The first yeshiva I was in encouraged people to go to university. Reb Freifeld in no way expected people to use Torah to make  a living. And he got that approach from Isaac Hutner. The second Yeshiva was the Mir in NY. And while one was in their four year program it was expected that people be there for the first and second seder. [9 AM-2 PM 4 PM-8 PM]. But they never hid the fact that Torah should not be used for money.
Not just that but also in both places it was considered obvious that there is no such thing as ordination nowadays. Authentic Semicha stopped in the time of the Talmud. In fact, it might be that Rabbi Yochanan might have been the last person to give authentic semicha. Also it was a known fact that Ravina and Rav Ashi are "the end of Horaah" There is no halachic validity to any beit din after the Talmud except to state the law of the Torah about an issue. 

When we find people today denying all these facts we can know they are not teaching authentic Torah.
 I should mention even teaching Torah is forbidden if done for money.(The Talmud says that God says Just as I taught Torah for free so you must teach Torah for free. [Talmud  Nedarim. מה אני בחינם אף אתם בחינם] However on this point the Rishonim do allow "Melmadim" because of S'char Batalah,)


Song for the glory of God

L18 l26  l34 l35
If something is interesting does that mean it is good? On that essay on that Catholic site there
there is a mention that Kant is not that interesting. True. And that is a negative I admit. But I also know the Dark Side can impart flavor to bad things. Even more than they would have naturally.

What I suggest is that habit is the ruler. And that one has the knowledge and ability to direct his or hers own will towards things they know are good.
One can direct his will into learning
Math, Physics, learning Torah, etc.
But it helps if there is some kind of numinous [holy] taste in what one is doing. Reb Nachman felt there is luminosity in everything. One can serve God through everything.
This is an essay that brings out an important point.


I am not a fan of pseudo sciences nor of "great books" education.
The trouble with most of what is taught today as exact  sciences are pseudo sciences. Even if they can be used for making a living they are still evil. That is psychology, and all it related fields. Obviously they can con people into giving them vast sums of money and have a strong hold over the educational system in the USA even though they have nothing of worth to offer just mirrors and delusions couched in scientific jargon.
People should learn real science and Torah. And when it gets time to get married to learn a honest vocation also.

Torah should be learned thus: a fast session Gemara, Rashi, Tosphot, Maharsha, and Maharam--one עמוד  this one side of a page per day. Not a whole Daf. Rather a 1/2 a Daf. That is the fast session. The slow one should be with a learning partner. And that depends a lot on the particular subject.
After one finishes the Talmud then the Ari. (I Luria). But no pseudo Torah.  [All  supposedly mystic books written after the Ari are pseudo Torah. The exceptions are the books of Yaakov Abuchatzaeia and Shalom Sharabi.]
After one has gone through the Talmud once in the above way, the next thing is to do the Jerusalem Talmud in the same way with all the commentaries on the page. The main thing is to say the words and go on. You will understand much more in this way than if you stayed on every little detail. The you go through the rest of the halachic Midrashim. That is one fast session per day. That takes about 40 minutes if you do it with the Maharsha and Maharam. If you have more time you can do more than a 1/2 a Daf per day. But this seems like a lot already.
There should be another short session in the midrashei hagadah in such a way that after a few years one has finished the entire Oral and Written Law (Old Testament). Every last word. This only seems like a lot because I am not talking about reading novels. If I would say to go through a  novel by Tom Clancy  in a few days it would seem like nothing to most people. But all of a sudden when it is Torah it sounds like a momentous task.
The slow in depth learning I can give any kind of guidance on. The normal way of going about it is to be in a authentic Lithuanian Yeshiva. You prepare for the Rosh Yeshiva's class in the morning. Then the class is he giving over his original ideas on the Gemara. It is not just reading over some one else's  ideas. That is in any case how things were at the Mir. But to get to be able to do this yourself takes more than the regular four years. It might take twenty or more. It is like in the Middle Ages when apprenticeship could last for twenty of more years until one was  a master of the art

Here is a good critique on  Philosophy



The challenge to the survival of the human race is Islam.
Islam proves the Enlightenment was wrong. Not all human beings have the same goals. We are not the same inside. We are evolving into different species.

The challenge of Islam is conceptual. It first takes a leap out of the old idea that all people need is education and they will become enlightened.  No. All they need is education and they will figure out new methods of murdering Christians and Jews.

While compassion is important, it does not mean to have compassion on people that mean you harm.

Nachman from Uman started LM Vol II chapter 7 with the idea that a authentic leader needs to have compassion. But he needs to know how and when to act with compassion. For one could have compassion on a baby and give it food that is only fit for an adult. Similarly one should not have compassion of thieves and murderers.

And the one true leader that knew how to have compassion was only Moses.
I suggest looking at that Torah lesson. But in any case we can understand that keeping the Law of Moses is the real compassion.
Now Christians have a true idea that essence of Torah and the most important commandment is to love one's neighbor. But that does not mean to let someone live next to you who means to harm you. Or believes in a religion which has  a goal to exterminate you. That is not compassion.


There is a time in a person's life when a major life decision has to be made. and he or she knows that their entire future depends on that on decision. My idea is that when we talk about sin that this is connected to this major life decision. Though you may not know which is the right way at the time later it does become clear which way was right and which way not.

I usually think of sin as being a daily kind of thing, Lashon Hara, gossip, Bitul Torah, etc. But I think these areas of major decisions are the more determining areas in which sin is relevant.

So how does one go about making the right life decision?

