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15.5.17

Most cults today in fact derive their power by means of falsifying definitions.

The basic "meme" (unit of social information) of Litvak yeshivas is just one thing: Learn Torah.
The basic emphasis on this comes from the Gra.

The trouble here is that different groups try to jump on the bandwagon by "fudge words." That is: they try to redefine that the word "Torah" means.

And in truth, it is hard to get a good closed definition with a clear boundary. What you want to do is to have a definition such that everything inside the definition is Torah,-- and everything outside of it is not. Otherwise the very concept itself of learning Torah is meaningless. It can mean whatever any conniving charlatan wants it to means. Most cults today in fact derive their power by means of this falsifying of definitions.

In a way this is relevant to what I was thinking yesterday to bring up the concept of ספרים חיצוניים which is the Rif and Rosh means books that explain the Torah not according to the Chazal {קבלת חז''ל}.

The importance of learning Torah depends entirely on the definition. To me the Rambam made this issue clear in one of his letters where he writes: כמו שאין תוספת וגירעון בתורה שבכתב כמו כן אין תוספת וגירעון בתורה שבעל פה. "Just as there is no adding or subtracting from the written Law so there is no adding or subtracting from the Oral Law." [In other words "Torah" is a closed set of books.]

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So, if you add these two factors together you get an important combination that cancels most cults. For most cults thrive on fudging the definition of "Torah" to change it into books that explain the Torah not according to Chazal but come up with their own explanations. And then they change the definition of outside books from  "books that explain the Torah not according to Chazal but come up with their own explanations" into books of Science. Thus by fudging these two factors they change attempt to fool people into thinking that what they are doing is valid according to Torah.