Not enough attention is place on making a distinction between the Ari and occult practices.

Not enough attention is place on making a distinction between the Ari and occult practices.  It is almost inevitable that one gets involved in learning the Ari that he get caught up in some kind of occult activity. People find supposed proofs in his writings for all kinds of very stupid activities; or sometimes just the opposite. They attack true tzadikim thinking of themselves as having privy information about some deep secrets of the Torah revealed by the Ari.

Homosexual pride is like cancer pride. Why not we have a Cancer Pride day? Or a Diabetes-Pride day? Or a Schizophrenia pride day? Why should we exclude the less fortunate? Or even further? Let's have a Cold-Pride day so as not to exclude the less fortunate people that do not have such seriosu mental and physical problems.
My impression of education is basically that public school is a waste of time. It is best to limit oneself to the basic program of the Rambam--the Oral Law, the Written Law , Physics and Metaphysics. Even the Metaphysics thing I would limit it to what the Rambam meant by it--that is the book of Aristotle called Metaphysics. Most of secular education I think is bitul Torah [wasting time which could be spent learning Torah]. [The main thing to learn as far as the Oral and Written law is concerned in the Avi Ezri of Rav Shach which contains the prime essence of Torah in its pristine glory.]
Not that the religious world is any better. Most of what passes for Torah in the religious world is Torah of the Sitra Achra." [Dark Side Torah](The demons have Torah also. This is what passes for authentic Torah in the religious world.)

In terms of Torah learning my impression is to do in depth learning right away. That is what Reb Shelomo Freifeld did when he made his yeshiva Shar Yashuv. The idea there was to plunge into the depth of the Gemara right away. I was not happy with that at the time but since then I have seen that when people do not learn how to learn right away, they never get it.

[As for Physics I do not have a lot to say except it is best not to make random detours. The best thing is to go to Quantum Field Theory as soon as possible.[What is as soon as possible? That is after doing Quantum Mechanics and Calculus, and Functional Analysis.]
It is true that the Rambam wanted his Mishna Torah to be learned straight but that does not exclude the importance of going into it in depth as Reb Chaim Soloveitchik and Rav Shach did as you can see in the law of learning Torah where 1/3 is for the Oral Law and another third is for in depth learning.


Gitin page 4a

I should mention that I gained a great deal of respect for Tosphot from my learning partner David Bronson. If not for him I might have been satisfied with asking a question on Tosphot and then going on. So in answer to my question on Tosphot Gitin page 4a let me just say that Tosphot is thinking along these lines. Let's say one person comes to court and says to the other you owe me 100 shekalim and the other says yes! Then what is the law? He must pay, even though there might never have been any loan at all. That is there is a חלות דין even if there was never a חלות קניין. And it is not the same as a person writing a שטר by which he obligates himself to pay some mount of money.
If anyone on the blog' sphere has read my little book on Shas they would have already have seen me go into the difference in laws of שגגות between טעות במציאות וטעות בדין
So that is what Tosphot is thinking. Lets say a person comes to court and says you ow me 100 shekalim and the other says לא היו דברים מעולם and two witnesses come and say לווה ופרע he must pay because כל האומר לא לווה כאומר לא פרע והודאת פיו כמאה עדים דמי. So it is true that we believe there was a loan. But there is also a חלות דין. That is there is now a law that he must pay even if there never was a loan. The דין is חל.
Then Tosphot is also thinking what is it that makes a שטר into a שטר? Well we know already that Tosphot is thinking that even to R. Elazar the signature of two witnesses makes it into a שטר. But Topshot is thinking further. He is thinking there are two aspects of a שטר. One is that is is evidence for what it says happened. but there is also the דין of  a שטר. So now what looked to be an unanswerable question on Tosphot now becomes clear. Tosphot suggest that even R Elazar agrees that for שטרי מכר עדי חתימה כרתי  that is they give the document the halachic category of  שטר in the same was that הודאת פיו creates a halachic category that he has to pay.

So in answer to my question on תוספות  let me just say that תוספות is thinking along these lines. Let's say one person comes to court and says to the other you owe me מאה שקלים and the other says yes! Then what is the law? He must pay, even though there might never have been any loan at all. That is there is a חלות דין even if there was never a חלות קניין. And it is not the same as a person writing a שטר by which he obligates himself to pay some mount of money.
This is like  the difference in laws of שגגות between טעות במציאות וטעות בדין
So that is what תוספות is thinking. Lets say a person comes to court and says you owe me מאה שקלים and the other says לא היו דברים מעולם and two witnesses come and say לווה ופרע he must pay because כל האומר לא לווה כאומר לא פרע והודאת פיו כמאה עדים דמי. So it is true that we believe there was a loan. But there is also a חלות דין. That is there is now a law that he must pay even if there never was a loan. The דין is חל.
Then תוספות is also thinking what is it that makes a שטר into a שטר? Well we know already that תוספות is thinking that even to ר. אלעזר the signature of two witnesses makes it into a שטר. But תוספות is thinking further. He is thinking there are two aspects of a שטר. One is that is is evidence for what it says happened. but there is also the דין of  a שטר. What תוספות suggests that even ר. אלעזר agrees that for שטרי מכר עדי חתימה כרתי  that is they give the document the דין category of  שטר in the same was that הודאת פיו creates a הלכה category that he has to pay.

 התשובה לשאלה שלי על תוספות. תוספות הוא חושב בכיוונים האלה. נניח שאדם אחד מגיע לבית המשפט ואומר לשני אתה חייב לי מאה שקלים והשני אומר כן! אז מה הדין? הוא חייב לשלם, למרות שאולי מעולם לא היה כל הלוואה בכלל. כלומר יש חלות הדין גם אם לא היה אף פעם חלות קניין. וזה לא אותו דבא כאדם שכותב שטר שבאמצעותו הוא מחייב את עצמו לשלם כסף. זה כמו ההבדל החוקי בשגגות בין טעות במציאות וטעות בדין. אז זה מה תוספות חושב. נניח שאדם מגיע לבית המשפט ואומר שאתה חייב לי מאה שקלים והשני אומר לא היו דברים מעולם ושני עדים באים ואומרים לווה ופרע הוא חייב לשלם כי כל האומר לא לווה כאומר לא פרע והודאת פיו כמאה עדים דמי. אז נכון שאנחנו מאמינים שיש הלוואה. אבל יש גם חלות דין. כלומר יש עכשיו חוק שהוא חייב לשלם גם אם מעולם לא היה הלוואה. הדין הוא חל. ותוספות  גם חושבים מה זה עושה שטר להיות שטר?  אנו יודעים כבר כי שתוספות חושבים שגם לר. אלעזר החתימה של שני עדים עושה את השטר להיות שטר. אבל תוספות חושבות בנוסף. הוא חושב שיש שני היבטים של שטר. האחת היא כי היא מעידה על מה שכתוב שקרה. אבל יש גם את הדין של שטר. מה שתוספות מרמזים הוא שגם ר. אלעזר מסכים כי עבור שטרי מכר עדי חתימה כרתי כי הם נותנים את למסמך דין והקטגוריה של שטר. באותה מדה  הודאת פיו יוצרת קטגוריה בהלכה כי הוא צריך לשלם. זה חלות דין.

I first ran into the idea of feedback  in electricity and it seems like a good analogy. [I was learning that as part of the idea of the Rambam of learning Physics.]

The idea of feedback seems to be central to Calvin in his establishment of representative democracy in Geneva and in its outskirts.

