The pluses and minuses of Nachman of Uman.

The minuses:

(1) The groups founded on him are cults. ( Versions of the Rimbardo prison experiment.)

(2) Groups founded on him are innocent when it comes to science. But his paradigm of believing in all saints (tzadikim) can solve this problem in potential, since believing in all saints (tzadikm) includes Maimonides who made it his major project to marry Aristotle and Torah together.
The innocence in regard to science is also a problem in the Litvak world (see Genesis and the Big Bang) but at least there is acknowledgment of the validity of science in the realms where it applies.

Pluses are he was a true tzadik filled with great advice. If people would not have turned his "thing" into  a cult, he would be a great role model.

The major issue with Reb Nachman is the movement he was involved with was put into excommunication by the Gra for good reasons. Reb Nachman by himself is obviously amazing and fantastic. But combined with that movement,  that ruins the whole thing.

1) The Rambam (Maimonides) had a system. The idea of his system was that in the Torah there are no contradictions. and he expanded that to include the Talmud. So in his system there is no contradiction between Torah and Talmud. Furthermore he also had a modified Neo-Platonic and Aristotelian system {that he does not define exactly} and this system he assumes is the underlying world view of Torah.

The idea that there is no contradiction in Torah was common in the Middle Ages.  It led Aquinas to create his system based on his idea that there is no contradiction between the Old Testament and the NT and later people called the church fathers and Boethius. This is very different from today when people feel they individually interpret the Torah to mean what they feel it means to them. Or when groups interpret the Torah to mean what it means to their particular charismatic leader.

There is no idea that the Torah is a self constant whole that means something very specific and and nothing else. and that meaning can be discovered by human reason. For if it could not be discovered then why was the Torah given at all in the first place? So in terms of understanding the Torah we have to call the Middle Ages the "Age of Reason." the period stated after the middle ages we should call the age of darkness.

Even in Musar you can see this. Musar had three distinct periods: (1) The Middle Ages, (2)  then all Musar became Kabalistic, and then (3) the post Israel Salanter Musar which was getting back to \the Talmud kind of Musar


Marxist mouthpieces.

Many people wonder why the social studies and humanities of American universities are all Marxist mouthpieces. This is no mystery. Both departments were targeted and penetrated by the GRU.
I used to speculate that maybe it was the KGB that managed to turn the collage professors and get them into their pocket but now I have come across some information that in fact it was the GRU and not the KGB.
Obviously the KGB had a lot of interest in the hippies in the 1960 but they were did not take any active part. They simply saw that it would be too difficult to influence America through its collage students. It was the GRU that saw that all they needed to do was to get the collage humanities and social studies professors in their pocket and that would trickle down to the collage students that would eventually become America's leaders. And in that way they succeeded in putting a closet Marxist into power in America even after the USSR became defunct.

In the word of Steven Dutch
When we try to discover what fascism, Marxism, and radical Islam have in common, the field shrinks to a single common theme: hatred of democracy.


Here is the answer of Dr. Kelly Ross about the need for non intuitive immediate knowledge.

"Kant's sees the content of Reason in terms of the forms of logic, as he details in the Analytic of Concepts in the Critique of Pure Reason. This provides thin ground for his view that the concepts of substance, causality, etc. can be derived from these forms by way of the Schematism and the Analytic of Principles. However, none of this provides more than the quid facti -- that we have in fact such concepts. The quid juris, that we are justified in using them, is something else. That is where we get the Transcendental Deduction, and this indeed is the answer to Hume. We are justified in using the concepts because they have already been used to generate, through synthesis, our experience of the phenomenal world.

"Non-intuitive immediate" knowledge does away with Kant's approach that rational truths come out of the forms of logic. The theory is more Platonic, but without the temptation of intuitive justification that bloomed in Neoplatonism. Instead, mediate knowledge, which represents immediate knowledge, is tested by Socratic examination and falsification -- i.e. discovering possible contradictions."

(Best wishes,
Kelley Ross )

This was in answer to my question why reason alone can't take the place of non intuitive immediate knowledge.
I did not mention the fact that I did not make up this question on my own but I saw it in Mike Huemer. I have anyway assumed for a long time that Kant was building on Hume to discount mediate knowledge and this has bothered me greatly.
I did not want to mention Mike Huemer because I needed to hear what Dr. Ross would answer to the question directly without having to deal with people's other opinions.
I am still very afraid of the sin of gossip (lashon hara) and try not to mention anyone's name in a negative context--even on my blog.

