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בבא מציעא יד: תוספות ד''ה תריץ

Introduction. You have the case of a מלווה lender and a לווה borrower with two fields. Then there is a loan. After the הלוואה loan, a person הלוקח buys one field. Then a second buyer buys the other. Then the לווה defaults on the loan. Then the מלווה lender goes after the second field. Shelomo Luria מהרש''ל says he has to go after the שדה השני second field because it was free משוחרר at a time when the first one had been sold. The מהרש''א disagrees. I claim this is like the case לווה ולווה וקנה a person borrows and then borrows again and then buys a field and defaults. Who gets the field? I say it is the same argument.
Well not exactly. If we say the first lender gets the field, it must be because once the שיעבוד obligation devolves on it it stays there.

According to the מהרש''ל
We see  in תוספות that the general idea you see in the תלמוד that the לוקח can tell the מלווה "מקום "הנחתי לך לגבות means even if the second field was sold! The מהרש''א disagrees with this and I don't remember how. Maybe he thinks the מלווה can collect from which שדה he wants. I don't know. Look in Bava Batra 157.

But all I was doing in some little note was to say the argument between the מהרש''א and מהרש''ל
depends on the argument also in בבא בתרא קנז about לווה ולווה וקנה.

All I was saying was that  the cases are not exactly similar, but in in our case on page 14 we are dealing with the order סדר של גביה . Not is there is שיעבוד at all but what the order that the מלווה has to take to collect. And that is exactly the argument about לווה ולווה וקנה.

This was the entire idea, and it is so simple I would be very surprised if I was the only one to think of it. And why I would have erased it I certainly don't know.

I think what caused my confusion was the fact that I had forgotten that תוספות says openly in בבא בתרא that the שדה השני was owned קמוי at the time of the הלוואה. It was not bought later. You also my reader must keep this in mind because it is essential in order to understand this תוספות בבא מציעא

I found the original essay. Here it is:
I wanted to mention something  in Talmud Bava Metzia 14 and Bava Batra 157. The case is the well known case of  המלווה (A) לווה  (B)  לוקח ראשון(C) . In Bava Batra we find that if לווה defaults on the loan that a collects the field from לוקח ראשון.

 לוקח then goes to  a later buyer לוקח השני to collect the price of the field [if לווה has no free field left.] Tosphot asks from where does לווה have free property and how could there be a person לוקח השני? The מהרש''א and the מהרש''ל have an argument from how could there be a לוקח השני here. The מהרש''א says he comes after the lender has collected from לוקח ראשון. --But he has not collected all the money owed to him yet. The לווה buys a new property and then sell it to לוקח השני. then לוקח ראשון collects from לוקח השני but not מלווה because he has already collected once. No double jeopardy. The מהרש''ל disagrees with this and say even if לוקח השני has property the the time the loan is being collected A still must go to the לוקח ראשון.

My suggestion here is that this argument come from a separate argument in the Talmud itself about one person that borrowed and borrowed from someone else and then bought and then sold a field.לווה ולווה וקנה The Gemara has one suggestion that the first one collects and another suggestion that the last one collects.

 I think I can show how the מהרש''א and the מהרש''ל must have looked at this.
The first way is that the שיעבוד goes on לווה and does not get removed because of a later loan. This is the מהרש''ל just applying the same reasoning to a field that has a שיעבוד on it. The מהרש''א also is saying from the second way in the גמרא that just like the  שיעבוד השני on the לווה nullifies the first שיעבוד  so with a field.

That is my idea and now I would like to defend it by means of Reb Chaim Soloveitchik.

In short Reb Chaim has  an idea like this. In the first case I mentioned here about  המלווה לווה and לוקח ראשון the Rambam says לוקח  loses only half his improvements but all improvements that grow by themselves.Why is that? Because he says the שיעבוד of  המלווה and לווה are equal in so far as they go both through לווה. But the שיעבוד of מלווה is on the property directly while לוקח ראשון only bought the property which is less strong than the שיעבוד of  המלווה. So we see that we can make a distinction between the שיעבוד on property  and on a person but we do not do so unless there is a something stronger around .

Final note:

What makes this confusing is the fact that the מהרש''ל in Bava Metzia says the same thing as the מהרש''א in Bava Batra. This is because he is explaining a different answer in Tosafot. The argument between them is only in Bava Batra because it is there you have the statement of the maharshal that the מהרש''א is disagreeing with.

[1] The centrality of the tzadik [saint].
Now there are pitfalls to this approach. One can for example take someone who is not a tzadik as a teacher thinking that they are a tzadik. This happens frequently. And people justify their following some very evil person thinking that they are  a tzadik. This happens, in fact, most of the time. I know no person today that is called a "tzadik" that is in fact such. Most of the time they are clever actors that are highly wicked.

 And it is this phenomenon of people following some wicked person thinking that they are a tzadik that causes what we see that many people give up on the whole idea and come to the grave of

Clarification: the tzadik is not divine. He is not someone to pray to. [Though you do see baalei teshuva doing this.] But  a connection with the tzadik is an indirect way of being connected with the Torah. Because the tzadik is connected with the Torah and by means of that he is connected with God.

Note: I put this here again though it is an essay from a few days ago because it is important.

Without a tzadik people tend to create all kinds of modern idols,  Psychology, Yoga, Meditation,worship of homosexuals, worship of  Negroes, and worship of a tzadik also. It takes a lot of conviction to remain loyal to Torah and to in fact believe that Torah has all the answers for human life. To obstacles to Torah are infinite. But the Sitra Achra creates Trojan Horses--people that it plants into the world of Torah that are in fact agents of the Sitra Achra.


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(1)I spent a lot of time on the subject of idolatry and in fact it looks to me that  for a person to "tie himself to a tzadik" is not idolatry. At least based on the Talmud in Sanhedrin  from pages 60 to 63.
(note 1)
(2) We have four types of idolatry not like the way of an idol. And we have serving it according to its way. But being attached to a tzadik does not seem like a way of serving the tzadik any more than doing any mitzvah to bring oneself closer to God. Conceptually it seems different. But that is not news to anyone.

(3) What is news is that after going through the subject matter as thoroughly as I could it seem to me that the whole approach to idolatry in those pages of Sanhedrin does not seem to have anything to do with being attached to a tzadik.

(4) But certainly some people do worship a tzadik. That  is bad. But attachment is not worship. And the general attitude is that the tzadik should pray for one and by that one is helped. It seems very far away from praying to the tzadik. So I would have to say that the Nefesh HaChaim was exaggerating when he said attachment to a tzadik is idolatry. (note 2)

(5) Of course what chasidim do is idolatry, but not because of attaching themselves to a tzadik. Rather because of worship of a person they think is  a tzadik. And not to confuse the issue the case is usually the object of worship is most often a "rasha" highly wicked and highly clever at using his position for nefarious purposes.

(note 1) In Avoda Zara 41 it says, when an idol falls and breaks it is nullified. Rav Shach derives from that that the major thing that causes something to be an idol is the thought, "This can help" in an invisible sense. But there too just because one thinks, "This can help" that alone doe not make it an idol.

(note 2) This is not the only place in which the Nefesh HaChaim exaggerated. Also in where he says if the world would be empty of words of Torah for a second, it would be destroyed. Reb Chaim Kanievsky [Bnei Brak] pointed out that the Talmud says in one place that the world was in fact empty of words of Torah for a second.

In any case, if we understand Torah in the sense that Torah is hidden inside of everything. Torah is the interface between God and his creation.

I love Avraham's Music

I love God

Every person has some particular tikun [correction] they need to do. Some kind of action done on a daily basis that would turn everything wrong in their life into good.

) But how can you know what your tikun is? The one thing you need to do that would turn everything that is wrong in your life into good?

)  My own parents had an idea like this. A few basic principles that us kids should stick with,e.g. to be a "mench" a decent moral human being. But they were not think so much about the concept of a tikun. More like they were defining how one should live.

) It is along these lines that the Gaon from Vilna discovered the one tikun that if a person would do would in fact take him out  from the depth of hell--to learn Torah. The idea is that if one could just stick with learning Torah every day--even a tiny bit-the Torah has enough light in it to pull one out from all his problems.

) The caveat for this to work  is that it has to be real Torah, not pseudo Torah.
Real Torah is the Oral and Written Law. The Old Testament, the Two Talmuds, and the Halachic Midrashim and the Aggadic Midrashim. That means 99% of what is presented as Torah today is pseudo Torah.

) דרכ ציון אבלות מבלי באי מועד "The paths of Zion are in grief from lack of visitors." [From the book of Lamentations.]
That means the ציונים = the path markers on the way into holiness are gone. No one knows anymore what particular הנהגה [action preformed every day] which will lead either yourself or anyone else into holiness. Even though people do know they need to stick with a  short set of principles in order to make it and have success in this world and the next, still they don't know and can't find this set of principles.

And when they find something that seems to work [חבלים מפלו לי בנעימים] wreckers fall on it.
You get to Israel and out of no where comes some bad neighbor who is intent on making your life a living hell. For some reason he or she does not like Americans or Ashkenazim or thinks you are not religious enough or who know what? Any excuse will do fine.

) My own conclusion about this is that the Gra was right. Torah is the general tikun. It is because it is so important that the Sitra Achra makes it almost impossible to come to. Even when I try to learn Torah something always goes haywire. Always. It is like the Sitra Achra will stop at nothing to get me to stop learning Torah. And of course the מניעות המח obstacles places by the mind are there also. Questions like if Torah would be so great they why does it not make people better?
 Why are there jerks learning Torah? But the obstacles are much more than that. My approach to just to try to struggle through it.