[It has been noted before me that representative government did not originate with Athens , nor Rome, nor John Locke but rather Calvin. Athens was not a representative government but rather a democracy.]
The thing which is interesting to me is the complain  of Shmuel the prophet about the sin of setting up a king. You can not say that Shmuel was saying bad kings are bad, but even good kings. After all Shmuel only anointed two kings, Saul and David. And he was saying to Israel that their desire to have a king was a terrible sin in the sight of God. Unless we understand him to be ignorant he must have been referring even to the two kings that he set up.


I thought today that at least once I ought to jot down a basic idea that I heard from Reb Shelomo Freifeld about learning. And it was also emphasized by his son Motti. That is the idea to review a certain subject ten times.  Rav Freifeld might have said this in reference to each chapter of the Gemara but this idea I usually applied to much smaller sections of Gemara. For example  Tosphot and the Maharsha and the Pnei Yehoshua I would in general try to just say over ten times. I had a pencil that I would jot down a small dot for every time I had repeated a Pnei Yehoshua or a Tosphot.
This was usually done as part of the in depth sessions.

It is true I have mentioned on many blogs the idea of learning fast without review which I saw originally in Musar books, but that I never really applied in my yeshiva years--even in terms of fast learning. Even fast learning to me meant to review the Gemara, Rashi, and Tosphot a few times and then go on.
It was only later that I started doing Physics, that learning fast made a lot more sense to me in order to get the big picture.

[A side note here is an interesting talk about strings in Tel Aviv]

There was almost never a time in yeshiva that my struggle to make progress was looked kindly upon. Both Shar Yahuv and the Mir stressed learning in depth. I once made a siyum [finishing] of Shabat and the basic reaction of even my closest friend [Shelomo Berger ] was "How many times did you review it?"
That is to say learning in depth was embedded in the culture to the degree that fast learning was looked upon as superficial. My own feeling was that the in depth thing is great but I also wanted to get the "big picture." Not the big picture in the way of Reb Chaim or Rav Shach which is to go through Shas through one sugia. Rather I simply wanted  a clear idea of each tractate as a whole.
Years later I have begun to see how right they were. I have noticed that people that do not know how to  get into the essence of a sugia when they are young never get it.

Gitin page 4a

The problem is this. תוספות at first suggests that to ר. אלעזר one needs עדי מסירה for both money and גיטין to make a חלות קניין. Then he suggests maybe not for money since הודאת פיו כמאה עדים דמי. But that rule does not suggest there can be a חלות קניין by means of words, nor does it suggest any kind of קניין for money at all. It only says that we believe there was  a חלות קניין because of his words.

הבעיה היא זו. תוספות בהתחלה מעלה כי לר. אלעזר  צריכים עדי המסירה  לחלות קניין כסף ולגיטין. אחר כך הוא מציע שאולי לא לכסף בגלל שהודאת פיו כמאה עדים דמי. אבל הכלל הזה אינו מציע שיכולה להיות חלות קניין באמצעות מילים, ואינו מציע שום סוג של קניין  כסף בכלל. הוא רק אומר שאנחנו מאמינים שהייתה  חלות קניין בגלל דבריו

I believe that תוספות meant to answer this question. That is why he brings up the issue of חב לאחרים.  That is he is saying I know the law of הודאת פיו כמאה עדים דמי  does not mean that הודאת פיו makes a חלות קניין. But it might because, after all, we would not believe  הודאת פיו if it was a case of חב לאחרים.

אני מאמין כי תוספות נועד לענות על שאלה זו. זו הסיבה שהוא מעלה את הנושא של חב לאחרים. כלומר הוא אומר אני מכיר את החוק של הודאת פיו כמאה עדים דמי אין זה אומר כי הודאת פיו עושה חלות קניין. אבל זה יכול להיות ראיה, שאחרי הכל, לא היינו מאמינים הודאת פיו אם זה היה מקרה של חב לאחרים.


 תוספות suggests  that  ר. אלעזר should hold that both חלות גיטין and a חלות כסף should happen only by עדי מסירה. He is not thinking of שטרי ראיה but rather שטרי קניין. Then he wants to backtrack, and to say this: to ר. אלעזר all שטרות even to make a חלות are valid with just עדי חתימה. But we would still need עדי מסירה For גיטין because אין דבר שבערווה פחות משיים.
Then he wants to bring a proof from הודאת פיו כמאה עדים דמי. On this I asked that הודאת  פיו  does not accomplish a חלות. Then I suggested that תוספות must be thinking of this objection and thus brings up the subject of חב לאחרים. The basic idea is in גיטין and קידושין one creates an obligation for others, but money might be different.  I do not understand why that is relevant. It is true that one can obligate himself money without any transaction just by a document. But it still has to be a valid document. But a more serious question is that the answer of תוספות  goes against the very same premise that תוספות is trying to prove. תוספות is trying to prove the validity of a שטר can be brought about by עדי חתימה. That means the validity of a document of גיטין קידושין or שטר מכר. But the brings a proof that גיטין וקידושין are different than קנייני כסף

 תוספות מעלה כי יכול להיות שר. אלעזר מחזיק ששני חלות גיטין וכן חלות שטרי מכר צריכות לקרות רק על ידי עדי המסירה. הוא לא חושב על שטרי ראיה אלא שטרי קניין. אז הוא רוצה לחזור בו, ולהגיד את זה:  לר. אלעזר כל שטרות אפילו לעשות חלות תקפות גם על ידי עדי חתימה. אבל אנחנו עדיין צריכים עדי המסירה עבור גיטין וקידושין כי אין דבר שבערווה פחות משניים. ואז הוא רוצה להביא ראיה מן הודאת פיו כמאה עדים דמי.  שאלתי כי הודאת פיו אינה משיגה חלות. ואז הצעתי שתוספות חושב על זה ובכך מעלה את הנושא של חב לאחרים. הרעיון הבסיסי הוא שגיטין וקידושין  יוצרים מחויבות לאחרים, אבל קניין כסף יכול להיות שונה. אני לא מבין למה זה רלוונטי. זה נכון שאדם יכול לחייב את עצמו בכסף בלי שום עסקה רק על ידי מסמך. אבל זה עדיין צריך להיות מסמך תקף. אבל שאלה רצינית יותר היא כי התשובה של תוספות נוגדת את ההנחה שאותה תוספות מנסה להוכיח. תוספות מנסה להוכיח את תוקפו של שטר יכול להיות על ידי עדי חתימה. כלומר, את תוקפו של מסמך של גיטין קידושין או שטר מכר. אך מביא הוכחה לכך גיטין וקידושין הם שונים מאשר קנייני כסף.

Gitin page 4 a

 תוספות in גיטין page ד' ע''א. He says ר. אלעזר says you need עדי מסירה for both גיטין and also ממון. And then suggests maybe not. Maybe in money issues one might not need עדי מסירה because הודאת פיו כמאה עדים דמי. I do not understand תוספות. When do you say הודאת פיו כמאה עדים דמי is when the obligation came about through some valid transaction. That is to say. One person comes to court and says,to another, "You owe me מאה שקלים." The נטען says, "לא היו דברים מעולם." Then two witnesses come in and say "לווה ופרע". He is obligated because כל האומר לא לווה כאומר לא פרע and הודאת פיו כמאה עדים דמי. That is  a case where we say the חיוב came about because of a real loan, not because he says he is obligated. But here תוספות is suggest because of הודאת פיו כמאה עדים דמי he would be obligate even though there are no עדי מסירה because his words alone would obligate him. But that is not in fact the thing that הודאת פיו כמאה עדים דמי tells us.

