universal values

There were great people that saw the importance of certain values and their emphasis of these values made it easier for regular people to recognize the importance of these principle of how to live. Allen Bloom called them ''value creators,'' but I prefer to think of them as people that recognized values that were already there, but no one had seen them. Or if people had seen them, they did not recognize their importance.
When I was going through a crisis in life, determining what values to hold onto was a big deal to me. 
I do not now if I ever made  a list, but here I would like to jot down some of the most important of them.
(1) Learning Torah, the Oral and Written Law, and Musar in particular [Mediaeval books on Ethics, along with the writings of the disciples of Reb Israel Salanter that focus on good character and fear of God.]
(2) Not to make money by learning Torah nor to accept charity nor to be part of institutions that use Torah for personal gain, or promote that. Avoid Jewish Religious cults at all cost. That means all the cults the Gra put into Cherem [excommunication] because he saw their root was in the Sitra Achra, Devil, and Satan..
(3) To speak the truth at all cost, no matter what.
(4) Not to touch what does not belong to me.
(5) Compassion on all of God's creations.
(6) Honor and obey my Mom and Dad and all the Ten Commandments.
(7) To learn as fast as possible-saying the words in order and going on. But then when I finish a few sections to do review, going section by section or chapter by chapter in reverse order.
(8) Talking with God in my own language.
(9) Self Reliance, not to depend on charity and not to accept it.
(10) Fresh air and sunshine and lots of exercise every day. 
(11) Physics and Mathematics. [First thing in the morning before anything else.]
(12) Survival skills.
(13) Trust in God with no effort [בטחון בלי השתדלות]

[I am not saying I am a worthy proponent of these great values. But I have to share them because they are important.]
For each true value there is a counterfeit value, values of the Sitra Achra that are made to sound good and inspiring. One needs great depth and discernment to tell to true from the false. So when I write these positive values I mean to say these all came to with great difficulty. ]

An oath for a guard who was required to guard an object

The issue of גוללין. That is when one is required to take an oath for one reason, then the טוען can add other things that the נטען would not normally be   required to swear on. There is not usually a שבוע like עבדים קרקעות ושטרות. 

The ראב''ד agrees with this, but he does say that there is a שבוע that the guarded object is not ברשותו. 

(הלכות טוען ונטען פרק ה' הלכה ו) Therefore I ask why not say גוללין? If the שומר has to take an oath that it is not ברשותו, then why not add the other things that normally the שומר would not take an oath for. That is עבדים קרקעות ושטרות let him swear they were  lost by גניבה או אבידה? The answer I think is that that is the very reason for the law in itself that one takes no oath in those cases to tell us that in itself that you do not do גוללין

) ב''מ צ''ז ע''א סוגיית גוללין בתוספות . כלומר כאשר האדם נדרש להישבע מסיבה אחת, ואז הטוען יכול להוסיף דברים אחרים שהנטען בדרך כלל לא יידרש להישבע עליהם. שאלה: אין בדרך כלל שבוע בעבדים קרקעות ושטרות. הראב''ד (ברמב''ם הלכות טוען ונטען פרק ה' הלכה ו') מסכים עם קביעה זו, אבל הוא אומר כי יש שבוע שהאובייקט השמור אינו ברשותו. ולכן, אני שואל, למה לא לומר גוללין? אם לשומר יש להישבע  שהחפץ לא ברשותו, אז למה לא להוסיף את השאר שבדרך כלל השומר לא מחוייב לקחת שבועה עבורם. כלומר עבדים קרקעות ושטרות, ולתת לו להישבע שהם אבדו ידי גניבה או אבידה? התשובה לדעתי שזו הסיבה עבור החוק כשאחד לוקח שום שבועה במקרים אלה, לספר לנו  כי לא עושים גוללין

This comes up in Tosphot Bava Metzia 97a and later also. The Sota unfaithful wife is given the bitter waters to drink, and she must swear she was not unfaithful. Then the husband can add things to the oath that she would not be required to wear upon [as for example sex before marriage.] From this is learned to "roll" גוללין to put upon a person swearing other things. This is like in a court room when one takes the stand, the prosecutor can and does ask things that the person was not thinking he would be asked. 

