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29.11.15

Trust in God

The Altar of Navardok (Joseph Horvitz of Navardok, a disciple of Israel Salanter) was into making yeshivas. This was a secondary theme in his life. The major theme was trust in God with no effort.
The kinds of yeshivas he made were what you would call Lithuanian that were loosely following the path of the Gra.
The yeshiva experience is holistic. It is not just learning Torah but it is living Torah.

And it tends to be an answer to the Enlightenment. On the Enlightenment there were two approaches: for and against. And in the USA the world view is universally that of pro. That is the idea that education is the redemption of mankind. Those that were against the Enlightenment thought education is not the redemption of mankind. They used reason to argue against reason.

But the type of education they were thinking of was divorced from Faith. And that was  approach of the Enlightenment in  the Jewish world also.

The Enlightenment was largely interested in secular education.  {And it was not mostly political as Allen Bloom thought.  But it had a political element.}

Georg Hamann within the group of  German Idealism was the most powerful anti enlightenment thinker and brought out some great points.

But going back to the kind of thought we see in the Rambam and Saadia Gaon it is hard to see a conflict between Reason and revelation. Just the opposite--neither can exist without the other.
And this synthesis is what the Lithuanian yeshivas strove for. But not in an intellectual way but rather as living the Torah in a holistic way.

Given all this you would think I would recommend yeshivas. At least authentic ones. The trouble is cults. They masquerade as the real thing.  They have found it profitable to present themselves as authentic.

I try to combine reason and faith. I try to learn a little Torah and a little natural sciences every day. And I also pray to God in my own words when I need something. And when I am walking on the street I also talk with God and explain my problems to him and ask for help.
But I am not holding myself as a good example for people. If I could I would be learning Torah in Ponovitch or Brisk. But because of bad decisions I am not in the yeshiva world. [However even if I was in the Yeshiva world I would still learn Natural sciences as per the Rambam.]