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27.2.17

Idolatry

I wanted to share some thoughts about Hulin page 40. The point I would like to get to is that  the Rambam must hold like Tosphot on page 41, because if the prohibition to the altar of an animal that was worshiped would be only derabanan, then what would the question of Rava be?  Let's sy teh law of Rav Huna was only derabanan. Then when Rav Nachman comes along with the teaching that one that slaughters a sin offering to an idol on Shabat is liable three, then Rav Huna could simply have answered I m saying it is forbidden derabanan but from the Torah it is still fit for the altar and thus the three obligations come at once time.
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רב שך when he was a young yeshiva student wrote that this רמב''ם is only דרבנן but I think that it must be that it is from the Torah itself. But to me the idea that this is דרבנן would need stronger proofs than what רב שך brings.  Everyone agrees from where the prohibition to the altar comes from, It is one simple גמרא about the כלים  that were used by אחז, were put away by חזקיה. So obviously the תוספות, the ר''ן and the רמב''ן  manage to get the איסור still to be from the Torah. So why not the רמב''ם also?

Now I admit that in the end רב שך explains the question of רב נחמן well. That once there is a prohibition to the altar because of the prohibition of idolatry, even דרבנן, at that point it  no longer can be brought to the altar and thus is no longer שחוטי חוץ. But that is not a question. If that was the question, the answer would have been simply אני כוונתי שהאיסור הוא מדרבנן אבל מן התורה היא מותרת להקדש ולכן כל שלשת  החיובים באים בבת אחת.

רב שך כתב רמב''ם זה רק דרבנן אבל אני חושב שזה חייב להיות שזה מן התורה עצמה. להוכיח שזה דרבנן היה צריך הוכחות חזקות ממה שרב שך מביא. כולם מסכימים מאיפה האיסור המזבח בא, זה גמרא אחת פשוטה על כלים ששימש בהם אחז, הונחו בגניזה על ידי חזקיה.  התוספות, את ר''ן ואת רמב''ן הצליחו להעביר את האיסור להיות מן התורה. אז למה לא רמב''ם גם? עכשיו אני מודה כי בסופו של דבר רב שך מסביר את השאלה של רב נחמן היטב. כי ברגע שיש איסור על המזבח בשל האיסור של עבודה זרה, אפילו דרבנן, בשלב הזה הבעל חי כבר לא יכול להיות מובא אל המזבח ולכן הוא כבר לא שחוטי חוץ. אבל זה לא שאלה. אם זאת היתה השאלה, התשובה היתה פשוט אני כוונתי שהאיסור הוא מדרבנן אבל מן התורה החי מותרת להקדש ולכן כל שלשת החיובים באים בבת אחת.






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I wanted to share some thoughts about חולין  דף מ. The point I would like to get to is that  the רמב''ם must hold like תוספות on דף מ''א ד''ה ת''ש, because if the prohibition to the altar of an animal that was worshiped would be only דרבנן, then what would the question of רב מחמן be?  Let's say the  law of רב הונא was only דרבנן. Then when רב נחמן comes along with the teaching that one that slaughters a sin offering to an idol on שבת is liable three חטאות, then רב הונא could simply have answered, "I am saying it is forbidden דרבנן, but from the Torah it is still fit for the altar and thus the three obligations come at once time." So he has to mean it is forbidden from the Torah itself.

 חולין דף מ. הנקודה שאני רוצה להגיע הוא כי רמב''ם חייב להחזיק כמו תוספות על דף מ''א ד''ה ת''ש, כי אם איסור למזבח של החיה שסגדו לה יהיה רק ​​דרבנן, אז מה הייתה השאלה של רב מחמן ? נניח החוק של רב הונא הוא רק ​​דרבנן. לאחר מכן, כאשר רב נחמן מגיע  עם הוראה אחת כי טובח חטאת לאליל ביום שבת עלול שלוש חטאות, אז רב הונא היה פשוט ענה, "אני אומר שזה איסור דרבנן, אבל מן התורה זה עדיין מתאים המזבח וכך שלושת החובות באות בבת אחת בזמן." אז מוכרח שהוא מהתכוון שזה איסור מן התורה עצמה.









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The basic idea is this: Rav Huna  said If an animal is lying down in front of an idol and someone comes along and slaughters it even just one pipe [the windpipe or the food pipe ], it is forbidden to the altar it even though the animal is not his own.
He brings a proof from Ula who said in the name of R. Yochanan even though one who bows towards the animal of another person does not cause it to be forbidden, he can cause it to be forbidden by doing an act.
My question here is why is this a proof? Maybe when it come to שחיטה (slaughtering) we need two סימנים (windpipe and food pipe)? [Rav Nachman asks on him, but it is not the same question I am asking.]  Rav Nachman asks from השוחט חטאת בשבת בחוץ לעכו''ם חייב שלש. "One who slaughters a  sin offering on Shabat, outside the Temple, to an idol is required to bring three sin offerings." Rav Nachman asks, "Why three? If one tube [the windpipe or the food pipe] is enough to cause it to be forbidden, then it already is not fit for the altar, and thus he should only be required two sin offerings.

[This is all in the way of introduction. I am hoping to show that the Rambam must hold like Tosphot Hulin page 41 ד''ה ת''ש]

In any case, the problem all begins with Rashi who brings the reason the animal is forbidden. It is learned from a verse in the prophets. That would make it at most a prohibition מדברי קבלה [words of the scribes], not from the Torah itself. [You could argue that this is not at all necessarily so based on the fact that the Gemara in Bava Kama does learns גזרה שוות from verse in the prophets with verse in the Torah and considers it all to be דאורייתא]. But bear with me for a minute. What is going to end up is that people like the לחם משנהand other achronim [later authorities] are asking on the Rambam that he seems to hold this prohibition is only derabanan. That is exactly what I am hoping to argue against.
The things that are difficult about how the Rambam brings this whole sugia  subject is he states flat out: One who serves  the animal of his friend makes it forbidden in פרק ו' הלכה ד' אסורי מזבח . He does not mention anything about doing any act on the animal! But when it comes to regular animals, he does state that to make it forbidden one needs to do an act. So he seems to contradict himself, and also to ignore the whole sugia in Hulin. What I would like to suggest is that the Rambam holds like Tosphot that makes a distinction between מעשה רבה ומעשה זוטרא [large act and small act]. So the סימן אחד is called a small act which forbids קדשים and רוב שני סימנים is a large act and thus forbids an animal of Hulin. Certainly Tosphot, the Ran and the Ramban hold the animal is forbidden from the Torah  and even though Rashi brings a verse from the prophets I see no reason to imagine the Rambam would disagree with these other people.
The idea is that the Rambam does not say "he bowed to the animal" but "did service". That would be like Tosphot that he did a small act which would be סימן אחד When it comes to a regular animal there when he says he needs an act that means a large act.



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 חולין דף מ. The point I would like to get to is  the רמב''ם might hold like תוספות on page מ''א.
The basic idea is this: ר''ה said If an animal is lying down in front of an idol and someone comes along and slaughters it even just one pipe the windpipe or the food pipe , it is forbidden to the altar  even though the animal is not his own.
He brings a proof from עולא who said in the name of ר. יוחנן even though one who bows towards the animal of another person does not cause it to be forbidden, he can cause it to be forbidden by doing an act on it.
My question here is why is this a proof? Maybe when it come to שחיטה we need two סימנים? The גמרא The brings רב נחמן who asks on ר''ה but it is not the same question I am asking. רב נחמן asks from השוחט חטאת בשבת בחוץ לעכו''ם חייב שלש. One who slaughters a  sin offering on שבת, outside the בית המקדש to an idol is required to bring three sin offerings. רב נחמן asks why three? If one tube, the windpipe or the food pipe, is enough to cause it to be forbidden, then it already is not fit for the altar and thus he should only be required two sin offerings.
The question is on ר''ה himself. To רב נחמן it seems clear the obligation for all three things comes at once after שחיטת רוב שנים. The question I asked is where is the proof in the first place? ר. יוחנן never said anything about סימן אחד

In any case, the problem all begins with רש''י  who brings the reason the animal is forbidden. This רש''י is bringing from a different גמרא.  It is learned from a פסוק in the prophets. That would make it at most a prohibition מדברי קבלה not from the Torah itself. You could argue that this is not at all necessarily so based on the fact that the גמרא in בבא קמא דף ג does learns גזרות שוות from פסוקים in the prophets with פסוקים in the Torah and considers it all to be דאורייתא. But bear with me for a minute. What is going to end up is that people like the לחם משנה and other אחרונים are asking on the רמב''ם that he seems to hold this prohibition is only דרבנן. That is exactly what I am hoping to argue against.
The things that are difficult about how the רמב''ם brings this whole סוגיה  subject is he states: one who bows to the animal of another person makes it forbidden in פסולי המוקדשין. He does not mention anything about doing any act on the animal. But when it comes to regular animals he does state that to make it forbidden one needs to do an act. So he seems to contradict himself and also to ignore the whole סוגיה in חולין. What I would like to suggest is that the רמב''ם holds like תוספות that makes a distinction between מעשה רבה ומעשה זוטרא. So the סימן אחד is called a small act which forbids קדשים and רוב שני סימנים is a large act and thus forbids an animal of חולין.   Certainly תוספות, the ר''ן and the רמב''ן hold the animal is forbidden from the Torah  and even though רש''י brings a פסוק from the prophets I see no reason to imagine the רמב''ם would disagree with these other people.