When I first went to yeshiva my mother who was perfectly well got sick suddenly and died. My wife got married to me when I was a plain yeshiva student at the Mirrer yeshiva and then one day she decided that she did not want me learning Torah anymore. It was her or the Torah. Not both. And of course everyone agreed with her. I could go on but you get the idea that learning Torah I think only comes through great trials. You walk into a yeshiva you think is there for the specific purpose of learning Torah, and they throw you out from the top of the stairs. I think that to the degree that Torah is important, that the Dark Side will do everything it can to stop one  from learning Torah. Because I think that if one learns Torah then everything changes. Everything.
But if one learns Torah for money the same rule does not apply because the Sitra Achra likes that.
When Torah is used for personal needs, it becomes poison. סם חיים למימינים בה ובם מוות למשמאילים בה The sages said it is the elixir of life for those that learn it for its own sake and the elixir of death for those that learn it for money.

) Torah in this context means 10 books. Old Testament, the Two Talmuds, Tosephta, Sifra, Sifri, Mechlita, Torat Cohanim, Midrash Raba, Midrash Tanchuma.
direct commentaries on the above can also be included. But 99% of what is called Torah today is pseudo Torah

A music file for the glory of God. I am grateful to God for granting to me to write this and all the music he has ever or will ever grant to me. Also I am grateful to have not lost it like I thought I had.


Music for the glory the Lord God of Israel.


The best advice I can see at this point is to learn Torah and Mussar .
"Learning Torah" means to have set times for learning every day. At least two hours. One hour for fast learning to get through the Oral Law. The two Talmuds and the Halachic Midrashim and the Aggadic Midrashim. Another hour for in depth learning of Talmud.
Musar [Ethics] means mainly to me to be of the rational school of the Rambam. But Musar from the more Kabbalistic directions is also OK.

This does not mean to be a religious fanatic or a baal teshuva--God forbid.
It means to keep the Torah but not along with the many insane groups that compromise the insane religious world . Most of them have little to nothing to do with Torah except in appearance.

Torah is a balance between obligations between God and Man and obligations between Man and his fellow man

[Kiruv means turns Jews into religious fanatics. This is not a good thing.

We get some insight into idolatry by means of what looks at first glance as strange statement in th Talmud in Sanhedrin 63b and 64a.
The Talmud is arguing about the proper interpretation of some verse in the Bible about the general practices of idolaters. One interpretation is this:
The priests of idolatry would see some rich person and draw a picture of him with his colorful clothing and general appearance and then work their calves and animals of idolatry to the point of exhaustion and when they would give them something to eat they would put the picture of that rich person in front of them.
Then when the animals would see the rich person they would run towards him and the priest would say "You see the gods like you. come and sacrifice yourself to them."

Another interpretation of that same  verse is that it referred to the father. Some father would sacrifice his son and the priests would say come and kiss the idol.

This gives deep insight about Kiruv. The attempt to get  college students involved in the insane religious world .
The approach is the same. The main target is always some student with rich parents. the hidden message here is what the sages said that a poor person is considered dead. So these cults try to get the young students to give up their education and to join them and thereby to become forever dependent on the cult. The way they do this is by love bombing either them or their parents. They make this whole show of how much they love the students because supposedly he is Jewish. What they really love is his money.

I should mention that there is nothing wrong with learning and keeping Torah. But what is wrong with Kiruv  is that Torah is used as bait to catch fish and cut them open and cook them and eat them.

It was my good fortune that I went to a baal teshuva yeshiva that was in fact only about learning and keeping Torah and had no other agendas. But that is rare.

I have come to see Kiruv as extremely evil.

The yeshiva I went to was in NY, Shaar Yashuv, which was an amazing place. It probably still is.

Later I was at the Mir and then in Safed. Safed was great until baali teshuva [newly religious] started showing up in Meor Chaim.  You think making baali teshuva is a mitzvah. Ever try living next to one?

Baali teshuva [newly religious] tend to be the worst of religious fanatics.  Part of the problem I think is ignorance about what the Torah says. The tendency is because they have an internal desire to be part of the insane religious world -which is nowadays the only way they can see to get married and have  wholesome family--and they read a book about halacha they think they know enough to judge others. Or even recruit others. But newly religious people with this problem are not the only ones. Often families of what you think are people that have always been religious are actually of baali teshuva.
This accounts for almost all of the religious fanaticism you see today in Ultra Religious neighborhoods. It is not like they pretend that they have always been that way. rather the Ultra Religious are always the baali teshuva --just pushed back a few years.

A person steals an object and breaks it. He gives back double. Whole vessels, whole vessels or cash. or anything worth the amount he owes [Rashbam].
 It seems unclear what the Rambam hold here. He brings the law that when one steals and breaks a vessel we do not look at how much it was worth but rather he has to give back the whole mount. That is אין שמין. We don't evaluate the amount it was worth when he stole it. If we would he could give back teh broken vessel and pay the difference. We don't do that. But if we hold by the Rashbam he can give back the vessel anyway because of it monetary value. So the only consequence of "we don't evaluate"  is we look at how much such a vessel is worth at the time of judgment.
See Rambam laws of damages I: 14 and 15. Bava Kama 11a, 65a. Bava Metzia 96.

I wrote about this a few years ago on one of my blogs. But I wanted to go back and review.

Reb Chaim Soloveitchik has  a doubt how the Rambam holds. Rav Elazar Menachem Shach holds the Rambam is going like the middle opinion --i.e. whole objects or cash.
For some reason I seem to have concluded this same opinion in my notes. Happy am I that decided like Rav Shach even without having seen his opinion.

These are my notes that I wrote about this a few years ago.
) בבא מציעא צו. תוספות ד''ה זיל מביא את שיטת הרשב''ם שגנב יכול לשלם  מטלטלים. שווה כסף ככסף. יש ספק לרב חיים הלוי  אם הרמב''ם והראב''ד אוחזים מן השיטה הזאת. בתור הקדמה:  הרמב''ם כתב ( הלכות גנבה א:טו) "מי שגנב כלי ושברו וא פחתו או נשבר או נפחת מאליו אין שמין לו הפחת אלא רואין כמה היה שוה אותו הכלי ומשלם לבעלים שנים בדמיו והכלי השבור יהיה לגנב." וראב''ד כתב אף על פי שאמרו אין שמין לגנב, הני מילי בקרנא אבל בכפילא שמין לגנב דומיא דגזלן והשכל מורה כן." רב חיים מביא  את הדין של רב "קרן כעין שגנב וכפל כשעת העמדה בדין"  בתור מקור לראב''ד. [המגיד משנה הביא את הירושלמי כמקור לרמב''ם. הירושלמי אומר מניין שאין שמין לגנב? שנאמר "חיים שניים ישלם".] יש צד לומר שהרמב''ם אוחז כשיטת הרשב''ם שהגנב יכול לשלם במטלטלים. שווה כסף ככסף.
כדאי להזכיר כאן שאם הדין כמו הרשב''ם, משמעות של "אין שמין" היא שאין מעריכים את ערך החפץ בזמן הגנבה, אלא בזמן העמדה בדין. [ו"שמין" משמע שמעריכים את ערך החפץ בזמן הגנבה.]

השאלה כאן היא המקור שרב חיים מביא לראב''ד, "אמר רב קרן כעין שגנב וכפל כשעת העמדה בדין". (בבא קמא סה.) שאלה הראשונה היא שהגמרא שם מדברת בענין יוקרא וזולא, ולא במצב שהחפץ נשבר. שאלה השניה היא שאפילו אם הגמרא מדברת במצב כזה, הדין של הראב''ד הוא להפך מן הדין של רב. דהיינו אם בשלב הזה אנחנו הולכים לפי שיטת הרשב''ם, אם כן הדין "אין שמין" אומר שמעריכים את ערך החפץ בשעת העמדה בדין בשביל הקרן, ושעת הגנבה בשביל הכפל (לראב''ד). וזה להפך מן הדין של רב.
תירוץ לשאלה הראשונה: הגמרא ב''ק סה. אוחזת שמצב של שבירת החפץ שווה למצב של זולא. האופן לראות את זה הוא לראות שבלי זה, המשפט של רבה שם לא היה מציב קושיא לרב. [בגלל הקושיא הזאת, הגמרא מסכימה שהדין של רב הוא רק המצב שהחפץ היה שווה ארבעה והוזל לאחד.] אפשר לראות את זה על ידי דברי הטור, והבית יוסף והב''ח שאומרים שהדין של רב שייך גם במצב של שבירת החפץ. (אגב הרא''ש הוא בר פלוגתא של ברשב''ם פה, ואפשר שאין להביא ראיה ממנו לדברי הרשב''ם.)

אבל אם זה נכון, יש קושיא על הרשב''ם כאן בב''מ צו.
התירוץ לזה הוא גם כן תירוץ לשאלה השניה. רב לא אמר שאין שמין לגנב. אם אוחזים כשיטת הרשב''ם, צריכים לומר שרב אוחז ששמין לגנב כמו רבי אלעזר בב''ק יא.  אפשר לומר שאין הדין כמו רב.
 והראיה לדעת הראב''ד היא שמאחר שרב אוחז ששמין, מזה לומדין שהדין של "אין שמין" הוא להפך, ולכן מעריכים את ערך החפץ לפי זמן העמדה בדין.

