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31.7.16

NATO Nuke Base Surrounded By Heavily Armed Turkish Police; Houses Up To 90 Thermonuclear Weapons


Turkish President Recep Erdogan has deployed 7,000 armed police and heavy vehicles to the Incirlik Air Base in Turkey. The base is a NATO asset and reportedly houses between 50 and 90 B-61 variable yield thermonuclear weapons. The base is the largest nuclear weapons storage site in Europe with some 25 underground vaults.


Via Sputnik News:
All inputs and outputs to the Incirlik Air Base located in Adana have been closed as Turkish Minister of European Affairs cautions that it is just a “safety inspection” while local newspapers speculate that a second coup attempt may be underway.

Some 7,000 armed police with heavy vehicles have surrounded and blocked the Incirlik air base in Adana used by NATO forces, already restricted in the aftermath of a failed coup. Unconfirmed reports say troops were sent to deal with a new coup attempt.
According to the Turkish Minister for European Affairs, Omer Celik, this is just a routine “safety inspection.” Hurriyet, by contrast, reports that anti-terror police received reports of a second attempt by Gulenists to overthrow the Erdogan regime.



This goes to show it is not good to have nukes around where there are muslims. Maybe it is time to tell NATO to get out of there.


I am not thrilled at the idea of 50-90 thermonuclear weapons in the wrong hands. Especially people that think killing Jews and Christians is a means to gain paradise. It seems like a bad combination.
The Rambam does include Physics and Metaphysics in the category of the Oral Law.

In his terminology this means these two subjects as understood by  Attic Greece.

Philosophy however since Aristotle has gone down hill while Physics has gone up.

So to fulfill this idea one would have to ignore all philosophy since Aristotle's Meta-physics, but he would have to do Physics. Physics is hard. My advice is to have a coffee, fresh ground, just mix with water and a raw egg yoke, right when you wake up. I was doing this idea of learning right when you wake up for some time and I heard also from a KGB agent that that is how he learned English.

When it was possible for me to cook I borrowed an idea from Bava Sali to cook coffee and tea together and boil for 30 seconds.

[Where do you see this in the Rambam, in the beginning of the Guide along with the parable of the king circa the end of Vol III. Also in laws of learning Torah. He hints to it in other places like the commentary of the Mishna. It came from previous sources. You can see it in the Musar book Obligations of the Heart.

link  Here is a link to a discussion about religious fanaticism

And here is  comment on that site  I thought makes sense in a lot of different contexts:

"As a former Christian fundamentalist, I can tell the person who wrote this is a Christian fundamentalist who is trying to "witness" to the Gamesters. Whether he actually believes it or not is beside the point, all he is trying to do is persuade people, the gamesters in this instance, to "Accept Jesus as their personal savior" or "Confess Jesus as Lord and Savior." That is all that's happening here.

People like this who "Know Jesus as their personal Savior" are unwilling to interact with others outside their belief system on a human level. All they do is "witness." In their argot that means persuade others to "Accept Jesus as their personal Savior." In practice, it simply means persuade people to join their movement. Everything they say to others outside the "fold" is pure advertising; it isn't supposed to make sense, but only influence. 

The fundies do take an approach to dealing with everybody that the gamesters do in dealing with women."

"Fundies" I think means religious fanatics. In any case I can see this comment applies to a wider context than the one he is writing for.

This must have something to do with Sapolsky. While Sapolsky limits his treatment of the schizo typal personality I wonder if it could be expanded towards the idea of religious evangelicalism? Not just Obsessive compulsive personalities?



Locality The reference frame


Locality has come upon The Reference Frame again. I was looking for some old comment by the author that said in the most clear way possible that nature is local and there is no action at a distance but still could not find it or forgot how he said it and so maybe I saw it but did not recognize it.

At any rate, the knowledge of Nature is unavoidably subjective 




Lubos

"Nature is local, at least whenever a quantum field theory is a sufficiently good description. String theory is local in some respects, subtly nonlocal in others. But no nonlocality is ever needed to explain the results of EPR-like experiments. The experiments testing entanglement have nothing to do with nonlocality."


What I think he meant by this comment was that Field Theory is local but it gets that locality after there is a propagator. Kind of like a Hamiltonian description of a system. The fact that you describe it as a system does not mean non locality. 

I was looking for some comment by Lubos that said this idea that nature is radically local but I still can't find it. [That is nature is subjective and local. There is no objective state of affairs until you make  a measurement]


[Maybe it was this blog entry] I wish I had made a link to it when I first saw it.

Locality correct. Realism incorrect.



"Realism" means the assumption that the state of the Universe is described by the choice of - possible time-dependent - information about the "right points in the phase space", the space of possible states, and this information is objective and in principle, every honest observer would have to agree with any physically meaningful statement about this information if he tried hard.
Realism, in this valid definition, doesn't imply determinism or causality.





"Quantum mechanics says that there is no underlying objective state of affairs.

One can still say that "the existence of Nature" itself is an objective fact. But it's an empty statement and none of the detailed properties of Nature are objectively well-defined (before the measurement)."
[from this link]


" But I'm saying just the opposite! You can have an objective world that is fundamentally probabilistic." [from this link]








30.7.16

[The sages of the Talmud were aware of the problem with people that use Torah for making a living.


In some way the world of Torah [the world of Yeshivas] was at least in my own mind a kind of representation of heaven. But at a certain point the organization itself lost credibility to me and I think many others. Not in the same way as the Catholic church lost its credibility but in a somewhat similar way.
They can not just make mistakes. But even worse. Do real evil.

I have seen enough to show me the unspoken truth about these things.
religious teachers are home wreckers. The are the most destructive thing for marriages and families.
The Zohar refers to them in this unique language, "Torah scholars that are demons." I have found that to be appropriate and not an exaggeration.

 I  uphold the Oral and Written Law the Law of Moses and the two Talmuds, but in contrast to the world of yeshiva, I have to do it in opposition to the official Establishment. [Lithuanian yeshivas however I do support as long as I get the impression they are authentic. But that is rare. The best are (as is well known) Ponovitch, and after that Brisk. I would have to say they are probably in fact very good. After them I think the three great NY yeshivas are important, Mir, Chaim Berlin and Torah VeDaat.] [There are offshoots of these great places which are also good. That is people that learned in these places sometimes started small Batei Midrash [study halls] which I would consider to be authentic and good places.]

