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Pantheism really just does not come up in the Talmud. The belief system of the Talmud is monotheism.. But this really never gets articulated until Maimonides and Saadia Gaon. And it would not even be of any interest if not for people trying to claim that the Torah is pantheistic.

In any case the discussion seems to be more relevant to philosophy than to any Talmudic or halacha issue. However this issue does seem to have some bearing on the halachic nature of idolatry. After all if "everything is godliness," then those who happen to be into some form of idolatry have a free ticket.

This discussion has some bearing on the issue of learning Musar. One advantage of the Musar movement was that they emphasized learning the basic books of medieval ethics before anyone started pushing pantheism.

Once people started pushing pantheism, it became rare to find any books that don't include pantheism of some form, and present it as authentic Torah.
What is monotheism? It is this: The world is not God. God made it; something from nothing.
The Rambam goes into this in his Guide and you can imagine that that might very well be the reason it is not a popular book.
Also just for the information I should mention that another aspect of monotheism is Divine simplicity;--God is not a composite.

 כשאני עוסק בנושא של עבודה זרה  אני חושב  שדיון על הפנתאיזם  יהיה רלוונטי. פנתאיזם אינו בתלמוד. מערכת האמונה של התלמוד היא מונותיאיזם. אבל זה לא מקבל ביטוי עד הרמב"ם וסעדיה גאון. וזה אפילו לא יהיה של כל עניין, אם לא שאנשים מנסים לטעון שהתורה היא חובקת פנתאיזם
 לנושא זה יש יחס לעבודת אלילים. אחרי הכל, אם "הכל אלוהות, אז אין עבודה זרה. יש לדיון זה יחס לנושא של לימוד מוסר. אחד היתרונות של תנועת המוסר היה שהם הדגישו לימוד הספרים הבסיסיים של תורה של ימי הביניים לפני שמישהו התחיל לדחוף פנתאיזם. ברגע שהאנשים התחילו לדחוף פנתאיזם, זה הפך נדיר למצוא ספרים שאינם כוללים פנתאיזם של צורה כלשהי ולהציג אותו כאותנטי תורה


l78      q1


learning Torah

I don't know how to go about learning Torah. It seems to me the best idea --if at all possible to to get a small Talmud Bavli, [Babylonian Talmud] and set of Musar [mediaeval Ethics] books and to learn at home.
It is not that this is the best way to go about it, but rather that any other way seem to be unworkable.
Hillel's are more for fun activities. Synagogue are also for other things.

In Eastern Europe there was a concept of a place where people would go when they were off from work, and be able to go in a sit and learn Torah; but today there are no such places. Yeshivas  are private, and certainly not anyone can walk in and sit and learn. So the old concept of  a "beit midrash" is largely extinct.

Now if you have a Hillel or a Reform or Conservative Temple in your neighborhood in theory you could set aside a place inside for learning Torah alone. But that would depend on other people's desires. And you  don't want your learning Torah to be dependent on other people's desires.

What I mean by a small Talmud Bavli is the small set they used to print a few years ago. You could get the whole Talmud for about hundred dollars then. And it had the Rif in it also. I should mention that I do think the Ari is also good to learn. But Torah learning nowadays really has to be done at home unless you happen to be in the vicinity of a legitimate Lithuanian yeshiva. But those places are rare.

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I think this needs editing but I am not sure about which part.

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 needs editing. a lot.
There is a divide between Jewish people and Conservatives in the USA. Jews always vote for as close to Communism and Socialism as they can get. And our support of blacks can be interpreted as not so much a love of blacks, but more because they are enemies of white people.

So what I suggest to correct this situation is that people should learn Torah.
This will be helpful in two directions. One is that when Jewish people learn Torah, they will see that the Torah's values are not socialism, but rather identical with conservative values. On the other hand when Conservatives learn Torah, they will benefit by gaining a more consistent world view.

The left is so antisemitic it is a wonder to me that any decent person can associate themselves with them. My advice is thus to vote for what would be considered conservative values in the next election. And in the meantime to start learning Torah. For those who need an introduction to Torah I recommend the Horev of Shimshon Refael Hirsch--but only as an intro. At some point you need to start serious learning on your own. That is to get a Talmud Bavli and start working your way through it. . [Avraham Cook's books also are very good for an introduction in Torah.]

 mysticism is not an introduction to Torah. It is best to learn them after one has finished the Talmud at least once and also the main writings of Isaac Luria. Without that basic background the tendency is to misunderstand him.

For  health I recommend learning Musar, [like the Duties of the Heart and the general set of books on Ethics you can find in almost any Lithuanian yeshiva. These are yeshivas which walk in the path of the Gra.]

These are books that don't deal directly with  health but rather with the world view of Torah and how to keep Torah in a practical way. But the offshoot of learning these books is one gains fear of God. And fear of God is useful in several ways, one of which is  health.
But not everything that deals with Torah ethics is accurate. Many books which claim to be teaching Torah are pseudo Torah. To get to real Fear of God one needs authentic Torah.
Now I realize that authentic Torah can be dry. This is in fact the reason why Musar and Gemara are not learned. They are hard and unless you develop a taste for them they are dry.  


Antisemitism comes the verse כמים הפנים אל פנים כן לב אדם. As the face that appears in water is to the face that it reflects so is the heart of a man to his neighbor. So his conclusion is that antisemitism is a direct result of people learning Rashi on Chumash.

Antisemitism comes the verse כמים הפנים אל פנים כן לב אדם. As the face that appears in water is to the face that it reflects so is the heart of a man to his neighbor. So his conclusion is that antisemitism is a direct result of people learning Rashi on Chumash. [That is to say  people should instead learn the Ramban on Chumash].

 There was  a black fellow that was an anchor of a news program on TV. He heard two of his co workers mention about how blacks are prone to violence. He decided to teach them a lesson about racism and so shot them. I guess he thought that would show them how wrong they were.

My basic point was that race is how nature species one species into two. I explained that let's say you have a species of bird and you separate them. They first separate into two races. One way this happens is their color is different. Then eventually they become different species.
Or in England where you have soot. Take one species of bird and put some there. They  develop color that blends into the soot. The part of the species that was not there developed differently and eventually they became two different species.
At some point they becomes different species. Nature has already decided to separate black and white into tow different species and has started this project already. To try to revers this progression is just provoking nature to make her point all the more powerfully.

When you go to a Litvak yeshiva the first thing that happens is someone asks you to complete some minyan somewhere near by. Or they need you for some other purpose.

Many people including myself wonder if we are required to interrupt our studies for such a thing.

Rav Ovadia Joseph was asked in a more general vein about yeshiva students going to Meron on Lag Be'Omer. [He answered in the negative.]

The way I would look at this would be from the standpoint of halacha. מצווה שאי אפשר לעשות על ידי אחרים מבטלים בשבילה

But what people are really wondering about is this: Is there a specific advantage to pray in a yeshiva as opposed to a a synagogue. I would say that today most yeshivas are places of the Dark Side. The pretend to be places of Torah but most often are places of worship of some dead person. But if in fact you have in your area an authentic Lithuanian yeshiva then by all means I would say to pray there on Rosh Hashana at almost all cost.

 yeshiva meaning a place where people learn Talmud Rashi and Tosphot all day.

