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25.3.17

I generally agree with economists of the Austrian school and the Chicago school in some ways. 
Especially the idea that people respond to incentives. But the kind of incentives they respond to is one point of contention. It is not that people are out to seek their own benefit and thus form a society and trade in order to maximize their benefits. Rather I think people are out looking for an altar to sacrifice themselves and other people on.... some human being or some cause  they have to agree with, and if anyone disagrees they will go to war to make them agree. Religious people that present themselves as loving and kind, are actually out to bring in human sacrifices to their leaders. They use the kindness as bait the same way you put a tasty worm on a fish hook.

It has been said people were born to freedom but everywhere are in chains. As de Masitre  said that is as sensible as saying sheep who are born carnivorous are none the less everywhere eating grass. If you want to know what people are born to, they look as what they do, not what you think they ought to do. 

24.3.17

With Kant all you really have is knowledge based on observation or not based on observation. [a posteriori or a priori].
This comes from Hume. But this to a large degree accepts a very secular idea of the ''self''. The Self that is not a soul is a secular thing. It has no spiritual intuitions, spiritual connections.
This creates a very false self image of what a person is or ought to be for every single individual. It does not automatically deny knowledge based on spiritual intuition but it does so by implication.

This means that people looking into their own lives and trying figure out things tend to miss a significant aspect of their own self being that they can not take into account because they believe it has no relevance nor even reality. Even when they are interested in Torah this makes them incapable of accounting for what they might be doing right or wrong. They also will tend to look at others as selves, but not souls. [Allen Bloom went into this in great depth in his book The Closing Of The American Mind].

In my own case there were spiritual connections that I had with my parents and Israel and Torah and the Infinite Light  of the Divine Presence, that I ignored because of not being able to take them into account in my mental processing. That led me to ignore the most significant aspects of Torah.  

This is not to minimize the danger of the fact that all intuitions are subject to error. The Sitra Achra [the realm of Evil] we already know has great power to make itself seems sweet and lovely for the moment, though in the end it is bitterness and gall.

[I owe my treatment of this subject and the experience and idea of the holy to my own experience and private prayer with God along with a good deal of input from Dr. Kelley Ross (in his writings), Talmud and the Ari Isaac Luria.] 
I am also quite aware of soul connections that are not at all felt in any sense but are none the less quite real. 






structure of medieval society

Allen Bloom (The Closing of the American Mind) compared the structure of medieval society as a Gothic Cathedral with the vast amounts of pushes and pulls and strains all balancing out. Trying to undo the natural order causes the whole thing to come tumbling down --since we do not know what makes society tick. Thus he saw the Enlightenment as leading to an eventual collapse of the social contract as he thought was happening around 1990.

Our state of understanding how any human society works is on the order of medieval medicine -that all their theories were wrong, and anything any doctor would do would automatically cause more damage than leaving the patient alone. Medicine has advanced a little  since then,- but all our theories of how human society works are clearly  100% wrong; and anything anyone does to improve things just leads to the patient's death all the sooner.






23.3.17

People that claim ordination (סמיכה) nowadays have a halachic category of being liars (הוחזקו כפרנים),

A single person can tell over the law of the Torah. But he does not have the legal status of a Beit Din [court of law בית דין]. That is an argument between R. Abahu with Rava against Rav Acha Bar Rav Ika. As Rav Shach noted, the Rambam does poskin [decide] like R. Abahu that a single person that is expert can judge, but not as a court of law. [The rishonim believed the Rambam decided like Rav Acha bar Rav Ika that a single person can be a beit din and then had to scrounge around for answers about why then three are needed.They were not able to see the difference between deciding a  general law and deciding a specific case.]

[This seems to be one of those cases in which even great rishonim did not see what the Rambam was getting at, and it was only recently in the period from Reb Chaim Solveitchik until Rav Shach that lots of difficult issues about the Rambam came to clarity and light.]


Even a Beit Din [court of law בית דין] without authentic Semicha [ordination] can judge common  cases like loans and admissions, but not most other things that require true ordination. People that claim ordination nowadays have a halachic category of being liars (הוחזקו כפרנים) and when one has the halachic status of a liar then nothing he or she says has any validity. [I hope to get into this issue which comes up in Bava Batra chapter 3.] [This occurs when a person says one thing to one person, and then changes it when he talks to another, which is common with people like that.]


But even things that do not require true semicha--if one gets payment for them, that also has no halachic status. כל דיין שנוטל שכר לדון כל דיניו בטילים. "Anyone who receives payment for judging,--all his judgement are null."


People do take power that is not granted to them. This is common. The Constitution of the USA also limits  power yet it clearly does not work.  The powers granted are Article I. Section 8. That is about 1% of the things the Federal government controls. This started in 1942 in a Supreme Court case about the law farmers must not grow more that X amount of corn. One farmer did so for his pigs on his farm besides what he grew to sell which was under the limit. The Supreme Court said the law was constitutional because of interstate commerce. The farmer was thus not allowed to grow corn to feed his own pigs because of interstate commerce? The reason this was upheld was not because the Supreme Court was from Mars or supremely stupid (don't tempt me), but rather because they could not care less about what the Constitution says. This is a good analogy to what happens in the religious world. The satanic teachers simply do not care what the Torah says as long as they can get away with their scams. The trouble is there is no punishment for them for this fraud. People go along with it because until it hurts them personally they do not care.



The ways to solve these problems are simple. Defund the fraud. [Throw out the satanic teachers]


But furthermore--it should be possible to arrangement things differently in a way that would be more just. Perhaps looking at the USA  and the ways it has gone away from the Constitution might help give us some ideas. I do not spend much time on this but in theory it might be worth the time. Now Reb Chaim from Voloshin in fact came up with this great idea to have the local yeshiva not dependent on the local kahal--which made a lot of sense and still does. But one could go further. Have a negative beit din. A beit din that all they do is to knock down laws that are adding to Torah. 


And that beit din should have power to assign penalties for fraud. Make the fraudsters pay the price of the havoc they have wrought on Klal Israel. [Or just shoot them, and make things easier for everyone.] [At least they could expose the scammers and charlatans,]

I should mention  that the Na Nach group tends to be highly aware of the abuses I have describe here. Good for them. 
What they ought to do is to document every abuse--on film and on paper until people start paying attention. [Get on a video everything so they can not backtrack and change the narrative later to fit their agenda.]
The real problem with people that pretend to teach Torah is not so much that they think they have the authority to do so but rather that they are demons as Reb Nachman pointed out, and their demonic powers are what gives them authority, not the holy Torah. For some reason this aspect of teachers of Torah was left unexplored by most rishonim though it comes up in the Talmud. The Rambam tried very mildly to call them out on this and that was in fact the reason for the first ban on the Rambam.  The best thing in any case is not to bow nor to submit to them and to know that they teach a false Torah.