[The sages of the Talmud were aware of the problem with people that use Torah for making a living. I only quoted the Zohar because it makes the point a lot more clear. I mean to say Torah scholars are doing wrong when they use the Torah to make money is not the same thing as saying they are demons from hell sent on earth to destroy human life. You have to admit the Zohar makes the same point but in a more powerful way. ] But it still does not get to the major problem today which is a bit worse because of worship of people that are assumed to be righteous. This is definitely not in accord with the Torah. And the power they weld is beyond anything that a politician could dream of. They have the kind of power you see only in gurus that command willing followers. These followers will do anything for their guru, die for him or commit murder for him. This problem is largely unspoken. People can criticize gurus all they want. But the kind of worship of humans I have seen in the religious world out shadows  that of gurus.

Giving to most yeshivas is not giving to charity. It is giving to parasites.  Yes, the poor are mostly parasites, but so are many of the “successful” who knowingly take on useless jobs for the salaries and power. And the religious teachers, self-help instructors, populist priests and psychologists? What  they do is  parasitic, but thickly disguised.








29.7.16

נפש החיים The Soul of Life by the disciple of the Gra [Eliyahu from Villna]

נפש החיים The Soul of Life by the disciple of the Gra [ Eliyahu from Villna] (Reb Chaim from Volloshin) is a very good book. It was included in the list of Musar {Ethics} books recommended by Israel Salanter.

It deals with vital and urgent issues that are modern.

I mean to say the basic set of ethics books from the middle ages are very good, but they tend not to deal with some issues that came up after that period.

Some of the issues are Bitul Torah. That is not just the mitzvah of learning Torahת but the sin of not learning Torah when one can be learning. A detailed discussion of what is idolatry. It also shows the way of prayer and service in the way of the Arizal (Isaac Luria).

I think it is, possibly, the most important Musar book ever to be written, because of its dealing with the issues that are urgent, but just were not relevant during the Middle Ages.


The actual books of Musar that are best are the known set of Mediaeval ones, plus the disciples of Reb Israel Salanter who wrote more modern approaches like the Madgragat HaAdam [מדרגת האדם] about trust in God and Isaac Blasser about fear of God. That was the general tendency of the Musar movement for each person to find some trait the felt they needed to work on and to hold onto, and often they would write a lot about that particular issue. I myself did not really go for any of that and went off in different directions, but I did find one trait that I have tried to hold onto at all cost--to speak the truth always no matter what. This actually had an early beginning when I read the Musar book אורחות צדיקים  The Ways Of The Righteous.

[There has been good stuff in terms of Musar. Recently someone found more writings of Isaac Blazzer, the major disciple of Reb Israel Salanter, and printed them. It is almost impossible to find, but I saw a copy in Netivot. [So from him we have two books- אור ישראל and this newer book.] There is a new and well researched biography on the Gra also that came out about 7 years ago- which I have heard is very good. It must be good judging by how many people were enraged at it. 
Everyone in some official position condemned the authors even though they had done meticulous research.You can see it must be the best book on the subject of the Gra.

I did not see the book myself but from what  I understood the conclusion of the authors was that the Gra meant what he said about the excommunication. This apparently got everyone in Israel very angry at the authors, and now you can't find this book anywhere. [There were previous books about  this issue. But this was a modern book that took the stance that the Gra meant what he said. and that the cherem has halachic validity.





I should however mention that when growing up I only liked classical music, Mozart, Bach, Beethoven. Only about ten years ago I discovered Renaissance Music. But I have always had an appreciation for the Renaissance period.
My Dad gave me Mozart Symphony 19, 24, the Magic Flute by Mozart, Mozart - Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, Egmont Overture by Beethoven.




Rifle-Wielding North Carolina 13 Year Old Girl Scares Off Home Invaders

According to wikpedia.org, Snow Camp, North Carolina is a small unincorporated community with a large Quaker population. It doesn’t seem the kind of place where violent crime would threaten innocent life. Then again, who knows? Snow Camp is surrounded by larger cities and even the smallest towns in America are home to drug abuse, and attendant crime. Like this [via wncn.com]:

Kirk Puckett, a spokesperson for the Alamance County Sheriff’s Office, said two sisters, 12 and 13, were inside the home when they heard knocking on the front door.

Puckett said when they looked outside, they saw three unfamiliar men. He said the older sister grabbed her dad’s rifle.

The suspects then broke in through the back door. Puckett said the 13-year-old pointed the rifle at them, causing them to run away without taking anything.

28.7.16

The Ten Commandments and the Golden Rule.



In this small paragraph I am depending a lot on the analysis of Howard Bloom in The Lucifer Principle and Allen Bloom in The Closing of the American Mind both.


The details are mainly in the book by Allen Bloom about problems with the Enlightenment. But in terms of a solution --the meme-I am thinking of Harold Bloom.

That is I am thinking the solution is in bringing back  a certain kind of Meme--unit of social information.--The Law of Moses.
The Ten Commandments and the Golden Rule.


I should mention that there is much in the Catholic Church that I think does not agree with the Oral and Written Law. Still I see the church as an important ally in terms of upholding the Law of Moses.
Whatever brings to the Law of Moses is good as far as I am concerned.

Most of what is called soft science is pseudo science. See the Feynman discussion on utube




This same problem plagues the world of Torah. Anyone with enough Charisma can claim to know Torah. There is no objective test and no checks and balances. Thus it is  a world full of fraud and scams.
You can see why the Rambam included Physics into his conception of what the Oral Law is. Not just because of the objective reality part of מעשה בראשית [the work of  creation] but also to connect to the דעת of God in a objective way.




The connection between the Litvak Yeshiva approach and the family of Yaakov Abuchatzaira

I had some connection with the family of  Yaakov Abuchatzaira. This was mainly through a grandson of Bava Sali, Shimon Buso.
This connection gave me a certain amount of clarity about the importance of Torah--that is the oral and written law and Musar [Musar in the sense of Reb Israel Salanater.] and the general path of Reb Chaim Soloveitchik. Or said simply the Lithuanian Musar yeshiva approach.

I  mention this because of the clarity that came to me on these issues through my connection with family of Bava Sali [i.e. Israel Abu-cha-tzei-ra ישראל אבוחצירה]
This is a Sephardi family but this clarity about the Musar Litvak approach was  very clear to them as expressed to me by many years of involvement with this family.

I had in fact been impressed with this path before that. In fact, you could say I really found happiness and fulfillment through the Litvak Musar Yeshiva path.

But not everyone can be in a Litvak yeshiva. So what some people do is they try the "kollel thing" or Beit Midrash [study hall for anyone that wants to learn Torah].

The basic ups and downs about this path- I have written about in other blog entries. But here I wanted to mention this Bava Sali connection because of the clarity it helped me achieve concerning this. That is, -almost all of the issues I have brought upon this blog, I discussed at great length with Shmon Buso, and also had discussion with the daughter of Bava Sali, Avigail Buso.

