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9.8.17

My own background from Beverly Hills to the Mir Yeshiva in NY. My Dad was not a movie star but an scientist highly valued by the USA. So they recruited him when they needed him for some secret project or other.. An they paid well so we ended up in Beverly Hills

I wanted to make clear my own background so as to not leave a wrong impression as far as my own upbringing is concerned. I wrote once about this but it was lost.
At any rate, I was raised basically as a conservative Jew. We went to Temple Israel In Hollywood and sometimes to Mount Sinai Synagogue. I went to Beverly Hills High School and learned Torah mainly on Shabat. My philosophical interests were fueled and ignited by a general atmosphere of the need to search and find the Truth.  So on the side I did my own philosophical reading. Eventually I concluded the Torah--that is the Oral and Written Law of Moses is correct and went to Shar Yashuv yeshiva in NY to learn Torah.
This means that there is an inherent question about the proper path. My parents were as people and a parents very great. But there were some things in Torah they were not doing. Specifically the very things emphasized by the religious world. Laws about food, nida, and Shabat.  But in other aspects of Torah they were much better than anyone in the religious world. That is in areas of menchlichkiet, being a decent moral, upright human being, honesty, loyalty, trustworthiness, reliability and so on.
[As far as the religious world goes I have found the emphasis on these three things Nida, food, and Shabat to serve as excuses for being backstabbers. So as far as that goes, I do have to admit the Torah does require care in these things Shabat, food preparation, and nida. But as Reb Israel Salanter noted--these are not the major obligations of Torah even though they are obligations.]
Among the very important lessons I learned in the Mir yeshiva and in Shar Yashuv were the ideas of trust in God to take care of my needs and to sit and learn Torah. That is working for a living is basically not needed if one accepts on himself the yoke of Torah. I went with  this idea for a few years and it really works! But after some time I lost this great ideal. But even if  can not do it I think it is important to relay the message to others that might be able to do this. I went with this while at the Mir but then went to Israel to accept an invitation to join the kollel of Rav Ernster in Meor Chaim in Safed. That was a great period in many ways, but I was not learning much Torah.
Then we went back to the USA and there everything fell apart as is the situation until today.
So I still try to learn Torah to some degree but alone and lonely.
There are lots of important lessons to learn here about the importance of learning Torah and avoiding cults. The main thing in Torah we already know is to avoid cults as it says in Deuteronomy when you go to the Land that God has promised this is the thing to do--destroy all the places of idols. I am not quoting it exactly but you can see for the verse that the major thing is to avoid cults.