) רמב''ם משנה תורה ה' איסורי מזבח פ''ד ה''ו הנעבד בין שעבד שלו בין של חבירו בין באונס בין ברצון בין בזדון בין בשגגה בין לפני הקדש בין לאחר הקדש הרי זה אסור וירעה עד שיפול בו מום קבוע ויפדה בו. חולין דף מ. הנקודה שאני רוצה להגיע אליה היא שהרמב''ם עשוי להחזיק כמו תוספות בעמוד מ''א ד'ה ת''ש. הרעיון הבסיסי הוא זה: ר''ה אמר אם בעל חי שוכב מול אליל ומישהו בא ושוחט אותו, אפילו רק צינור אחד (קנה נשימה או צינור המזון), אסור למזבח למרות שהחיה היא לא שלו. הוא מביא ראיה מן עולא שאמר בשם ר' יוחנן אף אחד מי שקד לעבר בהמה של אדם אחר אינו גורם לה להיות אסורה, אבל הוא יכול לגרום לה ליאסר על-ידי עשיית פעולה. השאלה שלי כאן היא למה זה הוכחה? אולי כשזה בא לשחיטה אנחנו צריכים שני סימנים? הגמרא מביאה רב נחמן ששואל על ר''ה אבל זו לא אותה דבר כשאלה שאני שואל. רב נחמן שואל מן השוחט חטאת בשבת בחוץ לעכו''ם חייב שלש. (השוחט חטאת ביום שבת, מחוץ לבית המקדש לאליל נדרש להביא שלוש חטאות). רב נחמן שואל מדוע שלוש? אם צינור אחד, קנה הנשימה או צינור המזון, זה מספיק כדי לגרום לו להיות אסור, אז זה כבר אינו מתאים למזבח וכך הוא צריך להידרש רק שתי  חטאות. השאלה היא על ר''ה עצמו.  לרב נחמן  החובה לכל שלושת הדברים מגיע בבת אחת לאחר שחיטת רוב השנים. (השאלה  היא על ההוכחה מלכתחילה? ר' יוחנן לא אמר שום דבר על סימן אחד.) בכל מקרה, בעית הכל מתחילה עם רש''י שמביא סיבת החיה אסורה. זה רש''י מביא מתוך גמרא שונה. הוא למד מתוך פסוק בנביאים. זה יעשה את זה לכל היותר איסור מדברי קבלה, לא מהתורה עצמה. אתה יכול לטעון כי זה בכלל לא בהכרח. זאת בהתבסס על העובדה שהגמרא בבבא קמא דף ג'  לומדת גזרות שווות מן פסוקים בנביאים עם פסוקים בתורה ורואה את כל זה  להיות דאורייתא. אבל לשאת איתי לרגע. מה קורה בסופו של דבר הוא שהלחם המשנה ואחרונים אחרים שואלים על הרמב''ם שהוא נראה להחזיק איסור זה הוא רק דרבנן. זה בדיוק מה שאני מקווה להתווכח נגד. הדבר שקשה הוא על איך רמב''ם מביא נושא הסוגיה הזה. הוא  קובע: מי שעבד את החיה של אדם אחר עושה את זו אסורה למזבח (רמב''ם איסורי מזבח ). הוא לא הזכיר שום דבר על לעשות כל פעולה על החיה. אבל כשמדובר על חיות רגילות הוא מהצהיר כי כדי לעשות את זה אסור אחד צריך לעשות מעשה. אז כנראה הוא סותר את עצמו וגם מהתעלם מסוגיה שלמה בחולין. מה שאני רוצה להציע הוא כי רמב''ם מחזיק כמו תוספות שעושה הבחנה בין מעשה רב ומעשה זוטרא. אז הסימן האחד נקרא מעשה קטן האוסר קדשים ואת רוב שני סימנים הוא מעשה גדול ובכך אוסר חיה של חולין.  אין ספק שתוספות, את ר''ן ואת רמב''ן מהחזיקים את החיה אסור מן התורה. ואף שרש''י מביא פסוק מן הנביאים, אני לא רואה שום סיבה לדמיין  שרמב''ם לא יסכים עם אלה. רמב''ם איסורי מזבח פרק ו' הלכה ד'. הרעיון הוא כי רמב''ם לא אומר שהוא קד לחיה, אבל עשה שירות. זה יהיה כמו שתוספות אמרו שכשהוא עושה מעשה קטן זה יהיה סימן אחד. כשמדובר על חיה רגילה, שם כשהוא אומר שהוא צריך מעשה זה אומר מעשה גדול, שני סימנים.

Strengthen faith, and political stability will result.

Russia I think is keeping up the pressure on the Ukraine to not let them join NATO or the EU. The more the Ukraine goes in that direction politically, the more Russia uses actual violence to stop them. Russia will simply not let NATO get to its door step. Period. That is in chess like guarding the queen. What Russia would like to say is this: "Don't join NATO. If you abide by this, we will respect your borders and sovereignty, and give you special trading privileges as you have always enjoyed and will continue to enjoy. But do not join NATO."
But Russia cannot say this openly because it sounds like violating the sovereignty of Ukraine. So it has to say this in a way that is implicit, not explicit.
I do not see in this problem any solution except what  already some people have seen-- not political, but a religious revival.  To me it seems clear what this area of the world needs is a kind of religious revival--or better put--that each individual makes a commitment to get right with God. Thus I see a place for the Russian and Ukrainian Orthodox, Catholic and Evangelical churches. That is because I see politics downstream from faith.  Strengthen faith, and political stability will result.
Ayn Rand saw society downstream from its philosophers. I can see this point to some degree. But I think rather the source of values [good or bad] is in religion.
But you can't manufacture religious revival. Even in the good sense. Perhaps in the negative sense it is possible, because human nature is in any case depraved. Even in the good sense, emphasizing the right and godly things, men will find a way of perverting everything and turning it towards their own profits and pleasure. Still from what I have seen a religious revival is possible (in some sense) to create the proper conditions for, and then hope that God will our out his spirit. At least I saw this in the Mir yeshiva in NY and also in Shar Yashuv. My impression is Musar yeshivas tend to be more prepared for the Divine spirit.

  But on the other hand there are plenty of organizations which are open to the spirit of the Sitra Achra [Dark Side]. So I do not know any definite rules about this. 
  
The best idea I have seen about this is Reb Israel Salanter's idea of learning Musar which means books of ethics written during the Middle Ages.  What is great about Musar is that it brings one that reads it face to face with his or hers obligations in the most delightful way. No sugar coating. Just plain and simple facts about what one is supposed to do for God.

In any case the question is can government do anything to strengthen this? I think it can. Vouchers for private schools.









26.2.17

getting right with God

The trouble with the religious world is that being religious has nothing to do with getting right with God.

For the religious, rituals become the main thing. 

Getting right with God is something  different. It is paying one's debts, it is having compassion, it is not depending on charity but working honesty for a living. 

In the religious world, it seems the greatest mitzvah is to convince secular Jews to give them money. But instead of gratitude, this creates an attitude of מגיע לי--as if it is owed to them.

Western Civilization- what is the part worth preserving?

Not everything about Western Civilization is worth preserving. The very term in itself implies the kind of discretion that people used to exercise in deciding what were the main aspects of the West that were worthwhile passing on to the next generation. By definition most is mediocre. When I was in high school, the system was more careful about what they were going to give to the next generations. Maybe it was especially in my high school where the teachers were really great. But my impression is that this was pretty universal in the USA.  
So the Music was mainly the classical greats, the literature also. Even USA history concentrated on reading the actual documents from each major period--which for me was the absolute hardest to do. I believe the Rambam exercised a great deal of caution and judgment in his recommendation of Physics, Metaphysics, the Two Talmuds and the Written Law of Moses. 
He certainly considered history to be the sin of bitul Torah wasting time which should be used for learning Torah,  and also forbidden in itself as מושב לצים seat of the scornful. Music also. I can not find an opinion that allows learning history. But the Gra did say the seven wisdoms are required--which do not include history nor literature.
But the Quadrivium includes Music.


I believe the main things are Physics, Metaphysics,  the Written Law of Moses. Most everything else I would throw out. The Gra and many other however did recommend the sevens wisdoms [Trivium Quadrivium]--which does not include literature. Almost everything that is called science today is pseudoscience. The only things that are valid are STEM.  

[Physics I want to mention requires two sessions. One is the going fast one called Bekiut בקיאות. The other is in depth learning. I sometimes find saying the words forwards and backwards of each sentence helpful. I saw this idea in mystic from the Middle Ages. The basic idea was repeated by the Ari, Isaac Luria in the section of unifications for correction to different sins in שער רוח הקודש, and the Ramchal Rav Moshe Chaim Luzato gave a go explanation for this in one of his mysic books --something along the lines of the אור חוזר returning light completes the coming light אור ישר.









Trends in Christianity.

The most public face of Christianity is Catholic, Russian Orthodox, Evangelical, Left Wing Protestant with is apathetic Protestant (with social justice warriors) and Emergent Protestant, Evangelical Protestant.
Evangelical is actually a euphemism for Pentecostal, it is basically the same thing without the theatrics.

So outside of the general constant spitting of Protestant we see a more fundamental splinting along these lines.  Apathetic Protestant, Social Justice politically militant Protestant, Emergent (post modern) Protestant. Apathetic and Evangelical are actually pretty close in doctrine, but differ in amounts of fervor.

All go with Paul, who I see as distorting the message of Jesus badly as you can see in the Clementine Homilies and Recognitions. [I would rather not go into the scholarly debates because the Recognitions simply confirm what is already implicit in the NT itself. Who ever is Simon Magus, if it is a pseudonym for Paul or the real Simon Magus, you still see the doctrine of Peter with crystal clarity.] (There is plenty evidence that Simon Magus in the Clementine Recognitions is Paul. Most of it is impossible to doubt, but I do not base myself on that evidence but rather what Peter obviously held there and also in the NT.) I can see in the NT itself an obvious difference between what Peter and James were saying was the message of Jesus and what Paul was saying. Paul was definite saying antinomianism and people that got his letters acted on that principle to forsake all moral constraints. When news of that got back to Paul he backtracked. Thus you can prove from Paul's letters anything you want to. See here what Jesus prophesied about Paul
Ken Wilber and Eastern Religions (which form the basis of the Emerging Church) are not all that up on understanding of evolution, so their ideas based on faulty understanding of evolution sound good, but have no real justification. The Emerging Church just got too caught up in the allure of Post Modernism --when we are already in the era when it is been falsified and shown to be based on fallacies. 