There is no question that this basic Musar Litvak approach is what Mrs Avigail Buso was thinking as the right approach. I also had some connection with the direct descendants of the older brother of Bava Sali known as עטרת ראשינו. [David Abuchatzira]  Looking back on it there is no question that all held from this basic Litvak Approach. It definitely was not the "sefardi pride" approach of the many Sephardi Jews. It was as Litvak as you could possibly be.

[I would also like to suggest the books of Reb Yaakov Abuchatzeira as an addition to the traditional books Musar.]



27.7.16

church

Even though I am not Christian, I can still see the need for people to learn morality from the Law of God, (the Five Books of Moses). [The truth is without R. Avraham Abulafia from the Middle Ages I would not be able to say this.]

I can see that even with learning Torah (the Five Books of Moses), people can be morally challenged, [or sometimes even worse.] But still, as much as the Oral and Written Law that people learn, the better. Now I know Christians also look at the New Testament for information about morality, and there is a lot there that I do not agree with. Still, as the Talmud said- רחמנא אמר ליעבד כי היכי דניעבד ניחא ליה

That is ''God said to do. However we do is good for him." That is God said to keep the Law of Moses. So as long as people are learning it and making a sincere effort to understand, and keep it, that is pleasing to God.


I have seen often people think that belonging to their group makes them righteous. But to me that seems like a mistake. The main thing to me is the Law of Moses, the Oral and Written Law. Not what group one is a part of.


[I have seen enough of the world to show me that without the Torah people are lacking morals. And even though in very Christian societies, people that do not actually learn Torah can pick up moral principles from the society itself. Still when the whole society is without Torah,  things looks pretty bad. ]

So my basic approach is this people should learn the Old Testament, the two Talmuds, Physics up to String Theory, and Aristotle's Meta-Physics.
I noticed the Ukraine in particular. When the church was pushed out by the Soviets it seems people grew up with no sense of right or wrong. Stealing is like bread and butter to most people in the Ukraine. If you take away the Bible from people, that is what you get. Especially I see this with the Tatars or anyone that grew up with no belief in the Bible. They have zero trustworthiness.

Opposition to the church was wrong and still is wrong. Christianity is a fundamental part of Western Civilization.




The general way I try to learn is by having fresh ground coffee and doing the learning as early as possible in the morning after a good night sleep. It is also important to be motivated. No matter how much energy you have if you do not have desire and will to learn Physics and the Talmud and Musar then nothing can help. You need to have the will. But if that essential ingredient is there, then you need coffee. Fresh ground  in the store. You do not need to cook it. You can mix it with water and and egg and drink it with Russian Halvah.
You also need a good night sleep before hand and as much as possible to guard that first hour when you wake up that it should be for learning alone. Nothing else.
Even though there are people in Islam that are not violent they seem to simply be like a Trojan Horse. Salad dressing on top of a poison salad to make it seem tasty.

The French are now under attack by Muslims. The French should not have killed Joan De Arc, nor their last king. The best repentance is bring back Throne and Altar.


My impression is violence is  a direct result of Islam. I do not think this is work place violence. That is I mean to say it is the result of  a certain kind of social meme that gets incorporated inside a persons personality at a certain age. If the social meme is bad, it will result in bad deeds regardless of the inherent disposition of the person.


I have seen this a lot. People can start out with good or bad dispositions, but if they are taught an evil belief system, the belief system will take over.

Thus we see why learning Musar is very important. [Mediaeval Ethics]
The Left really does not like the Second Amendment.  I am not sure why this is? Maybe because it was designed to protect the American people from the American government. We see in the Federalist papers the importance of limiting the government. [The 2nd amendment was made as a limit on government.] I think since the Left sees government as the greatest good, and people as worthless, thus the 2nd Amendment must bother them.

I wanted to mention that I think limited government was foremost in the minds of the founding fathers as the sole way to guarantee freedom. 
They must have taken note that Sparta considered themselves free even though they were not a democracy. {See Herodotus the discussion between Xerxes and the exiled king of Sparta who warned Xerxes what kind of men he was about to encounter at Therma. 1.7 million men against 300 Spartans was simply no match. According to the exiled king of  Sparta, the reason was because the Spartans considered themselves free and would guard that freedom at all cost. And this freedom was not because of loyalty to Sparta, but loyalty to the Law. And the Law required only one thing. Never retreat.} The reason is the government was limited by the fact that each of the two kings and the Ephors limited the power of the other.


1.7 million against each Spartan was 5,670 men against one Spartan.



Are the refugees "fleeing from terrorism" or fleeing towards terrorism?

Are the refugees "fleeing from terrorism" or fleeing towards terrorism?

One who is kind in a place where he ought to be cruel in the end will be cruel in  a place where he ought to be kind. [I forget where that is I think it is in tractate Shabat. about king Saul. Saul was kind in a place where he was told to be cruel--Amalek. Thus the Talmud says the result of this is he was cruel in  a place where he ought to have been kind [The city of priests which gave David refuge. Saul wiped out that whole city.]




How to consider Joan of Arc? I brought that up with my learning partner years ago when I first saw the transcript of her trial. I found that transcript to be more compelling and shocking than anything else I had read about her. It was like I was in the courtroom with her.
But as many other issues my learning partner did not relate well to what I was asking.
He was thinking that whatever is Jewish is good and right and whatever is not is the Sitra Achra.

That approach seems to me to be highly inaccurate. While I do think there is a Sitra Achra [Dark Realm] I do not think the dividing lines are drawn according to those specifications.

Part of my reasoning is the Gra at the beginning of Shir Hashirim but also the Arizal.[about the higher root of the children of Noah].

But also I have a kind of Kantian view point about unconditioned realities. [Reason does not work there and when it tries to it comes up with self contradictions.]

The best way I think to consider Joan de"Arc is as the Rambam. I mean to say that he would not be willing to cut any slack to any kind of approach that is not a part of the Oral and Written Law of Moses, but he would also see a preliminary stage bringing to the Law of God.

[You would have to see his approach to  Ancient Hellas (Nemusai HaYevanim")

Appendix:
(1) The laws of the ancient Greeks [as known to Avraham the patriarch ] was considered by Maimonides to be  Natural Law that needed to be revealed in order for the higher level of the Law of Mount Sinai to come into the world.