I suggest trust in God can be helpful in this area. That is to make a decision based on the idea that I really do not know which path is right. There can be  a path before  a person that he thinks is right but it ends in death. So we can't depend on our own reason and logic in this area. Especially when we think we are doing a mitzvah. The areas in which we think we are doing a mitzvah are almost always the exact areas of our biggest sins.

I have areas I think are my sins. Many time I was convinced I was doing the right thing and it turned out that I had made a disastrous decision.. So I conclude that there is something about the decision making process itself that needs to be corrected in order for a person to live an upright life. It can't be following reason, nor what he thinks the Torah commands. The Satan dresses up in mitzvot and seduces people by calling to them saying come and let's do a mitzvah.

The areas that I think are my own sins have given me an amazing perspective and insight about the world. That is doing a sin and getting punished in a way that seems lie a direct result of the sin or not listening to my parents because i was sure I knew better than them and finding out that they were right all along has given me more insight about the world the nature of objective morality more than any amount of book learning (even Torah learning) could ever give.

Being against the State of Israel I discovered in this way is  a terrible sin. Since then I have tried to speak for the peace of Jerusalem and Israel. There was the Satmar Rav, Reb Joel who was against the State of Israel. But because of this kind of reasoning I decided he was wrong. [Later I found out his objections to the State of Israel had no basis in Halacha but were based on obscure midrashim which have no legal validity.]

I discovered also the importance of Reb Nachman in the same way. It was not that following his teachings was so much clearly a benefit. It was rather leaving his path that proved so disastrous than made me realize that being against his path is very wrong--not just for me but I think for others also.
Though in following his advice there are many pitfalls like bitul Torah one has to avoid. Still overall I think it is a terrible sin to speak against him or his teachings.

I also learned how right my parents were when they were so upset that I decided not to go to university and learn a vocation. But that is not to say they were against learning Torah. Just the opposite they themselves put me into Hebrew school on Shabat and encouraged my learning and keeping Torah. Rather the idea of going to yeshiva instead of learning a vacation they saw as wrong and time proved they were right.

Here is a comment on a Economics blog but i think it applies here also.

 Most people I talk to about policy do not even realize that there is anything non-trivial about policy analysis. They want the government to make sure that four phases of rigorously designed RCTs be performed before drugs are made available to the public, for fear of unintended consequences of intervening on a complex system like the human body, yet they think they understand the consequences of highly complex interventions on human societies by introspection alone. Not only do they think they understand the consequences of alternative policy choices, but they're so confident that their understanding is right and that its truth is so obvious that the only explanation for disagreement is evil intentions.When I point out that on virtually every policy issue, at least somewhat compelling arguments for many conflicting points of view have been made by relevant experts, people usually react in disbelief or denial, or immediately retreat to questioning the motives of these experts ("of course they say that, they're on the payroll of Big Business" or whatever). These patterns of speech and behavior are uniformly distributed across the political spectrum, even if intelligence and knowledge of well-established facts is not. Even many experts in particular areas of social science evince no awareness of the lack of expert consensus on almost anything in their field, and give the impression of unanimity to an unknowing public.


Someone asked me about the stabbings in Israel

The Mishna says in Pirkei Avot that the sword comes into the world because of עינוי הדין ועוות הדין והמורים בתורה שלא כהלכה.  This is an old and tired subject for me. I have mentioned before that most of the people that supposedly teach Torah are teaching false Torah. But I have not gotten very far with correcting this. People just don't want to hear this.  But this is curious to me because it comes up in the Lekutai Moharan of Reb Nachman often. (LM I:8,12. 29;  II: 5, 8 and other places) And he did not originate the idea. In Shabat we find if you see a generation upon which punishment comes go and check the judges of Israel for all the troubles that enter the world come because of the judges of Israel.

The trouble is that some people make money by means of supposedly learning or teaching Torah. And mixing Torah with money has never been a good idea. And the result of this is what we have today.

I  warn about rabbis and no one seems to believe me until they themselves suffer. And then my warning does nothing to help.
In any case there is some kind of problem with rabbis. If you look at the LM you will see that Reb Nachman himself noticed this and was critical to a degree that would be considered exaggerated by most people. But not by me. I believe every word. I stay away from them as far as possible. .


Kabalah is a bit confusing to me. Much of the formal structure of what we have from Isaac Luria comes from the pre socratics, Plotinus and Mani.  It does not seem all that insightful when you know from where it comes.  On the other hand  once you have the formal structure, it seems often the mystics themselves had  some great insights. It is not a settled question me.

I made a detailed study of this once. Mainly the idea of the ten sepherot comes from a disciple of Plato. The contraction {"tzimtzum"} was from the presocratics. The "sparks of holiness" from Mani. Adam Kadmon also from Mani.

And most of what passes for divine spirit by so called kabalists seems to me to be mainly kelipat Noga. That is the Middle Zone [heichalai hatmurot] between holiness and unholiness that gives one great powers and knowledge about peoples secrets.

But when you have people that were  ascetics like Bava Sali then it is fairly simple to see that their insights came from their sincere service to God and not from learning Kabalah. In fact it seems to me that what every kabalah they learned had little to do with their ability to give blessings.

Mainly I think that Kabalah is a way of conceiving spiritual reality. And when one gets into it then the reality becomes real. It is like Kant's idea of the representation   of "the thing in itself." the representation is half supplied by the object and half by the observer. That is the believing in it makes it real. Not just the Kabalah but any spiritual reality of system has this quality of being able to absorb people that belive it into itself.