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1.3.17

Jewish religious world

The trouble with the Jewish religious world is that their actions speak so loudly that no one can hear what they are saying. 

The trouble seems to be that Torah really only works well when it is learned and kept for the sake of God. When it becomes a means to make money, it turns to poison. And the first primary commandment in the religious world is to trick and cheat secular Jews and naive baali teshuva. The main hell holes are the yeshivas in Jerusalem and the West Coast the the USA.  

Reb Nachman from Breslov had  a term for religious teachers תלמידי חכמים שדיין יהודאיים. (Torah scholars that are demonic). It is really not from the Zohar. [Reb Nachman had to make a composite of this idea from the Zohar along with the rather severe complaints about Torah scholars that are hypocrites which are brought in the Mishna and Gemara]. In the Zohar itself we have a concept of שדיי יכו''ם and שדיי יהודאים. That is Jewish and gentile  demons. That seems to refer to people that simply are beyond repentance. That is is people with no conscience which are the majority of mankind. People are not naturally good. We are naturally depraved. According to the Rambam even natural law [the laws of the Attic Greeks he calls them] needed Revelation. [The Rambam had an easy option open to him to say natural law was accessible by human reason but he choose not to go down that path.]

In any case this is a real problem that needs addressing because without it, I believe everyone would run to the light of the Torah.
Reb Nachman I should mention brought up this theme with a great deal of consistency throughout the  ten year  period Reb Nathan knew him.  The first time is in Vol I chapter 8 (of Reb Nachman main work) which was I believe the first Hanuka lesson Reb Nathan heard from Reb Nachman. After that it comes up in ch. 12 and then 28 and then it is mentioned over and over until  very last Torah lesson Reb Nachman ever gave Vol II ch 8.[Reb Nachman did not use the same term every time.  Sometime it was דיינים שאינם כשרים judges that are not honest.]
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Of course you can go overboard with this as some people do. After all there are sincere people that do try to learn and keep Torah for its own sake and a lot of them are in fact in the real Litvak yeshivas like Ponovitch and the three great NY yeshivas Mir Chaim Berlin Torah Vedaat. 

The Na Nach group of Breslov take it on principle that all well known Torah teachers are hypocrites  since they feel it takes  too much energy to try to choose which ones are OK. So they simply dismiss the whole lot. That is based on Reb Israel Odesser whose basic advice  they follow.  This rule  works well in practice, since it saves them from teachers of Torah that really are demons but it is hard to tell on the outside. Personally I think I also would have been saved from much trouble if I had followed that rule.  
[The actual subject of Jewish and Gentile demons is covered in the later chapters of the Eitz Chaim of the Ari, but the basic rule is to avoid trouble it is wise to simply avoid religious teachers and if you need a mikve to go to the ocean or a river. The Religious world is simly bad news]