22.3.17

It is possible for teachers of Torah to be satanic as we can can see in the religious community in Los Angeles

It is possible for teachers of Torah to be satanic as we can can see in the religious community in Los Angeles. But there are different levels of evil as brought in the Zohar
The place this really come up in detail is in the writings of Reb Nachman, but it is also mentioned in the Talmud and even the Rambam brings it up.
The mystery is that you would expect them to be better--not worse.
So it is on purpose that I mention the few good and authentic yeshivas in NY and Israel, like Ponovitch, Mir (NY, not the one in Israel), Chaim Berlin, Torah VeDaat, in order to focus on the good and hope that people will understand what is bad. I also should mention the religious Zionist yeshivas which I generally have a good impression of. [That is what is called "Bnei Akiva".]

But the general level of teachers of Torah is so low and so dangerous to regular Jews that I believe they ought to be purged and eliminated so they can no longer entice people into the Dark Side, Sitra Achra. They are incredibly dangerous. And their connection to Torah is all false and just pretense of wearing black clothing and the right kind of hat. But without hatred or malice, it is best to just get rid of them one way or the other before they can do anymore damage on other families like they have done to so many I am sure my readers have already heard about and know from first hand experience.

a later court of law is not obligated to go by a former court of law.

The רמב''ם in the beginning of משנה תורה and in that  ממרים פ''ב הלכות א-ג is saying roughly the same thing. That in terms of  פסק הלכה a later court of law is not obligated to go by a former court of law. That is הלכה א. But when it comes to תקנות גזירות ומנהגים a later court of law can not disagree with a previous court of law unless it is greater in wisdom and numbers. However a law made as a סייג לתורה a later court of law can not nullify if it has expanded to all Israel. That is the basic law in the רמב''ם and it is also how רב שך understands him. The way you see that this is how רב שך understands the רמב''ם is the fact that in עדויות he says the רמב''ם has to be talking about גזירות ותקנות
In that משנה עדוית א:ה it asks "Why write the minority opinion?" And it gives an answer.   The רמב''ם says there it means a later court of law can decide the law in that way even if it is a minority if it has רוב חכמה ורוב מניין. Why not understand the רמב''ם simply that he means a פסק הלכה? Because the רמב''ם ties it in with the idea that a later  court of law can depend on a minority opinion if it has רוב חכמה ורוב מניין. We already know from משנה תורה the רמב''ם does not require a later court of law to need more numbers and more wisdom when it comes to  פסק הלכה. So in עדויות he must means גזירות ותקנות
רמב''ם בתחילת משנה תורה והן  בממרים פ''ב הלכות א-ג אומר בערך אותו הדבר. זה במונחים של הלכה. פסק בית משפט מאוחר אינו מחויב ללכת לפי בית משפט לשעבר. כלומר זו הלכה א. אבל כשמדובר בתקנות גזירות ומנהגים בית המשפט המאוחר  מחוייב להסכים עם בית משפט הקודם  אלא אם כן הוא גדול בחכמה ומספרים. עם זאת חוק שנעשה בתור סייג לתורה, בית משפט מאוחר לא יכול לבטל אם היא התרחב לכל ישראל. זהו החוק הבסיסי הרמב''ם, וזה גם איך רב שך מבין אותו. הדרך שאתה רואה שכך רב שך מבין את רמב''ם היא העובדה כי בעדויות הוא אומר שהרמב''ם מדבר על גזירות ותקנות. באותה משנה עדוית א: ה' המשנה מבקשת "למה לכתוב דעת המיעוט?" והיא נותנת תשובה. הרמב''ם אומר  שהמשמעות היא שבית המשפט המאוחר יכול להכריע את החוק ככה גם אם הוא מיעוט אם יש לו רוב חכמה ורוב מניין. למה לא מבינים את רמב''ם פשוט כי הוא מתכוון פסק הלכה? בגלל שהרמב''ם קישר אותה משנה עם הרעיון כי בית משפט אחר עשוי  לתלות בדעת המיעוט אם יש לו רוב חכמה ורוב המניין. אנחנו כבר יודעים מתוך משנה תורה שהרמב''ם אינו מחייב בית המשפט המאוחר להיות להם יותר מספרים ויותר חוכמה כשמדובר בפסק הלכה.


I am really tired so I just wrote this fast-but if I could add for the sake of simplicity I would explain how the Rambam is referring to a court of law with the authentic ordination from Sinai, not the phony type in common use today. Also that the Rambam does not mean a court can poskin not like the Gemara. The Gemara is the final pesak as he explains elsewhere.. But I did not have time to go into this because of lack of sleep.

The thing that requires thought here is the way Rav Shach understands that Rambam. It is not as if I never thought abut this. But this way Rav Shach understands the Rambam puts a whole new spin on things.



21.3.17


A legal measure adopted by a later בית דין when the reason for the law is gone is well known to be the subject of a debate between the רמב''ם and ראב''ד. It stems from the כמרא in ביצה דף ה' ע''א.

The interesting thing about it is the רמב''ם in the introduction to the משנה תורה where he deals with a different issue about a local בית דין. There he brings down that no one has the authority to nullify a law of the גמרא. And we have in the  גמרא a set of rules how to decide any הלכה. In any case the רמב''ם had no doubt about that. But among ראשונים there are different opinions on which of those rules takes precedence. The odd thing בהלכות ממרים ב' הלכה ב' does not seem to refer to a בית דין  without the authentic סמיכה from Sinai which no longer exists . In the introduction he seems to refer to the kind of בית דין of three that can judge a very limited  set of things. So in משנה תורה why does he not go into the subject of a בית דין with no true סמיכה. Obviously because  as we can see he felt they had no authority to make  decrees.