Paul does not need the Recognitions of Clement to refute him, because his message is at odds with everything reported in the name of Jesus, and it takes too much intellectual gymnastics to ignore Jesus, and pretend that Paul understood him better that his actual words say. 

Paul had to contradict himself also because of circumstances that arose due to his original letters. The original letters supported "No Laws" [antinomianism]. Then as we see in latter letters people acted on what he wrote. Then he had to go back to the ''Eeny Meeni Miny Moe'' method about which laws of Moses to keep and which not. So Paul ends up being incoherent at best. To Peter and James, that would be the least of his problems. 

Since all historical Christianity comes from Paul who had enormous success in planting churches all throughout the Roman world which even after he was gone kept on spreading like wild fire, thus the problems in Paul keep on being played out every day. What one person wants to prove from one letter, someone else can always find an opposite statement in another letter.
Luther put the antinomian [anti law of Moses] into this explicit phrase: "We do not want to hear about Moses." {See rejection of Moses}
The whole quote is this: "Now then, let us get to the bottom of it all and say these teachers of sin and Mosaic prophets are not to confuse us with Moses. We don’t want to see or hear Moses. How do you like that, my dear rebels? We say further, that all such Mosaic teachers deny the gospel, banish Christ, and annul the whole New Testament. For Moses is given to the Jewish people alone, and does not concern us Gentiles and Christians. We have our gospel and New Testament." (1967b:170) 

Also from that PhD Thesis: "Nevertheless, we cannot escape Luther’s negative expressions against Moses, for example, “beat Moses to death and throw many stones at him”; “we shall make new Decalogues,” and, “Moses is nothing to us” (Avis 1975:152, 154, 156). 
Luther's sermon on Moses

"But we will not have this sort of thing. We would rather not preach again for the rest of our life than to let Moses return and to let Christ be torn out of our hearts. We will not have Moses as ruler or lawgiver any longer. Indeed God himself will not have it either. Moses was an intermediary solely for the Jewish people. It was to them that he gave the law. We must therefore silence the mouths of those factious spirits who say, "Thus says Moses," etc. Here you simply reply: Moses has nothing to do with us. If I were to accept Moses in one commandment, I would have to accept the entire Moses. Thus the consequence would be that if I accept Moses as master, then I must have myself circumcised, (3) wash my clothes in the Jewish way, eat and drink and dress thus and so, and observe all that stuff. So, then, we will neither observe nor accept Moses. Moses is dead. His rule ended when Christ came. He is of no further service."



In any case the Law of Moses is forever as is stated many times about particular commandments, and about the whole law itself in Deuteronomy 6 and also at the very end of the Torah in Haazinu, and at the end of the prophets זכרו תורת משה Remember the Law of Moses. 

So my approach is to say that Paul, Luther, and Calvin, while intending to do well, were mistaken in their approaches and also did not pay much attention to the Law of Moses  in the first place. Their views are simply incoherent and make opposing statements all the time. At least, I have to admit Aquinas and Hegel tried hard to make sense out of it all.

I should add that as many people have noticed, "What does it matter?" For attachment with God, sincere service to God surely is not dependent on doctrines? I have to agree with that, but to understand right from wrong is not possible without the Law of Moses.


See the Rambam's approach to natural law and the law of Moses in the Guide. 
There is an any case an argument between R. Shimon Ben Yochai and R. Yehuda and the sages about if a mizvah applies when the reason for it does not apply. R. Shimon said ''no.'' It is famous that the law is like R Yehuda, but Rav Shach noted that this is  a mistake. The actual Law is like the sages that hold with R. Shimon in certain cases (when both the reason and the law are given together).  




But does the Rambam allow hidden reasons for commandments? Clearly he must as we see in the Guide about the difference between natural Law and Torah Law. He says Natural law was a needed stage before Torah Law. So he obviously sees some difference even in essence. So we have to say like this to R Shimon and the Rambam when the open reason for the law does not apply so the hidden reason also vanishes.






24.2.17

Attachment with God, The excommunication that was signed by the Gra.

Attachment with God is not given much emphasis in the Lithuanian Yeshiva World--and for good reason. That is an area of value that is liable to deterioration and delusions and eventually insanity.

You can see this in the Talmud itself where the commandment of being attached to God is understood to mean being associated with  true Torah scholars. However I did see R. Eliezer from Mitz [a disciple of Rabbainu Tam] that counts attachment in  itself as one of the Taryag 613 commandments. (Deuteronomy ch. 11)
This tendency you see in the Rambam where in the Guide where he says the commandments to love and fear God are fulfilled by learning Physics and Metaphysics as these subjects were understood by the ancient Greeks. [He hinted to this in the Mishne Torah, the יד החזקה, but his hints there usually go unnoticed.]


 I discovered that attachment to God can come through the straight Litvak path of simply learning and keeping the Oral and Written Law of Moses. There is a path that leads from simple Gemara, Rashi, Topshot that leads to attachment with God. That is not the same as the kind of feeling of holiness you feel when you  learn. It is rather a kind of settling of the Divine presence on you. [שכינה והאור אין סוף. ]


On the other hand there are Torah scholars that are demons.  The excommunication that was signed by the Gra, tried to deal with this problem but if the Gra was ignored, there is no chance that my warnings will be heeded. 

In any case, for the sake of information, I would like to go into this phenomenon. Part of being attached to God I think is dependent on God. I think it is  from God, and but also from a person's state of being prepared. 

There are different aspects of it. Thus with the ancient prophets, it manifested itself in prophecy. During the Middle Ages, it as considered that revelations of knowledge were also gifts from God as you can see in the  חובות לבבות [Obligations of the Heart] and the Guide of the Rambam. In my own case the basic steps that lead me, were learning Gemara and Musar (Reb Israel Salanter' Ethics),  in the Mir Yeshiva in NY,  then arriving in Israel, and then living in Safed.

[I should mention that there is a kind of philosophy behind this Lithvak idea of "learning Torah" which is this: The Written Law of Moses was given by God and that it will never be replaced and is obligatory for all time, and the Oral Law or Talmud is the proper explanation of it. Also the Torah is God centered. There is no room for worship of corpses or any human beings. 

Thus is it clear that the religious world is demon filled and only uses Torah as camouflage. So anyone that is sincere must run from the religious at all cost. The religious synagogues are dwelling places of the Devil. Run for your life. The  best option is either to learn Torah at home or if you have a Litvak yeshiva in the area then to go there.
Authentic means Mir in NY, Brisk, Ponovitch, Chaim Berlin, Torah Vedaat.--or branches or off shoots of these places.[I might mention that Rv Montag's yeshiva in Netivot I found filled with the spirit of Torah.] 


In any case I want to mention that I am not coming from place of superior knowledge or intuition. Rather from the evidence of the common sense approach to Torah of my parents and Rav Shach and the Gra and the Rambam. I am as liable as anyone to religious deception and manipulation. Especially at the hands of cults that have the accumulated knowledge of generations of how to manipulate native people like myself. That I why I spend the time and energy to warn others to avoid the mind traps I have fallen into.









22.2.17

The four point system of Maimonides [Rambam]

  My idea of education is mainly based on the four point system of Maimonides [Rambam] with a few additions based on my parents.
With Maimonides we already know his four point system (1) the Written Law (the Law of Moses) (2) the Oral Law (the two Talmuds) (even just to read them in English with the Soncino edition is also good. I have hear from Rav Zilverman in the Old City about one huge Torah scholar that went through the whole Talmud a bunch of times in that way.) (3) Physics [i.e. Field Theory]. (4) Metaphysics (Aristotle). (He did say he was talking about the Metaphysics of the ancient Greeks. I think he included Plato and Plotinus. I would  have to include Kant and Hegel, both sadly misused. In any case Hegel was trying to do what the Rambam was doing. To create a synthesis Reason and Revelation.

  Based on what I understood from my parents and brothers I would have to add a few things to this list. (5) Gaining a real skill that people will pay cold hard cash for. Not a fake skill and may make money but in reality does nothing for anyone. (6) Survival skills.(7) Some aspect of the Quadrivium  and Trivium (What the Gra and books of Musar call the seven wisdoms). (8) Musar. (Medieval Ethics plus the basic approach to ethics of the disciples of Reb Israel Salanter ) Musar was considered by Reb Israel Salanter to be the most important because it gets one to the two most essential aspects of Torah--good character and fear of God. Musar means the four classical books אורחות צדיקים חובות לבבות מסילת ישרים שערי תשובה plus the major works by the disciples of Reb Israel Salanter מדרגת האדם כוכבי אור . That is Joseph Horvitz from Navardok (that in trust in God should be the main emphasis), Isaac Blazer (that is fear of God and good character). 

  This approach more or less defines what I think people ought to learn in order come to what a person ought to be. It is a balanced approach and thus hard to fit into a daily schedule.   

  There are people that feel they can not be in between Torah and other studies and for a time I was like that. This reminds me of Reb Israel Salanter that דעת תורה is to be an איש מדיני but because of the difficulty in doing that one must concentrate on Torah alone. 