This is music called mathematics


Someone comes to kill you, kill them first. הקם להרגך הקדם להרגו. This is straight forward principle from the Talmud. You don't wait until they have shot at you. You shoot them immediately when their intention is clear. I should mention this right to self defense applies to Jews also. They don't need to wait until they are nuked in order to take action.

Since Iran announces their intention to wipe Israel off the map and they say every day in their radio programs exactly what they are planning on doing with the Bomb there is no need to wait until their fulfill their desires.

My basic approach is that of Israel Salanter. I go with his idea that the basic cannon of Musar books defines the Torah approach. That is to say there is something like a closed cannon. The basic ones are well known.[חובות לבבות, אורחות צדיקים, מסילת ישרים, שערי תשובה]

This concept was  never really articulated by Rav Salanter himself but it seem implicit in the basic Musar approach that developed after him.

I bring this up because I want to tell people to learn Musar right when they get up in the morning. For myself I have known that the first hours in the morning are very important, and you can see this theme in Chaim from Voloshin also."Everything goes by the beginning."

The advantage of Fear of God is that it brings to length of days. That is your days become longer. You have to spend less time wasted with trivial stuff that adds nothing to your quality of life.

Appendix: If people would learn Musar I think many issues on a personal basis and a national basis would be solved.  You can't imagine people learning Musar that would have any doubt about abortion or homosexuality. But further more the disciple of Israel Salanter Isaac Blazer wrote that Musar is a cure even for mental disease. It is רפואת הנפש ורפואת הגוף. So the solution to all your problems is right in front of you. And the solution to all the problems in the USA is right in front of them. And the solution to all the problems in Israel is right in front of us all. Learn books that instill in you fear of God right away when you get up in the morning. I mean even one page. Say it word for word.

The point is not just to learn Torah but to get in a direct way what the Torah is telling you.


Race is actually a function of biology. It is the way nature starts to separate one species into two or more. And you can't fight nature. Nature will always win. And the more you fight it, the more forceful Nature will be in getting her way. Nature laughs at those who think they can beat her.
People are finding this out the hard way.


Ideas in Shas

I added a new idea here at the end about the Rambam in Bava Kama 19. I decided there is no way to get him to fit the Gemara and so I came up with an idea that he must have has a different version than our Gemara. I think you have to say this because the Gra said that Rambam is "אינו מובן" ("not understandable."

Also you can see I wrote some of this in Talmudic Hebrew and the more recent things in  modern Hebrew. So if there are mistakes in grammar please forgive me. I in fact assume it still needs a lot of editing. The reason I put it here is because the ideas are sound.

I also edited the middle a little. To me today it seems the Rambam may have understood outside books to mean books of idolatry. And the Rif and Rosh it means books that explain the Torah not in accordance with the Talmud.  The Rif and Rosh here have an opinion that is strict--even more than the Rambam. The reason is that almost all  "Torah" books today explain the Torah in ways not in accordance with the Talmud. They all have use  kabalistic foundations and principles to explain the Torah. That would make the entire body of Torah writings from all the major publishing houses to be ספרים חיצוניים outside books.

Personally I am not against the Kabalah. But still I think it is fair point to take note that every so called Torah book today on issues of "השקפה" [world view] takes its world view from anywhere except Talmud.

Trump policy will be to work with people to get things done,-- like he has done in NY.


Once you can learn even one 1/2 a page of Gemara with Tosphot and the Avi Ezri then you have graduated. You now can be called a person that "knows how to learn." At that point you can take any Gemara and any halacha anywhere and know how to analyze it.

If given a small amount of time for learning Torah, I usually try to learn Tosphot. And this is what I think would be a good idea for others also. There might be several reason for this but one clear benefit is that without Tosphot people don't understand the Gemara itself. That is they imagine they understand. It is not just the Gemara, but halacha also. There are people that think that they can know halacha without understanding  the actual Gemara from where the halachah is derived. This is more common than you would think.
Doing one page of Gemara for a week or two with every Tosphot is in fact a good way to understand what Torah is about.

And if you have done the Gemara well then next step is the learn the Rambam with Rav Shach's Avi Ezri If you have done this thoroughly on even one 1/2 a page of Gemara then you will know how to learn a lot better than those that just skim  and call it "learning."

Also this would help to have good idea of what the Torah is saying about the particular subject you are learning.

Once you can learn one sugia [subject] properly, then you have the ability to do every subject.

What I am saying is in in fact an amazing idea. It is this. Once you can learn even one 1/2 a page of Gemara with Tosphot and the Avi Ezri then you have graduated. You now can be called a person that "knows how to learn."  At that point you can take any Gemara and any halacha anywhere and know how to analyze it.

This works for anything. If you want to know what the Torah says about homosexuality this is simple. You find the Mishna and Gemara that deal with this in כריתות. And then you learn the Avi Ezri of Rav Shach on that Gemara and you will know how the Torah looks at this. Furthermore I would suggest that until you have learned the subject from the standpoint of the Torah then you should withhold an opinion. I have heard people say things in the name of the Torah when it si clear that they had not learned the subject properly.

The Shiduch idea is important for the  people of Israel. That is a marriage offer. Not a forced marriage but not a date either. This goes back a long way. The tribe of Benjamin had done a crime  and murdered a girl friend of some guy. The rest of the Israel decided they were not going to stay by and condone this. They went to the the Urim and Tumim and got word that they should make war on Benjamin. They did so and at the end of the war most of the tribe was wiped out. During the war they had let it be known that anyone that did not join would be considered a traitor. The men of Yabesh Gilad did not join. So Israel went and wiped them out and took their virgin girls and gave them to the tribe of Benjamin. They made sure every single guy got a shiduch. That was not enough. So they told the remaining guys to go to Shiloh and kidnap the virgin girls that went dancing on the 15th of Av.
No matter how you look at this they were serious about the importance of getting a girl for every guy.

And thus you can see how things have changed today--and not for the better.

Music File for the glory of the God of Israel.


This needs editing but here it is anyway.


It is Elul and probably a lot of people are thinking about how to repent on their sins. OK may one or two. I have given this some thought and I want to suggest as a first step to learn Musar. These are books of classical ethics  from Middle Ages. And if possible to make houses of Musar so as to help others have a situation where they can also learn Musar. [Repentance of the Sitra Achra--the Dark Side--should be avoided. It happens that most people that repent mainly replace one set of sins with another.]

The idea here is that in the long run we will be held responsible for our actions before God. The grave will not be a refuge. And the one thing that effects our actions more than anything else is our attitudes and world view. If we can correct our world view to be in accord with God's will then we stand a better chance that our deeds and what we say will be correct.

Musar --I have to mention--is two part. One is the Middle Ages. The other is from the time of Israel Salanter and his close disciples. The basic ones were Simcha Zisel of Kelm, Isaac Blazer, Naphtali Amsterdam. A later addition was Joseph Horvitz from Navardok.  There was also the Altar of Slobodka who I know little about. Each wrote and their writings are very important. For Elul I suggest getting all the basic books of Musar and going through them--every last one.