 גזירות או תקנות שאומצו על ידי בית דין מאוחר יותר כאשר סיבת החוק היא בטלה, זה נושא לדיון בין רמב''ם וראב''ד. זה נובע מגמרא בביצת דף ה' ע''א . הדבר המעניין הוא הרמב''ם במבוא למשנה התורה, שם הוא עוסק בנושא אחר על בית הדין מקומי . שם הוא אומר כי לאף אחד אין  הסמכות לבטל חוק של הגמרא. ועל שבגמרא יש מערכת הכללים כיצד להחליט  הלכה. בכל מקרה לרמב''ם לא היה ספק בכך. אבל בין הראשונים יש דעות שונות על  כללים אלה. הדבר המוזר בהלכות ממרים ב' הלכה ב' לא נראה שהוא מתייחס לבית דין ללא  סמיכה אותנטי מסיני אשר אינו קיים עוד. בהקדמה למשנה תורה הוא מתייחס לסוג של  בית  דין של שלושה שיכולים לשפוט קבוצה מאוד מוגבלת של דברים.  ברור כי כפי שאנו רואים שהיתה להם סמכות לעשות גזירות רק  בזמן הגמרא

[That is the Rambam was dealing with  the issue of  local beit dins after the Talmud in the Introduction. There is openly refutes the idea of פוסק בתרא saying the later beit din can decide any way it sees. That is a different subject than the subject in Mishne Torah.]


So what you have in the Rambam are three relevant things. The first three Halachot in chapter two of law of ממרים, the introduction to Mishne Torah, the פירוש על המשנה in מסכת עדויות פרק א' משנה ה.
I see Rav Shach has an essay on this subject in the Avi Ezri.

In any case, it seems the main trust of the religious world is to be adding restrictions upon restrictions in such a way that no one can do anything. There is little attention paid to the fact of the Raavad and Tosphot holding that when the reason for the גזירה או תקנה is null then the law itself is null and void.
This applies through wide variety of laws where the reasons are in fact stated as in the case with most decrees.

The problem in the religious world is they relish in making up restrictions (that are neither from the Oral nor Written Law) that limit everyone but themselves. And the restrictions that do apply to them they always manage to find some way out of.
The religious world is really an epi phenomenon  of the Shatz. It is just a different kin of manifestation of the same evil spirit that in infected the Jewish religious world in circa 1668.\
The same spirit in different forms.

The Lechem Mishna asks on the Raavad what about the statement אין בית דין יכול לבטל דברי בית  דין אחר עד שיהיה גדול ממנו בחכמה ובמניין. One beit din can not  nullify the decision of another beit din until it is great in wisdom and numbers. To that Rav Shach answers that the way to understand the Raava is on his explanation  of the Mishna in עדויות א' משנה ה where it says מכיוון שהלכה כדברי המרובין למה כותבים דברי היחיד? Answer: in case a later beit din sees the words of the previous beit din and disagrees. If the later beit din depends on the words of the minority, that is OK.

The Rambam in the beginning of Mishna Torah and in that place in ממרים is saying roughly the same thing. That in terms of  פסק הלכה a later beit din is not obligated to go by a former beit din. That is Halacha 1. But when it comes to תקנות גזירות ומנהגים a later beit din can not disagree with a previous beit din unless it is greater in wisdom and numbers. However a law made as a סייג לתורה a later beit din can not nullify if it has expanded to all Israel. That is the basic law in the Rambam and it is also how Rav Shach understands him.

The way you see that this is how Rav Shach understands the Rambam is the fact that in עדויות he says the Rambam has to be talking about גזירות ותקנות. Why not understand the Rambam simply that he means a פסק הלכה? Because the Rambam ties it in with the idea that a later beit din can depend on a minority opinion if it has רוב חכמה ורוב מניין. We already know from משנה תורה the Rambam does not require a later beit to need more numbers and more wisdom when it comes to  פסק הלכה. So in עדויות he must means גזירות ותקנות
[That is in that Mishna ch 1 mishna 5 it says why write the minority opinion? The Rambam says there it means a later beit din can go with it even if it is a minority if it has רוב חכמה ורוב מניין]





I think Pesach is April 12 [starting the night of April 11] since  there is no Beit Din to sanctify the new moon, and Hillel II never set up the present day calendar. It is the calendar of Meton from Athens not from Halacha LeMoshe MiSinai. It was adopted in the middle of the geonic period. Thus it makes sense to go by the Gemara in Sanhedrin  and the Mishna in Rosh Hashanah that when the Beit Din on earth do not sanctify it, the new moon is sanctified from heaven. 

There is a kind of satanic element in the religious world

One of the reasons it is hard to come to Torah is that the people that set themselves up as teachers of Torah are extremely stupid and yet wear the religious clothing which is supposed to signify that they are smart and righteous. ["Torah scholars that are demons"  תלמידי חכמים שדיין יהודאיים as mentioned in the Zohar and the Ari.] The further trouble is they give each other credentials as if they are experts in anything but defrauding the public. But the damage they do is really infinite because naive people are taken in by their fraud. And it is almost impossible to be guarded from them because they are sneaky.  [I have learned that people can be stupid but sneaky. People can actually be clinically insane and still be sneaky.]
In normal times  the simple thing to do would be to stick with authentic Lithuanian yeshivas where no funny business is allowed.
But that no longer works because of sneaky people finding out they can use the camouflage of being a legitimate yeshiva.

Yeshivas were made because of the situation of the times by Reb Chaim from Volloshin. [Before that they had no independent status but were simply the local synagogue where the youth gathered to learn during the day until the time they got married.] But what was once made  because of time of need has become a scandal.
And then Reb Israel Salanter invented the idea of kollel, which also was a great thing at the time but now has become a nightmare. The best idea that I can see is to identify the authentic places like Ponovitch and the great NY yeshivas Chaim Berlin Torah VeDaat, Mir and simply throw out all the rest. Separate the good from the bad.
Are there any other authentic places? Maybe. [Los Angeles is a magnet for the worst of the worst. There is nothing of the religious community there that is not from the Satan. People there should stick with Reform or Conservative.
There is a kind of satanic element in the religious world in enticing naive secular Jews in and then  turning them in to human sacrifices on their idolatrous altars. No all are like that but certainly the group the Gra put into excommunication are.










Pigeons, it turns out, are highly superstitious. If you give them a few times food after some type of action they did, they almost immediately they learn to associate the coming of the food with that action. They will dance that same dance over and over again thinking that that is the action that caused the food to come.
To some degree this seems to be in accord with  what Rabbainu Yona says in Shaari Teshuva אין יסורים בלי עוון ''There are no troubles without sin.'' However as this train of thought goes on I will try to show there is a better approach.  But just for now I want to make a note that different people will emphasize one particular action just like the pigeons.
They will choose one particular action they will say that all of one's happiness in this world and the next depends on. שמירת הברית to Reb Nachman. Learning Torah to the Litvaks. Every cult will say it depends on service to their cult.
To some degree, I can agree with the Litvaks that a lot depends on learning Torah.
But the way I see things, a lot of these approaches promise much and deliver little.  Often they are consciousness traps to get one into some Sitra Achra cult.