 ) ב''מ צו: תוספות ד''ה זיל שלים ליה. על הצד שרב חיים הלוי מציע שהרמב''ם והרשב''ם שווים בדין, אפשר לומר שהרמב''ם חשב כך: בההלכה שכתבתי שמשלמים קרן וכפל עם כסף (ושווה כסף מובן כהרשב''ם) לא כתבתי שמשלמים לפי זמן העמדה בדין, בשביל שכתבתי בסעיף הקודם שבמצב שהגנב שיבר את החפץ שהוא משלם לפי שעת העמדה בדין-- שזה הדין של "אין שמין" לגבי זמן הערך. שם כתוב, "היה שווה בשעת הגנבה שניים ובשעת העמדה בדין ארבעה אם שחט או מכר או שבר הכלי או אבדו משלם תשלומי כפל או דו''ה כשעת העמדה בדין." היינו שהרמב''ם אוחז שהדין של "אין שמין" הוא הדין של רבה שמעריכים הקרן והכפל לפי שעת העמדה בדין. [כוונתי שהרמב''ם דייק לכתוב שאם שיבר את הכלי משלם כפל לפי שעת העמדה בדין שמע מינה שמשלם  את הקרן לפי שעת גניבה.]

עכשיו נראה שיש אפשרות שהרמב''ם אוחז הדין של הרשב''ם שהדין של "אין שמין" אומר לנו שכשהגנב שבר את החפץ, אז מעריכים את ערכו לפי שעת העמדה בדין. הטעם שאפשר לומר את זה הוא שהמצב שהרמב''ם פסק שהולכים לפי שעת הגנבה הוא מצב אחר. הוא כשהגנבה ירדה בערך לא על ידי שבירה, אלא על ידי ירידת השער שבשוק. [זה הגמרא אומרת בירוש. רב הוא במצב של יוקרא וזולא.] ובמצב שהחפץ עלה בערך ואז הגנב שבר אותו, הרמב''ם כן פסק כהרשב''ם שהולכים לפי שעת העמדה בדין. והמצב שהכלי נשבר מאליו בלא שום מעשה של הגנב (שהולכים לפי שעת הגנבה) אינו שייך לדין "אין שמין". אין שמין שייך רק במצב שהגנב שבר את החפץ.

) אם אנחנו הולכים לפי הצד הזה שרב חיים מביא --שהרמב''ם אוחז כהרשב''ם, אז הההלכה כשהוזל ערך החפץ (שירד בערכו) היא אחרת משאם נשברה. בלי זה  הדין  כשהוזל היה קשה לרמב''ם. הדין הזה של רב היה מכריח את הרמב''ם לאחוז "אין שמין" לכפל (הולכים לפי זמן העמדה בדין), אבל כן שמין לקרן (היינו שבולכים לפי זמו הגניבה) שזה דינו של רב.  וזה בעיתי ביותר. הרמב''ם לא כתב כנגד זה אבל עם כל זה איך זה מסתדר עם הרשב''ם? אבל אם הדין של שבירה הוא שונה מן הדין של "הוזל", אז הכל בסדר. ברמב''ם כותב בסעיף שאחר זה שלא שמין במצב של שבירה, היינו שמעריכים את החפץ לפי זמן העמדה בדין. זאת אומרת אם יוקרא= שבירה אז אי אפשר שהרמב''ם= רשב''ם. אבל אם יוקר לא שווה לא שבירה אפשר שהרמב''ם=רשב''ם.

) נראה שיש מחלוקת בין הרמב''ם והטור לגבי הדין של רב- היינו הדין שהוזל  ערך החפץ. רב פסק "קרן כעין שגנב וכפל ודו''ה כשעת העמדה בדין."  והטור פסק שזה שייך גם במצב של שבירת חפץ. אבל בההלכה של הוזל (הלכה י''ד), הרמב''ם אינו מזכיר שבירת החפץ, וגם ענין הקרן הוא מדלג לגמרי. זה משמע שהחפץ לפנינו, רק שהוזל. [אפשר לומר שאם הרמב''ם אוחז כשיטת הרשב''ם זה גרם לו לפרש את הדין של רב רק לגבי זולא, ולא שבירה. זה בגלל שהדין של רב להפך הדין של "אין שמין" לפי פירוש הרשב''ם.] [שיטת הרא''ש היא שמשמעות אין שמין היא שצריך לשלם כלים שלמים, ואין בזה שום סתירה לדין של רב, אפילו אם מפרשים אותו לגבי שבירה.]

 למעשה יותר טוב לומר שהרמב''ם פוסק כרש''י והרא''ש שאין שמין משמע שצריך לשלם בכלים שלמים או בכסף, לא שווה כסף. הסיבה לזה היא שבהלכה י''ד איפה שהרמב''ם מביא את הדין של רב [קרן כעין שגנב וכפל כשעת העמדה בדין במצב של יוקרא וזולא], משמע שהמצב של כפל דומה למצב של דו''ה, דהיינו שמדברים במצב שהכלי נשבר. ואם זה נכון, אז אין הדין הזה מתאים להלכה ט''ו שהיא ההלכה של אין שמין. [זאת אומרת שההלכה של אין שמין בהלכה ט''ו מתאימה רק לשליש הלכה י''ד.] ולכן ההלכה של אין שמין אומרת לשלם בכלים שלמים ואינה מדברת בעיין זמן הערך.[בהלכה י''ד הולכים לפי שעת העמדה בדין רק בשביל הכפל, ובהלכה ט''ו בשביל הכפל והקרן.]

This last paragraph is the place I saw that the רמב''ם goes like רש''י. But it was not written very well. What I saw in the רמב''ם that makes me compelled to say he is like רש''י is that he puts כפל along with ד''וה and writes that then you go by the שעת גניבה. That means the object was broken and openly he says we do not go by the time of judgment. So אין שמין  can't mean to go by the time of judgment. I don't know from where Rav Shach made his deduction to come to the same conclusion but to me this looks compelling.

 אם אומרים שמקור הראב''ד הוא משפט של רב בב''ק סה. היה אפשרות לומר שהראב''ד אוחז כמו רש''י והרא''ש שאין שמין משמע שצריך לשלם כלים שלמים. ורב חיים סאלאווייציק מביא את משפטו של רב למקור לראב''ד. מזה יש אפשרות לתת שני שלבים להראות שהראב''ד אוחז כרש''י. שלב ראשון: הראב''ד אומר אין שמין שייך רק לקרן. לגבי כפל הדין הוא שמין. שלב שני: בדינו של רב [שהרמב''ם והראב''ד אוחזים בו] אנחנו מעריכים את הקרן לפי שעת הגנבה, ואת הכפל לפי שעת העמדה בדין. ולכן אם במצב של שמין אנחנו מעריכים את החפץ בזמן העמדה בדין, אם כן שמין או אין שמין לא יכול להיות שייך לזמן הערך. ולכן הוא שייך רק לכלים שלמים. ואי אפשר להשיב "שמין" משמעו זמן העמדה בדין, בגלל שמשמעות הדין "שמין" היא גם בנזיקים ששם שמין את ערך החפץ בזמן השבירה דווקא, ואז מחזירים את החפץ ומשלימים החסרון בדמים. ושמה מה שקובע את ערך החפץ היא שעת השבירה.
אבל למעשה, יש אפשרות לראב''ד לאחוז כשיטת הרשב''ם. וכדי להסביר את זאת, אני צריך להציג את ההקדמה הזאת להסביר איך רב חיים הלוי מבין את דעת הראב''ד. דבר ראשון: מצב של שבירה נחשב לגנבה אריכתא (גנבה ארוכה) עד זמן השבירה. ובמצב כזה רב אמר לשלם כשעת הגנבה היינו שעת השבירה. וכשרב אמר לשלם כפל לפי שעת העמדה בדין הכוונה היא לשעת העמדה בדין כפשוטו והחפץ צריך להיות מצוי כדי להעריך אותו. וזה האופן שהראב''ד מפרש את הדין של רב-- החפץ נשברה במקצת. ולפי הראב''ד הדין של רב הוא הדין של אין שמין לגנבה. וככה מפרש הראב''ד הדין של רב: אין שמין את הקרן וכן שמין לכפל. וכשהחפץ נשבר במקצת הוא עדיין נחשב להיות בעין ומצוי בכדי להעריך אותו בשעת העמדה בדין. רק שאי אפשר להחזיר אותו בתורת הרי שלך לפניך. [וראב''ד מפרש "שמין" "ואין שמין" להיות שייך לזמן הערך, אבל במובן להפך מן הרשב''ם. להראב''ד שמין משמע בזמן העמדה בדין, ואין שמין משמע שעת הגנבה.]

I see these notes are very cryptic. I think it would be a good idea to expand them to show exactly what I was saying.


Music written for the honor of God.
 That the Torah is everywhere and in everything. In particular  the letters of the Torah are in everything. Not that everything is Divine. But that there is Divinity in things. Even in Evil there is divinity. For without God making everything exist nothing could exist. But the Divinity in Evil is hidden. But if it would be open Torah inside of Evil the the Dark Side would have nourishment from open Torah. So instead in evil is hidden Torah.
The Torah as a whole is in principle contained in the Ten Commandments. These were hidden in the world until they were revealed at Mount Sinai. These commandments are thus contained in a hidden way in the ten statements of creation. The hidden Torah inside of evil is in the first hidden statement of creation, the מאמר הסתום. So one can find God even if he has fallen  from holiness. One can return to God even from the lowest depths of Hell.

dumbing down of the USA

This is a link to  a nice youtube.