 תוספות גיטין דף ד' ע''א. הוא אומר ר. אלעזר אומר צריכים עדי מסירה עבור גיטין וגם לשטרי ממון. ואז הוא שואל אולי לא. אולי בנושאים של כסף אולי לא צריכים עדי מסירה משום הודאת פיו כמאה עדים דמי. אני לא מבין את התוספות. כאשר אומרים הודאת פיו כמאה עדים דמי זה כאשר ההתחייבות באה על דרך עסקה תקפה. אבל הודאת פיו כמאה עדים דמי זה שאדם אחד בא לבית המשפט ואומר להנטען "אתה חייב לי מאה שקלים". הנטען אומר, "לא היו דברים מעולם". ואז שני עדים באים ואומרים לווה ופרע. הוא מחויב כי כל האומר לא לווה כאומר לא פרע והודאת פיו כמאה עדים דמי. זהו מקרה שבו אנחנו אומרים החיוב הושג בזכות הלוואה אמיתית, לא בגלל שהוא אומר שהוא מחויב. אבל כאן תוספות הוא מציע בגלל הודאת פיו כמאה עדים דמי שהוא יהיה מחוייב למרות שאין עדי מסירה. זה בגלל שדבריו לבד יחייבו אותו. אבל זה לא עצם הדבר שהודאת פיו כמאה עדים דמי מספר לנו.

A simple way to explain the problem is this. Tosphot at 1st suggests that to R. Elazar one needs עדי מסירה For both money and gitin to make a חלות קניין. Then he suggest maybe not for money since הודאת פיו כמאה עדים דמי. But that rule does not suggest there can be a חלות קניין by means of words, nor does it suggest any kind of קניין for money at all. It only says that we believe there was  a חלות קניין because of his words.


When I went to yeshiva in the first place I was not thinking about trust in God for making a living. But I also was not thinking of using Torah for that purpose either (--May God save us). Rather, I was thinking of fitting in, and whatever other people do for making a living while learning Torah, that is what I would do also. It was only later that I discovered this idea of accepting the yoke of Torah. That is;- when one accepts the yoke of Torah, then all other distractions are removed from him. And that worked well along with trust in God. At some point I left that idea, and had it in mind that I would work for a living. And then everyone that was using Torah for money was asking my wife, "Why is he not working?" and encouraged her to get a divorce. So I no longer see people using Torah to make money [the cult the Gra put into excommunication "cherem"] as friends. [They seem more like enemies.] But I also see that my own leaving the strict path of "Just Torah and Trust in God" also led to disaster.

What it seems like to me today is this. That this path works. One that accepts the yoke of Torah, all other distractions are, in fact, removed. But it only works once. One can not leave it, see bad results, and then return.

In a practical sense I think leaving the strict Litvak path was a disaster for our family. So in spite of the fact that phonies and frauds use the appearance of Torah to make money by collecting charity for their supposed :"learning Torah" -still the value of the real thing remains.
What this means is that the fact that the Gra put that cult into excommunication  means that that cult are enemies of the Jewish Family and of the Torah. Appearances to th contrary I have found the Gra to be 100% correct. They have fine sounding words, but Acta Non Verba (actions, not words.)
I would be amiss if i did not mention that Reb Nachman I think as not included in the Cherem and in fact I think it is a great thing to be in Uman on Rosh Hashanah--even if he never mentioned the burial site as a place to be for Rosh Hashanah as he did for the Tikun Haklali.

The main problem as far as I can see is that there is an essential and fundamental flaw in the Jewish religious world that is somewhat ignored. The leaders and teachers look human but are actually demons as Reb Nachman pointed out long ago. This mainly applies to the cult the Gra put into Cherem but the problem has spread.


There is a lot of stuff going on in Gitin about what constitutes a valid divorce.

The interesting thing is that apparently the Rif and Rambam both said that R. Elazar who said עדי מסירה כרתי [the witnesses that see the giving of the document cause the divorce to be real] really meant אף עדי מסירה כרתי [also the witnesses that see the giving of the document cause the divorce to be real]] which is a surprise to me. [R. Meir said the witnesses on the document cause it to be real and valid. So the argument is only in that R Meir disagrees with R Elazar. But R Elazar agrees with R Meir.]

[Not that I ever learned that tractate very well anyway.] In any case, I saw Rav Shach brings up the larger subject of what constitutes any valid שטר (document). And he says that a valid document to be valid at all needs witnesses. But כתב ידו [one's own handwriting] also counts as a valid document.

That is he says that famous Rambam about  a document that says שדי קנוי לך ("My field is acquired to you") is valid even with no witnesses- is talking about כתב ידו (handwritten).
This is what leads to the famous practice in Litvak yeshivas that when someone asks for a loan, they write a small note, "I owe you $10." (for example). [That practice is based on two principles. (1) One should not make or receive a loan without a document or witnesses. (2) The other is כתב ידו (a handwritten document has the category of a valid document) is מחייב (obligates).]

[I have not spent much time on this. I went to the doctor and he said I have a damaged kidney, so my health has not been what would be considered optimal. That was exactly at the time another terrible problem in my life was solved.]

The main issue I am hoping  to get to is תוספות in גיטין page ד' ע''א. He says ר. אלעזר says you need עדי מסירה for both גיטין and also ממון. And then suggests maybe not. Maybe in money issues one might not need עדי מסירה because הודאת פיו כמאה עדים דמי. I do not understand תוספות. When do you say הודאת פיו כמאה עדים דמי is when the obligation came about through some valid transaction. That is to say. One person comes to court and says you owe me מאה שקלים. The נטען says לא היו דברים מעולם. Then two witnesses come in and say לווה ופרע. He is obligated because כל האומר לא לווה כאומר לא פרע andהודאת פיו כמאה עדים דמי. That is  a case where we say the חיוב came about because of a real loan, not because he says he is obligated. But here תוספות is suggest because of הודאת פיו כמאה עדים דמי he would be obligate even though there are no עדי מסירה because his words alone would obligate him. But that is not in fact the thing that הודאת פיו כמאה עדים דמי tells us.

Keeping one theology simple and in accord with Reason.

Keeping one theology simple and in accord with Reason.

I recall Steven Dutch having some great essays about this subject. One point of his that I vaguely recall is  the simplest theology wins.But I would have to look up his essays again to remind myself. In any case, I think one other point of his is that it helps to have reason on your side.

Thus it seems Christians throwing out Aquinas was not the smartest move. [I only say this because at least I did a drop of work on Aquinas. I just never got to St. Augustine--though I am aware that some of St. Augustine's good ideas were accepted into the Jewish world. Like time and space being creations.] [Even Aquinas I had a very limited ability to spend time on.] Dr. Ross also has some interesting thoughts on the subject.]. In any case it is a good idea to keep things simple and limit one's claims in areas he knows nothing about as Kant said.

Hegel was clearly trying to do what Aquinas had tried before him.

In any case the combination of Reason with Faith was a hard thing to get to as you can see from Hippolytus . It is a very specific approach of the Middle Ages. And for  Protestants to throw out that approach I think was a terrible mistake.

The basic approach of Reason with Faith you can see in Philo how it can result in something far from Torah. It was really the Rambam and Saadia Gaon that made a reasonable combination.

[I might mention that the Ari and Reb Nachman both go a long way in making the bridge between human reason and Torah.] That is in at least making it as understandable to human reason as possible.