Besides that I have decided for myself to take note of things that I am pretty sure fall into the category of major mistakes--or sins. That is,-- things that I am pretty sure that God [the Will] got mad at me for.
To concentrate on things I know I did wrong I believe is a great way to concentrate on doing repentance. So I suggest that if you can find in your life some things that you are relatively sure that God got mad at you for,  then you have something you can focus your energy on correcting.

If you don't think you have any sins, then your are probably in worse trouble than you think.

The Medieaval books are the Duties of the Heart, The Paths of the Just, Gates of Repentance, and others.

variation on a Hanuka theme



With Iran actively pursuing the Bomb and getting help from the present USA administration, I highly recommend to people to get their own bomb shelters and bury them deep, and stock-pile them for at least 50 days. [The radiation is then about 1/1000 of its original strength.]  This goes for people in the USA and in Israel. Europe I am not sure about. Russia has however nothing to worry about. If Iran would even scratch themselves in the direction of Russia, it would be obliterated off the map.

If you see a bright light all of a sudden then DON'T LOOK. Run to your bomb shelter.

Download this survival handbook Army Survival Handbook

Study it and put a copy into the bomb shelter. Also put there the Old Testament, a Talmud, and Physics and Math books.

A check list of things to get

[I mean to say that I don't think Iran would use the Bomb on Europe, because they are already taking it over and Islamizing it from inside.  They don't have any need to bomb Europe because they are already destroying it.

Also in terms of survival it is important to have a supportive community around you. Your own family is not enough. You need to be in a community where people can count on each other.

The list of things to get:

Generators (Good ones cost dearly. Gas storage, risky. of thieves; maintenance etc.)
2. Water Filters/Purifiers
3. Portable Toilets
4. Seasoned Firewood. Wood takes about 6 - 12 months to become dried, for home uses.
5. Lamp Oil, Wicks, Lamps (First Choice: Buy CLEAR oil. If scarce, stockpile ANY!)
6. Coleman Fuel. Impossible to stockpile too much.
7. Guns, Ammunition, Pepper Spray, Knives, Clubs, Bats & Slingshots.
8. Hand-can openers, & hand egg beaters, whisks.
9. Honey/Syrups/white, brown sugar
10. Rice - Beans - Wheat
11. Vegetable Oil (for cooking) Without it food burns/must be boiled etc.,)
12. Charcoal, Lighter Fluid (Will become scarce suddenly)
13. Water Containers (Urgent Item to obtain.) Any size. Small: HARD CLEAR PLASTIC ONLY - note - food grade if for drinking.
16. Propane Cylinders (Urgent: Definite shortages will occur.
17. Survival Guide Book.
18. Mantles: Aladdin, Coleman, etc. (Without this item, longer-term lighting is difficult.)
19. Baby Supplies: Diapers/formula. ointments/aspirin, etc.
20. Washboards, Mop Bucket w/wringer (for Laundry)
21. Cookstoves (Propane, Coleman & Kerosene)
22. Vitamins
23. Propane Cylinder Handle-Holder (Urgent: Small canister use is dangerous without this item)
24. Feminine Hygiene/Haircare/Skin products.
25. Thermal underwear (Tops & Bottoms)
26. Bow saws, axes and hatchets, Wedges (also, honing oil)
27. Aluminum Foil Reg. & Heavy Duty (Great Cooking and Barter Item)
28. Gasoline Containers (Plastic & Metal)
29. Garbage Bags (Impossible To Have Too Many).
30. Toilet Paper, Kleenex, Paper Towels
31. Milk - Powdered & Condensed (Shake Liquid every 3 to 4 months)
32. Garden Seeds (Non-Hybrid) (A MUST)
33. Clothes pins/line/hangers (A MUST)
34. Coleman's Pump Repair Kit
35. Tuna Fish (in oil)
36. Fire Extinguishers (or..large box of Baking Soda in every room)
37. First aid kits
38. Batteries (all furthest-out for Expiration Dates)
39. Garlic, spices & vinegar, baking supplies
40. Big Dogs (and plenty of dog food)
41. Flour, yeast & salt
42. Matches. ("Strike Anywhere" preferred.) Boxed, wooden matches will go first
43. Writing paper/pads/pencils, solar calculators
44. Insulated ice chests (good for keeping items from freezing in Wintertime.)
45. Workboots, belts, Levis & durable shirts
46. Flashlights/LIGHTSTICKS & torches, "No. 76 Dietz" Lanterns
47. Journals, Diaries & Scrapbooks (jot down ideas, feelings, experience; Historic Times)
48. Garbage cans Plastic (great for storage, water, transporting - if with wheels)
49. Men's Hygiene: Shampoo, Toothbrush/paste, Mouthwash/floss, nail clippers, etc
50. Cast iron cookware (sturdy, efficient)
51. Fishing supplies/tools
52. Mosquito coils/repellent, sprays/creams
53. Duct Tape
54. Tarps/stakes/twine/nails/rope/spikes
55. Candles
56. Laundry Detergent (liquid)
57. Backpacks, Duffel Bags
58. Garden tools & supplies
59. Scissors, fabrics & sewing supplies
60. Canned Fruits, Veggies, Soups, stews, etc.
61. Bleach (plain, NOT scented: 4 to 6% sodium hypochlorite)
62. Canning supplies, (Jars/lids/wax)
63. Knives & Sharpening tools: files, stones, steel
64. Bicycles...Tires/tubes/pumps/chains, etc
65. Sleeping Bags & blankets/pillows/mats
66. Carbon Monoxide Alarm (battery powered)
67. Board Games, Cards, Dice
68. d-con Rat poison, MOUSE PRUFE II, Roach Killer
69. Mousetraps, Ant traps & cockroach magnets
70. Paper plates/cups/utensils (stock up, folks)
71. Baby wipes, oils, waterless & Antibacterial soap (saves a lot of water)
72. Rain gear, rubberized boots, etc.
73. Shaving supplies (razors & creams, talc, after shave)
74. Hand pumps & siphons (for water and for fuels)
75. Soysauce, vinegar, bullions/gravy/soupbase
76. Reading glasses
77. Chocolate/Cocoa/Tang/Punch (water enhancers)
78. "Survival-in-a-Can"
79. Woolen clothing, scarves/ear-muffs/mittens
80. Boy Scout Handbook, / also Leaders Catalog
81. Roll-on Window Insulation Kit (MANCO)
82. Graham crackers, saltines, pretzels, Trail mix/Jerky
83. Popcorn, Peanut Butter, Nuts
84. Socks, Underwear, T-shirts, etc. (extras)
85. Lumber (all types)
86. Wagons & carts (for transport to and from)
87. Cots & Inflatable mattress's
88. Gloves: Work/warming/gardening, etc.
89. Lantern Hangers
90. Screen Patches, glue, nails, screws, nuts & bolts
91. Teas
92. Coffee
93. Cigarettes
94. Wine/Liquors (for bribes, medicinal, etc,)
95. Paraffin wax
96. Glue, nails, nuts, bolts, screws, etc.
97. Chewing gum/candies
98. Atomizers (for cooling/bathing)
99. Hats & cotton neckerchiefs
100. Goats/chickens

Rosh HaShanah 15 a.