 I must admit the USA was quite different than I remembered it. I have not dealt with it on this blog much but it is my opinion that people should vote Republican no matter who the candidate is. There was a Libertarian vote in the 90s that arguably  gave the election to Clinton by siphoning off enough votes from the Republicans.
I should not have to say it, but the Republicans are much closer to Torah values than the Democrats.
For example the Talmud Bava Metzia (and in fact most of  Seder Nezikin) deals with laws of private property. There is no concept in Torah that the government can take what it wants.
This is just one example. But anyone with any knowledge in Talmud can tell you that Torah and the basic principles of the Republican part are very close to each other.

Music for the glory of God

 That the Torah is everywhere and in everything. In particular  the letters of the Torah are in everything. Not that everything is Divine. But that there is Divinity in things. Even in Evil there is divinity. For without God making everything exist nothing could exist. But the Divinity in Evil is hidden. But if it would be open Torah inside of Evil the the Dark Side would have nourishment from open Torah. So instead in evil is hidden Torah.
The Torah as a whole is in principle contained in the Ten Commandments. These were hidden in the world until they were revealed at Mount Sinai. These commandments are thus contained in a hidden way in the ten statements of creation. The hidden Torah inside of evil is in the first hidden statement of creation, the מאמר הסתום. So one can find God even if he has fallen  from holiness. One can return to God even from the lowest depths of Hell.

[IV] Not to be stubborn about anything. I think this is related to his idea that one should learn Torah fast. We know that when you lean fast there remain things you do not understand. But He thought going back and reviewing these things is not necessary and not even desirable. What you got, you got. What you did not get, .. don't worry about it.

[V] The Will. I have not be looking at Philosophy for a long time so I can't write much about this. But mainly we know about the Dinge An Sich of Kant. The thing in itself. There are two aspects of this. Material things and ideas. It is complicated. But Schopenhauer took this idea in a direction different than Kant. He though there is only one Thing in Itself, the Dinge An Sich. The Will. And the whole world is just a representation of that Will.


Music for the glory of God

I still hold that Scientology is the archetype example of a cult and is still very important to study from that aspect. It is the secular aspect of it that also provides a good subject of study. After seeing it in detail it is easy to see the cultic aspects of one's own group that he thinks is unique in its claims.

I mean, you can't study the cult one is involved in,-- because he is involved in it. And as far as he can tell, there might be some aspects of it that are good. After all why else would he have gotten involved in it? That makes it very important to study Scientology as a pristine example of a cult, and how it recruits and develops, even when it is based on a ridiculous idea.

Elazar Menachem Shach the Rosh Yeshiva of Ponovitch explained what is the essence of idolatry. It is  the thought, "This can help." At least as a necessary condition, but maybe not sufficient.  That comes directly from the Talmud itself. An idol that fell and broke is nullified because people say if it could not save itself how could it save me. We see from that the essence of idolatry is the thought "This can save." [That is unless the "this" is God.]

And what we learn from Professor Huemer Why are people irrational about politics?  is that people can choose to believe irrational things because of the desire for sex, or to fit into a group where they expect to get sex, etc.
This all boils down to the vacuum of knowledge. That is what idolatry and a cult is. The statue is a vacuum of knowledge. It is like something hollow that one can put into it all his imaginations and delusions and he wants to do that because he wants to fit into the group that is following that vacuum of knowledge.

Appendix: Torah differs from idolatry in that the central thought is that God can help. Idolatry is that some other being or mitzvah can help.

Why people are irrational about politics

This is very relevant to the subject of idolatry that I am learning right now.

Idolatry comes up in Sanhedrin pages 60-63 and in Avoda Zara 41.

Rav Shach says we see the essence of idolatry is the thinking that it has power to save.
Is that the only condition? I think it is clear it needs some kind of invisible power to affect things at a distance.  Otherwise why is it any different than walking into a store and asking for a loaf of bread.

In any case we see idolatry is not the same as a mistaken world view. These are different subjects.
Michael Huemer's essay deal with why people choose irrational world views. and if we are to understand idolatry we need to understand this phenomenon.

So what we have here is two things: (1) A simple definition of idolatry from Rav Shach. Ability to save. [Based on the Talmud in Avoda Zara that an idol that fell and broke does not need nullification because those that worship it say, "It could not save itself so how could it save me?"]
(2) The idea of Michael Huemer and Bryan Caplan that people can will themselves to believe things that they know are wrong in order to fit in with a group that want to be  a part of.

I brought this up in my learning Talmud session yesterday. We were getting to teh end of teh subject of idolatry in Sanhedrin 63. The next mishna is a different subject. So I was trying to sum up some of what we had learned.

He brought up the fact that I had studied Scientology as a very important example of a cult and asked about some of the aspects of it that I had learned about. And also brought up another cult in the USA.

I still hold that Scientology is the archetype example of a cult and is still very important to study from that aspect.

I mean you can't study the cult you are involved in because you are involved in it. And as far as you can tell there might be some aspects of it that are good. After all why else would you have gotten involved in it? That makes it very important to study scientology as a pristine example of cult and how it recruits and develops even when it is based on a ridiculous idea.

And this is the connection between Michael Huemer and Rav Shach. Rav Shach showed us what is the essence of idolatry: the thought, "This can help." At least as a necessary condition but maybe not sufficient.  That comes directly from the Talmud itself. And what we learn from professor Huemer is that people can choose to believe irrational things because of the desire for sex or to fit into a group where they expect to get sex etc.
This all boils down to the vacuum of knowledge. That is what idolatry and a cult is. The statue is a vacuum of knowledge. It is like something hollow that one can put into it all his imaginations and delusions and he wants to do that because he wants to fit into the group that is following that vacuum of knowledge.

Music for the glory of God


Fake yeshivas. Pseudo Torah

How can you tell if someone's Torah lesson (homily)  comes from the Sitra Achra (the Dark Side)?
You can tell if you see the person is arrogant.  If they are arrogant, they receive their Torah lessons and ideas from the side of the demons.

This seems to me to be very relevant nowadays  that there are very few teachers of Torah who are not arrogant.  At least that is among the teachers of "hashkafa [frum world views]." 

Arrogance is in manner, but it also refers to thinking one knows a subject without the proper preparation.  World view issues have the odd trait that people without knowing much about Torah can have opinions about Torah issues.

So you don't get many frauds being Math professors. This is the same reason you don't get many frauds in those that teach Gemara, Rashi, and Tosphot. The subject is inherently hard. But world view issues of Torah is different in that people can fake it easily. [It is easy to pretend that kabalah is hard and to pretend to know it. It is hard to pretend the same kind of thing with Math or Physics. The subject matter itself weeds out the phonies, and then they go to yeshiva to pretend to be smart.]

The problem is there are too many fake yeshivas. Now some people ought to be sitting  and learning Torah that is Gemara, Rashi, Tosphot. But most can't. It is too hard. But they can't work either. They have no skills. So you get fake yeshivas where people are not learning Torah but pseudo Torah.
The truth be told very few people after the age of eighteen should be learning anything at all. Not Torah and not humanities. They should be flipping hamburgers. Maybe 5% of the people that can be doing STEM or Torah should be. But I know of very few people like that. The rest of the garbage they are teaching is not worth it for the people learning it teaching it or supporting it.

I think that to come to Torah is a highly difficult task being that the basic organizations that are supposedly there to help one in this direction are in fact are obstacles. What one ought to do is to learn Torah at home or at a legitimate Lithuanian yeshiva. Shuls and synagogues tend to be highly problematic.
If you want to learn Torah you have to do it on your own, or find a place that is devoted to the Torah without any side agenda or hidden agenda.
I am trying to be polite and not offensive. But if I could say over just the basic facts of what I know surely you would be shocked. Because many times people and places that makes the greatest show of keeping the Torah are doing secretly just the opposite. Count on it. [The groups that consider it of primary importance to seem Jewish, are not.]

Take for example the school I was planning on going to. They would go through about 5 books per week. Why I ask can't the same be done with Torah. Take one week to finish the Old Testament in Hebrew. The go through the Babylonian Talmud. Just an hour a day would get you through about seven pages at least if you read slow. That way you finish it in a year. I would like to add Rashi and Tosphot but the first time just the basic Gemara is enough.

But this is not meant to be an all day long project. Not everyone was meant to be reading books all day long. At least not me. Though 4 years in a Litvak yeshiva is important but after that people ought to work.

I think learning each day should be short and sweet. A hour with a learning partner in Talmud in depth. Then one hour of fast learning the Oral and Written Law. An hour of Physics and Math. Then work. [And kollels I should mention I think tend to support people that ought to be working. Not everyone but most. I think supporting kollels is mainly the same as throwing away money down the drain.]


For the glory of God -a music link to an l file

In terms of learning Torah I mentioned about the Oral Law which is not Kabalah. And there are plenty of reasons to frown on kabbalah. But today I heard one person who was all excited about the Ari.  I was surprised [pleasantly]. There is something so remarkable about Isaac Luria that it always astounded me how people might not be excited by him.  It is not Oral Law, but it personal revelation that also has validity.