To me it seems the Torah itself deals with this mentality. It says, "This is the mitzvah I have commanded to you when you enter the land God has promised to you, burn down and destroy all the places the nations have served idols in." In other words, don't worry about everything I have commanded. Just concentrate your focus on this one thing. Destroy the cults at all cost.
Causality while true tends to be too difficult to work with. There are too many factors to deal with. Physicists have found the Hamiltonian to be an easier method. That is to find the total energy of the system and find its minimum. The Lagrangian works better for Quantum Field theory where you look at the difference between the KE and potential energy and look for a maximum or minimum.
You look rather for the right balance of values. This explains a lot. It shows that even though the Litvaks are clearly right about learning Torah, my approach shows why it is of limited effect. While a good amount of exercise every day is good for your heath, that does not mean an insane amount of exercise is insanely good for your health.

Going beyond the point of  balance detracts from the Torah. Just like water is good for you but one can overdose. But I do not mean one can overdose on Torah. Rather I mean that when starts to use Torah for money that immediately turns it to poison.

But I would rather not concentrate on the Litvak world which is at least of the good side. It is highly disappointing to me that the Lithuanian yeshiva world is no where near as great as I would have hoped based on the fact they have most things rights in terms of world view. It is rather the aspect of the cult the Gra put into Cherem that is more of a problem because it apparently has a connection with the Dark Side that causes insanity to anyone that gets near. It is like  a fish hook. To the fish swallowing the worm on the hook, everything is fine. It is getting a free meal. And it is tasty. The trouble begins when it tries to break away. And the harder it tries to get away the worse things get.
That is the same with cults. Getting in is fun and exciting. The trouble is to break away means death.
My basic feeling is that I can not learn Torah and there is some kind of force from the Sitra Achra stopping me. And what makes it hard is internal and external. It is like the Sitra Achra plants its agents in the yeshiva world to make things hard for anyone that wants to learn Torah for ts own sake
I am not saying this is not my own fault. I fully believe if I had been steady to "remain in learning" that things would have worked out as we already know that real trust in God tears down all obstacles.



The basic structure of reality as we know from the Ari is the ten sepherot. But Rav Shalom Sharabi [from Yemen and then Jerusalem] showed how that boils down to five Partzufim [פרצופים] and from there down to three.

I had a few thoughts--but nothing really worked out.
Hegel's triadic (three fold) structure which he acknowledged came from Plato and obviously Kant. To me it is seems certain that to some degree he was inspired by Isaac Luria. The basic structure of reality as we know from the Ari is the ten sepherot. But Rav Shalom Sharabi [from Yemen and then Jerusalem] showed how that boils down to five Partzufim [פרצופים] and from there down to three. That is right at the beginning of the book Nahar Shalom.
To some degree it is possible to see the importance of the triads of Hegel by means of the Cantor set. In the Cantor set you keep taking out the middle third and if you go to infinity it turns out that the Lebesque measure intersection of all the subsets is zero. 

Which simply means if you take out the middle term you get no connection between the first and third.







20.3.17

trust in God

I know I have not been clear about trust in God. I am sorry about that but the ambiguity comes from experience. That is,-- the ambiguity of experience creates ambiguity in my thoughts. I am not even sure is there is any lesson that can be learned.
The major events were that I decided to go and learn Torah in NY somehow trusting that God would take care of "parnasa" [making a living]. And that attitude basically paid off with dividends until at some point it stopped (or more accurately I stopped trusting).  One way or the other the whole thing collapsed. So, while I agree in principle, I can also see it is a delicate principle. But it is a terrible mistake to associate trust in God with the religious world which puts on a facade of righteousness to bilk naive secular Jews out of their money. 
While trust in God is  a great thing, it is an error to think it has anything to do with kollel. Most kollel people are enemies of Torah and of Israel. They use Torah as a disguise. I have therefore tried to be very picky about which yeshivas to recommend which I believe learn Torah for its own sake

To get to Torah requires getting through the major obstacle--the pseudo religious world. As soon as one can get over the illusion that thy have anything to do with Torah at all, that is when one can begin to come to true Torah.
In terms of funding, I think it is the best approach to not punish the innocent with the guilty. Thus the vast majority of religious organizations which are scams should be cut off from all funding. Especially those in Israel. And the clearly honest places like Ponovitch  and the great NY yeshivas should continue to get even more funding. But with proper care taken to insure the good institutions, the rest of the 99% of the religiosity parasites and institutions should be cut off from all funding, private and government.
[Even though the pure Litvak Yeshivas that keep out all nonsense are pretty good, there are enough there also that are just playing games. As a rule the religious world has pitted itself against the State of Israel and thus should be thrown out. Getting the massive amounts of funding they get from the state is ridiculous. I never saw such insane hypocrisy in my life as this. And then they go to the USA to beg for charity from rich American Jews that they stab in the back if they dare to come to Israel.
[The good places are not just Ponovitch but also branches of Ponovitch. Same with the great NY yeshivas Mir, Chaim Berlin, Torah VeDaat. Rav Montag's yeshiva in Netivot I think is also very good/

The major issue is to direct funding to the proper places that are doing good work and to cut off all funding to the cults that pretend to be learning Torah. That type of knowledge is hard to come by except by experience. The main guidelines should be whatever comes under the category of the חרם of the Gra should be eliminated. Nowadays appearance counts for ore than substance.  So these cults make a lot of effort to appear Torah'dik [of the Torah] while in fact being agents of the Devil.

You fun these cults in Israel or in the USA, you give them power to seduce ore and more innocent Jews into their insanity.
I should mention also the Merkaz HaRav of Rav Kook at teh general Mizrachi yeshivas which are very good. 
I have heard about the decline in the Armed forces in the USA. A lot of the trouble seems to be in the kind of people enlisting. But I have seen plenty of cause for optimism. One is the election of Trump. Another is the fact that there still are good people in the armed forces. Not everyone has been affected.

In Israel, also I see good reason to support the armed forces. 

Mainly the idea comes from Hegel-that not every state deserves support. But some do. Those that maximize human freedom.
This is roughly base on Howard Bloom and his book on the super-organism and the social meme.
That is Hegel saw the importance of the State, but not every state. Only the ones that are committed towards what he considered to be true justice. And justice in Hegel is not ill defined. It means a maximum of freedom within the limits of responsibility and moral law.