In Israel the land goes through a seven year cycle. The first year you give 2% of your crop to any priest, 10% to any Levi, and 9% you take to Jerusalem with your family to eat there after giving one basket to the Temple. Or you could redeem the fruit. Put its value in silver and when you have time take the silver to Jerusalem and there buy fruit and eat it there. Same goes for year 2. Year 3 everything is the same but the second tithe is given to a poor person. Years 4 and 5 are like year 1. year 6 is like year 3. Seventh year you rest.  Vegetables you count the year by when they are picked.
Fruit you consider to be part of the year it became ripe. Wheat you count by when it got to be a third of its growth. And Estrog is a kind of fruit that can stay on the tree for several years. So how do you count it? So it is not like a normal fruit that has one specific time it be be considered to be ripe. This ambiguity leads us to the argument between Raban Gamliel, Rabbi Eliezer and the sages in a city called Usha.

Incidentally none of the above has anything to do with לקט שכחה ופאה. [When harvesting, if you drop something you have to leave it for the poor. If you forgot something you have to leave it for the poor. And the corner of your field you have to leave for the poor.] "Poor" in this context has a legal definition. It does not mean anyone can take. They have to be in fact poor.]

 I want to present a question on Tosphot. In essence Tosphot says Rabah could have answered Abyee and said he is going like Rabban Gamliel. I ask that that would simply put the question of Abyee back into the end of the statement of Rabah. At the end of this essay I answer my question.

(1) Just to  present the basic ideas here: Raban Gamliel says for an fruit called an Estrog  we go by the time it becomes ripe for ערלה רבעי ושביעית  [the first three years when all fruit is forbidden, and the seventh year] and by the time it is picked for מעשר Maasar [The tenth that is given to the Levi]. Rabbi Eliezer says we go by the time of ripening for everything. The Sages in Usha decided we go by the time of picking for everything. (For example let's say you  have an estrog that became ripe during the seventh year and you pick it on the eight year. Then to RG it would have the obligations of the seventh year but also be obligated in tithes. To RE it would only be obligated in tithes.]

(2) Rabah said an estrog of the sixth year going into the seventh is not obligated in ביעור nor in Maasar. An estrog of the seventh year going into the eight is obligated in ביעור but not maasar.

(3) Abyee asked, The last part of Rabah is OK because he is being strict but what about the first part? It is OK that he is obligated in ביעור because we go by ripening but what about the Maasar? If we go by ripening then why is he not obligated in Maasar?

(4) Rabbah answered: everyone is going into his field and you want him to be obligated in Maasar?

(5) Tosphot says Rabbah could have answered he is going Rabban Gamliel.

(6) My question is that would have thrown the question of Abyee back on the end of the statement of Rabah instead of the first part.

The End

That is all I have to say. But just to be a little more clear let me just ask you what is Abyee thinking? You have to be careful here because Abyee asks בשלמא הסיפא להחמיר "The end is OK because Rabba is being strict." In what way is he being strict?

The only way this question of Abyee makes any sense is if you look at it in this way: Abyee knows there is an argument whether we go by the time of ripening or of picking. He sees that Rabbah is going by the time of ripening because of ביעור. And that would force the estrog not to be obligated in Maasar. But he see that Rabbah is right even if we would go by the time of picking because there is a decree for people to let go of ownership of the fruit of  property in the seventh year. So even if we are strict still there is no obligation of maasar.

But in the beginning of the statement of Rabbah why would he not be obligated in Maasar?

A  simple way to look at all this is thus: The end of the statement of Rabah is like Rabbi Eliezer. The beginning is  like Rabban Gamliel. You can't have both. Abyee thought that Rabah had decided like R Eliezer. Ripening alone determines everything. But then the beginning is a question. Tosphot wants to say that Rabah could have answered the beginning is like Rabban Gamliel. But then I ask how does that help us? We would be left with the end of Rabah's statement which would not make sense.

What I am saying is if you could say the beginning is RG and the end RE then we would be OK. But obviously you cant do that. So Raba  says the end is RE and the beginning he has an answer for. Fine. So Tosphot wants to say he could have reversed this? How? The beginning is RG and the end what? In the eight year there is no reason for him not to be obligated in Maasar to RG!

Answer: Just like could answer for Abyee and say the decree to  let the fruits of the seventh year be open for all makes that the estrog is not obligated in tithes so we can answer the same for Rabah

טו: ) ראש השנה
 אני רוצה להציג שאלה על תוספות. תוספות אומר רבה היה יכול לענות אביי ולומר שהוא הולך כמו הרבן גמליאל. אני שואל שזה היה שם את השאלה של אביי בחזרה לסוף הדין של רבה. (1) רק כדי להציג את הרעיונות הבסיסיים כאן: רבן גמליאל אומר לאתרוג אנחנו הולכים לפי הזמן של חנטה לערלה רבעי ושביעית וזמן לקיטה למעשר. רבי אליעזר אומר שאנחנו הולכים לפי הזמן של חנטה לכל דבר. רבותינו באושא החליטו שאנחנו הולכים לפי הזמן של לקיטה לכל דבר. (2) רבא אמר אתרוג של שישית שנכנסה לשביעית אינו מחויב בביעור ולא במעשר. אתרוג של השנה השביעית שנכנסה לשמינית מחויב בביעור אבל לא במעשר. (3) אביי שאל, הסיפא של רבה הוא בסדר כי הוא רוצה להחמיר, אבל מה לגבי הרישא? זה בסדר שהוא מחויב בביעור משום שאנחנו הולכים לפי זמן חנטה, אבל מה לגבי מעשר? אם תלכו לפי חנטה, אז למה הוא לא מחויב במעשר (4) רבה ענה: כולם נכנסים לשדה שלו ואתה רוצה שהוא יהיה מחויב במעשר? כמו חולית של ים לגבי אבדה. (5) תוספות אומר שיש לרבה יכולת לענות שהוא הולך כרבן גמליאל. (6) השאלה שלי היא שזה היה זורק את השאלה של אביי בחזרה על הסיפא במקום הרישא
  כדי להיות יותר ברור תן לי רק לשאול אותך מה אביי חשב?  אביי שואל "בשלמא הסיפא להחמיר" "הסוף הוא בסדר כי רבה רוצה להחמיר ." הדרך היחידה לשאלה זו של אביי להיות  הגיונית היא אם אתה מסתכל על זה בדרך זו: אביי יודע שיש מחלוקת אם נלך לפי שעת חנטה או של לקיטה. הוא רואה שרב הולך לפי הזמן של חנטה בגלל הביעור. ושזה מאלץ את האתרוג לא להיות מחויב מעשר. אבל הוא רואה  שזה נכון גם אם היינו הולכים לפי הזמן של לקיטה כי יש תקנה  להפקיר את הפירות שחנטו בשביעית. אז גם אם אנחנו מחמירים, עדיין אין חובה של מעשר. אבל בתחילת הדיון של רבה למה שהוא לא יהיה מחויב מעשר? דרך פשוטה להסתכל על כל זה היא כך: סוף הדיון רבה הוא כמו הרבי אליעזר. ההתחלה היא כמו הרבן גמליאל. לא יכול להיות שניהם. אביי חשב שרבה החליט כמו רבי אליעזר. חנטה לבדה קובעת הכל. אבל אז הרישה היא קשה. תוספות רוצה לומר שרבה היה יכול לענות ההתחלה היא כמו הרבן גמליאל. אבל אז אני שואל איך זה יכול לעזור לנו? אנחנו נשארים עם הסיפא של רבה שהיה לא הגיונית. אני עדיין לא זכיתי להיות מסוגל להבין תוספות

תירוץ: תוספות מכווין לומר שרבה יכול לומר גם לפי שיטת רבן גמליאל שזה שיש תקנה להפקיר את הפירות שחנטו בשביעית גורם שאפילו שהולכים במעשר אחר זמן לקיטה האתרוג היה הפקר אינו יכול להיות חייב במעשר.

