Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Some people don't like like Kabalah very much. And who can blame them? So lets take  a look and see maybe they have a point. Often people that start to learn kabalah seem to fall into some kind of twilight zone. And I think people are thinking that kabalah is where the Jewish people left Torah to graze in other fields.And coming into yeshiva at first I certainly did not know the official approach. I was there mainly because of my interest in Talmud.
But to make a long story short and because I have  a fever and bacteria I can't write much.
Kabalah to some degree I think can be justified as a way to understand Torah. Certainly that is what Isaac Luria and Moshe from Cordoba were doing. That is not a bad thing. And considering that Kabalah is highly neo-Platonic it seems like not a bad idea .
But that was all there was to it Christians would have no right to complain. To be frank they don't like the magic sorcery aspects of it. And as far as that goes they have  a point.

and when it comes to post shabatai tzvi kabalah they are correct. the energies of the dark side did manage to penetrate into orthodox Judaism  in the guise of kabalah.

 it is possible to attribute some negative effects of kabala on people being due to the intermediate zone. some effects seems more straightforwards sitra achra. in any case there were plenty of people that were involved in some mystical experiences that do seem to be from the side of holiness.

Being anti kabalah can in itself be a religion and a way of putting down people.

Monday, November 24, 2014

The idea of individualism is part of Reb Nachman from Uman's thought. But in a different way than Martin Luther. With Luther one should understand scripture as the spirit shows him. The problems with this have been noted. On the other hand Reb Nachman says one can't serve God except by being ones own person. He brings the verse "Abraham was one" and he understands that as meaning that Abraham could serve God only by thinking he was alone in the world with God only. And so is the case for every person. But Rav Nachman did not say everyone should interpret the Torah as they feel.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

On one hand I feel I should talk about some of the amazing things I discovered in yeshiva.One of the most amazing things was Musar, the movement of Israel Salanter for self improvement. But what hold me back for talking about it is that I think the Dark Side has gotten mixed up inside of Orthodox Judaism. I am afraid if I talk about the good things that people might be attracted to it and then come into it unaware of the traps and the sitra achra's disguises. It is this same consideration that makes me hesitant in talking about Nachman from Uman. There is something quite amazing about him and his teachings. Yet there too the Dark Side has gotten mixed in. And I would rather not spend my time being critical or sounding like a sour puss.
The problem with the dark side I have mentioned before. How it got mixed into Torah thought since the time of Shabati Tzvi. But I don't mean just teachings of the Shabatians that are nowadays presented as straight Torah in the world of Orthodox Judaism by unsuspecting people. I mean actual energies of the sitra achra.. Miracles from the sitra achara by supposed tzadikim. Orthodox Judaism has become pagan. It has a whole Parthenon of gods called tzadikim.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Iran [from the web site of Sean Carroll who wrote a great book on Gravity]

Chris says:
The problem with Iran is not ‘complicated’ unless you are trying to avoid acknowledging it, and definitely not due to ‘a lack of understanding’ unless you actually think they want weapons grade enriched uranium just to build power plants with. When a government demands that you serve them unconditionally or they will imprison, or kill you without even a trial, that is not a misunderstanding, or ignorant, that’s something quite specific and entirely intentional. The politically incorrect term for it is called ‘evil’.

The Iranian government has made it quite clear all along what they intended to do, how they will accomplish it, and have been quite busy doing it. Presently, Iran is very intent on acquiring nuclear weapons so they can more effectively ‘convince’ others of the sincerity of their intentions to annihilate their neighbors. The Iranian leaders make no secret of who they will use their nuclear weapons on if given the chance (Big hint, it starts with an ‘I’), and only the truly oblivious don’t know this.
Willful naivete and a ‘Coexist’ bumper-sticker mentality is not going to resolve this peacefully.


Inclusiveness, diversity, the invasion of America.

My gut feeling is the Inclusiveness can be too inclusive. But it has gained the status of a religious doctrine. The only people that can't be included are people that oppose inclusiveness. Which makes the doctrine itself self contradictory.  Diversity and the demand than certain groups be given home loans when it was clear they could not pay back the loans brought the USA economy to the brink of extinction. I have been trying to figure a possible paradigm for the left in the USA and how to analyze it and how to critique it with little success. Habermas, Kelly Ross, and Michale Huemer have already done a good job from a philosophical point of view. Some books are out there that do so from science-- like the Bell Curve.