I would have trouble explaining my own position because as the basic structure I go with the Rambam. But the Rambam himself is a neo Platonic thinker which means that one can fill up missing gaps in his structure with insights from the Ari and Reb Nachman

My basic idea of what Torah is about is to things: Good character and devakut [attachment with God.]. Thus anything which leaves to either of these results, I consider good. [Attachment with God is one of the 613 commandments.]

The trouble with the devakut thing is the tendency is for self deception. People that are part of a religious tradition believe they are good because they are part of that tradition. Not because they actually are good or decent people at all. And the more spiritual it is the more there is a tendency to let in a surge of immorality,. People begin to believe they are Divine. A small part of large creek in an ocean of divinity. Especially their leaders they think of as divine. Worship of their leaders is not uncommon. The "great leader" thinks his unrelated wishes are Divine Revelations. They have no law but their own will and twist the holy Torah any way they please in their pretense to be knowledgeable. There is no stopping their grossest desires. The thin film that divides religious fervor from passion and delusion is dissolved and  erased.

As for good character I think Reb Israel Salanter was absolutely right about the Musar Movement.[That is to learn Medieval Ethics.] In fact, it was in my learning Musar that I began to realize how much the Torah requires good character. Still, Musar was subject to debate and many people thought it was a distraction from Torah learning. I am not sure. Rav Shach credits Reb Israel Salanter a lot but I am not sure if that means the approach of combining Musar with yeshivas or if it is general agreement with Rav Salanter. I just can not tell..


What was it about those Spartans? A king of Sparta (Demaratus) that had been thrown out of Sparta (and bore no love for Sparta anymore. He was stateless and was welcomed by Darius.) told Xerxes -1.7 million men against 300 Spartans is not an even contest. There simply was no way Xerxes could win. [The number 1.7 was obtained by crowding 10,000 men into a walled space. Doing this many times in succession resulted in the number 1.7 million. That is the number given by Herodotus. Recent historians put the numbers much less from one million to 600,000]

 Demaratus told Xerxes, the most important thing to the Spartans was to obey the law. And they only had one law. Never Retreat.

I think there was something about Sparta that had a lot to do with training. In the Armada of Xerxus there were plenty of Ionians and other people of the exact same ethnic group as the Spartans. (Dorians were in the Armada of Xerxes.) So it was not DNA. It must have been training and mental attitude.

Xerxes is more well known in the Jewish world as Akashverosh. The reason this is not known is that Xerxes in the way Herodotus  was translated into Latin. But the actual pronunciation sounds exactly like Akashverosh in Hebrew. He was the son of Darius. Mordechai does not seem to be in the picture when Xerxes was considering to invade Europe or not. [Neither Haman nor Mordechai appear as advisers.]

I might mention that that expedition came as the result of a few very forceful dreams warning Xerxes what would happen to him if he did not undertake that war. He then placed his adviser Artabanus on his throne and he got the same warning.  [A warning to people that listen to insistent dreams.] [Artabanus was the same person that killed Xerxes later.]

I was never convinced by the "Black is beautiful" slogan. I thought black is in fact kind of ugly. But I also did not identify any kind of agenda behind the slogan. Only time has shown that it was not as innocent as it sounded.

As it turns out there is a great deal of hidden animosity towards white people. This even exists in the Jewish world as I sadlly began to notice when Sefardim seem intent on finding some fault with Ashkenazim and then pounce on it as soon as they imagine they have got it. The trouble is it is not all Sefardim. There does not seem to be any way of telling. It would be easy to deal with if it was uniform. But it is not. There were great sefardim tzadikim and a lot of sefardim are great people [like the descendants of Bava Sali]. That complicates the issue.
I would even venture a guess that among the descendants of Reb Yaakov Abuchatzeira there are still hidden tzadikim.[My guess would be from the daughter of Bava Sali Avigail Buso and also the descendants of the older brother of Bava Sali, Reb David who was killed on kidush Hashem.]


An idea of רב שך  concerning the רמב''ם in הלכות אישות כ''ג:ג. The רמב''ם says when the husband מתנה שאין לו זכות in the פירות of her נכסי מלוג, then land is bought with them and he eats the fruit of the fruit. The question of the רא''ש is that that does not fit with the גמרא כתובות פ''ג ע''ב. at all.
 גמרא כתובות פ''ג ע''ב. A question was raised. A husband removes himself from any right to the fruit of the fruit. Has he remove himself from the everything--that is also the fruit, or not? It must be he removes himself from everything because if he did not remove himself from the fruit and he eats it then from where comes the fruit of the fruit? But then according to that reasoning what about the משנה that says  ר. יהודה says he always eats the fruit of the fruit.  When he removes himself from the fruit he still eats the fruit of the fruit. How can that be? So it must means some of the fruit was left over. So in our case some of the fruit remained unused. From this גמרא the רא''ש asks on the רמב''ם הלכות אישות כ''ג: ג. The גמרא is clear that she has let over from the fruits, and if that happens, then land is bought with it and the husband eats the fruits of the land. That is פירי פירי. It can not mean that the husband left over from it, because he has no right to it in the first place after he סילק את זכותו  from them.  That means she might leave over from the fruits. If so then we sell them and buy land and he eats the fruits of the fruits. But it does not seem to mean she must sell the fruits. רב שך shows how there existed another version of the גמרא. The original version was this: They asked if he removes himself from the fruit of the fruit does he eat the fruit?  The answer must be yes. If that was not the case then  from where would the fruits of the fruits come from? Answer. he left some of the fruits.
I want to show how important it is that the גמרא means the husband leaves over from the fruit. For if that is the right גירסה, then the רמב''ם comes out perfectly, because the husband anyway has made a condition that he has no זכות in  the fruit. So the only thing it could mean is the he lacks some זכות in the fruit. Frankly I can not see how any other version of that גמרא could possibly make any sense. Just think about it in the version we have with רש''י. The גמרא is bothered by the question: from where the the fruit of the fruit would come from if there is no fruit, היינו he eats the fruit? That means it should be perfectly happy with the opposite scenario of his eating the fruit of the fruit, but not the fruit. But then that is the exact thing the גמרא asks on! The beginning of the גמרא does not and can not fit with the end. The only reasonable version is that that רב שך מציע. And if that is the case then we are left with the original question; what could it mean he leaves over from the fruit if he anyway removed himself from it? So to make sense of  this the רמב''ם had to say the the husband lacks ownership in the fruit. He can eat it but he does not own it.