My idea about Fear of God as being a goal goes back to my reading a book of Musar by Isaac Blazzer

And he got it from a commentary on the Rambam.  The idea is this: One verse says, "Do the commandments of God in order to come to fear him." Another verse says, "Fear Him in order to come to do his commandments." This looks like a contradiction. Answer: There are two kinds of fear of God. One is fear of punishment. The another is awe of Him. So the verses mean,- have the lower fear to do the commandments, and do the commandments to come to awe of God.

In any case we do have awe of God as being a primary goal. Along with that there are benefits of fear of God. One is length of days. That means that people stop wasting your time. You get longer days when you have to waste less time.

So how does one go about coming to fear of God? Or rather how does one come to the lower fear of God?

It is accepted that learning Musar  is at least a small step in this direction. ["Musar" means classical medieval books of Jewsih Ethics and also the book written by the disciples of Israel Salanter.]

The Rambam hints in Mishna Torah at the idea that learning Physics and Metaphysics brings to fear of God and also is a fulfillment of that commandment. But he says this much more openly in the Guide for the Perplexed. And he is not talking about Kabalah. He says openly when he mentions these things he is referring to the Physics and Metaphysics of the ancient Greeks.

It is the month of Elul. So I recommend starting a daily session in Musar, Physics and Metaphysics.

The Musar should probably not include books that disparage learning the natural sciences since they are in contradiction to the Rambam.
So one should mainly learn the books of Musar of the Rambam and his son Avraham, חובות לבבות אורחות צדיקים and the books that went along with the Geonic schools of Saadia Gaon, etc.

And if you are learning Physics and Metaphysics with the above stated intention then you don't need to worry of you understand it or not. However if you have trust in God that he will grant to you understanding and just say the words eventually you will understand.

[I know some people were not thrilled with learning natural sciences, but their opinion is usually presented as straightforward Torah when in fact that opinion is quite contrary to the opinion of the Rambam. Besides that I am seen plenty of people that do the Torah alone thing, and rarely do I see anything that is even conceivably close to fear of God,-- though I admit there are some exceptions.]


edited version of q25

Fear of God is mentioned a few times in the Bible as being very important.

I have seen this a lot. You walk into some yeshiva and it seems like everyone is half asleep. And even when they are awake I get the definite impression that they could not care less about what the Gemara says. Their learning Torah could not be any more apathetic and pathetic. They are clearly there for one purpose alone. To get the kollel check at the end of the month.

The only places I saw different were NY Lithuanian Yeshivas.  But I was not in Ponovicth or Brisk and I would assume they would be like the places I saw in  NY.


In my first yeshiva, the Rosh Yeshiva and his son, Moti, emphasized learning in depth and review..
 I had a kind of mental battle with this, because I wanted to make "progress."

To me it made no sense to sit on one page of Talmud for two weeks at a time when I had not finished even one tractate!

Now however I see the wisdom of their approach.  I have seen a lot of people that learn fast and learn a lot, --but can't "learn." That is they have no understanding of what is going on in any Tosphot or Gemara or even halachah.
 In any case, I did try to make progress along with doing sessions in depth. What I found helpful at the beginning of my studies was doing each little paragraph in the Pnei Yehoshua about 10 or more times. And I recommend this to others  that are at the beginning of their learning. [This is of course only if you are not in a situation where you can hear a class from an authentic Lithuanian Rosh Yeshiva. But there are not many of these authentic types around except in NY, and in a few places in Israel like Ponovitch or Brisk.

This ten times each Pnei Yehoshua approach is a good introduction to learning. But the best thing is to have a decent Rosh Yeshiva or at least a good learning partner. If you can't find this, then at least get yourself a Pnei Yehoshua, the חידושי הרמב''ם by Reb Chaim Soloveitchik, and the Avi Ezri by Rav Elazar Menachem Shach.  Of these three the last is the best --by far.

There is a lesson here for STEM people also. At least for myself I have found that two sessions are helpful in math and physics. One an in depth session. I try to find some core subject and review a section ten or more times. And I also have a fast session where I just say the words and go on.

There is also a lesson here for Jews and Christians. It is important for everyone to have a good idea of what the Torah is about. It does not matter what religion you are. No issues facing Americans today would not even begin to be issues if people learned Gemara. Nothing would be left unsolved.
Issues like the second amendment would be clear. Everyone  has a right to self defense. The homosexuals would be put it their place. Right to private property would be clear, And many other issues also. [No one would vote for a slave to become the president Woe to the land for whom its king is a slave.]

There is also a modern day problem associated with my advice to find an authentic Rosh Yeshiva. The sad truth is most are not authentic. Most are frauds and it is a mitzvah to let people know about this.  Certainly people that have not learned in an authentic Lithuanian yeshiva can't learn.  And if they can't learn but pretend to be talmidei chachamim then they are by definition liars. But there are many who have been in a Litvak Yeshiva but still can't learn and don't have Torah values.
The insane religious world  often pretends to be Torah scholars. And this gives a bad reputation to authentic Torah scholars.
מפרסמים את החנפים מפני חילול השם


(1) There is such a thing as סוף הוראה (The end of the period when people could make  a legal decision) the end of פסק הלכה. As the Talmud says רבינא ורב אשי הם סוף הוראה. Ravina and Rav Ashi were the end of the period when people could make a legal decision.
(2) The Rambam says during the time of the Sanhedrin, there was no argument because you went by the majority of the Sanhedrin. After that time the Oral Law in its entirety was complied into  the two Talmuds and Midrashim. And the end of that period was the "end of decision."
(3) What is strange about the Shulchan Aruch is that it changes this decision making process. Instead of the give and take of people in a Sanhedrin, you have the decisions made over a thousand year period all considered equal and you collect them all to take  a vote. רוב ראשונים.
Can you image all the small courts sending their decisions to the Sanhedrin and then the Sanhedrin going by a majority?