(2) The Rambam would not cut any slack to Joan De'Arc as being part of the Catholic Church. He would in spite of the good and worthy aspects still consider the basic structure as wrong. According to the Torah we are commanded not to worship a person even as a mediator. And this applies to gentiles as well as to Jews. That is the faith of the Law of Moses in Ethical Monotheism. No mediators. And that God is not a composite and he is not the world. That is the Rambam (and Aquinas also for that mater) considered these things objective morality.














26.7.16

There is a good way to defend the Musar Movement of Reb Israel Salanter. This way would have to start with an unspoken premise of all authentic Lithuanian yeshivas that the rishonim are always right. The achronim however can and do makes mistakes, This premise is based on objective facts.
But it is not widely known. The Middle Ages fell out of favor in the secular world.
The thing that makes rishonim so important is hard to tell. On one hand it looks like that entire age--especially in France was exceptional in logic. That is logical thinking. A book like most achromim write filled with fuzzy circular logic would have never gotten past first base. It would have been laughed out of court. There is something more however about the rishonim that is more than just logic.[rishonim might not be infallible but in terms of logic they always are]

But it is all I need to defend Musar. That is the idea that only the medieval writers had the capacity to  understand and describe in a logically consistent way the world view of the Torah.

Rishonim are medieval authorities. [Anyone from Hai Gaon and onward up until Rav Joseph Karo. ]

Achronim are people after Joseph Karo, including Joseph Karo. Rishonim also include the Gra.




Torah with Derech Ertez [a vocation]

My basic path in a nutshell is to learn The Oral Law, the Written Law, Physics and Math and Aristotle Metaphysics. This is a slight modification of Maimonides. While Maimonides did include the two sets of books of Aristotle The Physics and the Meta-Physics into his program of how to learn Torah he was referring specifically to the books of ARISTOTLE. In my modification of Maimonides I would instead put String Theory and Abstract Algebra and Algebraic Topology instead of Aristotle's Physics.




I should mention that Torah with Derech Ertez [a vocation] was the path of my parents. They did not think that being a position to use Torah for money was a good idea. If I could have done yeshiva in the morning and then learned some vocation in the afternoon they would have been overjoyed but as it was I was in Far Rockaway where the closest college was Brooklyn College and it was a few hours on the subway.  Even my own Rosh Yeshiva Reb Shelomo Friefeld was telling me to go to college.

At the time however I do not know what I would have majored in.  I did not know how to learn Physics in those days in a way that I could do well in it.   Even today years later it takes me a whole long kind of round about way to get anywhere. I have to read the words in order --just saying the words straight and going on. Then after about 50 pages or so I go back reading the last paragraph and then the one before that etc until I get to the beginning of the book. It takes a lot of time.

But just for the record this is what the Rambam advised and my parents and also from what I have seen this makes the most sense. Torah with Derech Eretz.

[I imagine I could have learned Kant or Music, but as it was I was pretty involved with Torah. And I think at least for those years I needed to be involved with Torah all day in order to make any progress at all.]


I also should mention that unless the Rambam had specifically included Physics in the mitzvah of learning Torah, I would not have much motivation for learning it. It is rather the combination of the Rambam along with my parents that convinced me to spend time on it. Otherwise I would have thought it is bitul Torah.

[Bitul Torah is the sin of spending time on anything when you could be spending it on learning Torah. This sin is considered very severe in the Torah and it was certainly a major part of the thinking of the yeshiva world]

One of the best books on Physics I have found to be free. You can find the links on my blog.
As for Musar and Torah the best books of Musar are the Nefesh Hachaim which go into more modern issues like bitul Torah and idolatry. And the Chovot Levavot. But the best idea in terms of Musar is to have a Cheder Musar {Musar Room} like I saw in Netivot. One room that has only Musar books and to get the basic set of Mediaeval Musar and the books of the Gra and the disciples of Reb Israel Salanter.

[I am not saying I have no doubts about this. In fact if I could I would be sitting and learning Torah all the time. Every second. But there were many factors preventing me from this-enough in fact for me t begin to wonder if sitting and learning Torah all day is in fact the best path. But I admit I could be wrong and that the sitting and learning all day is the right thing. I am just saying that for me that path did not work out so well and at some point I found it impossible to follow. So I concluded that the Rambam was right all along. But that might simply mean I was not on the kind of spiritual level necessary to learn Torah all day.]








25.7.16

The barbarians

The barbarians are not at the gates. They are in the gates.

Breaking news out of the town of Ansbach, Germany where authorities have confirmed that a device was responsible for a blast that killed 1 and injured 11 12 at a restaurant near a music festival which may have been the target:



 Suspect in #Ansbach bombing was Syrian refugee denied asylum

24.7.16

The Jewish people are going through a very difficult time with cults and false teachers. There is only one thing that can help now. A Miracle. 
I think it can be said that libertarian-ism and also Marxism had the advantage that they seemed to have intellectual basis. You can't accuse everyone of having bad hearts. No. It must be that they sincerely thought they were on the side of truth and justice. It is only the result of Time showing these movements for the ill-founded delusions of madmen that now traditional Judaic Christian values are on the rise.

It is common among the  Right to look at Marxists as having evil hearts. This seems to me to be unfair. While they are correct for identifying Marxism as  a bad thing, but we have to give people the benefit of a doubt. With the kinds of thinkers involved in that school of thought, we can't assume everyone was trying to do evil.
Rather it was time alone that showed Marxism to be  a poor system. Libertarianism also needed time to sort out the problems in that system.  

Medieval Ethics --Fear of God and instilling good character

The basic approach of Reb Israel Salanter learning the books on Medieval Ethics --the Musar movement- was directed towards Fear of God and instilling good character. But there is a side benefit that I found very helpful for myself in Musar. The basic set of books helped me get a general idea of the world view of Torah.  That is to say I realized that the Torah had a world view. The Torah is not an empty bottle you can put any worldview into that you want to. But I was not clear about what it is. The "Paradigm."  The benefit of Musar --at least for me-was to get a clearer view of how the Torah looks at the world and human life and everything else. It helped clarify many issues. Of course it also was saying things I did not want to hear. But that is what character correction involves--hearing things that you do not want to hear.

But I also realize there are more modern issues that came up after the original set of Musar books was written. Thus I found the Nefesh Hachaim from a disciple of the Gra to be very helpful.

I did notice in Israel that some people still take the idea of the Musar Movement seriously. For example in Netivot, I saw the yeshiva of Rav Montag  had an actual "Musar room" --the first time I had ever seen such a thing.
I also heard from Shimon Buso [a grandson of Bava Sali] and the daughter of Bava Sali, Avigail Buso a lot about the importance of Musar. But that was really just confirming what my impression already was about the importance of Musar. [The daughter of Bava Sali also mentioned to me about the importance of the books of Joseph Karo, i.e the Tur with the  Beit Joseph etc. ]
 There is also a promise of healing [physical and spiritual] that Isaac Blazzer said in the beginning of his book אור ישראל which he brings from the Rambam.

