Traditional Torah

Traditional Torah is what the world of religious Jews are supposedly offering. What makes clear this claim is a lie is the worship they offer to their leaders. The fact that they emphasize rituals does not make them traditional. Idolatry is not traditional Torah. The fact that they deny they are in fact worshiping their leaders does not make it any less true.

They use sophisticated means to reinvent Torah to mean that their leader ought to be worshiped. Sometimes this is worship offered to corpses [Kivrei Tzadikim] Graves of the righteous they call it. Sometimes it appears in other forms. But, in short, there is almost nothing in the religious world that corresponds to traditional Torah.

I myself am prone to being mixed up in this regard. I hear and listen to compelling speeches or read religious propaganda and get convinced easily. 

There seems to be little that can provide immunization from such influences.  This is because it is common for the religious to cloak their deceptions in traditional garb. All the better to catch naive people like me.

The truth is the religious world is demon possessed. I do not know how this happened. But for this reason it is best to avoid the whole scam. Or one could at least be sure to learn authentic Torah only. That is the Old Testament {Tenach}, The Two Talmuds, straight Musar of the Rishonim. And don't give the Sitra Achra a place in your heart to hold onto. 

[I don't have any test for authenticity but I think the signature of the Gra on the excommunication should at least provide a starting point. If we know to exclude Torah from Sitra Achra, that can at least help to steer us in the right direction.   But paying attention to the Gra would anyway exclude the entire religious world as I mentioned above.]

I did not want to make a list but authentic Torah mainly means the books of the Talmudic sages which are more than just the two Talmuds. The Rishonim also are legit. Achronim tend to be problematic. The best among the Achronim is Rav Rav Shach and Reb Chaim Soloveitchik with their commentaries on the Rambam and the Musar school of thought of Reb Israel Salanter.

[Just to be clear, I do not think Reb Nachman was in the category of the excommunication. So his books are OK and even good to learn. Also I should mention the Ari is very great, and it is a wonderful thing to learn his books. When I was in Safed I did not however learn his books, but I had learned the in NY before I got to Israel and I feel I had great benefit from them. The trouble is with books of mysticism after the Ari. The only good ones are those of the Ramchal, the Gra, Reb Yaakov Abuchatzeira, the Reshash (Shalom Sharabi). The rest are pure Sitra Achra and ought to be avoided at all cost.]

Still I am careful about mystics when the make mistake because, "Falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus" ("false in one thing, false in everything.") A witness who testifies falsely about one matter is not credible to testify about any matter.

[Reb Nathan the disciple of Reb Nachman created a new religion based on faith on Reb Nachman which mainly borrows from Christian themes but puts Reb Nachman into the center. This was certainly not the intention of Reb Nachman himself who was a sincere Jew and only intended to bring people to Torah.] Still the trouble is divergence from true Torah is like two lines

 that are almost parallel but not quite. At first they are close. but then as time goes on and yo trace the path of the line, it diverges more and more fro the original line.

One can glimpse here the logical development of the

concept of merit and holiness qua faith in the tzadik  in place of the
virtue of  faith in God and Torah, which  is inextricably linked to the higher virtue of menchlichkeit good character and human decency, we have in
its place a mere emotional "trust" in the transfer of the tzadik's merits to ourselves
. This will eventually become, in extremist
circles, a presumptuous "claim"to merit and holiness, and empowerment of Ruach HaKodesh[divine spirit].

For people far from authentic Torah yeshivas,  my recommendation is to get at least one of the following books: The Avi Ezri of Rav Shach. The Chidushei HaRambam by Reb Chaim Soloveitchik, The chiushim of either of the disciples of Reb Chaim Reb Baruch Ber or Shimon Shkop.
Then to have one session fast just reading through  them. And another session  "Beiyun"  review of one chapter for as long as it takes to "get it."
Books that come under the category of what the Gra put into חרם cherem excommunication I suggest throwing out because they are טמא unclean and make unclean anyone that touches them. 

They destroy the lives of the people in whose home they are. 

There is a good reason the Gra signed his name on the Cherem and I am surprised that people ignore it. 

What they do to good honest people is horrific and they hide under a false cloak of pretended sanctity. There is nothing they touch that they do not ruin. If the Gra signed a cherem against them there  are countless of victims that never got a hearing or  a chance to have the crime committed against them heard and addressed. I am shocked that no one stands for justice. When terrible evils are committed against simple honest folk no one seems to care. They say it is none of their concern until it reaches their own doorstep. And then when they ask for help, everyone else says it is none of their concern. The Gra saw all this more than two hundred years ago and still people hide their heads in the sand. 

The only person I heard that understood what the Gra was saying was Rav Sha ch and he also is ignored. [However I have seen a few blogs that deal with this [and they are doing great work]. I tried many times to call people's attention to the crimes with complete apathy as a response. So I gave up. I figure when people start caring about justice, that is when they will find help in their own lives. But as long as they ignore crimes committed against other, then I might as well be knocking on a brick wall. There is another reason I can not write about this. It is the power of the Sitra Acra itself. The Satan. And I am afraid of the powers of the Dark Side. So I avoid the subject as to my up-most ability. I try to write only about positive and happy themes. This is not because I care about people. It is rather because I care about myself and so I only want to think about happy things. I also have begun to wish to find kindness and charity in my heart for all.I saw the disciple of the Gra Reb Chaim from Voloshin said when one has enemies and judges them on the scales of merit-that is he starts to think of them as righteous then their hearts turn to good.
 I would have been happy to pursue justice just like the Gra and Rav Shach, but with no friends and no allies there is nothing I can do.