(4) And the cliche you hear at Shabbat Table Judaism, "We go by Shulchan Aruch," is false. There is almost no where n Halachah that the Shulchan Aruch is the way people decide halachah. They always go by some later authority that they happen to like. It is a game of קטנות המוחין small mindedness. What determines Halachah is in reality the pecking order. Who is the Alpha Male? That is how Halacha is decided.
(5) The trouble does not stop with the Shulchan Aruch. It gets compounded in every generation.
Once people get to the Halacha books of the Achronim the whole concept of סוף הוראה the end of decision is gone. Then the Rishonim become like the tenaim, and achronim like Amoraim. The entire idea of the Gemara  [which the Rambam brings] that the Gemara is the "end of decision" is gone.
(6) What is the pecking order that is the deciding factor in Halacha? It is this: When on.e decides to start keeping Torah, he thinks he is giving up "this world." All the possibilities that were open to him will be closed. He can't any more get a Noble Prize in Physics, he can't become millionaire, he can't make it big in Hollywood. Why? Because now he is devoting himself to Torah. So you can imagine his surprise when he enters into the world that he thinks is following Torah, and he discovers they are just as much into money and honor and sex as the world he left. And who is the big shot gets all the money and good shiduchim. So he tries to become one of the חשובה אברכים (important people). And then he discovers Breslov. And he sees some kind of light. So he drops what he is doing and joins that group. And even what h might had had for sure he loses instantly. And then he finds out that there too is the pecking order the determining factor.
Torah is irrelevant to the people there just as much as in the previous groups. Because only the pecking order matters. Who is the Alpha Male? And after him everyone has their place. The Baal Teshuva is at the lowest rung, and given the scraps. And usually not even that.
(7) Like what Reb Chaim from Voloshin wrote "אין לנו אלא דינא דגמרא" We only have  the decision of the Gemara.
(8) So why was the Shulchan Aruch written? The author, Joseph Karo had decided that there was a problem. In much of Spain, Jews had been deciding issues based on the Rambam. But in one area they were deciding like the Rosh. After the expulsion this state of affairs continued. So Rav Joseph Karo decided that this was a problem.So he set out to correct it by making a book that would be the one proper decision that everyone would follow. However sometimes something become a problem only after someone decides that it is a problem. And most often the solution is worse than the problem. For example at one time if someone was poor and decided they needed more money there was immediately available a simple solution. Get a job. The Lyndon Jonson came along and decided that Poverty is a problem. and everyone started agreeing and saying to each other you know what? Poverty is a problem. Da. And the obvious solution was tell people to work? No. It was to give away free money. Now we have seen the horrible results of this. So in our case. Why should everyone have to do the exact same thing? And let us say that in one community the light their Chanuka Menora from right to left and in other they light it from left to right? Why should that be  problem?
(9) The problem with this situation is this: What happens when the idealistic newcomer does not want to accept his or her proper place at the bottom of the pecking order? What if they discover that they are not any less bright or moral than the big shots? Or perhaps they discover that teh big shots that are touted as Tzadikim and geniuses are in fact stupid, dull, barely sane,  and morally challenged?

(1) You have in Hegel a metaphysical system of the world. And I suppose that is what attracts people to Hegel more than to Kant.  Yet there are problems in Hegel as noted by Schopenhauer.
But his system still remains attractive I think because there are not many rivals.
You do have mystics but people in general need more to go on that the approach of mystics which is to say "Take my word for it," with nothing else to back it up. Hegel at least has philosophical arguments to back him up.

(2) A rival of Hegel is the Ari (Isaac Luria). The interest of people in metaphysics attracts people to his system which is sophisticated to a high degree but also highly mystical and not backed by rational arguments.

(3) The truth be told their systems are not all that different. Especially if you go with the approach of the Reshash (Shalom Sharabi).

(4) However, the amount of pernicious and downright lunatic doctrines that have been written and based on these two figures is enormous.

(5) When the Rambam recommended metaphysics he was  talking about the metaphysics of the ancient Greeks--the pre Socratics, Plato, and above all Aristotle. Neither the Hegelian system nor the Kabalah was intended by the Rambam.[As he wrote in the Intro to the Guide.]

(6) The amount of trouble caused by people going along with Hegel or the holy Ari makes me think that perhaps it is best to stick with what the Rambam said and take his word for it. That is if you want to learn Metaphysics--the deep structure of reality, then stick with Plato and Aristotle.

(7) I don't mean to sound critical of the Ari. It is just that his system tends to get people side tracked from Torah and into all kinds of rubbish.
(8) You could say that you would learn only the straight Ari and Kabalah that has not been "Lunaticed" or Lunazied. But I don't if that helps. Even if you are strict to learn only authentic kabalah, the effect still seems to be to get people side tracked. [That is they get off the path of leading a balanced, moral life. In any case we know people that learn Kabalah for some reason seem to get an overdose of Kelipot [Dark Forces] and people that learn Hegel fall in love with totalitarian systems and start seeing all human relationships as a tug of war between enemies. In Hegel there is no room for love or human friendships.]
 The reason seems to be that it is not really סודות התורה secrets of the Torah. It is a commentary on Torah based on certain ideas in the Kabalah of the Middle Ages. Nothing wrong with that. But that does not make the secrets of the Torah. מעשה מרכבה ומעשה בראשית are something completely different than the Kabalah to the opinion of the Rambam.

(9) I have not seen anyone involved in Kabalah that did not imagine themselves to have "spiritual powers."

If someone is a tzadik does that mean you should be their slave? The answer seems to be no.

I heard this issue brought up in a discussion between a Na Nach person and another fellow from the Shuvu Banim Group--both subgroups of Breslov.

The Shuvu Banim fellow was trying to convince the Na Nach guy to hold from the lunatic madman that is the head of their movement. The Na Nach fellow said some things in response to this attempt which I thought were insightful.  He said:
"Let us say you have a person who has worked on himself for twenty years. And now he is a tzadik.  Does that mean I should be his slave? Sure it is true that he being a tzadik gives him spiritual powers. But should  give him power over myself?"

It is classical California type of independence even though the Na Nach fellow was not from California at all but rather from somewhere near Tel Aviv.

This is relevant to many other movements that have nothing to do with Breslov. Some people become in fact righteous and tzadikim and in the back of their minds is the idea that that is how they will make a living. Other will voluntarily contribute money to them once they know that they are tzadikim.


I saw a fellow that was learning Torah.. But it did not look like he was doing it for show. Nor was he getting paid. I thought it looked unusual enough for me to ask him what he was doing. He said he has this session in Bava Kama of doing a 1/2 a page per day [That is called an Amud in Hebrew] with Tosphot and the Shita Mekubetzet.

OK I let it go. Then after a few days I saw him again and my curiosity was bugging me to ask what was going on. So I walked up to him again and said, "You must have learned in some Lithuanian Yeshiva."
He said, "No."
And I was shocked. Because Torah for its own sake you simply can't find outside of  a Litvak yeshiva. So I kept on probing until I found out that he started learning Torah about six years ago and and the person that he came to Torah with was in the Slobadka Yeshiva. Mystery solved.