I imagine some people feel they are born perfected, and thus do not need to hear rebuke. But for the rest of us mere mortals, this seems to me to be the best way to go about character correction.

Why you   might ask is all this necessary? Why not just open up the Old Testament and see what it says? The reason is that any text without background is infinitely under-determined. It can mean anything you want. See John Searle in his theory of the Background and Kelley Ross's critique in which is shows the importance of John Searle's idea.

[This is relevant for anyone who cares about the Torah. The truth is without the background, it is radically undetermined. The nice thing about the Middle Ages was that understanding in a complete and logically rigorous way the entire written and oral law was of the greatest importance for people. So the books of Musar then were written with the whole picture in mind.  ]


23.7.16

Munich


The motive was clear. It was to kill infidels. They were to him “foreigners.” This was done in the name of a false god. How much clearer could it possibly be?
I think Harvard and Yale were penetrated by the KGB somehow. Probably not by hard core bribery, but by the soft sale. That is, the KGB probably had their best and brightest wine and dine and discuss polices and political philosophy  with the best students from those places. This should not have been all that hard. Based on reason alone one could argue from Hegel and a whole long list of great thinkers.

All the KGB needed to do was to send over people that could argue convincing from Hegel and the whole long string of Leftist philosophers and talk to the most impressionable and brightest students from the 1970 and on. See the utube by Bezmenov. They did not need to convince all of America's youth. All they needed to do was to penetrate the top universities. And they had plenty of funding for this kind of operation. And there is no question they spent most of their funding on disinformation;- and most of that on the "Glavni protivnik," the top enemy- the USA.

So that leaves two questions. How to argue from Schopenhauer and Kant? This would be better than Hegel. Second-what if Hegel had some good points?

I do not find Kant to be any less than Hegel, and I think good arguments could be made. But the Right is not as interested in power as the Left. The Right wants nice neighborhoods, and to go to school, and pay its bills. and go to church on Sundays.

The Left wants pure unadulterated power. There is no contest when it comes to passion. The Left is foaming at the mouth. The Right is nice sedate old guys in country clubs.

I should mention that I am on the side of traditional Judaic-Christian Civilization and values. But I realize you have to argue for this from the side of Kant. You can't simply argue from faith, or even from the Rambam. You need to have a rigorous intellectual basis for faith.


There are problems in Christianity, but the vector is toward Torah. See the Guide of the Rambam about the parable of the king where he shows that the vector is everything. [That is I think in the last chapter before volume 3 or 4 in the Guide.]




22.7.16

The Sages of the Talmud said: "For anyone that looks at three things, it is better that they were not created: (1) What is above, (2) What is below (3) What is inside." This goes along with the idea of Kant that when one tries to use reason in areas of unconditioned reality contradictions are created. The practical lesson from this is not to think about spiritual things because that creates contradictions in one's soul.

Gra and cults

The Gra tried his best to stop the cult that ruined Judaism. with no success.

In spite of his signature, on what should have status in Halacha, it is totally ignored. It is my opinion that ignoring this was a terrible mistake. Not just from a Halachic standpoint, but from an objective standpoint. If one can avoid evil, that is the best thing. But if one is confronted directly, the best option is to stand and fight.
This is in fact how Western civilization began. The Persian empire was on its way to destroy Athens and enslave its people. They had already done so to another important city in Hellenes. {Herodotus spells it "Hellas."} The reason the Persians succeeded was that city was divided in counsel. Many escaped. Those that remained were easily defeated.
The 10 Athenian generals were divided equally whether to stand and fight or run. One man the leader for the day cast his vote to stand and fight. The Persians were defeated at Marathon. After that Athens became the source and birthplace of art, music mathematics, philosophy, literature, political thought and everything else good that signifies Western Civilization.  Sometimes you have to stand and fight.

How did the Gra get pushed out?
People are no longer motivated by inner choices — duty, honor, pride, creativity, wisdom — but by what the rest of the herd is doing. For this reason, they are losing out if they do not get in there and force others to pay attention to them, which creates the stunts-based attention whoring that is the basis for radicalism and fanaticism.
With this center of attention,  Crowdism is born.
And the crowd has an insatiable appetite for nonsense. They love to hear the Guru talk hours on end which if you look at what he says is simply "B.S." 




21.7.16

cults and gurus

The best way to deal with a group you are involved with that you think might be a cult- is to learn about other cults, and you start to see the beliefs are not unique or original, but rather the things you thought were special- are shared traits with all cults.
Besides that I  want to focus on the Guru or Shaman. Human have a strong need for  a shaman or Guru. All human groups throughout history have shown this need for some meta magical personality. This goes for groups of the most primitive, vicious type and upward. And their beliefs about their Shaman  are if you look into it are about the same as what any modern cult group thinks about their leader. It is  basic human trait and need to have  a Shaman. These shamans are not schizophrenic but schizo-typal. They control themselves so the visions and hallucinations occur at the right time and place.

Meta magical thinking is the major characteristic of these schizoid gurus and shamans. They believe in strange things. They are really into fantasies in a "frenzy" kind of way. Maybe it is New Age or whatever. What ever religious structure they have it is very literal and concrete. They tend towards extremely literal explanations of religious events or writings.

When you see this you should know you are dealing with a person that has a mild version of schizophrenia. He or she is Schizotypal.
 Nowadays in secular society such people get jobs that fit this kind of personality. But in more religious societies these people tend to go to the top of the hierarchy.

Nefesh Hachaim and learning Torah

Probably the most important Musar books to learn are

 The Nefesh Hachaim and a Musar book of collected ideas from the Gra called Even Shelma אבן שלמה  "Perfect Rock" or Perfect Measure".. The first one is rather important . The Nefesh Hachaim is very important in so far that he explains a lot of issuesף- for example-the importance of learning Torah, how to pray properly and a lot of other stuff.

Both are considered classical Musar books. Neither are medieval but even so they are considered part of the classical cannon or set.

The trouble I found with the Nefesh HaChaim was it made me feel guilty when I am not learning Torah. And that is confusing to me because my parents and the Rambam were more along the lines of Torah with a vocation plus Physics and Metaphysics. Still I admit the Nefesh HaChaim might in fact be the most important of all Musar books.