If possible I would love to finish the writings of the Ari. For some reason I got interrupted in the middle and never could get back to it. I was at the Mirrer Yeshiva in NY and when I did not have to be at the yeshiva doing Gemara, I learned the Eitz Chaim at home.

I think it was the most astounding book I had ever read, and it affected me indelibly. But I am very happy that I learned it only after I had gone through a lot of Talmud first as the Ari himself says is required. I have seen plenty of people that get involved in Kabbalah and get sucked into the Dark Side. Not just one or two. But if you can approach the Ari properly there is no question that it is an amazing help. That is: finish the Talmud a few times and then get all the set of the writings of the Ari from the Kabalah institute [--the Ashlag edition is great.] And plow through it.
There is just as much danger as being against kabbalah as there is being for it. What I have seen is frauds and phonies that pretend that they have the proper Talmudic background to qualify and to disparage those who they think are their inferiors. There is not much I can say about this but that it as much a delusion as those who learn it without in fact the proper requirements.

In spite of all this I think that I gained a great deal by learning the Ari. The major dangers that one should avoid are thinking that on comes to some kind of holiness by learning kabbalah. Or that one comes to some kind of spiritual powers. These two things seem to be the major source of problems because when  one approach the Ari with these attitudes there is created  a world of illusion around the person to delude him and others around him.

We need to keep what the Torah says. And that is what matters.

I tend to do better in discernment by means of negative results. That is by making mistakes I tend to learn more than by any kind of inherent intuition. That is the reason that I hold by a small set of things that I concentrate on. I tend to see that by deviating from this set that things go haywire.

Not everyone I know is like that. My learning partner seems to have an inherent compass. He tends to see fallacies in different groups even before getting involved in them.  Not me. I need to jump into the boiling water to find out how hot it is.
So this explains why my priorities are things that my parents told me and I did not listen to. I learned eventually that they knew a lot more about the world and the way things are that I ever could.
This also makes me see the importance of the State of Israel, and also learning Torah. It is not that I have such  great appreciation for any of the above. It is just that when I see when either I or others abandon any of these things that highly negative results follow.

My parents were very much into the idea of being a mensch--a decent moral person with all that implies.The Ten commandments.  Working for a living and never asking for and never accepting charity. Going to university [and not to be a rabbi under any circumstance]. Never to use the Torah for money. But to learn Torah and keep it in every last detail. Learning Physics and Math also was very high on their list of priorities. And also Mozart. and general classical music.
They sent me to Beverly Hills High School and they chose that kind of secular education on purpose.
 We were Beverly Hills that reason alone. My Dad had to work on satellite communication for NASA and SDI in a place that was far away from Beverly Hills. He had to commute every day for an hour and a half, [i.e.each direction].   Beverly Hill was chosen only because of the high school.
And this path they certainly thought was the Torah path. Religious Fanaticism was  very far away from their idea of what Torah is about.

But within that framework, I would like to suggest: 1) finishing the Oral and Written Law. Tenach [Old Testament], the Two Talmuds, Sifra, Sifi, Tosephta, Mechilta, Torat Kohanim,  Midrash Raba, Midrash Tanchuma. That is one session for the oral law and the other for the written law. Also one small session for halacha--Rambam, Tur, Beit Yoseph and the basic commentaries on the Rambam the Avi Ezri of Rav Shach, and Reb Chaim Soloveitchik's Chidushei HaRambam.--from the first word to the last.
This is really not a big deal. There was one school I applied to that was into  having the students read and finish about five books per week.  I never went there but this shows that what I am saying ehr is not a big deal. It just sounds like a big project because of the evil inclination that wants to stop people from learning and keeping Torah. In one hour per day alone you can finish the whole Talmud in one year and still have time to surf in Malibu or become and astronaut.


The power of collecting and disbursing money at pleasure is the most dangerous power that can be intrusted to man,

Music for the glory of God [Normally, I would not bother with this. This music was written for God, not for people. But I figure music should be shared.]



I was looking at some older n files and it looks that this was not finished but I am not sure so I am putting it here.



b28 edited

I tend to do better in discernment by means of negative results. That is by making mistakes I tend to learn more than by any kind of inherent intuition. That is the reason that I hold by a small set of things that I concentrate on. I tend to see that by deviating from this set that things go haywire.

Not everyone I know is like that. My learning partner seems to have an inherent compass. He tends to see fallacies  in different groups even before getting involved in them.  Not me. I need to jump into the boiling water to find out how hot it is.
So this explains why my priorities are things that my parents told me and I did not listen to. I learned eventually that they knew a lot more about the world and the way things are that I ever could.

 This also makes me see the importance of the State of Israel, and also learning Torah. It is not that I have such  great appreciation for any of the above. It is just that when I see when either I or others abandon any of these things that highly negative results follow.

My parents were very much into the idea of being a mensch--a decent moral person with all that implies.The Ten commandments.  Working for a living and never asking for and never accepting charity. Going to university [and not to be a rabbi under any circumstance]. Never to use the Torah for money. But to learn Torah and keep it in every last detail. Learning Physics and Math also was very high on their list of priorities. And also Mozart. and general classical music.

Music for the glory of God



e files were written in Uman,
[some early e files were written in Israel.]



b files were written in Israel. 
The path of Torah is hard to figure out. I have a basic approach that is this learn and do the whole Written Torah and the whole Oral tradition. Now the Oral tradition is admitted not the same level as prophecy. But it is a vigorous and rigorous attempt at understanding the Torah. The oral tradition it something that is a kind of grey area. But at least we know what was actually given in tradition.
There is no doubt about what the Talmud is or how it came to be written. It was written by flawed men but contains the basic tradition of how the Jewish people understood the word of God, It is not some mysterious book that some person claimed was revealed to him.
So while it can be hard to figure out how to apply the Talmud to our daily lives still we know what it is and basically what it says.

The Zohar is not that. But that does not mean I think there is no validity in Isaac Luria. It is just that the Zohar I see as problematic.

Musar I think got way too much influenced by Kabalah. I would suggest a modification of the Musar movement based on the school of thought of the son of the Rambam and the whole geonic school. before kabalah confused everything.

All books of Jewish Ethics after the the Zohar accept the paradigm of the Zohar. This I am not happy about. Kabalah is a mixed bag. On one hand you have Isaac Luria,  Shalom Sharabi, and Yaakov Abuchatzeira , who were amazing and great people that served God and received true revelations.
On the hand (--and what makes it all confusing) is that the Zohar is not what it claims to be. It is not from Shimon Bar Yochai as Rav Yaakov Emden made all too clear in his book showing that the Zohar cant be from the Rashbi.

On one hand you can have mystics. That is a kind of personal revelation type of thing. On the other hand you have text based mysticism--based on Zohar. And in the later I see very little good. I think it is what caused the insane religious world  to fall into the Sitra Achra.


Music link from the n series




black hole 

Written in Borispol Airport [Kiev] while  waiting for a plane to NY.


orchestra piece 

Though admire Cruz I think there is no other answer than to learn Torah. The Torah itself will then correct what needs to be corrected.

you tube with Ted Cruz

I put this here because for some reason I was looking at the Bible yesterday in Leviticus 20 verse 13.

I don't remember how I got to be looking at it.  But since it looked relevant I made  a note to myself to try to remember the actual chapter number and verse number.
It is easy. Just remember 613. But then replace the 6 with a twenty.

I cant say I agree with everything but the idea of putting marriage issues back to the states and away from the Federal government makes sense to me.

He is right that the Left hates Christians. I was talking about this with my learning partner  on this last Thursday about that major general who is getting court-marshaled because he said in a public ceremony that he prays.

I know there are some problems with Christianity. But why does it get selected out any more than any other group  indicates that what people hate about it is probably because of the good they do.

student poster

Ted Cruz again 

Though admire Cruz I think there is no other answer than to learn Torah, The Torah itself will then correct what needs to be corrected.


from the music from the e series. From Uman in around 2004

A music link from the n series


a music link from the l series [i.e. the "L" not capitalized]

Here is an idea on why there must be questions on the Torah.

 I think is that there have to be questions on the Torah. Not questions in Torah but questions on the Torah.

The idea is the the Torah is the wisdom of God and if we would understand the Torah perfectly and there would be no questions on it then His wisdom and our wisdom would be the same.
And what are the questions of Torah? It is this: "I see there are jerks learning Torah, and so how can it be holy?" The answer to this is even if there would not be jerks, they would have to be created in order to make questions on the Torah. The only thing you can do is to learn and keep Torah yourself and don't think about others.
זה מעשה שלו וזה המעשה שלי
That is his business and this is my business.
And the way I see it, all we have is Torah. I don't think there is anything else.

My idea here is that Torah is hard to come to. And after one has come to it it is hard to stick with. And even after one tries to stick with it it is all too easy to get seduced by the Torah of the Dark Side which looks and sounds exactly the same as real Torah.

Real Torah if you want to be as exact as possible is fairly easy to define. It is  a closed set, and you can enumerate exactly what are the members if the set. Torah= {The Old Testament, Babylonian Talmud, Jerusalem Talmud, Tosephta, Sifra, Sifri, Torat Kohanim, Mechilta, Midrash Raba.} This is a closed set. And things that came later that claim to be part of the set can't   be included because they are not the actual Oral Law. But you can have commentary on the Oral Law that can in some way be considered as a "bechina" of the Oral Law,= partaking of the essence in some lesser form.

What is the essence of idolatry?

