Showing posts with label Rav Shach. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rav Shach. Show all posts


Moses, Kant, Hegel, Gra, Israel Salanter, Rav Shach, Tosphot, Rambam.

To build up a good  approach it would be required to provide and intellectual basis. Leftism was a kind of trampling of Biblical Values. Or subverting Biblical values to serve its purpose by means of useful idiots.  However the  Right has just as much claim to intellectual virtue through a different array of patron saints. 

That is-- the left had a list of patron saints. Freud, Marx, Russeou.  Some people were absorbed into the Left like  Nietzsche, though he was not a leftist at all.

My suggestion is to emphasize a whole different set of patron saints. Moses, Hegel, Kant, Gra, Israel Salanter, Rav Shach, Tosphot, Rambam, the Ari (Isaac Luria). [The Rambam, the Ari and Hegel are very Neo-Platonic so it is easy to fit them into one system.]

As for the last three the basic idea is that there is no reason to think that one could be put into a room with the Oral and Written Law of Moses and come up on my own the basic approach of Torah. If I understand the importance of learning Torah as a value in itself and of working to attain good character traits and if learning Torah in depth, then I owe a debt of gratitude to these individual who worked this out and showed the way. 

What you need from each of the above thinkers is this: The Gra for learning Torah; Rav Shach and Tosphot for showing the depth of Torah; Kant for the limitation of reason and knowledge that is known but not through  physical senses nor through reason. [One could have  used the Rambam for that also.]
The Rambam for Torah Law, and learning Physics and Metaphysics. The Ari and Hegel for Metaphysics. John Locke for freedom and private property. The last one you could have gotten from the Two Talmuds but for some reason most people miss the message there. They think the welfare state and Socialism which is organized theft is kosher. Reb Israel Salanter one needs for good character plus fear of God.  

The Gra has a whole school of disciples  that are worthwhile to learn:  the commentaries on the page of the Yerushalim Talmud, the Nefeh HaChaim, the Netziv, etc. The Nefesh HaChaim is important  from many angles. One of the points he brings out is that intention to unite one's soul to the soul of a tzadik righteous person is idolatry.
[Rav Kook the founder or religious Zionism already incorporated Hegel into his ideas as is well known. ]


Rav Shach,

Rav Shach, the Rosh yeshiva of Ponovitch, [who wrote the Avi Ezri] obviously held from the basic Litvak yeshiva path along with Musar. Though my idea of education is a drop wider but the basic approach of Rav Shach I have to admit is probably the best. I mean for sure one needs at least a good four years of straight Torah learning all day in order to get anywhere.

[For me four years was not enough. I only barely began to skim the surface after three years in Shar Yashuv and then another three in the Mirrer in NY. All I mean is at least four years.

And though I am critical of  places that use the name "yeshiva" that are really just club houses and have nothing to do with Torah, still the great yeshivas like Ponovitch and the great New York Litvak yeshivas are really amazing places. [i.e. Torah VeDaat, Mirrer, Chaim Berlin.]

My parent's approach however was more along the lines of  a balance between Torah and Derech Eretz [Derech Eretz has a dual meaning of being a mensch (being just and acting right in all circumstances) and also doing honest work for a living and not depending on charity.] [I really liked the Litvak Yeshiva World, but it was too close to other groups that are Sitra Achra סיטרא אחרא [the Dark Side]. And the boundary is porous. Not only that, but the divisions are not well defined. [I mean the Sitra Achra penetrated the boundary.]

If you do not have a yeshiva in your area the simple thing to do is to get one Tractate of Gemara [if you need English then the Soncino is best]  and one book of Musar {Ethics. The Obligations of the Heart is best.} If possible then one of the basic books that go into Gemara in depth like Rav Shach's Avi Ezri or Reb Chaim Solovietchik's Chidushei HaRambam.

A good reason to learn Torah is that people need help from problems.  Instead of going to people that can not help, the best thing is to go to God's word.

I also can not recommend any yeshiva  a such but rather to learn Gemara, Musar, Math, and Physics.

For some people yeshiva might be a workable option. For others nor. So I can not recommend yeshiva , but rather learning Torah and keeping Torah, jogging and survival skills.

Yeshiva is a stave of reed. It looks sturdy, but if you lean on it, it breaks.  They claim to be there to help the public but they are in fact there to help themselves. What makes this upsetting is people think they represent Torah values.


The cult that the Gra signed the excommunication on change their story depending on whom they are talking to

There are several reason that I think you should get a set of  Avi Ezri.
One reason is that fact that it shows how to learn Torah in a very simple and understandable way.

But also there is the fact that he (Rav Elazar Menachem Shach) was the only one to stand up and oppose the false god of the the cult that the Gra signed the  excommunication on.

That already says a lot about the quality of his character and intelligence.

I should mention that the cult that the Gra signed the  excommunication on change their story depending on whom they are talking to. They definitively serve a false god, not the God of Israel, but they get away with it because they are extraordinarily excellent in doing rituals. And to other groups that have obsessive compulsive needs to be doing ritual all day long this is  a big plus. So they get a pass at serving a phony deity.

Of course there are levels of how bad things can be. This we see in the Eitz Chaim of Rabainu the Ari. The problem with the cult that the Gra signed the  excommunication on is they worship the crown of darkness, the crown of the Sitra Achra. So their evil is not apparent. It is the higher root of evil.
The way I see things based on the Ari is there are planes of evil. Not all evil is the same. The root --or from where evil comes from is not the same as the evil itself. And I do see it as a metaphysical reality. See the part of the Eitz Chaim after Shar HaNukva and you will see what I mean.

Appendix: Just to get back to Rav Shach. The point of the whole school of the Litvak Gedolim was global. It was to understand how the subject in front of you fits with the rest of Shas and with the Rambam. The trouble is that most of that school is hard to understand. It is easy to finish an essay of Reb Chaim Soloveitchik and think you still do not get it. With Rav Shach, that never happens. He makes the deepest concepts crystal clear.