There was a later Musar book that was saying to give your children the Nefesh Hachaim and on their bar Mitzvah [or Bat Mitzvah] to have them read the 4th part which talks about learning Torah. I had hoped to do that- but the truth be told- I got distracted from learning Torah. I am not proud of that. If I could go back today I would try to stick with the path of my parents as close as possible תורה עם דרך ארץ Torah with a vocation. That is to learn Torah half a day and to learn an honest vocation for making a living. That is I would learn Torah but do my best not to be in a position of using Torah for the sake of a livelihood..


So what makes it so hard for me or others to learn Torah. The problem is clearly half and half. That is half the problem is in me. When I or anyone walks away from Torah it is no surprise that when we try to come back into the world of Torah that we find the door is  locked.

The other half of the problem is the Dark Side the Sitra Achra now has taken over a large part of what used to be called the world of Torah. Nowadays the leaders are the villains. That means to learn Torah you have to get a Gemara and  a book of Musar and the sidur HaGra and do your thing at home. There are very few authentic Litvak yeshivas around anymore. There obviously are in New York like the Mir and Torah VeDaat and Ponovicth in Israel. But besides the great Litvak yeshivas it is hard to find anything authentic.


Muslims are obstacles to peace

I noticed on a blog  a letter from Germany about the problems with Muslims. You have an incident when a Muslim woman just walks up to a policeman in Germany and stabs them in the neck with no warning. What is odd about this is people in Israel have been going through this kind of insanity for 60 years with no sympathy from anyone. You would imagine that today people would have more sympathy for what Jews have gone through with Muslims. But no. Whom gets the blame for Muslim violence? Jews, of course!

I was actually there at such an incident. Besides the constant weekly suicide bombing of Jews in Jerusalem, I also experienced a lot of personal attacks, and also witnessed many attacks.
There was one incident just like that one in Germany that I remember- of a Muslim just walking up to a police officer and stabbing them without even saying, "hello."
Not that Jews got any sympathy from this. On the contrary. Even the Israeli media always referred to these kinds of incidents as "obstacles to peace." [As if these were just minor insignificant events!]

Even a Jewish woman in NY, when I mentioned this kind of thing to her, said "Well, they must have gone through a lot to be driven to such violence."

So ever since I stated blogging, I never referred  to this kind of thing. I figure, people are born  hating Jews. It is in the human DNA, and nothing I can say will change that.
If Jews are attacked by Muslims, then according to people, we deserve it. If people are attacked by Muslims, then Jews are at fault.
Where I saw this letter the comments were referring to some Zionist conspiracy, or other kinds of Jewish world take-over types of ideas.  But I did not pay much attention because these kinds of opinions are very common nowadays in the USA Germany and Russia. World takeover? I'd rather sit and learn Torah.
And in terms of how the world ought to be? Frankly, I thought normal American Wasp [White Anglo Saxon Protestant] society was pretty good.  Now I do realize there are lots of leftists and Marxists that are joining together to destroy decent Wasp society. But that is not a Jewish conspiracy. There are plenty of ordinary white people that are trying to take down the USA and Western civilization. But these are Marxist and Islamic conspiracies , not Jewish ones. But that is not the point for most people. They really just don't care about Western civilization. The main thing is to blame Jews whenever things don't work. If Americans would really care about Wasp society, they would not have an Islamic president. If Germany really cared about Western civilization, they would not invite the Islamic invasion.

Ideas on Bava Metzia page 14

Ideas in Shas  Ideas in Bava Metzia ch 8 and ch 9

In בבא מציעא we find that the רב said that in a case where one has bought something from a thief and the property returns to  the owner, that the buyer  gets the money he paid for it from the thief and the improvement also. רש''י explains that this is a case in which the original property was already improved and the thief damaged the property. So the original owner is getting back the property with zero improvement.  תוספות explains that the case is simply that the property was empty and the buyer improved it, and so when רב says the גנב pays back the שבח, it is a simple case of his giving back the improvement, and the original owner gives back the investment to the buyer.

The idea of תוספות is that this is not any different from a case where a person goes into someone else's field and plants it. In such a case the owner pays the הוצאה, או את השבח which ever is less.
This all seems simple and plain. Now this is also the way the פני יהושע understands this and it seems like there is no need of any explanation.

The problem here arises when we look at בבא קמא page צ''ה ע''ב. It looks like this entire subject in בבא מציעא is going according to the opinion of רבי מאיר over there, and against רבי יהודה and רבי שמעון. That seems absurd on the face of it.   רבי מאיר is the one person who holds that improvement goes back to the original owner with the stolen object, not רבי יהודה or רבי שמעון. But if you try to explain the subject in  בבא מציעא as if it was going like the law in בבא קמא , you encounter major problems. Some of these problems were noted by the פני יהושע, but there is  a  question  that seems to me to be even more powerful that the questions the פני יהושע raised. The fact is that שמואל is the person that argues with רב in בבא מציעא דף י''ד and he says  the buyer does not get back the improvement. If you try to explain this according to רבי יהודה it makes no sense. Of course he does not get back the improvement  because no one took it from him in the first place!
In short, the whole subject in  בבא מציעא seems to be going completely like רבי מאיר and we know from עירובין that this is simply impossible. When there is an argument between רבי מאיר and or רבי שמעון with רבי יהודה the law always is like רבי יהודה.