So we have a law one takes no oath if he was made a guard to guard documents, land or slaves and they were lost. Then they were lost. He must take an oath he did not willfully not guard to the Raavad that they are not in his possession. So why not "roll" upon him lose also? I answer that is what the special exclusion comes for.   

leaven on Passover

I do not have any great ideas today but I just wanted to make  a note to remind myself to think about a few issues. At least of i write them down I might remember them.
The first issue is leaven on Passover. The question is דברים שבלב אינם דברים. "Things in the heart are not things." This I asked on Bitul Hametz (the formula of nullification of leaven) done the day before Passover. It occurred to me that Tosphot somewhere in Ketuboth goes into this in detail, and from what I recall he says we only say this when the things in the heart are contradicted by the words in one's mouth. So that answers that question. That Tosphot is somewhere in the middle of Ketubot and I forgot the page #.

The other issue is Tosphot's opinion that Bitul {nullifying }is valid because of hefker and the Ran also brings this. I asked about the Gemara in Pesachim 93-95 that says לא יראה ולא ימצא (there hall not be seen nor found any leaven) is a לאו הניתק לעשה (negative command that can be corrected by a positive action).
The answer is implicit in the question. That is probably the very reason for Tosphot. That is--Bitul is not the עשה (positive command) But rather פורר וזורה לרוח (throw the leaven out to the wind) after the time it is forbidden.

Another issue is the fact that Rav Shach noticed in the Rambam that the Rambam makes a clear distinction between Biur chametz and bitul Chametz which is an astounding observation. The implications are vast. That means that when the sages and R. Yehuda disagree about biur chametz that means they are disagreeing about after the sixth hour on the day before Passover.
Thus before 6th hour the things to do are either bitul or "hashbata" to make the leaven rest. And after the 6th hour the only thing to do is "biur." So R. Yehuda does say to burn the leaven before the 6th because of hashbata and after the 6th because of biur. And the ages say before and after to get rid of it in any fashion. And R. Yehud agrees to get rid of the leaven after teh 6th hour in any fashion but because of the special verse about notar he adds a mitzvah to o it by burning.

Someone had the grace and kindness to send to me two volumes of Rav Shach's Avi Ezri. [One of which I already lost]. But in the one I still have there is an answer to a question I asked on the Rambam in the little book of Ideas in  Bava Metzia. His answer I read only quickly but I think he divides שכירות (renting) into different kinds of categories. But as I was reading it a different kind of answer occurred to me.  This is in Bava Metzia in ch. 8 about the זבל שבחצר (garbage in the coutyard) where the Rambam says the exact opposite of what it says in the Gemara. [That is pretty common in the Rambam but still each case has to be considered.] There  we have that the זבל (garbage) belongs to the שוכר (renter) if the animals belong to him. But if they are animals of others then to whom does the  זבל (garbage) belongs to? That is where the Rambam and the Gemara seem to disagree. But it occurred to me the Rambam is not talking about fertilizer but rather straight forward garbage that needs to be taken out of the courtyard and that he he says is the responsibility of the משכיר (owner). That is not the question of the Gemara about to who does the fertilizer in the courtyard belong and that the Gemara says goes to the renter. But why would there be this difference?

I had a few more thoughts that I already forgot.

ביטול חמץ. The question is דברים שבלב אינם דברים.  This is a question on nullification of leaven done the day before Passover. Answer:  תוספות somewhere in כתובות says we only say this the things in the heart are contradicted by the words in one's mouth of by one's actions. So that answers that question. The other issue is the opinion of  תוספות  that nullifying is valid because of הפקר and the ר''ן also brings this. I asked about the גמרא in פסחים דף צ''ג that says לא יראה ולא ימצא  is a לאו הניתק לעשה. The answer is implicit in the question. That is probably the very reason for תוספות. That is ביטול is not the עשה. But rather פורר וזורה לרוח after the time it is forbidden. This is in בבא מציעא  about the זבל שבחצרת garbage in the courtyard, where the רמב''ם says the exact opposite of what it says in the גמרא. There  we have that the זבל garbage belongs to the שוכר if the animals belong to him. But if they are animals of others then to whom does the זבל garbage belongs to? That is where the רמב''ם and the גמרא seem to disagree. The answer of  רב שך is to divide שכירות  into different kinds of categories. A different kind of answer occurred to me. But it occurred to me the רמב''ם is not talking about fertilizer but rather  garbage that needs to be taken out of the courtyard and that he he says is the responsibility of the משכיר . That is not the question of the גמרא about to who does the fertilizer in the courtyard belong to? The גמרא says that goes to the שוכר. But why would there be this difference?

