Monotheism of the Torah. He made the world from nothing. Not from Divine light. He is not the world, nor is the world God.

Monotheism of the Torah is relatively easy to define. That God made the world but is not the world. This is easy to see in all book of Torah from the Middle Ages. However the religious world have been in the habit of denying this and claiming the world is condensed Divine Light.

They do this in a sneaky way by pretending to follow Torah by means of external rituals. They believe these rituals make them right and righteous about everything they do wrong.

The basic system of Torah is that God is one and He made the world from nothing. Not from Divine light. He is not the world, nor is the world God.
Since the religious deny this, I refuse to have anything to do with them. [Not to mention almost everything the religious do is in direct opposition to the Torah].

Furthermore, God has no substance nor form. He made substance and form but they do not apply to him. So nothing can have the substance of God since he has no substance. Again this is in direct opposition the the religious. Another reason to stay away from them.


Creation ex Nihilo [from nothing] is not the same as creation from condensed Divine Light.

I have had a few thoughts about the Obligations of the Heart but have not written down as they occurred to me.
One thing that comes up in the beginning of the book and also in the end in the final prayer  is Creation from nothing.
This is not a major theme there, but in the Guide volume 2 this is a major issue.(note 1)  It is one of the prime tenets of Torah that the world was created from nothing-not  from Divine Light. Not from anything. Just God's will.
However the religious that think they believe in Torah, deny this. That gives just one more reason to avoid the religious.

Another theme I saw  in the very end about bringing merit to many. That idea I recall also in the disciple of Israel Salanter  (Rav. Isaac Blazzer).  Also in Joseph Yozel Horwiz of Navardok. In  Navardok the idea of bringing merit to many people was understood to mean the Musar Movement.
[I recall this was also brought up in the famous אגרת המוסר the Letter of Musar that started the Musar Movement.]

The proof in the beginning of the book seems to ignore the fact that there are different kinds of infinity. [א]

Learning math comes up in שער הרישות in the very end.

(note 1) The Rambam makes this the major theme in volume 2 of the Guide.


The Obligations of the Heart (by Rav Behaye ibn Pakuda) says the Torah is an introduction to the commandments of Reason. That gives me a lot to think about. He explains commandments of the Torah have  a limit. Commandments of Reason have no limit. [שער  עבודת האלהים פרק ג]

[This actually reminds me of Michael Huemer's idea that reason recognizes objective moral principles. ]
It also has a connection with Kierkegaard's idea that the Torah has in fact things that are hard to understand. But what is clear and unambiguous one must do immediately.

[I am in a house where there is this book obligations of the Heart and I am astounded at how many fascinating ideas are in it.]


I think L.T.  Hobhouse has a great set of critiques on the Hegelian State and Hegel's Metaphysics. [Therefore I mentioned Hobhouse to Dr Kelley Ross wondering what he would say about Hobhouse.] 
However even before that I had seen than Brand Blanshard did not think highly of the critique of Hobhouse.

These are delicate points.  I see that the an authoritarian system is very necessary for Russia because of the types of people the Russian czars were ruling over, I see in the USA the effects of socialism are terrible. Still I await the answer of Kelley Ross to hear what he thinks of this debate.

The most serious critique I have seen on Hegel point by point seems to be Hobhouse. But even McTaggert-, Hegel's defender brings up problems. In any case, the attitude of Hobhouse is no where near as dismissive of Hegel as most of his detractors.

Thomas Sowell

There always have to be false versions of the Truth. Slight deviations that are only barely perceivable, but nonetheless cause the result to be the exact opposite of the results of following the Truth.
This is the real reason for the signature of the Gra on the letter of excommunication.
The point you can see in a fighter-craft. It takes only a slight readjustment to make the whole thing simply crash after takeoff. Seemingly slight mistakes in Torah also have led the entire religious world down the path of idolatry and only the Gra saw this before it happened.