) בבא מציעא דף י''ד. בבבא מציעא אנו מוצאים כי רב אמר כי במקרה שבו אחד קנה מגרש מגנב ואחרי  חזרת הרכוש לבעלים, שהקונה מקבל את הכסף ששילם עבור אותו מגרש מהגנב ואת השיפור גם. רש''י מסביר כי מדובר במקרה שבו הנכס המקורי השתפר ביד הקונה אחר שהגנב היזק את הרכוש. אז הבעלים המקורים מקבלים בחזרה את הנכס עם אפס שיפור. תוספות מסביר כי במקרה הוא פשוט כי הנכס היה ריק והקונה שפר אותה, ולכן כאשר רב אומר הגנב משלם בחזרה את השבח, זה מקרה פשוט של  חזרת השיפור לקונה שעשה את השיפור,  והבעלים המקוריים יחזירו את ההשקעה לקונה. הרעיון של תוספות הוא שזה לא שונה מכל מקרה שבו אדם נכנס לשדה של מישהוא  ונטע הצמחים. במקרה כזה בעלים משלם את ההוצאה, או את השבח איזה שהוא פחות. כל זה נראה פשוט ורגיל. עכשיו זה גם האופן שבו הפני יהושע מבין את זה. הבעיה כאן מתעוררת כאשר אנו מסתכלים על בבא קמא דף צ''ה ע''ב. זה נראה כמו כל הנושא בבבא מציעא הולך לפי דעתו של רבי מאיר שם, ונגד רבי יהודה ואת רבי שמעון. זה נראה אבסורדי על פניו. רבי מאיר הוא האדם היחיד אשר גורס כי שיפור חוזר לבעלי המקורי עם החפץ הגנוב, לא רב יהודה או רב שמעון. אבל אם אתה מנסה להסביר את הנושא בבא מציעא כאילו שזה הולך כמו החוק בבא קמא, אתה נתקל בבעיות גדולות. חלק מהבעיות הללו צוינו על ידי הפני יהושע, אבל יש שאלה שנראית לי להיות אפילו יותר חזקה  מן השאלות שהפני יהושע הרים. העובדה היא כי שמואל הוא האדם שמתווכח עם רב בבבא מציעא דף י''ד והוא אומר הקונה אינו מקבל את השיפור. אם אתה מנסה להסביר את זה על פי דעתו של רבי יהודה זה לא הגיוני. כמובן שהוא לא נחזיר את השיפור כי אף אחד לא לקח את זה ממנו מלכתחילה! בקיצור, כל הנושא בבבא מציעא נראה שהולך לגמרי כמו רבי מאיר ואנחנו יודעים בעירובין כי זה פשוט בלתי אפשרי. כשיש ויכוח בין רבי מאיר לבין רבי שמעון או עם רבי יהודה החוק תמיד הוא כמו רבי יהודה. יש לומר יש חילוק בין מגרש לחפץ המיטלטל.

For some reason this whole piece was not in either book as far as I could tell so I put it into the Ideas on Shas just now Sept 7  2016. I can't remember if there was some reason I left it out.

After thinking about it it occur to me I might have left it out because it seems trivial.



The literal meaning of Torah פשט הפשוט

The idea of going straight to the Torah [the Five books of Moses and the Old Testament]  is not a bad idea. I think a lot of doubts can be settled that way.This does not mean there is not a need to solve contradictions. Contradictions in metaphysical reality seems to be part of the nature of reality as Kant saw.

What we see in practice is a lot of what goes on is contrary to the Law of God but people have ways of excusing  it by finding some verse that they say is ambiguous and making a explanation that contradicts the plain meaning of the text. The reason is people are attracted to the ugly and profane and sexual sin and what to hear that it is OK and Kosher and so find some verse to support them.

It seems that Saul was in fact interpreting the word of God.  It was not the same as simple disobedience.

If you look at the actual verses it seems Saul thought he had obeyed the word of God because that is how he interpreted  it. I was not simple disobedience. It was first interpret and then imagine that  he fulfilled it.

I would like to name  this sin, "the sin of interpretation." חטאת הפירוש

20.7.16

The group that the Gra put into excommunication is poison.

The group that the Gra put into excommunication is poison.
The toxicity is in the dosage.  When children are constantly inundated with this, the overall effect will be noticeable.  They internalize this as the new normal.
So why are they doing this?
Part of the reason is that religious teachers hate you.  You, the stupid  masses that do whatever you are told, and never question; they despise you in the same way that a rapist hates his victim.  Your unguarded mind is too tempting for them to resist (or so they tell themselves) and it’s your fault for making them do it.
Another part of the reason is that it works.  Every single one of you is a fallen creature in love with sin.  You lust after ugly pornography, you live  through  antiheroes, and deep down you want to rebel against the reality God made. 
So while a Litvak yeshiva  showing off how delicious learning Torah is might raise awareness, its impact is going to fall short of a group that subtly implies something subversive, dark, and sinister.  Part of you loves things that are twisted; they’re just giving you what they want. It is the same reason the group of the Shatz was so successful. You want sin, and you want to be told it's OK.

In the Middle Ages the point of Christian scholarship was to iron out the contradictions plus work out the problems of theology based on the Neo Platonic school.  One such problem was Divine simplicity. The way this was done by Boethius was mainly to stick to Neo Platonism. This was serious work and was not made irrelevant by subsequent people, nor Martin Luther.  The Jewish world faced a similar problem. To iron out the contradictions and meaning of the OT and in the Talmud. Plus similar problems in Theology. In any case, all this is based on one idea. There is no essential contradiction in the word of God. What Protestants do is to ignore all these problems. If a certain verse appeals to one, then he or she grabs it and that is that. Divine simplicity never bothers Protestant at all. All the problems facing the Middle Ages were simply swept under the carpet, not answered.


As about a thousand years of trouble with Divine simplicity did not get very far, Aquinas simply  went to Aristotle following Maimonides.This was very helpful as far as Divine simplicity was concerned but made other problems. Kelley Ross thinks the problems with Aristotle are so great that the logical thing to do was to go back to Plato. [Not that Aquinas or Maimonides could have done that since they were busy working out their system. But later on people when they saw the problems could have simply gone back to a Neo Platonic approach. But in the West that is not what happened. People went into a far more radical empirical-ism than that contemplated by Aristotle. So the Western Judaic Christian  world tends to be pretty secular.
[Dr. Kelley Ross: However, a stricter empiricism again creates the difficulty that the apparent "form" of an object cannot provide knowledge of an end (an entelechy) that is only implicit in the present object, and so hidden to present knowledge.
Curiously, the reaction to this was not immediately a new Platonism or Neoplatonism, but a more extreme empiricism:  The Nominalists overcame the Aristotelian difficulty by rejecting Realism altogether.]


My own feeling about all this is the to learn the Oral and Written Law and take a Neo Platonic approach. I do not think Aquinas was very successful in answering the Divine simplicity problem. Or rather let me say I think the Rambam did a better job by simply sticking with Aristotle and the First Cause. Though I can appreciate the efforts of Aquinas and what he did for natural law but in terms of the NT I think he was simply trying to do the impossible. As long as Paul is part of the NT there can not be any way to get him to correspond to the OT

I have thought that the Left will use violence to stop Trump because of two reasons. (1) Power is their religion. That is they do not have transcendental traditional religious values. Thus they bring to politics all the fervor you would normally find in religious fanatics. (2) I have some interest in Marxism and am aware of some of its doctrines. See some Marxist writings and you too will see that  the tendency is to advocate violence. Plus I saw that these kinds of books were being taught even in the humanities and social studies departments of good universities that I was in like Polytechnic in NY. So in terms of that I have to agree with the previous comment.

See the links to Marx and Hegel on the internet and you will see what I mean

Lithuanian yeshivas

I was thinking in high school that  I did not want to join the rat race and instead wanted to seek for the truth. I am grateful that I was in two very wonderful Lithuanian yeshivas, Shar Yashuv and the Mir in NY. I am eternally grateful to God for guiding my steps towards authentic Torah.