ביטול חמץ. השאלה היא דברים שבלב אינם דברים. זוהי שאלה על ביטול חמץ דנעשה יום לפני פסח. תשובה: תוספות איפשהו בכתובות אומר שאנחנו רק אומרים את זה אם הדברים בלב הם סותרו על ידי המילים בפה של אחד או על ידי פעולות שלו. אז זה עונה על השאלה הזאת. הנושא השני הוא על דעתו של  תוספות ביטול חמץ (שמְבַטֵל את החמץ)  תקף בגלל הפקר (ואת ר''ן גם מביא את זה). שאלתי היא מן הגמרא בפסחים דף צ''ג שאומרת לא יראה ולא ימצא הוא לאו הניתק לעשה. התשובה היא מובלעת בעצם השאלה. זו כנראה הסיבה עבור תוספות. כלומר ביטול אינו עשה. אלא פורר וזורה לרוח. 

 בבבא מציעא על האשפה שבחצר (זבל בחצר), שבו רמב''ם אומר את ההיפך הגמור ממה שכתוב בגמרא. יש לנו כי אשפת הזבל שייכת לשוכר אם החיות שייכות לו. אבל אם הם חיות של אחרים אז למי  הזבל שייך? זה מקום שבו רמב''ם ואת הגמרא נראים שלא מסכימים. התשובה של רב שך היא לחלק שכירות לתוך סוגים שונים של קטגוריות. סוג שונה של תשובה עלה על דעתי.  אבל זה עלה לי את שהרמב''ם אינו מדבר על דשן אלא אשפה שצריכה להילקח מחוץ לחצר ושהוא באחריות המשכירה. זה לא השאלה של הגמרא עומד למי הדשן בחצר שייכת? הגמרא אומרת שזה שהולך לשוכר. אבל מדוע צריך להיות ההבדל הזה

Another issue is just remembered is גוללין. That is also I think not a very big deal but still I think worth writing. That is the Rambam holds for שומרים there is a שבוע that the שומר was not פושע. That applies even in a case where there is not usually a שבוע Like עבדים קרקעות ושטרות. The Raavad disagrees with this but he does say that there is a שבוע that the guarded object is not ברשותו. Therefore I ask why not say גוללין? If the שומר has to take an oath that he was not פושע or it is not ברשותו then why not add the other things that normally the שומר would not take an oath for. That is עבדים קרקעות ושטרות let him swear they were  lost by גניבה או אבידה? The answer I think is that that is the very reason for the law in itself that one takes no oath in those cases to tell us that in itself that you do not do גוללין

Fake Jews. The religious world is fake Jewish

The problem with the religious world is they are fake Jews. That is they they have to dress up as Jews, to get donations from real Jews. Their entire world view is based on the question how to get charity from real Jews. This problem is also in the Sephardi world who are half Arab as per Islam the women of the conquered are raped and besides that the Jewish women were simply taken as wives of the Arabs as well documented in history of the Islamic conquest of the Middle East.

In any case I make it a point not be be fooled by the religious clothing of the fake Jews.

[There is a related issue here about "Semicha" which is no longer in existence.  It stopped sometime in the middle of the time the Talmud was being written down. So the problem of fraud also exists in people that are "Torah Scholars that are demons" as Reb Nachman phrased it. In his major book it is mentioned in a side note that this idea comes from the Zohar, but in fact it was Reb Nachman that specifically noted the problem with supposed teachers of Torah. This problem is well known to the Na Nach groups that follow Reb Nachman's teachings as per Reb Israel Oddesor made a point to emphasize this aspect.]