For the general public let me just say Slobadka was a Musar Yeshiva in Europe that now is in Tel Aviv. It is Pure Litvak.

 there is no way one can learn Torah for its own sake [without pay] unless he or she is somehow connected with the Gra.



q24 Edited

This is an mp3 file that did not work for a few days. Somehow Google or someone unknown to me managed to fix the problem and so here is the file.


from WIKI:
Hexafluorosilicic acid is also commonly used for water fluoridation in several countries including the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Republic of Ireland. In the U.S., about 40,000 tons of fluorosilicic acid is recovered from phosphoric acid plants, and then used primarily in water fluoridation, sometimes after being processed into sodium silicofluoride.[5] In this application, the hexafluorosilicic acid converts to the fluoride ion (F), which is the active agent for the protection of teeth.

And this also from Wiki:
Concentrated hexafluorosilicic acid is corrosive and can attack the skin.


Belief in a true tzadik. This is apparently some kind of archetype that some people get more of and others get less of. And it is in apparently contradiction to   a false tzadik or a non authentic tzadik-- a faker. Most of these fakers have convinced themselves that they are true tzadikim.
["Being a tzadik"  work is not, contra popular opinion, an occupation of nobility and integrity, any more than any other profession is. It's a profession made up of noble and ignoble people, honest people and liars, decent folks and utter thugs. It does not deserve the cultural free pass we've given it.]


I walk into some local synagogue and I hear the Rav giving talk about the halacha  not to put back food on the fire on the Sabbath day if it has not been totally cooked.  That is like what people say a little bit of knowledge is dangerous. Because he did not mention an essential point. The Halacha has to do with fire. Only with fire is there cooking. If for example one took a magnifying glass and cooked his cholent completely from beginning to end --there is no מלאכה work of cooking involved.
תולדות חמה are not the same as תולדות אש. This is so common that people talk out of ignorance that I stopped paying attention. [heat produced by something heated by the sun is however a rabbinical decree, but  there is no rabbinical decree about electricity which was not around at the time of the sages who had the authority to make decrees.  This is a well known fact--but I can't remember the exact source for it this minute. But take my word for it. The power to make decrees stopped a long time ago. It comes up in the Gemara in a few places, that even in the time of the Talmud they no longer had the power to make a decree that was binding on all Israel. The Rambam also says this in the beginning of Mishna Torah.

Is there any reason to be strict? Not as far as I can tell. The question about being strict is in Rosh Hashanah 14b.  Rabbi Akiva took two tithes from an etrog he picked on 1 Shevat. The  Talmud asks how could he do this? We know if one holds by the lenient opinion of Beit Shamai and Beit Hill he is wicked. If he goes by the strict opinion of both, he is an idiot. כסיל בחושך הולך. "An idiot walks in darkness"
The Gemara concludes he was not sure of what the actual halacha was so he was strict.

So if there is a doubt, then there is a reason to be strict. But if not, there is no reason, and all the more so to go around making up a stringency and calling it "halacha" is  a bad idea.

But there is a reason why the actual Torah is ignored, and people have to make up ways of being strict and pretending it is halacha. Because otherwise  young  people might stay home with their parents and fulfill the commandment of honoring their parents. You can't build a cult if people stay with their own families.


Since the world seems to be slipping into insanity by giving Iran Nuclear weapons my suggestion is for people to learn survival skills and acquire, fishing gear, traps, and guns and rifles.

Islam is much more coordinated than most people realize and Europe and the USA will not be safe with Islamic barbarian hordes roaming shooting at Jews and Christians.

People went looking for those bomb shelters that you could buy in 1962. But both the USA and the USSR were not suicidal-- unlike Muslims.
Nowadays the thing to do is to get yourself a bomb shelter and stock it well and bury it deep.
The problem with giving Muslims the Atom Bomb is that mutually assured destruction is an incentive to use it.
Black will no longer be considered so beautiful when people considered the fact that they put a traitor into the White House that gave our enemies the means to destroy the USA. K-12 and common core and many other issues will pale in comparison with the suicidal mistake of giving Islam the means to destroy the USA and Europe.

I have a soft spot in my heart for learning Torah. Most synagogues that  i attended were more about prayer. But I suggest taking every synagogue and Temple and converting it into a place where Torah is learned.
This was, in fact, the way things were in the time of the Talmud. But regardless of history I think today what people need is a place where they can go and sit down and learn Torah without distractions.

This in fact was the original idea of a yeshiva when Reb Chaim from Voloshin began this idea. Before that there was the local synagogue that was used for prayer, but during the day when people were at work, the younger teenagers would be there and learn Torah from the local rav.

But this too is history. Nowadays yeshivas have morphed into money machines.
This is all bad news. We need simply a place for one thing alone--learning Torah for its own sake--not for the sake of making  money, or any other purposes.

"Learning Torah" in this context means only traditional Torah:  Talmud, Rashi, and Tosphot. Anything after the Mediaeval Rishonim is strictly off limits. For anyone who is not up to Talmud there are plenty of good books of Rishonim that provide  a good instruction to Torah: the Guide for the Perplexed, or the אמונות ודעות by Saadia Gaon. There are great books of Musar from the Middle Ages also.

I should mention  that bringing back people in repentance is a very evil thing to do. What I am suggesting here is rather to have places where people learn Torah and the Torah will teach people what to do. But the whole concept of "Kiruv" is very evil. It first and foremost causes people to ignore the fifth commandment.  all the evil in the people they supposedly bring back to Torah goes into them until they become infinitely more evil that the people they are supposedly helping.
 . And you can see this in fact in every Kiruv organization.

So in spite of what people say, "We don't Poskin (decide) by the Gemara," the truth is the exact opposite. We poskin only by the Gemara. The only thing which determines halacah is דינא דגמרא

I am not a fan of being strict in Jewish Law Halacha. But neither am I in favor of being lenient.

While Reb Chaim from Voloshin  and other people like the Maharshal and Mahrasha go with the idea that דינא דגמרא the law of the Talmud is what is binding [and later halacha authorities are only to make it clear what the Talmud is saying but have no authority on their own.] still my way of looking at Halacha is that I go by Rishonim [Medieaval authorities].

This is a major source of confusion nowadays so I thought it is worth my time to clear up the issue.
In any case the Halacha [Law] is certainly like the law of the Talmud דינא דגמרא but it is just because it is often hard to know what that is that I go by Rishonim [Mediaeval authorities].

Achronim --are for some reason very flaky thinkers with only a few exceptions.

Even Rav Ovadiah Joseph instilled and reinforced deep hatred of Ashkenazim in all Sefaradim. [You just don't find an ashkenazic Jew in a sephardi yeshiva for this reason.] I would  consider that to be characteristic of all achronim. They all have some hidden agenda and under the surface are pushing some kind of political trick.

So in spite of what people say, "We don't Poskin by the Gemara," the truth is the exact opposite. We poskin only by the Gemara. The only thing which determines halacah is דינא דגמרא. It is only because it is hard to know what is the Law of the Talmud that we look at Rishonim.  But we don't look at Achronim to determine what the Gemara is thinking because the achronim are usually flaky and are usually more interested in getting the Gemara to agree with what they want to believe that finding out what the Gemara is holding.

I should mention that to me the Rishonim have enormous validity even beyond Halacha. Also in Philosophy. My feeling about Rishonim--even when they disagree with each other is אלו ואלו דברי אלהים חיים "These and these are the words of the living God." Achronim on the other hand make mistakes--often.