  
  I can see the point in the Torah alone approach, but in general I was not very impressed with the people involved in that path. Instead of coming to attachment with God, they seemed to be sanctimonious, and desperate for money of secular Jews. But in the religious world, even balancing values I saw did not work very well. Instead of balance, I usually saw pretty bad character traits combined with attitudes of imagined superiority.
  A lot of the religious world sees Reform and Conservative and Religious Zionism as bad things, but these last three I found a lot closer to actually keeping the Torah which include obligations between man and his fellow man. I would have to say the Religious Zionism and Conservative are closest to Torah. Reform seems a bit too far into "social justice." My brother thinks Temple Israel in Hollywood [where our family went to pray] is Conservative. It is true it had an aspect that was conservative. But at the time we were gong there, I thought it is Reform. Anyway it is a great place. Mount Sinai in Westwood, we also went from time to time [which is conservative].

  [I should mention that I found doing the Talmud in Aramaic was better for me, I did not understand the Soncino translation at all without doing the Gemara also in its regular Aramaic.]
Still the only aspect of the religious world that seemed kosher at all were the Litvak yeshivas in NY (Mir, Chaim Berlin, Torah VeDaat, Shar Yashuv). The rest of the religious world seems to be a disaster zone full with cults, שדיין of the Dark Side that were just lurking outside the walls of the yeshiva just hoping to catch some innocent unsuspecting yeshiva bachur [student].

Survival skills deserves a whole essay. My Dad's motto  was self sufficiency. He taught us boys and lived this way himself. 

Bava Metzia page 100

The ר''י holds  we have חזקה מעיקרא that pushes the time forwards along with חזקת רשות thus it belongs to the buyer. What works against this is חזקת השתא since the cow gave birth, we push that back in time and that helps חזקת מרא קמא.
ר''י מחזיק יש לנו חזקה מעיקרא שדוחפת את הזמן קדימה יחד עם חזקת רשות ובכך הולד שייך לקונה. מה שעובד נגד זה חזקת השתא מאז שפרה ילדה, אנחנו דוחפים בחזרה הזמן וזה עוזר חזקת מרא קמא
In Ketuboth page 9 where this all comes up in Tosphot. The basic issue there is the fact that a Cohen finds his bride not to be a virgin, she is forbidden to him. The reason is we do not know if the act of sex happened before the kidushin or afterwards [in those days there was a long wait between kidushin and  Hupa]. If it was after Kidushin then she is forbidden even if it was rape. Tosphot asks why not go with חזקת כשרות? Answer: On the contrary חזקת הגוף
The truth is I am not sure what Tosphot means here. I think he means חזקת הגוף is what we normally call חזקא מעיקרא and that just like the mikve in Nida page 2 we would put חזקה דהשתא together with and another חזקה and together they have the power to defeat a חזקה מעיקרא. Thus she would be permitted to her husband. 

But if so what is Tosphot answering? That חזקה מעיקרא can defeat both חזקה דהשתא along with חזקת כשרות? That is I think not what Tosphot means. Rather I think he means that those two חזקות can not defeat חזקה מעיקרא but they can make the whole situation into a doubt. And after all that is all we are looking for in Ketubot.

 Rav Shach says when there is a doubt the חזקת השתא and חזקה מעיקרא cancel each other, and if you combine some other חזקה  with חזקת השתא then you get  a וודאי. But when there is no reason to start doubting anything in the first place, then you only look at חזקה מעיקרא and not at חזקת השתא at all. He also ties this with an argument between Rav and Shmuel. 

I am not sure if this change anything in our case here in Bava Metzia.

What I mean is that Rav Shach and R.Akiva Eigger disagree about the reason the wife of the cohen is forbidden to him. Tosphot brings two contrary חזקות and R Akiva Eiger asks why not add חזקה דהשתא to the חזקת כשרות to allow her? He answers צירוף חזקות only works if they both indicate the same thing. Rav Shach answers a different answer as I mentioned up above. You need to start with a doubt when the crucial event took place. How doe this relate to the way I look at Bava Metzia page 100? There we have 4 חזקות, two against two.
The way I think we can look at this is this. The Gemara puts the calf into an alley. Then the חזקה that determines ownership should be מרא קמא. And to the Gemara that would work except for the fact that the mishna is Sumchos. So I wonder why not bring in חזקה מעיקרא here to tell us the birth came later and to make ownership a doubt so the mishna could be the sages also? The way I have been thinking for about 24 hours is that this is the argument between the Ri and the Rashbam. The Ri holds we  have a doubt about when the calf was born and so חזקה דהשתא וחזקה מעיקרא mutually cancel. The Rashba holds until the animal was born there was no reason to doubt when it will be born. It is not like the mikve that is constantly getting less over a period of time and thus we have a doubt when it go to be less that 40 seah.
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ר''י מחזיק יש לנו חזקה מעיקרא שדוחפת את הזמן קדימה יחד עם חזקת רשות ובכך הולד שייך לקונה. מה שעובד נגד זה חזקת השתא מאז שפרה ילדה, אנחנו דוחפים בחזרה הזמן וזה עוזר חזקת מרא קמא. In כתובות דף ט  this all comes up in תוספות. The basic issue there is the fact that a כהן finds his bride not to be a virgin, she is forbidden to him. The reason is we do not know if the act of sex happened before the קידושין or afterwards. In those days there was a long wait between קידושין and  חופה. If it was after קידושין then she is forbidden, even if it was rape. תוספות asks why not go with חזקת כשרות? Answer, on the contrary, חזקת הגוף works against it. What does תוספות mean here? I think he means חזקת הגוף is what we normally call חזקא מעיקרא and that just like the מקוה in נדה גף ב' ע''א we would put חזקה דהשתא together with and another חזקה and together they have the power to defeat a חזקה מעיקרא. Thus she would be permitted to her husband. But if so what is תוספות answering? That חזקה מעיקרא can defeat both חזקה דהשתא along with חזקת כשרות? That is I think not what תוספות means. Rather I think he means that those two חזקות can not defeat חזקה מעיקרא but they can make the whole situation into a doubt. And after all that is all we are looking for in כתובות. רב שך says when there is a doubt the חזקת השתא and חזקה מעיקרא cancel each other, and if you combine some other חזקה  with חזקת השתא then you get  a וודאי. But when there is no reason to start doubting anything in the first place, then you only look at חזקה מעיקרא and not at חזקת השתא at all. He also ties this with an argument between רב and שמואל. How does this relate to our case here in בבא מציעא. What I mean is that רב שך and ר' עקיבא אייגר disagree about the reason the wife of the כהן is forbidden to him. תוספות brings two contrary חזקות and ר' אקיבא אייגר  asks why not add חזקה דהשתא to the חזקת כשרות to allow her? He answers צירוף חזקות only works if they both indicate the same thing. רב שך answers a different answer as I mentioned up above. You need to start with a doubt when the  event took place. How does this relate to the way I look at בבא מציעא  דך ק' ע''א? There we have 4 חזקות, two against two.The way I think we can look at this is this. The גמרא puts the calf into an alley. Then the חזקה that determines ownership should be מרא קמא. And to the גמרא that would work except for the fact that the משנה is סומכוס. So I wonder why not bring in חזקה מעיקרא here to tell us cow gave bith came later and to make ownership a doubt so the משנה could be the sages also? The way I have been thinking for about 24 hours is that this is the argument between the ר''י and the רשב''ם. The ר''י holds we  have a doubt about when the calf was born and so חזקה דהשתא וחזקה מעיקרא cause mutual cancellation. So in an alley when there are only three חזקות the מרא קמא has ownerhip. The רשב''ם holds until the animal was born there was no reason to doubt when it will be born. It is not like the מקוה that is constantly getting less over a period of time and thus we have a doubt when it got to be less than a volume of  forty סאה


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ר''י מחזיק יש לנו חזקה מעיקרא שדוחפת את הזמן קדימה יחד עם חזקת רשות ובכך הולד שייך לקונה . מה שעובד נגד זה חזקה דהשתא מאז שפרה הולידה, אנחנו דוחפים בחזרה הזמן וזה עוזר חזקא דמרא קמא . בכתובות דף ט' זה עולה בתוספות. הסוגיה הבסיסית: יש את העובדה כי כהן מוצא כלתו לא להיות בתולה, היא אסורה לו. הסיבה לכך היא שאנחנו לא יודעים אם קיום יחסי המין קרה לפני הקידושין או לאחר מכן. בימים ההם  היתה המתנה ארוכה בין הקידושין והחופה. אם זה היה אחרי קידושין ואז היא אסורה, גם אם זה היה אונס. תוספות שואל למה לא ללכת עם חזקה דכשרות? תשובה, להיפך, חזקת הגוף עובד נגדה.  מה תוספות מתכוון כאן? אני חושב שהוא מתכוון חזקת הגוף היא מה שאנחנו בדרך כלל קוראים חזקא מעיקרא וכי בדיוק כמו מקוה בנדה דף ב' ע''א  שמים חזקה דהשתא יחד עם עוד חזקה ויחד יש להן את הכוח להביס חזקה מעיקרא. כך בכתובות היא תהיה מותרת לבעלה. אבל אם כך מה הוא תוספות מענה? כי חזקה מעיקרא יכולה להביס הן חזקה דהשתא יחד עם חזקת כשרות? כלומר אני חושב שזה  לא מה שתוספות מתכוון. במקום זאת אני חושב שהוא מתכוון ששתי אלו החזקות לא יכולות להביס חזקה מעיקרא אבל הן יכולות לעשות את כל המצב לספק. ואחרי הכל זה הוא כל מה שאנחנו מחפשים בכתובות.  רב שך אומר כשיש ספק חזקת השתא וחזקא מעיקרא אחת מבטלת זו את זו, ואם אתה משלב עוד חזקה עם חזקת השתא אז אתה מקבל וודאי. אבל כאשר אין שום סיבה להתחיל לפקפק את הדבר מלכתחילה, אז אתה רק מסתכל על חזקה מעיקרא ולא השתא בכלל. הוא גם קושר את זה עם הויכוח בין רב ואת שמואל.  איך זה מתקשר לענייננו כאן בבא מציעא. כוונתי היא כי רב שך ור' עקיבא אייגר חלוקים בנוגע לסיבה שאשתו של כהן אסורה לו. תוספות מביא שתי חזקות נוגדות  ור' אקיבא אייגר שואל למה לא להוסיף חזקת דהשתא אל החזקה של כשרות על מנת להתיר לה? הוא עונה צירוף חזקות עובד רק אם שתיהן מצביעות אותו דבר. רב שך עונה תשובה אחרת כפי שציינתי למעלה. אתה צריך להתחיל עם ספק כאשר האירוע התרחש. איך זה מתקשר אל בבא מציעא דך ק' ע''א? יש לנו 4 חזקות, שתיים נגד שתיים. הדרך אני חושב שאנחנו יכולים להסתכל על זה היא זו. הגמרא מעמידה את העגל לתוך סמטה. ואז החזקה הקובעת בעלות צריך להיות מרא קמא. וכדי שהגמרא יכולה למעט את זה היא לומר כי המשנה היא כסומכוס. אז אני תוהה למה לא להביא חזקה מעיקרא כאן כדי לספר לנו הפרה הולידה מאוחר יותר כדי להפוך את בעלות לספק כך שהמשנה יכולה להיות כחכמים גם? הדרך שבה אני כבר חושב על כ -24 שעות היא שזהו הטיעון בין ר''י ואת רשב''ם. ר''י מחזיק יש לנו ספק לגבי כאשר העגל נולד וכך חזקא דהשתא וחזקה מעיקרא גורמות לביטול הדדית. אז בסמטה כאשר יש רק שלוש חזקות למרא קמא יש בעלות. רשב''ם מחזיק עד שהחיה נולדה אין כל סיבה להטיל ספק כשזה ייולד. זה לא כמו מקוה כי הוא מקבל כמעט באופן קבוע פיחות על פני תקופה של זמן ולכן יש לנו ספק כשזה התחיל להיות פחות נפח של ארבעים סאה