The whole issue of legitimacy of authority got mixed up. In the Christian world they have ordination as an attempt to decipher. But in the Jewish world the stringent indication of counterfeit authority is ordination. This is because true ordination stopped during the Talmud period. And that kind of ordination is the only kind the Torah recognizes as valid. So what you have today is anyone claiming ordination is by definition a fraud.
To some degree this was recognized in authentic yeshivas where true Torah was learned like the Mir in NY. But even there a kind of blind eye was turned to people that went to get the false kind of ordination you have nowadays. 
There is a such a thing as a true Torah scholar but that is more or less an unofficial position. That is a person that is recognized as knowing the Torah well and usually there is no doubt to who this applies.
The best thing is to refuse to ask questions or go to these false prophets of the Baal and to do with them like Elisha the true prophet of God did with the false prophets. 


learning Torah and trusting God alone.

I think if all I had to say was to separate learning Torah from   dependence on any institution or building that would already be enough. The fox knows many small things about about how to get by. But the hedgehog knows just one big thing. I am like the hedgehog in that I know one big thing-- learning Torah and trusting God alone. That is not to make your learning Torah dependent on any organization or kollel check. 

This is not to discount the importance of organizations. Sometimes they in fact accomplish what they set  out to do. But in the Torah world, most organizations work against Torah. [The phony teachers are horrifying monsters that frighten children at night and give them nightmares.] This is something well known in the Na Nach world. Most yeshivas make a song and dance how they are for everyone to learn Torah, but what they really mean is everyone that has rich American parents.   It is a grave error to make your learning Torah dependent on people and organizations that are actual enemies of Torah- תלמידי חכמים שדים יהודאיים. Most people that make their living by making Torah into their personal servants are no friends of Torah. 

Furthermore the whole religious world I think is one big idol. They have convinced themselves they need to be served by the rest of the Jewish people and humanity.
For the sake of fairness let me at least mention a few organizations that I believe are helpful for Torah, Bnei Akiva [or the equivalent of religious Zionist groups, the three major NY yeshivas, Chaim Berlin, Mir, Torah Vedaat and Ponovitch in Israel (and its off shoots).  Also Temple Israel in Hollywood which is good, but a little bit on the secular side. Sinai Synagogue in Westwood also is very good. The best of all I think I would have to say is Ponovitch.
In Netivot I was very impressed with Rav Montag's yeshiva or kollel and very impressed with the level of learning. {Rav Montag is a disple of Issacher Meir of Yeshivat HaNegev and was a friend of Bava Sali}.

But outside of the straight Litvak yeshiva world all religious organizations are iron furnaces of insanity, petri dishes of mental illness.

Counter Enlightenment

Hamann (Johann Georg Hamann) and Joseph de Maistre were pretty much counter Enlightenment with the later emphasizing the Catholic Church.
Allen Bloom seems to have taken the question of Enlightenment versus Counter Enlightenment as not being settled.
Isaiah Berlin and Walter Kaufman seem to have taken the exact middle approach. That is they saw the Enlightenment had some things right and some things wrong. That is they saw the Counter Enlightenment had some things right and some things wrong. So they saw the middle approach not as a compromise but as a solution.

I wanted to add that Kant and Hegel were also in the middle. 

Hegel was I think the equivalent of Aquinas and Maimonides in looking for a balanced approach between Revelation and Reason . So in that sense he predated the thinkers that thought a middle path between Enlightenment and counter enlightenment was proper. And he had the larger "nation" in mind-but not any nation, but one founded on principle of Justice and freedom. Not as Popper thought the Prussian state, but rather in an explicit quote he was thinking of the USA. See  Kaufmann on Hegel

It is not the case that the USA is solely John Locke or Enlightenment. It has had and still has a strong religious foundation base on the best of the Judaic-Christian civilization of Europe and the best of Athens and Rome. There is no need to disparage it.The election of Trump I thinks shows this very well.