The essence of idolatry is the ability to save.
This we can see in tractate idolatry [Avoda Zara] 41 side b.
An idol broke by itself. R Yochanan says the worshiper still has to nullify it.
Reish Lakish said it is automatically nullified because its worshiper= says "It could not save itself, so how could it save me?" So he does not even have to nullify it.
And you can see on page 42 that R. Yochanan does not disagree with that basic idea, but he still needs the worshiper to make an act of nullification.
From this we see the entire essence of idolatry is the ability to save. If one thinks the object or person that he is worshiping can save, then that is idolatry. He he thinks it can't save, then it is not idolatry.

Where you see in the Torah that Avimelech was told to go to Abraham and ask him to pray for him, I think is not a question, because I don't think the Torah was meant to be the definition of Monotheism. I think it is meant to take people away from idolatry. [See the Guide for the Perplexed of Maimonides who says exactly that.] So allowances are made for human weakness. But these allowances should not be taken as preferable options. You can ask a saint to pray for you. But what you ought to do is pray to God yourself. If that does not work, then take a weekend off, and go up into the mountains and spend a few days wandering in the forest and talking with God about your problem.

This idea that the essence of idolatry is the ability to save is from Rav Shach. [Elazar Menachem Shach the rosh yeshiva of Ponovicth.]
The idea is from the fact that on page 42 the Gemara asks on Reish Lakish from the Mishna that R Yose said one takes the idol and crushes it and scatters it, and the sages asked on him that even that is not enough because the dust is forbidden. From that sugia we see R Yochanan agrees with the basic idea but requires an actual statement of nullification.

This Gemara has serious implications. For we find people attributing to some people they consider to be holy as having the power to save. This is very common nowadays.

I don't mean to be critical of any particular group. Every group has some leader they are getting some kind of inspiration from. It says in the Talmud that there was a conversation between an idolater and a Talmudic sage  the idolater asked if God does not like idolatry then why doe he not destroy it? The sage answered they worship sun and the moon and the stars. Should God destroy his world because of idiots?



n11 Edited and Again   [When this was written originally the instruments on the score needed some work. The basic piece however is the same. ]

One can ask on תוספות סנהדרין סג א in understanding why is there a difference  between לא תעבדם and לא תעשה מלאכה.  He says לא תעשה מלאכה is not a לאו שבכללות because it means don't do any kind of work.  While לא תעבדם does not tell us what kinds of things are called service. But if you go to page סג  תוספות makes the exact opposite kind of assumption.
תוספות   gets the ברייתא to be placing three things into the first part of the verse  ושם אלהים אחרים לא תזכירו and the last part of the verse לא ישמע על פיך to mean only  אזהרה למסית ומדיח. That is fine. But then what are the three things? One is נשבע בשם עבודה זרה. And how can one get מלקות for that? Why is it not a לאו שבכללות? Because נשבע בשם עבודה זרה and הזכרת שם אלילים and one more thing are all the same thing--mentioning another god, so one can get lashes for that.
In what way is this different than לא תעבדם that one does not get lashes for because it לאו שבכללות

That is each Tosphot is fine by itself. But if you try to put them together you get a problem.

I used google for this Hebrew translation but just made a few minor corrections when it was necessary.

אפשר לשאול על תוספות סנהדרין סג א' בהבנתו מדוע יש הבדל בין "לא תעבדם" ו"לא תעשה מלאכה". לדבריו, "לא יעשה מלאכה" אינה לאו שבכללות, כי הוא אומר לא לעשות כל סוג של עבודה. בעוד "לא תעבדם" אינו אומר לנו איזה מיני דברים נקראים שירות. אבל אם אתה הולך לדף סג עמוד ב' תוספות הופך את סוג ההנחה להפכו הגמור
תוספות מסביר את הברייתא  באופן ששלושה דברים נכנסים לחלק הראשון של הפסוק "ושם אלהים אחרים לא תזכירו" ואת החלק האחרון של הפסוק "לא ישמע על פיך" הוא אומר שהוא  אזהרה למסית ומדיח. זה בסדר. אבל אז מה הם שלושה הדברים? אחד נשבע בשם עבודה זרה. ואיך אפשר לקבל מלקות לזה? למה זה לא לאו שבכללות? מכיוון שנשבע בשם עבודה זרה והזכרת שם אלילים ועוד דבר אחד כולם אותו הדבר = להזכיר אל אחר, כך שאפשר  לקבל מלקות
?באיזה אופן זה שונה מ"לא תעבדם" שאחד לא מקבל מלקות על כי זה לאו שבכללות

So what is the difference between לא תעבדם and the three things that are included in שם אלהים אחרים לא תזכירו? For the first there are no lashes, because it is a לאו שבכללות. For the second we say is all one thing. I fail to see any difference here.

The last Tosphot on 63a makes sense--sort of. And the first Tosphot on 63b makes sense--sort of. But try to put them together! It doesn't seem to work. What needs to be done I think is to go the Pesachim and get a better idea of what לאו שבכללות is.
What I want is to go through the entire Oral Law. This process got interrupted in the Middle
But I at least want to mention what this entails.
The Oral Law is seven books. (1) The Babylonian Talmud (2) The Jerusalem Talmud (3) Sifra (4) Sifri (5) Mechilta (6) Torat Kohanim (7) Tosephta.

This process could be started simply without Rashi and Tosphot--just do the straight pages. Go through the Babylonian Talmud. And then when you have finished then instead of going back then you start the Jerusalem Talmud. And when you have finished that you do the halachic midrashim. So in that way at least once you have completed the entire Torah. [You need to go through the Old Testament also in Hebrew]
The Torah is monotheistic. This we know from the Rambam and Saadia Gaon.

And the Rambam spends the entire second volume of The Guide for the Perplexed  showing this in detail.
Also we find the Rambam in Mishna Torah saying when one  swears by heaven and earth it does not count as an oath because heaven and earth have no divinity in them.

And so we see that it is easy to seem to be keeping Torah and yet to be transgressing its major thesis--monotheism. For we see some people hold from some form of pantheism.
Not only that but sometimes people attribute powers to certain individuals

And we know from Tractate Avoda Zara page 41 the main thing which makes something considered an idol is the ability to save. So the Gemara says  An idol worshiper  nullifies his idol by saving, "If it could not save itself, how can it save me?"

See Rav Shach's Avi Ezri which is the source of my comment here.

I finally got to Sanhedrin 63b. But only by means of ignoring the last Tosphot on 63a.
And Sanhedrin 63 b deals with one who attempts to convince someone else to do idolatry.The first thing to notice is that the verse they bring it from does not seem to be saying that. שם אלהים אחרים לא תזכירו לא ישמע על פיך the names of other gods you should not mention and they should not be heard on your mouth.
This seems to be saying not to mention the names of other gods. One could perhaps not mention the name of some god by spelling it try to convince someone to worship it. So what we have here is a subject of investigation to try to understand why the Talmud understands this verse in the way that they do,


What I would like to do would be to begin a new era of learning Torah that would concentrate on Tosphot. [Tosphot is the commentary on the side of the Gemara on the outside of the page.]
This is not to belittle the value of the contribution of Reb Chaim Soloveitchik and his whole school of thought. [That is: Chidushei HaRambam by Reb Chaim, Baruch Ber, Shimon Skop, Elazar Menachem Shach.]
But it seems to me that this whole track of thought is really more relevant to halacaha than to learning the Gemara.
And in fact, I do think that one should go through the Rambam--[every last word that he ever wrote including his son Reb Avraham] with the commentaries on the page and then do the whole Reb Chaim straight and then the Avi Ezri which I think is the most important book to be printed in the last hundred years.
But there is something about Tosphot I think people are missing. And I have noted this for many years.

It all began in my first yeshiva where my teacher was Naphtali Yegear. He had a really intense and deep way of looking  at Tosphot. [That was in a Baal Teshuva Yeshiva in Far Rockaway.] And I thought that that is what everyone else was doing. But then I got to the Mirrer Yeshiva in Brooklyn  and even though it is an Ivy League school, still there was something I was missing about the way Naphtali Yeager was learning.

I can't  make up for lost time. But at least I would like to share with people this idea of how great and significant Tosphot is.

But as I wrote elsewhere, I have no secret formula for getting into Tosphot. You can keep reviewing it by yourself for a month or so until you start to see the depths. Or you can get a smart learning partner. For reference it is good to have on hand the R. Akiva Eiger. And the first thing I always do is to look at the Mahrasha and Maharam.
It has always surprised me and in fact shocked me to see people that thought they understood the Gemara or Halacha without knowing or  understanding Tosphot.


The e series was written in Uman for the glory of God


Torah of the Dark Side [Sitra Achra]

That not everything people claim is Torah is in fact Torah.
Much of what people claim is Torah, is from the demons. And it is for this reason, I will in general avoid teachers  that arrogance and rudeness characterizes them. And therefore whatever they teach must be from the demons, and are consciousness traps. [The arrogance and rudeness are sure signs  according  that their Torah is from the Dark Side. That means it sounds good, but it leads one to destruction.]

And it is this exact same reason that I regard highly  Lithuanian yeshivas. It is the humility I see there that indicates to me that they are good people.