רמב''ם ב הלכות אישות כ''ג: ג. רמב''ם אומר כאשר הבעל מתנה שאין לו זכות  בפירות של נכסי מלוג שלה, אז קרקע נרכשת איתם והוא אוכל את הפרי של הפירות. שאלת הרא''ש היא שזה אינו מתאים עם גמרא כתובות פ''ג ע''ב. עלתה שאלה. בעל מסיר מעצמו כל זכות הפרי של הפרי. האם הוא הסיר את עצמו מן הכל - (גם פרי), או לא? זה חייב להיות הוא מסיר את עצמו מכל מה שכן אם הוא אינו מסיר את עצמו מן הפרות והוא אוכל אותם, אז מאיפה מגיע הפרי של הפרות? אבל אז בהתאם לזה מה לגבי המשנה שאומרת ר. יהודה אומר שהוא תמיד יאכל את הפרי של הפרות. היינו כשהוא מסיר את עצמו מן הפרי הוא עדיין יאכל את הפרי של הפרות. איך זה יכול להיות? ולכן הוא חייב להיות שהפירוש שחלק הפרי נשאר. אז במקרה שלנו גם כן כמה פירות נותרו ללא שימוש. מכאן הרא''ש שואל על רמב''ם הלכות אישות כ''ג: ג. הגמרא ברורה כי אם היא מותירה מהפרות,  אז קרקע נרכשת עם זה ובעל אוכל פרותיהם. כלומר פירי פירי. זה לא יכול להיות שהבעל השאיר, משום שאין לו שום זכות עליה מלכתחילה לאחר שהוא סילק את זכותו מהם. כלומר, היא השאירה  מהפרות. אם כך שזה קרה אז אנחנו מוכרים אותם וקונים קרקע והוא אוכל פירותיהם של פירות. אבל זה לא נראה שהיא חייבת למכור את הפירות. רב שך מראה כיצד התקיים גרסה אחרת של הגמרא. הגרסה המקורית הייתה זו: הם שאלו אם הוא מסיר את עצמו מן הפרי של פירות האם הוא יכול לאכול את הפירות? התשובה חייבת להיות כן. אם זה לא היה המצב, אז מאיפה  הפרות של הפרות באים? תשובה. הוא השאיר כמה פרות. אני רוצה להראות כמה זה חשוב כי הגמרא אומרת הבעל משאיר מפרי משום שהבעל ממילא עשה מצב שאין לו זכות בפרי. אז הדבר היחיד שהוא יכול להיות הוא, הוא חסר קצת זכות בפרי. למען האמת אני לא רואה איך כל גרסה אחרת של אותה הגמרא יכולה לעשות נכונה. רק תחשוב על זה בגרסה שלנו עם לפי רש''י. לגמרא  הטרידה  השאלה: מהיכן הפרות של הפרי יבואו אם אין פרי, היינו הוא שאכל את הפרות? כלומר, זה צריך להיותשהגמרא תהיה שבע רצון לחלוטין עם התרחיש ההפוך שהוא רשאי באכילת הפרי של פירות, אך לא את הפירות. אבל  זה הדבר המדויק שהגמרא שואלת! תחילת הגמרא לא יכולה להתאים עם הסוף. הגרסה הסבירה היחידה היא שרב שך מציע. ואם זה המקרה, אז נותרנו עם השאלה המקורית; מה זה יכול להיות שהוא משאיר מעל מפרי אם הוא ממילא הסיר את עצמו ממנו? אז כדי להבין את זה הרמב''ם מחזיק הבעל חסר בעלות בפרי. הוא יכול לאכול את זה אבל הוא אינו הבעלים זה. היינו הוא אוכל את הפירות? הוא יכול לאכול את זה אבל הוא אינו הבעלים זה.

The major thing I added here was to show how only the Rambam's way can get the Gemara to make sense.
It's things like this that gives me a great deal of confidence in the Rambam about other things.

I do  not recommend religious teachers even when they claim to be teaching Torah. The main reason is experience and also from what I have heard from many other people in Israel.  Even in the religious world it is well known that most supposed teachers of Torah are false prophets. They tend to destroy Jewish families rather than build them. They are a kind of test that one who really wants to come to Torah has to go through.

Reb Nachman in fact dealt with this problem in his magnum opus but it is generally ignored.
In any case the fact that people give themselves a title does not mean that the rest of the Jewish people think anything good about them. On the contrary--they already have a bad reputation for ruining families and causing divorce, and their reputation gets worse by the day. Their actions speak louder than their words.

The problem however is a little different than the way Reb Nachman puts it. Or perhaps better said--Reb Nachman was right about the particulars, but I believe he missed the global issue. That is to say he was right to identify most teachers of Torah as agents from the Dark Side. But the larger issue is why do people get attracted to them? This has to do with anti-nomianism. Anti Law. Secular society mainly  says do what you like. but the spirit of man wants to soar above this world. So the Dark Side laws a trap such. So people that parade themselves as something higher and able to bring one higher in fact bring people into the very dungeons of the Dark Side itself.

[Solution is mainly to learn Torah on your own at home. There is also the fact that the NY Litvak Yeshivas tend to be about straight Torah. So given the possibility of learning in an authentic Lithuanian kind of yeshiva this warning would not apply. In fact if possible it is highly recommended to attend a decent Litvak yeshiva. I would have to say Ponovitch in Bnei Brak. 
Trust in God has a drawback that when one does not get what he trusts in God for, then questions arise. Thus I have tried to limit the actual amount of trust in God. This might be a mistake but it seems to be the only option once things stopped going my way.

I am not saying trust in God doesn't work. It works and it works and it works. It makes not difference one's doctrines or degree of righteousness. That is not the issue. The issue is one can fool himself to believe he is trusting in God, when in fact trusting in the system.--And why not since anyway everything is going his way. But in the religious world what passes for trust is often self deception.


Faith in God I think has little to do with doctrines. But it is not completely unrelated to doctrines either. Mainly, doctrines help to direct one's faith towards God. That is so that one should not (by accident) be putting one's faith in some aspect of the Dark Side.

Thus this idea of faith in more like personal trust in God more than faith in any set of doctrines.

[I must have mentioned this a long time ago. But basically the idea  of faith in God from a Torah standpoint is to learn the Oral and Written Law and to believe in God to take care of one's needs with a minimum of effort. But it does not mean to make Torah into a charity box. That issue of using Torah for money has been disguised as trusting in God for too long. People say they are trusting in God when in fact they are using Torah as a means to make money. Not everyone of course. My impression of the great Litvak yeshivas of NY and Bnei Brak is that in fact they are quite sincere in their trust in God and only accept charity from the State of NY or the State of Israel in order to learn Torah. That seems to me to be perfectly fine.]

I also suggest to learn with faith. That is in learning the four major subjects that the Rambam emphasized: The Oral Law, the Written Law, Physics and Metaphysics-to not think if you understand or not. Rather to say the words and go on, and believe that God will eventually grant to you to understand.

To come to Torah, I think, to a large degree depends on learning in a Litvak yeshiva for a kind of esoteric reasoning. After the Gra came into the world, it seems to me that it is impossible to come to Torah except through the path that is based on his approach. Every other approach always seemed to me to be people using Torah to make money (the Torah for Money approach ) and pretending to be interested in what the Torah says. In spite of the numerical quantity of people supposedly learning Torah, it is all make believe learning. Not authentic Torah. So in essence one does need to be in either an authentic NY Litvak yeshiva or Ponovitch or some off shoot of Ponovitch.   [If that is not possible, then the best idea is simply to get the Avi Ezri of Rav Shach and plow through it.]  

 A wife can have a few kinds of property. One is נכסי מלוג -property she brings into the marriage that is written into the ketuba that she takes out of the marriage. The other is נכסי צאן ברזל stuff not written in the ketuba. The husband אוכל פירות eats fruit.
This is important to know because it is often confused with the issue of מעשה ידיה [work of her hands] which is actually owned by the husband.  In other words- there is a big difference between property she brings into the marriage,- and a salary she gets for working or profits she makes in business. There is another issue of a present given to her on condition the husband can not use it.
One can go through the entire tractate of Ketubot and still not have these issue clear. The reason is this. There is an essential argument between the Rambam and the Rif about what it means for the husband to "eat fruit." And that issue comes up only in one very obscure place: a thief steals a calf of an animal of נכסי מלוג.

Rav Shach brings up the very important point that the Rambam says the thief pays the wife the כפל (double).  The reason is that the fact that the husband eats the fruit does not mean he owns the fruit.

The reason I bring this up is that it comes up in Bava Metzia chapter 8 השואל. There the issue is what is the category of a husband with the property of his wife - a borrower or a guard? 
My question is to what kind of property does that Gemara refer to?