Karl Popper was unfair to Hegel and this led to Dr. Kelly Ross, the Californian, also being unfavorable to him.  Popper thought Hegel was responsible for the totalitarian regimes his saw in his days. But he was right to the degree that Marx did borrow from Hegel. In university courses that were preparation for work in the KGB, Hegel was taught and was considered an important step before Marx [along with Feuerbach]. In USSR universities they credited Hegel with the "moment in time" idea, but clearly Marx borrowed a lot more than that from him. So the Left using [or misusing] Hegel is not new and it continues. But the reason is because the right simply ignores Hegel. [To me ignoring Hegel looks like willful ignorance.]

The religious world tries to present an image of a just society. That is why the Shabat table is such an important factor-because it tries to convey this image to naive Reform and Conservative Jews. The truth is it is a terrible horrific nightmare. It has all the elements of Kafka short story. You want a free and just society? I can not think of anything better than any society based on the constitutions of the USA which is totally different from the French and European kinds of systems based on Rousseau. It accepts the importance of faith and simply makes a proper dividing line between it and the state. There is some kind of Achilles  heel or stumbling block in the religious world that the authorities, the teachers of Torah, are  demons sent to punish us. There seems to be no respite from the but to escape towards secular society which respects your basic rights. 
The last person in the world you want your wife of children talking with is some demonic Torah scholar of the religious world.  [The Torah itself is holy, but the trouble is the Sitra Achra has found ways of usurping it by pretending to be keeping it by extensive rituals and black clothing of that is supposed to mean they keep Torah. The uniform fools people. (In fact, any uniform fools people as Dr Michael Huemer pointed out. Some kind of make believe uniform was created and a when a person dressed in it told some to put an extra nickel into a parking meter, people were much more inclined to obey than if the same person dressed in normal clothing told them the same thing. As long as they need you the pretense will continue.) But as soon as you are down an out on your luck, their true face will reveal itself. They are traitorous lying scum.

The religious world is one vast altar that requires a constant sacrifice of naive Reform Jews. On that Altar which all that
is living Reform Jews, "Zionim" Zionist Jews, Goyim must be sacrificed without end, without measure, without pause, until the consummation of things, until all is extinct.

 This is not the time for  forgiveness because these demonic Torah scholars are people who have not repented, these are people who are trying to destroy you and are quite willing to harm your family and your children in the process. Take them down and take them out without hesitation. If you have any  working under you, fire them. Above all, understand that the normal rules of live and let live are no longer in effect. 

But at the same time, it is important to learn and keep Torah in the authentic way. Either on your own, or to find true allies. There are Torah True Institutions like Ponovitch and the Great New York Litvak Yeshivas and the Bnei Akiva schools. The only issue is to remove the satanic demons that dress up like authentic Torah scholars.

Bitul Torah is a sin. That is not learning Torah when one is able is a sin.

To me it seems like the package deal of learning Torah along with trust in God makes things go better. That is you might not be sitting and learning Torah all day, and you might not have complete trust in God but if you have a little bit of both I think that creates a tidal wave of success.

That is to say in theory perfect trust in God ought to work, but in  a practical sense there seem to be some limits to have far one can take this. Similarly learning Torah in theory ought to be all day every second. [That refers to either the written Law--the Old Testament, and/or the Oral Law which means simply the books of the חז''ל "Chazal" the sages.That last category is means The Two Talmuds, the Halachic Midrashim and the Agadic Midrashim.] In any case there are limits to how much one can learn Torah. But putting both ideas together makes a working combination.

The idea of התמדה in Torah is well founded. It comes from the idea that Bitul Torah is a sin. That is not learning Torah when one is able is a sin. Thus there are plenty of things one needs to do --to learn a vocation, to get married etc. But everything one needs to do needs to be weighed on the scales of "Bitul Torah"--that is "Is this other thing a mitzvah that can not be done by anyone else?" If not then it is forbidden.
[I would be amiss if I did not mention that Physics and Metaphysics as mentioned by the Rambam are not Bitul Torah but that does not leave the door open for any and all secular activities or studies. It is a specific provision stated by the Rambam and implicit in most Musar books from the Middle Ages. ]

Popper blamed  Hegel for totalitarian systems- unfairly. Yet in one way his was right that Hegel was used by the USSR. In University courses for preparation for work in in KGB, Hegel was taught and considered as a favorable preliminary step towards Marxism in that Marx borrowed some major concepts of his and the left still does.