In any case, what I recommend  in order to be safe from the Torah of the Dark Side is to learn authentic Torah= the Old Testament (which is the written law) and the Oral Law (Bavli, Yerushalmi, Sifri, Sifra). [When doing Talmud you don't have to do every Rashi. But you do have to do Tosphot. Rashi is just for understanding the page. Tosphot is for understanding the subject.] Mainly I would avoid mystics. But that does not mean all of them.  And I like Issac Luria, Moshe Cardovero, Avraham Abulafia,  Yaakov Abuchatzeira, and Shalom Sharabi.
They are from the side of good but still learning them does take a certain degree of caution.
I have a lot of confidence in the power of the Torah to change everything in peoples lives.
My suggestion is mainly to learn Gemara, Rashi, Tosphot. For that is the Oral Law.
I get the impression that not everyone feels the same way as I do but I think that is because they have not tried it. It is like ice cream. How can someone not like ice cream?
You might intellectual questions about ice cream. Were the cows treated properly? Was the factory inspected? Is it good for you? But how can someone not like ice cream if they have at least tasted it? The Torah is the same thing.
One condition:
This works as long as you are not learning pseudo Torah, and as long as you are not learning from the charlatans and scam artists that put on the right clothing to make it seem like they know Torah.

And there are lots of scam artists. The way to avoid them is to make sure you learn Torah only in a legitimate, name brand Lithuanian Yeshiva. That is Ponovitch, Brisk, Merkaz HaRav [in Israel] and  Chaim Berlin, Torah VeDaath and the Mirrer in NY. Nothing else.
Better to have nothing than to buy a fake product. Don't accept anything but the name brands or their legitimate branches.

The Torah is also libertarian. It protects liberty by means of negative commandments. For example, instead of arguing for protection of personal liberty and limited government based on the Constitution of the USA and the Bill of Rights, the Torah says it all simply "Thou shalt not steal."

An nice site for people that wish to turn the USA back into a citadel of freedom.
I wish them success.

Freedom is important and I think Ann Rand is an important foundation of liberty. But Liberty I think needs a foundation in the Kant school of thought. Empiricism or any of the other justification of liberty and freedom seem to be to fall short.  Today I think it is mainly the Intuitionist school of G.E. Moore, Prichard, and Michael Huemer that defend liberty, but I think the Institutionist school is a type of quietism. That is to say it is a kind of way for saying you have questions and that is OK because any answer will be impossible to defend.

But that does not mean to vote libertarian. As far as I can see every libertarian candidate has just split the republican vote and effectively given the elections to the Democrats.

The Torah is also libertarian. It protects liberty by means of negative commandments. For example, instead of arguing for protection of  personal liberty and limited government based on the Constitution of the USA and the Bill of Rights, the Torah says it all simply  "Thou shalt not steal."
And in teh Torah there is no special permission given to the King to steal any more than you the local Mafia. As far as the Torah is concerned everyone is equal. Though shalt not steal refers to the loftiest to the lowest.


Music written for the glory of God.





Gemara Rashi Tosphot

This last one might need some editing but I have to run to my Gemara Rashi and Tosphot session.

There is a certain amount of Sitra Achra [Dark Side] that got mixed up with Torah world. And that is the major reason that Reform Judaism is right. They might not be doing this by intention, but at least subconsciously they are trying to keep the Torah and at the same time avoid the Sitra Achra problems.
Of course Reform Jews should keep all the mitzvot, down to the last drop. But they are trying to avoid the idolatry and Dark Side that seems inescapable when people get involved in more religious types of groups.

So while I see Torah as a cure for all evils,--but it has to be Torah from the realm of holiness.

Torah of the Sitra Achra is not my own idea of a good time.

However, I am fairly happy with Lithuanian types of yeshivas. As long as someone is following the Gra and the Gedolei Lita [the Lithuanian type of Rosh Yeshiva] I think they are safe.

I say this because on this blog I try to focus on the positive aspects of Torah. But I would be amiss if I did not warn people about the negative forces. And that is after all why most people became Reform and Conservative. They were trying to avoid the Sitra Achra.

[The Torah of the Sitra Achra.
It is hard to know how to deal with this problem. My suggestion is to learn Musar. That is the books of ethics that were written during the Middle Ages along the lines of the Chovot Levavot and the books from the direct disciples of Israel Salanter which deal with Ethics. I have heard of other solutions but from what I can tell all other solutions to this dilemma lead directly into the  dark side.
Musar is the only thing which from what I can tell works to any degree.

But even Musar has problems. Kabalah got into all Musar books and that changed the basic approach of Torah and that Kabalah thing does seem to be the type of thing in which people think they are gaining holiness, but in fact losing it. Not because of any problem in the Ari himself, but people usually get into Kabala without having finished the entire oral Torah first. The Ari warned about this himself.

The way that the Sitra Achra (the Dark Side) seduces people is by saying "Come and do a mitzvah."
 Reb Chaim from Voloshin said a similar idea. "It is better to sit in your room and twidde your thumbs than to seek mitzvot."  That is in the sidur HaGra in a small booklet printed in the back of statements and halachas from the Gra and Reb Chaim

Sanhedrin 63 side a at the bottom of the page.

The Tosphot here is divided into two parts. It is the second part here that is hard to understand. What is the difference between the prohibition of cooking on the festival and serving idols?

Th background you need for my question here is this. You have two verses telling us  not to serve idols. and we have one verse not to sacrifice to idols. [And for every prohibition you need another verse telling you the punishment.] But the second verse not to serve has no punishment written with it. So we assume it is a regular prohibition with no punishment except the usual lashes.
I forget all the details but just for now take my word for it that the first service mentioned in "Thou shalt not bow before them and that shalt not serve them" is referring to service according to the general way that idol is served.  And a death penalty is given for that in a different verse.
Sacrifice to an idol is in the same category.
That leaves us with the second "Thou shalt not serve other gods" in Exodus 23 with no death penalty. and it is referring to all kinds of serve no mentioned in exodus 20. But according to the Talmud in Sanhedrin it gets no lashes either because it is a לאו שבכללות a prohibition that includes lots of things that were not stated openly.
Tosphot is trying to figure out why this "Don't serve" is any different than don't do work on the festival which does gets lashes even though there also the exact prohibitions are not stated openly.
It is what the answer of Tosphot is to this question that I find hard to understand.

Appendix: I have heard it said that love of money is idolatry. And some people want to expand the definition of idolatry anything a person has an obsession with. I strongly object to adding to the Torah. Maybe obsessions are not good but surely if people would thing out their position they would realize that they cant be suggested someone should get the death penalty for an obsession. So if not then why call it idolatry? Call it an obsession.


A piece of music written for the glory of God in circa 2012 in Uman.

I use a kind of idea that was developed during the Renaissance of 1, 1/2,1.5, 1 in a 4/4 time.
I was reluctant to use this idea until I saw that it was begun in the Renaissance.

Written also in Uman I think around 2006

 To have  fast session in learning Gemara every day. That is to learn Gemara Rashi and Topshot in this way: say the words and go on. 2) Also to have a similar session in the Rambam with the all the commentaries on the page. 3) Similarly to have a session in Mathematics in the same way. Take the Algebraic Toplogy of Allen Hatcher for example and just start from the beginning and say it word by word until you finish,--and then start again. Four times in a row. If you don't understand at first eventually you will. Things get absorbed into your subconscious even if you are not aware of it. 4) Dito the Avi Ezri of Rav Shach {Elazar Menachem Shach}. This is the most interesting and juicy book of Torah I have ever come across. Sell what you have and go out and buy it. It is on the Rambam and  is is amazingly "Geshmak"  in a way I had never suspected until I picked it up and looked inside.


1) The main thing is to start learning Torah. The Torah will help you out of all your problems.
2) The main thing is Torah.  I believe that if one would start to learn Torah, that everything in his life would change for the better.

3) You have problems I admit that is true. But I have confidence that the power of Torah is so great that it can help one out of all his problems. But not all at once. One needs to keep at it year after year, and eventually he will see how in time everything changed for the better.

I know there are questions about this idea. 
The questions are internal and external. There are people that learned Torah in order to make money. And these people are often nasty.   But that is not a question because Torah has to be learned for its own sake in order to be effect.

After the recent events in Baltimore I think we can all agree that if Abraham Lincoln had learned this particular page of Gemara (Talmud) Baltimore would a lot better place. What he might have done was to stop the slave trade like England had done a long time before that. And there are strict laws about how a slave must be treated. But the result of freeing the slaves was disastrous.

Tractate Bava Metzia page 100a and 100b. And Tosphot first words "money of a slave"

 Tosphot at first deals with the fact that when both are in doubt they divide. He asks, "How can they do that when it is not DM "derara demomona)?" This is what confused me  because it is directly against the Gemara in Bava Metzia page 2. But then at some point I realized that Tosphot is depending on a Gemera in Bava Batra.  But then the next problem is that Tosphot is dealing with the part of the Mishna that says when the both are sure then the seller takes an oath. But when he asks his question אי תימא  "If you will ask how can they divide" it makes no sense. And for years I was confused by the question, "What could Tosphot be asking here?" Until I realized that Tosphot  changed tracks and asks on the end of the mishna where it says "when both are in doubt they divide." This was the key insight.

So Tosphot says it is DM because there were two witnesses that heard the agreement but did not see how much money changed hands. Therefore there is doubt to the Beit Din even without their pleas.
So Sumchos says they divide with no oath.
But then I ask in the above essay what about the part of the mishna than says when the seller is certain that he takes an oath. The only variable that has changed is what is plea is. So if the end of the mishna is Dm [דררא דממומא] so must be the part above it. But there there is an oath and Sumchos holds where there is Dm there is no oath and they divide. I answer that there is an oath because it is admitting in part. מודה במקצת

In this essay I used google translator because the Hebrew of Google is better than my own. But still there are mistakes that got in and so I still need to do some corrections in the Hebrew.