Appendix: background information. If one dips in a river or ocean that is fine as a mikve. But if the rain water is collected in one spot you need a few things. 40 seah volume which is not much. I forget the actual amount about it is around 1^1^1.5 meters. Also it can't be a swimming pool because it can be lifted whole and stick together since it is made of concrete. It also has plastic under it which separates it from the ground. The best thing I think is to go to a nearby ocean--and loose garments are not a separation.At any rate, the issue here is if a mikveh is measured and found less than 40 seah. The question is do we push the present state back in time?  
The other issue is the wife of the cohen. She was found not to be a virgin. The kidushin makes a woman married but she does not live with her husband until Hupa and in ancient times there was a long wait. So the question is when did the act of sex happen? If after kidushin then she is forbidden to her husband because even if it was against her will she is forbidden. If we would be talking about a Israel, not a Cohen then there would be two questions, If it was before or after kidushin and if it was after if the act of sex was willingly or not. So it is a ספק ספקא  a doubt of a doubt and so she is permitted.















21.2.17

End chapter nine in Bava Metzia בבא מציעא.

End chapter nine in בבא מציעא. There ר' יהודה holds we are not  דורשים טעמא דקרא. Against that opinion is ר' שמעון בן יוחאי holds we go by the reason for the law דורשים טעמא דקרא.  When there is an argument between ר' יהודה and ר' שמעון  the הלכה is like ר' יהודה. In a פסוק in the Torah it says not to marry any of the seven nations. Or more exactly do not give your children in marriage to them so they will not turn the heart of your children towards idolatry. ר' יהודה who does not look at the reason for a verse says we go by the literal meaning. It forbids only the seven (Canaanite) nations. ר' שמעון says it forbids all nations that do idolatry because we go by at the reason for the verse, not by its literal meaning. So why does the רמב''ם decide marriage with all nations that do idolatry is forbidden? The key factor to notice is the case of a king. The פסוק says he should not have many wives "לא ירבה לו נשים". The  חכמים, say that means not to have more than שמנה עשרה 18 wives. ר' יהודה says, he can have as many as he  wants as long as they do not tilt his heart. ר' שמעון says even one that tilts his heart he must not marry. So when it says "לא ירבה לו נשים" it means even like Abigail. רב שך points out that here the חכמים and ר' שמעון agree.  The  sages obviously agree with ר' יהודה that we do not go by the reason for the law.  But here we see ר' יהודה does go by the reason for the law because the reason is written explicitly. So what does ר' שמעון do when the reason is given openly? He  learns from both the regular פסוק, and he learns something extra from the reason. So even though in general the חכמים go with ר' יהודה, but in  a case when the reason for the law is given openly, then they go like ר' שמעון.  This now gives us enough information to explain the  רמב''ם. That is this. When the reason for the law is given openly in the פסוק the חכמים agree with ר' שמעון. And that is exactly the case with intermarriage. So in that case the חכמים will agree with ר' שמעון that all nations that serve idols are forbidden, not just the seven nations. And that is how the  רמב''ם decides. He decides this not because it is the opinion of ר' שמעון but because it is the reason of the חכמים

סוף פרק תשעה בבא מציעא. יש ר' יהודה מחזיק אנחנו לא דורשים טעמא דקרא. נגד הדעת הזאת הוא ר' שמעון בן יוחאי שמחזיק שהולכים לפי סיבת החוק, דורשים טעמא דקרא. כשיש ויכוח בין ר' יהודה ור' שמעון, הלכה היא כמו ר' יהודה. בתוך פסוק בתורה כתוב לא להתחתן עם מישהו שבעת העמים. או לייתר דיוק לא לתת לילדים שלך בנישואים להם כדי שהם לא יהפכו את לב ילדיך כלפי עבודה זרה. ר' יהודה שאינו מהסתכל על הסיבה של פסוק אומר נלך לפי המשמעות המילולית. הוא אוסר רק את שבעת העמים. ר' שמעון אומר שזה אוסר כל הגוים אשר עושים עבודה זרה, כי נלך לפי הסיבה של הפסוק, לא לפי המשמעות המילולית שלו. אז למה עושה את רמב''ם מחליט נישואים עם כל העמים שעושים עבודה זרה אסורה? הגורם המרכזי הוא לשים לב במקרה של מלך. הפסוק אומר שהוא "לא ירבה לו נשים". החכמים אומרים לא יותר משמנה עשר נשים. ר' יהודה אומר שהוא יכול להרבות ככל שהוא רוצה, כל עוד שהן לא נוטות את לבו. ר' שמעון אומר אפילו אחת  שמטה את לבו אסור לו לשאת. אז כאשר הוא אומר לא ירבה לו נשים זה אומר אפילו כמו אביגיל. רב שך מציין שכאן חכמים ור ' שמעון מסכימים. החכמים ברור שמסכימים עם ר' יהודה כי אנחנו לא הולכים לפי הטעם של החוק. אבל כאן אנו רואים ר' יהודה אימו מתחמק מסיבת החוק כי הסיבה כתובה במפורש. אז מה עושה ר' שמעון כאשר הסיבה ניתנת בגלוי? הוא לומד גם את הפסוק הרגיל, והוא לומד משהו נוסף מן הסיבה. אז למרות באופן כללי החכמים אומרים ללכת עם ר' יהודה, אולם במקרה כאשר סיבת החוק ניתנת בגלוי, ואז הם הולכים כמו ר' שמעון. זה עכשיו נותן לנו מספיק מידע כדי להסביר את רמב''ם. כלומר זה. כאשר סיבת החוק ניתנת בגלוי בפסוק החכמים מסכימים עם ר' שמעון. וזה בדיוק המקרה עם נישואי תערובת. אז במקרה זה חכמים  מסכימים עם ר' שמעון כי כל העמים אשר משרתים אלילים אסורים, לא רק שבעת העמים. וזה איך שרמב''ם מחליט. הוא מחליט זה לא בגלל כי זו הוא דעתו של ר' שמעון, אלא משום שזו הדעת של חכמים.


I should mention the Tur says simply only the seven nations are forbidden as the simple explanation of the sages is. That is we do not go by the reason for any verse but by what its says openly. Therefore only the seven (Canaanite) nations are forbidden. No other nations.
I can not say that my answer here is what Rav Eleazar  Shach meant in his essay. In any case that is what I thought makes sense based on ideas that were triggered in me when I read his essay.

Take a look yourself at Rav Shach's essay on the Rambam in הלכות אסורי ביאה. Maybe what I wrote here is what he means, but so far I cannot tell.

I am not trying here to go into all the issues. I am simply trying to understand the Rambam. And  I believe the answer here is right. The answer I had before I saw the essay of Rav Shach was really crummy. And other answers I have seen did not hold much water.


Musar (Ethics) from the Middle Ages. Musar pours ice cold water on people's illusions of grandeur and obsessions.

By nature I have always been interested in worldview kinds of issues more so that more practically minded people.  I have tended to see human affairs as downstream from people's world views.
So to understand the basic world view of the Torah is feel is important. The clearest statement of the way the Torah looks at the world I found is best given in books of Musar (books on Ethics) from the Middle Ages and the later classics by the disciples of Reb Israel Salanter.
The reason is the same reason why people get package deals at the supermarket. You could buy all the ingredients of cold cereal in the morning and make it all by yourself, but you would rather that someone else do most of the work of preparation and leave you just to pour the milk. You could in the same way go through the whole Tenach (Old Testament)  and the entire Oral Law, the two Talmuds, the Midrashei Hagada and Midrashei Halacaha until you are about 90 years old and then maybe get a clear enough idea, or you can trust the judgment of the Rishonim, [Mediaeval sages] to have done that work and to offer the same result in simple form. That is Musar.