Anyway look at this sentence: "...mediate knowledge, which represents immediate knowledge." You can see that Dr Ross is holding a close connection between what reason by itself perceives and what this beyond reason faculty perceives.
This is what I have suspected for a long time: that reason is closely connected to non intuitive immediate knowledge. Dr. Ross calls it a "representation." What does this mean? Is it like the way we perceive the "thing in itself"?
Does he in fact mean that nonintuitive immediate knowledge perceives universals the way the senses perceive the "thing in itself"?
I am thinking of writing to him again but I want to be sure to frame my question in the right way.
I don't want this to turn into a debate between great thinkers. I just want to understand Kelly Ross properly.
Also I am not sure how to frame my question. You see in his letter (I hope he forgives me for publishing without his permission) he again says the same thing that has been bothering me. He limits reason to perceiving outright contradictions. Why can't reason perceive universals also?
And perhaps even more? In the mind of Maimonides and Ibn Pakuda (author of Chovot Levavot Duties of the Heart) there is a point that reason gets so perfected that it starts to perceive spiritual reality also; and one comes to attachment to God! This is the Rambam's program of devekut (attachment with God --as opposed to oneness with God)--Torah, then Physics, then Metaphysics along with good character.


This from a bewildered Texas rancher:

While riding down along the border this morning, I saw a Muslim extremist bobbing in the Rio Grande River- he was struggling to stay afloat because of all the guns and bombs he was carrying.

Along with him was a Mexican who was also struggling to stay afloat because of the large backpack of drugs he has strapped to his back.

It was clear to me that if they didn't get help soon, these men would surely drown. Being a responsible Texan and abiding by the law to help those in distress, I informed the El Paso County Sheriff's Office as well as the US Department of Homeland Security.

Alas- it is now 4pm -both have drowned- and neither authority has even responded!

I'm starting to think I wasted two stamps.

My recommendation is Conservative synagogues or Reform

My recommendation is Conservative synagogues or Reform simply because of the commitment to the "between man and his fellow man" part of the Torah and the realization that that part comes first.

Religious synagogues seem to lack that basic knowledge of what the Torah is really about. And too many doctrines got mixed up with Religious Judaism that come from Shabati Tzvi for my taste. They might not know where they are getting their idea from from, but I do. [Others are beginning to notice this. You can read the three books of Natan the false prophet of the Shatz and discover where most doctrines of the religious today come from.]

Many ideas and approaches from Shabati Tzvi's kabalah got into mainstream Judaism in subterranean ways.
At some point I just could not stomach it anymore.
I also noticed a determined effort to hide any of these connections

The fact is, the links between the religious and and the Shatz are  so  strong that  I am surprised that they are not more widely known. (I think this be a deliberate attempt to  put  some  "distance" between the Shatz and his false prophet Natan  and the religious world?)  Actually,  one only has to Take a cursory look at the readily-available information to begin to see  the  very strong linkages.

[No critique intended on Reb Nachman himself who was a tzadik in spite of his being born into a false movement.]

The  problem in the religious world is  the problem of the Sitra Achra, the spirit of uncleanliness that came in through the Shatz but evolved in order to sneak in in more clear and subtle ways. This is readily seen in the leaders who are guilty of spiritual abuse and manipulation and leave long trails of broken and dead souls behind them. When the religious world worships corpses and human beings and then has teh audacity to lie about it and cover it up, then you know it is time to move on and move out.

This is music written on midi files.


look up fugue,Schopenhauer, kepher site, survival flashlight better smaller or larger?


The problems with Orthodox Judaism are several. And the reasons for the problems are twofold.
Moral corruption and mental corruption and spiritual corruption are the problems.