)בבא מציעא ק. וק: תוספות ד''ה דמי עבד. המוכר מכר עבד. אבל יש לו שני עבדים, גדול וקטן. הגדול בעשרים וחמש, והקטן בעשרים. המוכר והקונה מסכימים לבטל את העסקה. יש ספק איזה עבד נמכר. המוכר אומר עבד קטן מכרתי. הלוקח אומר עבד גדול לקחתי. על המוכר להחזיר עשרים וחמש או עשרים? המשנה אומרת המוכר לוקח שבועה ונשבע כי הוא מכר את אחד הקטן ונותן בחזרה רק עשרים. המשנה שאנחנו יודעים הוא סומכוס מסיבות אחרות שמחזיק בשיטה כסף המוטל בספק מחלקים. החכמים אומרים המוציא מחבירו עליו הראיה. זאת אומרת להשאיר את הכסף ברשותו של מי שיש לו הכסף עד שלא הוכחה אחרת

  תוספות כשהוא מתחיל "אי תימא" הוא מדבר על חלק אחר של  המשנה מן החלק של תחילת התוספות. המשנה אומרת ראשונה, כאשר המוכר והקונה בטוחים אז המוכר לוקח שבועה כי הוא מכר את העבד הקטן. תוספות אומר שזה מקרה שבו אין מסמך נכתב על המכירה. אבל אז תוספות שואלים שאלתם שהטרידה אותי לסירוגין במשך כשבע שנים. "אבל איך הם יכולים לחלק? זה לא דררא דממונא?" עכשיו אני מבין. תוספות שואל על סוף משנה. הדיון הוא שהמוכר והקונה הם גם בספק. ויש החוק הוא שהם מחלקים. (ממון המוטל בספק חולקים.) ותוספות שואל על זה איך הם יכולים לחלק כאשר הוא לא מקרה של דררא דממונא. והם עונים שזה מקרה של דררא דממונא כי המכירה התרחשה לפני עדים ששמעו אותם מדברים ומחליטים על מחיר של עבד הגדול בעשרים וחמישה שקלים והקטן בעשרים והעדים לא ראו כמה כסף חליף ידיים. מה שתוספות מחכווין הוא שזה מצב שיש ספק לבית המשפט גם ללא הטיעונים וזה עושה את זה דררא דממונא. עכשיו תוספות היא ברורה. עם זאת, אנחנו צריכים לשאול איך זה משתלב עם החלק הקודם של המשנה שבו יש שבועה. אם סומכוס מסכים שיש שבועה כאשר הצדדים בטוחים, אז אין שום בעיה. אבל יש דעה שסומסוס סובר ממון המוטל בספק חולקים גם כאשר צדדים בטוחים. ואת תשובת התלמוד על זה היא שהוא מקרה שבו השבועה היא מהתורה. יש לי הסבר פה שהשבועה כאן הוא מהתורה, כי זה הוא מקרה של הודאה בחלק (מודה המקצת). המוכר מודה שהוא חייב עשרים שקלים. הוא פשוט לא מודה בחמשת השקלים הנותרים. אבל אם זה המקרה, אז מדוע אין שבועה בסוף משנה? תשובה: כי כאשר המוכר אומר שהוא לא יודע שזה לא נחשב להודאה בחלק. כשהוא אומר "איני יודע" זה לא מודה במקצת. להבין את התוספות הייתי צריך ללכת למסכת בבא בתרא לגלות שיש דעה שתוספות הוא בהתאם לכאן. זה שסומכוס רק אומר החוק שלו כאשר יש דררא דממונא. בגלל התוספות מודפסת עם התייחסות בבא מציעא דף ב' שבו אומר משהו שונה לחלוטין עשה את  תוספות הזה מאוד מבלבל.
 תוספות בראשונה עוסק בעובדה שכאשר שניהם נמצאים בספק שהם מחלקים. הוא שואל, "איך הם יכולים לעשות את זה כשזה לא דררא דממונא?" זה מה שבלבל אותי כי זה ישירות נגד הגמרא בבא מציעא דף ב'. אבל בשלב מסוים הבינתי שתוספות הוא בהתאם לגמרא בבא בתרא. אבל אז הבעיה היא  שתוספות הוא מתמודד עם החלק המשנה שאומר כאשר שניהם בטוחים אז המוכר לוקח שבועה. אבל כשהוא שואל שאלתו. "אי תימא (אם תומר) איך הם יכולים לחלק" . במשך שנים הייתי מבולבל על ידי השאלה מה יכול להיות תוספות שואלים כאן. עד שהבנתי שתוספות שינו מסלולים ושואלים על סוף המשנה שבו כתוב "כאשר שניהם נמצאים בספק שהם מחלקים." זאת היתה תובנה מרכזית. אז תוספות אומר שזה דררא דממומא כי היו שני עדים ששמעו את הסכם אך לא ראו כמה כסף חליף ידיים. לכן יש ספק לבית דין אפילו בלי טיעוניהם. אז סומכוס אומר שהם מחלקים ללא שבועה . אבל אז אני שואל במאמר מעל מה על החלק משנה שאומר כאשר המוכר הוא בטוח שהוא לוקח שבועה. משתנה היחיד שהשתנה הוא מה הוא הטיעון. אז אם סוף המשנה דררא דממומא, כך חייב להיות החלק הזה. אבל יש שם שבועה וסומכוס מחזיק בשיטה כשיש דררא דממומא אין שבועה והם מחלקים. אני עונה שיש שבועה כי הוא מודה בחלק. מודה במקצת.

After the recent events in Baltimore I think we can all agree that if Abraham Lincoln had learned this particular page of Gemara (Talmud) Baltimore would a lot better place. What he might have done was to stop the slave trade like England had done a long time before that. And there are strict laws about how a slave must be treated. But the result of freeing the slaves was disastrous.

a music file


Music for the glory of God


bar yochai







l, n, and i files were written in Uman. Bar Yochai in NY. b files in Israel.

Mathematics was written in Uman in notebooks but put into orchestra form in NY.

Talmud Tractate Bava Metzia page 100.

The seller has sold a slave. But he has two slaves. The seller and buyer agree to cancel the deal. but does the seller give back 20 or 25? Which slave was sold? The big one or the small one? The משנה says the seller takes an oath that he sold the small one and gives back just 20. {The משנה we know is סומכוס for other reasons who holds we divide money in doubt. The חכמים say we leave money in the possession of he who has it until there is proof otherwise.} So it looks like we are leaving the money that is in doubt with the seller like the sages said--not like סומכוס.
But this is not my problem in this above note. I am puzzling over six words in תוספות: "But it is not דררא דממונא." What does תוספות want here? In another paragraph I explained this to mean תוספות want to leave the money with the seller without an oath. And that would seem to be like the רשב''ם that possession and certainty determine that the seller gets the whole five dollars with no oath. So תוספות seems to be saying that since this is not דררא דממונא there should be no oath. But that would be going against the idea that דררא דממונא has nothing to do with the oath but rather where the money goes to.
[מהרש''א דף ב  בבא מציעא.]

I  have been puzzling on and off about this תוספות for years. תוספות when he starts the  אי תימא is talking about a different part of the משנה than the beginning of תוספות. This one simple fact clears up the entire תוספות.
The Mishna first says when both the seller and the buyer are sure then the seller takes an oath that he sold the smaller slave. תוספות is bothered by this and says it is a case where no document has been written about the sale. But then תוספות asks his question that has been bothering me on and off for about 7 years. "But how can they divide? It is not דררא דממונא?"
Now I understand. תוספות is asking about the end of the משנה. There the case is the seller and buyer are both in doubt. And there the law is they divide. And תוספות asks on this how can they divide when it is not a case of דררא דממונא. and they answer it is a case of דררא דממונא because the sale occurred before witnesses that heard them decide the large slave for twenty five dollars and the small one for twenty and they did not see how much money changed hands. What תוספות is saying is that that means there is a doubt to the court of law even without their pleas and that make it דררא דממונא. Now תוספות is crystal clear. Yet we do need to ask how this fits in with the previous part of the משנה where there is an oath.
If סומכוס agrees there is an oath when the parties are sure then there is no problem. But there is an opinion he holds money is doubt is divided even when the pleas are certain. And the תלמוד answers on this it is a case where the oath is from the תורה. I have answered before that the oath here is from the תורה because it is a case of admission in part. The seller admits he owes twenty dollars. He just does not admit the remaining five dollars. But if this is the case then why is there no oath at the end of the משנה? Answer: because when the sellers says he does not know that is not considered admitting in part.

Now to make this תוספות make sense I had to go to מסכת בבא בארא to discover there an opinion that תוספות is depending on here. That is that סומכוס only says his law when there is דררא דממונא.
Because the תוספות is printed with a reference to בבא מציעא דף ב where it says something completely different at made this תוספות very confusing.

Appendix: In the Torah there are laws about slaves. The Bible is  not politically correct.
If America had known about this a long time ago the USA would have been saved from  lot of trouble. And if the USA would accept that slaves still remain slaves even after a government official declares them to be freed the USA could still be saved from   from trouble.
It is a general rule in life not to try to outsmart the Torah.