The importance of the Rishonim [Medieval sages] in this regard is because their view of Torah was without alternative agendas. The problem with achronim [books on world view of Torah written after the Rav Joseph Karo after around 1520] is the trouble of agenda. The purpose is usually not to understand the world view of Torah but to change it into some form more palatable to their tastes and to convince others of their mistakes.
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You actually see this clearly in practice. Yeshivas that have Musar as art of their seder [schedule] are light years apart from place that do not learn Musar. You only need to walk into a real authentic Litvak yeshiva at in the morning and you get blown away by the powerful spirit of Torah that is there.

One thing Musar is definitely right about, Torah is the religion of good character. {Menschlichkeit.} People of Type A personalities of schizoid personalities are definitely not gong to be drawn towards Musar and will in fact actively oppose it.  Musar pours ice cold water on people's illusions of grandeur and obsessions.  




20.2.17

The trouble with the Jewish religious world is that it is full of demons that infest the teachers.

The trouble with the religious world is that it is full of demons and demons spirits that infest it and especially the teachers. It does not take a genius to see this. If they would be keeping Torah plain and simple like it says, I would have nothing to complain about but the trouble is not just that it is a scam but positively evil.  There are a few exceptions however like the NY Litvak yeshivas and Ponovicth and the religious Zionist yeshivas. But as a rule I think the religious would is just way too much demon possessed.  I might mention that Reb Nachman to his great credit brought up this issue quite often in his Lekutai Moharan and so I am not the only one to notice this problem.

Clearly Reb Nachman had a great vision of what Torah is supposed to be about and his great advice is not confined to just pointing out the evils of תלמידי חכמים שדיים יהודאיים. {Demonic Torah Scholars}. Still still the fact that the movement based on him got absorbed in the movement the Gra put in Cherem reduces the effectiveness of his advice to almost nothing.  

People do not give enough credit to the Dark Side almost to the degree of denying its existence. Thus that leave them all the more open to it. In the Jewish this is particular common. People always decide their particular leaders has powers from the Bright Side of Holiness. They never consider the opposite. 



vision of the Rambam

I have mentioned the vision of the Rambam, that is to learn every day the Oral Law (the Two Talmuds), the Written Law (the Law of Moses plus the prophets), Physics and Metaphysics.
I want to add to this list, Musar (mediaeval Ethics) plus survival skills.
And to mention that this is to bring to human perfection, but there is no guarantee. You can notice the lacks of each discipline, and think to yourself that the right combination would work wonders and make up for all the lacks.  But that to me does not seem realistic. There still is going to be free will. As Steven Dutch puts it: "I am completely unable to conceive of any legal or social system that can’t be subverted or abused. People who crave power or status will gravitate toward whatever confers those rewards. And they will always discover ways to get the rewards without paying their dues." 

I think the amazing thing about the Rambam is he combined several traits-the visionary prophet, the scholastic attention to detail, the Socratic Critic of logical fallacies he saw in the Kalm and the Warrior against abuses he saw in the religious world.

[The trouble the Rambam saw in the religious world of his time is described in detail in his commentary to Pikei Avot in ch 4. Mainly he saw that the people that invariably go to use the Torah to make money are the types that are incapable of accurately understanding any Gemara or Halacha. They are the most dull, the most stupid, and the most morally depraved. Thus there is no profession open to them except to to use Torah as a means to money, power, and influence. See the Rambam there in Pirkei Avot where he goes into detail, but he also mention this briefly in the Mishne Torah. His description is as accurate now as it was when he wrote it. The bad name they give to Torah makes it almost impossible for anyone to learn Torah sincerely. The religious world is a crooked racket, a fraud, and scam, and invites comparisons to the Mafia. Any sincere believer in Torah would be well advice to stay away from the religious, insane world as far as possible unless he happens to be near an authentic Lithuanian yeshiva, Mir Chaim Berlin, Torah VeDaat, Ponovitch.

I wanted to go into the basic idea of the Rambam in terms of learning. Mainly his program starts as simple as possible. The Mishne Torah itself. [Metaphysics means Aristotle's book called the Metaphysics. Physics also. However I hold modern Physics is included [i.e.Quantum Mechanics, String Theory, Quantum Field Theory]. Similarly in terms of Metaphysics I hold Kant and Hegel are included. Preferably Hegel.] In terms of Torah the main thing after  a basic introduction in Gemara I think Rav Shach's Avi Ezri is the most important thing. 
[If I could complement the religious world for adhering to the Torah I would do so gladly. The trouble is I have found it to be highly inimical to Torah values. They do everything possible to destroy your family and children while at the same time claiming to support family values. See the excommunication that the Gra signed for further information. The problem seems to be the flawed vision of themselves as super human beings gives them a flawed idea of what other people are like. They see the rest of humanity as fit only for servile beasts of burden.]










19.2.17

Concerning the previous essay I would like to say that I think Rav Shach was forced into a difficult position because he had to defend the Rambam and the Rambam equates ערירי and כרת.
I was going to the nearby river to go to the mikve and it occurred to me that I am not forced to answer for the Rambam. Rather based on Rav Shach's insights and the Rashba that he brings, I have a much better answer for the braita in the beginning of Yevamot. That is, that it is going like שמואל ורב אסי and in fact hold עשה דוחה לא תעשה שיש בו כרת.
So my answer would be thus. Just like the Rashba says Shmuel and Rav Assi that hold הותרה ונאסרה והותרה אסורה would be holding that עשה דוחה לא תעשה שיש בו כרת and even for אשת אח מאביו the איסור of אשת אח continues but simply is pushed off by the עשה של יבום. But the הלכה is like רב ור' חנינא that הותרה ונאסרה והותרה מותרת. and this is going like the opinion אין עשה דוחה לא תעשה שיש בו כרת. This makes the most sense because normally we understand יבום to be like נדה in the way that after the time of the איסור there is no איסור at all, not that it is pushed away.
\ Rav Shach had available to him a much better answer, but ignored it because he felt the need to make the Rambam fit with everything. But that forced Rav Shach into a position that seems to me to be untenable. When a positive mitzvah pushes off a negative mitavah we do not say the negative mitvah has a time limit. If Rav Shach had not been forced to answer for the Rambam, he could easily have said what I have written here.


_______________________________________________________________________________

My answer for the ברייתא in the beginning of יבמות. That is,  it is going like שמואל ורב אסי and  holds עשה דוחה לא תעשה שיש בו כרת.
So my answer would be thus. Just like the רשב''א says שמואל and רב אסי that hold הותרה ונאסרה והותרה אסורה would be holding that עשה דוחה לא תעשה שיש בו כרת and even for אשת אח מאביו the איסור of אשת אח continues but simply is pushed off by the עשה של יבום. But the הלכה is like רב ור' חנינא that הותרה ונאסרה והותרה מותרת. and this is going like the opinion אין עשה דוחה לא תעשה שיש בו כרת. This makes the most sense because normally we understand יבום to be like נדה in the way that after the time of the איסור there is no איסור at all, not that it is pushed away.

תשובתי על הברייתא בתחילת יבמות. , זו הולכת כמו שמואל ורב אסי שמחזיקים עשה דוחה לא תעשה שיש בו כרת. אז התשובה שלי תהיה בכך בדיוק כמו שהרשב''א אמר ששמואל ורב אסי מחזיקים הותרה ונאסרה והותרה אסורה וזה יהיה בגלל שקבעו כי עשה דוחה לא תעשה שיש בו כרת ואפילו אשת אח מאביו איסור של אשת אח נמשך, אבל פשוט נדחף על ידי עשה של יבום. אבל הלכה היא כמו רב ור' חנינא כי הותרה ונאסרה והותרה מותרת. וזה הולך כדעת אין עשה דוחה לא תעשה שיש בו כרת. זה הכי הגיוני כי בדרך כלל אנחנו מבינים יבום להיות כמו נדה באופן שבו לאחר הזמן של האיסור אין איסור כלל, לא כי הוא נדחף משם.

So the basic idea of the braita in Torah Kohanim I am leaving exactly as it sounds that there is a difference between the brother from the mother and the brother from the father and that both their wives are in כרת but the wife of the brother from the mother is not in ערירי. So in essence  the Rambam comes out OK also. That is the Rambam holds that both on the wife from the brother from the mother and the wife of the brother from the father have כרת and thus both are required a sin offering.
In any case I have never felt I had to answer for the Rambam at all cost. And we do not need to say he disagrees with the Braita in Torat Kohanim anyway.  And in any case I believe Rav Shach answers the Rambam somewhere else in the Avi Ezri in a different fashion.

The basic thing is this. Though the whole kind of learning of Reb Chaim Soloveitchik to justify the Rambam is great and amazing, still my orientation from the beginning of yeshiva in Shar Yashuv in NY and also my books on Bava Metzia and Shas have mainly been to concentrate on understanding Tosphot.  If an answer for the Rambam comes up--as it has often, then I am happy. But I am not aiming for that.
However when it comes to the Guide for the Perplexed, I think that was the Rambam's best work and led the way to synthesizing Faith and Reason. Clearly Aquinas owes to him and to Saadia Gaon a great debt, and so does all Western Civilization. Aquinas, I should mention, did not always quote Maimonides by name, for example in his proof of the existence of God [which I think is accepted he derived from Maimonides] he does not quote his name. But he does quote his name in other cases, as when giving the reasons for the commandments of the Torah. In any case, clearly the Rambam was able to bring Aristotle into the mainstream, and not just as a side note to Plato.