This is more or less of what Richard Epstein (in law at NYU) means with his limited ind of government. [Though he would not put it in terms of Hegel. And he is in any case not looking for philosophical justification for his limited government approach anyway. But that ignoring of the philosophical issue seems to  me to be  a weakness in his thought rather than a strength




Beginning of Bava Metzia

Someone sent to  two volumes of Rav Shach's Avi Ezri. One is gone. But in the one I still can read, he brings an amazing idea that the Rambam's idea of  דררא דממונא is when each one is saying a טענת ספק. He brings this from a book called אבן האזל.
Rav Shach himself uses this idea to answer some questions in laws of פקדון. but without actually seeing the arguments in  אבן האזל I can already see what the Rambam must have been thinking.
He must have seen that there are two opposing approaches to דררא דממונא in the Gemara. One is is Bava Batra that סומכוס Sumchos said his law {ממון  המוטל בספק חולקים בלי שבוע, money in doubt is divided with no oath} only in a case of דררא דממונא. The other is in the beginning  of Bava Metzia, that if Sumchos said his law in a case of דררא דממונא, then all the more so in a case that is not דררא דממונא. And I already mentioned in my little booklet on Bava Metzia that some of the Mishnas that the Gemara says are Sumchos do not seem to conform to the definition of Tosphot ספק לבית דין בלא טענותיהם.
So it is amazingly clear what the Rambam thought. He looked at the Gemara on page 100 and saw that there is an argument between two Amoraim about when Sumchos said his law. One said only when both say טענת שמא and the other opinion is even when both say טענת ברי. So the Rambam simply decided that that is the definition of דררא דממונא and that accounts for the difference between the two Gemaras in Bava Metzia and Bava Batra. That is the Gemara in the beginning of Bava Metzia is like the opinion Sumchos said his law in both cases (certainty and certainty) and the Gemara in Bava Batra is like the opinion Sumchos said his law only in the case of doubt and doubt.


The place to begin work on this would be to look at the those Mishnas that the Gemara says are Sumchos and to see how they fit with Tosphot and/or the Rambam. But I will have to leave that work for others since I have no Gemara.

I mentioned in my notes about the Maharam from Lublin conserning the fact that Tosphot's version of the Gemara in th beginning of Bava Metzia does not have דררא דממונא לזה ודררא דממונא לזה. That fact I used to help explain Tosphot on page 100b but it might help us here also to understand why Tosphot was not able to use the pshat/explanation that the Rambam uses. 



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  בספר של רב שך האבי עזרי he brings an amazing idea that the  idea of the רמב''ם that דררא דממונא is when each one is saying a טענת ספק. He brings this from a book called אבן האזל.
רב שך himself uses this idea to answer some questions in laws of פקדון. but without actually seeing the arguments in  אבן האזל I can already see what the רמב''ם must have been thinking.
He must have seen the there are two opposing approaches to דררא דממונא in the גמרא. One is is בבא בתרא that סומכוס  said his law ממון  המוטל בספק חולקים בלי שבוע only in a case of דררא דממונא. The other is in the beginning  of  בבא מציעא that is סומכוס  said his law in a case of דררא דממונא then all the more so in a case that is not דררא דממונא. And I already mentioned that some of the משניות that the גמרא says are סומכוס  do not seem to conform to the definition of תוספות ספק לבית דין בלא טענותיהם.
So it is amazingly clear what the רמב''ם thought. He looked at the גמרא on page דף ק' ע''א and saw that there is an argument between two אמוראים about when סומכוס  said his law. One said only when both say טענת שמא and the other opinion is even when both say טענת ברי. So the רמב''ם simply decided that that is the definition of דררא דממונא and that accounts for the difference between the two גמרות in  בבא מציעא and בבא בתרא. That is the גמרא in the beginning of  בבא מציעא is like the opinion סומכוס  said his law in both cases (certainty and certainty) and the גמרא in בבא בתרא is like the opinion סומכוס  said his law only in the case of doubt and doubt. 
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 ב''מ ק. בספר של רב שך האבי עזרי הוא מביא רעיון מדהים שהרעיון של הרמב''ם כי דררא דממונא היא כאשר כל אחד אומר טענת ספק. הוא מביא את זה מתוך ספר אבן האזל. רב שך עצמו משתמש ברעיון זה לענות על כמה שאלות בדיני פקדון. אבל מבלי לראות טיעוני האבן האזל אני כבר רואה מה רמב''ם חשב ודאי. הוא בוודאי ראה  שישנן שתי גישות מנוגדות בדררא דממונא בגמרא. אחת היא היא בבבא בתרא כי סומכוס אמר את החוק שלו ממון המוטל בספק חולקים בלי שבוע רק במקרה של דררא דממונא. השניה היא בתחילת בבא מציעא כי אם סומכוס אמר את החוק שלו במקרה של דררא דממונא, אז על אחת כמה וכמה במקרה שאינו דררא דממונא. וכבר הזכרתי שחלק של המשניות שהגמרא אומרת הן של סומכוס לא נראות עונות להגדרה של תוספות, ספק לבית דין בלא טענותיהם. אז זה ברור מה הרמב''ם חשב. הוא ראה בגמרא בעמוד דף ק' ע''א שיש ויכוח בין שני אמוראים לגבי מתי סומכוס אמר את החוק שלו. אחד אמר רק כאשר שניהם (הבעלי דין) אומרים טענת שמא ואת חוות הדעת האחרת היא גם כאשר שניהם אומרים טענת ברי. אז הרמב''ם פשוט החליט כי זו ההגדרה של דררא דממונא, וזה מסביר את ההבדלים בין שתי גמרות בבבא מציעא ובבא בתרא. זוהי הגמרא בתחילת בבא מציעא היא כדעת שסומכוס אמר את החוק שלו בשני המקרים (ודאות ודאות, ושמא ושמא) ואת הגמרא בבבא בתרא הוא כדעת שסומכוס אמר את החוק שלו רק במקרה של ספק וספק כשיטת רבא בבבא מציעא.



19.3.17

To me it seems that the left has lost the intellectual and moral high ground.

I see the problem was simply that the left had the power because it had what seemed to be true. Socialism seemed to be the wave of the future. To me it seems that the left has lost the intellectual and moral high ground. It will just take time until people see this. Sure in universities  Left wing drivel is still taught, but that is changing. And even the philosophy departments are changing for the better.
John Searle, Kelley Ross, Richard Epstein, Michael Huemer, etc. 


But that is not to imply the religious world is very good. Anyone who has ever been in a religious neighborhood knows  one immutable fact about the religious world שכן רע. They are evil neighbors.  Not just that they do not mind their own business but insist on poking their noses into everyone else's business and then go looking for even the slightest fault and then exploiting that to make some crusade against anyone they do not like.  Living anywhere near a religious person is an experience like no other of Hell on Earth.  