But none of that is what I am looking for. On one hand I admit I am interested in hammer that can wipe the floor with the Anti-American Left. I hate what they have done to America. I hate what they have done to the wholesome, decent, moral society I grew up in. But I also want to see what is right about their critique of the right. That is I don't want to dismiss Hegel and Marx completely. Or just say they have been disproved and so I don't need to think about them anymore.

My feeling about this is to learn Torah. That is to say I think the Torah has the answers to the human dilemma. That is the Written and Oral Law.

Friday, November 21, 2014

The Gra however did like the idea of people standing and learning Torah all day. [Not sitting and learning.]] And as far as is possible for me to see he did like the idea of these people being supported.

Trust in God is is a very unpopular subject in the Jewish Orthodox world. It is one of those things that if you bring it up, you get a visceral reaction. And where would you expect it to be the most popular? In kollels(yeshivas for married guys). But there it gets the same reaction as if you would walk in wearing a cross.  And in the part of the Orthodox world that works, it is also considered with extreme distress and distaste. This was a surprise for me to see because I had thought the only justification for a kollel was only trust in God. Strictly speaking, one is not allowed to learn Torah for money. The idea that I have heard from people in kollel that being in kollel is "their job" always gave me an unpleasant electric shock whenever I heard it.

It is not like I had an information that was not anyway available to the public. Pirkei Avot (Chapters of the Fathers) everyone reads. Hillel said right in the first chapter, "Don't make the Torah into a shovel to dig with." And in a later chapter when this saying is repeated, Maimonides has a long comment denouncing yeshivas that say it is a mitzvah to give them money. That little juicy paragraph won a bitter and stinging crusade against him during his lifetime.

The only people I ever discovered that I could talk to about Trust in God and found that we were on the same wavelength were Reform and Conservative Jews.[ They usually coupled it with working, but the concept was clearly central to their way of thinking. ]

When yeshivas were just getting started in  New York, it was the underlying assumption that we were all involved in this idealistic project, and that the basis for it was trust in God. At least at the Mir Yeshiva in N.Y. this was implicit. No one suggested that learning Torah could be, or should be a business.

Trust in God was a major theme with the Gra. He said one that trust in God even if he does extremely major sins is better than one who is completely religious and does all the Torah and mitzvot but without trust-- because all his mitzvot are for honor and power.
And it is from the Gra that the idea of trust in God without doing anything gets a clear expression. Later the Madragat HaAdam brings it from him in his commentary on Mishlei. [That is the central position of the school of Navardok]

The Gra however did like the idea of people standing and learning Torah all day. [Not sitting and learning.]]
And as far as is possible for me to see, he did like the idea of these people being supported.  So we have two things from the Gra-one is the learning Torah thing. The other is the trust thing. So what I suggest is to change the paradigm of yeshivas from that of learning Torah being a kosher way of making money [It is not.], to that of trust in God that if one learns Torah, then God will find a way to send to him his means of a living or someone to support him, but not that it is permissible to go out and seek such a thing.

A paradigm shift changes actions. Yeshiva now are country clubs and act in such ways as to make them obnoxious cults.  They put on a song and dance to entice young people with rich parents. And try convince people they are doing public service. This scam needs to be stopped dead in its tracks. Yeshivas either start learning Torah in the way the Torah considers kosher - or stop their funding completely

Maimonides is somewhere between Aristotle and Plato and going in the direction of Aristotle. But not completely. This is very different than the Ramban Moshe ben Nachman and the entire spectrum of Medivak Kabalah which is firmly in the Platonic area. After the more theoretic areas o kabalah there were plenty of books of Musra that were trying to create a synthesis between kabalah and daily human ethics. That type of thought reached its peak in the thought of Nachman from Uman.
Ok but what I wanted to say here is that we know the Rambam was  a fan of Aristotle. And that he thought learning the Physics and Metaphysics of Aristotle was the key to Enlightenment  and true Fear and Love of God. But  Physics has changed so if one wants to fulfill the idea of the Rambam that would mean to learn Modern Physics. but the Metaphysics has not improved since Aristotle.
But what I wanted to say here was that in learning the actual text of Aristotle's Physics I did discover amazing stuff. And also I saw lots of stuff in Modern Physics that he hints to