My impression is that Islam is trying to exterminate Christianity. Not so much in the Middle East but rather in Europe and in the USA.

I mean to say that I think killing Christians in the Middle East is small potatoes as far as Islam is concerned. It makes news but it is not their primary objective. Their intention I think is more directed towards making Christianity look ridiculous and to slowly achieve their goals by  a slower legal process.

Also I think that though getting rid of Israel is part of their goal but not in the same way as getting rid of Christianity.
The way they do this is in part by gaining confederates--allies in this goal or people that are not aware of their larger purpose.

But to understand this I think is hard for people that have grown up in the West and are not so aware of group dynamics. People in the USA and in Europe think more as individuals and are a little shocked when they encounter "group think." I know I was. I grew up in California and when I discovered people were deciding issues based on group identity alone--and not on the value of the arguments involved I was shocked.

I know some people think that this is a good goal. They imagine getting rid of Christianity and living under Islamic Rule would be Gan Eden. I know people like that.

And there are other people that are complicit in this goal. They don't actively support the extermination of Christianity but stand by and watch it happen with no concern as if it does not affect them. They are not as dumb as the first group but still not praiseworthy.

The best way to deal with this problem--I suggest is to face it head on and as directly as possible.
 That is to stop hiding in the sand.

And this is a problem not just for Christians, but for Jews also. Surely you must think that Jews would be aware of the problem with Islam. You would be wrong. Most think that Islam is our buddy. Civilization would flourish under Islamic rule. And plenty of books are written with this dangerous delusion in mind.

And I myself have been silent about this because after all by blog is visited by almost no one. So I ask myself why bother? However today I thought to break my silence about this and let people know that they are the target.

Now it might not be the place to discuss the positive aspects of Christianity on a Jewish blog. But let me just say that there are good reasons to defend Christianity.--The major principles of ethics are simply Jewish Principles in the first place. Plus there is some benefit in having a good example to follow. It is a good idea to have some tzadik to follow. Christians I admit might over do that last point a  little, but the basic idea is sound.

True tzadik. Is there is such a thing as a false tzadik?
But what could a false tzadik be? If he is false, then he is not a tzadik. Stay away from fraudulent tzadikim. מפורסמים של שקר [I should mention that  even if you have heard about miracles that is not much help because we know that not just Shabati Tzvi could do miracles but also average people could do miracles in his name. So we see there can be miracles of the Dark Side. That is spiritual powers do not tell us anything. \\

And this seems to apply to Torah also. He openly says there is such a thing as Torah of the Sitra Achra (the Dark Side).

I bring this up because I think it was the search for authenticity which brought me in the first place to the Mirrer Yeshiva in NY. And this is relevant today.  If you want authentic Torah today you pretty much are stuck. Because the kelipa of  "pseudo Torah" is everywhere.
However there are a few places that are left that I think realized this problem and have made it a point of getting back to the real thing-- Gemara, Rashi, Tosphot and Rishonim.

What I mean is that we know there are the general run of the mill Lithuanian yeshivas which have always been learning authentic Torah and emphasizing that. But Achronim were learnt to some degree. And nothing is really wrong with that. But there was always an awareness that Achronim are often flawed. But that was tolerated to some degree. Apparently some people finally got tired of it and decided to get back to learning real Torah. [That is learning any achronim tends to open the door to learning the tons of garbage that poses as real Torah].
I should add that I am not against all achronim. I am just pointing out that some people have decided that enough is enough and  even good achronim they don't want to learn because they are afraid of not being able to tell the difference.

mp3 folder

I am putting this here because my attempts to put other music into mp3 form have failed. I don't know if this is temporary or not. So at least these older files I think I ought to share.
I am gaining some clarity about work and Torah. To me it looks like an argument. Even though in most classical Musar books we have the preference for work with Torah, still you have things that indicate that it is best to just learn and depend on God to provide  a living.
You see this last opinion in the מדרגת האדם. [Navardok] But it is not his opinion alone.[See the Gra on Proverbs 26:3 בטח אל השם בכל לבך]

Depending on charity or when the Torah is made into a means of making money inspires a certain degree of rage in most people that are aware of the scam involved in that. But that does not mean that the second opinion is not valid. It just means that there are bad people out there that misuse the Torah.

What I mean to say is that I think there is a distinction between the opinion of the מדרגת האדם [Navardok] and how this question is approached in kollels.

What we have traditionally is the well known argument between the Duties of the Heart and Navardok which really boils down to the argument between R. Shimon Ben Yochai and R. Ishmael.
It is not clear how the Rambam decided here. As far as I can tell he might have been going  with R Shimon. But all this is simply whether it is best to simply sit and learn Torah and expect a miracle that manna will flow from heaven. Or is it better not to trust in this kind of miracle and learn and get involved in legitimate profession. Both have valid source in Torah thought.

But today kollels while pretending to be following the opinion of R Shimon are in fact using Torah as a means to make money, and at the same time are claiming to be trusting in God. This is not according to either legitimate opinion. If you are trusting in God then you are not coercing the Israeli government to give to you charity. The the insane religious world  considers the Israeli government evil for existing and also for not giving them enough money. It is not a world in which virtue, intelligence or hard work is rewarded. It is a world which is unjust. But so what? You don't have to join it. But if you do then be aware of what you are getting yourself into.
[But I admit they do try to make a show that the Rosh yeshiva is virtuous and hard working and a genius in order to continue this scam. But no Rosh Yeshiva is ever choose because of these virtues. Not nowadays at least.] Clearly in the past there were rosh yeshivas who had all these virtues like Chaim Soloveitchik etc.


My question is that we have according to Kant and area where reason can't go. That is uncondioned realities. And yet we also have knowledge of things that are not empirical.  And we know there is more to a priori knowledge more than definitions. So my question to Dr Kelly Ross in California is how to decide how far reason can go.

I wrote :Kant held that Reason applied to unconditioned realities would produce contradictions..

K.R.: In theoretical Reason, that is.

I wrote: "But that it is valid in the realm of a priori synthetic knowledge.The question is if these are really all that different? How do you tell the difference between unconditioned realities and  just plain regular a priori things?"

KR: " With unconditioned realities, we cannot determine between freedom and determinism.  However, practical Reason does determine, for freedom.

You tell the difference between unconditioned and conditioned realities where the series of applications of the categories (particularly causality and substance) has termination points or does not.  Thus, freedom is the beginning of an unconditioned causal series, and God (or, to an extent, the soul) is an unconditioned substance.  There is a similar idea in Buddhism, where all reality is conditioned but for certain "unconditioned dharmas," such as Nirvana.  This would fit in nicely with Kant.

These principles result in a nice meeting between physics and metaphysics.  Phenomenal space is all conditioned, but the whole of space is unconditioned, which is why physics cannot decide whether the universe if finite or infinite.  This problem is currently dishonestly evaded in discussions of physics.

Best wishes,
Kelley Ross"

After note: Kant really requires  a lot of work. And I admit to have not spent enough time on him.
At any rate we  here a classic example of Kelly Ross writing. It is jam packed with sub-layers, It is like each word requires a few semesters of study.