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16.2.14

One of the major ways that universities fail when it comes to subjects concerning Jews is that they do not teach Torah, but they teach peripheral issues about Torah. They teach about Jewish history or about Jewish philosophy [which was always of minor interest to Jews].
Even when they teach Talmud, they do not teach Talmud, but they teach about the Talmud.

Even in first class places like Hebrew University,  they also do not teach Kabalah but about Kabalah.

  If you go to university to learn mathematics you want to learn Math right? You don't want to spend all your time learning about mathematics or the lives of mathematicians!

  The way to understand Talmud for university students is not to learn a lot of Talmud but to learn how to examine one subject. This is like when you learn poetry. You learn how to examine one single poem. Having read lots of poetry does not make one capable of examining a single poem.

  The way to understand one single page of Gemara is by Rabbi Akiva Eigger, the Pnei Yehoshua and R. Chaim Soloveithick [i.e. Chidushie HaRambam (חידושי הרמב''ם)] If you can understand these three people on one single page of Gemara then you already know how to learn. If you do not understand them then you ought to start working on them.

  Halacha also has this in common with Talmud. Knowing a lot does not count. The question is are you capable of understanding even one single Halacah properly.
  It is also like Mathematics in this respect. I don't care if you have learned lots of mathematics. I care if you can solve the one single problem that is being proposed. It does not matter if it is a simple Algebraic equation or a problem in Algebraic Topology. You need to be able to solve the problem properly.
  And in spite of what you may have heard there are no two ways of doing Halacha properly. There is only one way. It is to learn the actual Halacha in the Talmud itself and then trace the development of the Halacha down through the Beit Yoseph and then the Shulchan Aruch with the Shach and the Taz.
If you can do that with one single Halachah, then you understand Halacha; and if you can't do this, then you have no business discussing Halacha at all. It does not matter how much Kitzur Shulchan Aruch or Mishna Brura you think you know.

And Kabalah is the same thing. I don't care if you know the history of kabalah or can decipher medieval script.

If you can't discuss intelligently one single paragraph of the Etiz Chaim of the Ari then you don't know Kabalah.

Just a quick example for this last thing. Atik (עתיק) has circles-(עיגולים)-even after the breaking of the vessels(שבירת הכלים). In Mavo Shearim by Reb Chaim Vital vol 2, section 3, chap 4 the Ari says from Keter of Yosher of Atik (כתר דיושר דעתיק) is drawn inner light (אור פנימי) to all the circles of Atik. However he also says that because of the time elapse between the creation of his circles to his yosher, the light of his yosher does not reach his circles! This is a simple thing and yet it would be hard to find a kabalaist who can answer this except in the usual way of evasion which is meant to cover up ignorance.