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4.8.15

Part of the problem is there is no where to go to learn the Ari.  Every place which advertises Kabalah is a cult. And they certainly don't teach the Ari anyway, except a couple of Kabalah yeshivas in Jerusalem which do teach straight authentic Ari and the Mechon HaKabalah or Kabalah Center which in fact do teach the authentic Ari.

In any case, my idea of how to go about learning the Ari is based on two separate periods in my own life. One period I concentrated a lot of the Ari--specifically the Eitz Chaim. That period was at the Mirrer Yeshiva in NY and I was married at the time and  devoted every spare second to learning the Ari. That is one approach. And I think it was effective because I was at the time in a place of serous Torah study.
The other approach was when I was in Israel in Safed. There I was not able to concentrate of the Ari as much as I had been doing in NY and instead I was doing what is called "שיעורים כסדרם" sessions in order.
The great thing about homosexual-ism is you know who to avoid.
No longer is it any option to send your children to public school where you know that they are being homosexuals have launched an evangelical movement to turn your children into sick people.



The only option I see is something like the Mirrer Yeshiva High school in NY, or something similar.

[For Christians, one could send his children to a Jesuit school. But if possible a Mirrer Yeshiva kind of thing is preferable. [Because at the Mir you get the Oral and Written Torah - both.]


If the mother is at home, then the best of all worlds is home schooling.
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Universities at this point are also no much to look at unless you are in a STEM program. [STEM is the modern way of describing what used to be called natural sciences.]


And race also tells you who to avoid.
Race makes  some difference. At least as far as I can see. I heard from one fellow in Ukraine about a mutual acquaintance   that he had married unknowingly a gypsy woman. There are white Gypsies that you would not be able to tell that they are Gypsies. She only told him after they were married. And low and behold his children with her turned out to be thieves. I have seen this same theme played out many times. Race determines a lot. And even though any person can rise above the fate of his or her genes but that does not necessarily apply to their children.

2.8.15

The way to go about learning and keeping Torah--really depends on your level of education.
In my first year in yeshiva they were doing Chulin and the basic approach was to take a small section of the Gemara and show how you go from the Gemara to the Tur Beit Yoseph and then the Shulchan Aruch with the Taz. This was the beginning level and at the second year and after that we started getting more into Tosphot. Personally I did a lot of Maharsha  and Shita Mekubetzet also but that was because I was really not sure how to do "Iyun." [study in depth.] Ever since then I had a tendency to look up achronim.
And that fault of mine stayed with me for all my days in yeshiva. Getting to "how to learn" beyond just freshman looking up achronim took me  a very long time and I never would have graduated to real learning if not for having a learning partner that has the kind of analytical mind required for this kind of work.

My recommendation is to find a  person that knows how to learn. But this is very rare. A rule of thumb is don't bother looking outside of NY Lithuanian Yeshivas or Ponovitch in Israel. Jerusalem has lots of yeshivas but they can't learn worth a dime.
To get a big picture approach to learning it is good to study Reb Chaim Soloveitchik's Chidushei HaRambam and  Rav Shach's Avi Ezri. The Avi Ezri is in fact much better than Reb Chaim. Reb Chaim opened up the door to that kind of deep understanding of the Rambam but his book has flaws.  Rav Shach's Avi Ezri is much more  deep and clear and as far as I can see is without any flaws. There is no fault in this. Even the first attempt to build a bridge with no previous example is likely to fail. Rav Shach saw farther and clearer than Reb Chaim. But his book is ignored for the simple reason that he was not politically correct. He insulted everyone. And on purpose also. There would be fault in this if not for the fact that everything he said was right.




תורה עם דרך ארץ (Torah with work)

In almost all yeshivas, Torah becomes a way of making money. That is it becomes a mode of life to figure out how to get people to give charity. And this is only one problem. But it is not in all yeshivas. It is just one pitfall in the system. If at all possible it is best as one goes to yeshiva to also on the side to be leaning an honest profession. This is how they did it in Chaim Berlin in the time of Rav Hutner. And it also was how they did it in the Mirrer yeshiva during the time of Avraham Kalmonovitch. Later at the Mirrer it became policy to have only full day students for the four year program. In any case, this is  a balancing act that is hard to follow. But I think it is the path of Torah. It is what is known as תורה עם דרך ארץ (Torah with work) and to me it seems to make the most sense. The eventual result of the  "Torah alone" approach [or "Torah in order to collect charity" approach] is dismal. You get a whole litany of different kinds of insanity and very little real, authentic Torah.

Mainly what seems to happen is that people find it hard to learn Talmud all day, so they attach themselves to some מפורסם של שקר charismatic lunatic and run around trying to convert the whole world to their particular schizo manic leader. I don't know why this is, but I think it is because they find learning real Torah too hard and so look for some diversion.

כל תורה שאין עמה מלאכה סופה בטילה. All Torah that is not coupled with work is a waste of time and brings sin. [Pirkei Avot]. See the Rambam in his commentary to the Mishna on Pirkei Avot chaper 4 where on the mishna דאשתמש בתגא חלף. Don't get mixed up when trying to find the Rambam. His long comment is  not in chapter one where the original statement of Hillel is found. And not in chapter two where you would expect to find it. Instead he put it in a later chapter.

1.8.15

Catch 22.  There is an absurdity in the the insane religious world . One needs Torah but as soon as one enters the frum world, the basic insanity of that world becomes apparent. And that insanity is catching--it is infectious. And you can't find a nice balance because that balance means in practical terms to be incompetent in both Torah and in secular things.[I can only write decent ideas in Torah though because I am writing down conversations between my learning partner and myself in Torah. And he is totally involved in Torah]

The Talmud mentions this concept as the idea of pulling the donkey from both ends. But the modern way of putting it is catch 22.

It is not just the frum world. Dostoevsky wrote, "If the world would be rational, then nothing would happen." And according to Schopenhauer the "Will" the true reality of this world is essentially irrational--or insane.

The only solution is to learn Torah and keep it the best you can. Joining any organization, not only will not help but will hurt. Not only that but support of organizations that are claiming to be learning Torah is just throwing away money to support private county clubs. They are not helping the poor, nor people that want to learn Torah, but just their buddies. As the Rambam said, there is no mitzvah to give charity to a person that could work if he wanted to.