[The Rif also holds the thief pays the double כפל of the ולד calf  to the wife, but if he stole the actual cow itself of מלוג he pays the double to the husband. That is he thinks of the double as fruit of the cow The Rambam on the other hand seems clear that either cow of the calf-in any case the thief pays the double to the wife. Rav Shach's point is simple. Whether you go by the Rambam or the Rif it does not matter because it is an open Gemara that the thief pays back the double for the calf to the wife. כתובות עט: הגונב וולד בהמת מלוג משלם תשלומי כפל לאשה משום דפירי פירי לא תקנום חכמים
But if the calf which is פירי fruit is owned by the husband then why would the thief pay the wife? So no matter how you look at it from the Rambam or the Rif, the husband only eats the fruits but does not own the fruits of נכסי מלוג or נכסי צאן ברזל. The reason I probably missed this point completely when I was doing Ketubot perhaps is the fact that Tosphot seems to be pretty clear on page 47 that the husband actually owns the fruit. See Ketuboth 83 and 79B for the related sugiot. 
[If anyone actually owns a copy of Bava Metzia they might look up the Rosh over there because I recall in the commentary on the Rosh in the regular Vilna Shas there is a long note about the issue of the husband's status in  as a borrower or  a guard. Also there s a Tosphot there that I never had time or opportunity to go into in depth.  ]

As I think about this  few hours later, I still wonder. After all the husband takes the fruit from the buyer of the field if his wife sold it. That is also to the Rambam. This is not a question so much as a point to consider. Also in terms of the Tosphot on page 47 of Ketubot, he does not actual say the husband owns the fruit but rather that it is like הקונה דקל לפירותיו. That does seem that he owns the fruit. But I am not sure. I still need to think about this.

Besides the issues that I am wondering about in Bava Metzia I want to mention how the Rambam learn the Gemara in Ketubot which forms the main issue here. The actual gemara in chapter הכותב  on page 83 says If a husband writes to his wife I have no fruit of the fruit does he get the fruit? The gemara answers it is obvious he has removed himself from the fruit also because otherwise if he still can eat the fruit then from where would the fruit of the fruit come from?The way our Gemara continues is this Then according to you what about this statement of R. Yehuda.... Rather it must men she left over property. Rashi indicates that version. But you can see fro Rashi there existed another version in which the gemara answer the husband left over.  That is he could eat the fruit but did not and instead bought property with it and from the fruit of that property he removed himself.

"What is it with me? I taught Torah for free. So must you teach Torah for free". מה אני בחינם אף אתם בחינם

Teaching Torah for pay.

There are several issues here. One is teaching Torah. The Mordechai brings this (That Hashem said: "What is it with me? I taught Torah for free. So must you teach Torah for free." מה אני בחינם אף אתם בחינם) in reference to the problem of paying for "melamdim." [teachers of Torah.] 
 [The Mordechai was a friend of the Rosh and both learned from Rabbainu Gershom.]

The other issue which I brought up here  a few times is learning Torah for pay. That issue is much more well known as being a debate between the Rambam and the Keseph Mishna.

I have tried  in the past to explain that the basic difference between the Rambam and the Tashbatz [which is the source of the Beit Yoseph] refers to the question: Is it allowed to accept charity for learning Torah?, not if one can use it as a means to make money. It is thus not considered "working."  

Normally speaking I would try to justify the practice of learning and teaching Torah for money-- except for a great deal of really bad experiences I had with people doing just that. [At least they looked like people. I am not so sure anymore.]  I mean to say,- I would (like the Beit Yoseph) try to find excuses. But today, I am less likely to justify the practice because of the types that ruin the whole thing by making a business of it.

In terms, of the Rambam at the end of laws of Shemita, he says, "For one who accepts the yoke of Torah, there is removed from him the yoke of working." But that does not say he can use Torah as a shovel to dig with--to make money.
Nor is שכר בטלה  (being paid for time one takes away from his regular job) a legitimate excuse. The reason is שכר בטלה is defined in the Gemara as שכר הניכר recognizable wages. That is one has a regular job, and then takes time from it to judge a case. It does not refer to being able in theory to have  a job.  

The legitimate way of learning Torah after marriage is in general where the wife agrees to work in order to support her husband's learning Torah. Or the father in law. This seems to me to be the only real way that learning after marriage is permitted and practical.


The basic issues in Pirkei Avot are in chapter one and two. דאשתמש בתגא חלף ("One who uses the crown, passes away.") from Hillel. Then in chapter two כל תורה שאין עמה מלאכה סופה בטלה וגוררת עוון וסופו יורש גהינם. ("All Torah that does not have work with it is in the end worthless and brings sin and the end of it is the person that does so goes to Hell.") That is brought as a explanation of טוב תורה עם דרך ארץ ("Torah is good with a job"). 
But the actual commentary of the Rambam on Pirkei Avot that explains that early mishna is later on in chapter four.There the Rambam goes into an unusual amount of detail about yeshivas and roshei yeshiva that say it is  a mitzvah to give them money. He could hardly have been more clear nor more insulting if he had tried. 

In any case, the Beit Yoseph does justify the practice of supporting yeshivas. He does base it on the Tashbatz, but he goes even further. 

So after all that what could I add? Only that it is good to learn Torah, and the best thing is not to use it for money, but to trust in God to send to you your needs.


My basic impression of where things went wrong in my life is: "There is removed from  anyone who accepts the yoke of Torah the yoke of the state and the yoke of work. When one removes from himself the yoke of Torah there is placed on him the yoke of the state and the yoke of work." [Pirkei Avot.]
But this is at most a vague impression. It is not as crystal clear as perhaps it ought to be.
This was also suggested by my learning partner and it does make some sense.--But in a complicated way.

I tried to suggest on this blog before without in specific reference to myself what I think makes the issue cloudy. [I have no idea who reads this blog so the people reading it now might not have seen this. In any case, I suggested that once one has removed the yoke of Torah from oneself then trying to get back to it not only does not work but even backfires and makes things even worse that they already are.]

Mainly to make it short-even though getting to Israel was a big and important step and learning the books of Reb Nachman also is  a great thing, still within that context I am afraid that my spending most of my doing other stuff rather than learning Torah I think could legitimately be called פורק עול תורה. [Not that this is what Reb Nachman intended, but it certainly is the inevitable effect of getting involved with that group. Also I want to mention that Reb Nachman's idea of spending time taking with God in one's own language as a friend is great idea but the tendency is to then start getting off track from one thing into another into another etc and etc. An then even trying to get back into Torah just creates קושיות questions that do not have any answer. For example one might see that other people supposedly learning Torah are far from human perfection.

In any case, I was thinking to mention at the beginning of this day that in any case my idea today of accepting the yoke of Torah would  be as it usually is understood--Gemara, Rashi, Tosphot, but I would have to add Physics and Metaphysics based on the Rambam. This has a great deal of support from Reb Nachman himself I should mention in his idea of the Ten Commandments  being hidden ten statements by which the world was made.
The thing to be aware of if you are interested in this idea of accepting "the yoke of Torah" is the fact of the signature of the Gra on the letter of excommunication. That means in essence that though many places pretend to learn Torah--and that is  a snare and a trap- the only valid place where one can learn Torah that is authentic is a Litvak yeshiva. Everything else is not just fraud but also dens of the Sitra Achra which affect people's character traits and also there seems to be some kind of spiritual toxo plasmosis parasites.