Maimonides and Saadia Gaon are the founders of a balance between Faith and Reason. Before that one approach of the other was over emphasized. And often they were considered incompatible.
The vision of the Rambam is still far beyond the sight of this generation. His four fold approach of learning the Written Law of Moses, the Two Talmuds, Physics and Metaphysics is still too radical for anyone to accept. I fear it will take a long time --if ever--for people to catch up with his vision









So all together the actual question that Tosphot raises on that Braita in the beginning of Yevamot along with my answer here would be this:

I wanted to introduce a famous subject that comes up in the beginning of Yevamot. This will help to answer a question I asked in the beginning of Yevamot that I wrote in my little booklet חידושי הש''ס


It is the question of אשת אחיו מאמו the wife of a brother from the mother, not from the father. The Rambam says simply that אשת אחיו the wife of a brother is required to bring a sin offering. [I mean if one slept with her.]  he does not make any distinction between the wife of a brother from the father or mother. That means both are in כרת [being cut off from one's people if done on purpose and required a sin offering if done by accident.] This is clearly not like the Torah Kohanim that Tosphot brings in the beginning of Yevamot. That statement from the book reads thus, The the verse about not to marry one's brother's wife says "נדה היא"[she is a  woman that has seen blood.] Torah Kohanim asks why compare her to a נדה?  Because just like a נדה  has a time of permission so does she--that is if the  brother dies without children. So the verse can not be talking about a brother from the mother.
So the Rambam obviously rejects this braita/teaching.

Rav Shach suggests the reason is that it is going like an opinion in the Gemara that was rejected. [Yevamot 41]
הותרה ונאסרה וחזרה והותרה אסורה (like Shmuel and Rav Assi) The reason for this the Rashba says is that opinion holds the יבמה is an איסור כרת  but the עשה of יבום pushes it off. But the Halacha in the Gemara itself is הותרה ונאסרה והותרה מותרת (Rav and R. Chanina) and that opinion holds the איסור of אשת אח has a time limit and after she falls to Yibum there no longer is any כרת involved.  Thus the same goes for the wife of the brother from the mother that also has a time limit. But the actual prohibition never falls off because the mitzvah of yibum never arrives. But since it could arrive in theory so the prohibition has a time limit.   Therefore the Braita of Torat Kohanim that takes the wife of the brother from the mother out of כרת because she has no permission does not apply. Thus we see that braita is going like a rejected opinion in the Gemara.

Thus my question in the beginning of yevamot also has an answer.
That is that original braita there that would be holding עשה דוחה לא תעשה שיש בו כרת  would also be going like this rejected opinion in the Gemara of Shmuel and Rav Assi 
{I wanted to introduce a  subject that comes up in the beginning of יבמות. This will help to answer a question I asked in the beginning of יבמות.[Mainly what I am doing here is simply saying that braita at the beginning of yevamot is not the halacha and in fact it hold עשה דוחה לא תעשה שיש בו כרת as Tosphot and the Old Tosphot both point out. So in stead of answering the question I simply say that braita is rejected. It is the question of אשת אחיו מאמו. The רמב''ם says simply that אשת אחיו the wife of a brother is required to bring a sin offering. [I mean if one slept with her.]  he does not make any distinction between the wife of a brother from the father or mother. That means both are in כרת,  and required a sin offering if done by accident. This is clearly not like the law in תורת כהנים that תוספות brings in the beginning of יבמות. That statement from the book reads thus, The the verse about not to marry one's brother's wife says "נדה היא". The תורת כהנים  asks why compare her to a נדה?  Because just like a נדה  has a time of permission, so does she, that is if the  brother dies without children. So the verse can not be talking about a brother from the mother.So the רמב''ם obviously rejects this teaching. רב שך suggests the reason is that it is going like an opinion in the גמרא that was rejected, יבמות מ''א. That is הותרה ונאסרה וחזרה והותרה אסורה like שמואל and רב אסי. The reason for this the רשב''א says is that opinion holds the יבמה is an איסור כרת  but the עשה of יבום pushes it off. But the הלכה in the גמרא itself is הותרה ונאסרה והותרה מותרת like רב and ר' חנינא and that opinion holds the איסור of אשת אח has a time limit and after she falls to יבום there no longer is any כרת involved.  Thus the same goes for the wife of the brother from the mother that also has a time limit. But the actual prohibition never falls off because the מצוה of יבום never arrives. But since it could arrive in theory, so the prohibition has a time limit.  Therefore, the law of תורת כהנים that takes the wife of the brother from the mother out of כרת because she has no היתר does not apply. Thus we see that law of תורת כהנים is going like a rejected opinion in the גמרא.
Thus my question in the beginning of יבמות also has an answer. That is that original teaching there that would be holding עשה דוחה לא תעשה שיש בו כרת  would also be going like this rejected opinion in the גמרא of שמואל and רב אסי.}

_____________________________________________________ So all together the actual question that Tosphot raises on that Braita in the beginning of Yevamot along with my answer here would be this:
 יבמות ג: הברייתא שואלת איך יודעים שאחות אשתו אסורה ביבום? והיא מתרצת שכתוב בויקרא אצל עריות "עליה" וכתוב בדברים אצל יבום "עליה". זה נראה כמו גזרה שווה. [גזרה שווה בדרך כלל היא שיש אותה מילה בשני מקומות, ולכן שמים את הדינים של מקום אחד למקום השני.] תוספות שואל, למה לא להפוך את הגזרה שווה לכיוון השני? והוא מתרץ, שהתנא של הברייתא אוחז בשיטה שעשה דוחה לא תעשה שיש בו כרת. זאת אומרת שבלי הגזרה שווה היינו אומרים שיבום דוחה איסור אחות אשתו. אם כן למה צריכים את הגזרה שווה? אלא על כורחך היא באה לומר את החידוש שאין יבום דוחה אחות אשתו.
עכשיו שמסקנת הגמרא היא (לקמן) שעשה אינו דוחה לא תעשה הסברה הייתה צריכה ללכת בכיוון השני. זאת אומרת שאין לנו מקום ללמוד ממנו שעריות אסורות ביבום. (אולי יש לומר שבאמת זאת היא סברת בית שמאי.) אופן שני להסתכל בברייתא הוא זה: אין הברייתא מזכירה גזרה שווה. יכול להיות היא חושבת על "מה מצינו". והיא חושבת כך: אנחנו מוציאים שאשת אחיו אסורה אפילו אם אחיו אינו בעולם. רק במקום יבום היא מותרת. באופן דומה היינו צריכים להתיר את כל העריות במקום יבום. ולכן אנחנו צריכים את המילה "עליה" לומר לנו שאחות אשתו וכל העריות אסורות. הקושיא כאן היא שזה היה עובד אפילו אם היתה לנו את המילה "עליה" רק במקום אחד. והברייתא אומרת שהדין שלה באה מן העובדה שאותה מילה נמצאת בשני המקומות. עוד קושיא גדולה כאן היא שאם הברייתא מכוונת לגזרה שווה יש כאן אי הבנה. גזרה שווה רגילה נותנת את הדינים של מקום אחד למקום השני וממקום השני למקום הראשון. אם זאת היא גזרה שווה, אזי התוצאה של זו היא שמילת "עליה" בעריות מדברת רק במקום יבום, ואז כל העריות תהיינה אסורות רק במקום יבום. וזה אי אפשר. ולכן צריכים לומר שכוונת התנא היא שזה מה מצינו. 
במילים אחרות. הברייתא אומרת איך אנחנו יודעים שאחותו של אשתו אסורה היבום? והיא עונה שהפסוק אומר "עליה" בויקרא ועליה בדברים בנוגע ליבום. זה נראה כמו גזירה שווה. גזירה שווה פירושו  המילה  זהה משמשת בשני מקומות שונים. אז אנחנו מיישמים את החוקים של מקום אחד למקום השני, אלא אם כן קיים טעם ספציפי כי לפחות את כח הגזירה השווה. דרך חלופית אחת להסתכל על ברייתא זו היא לומר שזה לא קשור עם גזירה שווה.  די לחשוב ככה. אנו מוצאים כי אשתו של אחיו (של אחד) אסורה אפילו אחרי שהוא  נפטר. ובכל זאת אנו מוצאים כי במקרה הספציפי של יבום היא מותרת. אז אנחנו צריכים לאפשר לכל היחסים האסורים במקרה של יבום להיות מותרים. אז עכשיו אנחנו צריכים את מילה אחת מיותרת "עליה" לספר לנו שהיא אסורה. כלומר כי ברייתא הוא חושב על מה מצינו מה אנו מוצאים במקום אחד אנו מרחיבים באופן אוטומטי למקומות אחרים, אם לא נצליח למצוא סיבה ספציפית להגביל את תחולתו, לא גזירה שווה. הבעיה עם זה היא כי זה יעבוד גם אם רק הייתה המילה "עליה" לבדה.  את ברייתא בהחלט מתייחס לעובדה כי אותה המילה משמשת בשני המקומות לגזור את  החוק שלה. אז זה בהחלט אומר שזה גזירה שווה. ואם זה גזירה שווה, אז התוצאה היא קשה. הגזירה שווה הרגילה מעמידה את החוקים של מקום אחד למקום השני, ולהיפך. זה היה גורם לשים את "עליה" של יבום לתוך היחסים ולעשות את כולם אסורים רק במקרה של יבום! כלומר יש לנו שאלה משום גזירה שווה הולכת לשני הכיוונים. תשובה. למעשה אם גזירה שווה הולכת בשני הכיוונים הוא ויכוח. כאן נראה שהברייתא  בדעת שהגזירה השווה סובבת רק לכיוון אחד.