Some people seem to equate being religious with being righteous, moral and decent but from long experience I can say that is not true. In fact as a rule, the relationship is inverse. Righteous=1/ religious.
Clearly Reb Israel Salanter was aware of this and tried to correct it to by means of the emphasis on Musar thinking that people would see the main emphasis of Torah is on בין אדם לחבירו [human decency]- but the only people to have gotten that message are Reform and Conservative Jews.






Without the actual Talmud in front of me, it is hard to speculate. But I think that you have to say that Rav Shach has some way of understanding R. Yehuda (of the Mishna) in a different way than he is usually understood. R. Yehuda says ביעור חמץ the destruction of leaven is by fire. The way this is usually understood is based on a statement במה דברים אמורים קודם זמן איסורו אבל אחר זמן איסורו השבתתו בכל דבר. [When do we say this? Before the time it is forbidden. But after that time one can get rid of the leaven in any shape or form.]  Now based on a later on sugia [treatment of this subject] around page 93-95 in Pesachim it says leaven shall not be found is a prohibition that is transferred to a positive command. {לאו הניתק לעשה/a negative command that even if one transgress it he does not get lashes because it can be rectified by a positive command }That can only work if ביעור חמץ is only at the time of the prohibition. So to whom is that Gemara referring to? Apparently R. Yehuda.
This would at least help to understand the Rambam who does hold that ביעור is only at the time of the prohibition  and yet he gets lashes [because obviously he is going like the sages against R Yehuda] But the thing you see in the Rambam is the way he understood the argument between the sages and R. Yehuda--is what is the destruction of leaven? Anyway possible or only by fire? But both hold it is at the time of the prohibition. So this is how Rav Shach understands the Rambam and I think he must be basing it on that later Gemara.
Of course, none of this is like Rashi or Tosphot. And that leaves us with the obvious question what do Rashi and Tosphot do with that Gemara on page 93-95?

In any case there is clearly a lot of work that needs to be done here. Reb Chaim Soloveitchik also deals with this same question but I do not have his book nor the Gemara. At any rate his answer, is that לא יראה ולא ימצא is a positive and negative command--so that is how he answers for the Rambam which does not help us about the Gemara on 95.

In case it is unclear what I am saying here it is this. You can not have  לאו הניתק לעשה when the עשה starts before the לאו. They have to start and end at the same time for this law to apply.

18.3.17

Religious Zionism seems right to me to a large degree. Rav Kook defended this based on ideas he got from Hegel

Religious Zionism seems right to me to a large degree. Rav Kook defended this based on ideas he got from Hegel

 It seems to me that Hegel gives a good defense of nationalism. But as you can see Hegel and John Locke were not so far apart in terms of what kind of nation they were defending–that is one the insures the freedoms of the citizens. That you can see in Hegel in many places here he talks about what kind of essence a human being has–for example: Hegel’s Idea of Philosophy, by Quentin Lauer, S.J. with a new translation of Hegel’s Introduction to the History of Philosophy.


In John Locke there are a few problems like empiricism, blank slate, property rights based on a labor theory of value. [The last was noted by Dr Richard Epstein.] 

Brett Stevens has an interview with a follower of Rav Kahana  on his site.

I do not see how a person's whole sense of worth should be based on group identity. To me that does not seem at all like what the Torah says. But in fact in all religious groups the sense of worth is based on group identity. That is why I say all religious groups are cults and have nothing to do with authentic Torah. [Unless we would be talking about the few authentic Litvak yeshivas] 

I was asked by Israel Rosen in Israel about Jewish Nationalism because he was in a kollel in which this was a debate. I said Jewish Nationalism has support from the Zohar (as is obvious to anyone who has read even one page.)

The main mitzvah of the religious world is to be against Israel and to get the money of Reform and Conservative Jews (real Jews). That is one reason I say the religious world is diametrically opposed to the Torah.  You can pretty much know what the Torah really says to do by looking at the religious and do everything the exact opposite of what they do. They are filled with the Sitra Achra sadlly enough.


The was a pamphlet at the Western Wall that was tracing the chaos and Reign of Terror in France to Rousseau and the totally different kind of Democracy in the USA to John Locke, which is a true point. But on the same hand the problems in the USA with the total emptiness of society can also be traced to John Locke. To me the approach of the Rambam makes a lot more sense.

I did not want to go into it here but in fact Reb Aaron Kotler has a Musar book and in that book he wrote that for the State of Israel דינא דמלכותא דינא the law of the country is the law.






17.3.17

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.

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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. 










16.3.17

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.



15.3.17

trust in God and learning Torah

There was something really great about the whole idea of trust in God and learning Torah that really worked. This was the way that Navardok spread. The idea was that if one takes on himself to learn Torah, then all his other needs are taken care off. This was actually mentioned by Reb Israel Salanter in the magazine he published in Vilnius. But he was careful not to emphasis any particular aspect of Musar, because he thought every person will find what they need in it. But Joseph Jozel Horwitz went with this idea to the limits. And it worked. The idea in a nutshell is God helps those who depend totally on him, not those that depend on their own actions.
This I found really works mainly, if you do not put it to a test. And at a certain point in my life I did not want to go too far with trust {Bitachon} because I did not want a situation in which I thought I needed something and not get it and that might reflect baldly on faith itself.
This approach I still feel is  a viable option.
To get a good idea of this approach it is best to get the actual book of Navardok which is one of the classical Musar books to come out of the Musar movement.





Bitul Chametz (nullifying leaven bread)

It is a true point that Tosphot holds Bitul Chametz (nullifying leaven bread) is from hefker הפקר (abandoning) as he says in Pesachim page 4.
That is he holds that when we say on the day before Passover that all the leaved bread or leaven itself that I own is הפקר abandoned like the dirt of the earth we mean it is הפקר. I do not have any Gemaras to be able to look up anything but off hand I think we can see plenty of questions that just jump out at you even without thinking. First of all the dirt of the earth is not הפקר abandoned. Almost all wars in human history are fought over the dirt of the earth--land.
But that is not all. Neither Rashi nor the Rambam hold from this idea of "hefker." And from what I recall there is some kind of argument in Nedarim if Hefker needs to be in front of a witness.
And  a further question comes up what about איאוש which comes up about lost objects? Is this hefker here in Passover the same kind of thing as "giving up" on a lost object?
That is with lost object we do not need the guy to be מפקיר. Just the fact that he give up makes picking it up not longer in the category of stealing.
And what about that long Tosphot in Ketuboth about when we say דברים שבלב אינם דברים? {"Things in the heart are not things".} While here we say מבטלו בלבו ודיו he is nullifies it {the leaven} in his heart and that is enough.
The questions just keep piling up. What about that whole Sugia in Pesachim circa 93-94 where the Gemara says one does not get מכות (lashes)  because it is a לאו ניתק לעשה?