The Founding Fathers were very much aware their system could only work with a "certain kind of person." A WASP who has his feet firmly embed in the Law of God. This is no secret. And this explains the Soviets also. For the Soviets wanted to put into place a just system [like Plato's with all property being shared] but they knew they had to do this without that kind of person that the American Founding Fathers had to build with. The result was the Soviets had to go with a full totalitarian kind of system because of the limits of the kinds of people that were not firmly into values based on the Bible. [For example: "Thou shalt not steal".]

How did the Soviets deal with the problem of people voting for themselves other peoples' money? Simple. Everyone had to work or go to prison. I forget the exact amount of time but I think it was three months. That is if in one's work book there was not listed any working for three months by an employer the person simply went to prison camp--and there he worked. That is there was no such thing as voting for oneself other peoples' money.

[THIS aspect of the founding of the USA is not emphasized in school anymore. But you can see this in the writings of the founding fathers.]
The best way to get into the law of God, is to have two sessions. One fast to get through all the material and the other an in depth session. That is the fast session should get one through the Old Testament, and the two Talmuds (even without Rashi and Tosphot) and all the midrashi halacha and Hagada like te Midrash Raba and the Tosephta etc. The in depth session I think is best with the Avi Ezri of Rav Shach which more than any other book contains the basic essence of learning Torah in depth.


T73 D Major This is slightly edited.
If you look at Dr Kelley Ross he tends to divide between systems that  are based on a dichotomy between good and evil as opposed to systems which think of evil as non existent.

My own impression of this is that in fact there is a struggle between good and evil, but the apparent difficulty with this is when evil disguises itself as good.

Much of what passes as legitimate Torah is part of a general phenomenon of Satanic teachings getting into the realm of Holiness.

[I probably should expand on this theme a drop. My basic point that I intended to get to was that by trying to avoid the Sitra Achra [the Realm of Darkness] the effect is most often to fall into something a million times worse. Something that mimics the Realm of Holiness in outside rituals and appearance but is actually the very core of the Sitra Achra. That was just one point I wanted to bring up. But there are many more side issues.

The simplest thing would have been to trust the judgement of the Gra and thus be saved from the problem without having to realize how right he was after years of wasted time and much damage to one's soul and family.

Both Hegel and Dr. Kelley Ross deal with the issue of Christianity. Hegel is certainly trying to support Christianity. He was not that different than Aquinas in his goal. His means to that goal however were very different. {As many have note that the general effect of Hegel was to weaken Christianity since he sublimated it into philosophy.} {At any rate, I think Aquinas did a better job.}

Dr. Ross takes an approach based on Kant and Schopenhauer.

But both approaches come from the Middle Ages of attempting a synthesis between Reason and Revelation-which to me makes the most sense. The trouble with Christianity is when this balanced approach was thrown out the window by Martin Luther. (No offense intended since he did have some good points also.)

In any case, it seems the obvious thing to do would be to get back to that balanced approach of the Middle Ages instead of the modern approach which could be considered thus: Fanatic Christians on Sunday morning and Fanatic secularists the rest of the week.

The modern day approach simply leaves out too much of the Mediaeval period which leaves out a major brick in the edifice of Western Civilization.

The lack of balance sometimes you find in individuals that go entirely in the direction of religion or entirely secular-or you get this combination of Sunday morning as opposed to the rest of the week.

The effect of this is that in the Jewish world also there is this lack of balance. Thus my own approach is based Maimonides [the Rambam] with his four step program: (1) The Written Law of Moses. (2) The Oral Law (the Two Talmuds) (3) Physics (4) Metaphysics of the Ancient Greeks. (He did not say Attica or Athens which leads one to wonder if perhaps he was thinking of Sparta along with Athens?)

The balanced approach and appreciation of the Middle Ages was once much more an inherent part of the education in the USA. In any case, it certainly was an still is an essential part of Litvak yeshivas in which the greatness of the "Rishonim" is well recognized and accepted.


The trouble in the Jewish religious world is it is hard to see through the facade of righteousness into the inner rotten core. The whole show and dance about supposedly keeping the Torah is really a trap meant to ensnare innocent naive people.

The major rot really began with the Shatz and his false prophet Nathan from Gaza, but the basic principle of human idolatry seeped in.
So in an highly ironic way, the only movements within Judaism that are kosher are those that do not make a scene of of it: that is Reform and Conservative Judaism, and Religious Zionism.
Of course the great Litvak yeshivas do keep Torah the best, but they have also been infiltrated.

The best idea then is to learn Torah at home. And to be aware of this problem. There are more radical solutions also which do not seem practical. In any case, it is a sure bet that the more people make  a show of keeping Torah, the more moral depraved they are.

Of course this is not news. Everyone already knows this that has any dealings with the religious. It is just that no one seems interested in documenting the events because they always feel they will get no sympathy. [And that is true.] So the majority just go on with their broken lives trying to make sense of it. No one seems able to express the simple truth. The religious world is the Sitra Achra. The show of keeping Torah is just a disguise..
[On the other hand the Na Nach people seem to be perfectly aware of the problem. The  actual Litvak world is thankfully too busy learning and keeping Torah themselves to be too worried about what goes on outside of their circles. Still I find it necessary from time to time to mention this relatively ignored problem.]
[Not all revolutions are equal. It depends on what you revolt against. For example John Locke was for revolution when government tramples natural rights. When you have a government that is trying to bring back natural rights, that would not be acceptable to revolt. In terms of what I am dealing with in this essay, the idea would be after widespread abuse, it would be justified to have  a kind of revolution--something along the lines of what the Na Nach people already do. To learn and keep Torah but have nothing to do with the Dark Side religious people.

In fact I might mention that the best learning partner I ever had in Gemara is a person that happens to be highly sympathetic towards the Na Nach people.

The Redemption of Hegel

If you get your views on Hegel from Popper or Schopenhauer, it is inevitable to take a rather negative and dim view of him. 

I think since he was quoted and attacked quite a lot by leftists, this gave the impression that he him was part of that camp.

A further trouble is that one of the people that I really admire in philosophy is Dr. Kelley Ross in California. And he is straightforward negative about Hegel.
Further it does not help much his style of writing in which it takes a few months to be relatively certain that you have understood one page.. 

Still with all that, a lot of views ascribed to him were definitely very far from his mind.

The differences between him and Dr. Ross are significant but not as vast as some think.

The major difference is that Dr. Ross is essentially a Platonist, and his system is in essence a Kantian modification of Plato. Hegel is essentially an Aristotelian and his system is in essence a modification of Aristotle and Kant.

Someone on Amerika blog said that Hegel was a "court philosopher"--subservient to the Prussian court. But then why did Hegel said in his lectures  on the philosophy of history  "the United States is the land of the future." And in his lectures on Aesthetics:
If one now wants to go beyond Europe, it can only be to America." 
Popper quotes Hegel:
A people can only die a violent death when it has become naturally dead in itself”; but Popper leaves out the end of the sentence as  Hegel continues, “as e.g. the German Imperial Cities, the German Imperial Constitution” . Applied to the collapse of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806, Hegel’s remark makes sense.

While I can see some of the problems in the USA, still that calls for a bit more thought that just to get back to some kind of totalitarian kind of system.