רציתי להציג נושא שעולה בתחילת יבמות. זה יעזור לענות על שאלה ששאלתי בתחילת יבמות. זוהי שאלת אשת אחיו מאמו. רמב''ם אומר בפשטות כי אשת אחיו (אשת אח) מחוייב להביא חטאת. אני מתכוון אם אחד שכב איתה. הוא לא עושה הבחנה בין אשת אח מן האב או האם. כלומר, שניהם נמצאים בכרת, ונזקק לחטאת אם נעשה בטעות. זה ברור לא כמו החוק בתורת כהנים שתוספות מביא בתחילת יבמות. משפט זה מובא על הפסוק  שלא לישא אשת אחיו של שאומר "נדה היא". תורת הכהנים שואלת למה להשוות אותה לנדה? מכיוון שבדיוק כמו נדה יש ​​זמן של רשות, כך גם היא, כלומר אם אחיו מת ללא ילדים. אז הפסוק לא ניתן לדבר על אח מהאם. אז רמב''ם ברור מוקיע את ההוראה הזאת. רב שך אומר הסיבה היא שהחוק הזה הולך כמו דעה בגמרא  שנדחתה,  יבמות מ''א. כלומר  הותרה ונאסרה וחזרה והותרה אסורה כמו שמואל ורב אסי. הסיבה לזה הרשב''א אומר היא הדעה שמכילה את היבמה באיסור כרת אבל עשה של יבום דוחף אותו. אבל הלכה בגמרא עצמה היא הותרה ונאסרה והותרה מותרת כמו רב ור' חנינא וכי הדעה מחזיקה האיסור של אשת האח יש מגבלת זמן ואחרי שהיא נופלת יבום שאין עוד כל כרת מעורב. לכן כנ"ל לגבי אשת אחיו מהאם כי גם יש מגבלת זמן. אבל האיסור בפועל לא נופל משום מצוה של יבום לא מגיעה. אבל כיוון שהיא עלולה להגיע בתיאוריה, ולכן האיסור יש מגבלת זמן. לכן, החוק של  תורת כהנים שלוקח את אשתו של אחיו מהאם מתוך כרת כי אין לה היתר אינו חל.  עינינו רואות, כי החוק של תורת כהנים הולך כמו דעה שנדחתה הגמרא. לכן לשאלה שלי בתחילת יבמות גם יש תשובה.  לכן השאלה שלי בתחילת יבמות גם יש תשובה. לכן כנ"ל לגבי אשת אחיו מהאם כי גם יש מגבלת זמן. אבל האיסור בפועל לא נופל משום מצוה של יבום לא מגיעה. אבל כיוון שהיא עלולה להגיע בתיאוריה, ולכן האיסור יש מגבלת זמן. לכן, החוק של כהני תורה שלוקח את אשתו של אחיו מהאם מתוך כרת כי אין לה יתר אינו חל. עינינו רואות, כי החוק של תורת כהנים הולך כמו דעה שנדחתה הגמרא. לכן השאלה שלי בתחילת יבמות גם יש תשובה. כי ההוראה המקורית שם זה  מחזיק בשיטה שעשה דוחה לא תעשה שיש בו כרת וזו תהיה גם כמו הדעה שנדחתה בגמרא , הדעה של שמואל ואת רב אסי.


























18.2.17

What a human being ought to be?

It was pointed out to me by several people that the religious world seems to be afflicted with a tremendous amount of קטנות המוחין. Small mindedness. Pettiness.  After my learning partner pointed this out and then someone else that was in Uman for Rosh Hashanah I began to wonder why this is the case?

I do not have any answer for this but this very question leads me to wonder what a human being ought to be? To my mind the Rambam and my parents dealt with this question in the best way. 
That is with the Rambam we know one's education ought be in four areas: (1) תנ''ך Old Testament (2) the Entire Oral Law-the Two Talmuds, Sifra, Sifri, Tosephta, Midrash Raba etc. (3) Physics (4) Metaphysics. This we already know from the Rambam. What my parents add to this picture is the idea of Menchlichtkeit and balance. That is hard to describe but mainly it means at it basic level good wholesome character traits. But on a higher level it means being everything a person ought to be. To see beyond the cave. [I have to add to this the basic books of the Musar Movement  which are the books of Musar from the Middle Ages and the books of the disciples of Reb Israel Salanter]

I any case let me say what I think about the Rambam. To get through that material I think what the Talmud says is the idea idea לגמור והדר ליסבר to finish the material and then to go back and do it in more depth. So every time you finish let's say for example the Talmud you add one commentary. Lets say you did it once with Rashi. So the next time you add Tosphot. The third time you do the Maharsha. etc. 
[That is more or less what I do anyway. The first time doing Shas i have to admit I had to do Tosphot because that was part of the basic learning in Shar Yashuv and the Mir. But I found Tosphot very hard to understand. On the other hand I can not say to skip Tosphot because I can see that unless people at at struggle with Tosphot when they are 18-22 years old, they will never get it otherwise. It has to be embedded at early ages.]


intermarriage

When Pinchas saw a Israeli sleeping with a Midianite woman, he killed them both as is related in Parshat Pinchas 
[In that place God agreed with Pinchas and gave him an everlasting covenant.]
The major problem there I think is that of idolatry, not DNA or nationalism. I mean to say that intermarriage seems to be subject to an argument between Shimon ben Yochai and the Sages. To Shimon Ben Yochai the problem is with anyone that serves idols.  That is because he goes by the reason for a verse, not the literal meaning. But the sages confine the verses that forbid intermarriage  to their literal meaning --that is the seven Canaanite nations and any other that are mentioned. The verses about Pinchas I think are related to this issue. But it is hard to tell because of the censors.  
In any case, after thinking about it I would have to say that the Bible is mainly interested in the problem of idolatry in that place, not so much nationalism. [There is another issue which is if the children are counted as one's own--even if marriage is permitted. After all a Jewish slave is allowed to sleep with a non Jewish slave woman as it says in Exodus in Parshat Mishpatim, but the children are not counted as his.]
I mention this because the blog http://amerika.org brought this up about nationalism. However  a friend of mine who learns in a kollel in Jerusalem mentioned to me that Rav Kook defends nationalism.\
[This came up because he was in a mixed kollel in which some people were more on the Religious Zionist side, and others on the reverse side. He asked me about this.  I said the nationalism side had support from the Zohar.}

[I have heard a defense of nationalism from Hegel and that makes sense to me. He was not thinking of every state or every nation, but one that had a kind of higher ideal. That is his kind of combination of  Platonic forms that participate in the particulars. 

From the aspect of Darwin,  there is a kind of process of Nature which begins to separate races into different species-- and that is more based on biology more than nationalism.]

[I am not really sure what to say about Christians. The prohibition of intermarriage is an argument between R. Shimon Ben Yohai and the Sages but in that argument the only question that comes up is either just the seven Canaanite Nations [That is the opinion of the Tur ] or all idol worshipers (that is the opinion of the Rambam). In the context it is clear that the issue is idolatry. And Christianity itself is subject to debate on this issue. The opinions range all the way from the Rambam to most strict until the Meiri and the Abravanel. Tosphot I once tried to work on  with David Bronson, but in the exact same Tospot [In Avoda Zara I forget the page number] there seems to have been a few opinions.  I never got very far with the issues of idolatry. The most I can say is that Christianity does not seem to be idolatry to me. In terms of a legal decision all I can say is I usually go by the most lenient opinions of the Rishonim or opinions in the Gemara which are not pushed out of Halacha. [That is to say in the Gemara itself we have a few different ways of deciding. The Rambam and Rif always go by the לישנא בתרא. Other Rishonim go by לישנא קמא. That is to say to make a decision anywhere it is needed to know the actual sugia in the Gemara itself. In any case I am usually lenient a long as there is at least one Rishon that backs me. (A Rishon means Tosphot, Rif Rosh, Tur, Rambam etc.)   

Someone sent to me a few volumes of the Avi Ezri of Rav Shach and I see he has an essay on this subject of the argument between R. Shimon Ben Yochai and the Sages.  I have not figured out what he is saying exactly but he does have away of getting the decision of the Rambam to fit with the Sages {that are not דורשים טעמה דקרא}
The Tur goes with the simple way of understanding the halacaha that since in deciding a law we do not look at the reason for the law לא דורשים טעמה דקרא;--  so only the seven Canaanite nations are forbidden. [That is the Tur decides plain and simple like R. Yehuda. The Rambam decides like the sages  in the law of the king not to have wives above number 18. That is like R. Shimon when the reason for the law is stated in the verse, and like R. Yehuda when it is not. ]

Nationalism I should mention is best dealt with with Richard Epstein -who is a kind of Libertarian. Thus he has a similar problem as does the Talmud which is this: what is the status of a nation? Obviously the Talmud does not deal with that. At most it gets up to the collective level of the Sanhedrin. The most it can do is דינא דמלכותא דינא the law of the country is the law. Obviously libertarians have a great deal of trouble also in recognizing the existence of any state. As far as they are considered, it is a non existing entity. Richard Epstein does deal with this problem.   Mainly he does this by means of the Constitution which is more or less the approach of the Rashbam in Bava Batra חזקת הבתים where he considers government to a kind of contract.  Thus Richard Epstein agrees with the existence of government, and it is not the same thing as a collection of individuals, but he puts limits on its power because of the Constitution. See  for example this review.
Also look right at the beginning of the Tur חושן משפט the argument between Rav Joseph Karo and the Bach concerning שותפות. Joining. Partnership. That is a bunch of people put together a collective "purse"  of money to do business with. Is it nothing more than a collection of individuals, or is a new entity created?
This is relevant to the State of Israel.  Halacha has had for a long time great difficulty in dealing with any State. So people that learn Gemara as a rule have great difficulty in seeing any validity in the rules created by any state.  All the more so in the USA where Richard Epstein believes every piece of legislation from 1937 [the New Deal] until now is invalid. 

See this debate between Epstein and Huemer  Epstein you will notice does  justify the existence of government and recognizes it as a separate entity. But he does believe in limited government. That is Epstein is not depending on the Constitution.  As far as he is concerned even a monarchy or any kind of government needs to be limited.
How does he justify government? Epstein says contract does not help unless there is a force to enforce contract. It is a Kantian idea of a "ground" of validity.
A libertarian state is by definition unstable and a gang will automatically take over in which a small group of elites enslave everyone else. This is not an a posteriori argument but a a priori argument and thus Epstein wins the debate. Epstein depends of the Just restitution clause a lot. Not restitution but just restitution--the amount the person would be willing to sell his property for to another individual not the government.