Incidentally that whole thing about דברים שבלב אינם דברים comes up about a fellow that wanted to go to Israel and sold his property with that in mind and then changed his mind. The question there comes up in terms of when do we say things in the heart are not things--and  if there was some condition on the sale then he needed to say it and when do we say one needs a תנאי כפול כבני גד וראובן
[Sorry I do not remember where that Tosphot is. Last time I saw it I was in Israel in Netivot and I wanted to look it up concerning אין אדם מקנה דבר שלא בא לעולם]
I seem to recall tat Tosphot said we only say דברים שבלב אינן דברים only when his heart and his words or actions contradict each other-so that would at least take care of oe of the above mentioned questions.



 I mean to ask if  ביטול חמץ is from הפקר and is a fulfillment of  אך ביום הראשון תשביתו שאור מבתיכם then how is this an מצוות עשה?
In any case the opinions of Rashi and the Rambam here also need some work.

14.3.17

Ari, Issac Luria

I have a great deal of respect for the Ari, Issac Luria but  I also am aware that almost all people that claim to follow him and his path are demons. Reb Nachman hinted to this often in his Lekutai Moharan. This is in itself a good reason to avoid the religious world in its entirety.

Reb Nachman's statements in this regard are not well known because they are hinted at in his published books but explicit in the השמטות on the חיי מוהר''ן which was only printed once a long time ago by the Na Nach group.. However I have heard that that actual השמטות were collected [by Rav Shmuel Horvitz] and are available in print in the bookstore of Breslov on Rechov Salant in Mea Shearim.

[This is not to put a stamp of approval on Breslov itself. The main leaders are really really terrible people. But there are plenty of sincere people also.]

Reb Nachman himself was a very great tzadik, no doubt, but the groups that supposedly go by him are consciousness traps.

I should mention that the חרם signed by the Gra --if you actually take the time to read it, did not apply to Reb Nachman which is why I feel free to read his books. But in terms of what the Gra did actually forbid I believe is forbidden and remains forbidden because of the same problems that Reb Nachman saw. To ignore the signature of the Gra is to invite insanity. And every time one ignores it, he or she invites another drop of insanity into his or her soul.

[The Ari is quite an amazing thinker and I think it was in part by learning his books that when i got to Israel the Divine Presence started shining on me and my family.  Eventually I pushed that away since I did not feel the ability to remain attached to God on that level. It was just a bit too much for my poor soul.]



[In terms of learning the Ari I feel besides his basic works there are a few schools of thought later on which are fine commentaries of the Ari like the books of Rav Yaakov Abuchatzeira, and the Rashash (Shalom Sharabi) and the Ramchal.]




13.3.17

Purim]

Xerxes is as far as I know is אחשורוש [from Purim] because that is how the name is pronounced in Persian. [Achash-vei-rosh]
He had two dreams telling him to attack Athens and all of the Hellenes. That was after he had thought to do so anyway. His chief adviser told him not to do so. At night he saw a handsome man standing over him telling him if he does not attack Greece he would lose everything just as fast as he gained everything. Then he had a second dream along the same lines. And then his put his chief adviser in his royal robes, and sat him down on his throne at night to sleep. The same man came to his adviser and said "Are you the one who has been telling Xerxes not to attack Athens? You are jerk." Or something along those lines.[I forget the exact words.]
When he attacked his allies were numerous. Everyone thought he would win and joined him. No one joined the Hellenes. Even those that had agreed to ally themselves with Athens stayed away from the battle to see which side would prevail.
300 Spartans and about 4000 other men from other parts of Greece stopped about 1/2 a million men.
And the Spartans would have won if not for one betrayer who showed the Persians and alternative route to get behind the Greek lines.



Xerxes was the last great king of Persia and from then on its glory and might fell.
He was murdered by the chief of his armed guards.

12.3.17

Bava Metzia page 97B

I wanted to mention that in a previous essay I suggested that what Tosphot meant in Bava Metzia page 97B is that the law of Rav Yehuda even without Abyee would have to come from Shmuel means the statement of Shmuel in Ketubot.
This was based on the idea of Rav Shach that חזקה דהשתא וחזקה מעיקרא cancel each other which he brings from Tosphot in Nida page 2b.
But now I would like to go into the astounding ramifications of this idea. It means that Shmuel does go by a ברי גרוע  a weak certainty. That implies lots of things. It means that Tosphot is saying that in Bava Kama when Shmuel says the Mishna there is like סומכוס but the חכמים say המוציא מחבירו עליו הראיה that is not because of a weak certainty. Rather the reason is that both parties are saying the same kind of certainty. But if there would be a case where one is certain even with a weak certainty that would overthrow even חזקת ממון as is in fact the case in Ketubot. This mean Tosphot is throwing out his previous answer to the contradiction between Rav Yehuda and Shmuel and giving a totally new answer. And this new answer also answer the question that I asked a few years ago about what does Tosphot do with the first Mishna in the chapter 10 הבית והעלייה. There I noticed that we say ברי עדיף  even though there it is a weak ברי which is a contradiction to the first answer of Tosphot. But now with this new answer everything is good. And we also learn a new דין. That is that Tosphot is holding that we go by a weak ברי even in a case of חזקת ממון. This is because that is exactly what Tosphot is saying over there about the law in Ketubot that we believe her because she has a weak ברי even to be מוציא ממון. Now I just wanted to explain what I mean that in Bava Kama the reason we say המוציא מחבירו עליו הריאה is not because we we ignore a weak ברי. Not at all. The reason is rather because both certainties are equal. Neither person was there. So it makes no difference how certain each one is. Both certainties are equal. So in Ketubot we believe her because she has a certainty even though it is weak because she knows her husband was not there in order to be able to give  a different version of the events.

