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Showing posts with label points of focus.. Show all posts
Showing posts with label points of focus.. Show all posts

14.12.16

points of focus.

In my own life I have found it useful to have  several points of focus. That is I try to identify negative points of focus--things I have done wrong and try to find ways of correcting these areas. Also I try to identify areas of positive value to focus on. 

That is "Teshuva" (repentance) is trying to figure out what I have messed up, and what to do about it. And then there is the fact that people can have only a very few central rules that they keep in mind,-- and so I try to identify the central areas that need attention.
And I do not want to pick out rules randomly or just pick rules based on what people tell me that they think is important. Like my Dad used to say, "The best way to lose money on Wall Street is to listen to the experts."

So just to make this short "Learning Torah" in the sense of Lithuanian kinds of yeshivas I have found to be an important area of focus. You tend to see this best in the small book, Nefesh HaChaim  by a disciple of the Gra, Reb Chaim from Voloshin.
[When we say "Learning Torah" in the sense understood by Litvak yeshivas and by Reb Chaim from Voloshin we tend to mean the entire Oral and Written Law. Tenach, the two Talmuds, Sifra Sifrei, Midrash Raba etc. That is the actual Oral Law as it was written down by the Tenaim and Amoraim [Talmudic sages]. Later on adaptions or reductions tend to be not what is referred to in this sense.  [Thus learning Gemara is called "Learning Torah."][Based on the Rambam. I also consider Physics as apart of the Oral Law as he says openly  in Mishne Torah.]

Another area of focus I think is important is Musar. Fear of God. That is the works of Ethics written during the Middle Ages which help to orient one's attention to what is important in Torah. Good character, fear of God etc.

Part of the importance of this is that there are values that one thinks he made up all by himself, but in fact gets from the media, TV, his parents, his society etc. Very few people make up their own values from scratch (though almost everyone thinks they did.)
And besides the values that one hold to consciously or unconsciously, there is to issue of the inner essence of a person --who and what he really is, in spite of the fact he might be holding to values to go against his inner essence.


The reason true authentic Torah learning is so rare is that any one who wants to gain many followers has to make extraordinary promises. Litvak yeshivas make no promises and claim no special revelations of Divine truth. Their job is simply to sit and learn plain straight Torah. 
 They do not even claim money to support them. They are well are that learning Torah is not a money making profession, and never claim that it is. 

FALSE TEACHERS:

People that try to use Torah for money are simply scoundrels  and should be avoided at all cost. Plus the cults that think they are in communication with the dead ought to be avoided. This is a common feature in all the religious groups and therefore they all should be avoided. 
Another way of telling whom is  a false teacher-he asks for  money. Another thing is they assume they have authority that the Torah does not give them. After all semicha (ordination) is non existent. True authentic ordination ceased during the middle of the Talmudic period. 

And they make extraordinary claims. They are not teaching Torah.