The reason for these problems is a dark side has gotten mixed with Torah.
Therefore the solution is two fold.
First is to subtract the books that have gotten mixed up with Torah that are disguised as Torah but are in fact planted agents from the Sitra Achra (Dark Side). The way to do this is to determine which exact books represent Jewish spirituality and morality in its highest form. That would be The Old Testament, the Mishna and Talmud.
Almost all other books are planted agents from the Dark Side.
Most Musar books (even classical Musar) are from the Dark Side --from people that their mental processes determined that the Rambam (Maimonides) was a heretic. We for some strange reason still read and learn their books as if they have something intelligent to say about morality.
How can anyone who considered the Rambam a heretic have anything intelligent to say about Torah or morality or spirituality?
The next step is a bit more subtle. After the destruction of the first temple the ten spheres of holiness fell into the Dark Side. This is the reason that right at that time several aspects of holiness are seen to have gone to Athens and the Far East. The only Sephere that remained in Israel was Royalty which is contained in the Talmud.
It would be supposedly an easy task of finding the other spheres and brining them back into the realm of holiness except they all became mixed up with the dark side.
so the separating process has to be done there also.
It is also important to identify locations of positive holy energy and negative energy and mixed energy. Positive energy places like the Mir in Brooklyn are easy to tell. You just walk in the door and you know what they place is about without anyone having to tell you. It hits you in an instant.
Mixed places are harder to understand. This is the paradox of Noga-- the intermediate zone--it is helpful for some and hurtful for others.
These places have a seductive power given to them from below in order to create zones of darkness.



The Zimardo study shows cultist principles apply to any closed group. Add a little theology with that and you have a full fledged cult. The point is to stay away from all spiritual schools--period. It does not matter if the leader is totally enlightened or just in the intermediate zone or con artist.

In Kabalah we find that everything must start with thought; then trickle down to speech; and only then come to deed. Philosophy for better or worse is the beginning of everything. Before there could be an America there had to be a John Locke, Hobbes, and John Calvin.
But this morality (what was called by Rousseau "bourgeois") gives legitimacy to the self enlightened person. While the Enlightenment originally meant to strip priests and princes of their power and put the industrious man in its place, this ideal has been corrupted


Maimonides spelled out the proper path of attachment to God and enlightenment

I believe the Rambam (Maimonides) spelled out the proper path of "devekut" (attachment to God)and enlightenment--Talmud, Physics, Meta-physics.
I think that a lot of the many problems in the Jewish world come from the fact that this plan and path of the Rambam is not taken seriously.
In the Rambam's approach, Talmud and his own Mishna Torah are not meant to displace Philosophy and Science. They are meant as introductions to philosophy and science.

But even in science and philosophy the Rambam has a very specific path in mind. That would be to learn only natural sciences.
And in philosophy also he would go only with Aristotle and begrudgingly he might say to learn Plato after Aristotle in order to understand Aristotle. I personally can't agree with that. Because Aristotle has a few problem if taken alone.
A good example of a problem in Aristotle is the fact that the form of the tree is not visible in the seed.

The best thing in my mind would have been to go back to Plato instead of the radical Abelard approach where there are no universals.


What caused the problem of Islamic expansion in America. To my mind it is explained very nicely in the closing of the American mind by Allen Bloom. The basic idea is that there were real problems in Medieval philosophy and in the medieval system.
The solution proposed by the Enlightenment Philosophers, Freedom and Justice (and thinkers among whom Calvin was one and also highly influenced John Locke) eventually became one of the wonders of the world--the United States of America.
But in this solution there remained great problems that were noticed by Rousseau. from the array of problem in the Enlightenment project became the Left--the French revolution and communistic Russia. This does not mean the problems with America are not there. It simply means the project of the enlightenment is incomplete.

But this left an opening for Islam to expand. When a fascination of the noble savage gained prominence in Christian lands this was easily misunderstood and identified with Muslims.


The Ancient Greeks rise like a Phoenix in every generation which is looking for new inspiration.
At the end of the middle ages the world needed new understanding of what a human being is and what a proper politically and religious system might be. It went to the Greeks for inspiration. They survive and thrive through the most contrary ages between pagan Rome, Athens, Christian Europe, then the Renaissance ages.
This is because the sparks of holiness of wisdom and beauty and royalty fell to ancient Athens. Similarly when an age need new spiritual inspiration they go to the ancient Hindus. They also arise Phoenix like in every searching generation. Even in the Jewish world to understand what people are talking about one needs to go to the ancient Hindus otherwise you know you are getting information second and third and that has been watered down and the Hindu names attached to the doctrines are taken out and the teachings are then ascribed to Kabalah.

German philosophers are like that also.

