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15.2.16

The 10,000 hour rule.

The 10,000 hour rule. That is to gain expertise in any subject one needs 10,00 hours.
{This rule I saw on some blog.}

When I think about it I can see this is right. You have the normal four year program in a Lithuanian yeshiva. That means 10 hours per day at minimum of learning Torah. 10* 365*4 minus Friday and Shabat.

But I wanted to add the idea of critical mass. That is the hours can't be spread apart too far. That is it is not the same thing doing 10 hours per day four years in yeshiva as doing a few hours per day over a longer period of time. [Critical mass is the idea that not just you need a certain amount of mass but that the mass needs to be close together.]

14.2.16

Mirrer Yeshiva in NY

I never knew Avraham Kalmanovitch. I was aware the last time I was in Israel that someone had started a yeshiva on his name. The grandchildren of David Abuchatzaira [the older bother of Bava Sali] go there.

I think it takes something very special to create a real authentic yeshiva.

There was some really amazing energy in both the Mirrer Yeshiva in NY that he founded and also the first yeshiva I went to in Far Rockaway.

I don't know what it takes to do that but I guess that it is not visible or obvious. I have seen an incredible amount of yeshivas that just don't have that spirit. The Hasidic yeshivas I have seen are cults based on the worship of their leader. Other places are a little better  because they are not idol worshipers. But the places were built in order to get the piece of paper that would say they don't need to serve in the Army. Other places are more into money. The Rosh Yeshiva was a grocery store owner that went out of businesses and so decided to open a kollel. In Israel that was simple to do with just three names and ID numbers and you would get an automatic government stipend.


I should mention the reason to put the above paragraphs here come from the Chafetz Chaim, Volume I chapter 4. It is the same reason that you warn you children not to play with a bad kid. You need to watch out to protect him from bad influences.








Gravitational waves exist.

Gravitational waves exist. One hundred years after Einstein's General Relativity paper they were discovered.

Music for the glory of God

a song for God   n98  n97  n96  n95 n94 n92  [n97 I see was not finished.]

n75

What causes the generation gap.

What causes the generation gap. From what I can see it is the saying of grotesque falsehoods. This is usually done to advance some cause of the adults or protect their self image. Or to advance some cause.
This is sometimes on a large scale. A whole generation teaches lies to the young.  The results will be that the young will rebel once they find out they have been lied to. 

There are two aspects to this:
(1) If you are telling and teaching a certain religious tradition then to do so accurately. Do your homework.

(2) Don't lie to protect that tradition. If there are problems with it then don't hide them or make excuses.


panenthism


  This doctrine, "God is everything" did not originate with the Besht. It is true that the verse of the Torah ["You were shown to know that The Lord is God, there are no gods besides Him."] is explained to support this belief. But the practice and goal of union with the God that created all and permeates all and is All appears in the Upanishads [the final sections of the four Vedas written 1000-500 B.C.E.]
  The first one to make Yoga into a coherent unified system was Patanjali [circa 200 B.C.E. during the time of the Second Temple].
  "Yoga" means "union", i.e. union of the finite transitory self with the infinite "Atman" or "Brahman" [eternal infinite self].
In Yoga-Vedanta philosophy there is one true God that is invisible, imminent, transcendent that created everything. The name the Hindus give to this God is Brahman.
All creation is composed of the substance of Brahman.

  This is not traditional Torah. In the theology of the First authorities (Rishonim - Medieval sages), God is everywhere but separate. The world and God are not one. The world is not made of Divine Substance. It is made from nothing. In Torah thought God has no substance at all. So things are not made from his substance.
Creation ex-nihlo is the view and philosophy and emphasis of the Torah as explained by the Rambam and other Rishonim [authorities of Torah of the Middle Ages]. This is very, very different than the views of Breslov Hasidut or any other Hasidut one that I am aware of.
Modern day Breslov is an attempt to beat Hindu Yoga-Vedanta at their own game. It is not Torah.


Changing the essence and meaning of Torah as defined by the Rambam and the Geonim bothers me.

The "contraction" is described in detail by the Ari. At first, the light of God was everywhere. So there was no place for creation. So he contracted his light and made an empty space like a sphere. [There was also a point of light left in the center of the space.] He then sent His light down through one opening and the light went down a bit and then started curving around and became the first sub sphere (called Keter) in the larger sphere. This happened ten times. This does not imply things are Godliness. 
 The question is not the tzimtzum but the light. And the light is "created light" as stated by the Sefer Yetzira and brought down by the  Ari.



) In panenthism God also transcends the World, and so is not equal to the world. Rather he contains it.
See for example: Lekutim Yekarim from Pinchas of Koretz Parshat Veetchanan: "There is nothing in the world but the Holy One Blessed be He." (This is a later book. It is not from the original books of R. Pinchas.)
Ben Porat [page 126] from R. Yaakov Yoseph brings one story from the Besht that he said "There is no place empty of God." Later the same story in Heichal Bracha (from  of Kamarna) got expanded into him saying, "There is no existence besides him."


) The Ari said [from the Zohar] that the sepherot of Azilut (Emanation) are Godliness. After that i.e. the sepherot of creation, formation, and the physical universe are not Godliness. (Eitz Chayim Heichal 1, Shar 3, chapter 3). [The Zohar says in Emanation alone, the vessels and light are Godliness. After Emanation just the light is Godliness not the vessels.]
This is independent of the "Contraction" question. But concerning the contraction the Arizal wrote, "He contracted Himself." (Eitz Chayim 1:2:2; 1:2:3; 1:2:4) [Not "his light".]




Books of the cult under the excommunication of the Gra  defend the doctrine of panentheism, by going to the zimzum. But in fact it does not help much. Even if it was not complete, things still don't have to be Godliness.]

The appeal of cult under the excommunication of the Gra is entertainment,  emotional value, not truth value. 

The Nefesh Hachaim does say that realizing there are no powers in the world besides God is important. That is not the same as pantheism. That means the world is under the control of God alone.

Nature certainly becomes the stage of God's expression of his will. He expresses his will and purpose through forces of nature in the Torah. But nature isn't God himself. He's not identified with it. He's wholly other. He isn't kin to humans in any way either. So there is no blurring, no soft boundary between humans and the divine, Thus worship of  a tzadik is contrary to Torah.





13.2.16

Ideas in Bava Metzia chapters 8 and 9 I corrected some grammar and did general editing.

I also took out one paragraph on BM page 98 that today looks to me that it was simply wrong. I am not in a yeshiva and I have no Gemara with me. But from what I recall the Riva and Rashi hold the same about נאנסה and it is specifically on כפירה that they disagree. So whatever I was saying in that note could not have been right. However the original book was just my notes that I was taking as I was learning with David. It probably was not written properly and then I did not have  a chance to correct it until now.



I made the essay on BM pg 98 a little shorter in the questions.

Ideas in Shas

I should say a lot of credit for this booklet goes to my learning partner David, but he did not want to be mentioned by last name. So I just mentioned the places where I learned to some degree how to learn. But none of this would have been written without the influence of my learning partner.

I should mention that they way he learns is closer to what they were doing in Shar Yashuv in Far Rockaway more than at the Mir. That is; his method is more looking closely at what he is learning more than trying to see how what he is learning fits in with other areas. That is he is not a system builder. In the Mir in Brooklyn, on the other hand, the emphasis was seeing how the sugia in front  of you fits in to other areas. But you can see in this booklet I chose to go with the first approach.