Here are some ideas [not my own] that I saw on a blog called Amerika  and actually reflect closely my own thoughts on jobs and work.

___________________________________________________________________________
Often jobs are not actually work and produce nothing of value and often produce the opposite of value e.g. psychologists generally ruin people's sanity and get paid for doing so. 

In  jobs,  little of worth is done. This occurs because most of the assigned activities are pro forma or make believe -work. Most business activities are ill-advised or irrelevant, through the creation of regulatory law.


 In traditional work, the individual learns how the world works and applies himself or herself to tasks and achieving mastery. 

Jobs do the opposite. Jobs reward appearance, not actuality, except in a few rare cases. Even in professional fields, the goal is to keep abreast of what others have done and do the same in a certain specific case, and accountability occurs only when one deviates from the commonly accepted practice, even if results are bad. Doctors lose patients, lawyers loses cases, and architects design junk all the time but so long as these are competitive with what others have established as “safe” minimums, no consequences attach.
_______Here are my thought about this: So what I recommend instead is Torah with Derech Eretz. That is to learn the Oral and Written Law {Old Testament and Gemara and Musar} and that one's work should not be to make money but rather to make something of value and learn somethings of intrinsic value. 
Many in the the Modern religious world value jobs for the sake of money, and that makes no sense to me. Others value Torah only if they can make money from it and that makes even less sense to me. [I have actually heard this from people that were in a kollel. That showed me that there are people that really use the holy Torah as  a means to make money. This to me is really shocking. Even many years later I find this attitude to be extremely vile. ]









18.7.16

s1 D Minor

s1 D Minor Edited. In the final part I used an idea of Mozart to end with 6-8 time

If it leaves behind it a trail of human trash then you know it is a cult.

My feeling is that the excommunication  {Cherem } that the Gra signed would be valid even if it was not based on objective reality. Besides that I think it did reflect objective reality. That is to say when he identified the groups he put into Cherem [excommunication] with the Sitra Achara [the Dark Side], I think he was correct. Sadly enough I am basing this on evidence and study over a period of many years.

Part of the problem is idolatry. Another aspect of the problem is the claim that their idolatry is in accord with the Law of Moses.  That is a kind of fraud.


I did a great deal of study on this, which is sad- because if I had been smart, I simply would have accepted what the Gra said, and not have wasted years. But the human ruin that that movement leaves behind it ought to give any decent person pause. If it leaves behind it a trail of human trash, then you know it is a cult.

  I am very well aware of their doctrines and teachings. Have nothing to do with them at all. Do not go to their place on Shabat and don't read their books. It is pure Sitra Achra.


  This is why understanding the cultural assumptions tells you a whole lot about the trajectory a culture is on. It’s also important to realize some people can change a culture for generations by either positive or negative actions, given their place. 

But some ask, why did the Gra put a Cherem [excommunication] on the whole movement when not everyone was bad? The answer is that poison got mixed up into it. What if I tell you, " Here’s a box of candy. One of them is poisoned with Ricin, but don’t mind that. Enjoy." Would you eat any?

The laws of Cherem are strict. One that ignores them is also under Cherem. There are difference between types of Cherem and Niduy, but in case of fact the cherem is the most strict. And it does mean one can't sit within four yards of the person nor learn Torah from them.


If others ignore these laws that does not make them invalid.

If one ignores the cherem it is guaranteed he will become infected

It is a kind of deflecting people's interest in fear of God and to redirect it into something that destroys their sanity. While fear of God is a good thing and ought to be pursued by means of learning books of Musar [Mediaeval Ethics], still this desire to be right with God can be hijacked.

To a large degree this happened with me. I was at the Mir in NY and often instead of learning Musar I would learn books from that cult thinking that qualified as Musar.

It took me a long time until I starting noticing the poison contained in them. I needed experience with that cults and also to see the books from the Shatz cult to see from where many of the doctrines were coming from. It would have been better if the Litvish Gedolim [the great Roshei Yeshiva of Lithuanian Yeshivas] had been aware of this from the beginning and warned others, instead of my having to make my way through that filth.



Socrates:

Thoughts on Socrates:

(1) I think some things in human life are constrained. To me it seems Socrates had to do what he had to do and his end had to be the way it was.

(2) It has been argued that  Socrates could have argued that not all laws are created equal. Some laws are for expedience. Some are  expressions of natural law. Some laws are unjust.

(3) Also, I should mention that Socrates was not just bothering the leading citizens of Athens, but  among his followers were people that were traitors to Athens. The court might have been aware of this.

17.7.16

Marriage

It was easy when the rules and obligations were spelled out. This is what I found. When both the husband and wife know exactly what is expected. That is at least what I discovered. But it gets difficult when others stick their noses into your business. Especially psychologists and others that are supposed to be helpful.Religious teachers especially are to be avoided as they are experts at home wreaking. Traitors to Torah.
They are a separate category from those who learn  Torah for its own sake--not for money. 

"Transgender"

"Transgender" comes from the idea that people think reality is a social construct That is why it is best to throw out the social studies and humanities departments in universities.

People that were responsible should not have let pseudo science be called science. STEM just have been called science and everything else should have been called "fraud" or some other appropriate name.

Philosophy departments also tend to be trash.

Wittgenstein's naturalism reduces even science to word game behaviors that do not refer to objects and are not justified by facts.
Psychologists especially ought to be put into some garbage bag and thrown out.
Torah with Math and Physics and Aristotle's Metaphysics is my approach in a nutshell. That means simply to get through the basic Oral and Written Law word for word, plus math up to Algebraic Topology and Abstract Algebra and string theory plus the actual sets of books, The Metaphysics  of Aristotle. [Oral Law is the two Talmuds,  Sifra Sifri the Rambam with Rav Shach's Avi Ezri]
Say the words דרך גרסה in the way of just saying them and going onwith no repeats.

I would like to defend this approach but for right now I thought it is enough to at least state it in a simple straightforward way.

Source for Math Physics Metaphysics is Rambam (Maimonides), and  the Musar book, Obligations of the Heart.
Source for just saying the words and going on in the Talmud לעולם לגרס אינש אע''ג דמשכח ואע''ג דלא ידע מאי קאמר.

(The Lithuanian yeshiva world has a lot of this right, but the nepotism hurts it. It is  purported to be a meritocracy. But that seems to be not the case. Mostly the perks are  for family members only. The fact that the State gives money to yeshivas which are nothing more than private club houses with no learning Torah hurts the entire system.]