For better or worse even in the Jewish world people think in Nietzschian terms of "self esteem" and the "ego" and "Id" and "subconscious" and "life style" and "values" and "commitments and goals"all easily tranced to Nietzsche and appropriated by Freud and other later thinkers. (No books before Nietzsche said that you are thinking thoughts that you don't know you are thinking. The discovery of the Id goes directly to Nietzsche.) Even the modern gurus had go the Nietzsche for the subconscious and the Id.

My complaint about all this is that I am not much of a fan of Nietzsche. Nor Hegel which are the sources of most Jewish though today (The ideal of the state of Israel being the realization of the spirit of Israel, Rav Kook got from Hegel the state being concrete essence of the Spirit of God in the world.)


halacha. i used to think a lot more about halacha than i do nowadays.
Though the Gemara is a master piece and the rambam has never been matched before of after in his redaction of the halacha but the problems are several.. First for something to have hope of being a moral system it should be logically derivable from it that unmoral actions should be forbidden-- and not just derababan.
Since this is not derivable from halacha therefore halacha needs to be combined with reason in the typical rambam and old sefaradi school of thought (Rif and chovot levavot etc.)
I say this with sadness because i used to think that sincere commitment to halacha was enough to make a person moral. The sad truth is that it does not. Only that after a person is already moral then halacha can guide one to devekut in God.

But even halacha itself i have a few comments about.
Shulchan aruch was never written as a pesak halach rather as a short review of the beit yoseph. the beit yoseph itself is not the actual opinion of the beit yoseph. he wrote that he wanted to write his opinion but that road is short but long. So instead he wrote the majority of rif rambam and rosh. In plain English that means he poskin like the rambam except for ketuboth. but the idea was that comminities were going in different directions in pesak and the beit yoseph wanted to make a sefer that everyone would accept--even if it is not his actual opinion. This is a major problem in the idea of the validity of the shulch an aruch as being a viable halacha sefer. It was written to be political correct --not to be accurate.
The other problem is that when you say shulch aruch what exactly do you mean. The shach taz and magen avraham on almost every page disagree with the shulchan aruch. The actual page is many different conflicting opinions.
In my opinion the only real halacha sefer ever written is the rambam with the rif a close second.The rest iof iy is just like some kid with a crayon trying to copy the Mona Lisa/.
The further problem is that it is a mask to hide rabbinic agendas.
So my actual opinion of halacha (which i wrote in my little booklet on bava metzia) is that the only real source of halacha is the Talmud. The rambam himself claims validity only in so far as it can be proven that his pesak is the real pesak of the gemara.


the modern dilemma. It is the search for meaning. With many so called "Torah" books the problem is there has to be some possibility that the author had some idea of the meaning of life.
This you don't see much in Musar. Musar today has de-evolved into simply psychology.
And Psycholgy has no coherent theory of the human being. It has one school in which man is simply matter --Skinner. Another school which is just the opposite.
The Litvak approach is in essence a straightforward attempt to get back to classical Torah of Talmud and the medieval Jewish thinkers. This is admirable. And it has an important ethical backbone. And that ethical part of it is important because devekut is impossible without ethics.
However there are flaws in Medieval system. These flaws were there in the first place and creating a pseudo Middle Ages --i.e. a movement to supposedly return to that type of mentality does not work.
And it weakness is already apparent by the fact that Nietzsche has already conquered "chareidic" Judaism (by way of his messengers Weber and Freud.). You can't have a conversation with a charidi without Nietzschiean concepts --commitments, life-goals life-style, values, self esteem taking over.
I was having a conversation with one chasid who had never even heard of Nietzsche and had learned in Satmer his entire life and he was trying to prove to me that the Rambam hold lack of self esteem is the source of sin--not pride. You see from this that chasidic thought has been emptied out and replaced by Nietzsche thought.


Plato or Shakespeare

There is a richness of thought in certain Jewish books like the Tenach. They have taste and content. In the secular world the appreciation of such books is rare. Instead there is psychology which has no coherent picture of a human being but can make lots of money by the pretense that it does. I think that you might be used to the spiritual content of great books of Torah and perhaps find the secular world a bit shallow when it comes to the understanding of a human being. I recommend finding the great books that would satisfy your soul. I don't say they have to be Jewish.
Plato or Shakespeare might be the right thing for you. Feed yourself on the best and the great thinkers and great spiritual people.