I have got my own  of critique on Hegel mainly on the world spirit and also he leaves out the Platonic notion of Kant about two levels of reality


I would rather spend my time learning Torah but since I am exhausted  and can not  learn let me at least share something that I am thinking about. I think everyone must think that when it comes to the four kinds of damages שור בור מבעה הבער [ox, a pit fire, man] that each has its own separate laws. That is certainly what I thought based on the famous Tosphot in Bava Kama page 6 that seems to indicate this at first glance. The Gemara learns that a rolling pit is liable because the common side of בור ושור (pit and ox). Tosphot asks ox refers to "foot" which is not liable in a public domain and yet still the rolling pit is liable in a public domain.
It turns out even the Rosh  thought that  Tosphot answers that once the principle kind of damage is learned then each has its own laws.

 The gemara says  a proof that a tree or wall that have fallen into a public domain ought to be liable from בור ואש. A pit and fire.
Th fallen tree does not move so it ought not to be liable as fire. So the Gemara learns from pit that does not move and still it is liable. It ought not to be liable since its beginning was not made to cause damage as a pit is. So the Gemara learns from fire that is liable even though its beginning was not made to cause damage.

He brings the opinion that he is disagreeing with there that after you learn different kinds of damages from צד השווה then anything learned from two different kinds of damage can only be liable as the much as either one, not both. That is you go by the least common denominator. So the fallen tree ought to be not liable for טמון hidden things which are not usually hidden in houses or in areas where the fire went. In such case fire is not liable and this other opinion says that though we learn from pit nd fire it ought to have the most lenient aspect of both and thus not be liable for טמון

What I am thinking about is that I discovered that Rav Shach says that the opinion the Rosh is disagreeing with might very well be true. I can not go into the details this minute but I thought it is important at least to bring up this fascinating issue.

In short the main issue where rav shach disagrees with the rosh is  the tree that falls. he asks in what way is it like a pit since the beginning of its creation was not for damage? He says thus even though we do learn from pit to say it is not liable for damage to vessels, it still ought to be also like fire which is not liable for damage to hidden things that are not customary to hid in such a place.

[Just for basic background the basic gemara says this: S.T.O.P; Stone, Tree, Open, Pit. are learned from pit and ox (foot) except for Stone which is learned from pit and fire. That is : a stone knife or bundle that he put on top on a roof and they fell by  a common wind he is liable because of the common denominator of pit and fire. The beginning was made for damage and another energy was mixed in to make it go and cause damage. A tree or wall that fell into a public domain are liable because of pit and ox. So also פותקים ביבותיהם letting one drains drain off into a public domain which cause damage also from pit and ox. Also a pit that rolls [a revolving black hole with no charge] is liable because of pit and ox.]

The way that Rav Shach suggest to answer for the Rosh is that we in fact only learn from pit alone and the tree that falls is liable because he was warned by the court to chop it down thirty days before hand. That is to say: פשיעה is considered like a מעשה כרייה. That is in נזקי ממון.  In chapter 1 law 8 where Rav Shach brings up the question on the Rosh and suggest that the Ramam would disagree with the Rosh, he points to chap 13 law 19 where he brings this alternative explanation of the Gemara in Bava Kama page 6 and says that perhaps that might explain the Rosh

In any case the thing to think about here in my opinion is the chicken with the string attached to his leg on page 19. What I mean in particular is the stone knife and bundle that fell from the roof that we say is obligated from בור ואש because כח אחר מעורב בו.Thus we can see why the owner of the string would be liable because the fact that the chicken is like the כח אחר. But that is just one small point. Rather I am thinking of how to square that Gemara on page 19 {Bava Kama} as the Rambam understands it with the gemara on page 5b and 6a as to how we learn that STOP {stone tree open pit} are liable.

The main issue I would like to think about is how the chicken with the string could be derived in the same way as the gemara derives STOP on page 6.

Whoever knowingly or willfully advocates overthrowing or destroying the government of the United States --shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both. The problem with this law is that it would be difficult to enforce at the present time. []

Whoever knowingly or willfully advocates, abets, advises, or teaches the duty, necessity, desirability, or propriety of overthrowing or destroying the government of the United States or the government of any State, Territory, District or Possession thereof, or the government of any political subdivision therein, by force or violence, or by the assassination of any officer of any such government; or
Whoever, with intent to cause the overthrow or destruction of any such government, prints, publishes, edits, issues, circulates, sells, distributes, or publicly displays any written or printed matter advocating, advising, or teaching the duty, necessity, desirability, or propriety of overthrowing or destroying any government in the United States by force or violence, or attempts to do so; or
Whoever organizes or helps or attempts to organize any society, group, or assembly of persons who teach, advocate, or encourage the overthrow or destruction of any such government by force or violence; or becomes or is a member of, or affiliates with, any such society, group, or assembly of persons, knowing the purposes thereof—
Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both, and shall be ineligible for employment by the United States or any department or agency thereof, for the five years next following his conviction.
If two or more persons conspire to commit any offense named in this section, each shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both, and shall be ineligible for employment by the United States or any department or agency thereof, for the five years next following his conviction.
As used in this section, the terms “organizes” and “organize”, with respect to any society, group, or assembly of persons, include the recruiting of new members, the forming of new units, and the regrouping or expansion of existing clubs, classes, and other units of such society, group, or assembly of persons.
(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 808; July 24, 1956, ch. 678, § 2, 70 Stat. 623Pub. L. 87–486June 19, 196276 Stat. 103Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXIII, § 330016(1)(N), Sept. 13, 1994108 Stat. 2148.)
I believe there are two things that get in the way of learning Torah for myself. One is lack of appreciation  and the other is קושיות (questions). The way to understand this is something that Reb Nachman said concerning tzadikim (saints). That is  saints emulate their Creator. [That is a commandment in to the Torah to walk in God's ways. Just as he is compassionate, so we must be compassionate. That counts as one of the 613 commandments. ] So just as there are questions on God and the way he interacts with the world,- so there must be questions on saints.
You can extend this idea to Torah also. Since the Torah is God's wisdom concerning  how people ought to live and concerning the deeper meaning of life,-- so there must be questions on Torah also. Otherwise our wisdom would be equal to God's wisdom (Heaven forbid.)

I also noticed that Rav Shach says two things are important for Torah--תמידות and מרץ. [That is: time and energy.] But I see the time factor is difficult. When I was in yeshiva in Shar Yashuv and later in the Mir in NY the time factor was not so hard because the system was set up in such a way that it was fairly easy to spend lots of time on Torah each day. But now I am outside of a yeshiva environment and that makes the time factor infinitely more difficult. I am sure lots of people understand what I am saying because even among kollel people I saw the same problem. The solution that I found that works best for me is "small sessions." That is to spend  around an hour on one thing and then to go on to some other subject.

[The time factor is hard also in terms of concentration. Thus you find people that have to be in kollel because their social environment requires it, and yet have a hard time concentrating on Gemara, Rashi, and Tosphot all day (who won't?) and thus  learn false and fake Torah which is easy and fun, but not Torah.]

One thing I found about learning Torah- it helps to have a wife who wants one to learn Torah. Without that there is a kind of drag or friction on one's momentum. If you think about it you will realize that most great Roshei Yeshiva in the Litvak world have wives that appreciate their learning Torah. I mean to the degree of the daughter of  [wife of R. Akiva]to give up everything just so she would have a husband who learns Torah. You might think that that is too much. Who requires that? But that is exactly the point I started out with. If one does not appreciate  Torah then it is hard to merit to it. I can not really explain what it is about Torah that is so special. Even when the Torah grabbed me I do not think I could have explained to anyone what it was that I found so amazing about it. One time my Dad went to visit his brother Alex in NJ and I went along. Just one or two days away from the yeshiva environment I told my Dad I felt like I was drowning. I desperately needed to get back to an environment of learning Torah. It is things like that I find hard to explain.