Now Tosphot in the end does suggest that we do not have to say this. So Tosphot does revert to his previous answer that we do not go by a weak Bari and we do go by a strong bari. Still I think we can see this is a argument in Tosphot itself between two different possible answers for the contradiction between Rav Yehuda and Shmuel.
******************************************************************************
 בבא מציעא page צ''ז ע''ב תוספות said  that the law of רב יהודה would have to come from שמואל even without אביי means the statement of שמואל in כתובות.This was based on the idea of רב שך that חזקה דהשתא וחזקה מעיקרא cancel each other which he brings from תוספות in נדה דף ב' ע''ב.
But now I would like to go into the astounding ramifications of this idea. It means that שמואל does go by a ברי גרוע  a weak certainty. That implies lots of things. It means that תוספות is saying that in בבא קמא when שמואל says the משנה there is like סומכוס but the חכמים say המוציא מחבירו עליו הראיה that is not because of a weak certainty. Rather the reason is that both parties are saying the same kind of certainty. But if there would be a case where one is certain, even with a weak certainty, that would defeat even חזקת ממון as is in fact the case in כתובות. This means תוספות is rejecting  his previous answer to the contradiction between רב יהודה and שמואל, and giving a totally new answer. And this new answer also answer the question that I asked a few years ago about what does תוספות do with the first משנה  in the tenth chapter של בבא מציעא הבית והעלייה. There I noticed that we say ברי עדיף  even though there it is a weak certainty  which is a contradiction to the first answer of תוספות. But now with this new answer everything is good. And we also learn a new דין. That is that תוספות is holding by the opinion  that we go by a weak certainty  even against  חזקת ממון. This is because that is exactly what תוספות is saying over there about the law in כתובות that we believe her because she has a weak ברי even to be מוציא ממון. Now I just wanted to explain what I mean that in בבא קמא the reason we say המוציא מחבירו עליו הריאה is not because we we ignore a weak ברי. Not at all. The reason is rather because both certainties are equal. Neither person was there. So it makes no difference how certain each one is. Both certainties are equal. So in כתובות we believe her because she has a certainty even though it is a weak certainty because she knows her husband was not there in order to be able to give  a different version of the events.Now תוספות in the end does suggest that we do not have to say this. So תוספות does revert to his previous answer that we do not go by a weak certainty and we do go by a strong certainty. Still I think we can see this is a argument in תוספות itself between two different possible answers for the contradiction between רב יהודה and שמואל.


 בבא מציעא דף צ''ז ע''ב תוספות אמר כי החוק של רב יהודה יצטרך לבא משמואל אפילו בלי אביי. רציתי לומר זה  מכוון שמואל בכתובות. זו התבססה על הרעיון של רב שך כי חזקה דהשתא וחזקה מעיקרא מבטלות זו את זו שהוא מביא מן תוספות בנדה דף ב' ע''ב. אבל עכשיו אני רוצה להיכנס להשלכות של הרעיון הזה. זה אומר שמואל אכן מחזיק מברי גרוע, ודאות חלשה. זה אומר  כי בבבא קמא כאשר שמואל אומר המשנה שם כמו סומכוס אבל חכמים אומרים המוציא מחבירו עליו הראיה, כי הוא לא בשל ודאות חלשה. במקום זאת הסיבה היא ששני הצדדים אומרים את אותו סוג של ודאות. אבל אם  יהיה מקרה שבו אחד בטוח, אפילו עם ודאות חלשה, כי זה יביס גם חזקת ממון כפי שקורה הלכה למעשה במקרה בכתובות. משמעות הדבר תוספות דוחה התשובה הקודמת שלו לסתירה בין רב יהודה ואת שמואל, ונותן תשובה חדשה לגמרי. והתשובה החדשה הזאת גם עונה על השאלה ששאלתי לפני כמה שנים על מה עושה תוספות  עם המשנה הראשונה בפרק העשירי של בבא מציעא הבית והעלייה. שם אנחנו אומרים ברי עדיף למרות שיש בו ודאות חלשה וזו סתירה לתשובה הראשונה של תוספות. אבל עכשיו עם התשובה החדשה הזו הכל טוב. ואנחנו גם לומדים דין חדש. זה הוא כי תוספות מחזיק  בסברה כי נלך לפי ודאות חלשה אפילו נגד חזקת ממון. הסיבה לכך היא כי זה בדיוק מה שתוספות אומר שם על החוק הכתוב שאנחנו מאמינים לה כי יש לה ודאות חלשה אפילו להיות מוציא ממון. עכשיו אני רק רציתי להסביר למה אני מתכוון כי בבא קמא הסיבה שאנחנו אומרים מוציא מחבירו עליו ריאה היא לא בגלל שאנחנו מתעלמים מברי גרוע (חלש). בכלל לא. הסיבה היא דווקא בגלל הוודאויות הם שווות. אדם לא היה שם. אז זה לא משנה איך  כל אחד הוא בטוח בטענתו. ודאויות שניהם שווות. אז בכתובות אנו מאמינים לה כי יש לה ודאות למרות שזה ודאות חלשה כי היא יודעת שבעלה לא היה שם כדי להיות מסוגל לתת גירסה שונה של האירועים. עכשיו תוספות בסופו של הדבר אכן מרמז כי אין לנו להגיד את זה. אז תוספות אינו חוזר מן התשובה הקודמת שלו שאנחנו לא הולכים לפי ודאות חלשה וכן אנחנו הולכים לפי ודאות חזקה. ובכל זאת אני חושב שאנחנו יכולים לראות את זה הוא כטיעון בתוספות עצמו בין שתי תשובות אפשריות שונות עבור הסתירה בין רב יהודה ואת שמואל


There is a lot to think about how this applies to our Mishna in Bava Metzia 97a and later on page 100 but this is as far as I got today. I mean it seems there is a lot to think about in terms of why Rav Yehuda says what he says about our Mishna. I do not have the Gemara but from what I remember he is deriving his law from the part of our Mishna in which there is certainty and doubt in which case certainty wins. But what about the סומכוס part where there are two doubts and so they divide. Still this seems about as far as I can figure this all out for today.

I should add that the thoughts I have on this subject are mainly concerned with the types of חזקות in each case and how that question affects what Tosphot is saying. Further the fact that the Mishna is like Sumchos might make some important differences, but no one on the page seems concerned with that. They do bring it up on page 100 but what I would like to think about is how the argument between the Rashbam and Tosphot there might affects things over here in page 97.

If you are wondering what I mean, it is this: In Bava Kama there is חזקת ממון-and that seems to be the only kind of חזקה over there with the events there. Later there are different kinds of חזקה that the Geara brings up. חזקת מרא קמא וחזקת רשות. I guess you might say that I am wondering how far Tosphot wants to take this idea of a certainty that can defeat a חזקה. We do see he is thinking of חזקת ממון but what about the later type in the mishna in page 100?--[It is for these reasons that people learn a learning partner. To be able to go through the details. But when that i not possible like with me, I guess I just have to try to figure out what Tosphot is thinking here  by myself.]
In any case you can see what the Musar book אורחות צדיקים meant that originally the Tosphot were a lot larger and later they were edited down. Clearly here Tosphot was dealing with a completely different answer than his first answer but apparently  a lot was edited out by the editors.