rashi and Tosphot. [Not every Rashi is an obligation, but every Tosphot is.]









Ideas in Torah  [In Hebrew and mainly on Bava Metzia ch.s 8 and 9]

In the back there are some notes on miscellaneous subjects. --Like the time of the new moon. I have mentioned before this that I think the new moon should calculated from the Molad conjunction.
Also I put in a little essay on the time the night begins according to Rabbainu Tam. And also a small essay about the idea that Halacha depends on what the Talmud says and that later authorities can only clarify, but not supersede.

There is another small book on ideas in Shas, but it needs more editing.



29.7.15

 Rav Elazar Menachem Shach heard an idea from Isaac Zev Soloveicthik that I wanted to present here

The preliminaries are these: A mishna  says land conquered by Jews coming out of Egypt  but not settled by Jews returning to Israel from Babylonia is נאכל ואינו נעבד eaten but not worked on the seventh year. Another Mishna says עבר הירדן is obligated in ביעור. Fruits from lands beyond the Jordan river is not allowed to be eaten if there is nothing left of it in the fields. The Gemara in Yevamot 16b says אמון ומואב מעשרין מעשר עני בשביעית. Amon and Moav give tithes to the poor in the seventh year.
A few lines later the Talmud explains the reason: דאמר מר הרבה כרכים כבשו עולי מצרים והינחום עולי בבל שקדושה ראשונה קדשה לשעתה ולא קדשה לעתיד לבא כדי שיסמכו עליהם עניים בשביעית



Those are three facts from the Talmud.





The next three facts you need are these. Three Rambams. הלכות שביעית ויובל ד:כו. Land up until Kaziv is עולי בבל. After Kaziv is עולי מצרים. And is נאכל ואינו נעבד eaten but not worked on the seventh year.
The Rambam models his law here on the Mishna but adds ספיחים are eaten. [Not like ר' שמשון].
In the first chapter of Trumah the Rambam decides the law קדושה ראשונה the first sanctification did not sanctify the land permanently. Only the second sanctification did that.
In הלכות ביכורים ו:ה The Rambam says Amon and Moav and Egypt give tithes to the poor in the seventh year and Babylon gives the second tithe.

These are the six facts you need. Three from the Rambam and three from the Talmud.

Zev Soloveitchik told Rav Shach that land conquered by Jews coming from Egypt is obligated in all obligations that the land of Israel is obligated in.
One idea explains and clarifies everything in one simple sentence. I do have I think a very good question on this idea but I will save that for desert.

The shock value here lies starts when you notice the Gemara in Yevamot never said anything about land conquered by Jews returning from Egypt as being obligated in tithes to the poor. All it says is so that the poor will depend on them in the seventh year. That means it has all the obligations of the land of Israel. Seventh year, Truma, the forgotten sheaf etc., and etc.

The question I have is the fact that the Talmud says "they left them so the poor can depend on them in the seventh year." But all the more so if they had not left them then the land would have the holiness of the land of Israel and the poor would depend on them in the seventh year. My learning partner answered it is referring to ספיחים. But I think that is not a good answer because they left those lands before there was an decree against  ספיחים

 Clearly עולי מצרים is considered the land of Israel to the Rambam. And just like  Isaac Soloveitchik suggested it is obligated in all obligated of the land of Israel

A key fact here is הלכות תרומות א:כו that even the second sanctification did not sanctify any part of Israel until all Israel returns. Until then all obligations are by rabbinical decree.



 This explains the Rambam in laws of Trumot ch. 1 halacha 5, ולא פטרום כדי שיסמו כו עליהם עניים בשביעית. Logically that means if they had not left them poor people could not depend on them. At first glance this sounds senseless. But what I suggest it means is this : if they had not left them they would be obligated in the seventh year laws.


Still  what is hard to understand here is this way the Rambam puts it. He could have written that  עולי מצרים have an obligation of Trumah but not the seventh year and that is from the sages.