Slavery is very much sanctioned by the Old Testament.

Right after the Ten Commandments there are rules about how "when you buy a slave" that deal with  a Jewish slave. Later there are other rules for how to treat a gentile slave. A lot of the rules are dealt with in tractate Kidushin. In any case slavery is very much sanctioned by the Old Testament. In the New Testament also there are specific instruction for slaves not to rebel.  


Socrates asked "What is virtue?", and could not find anyone that could answer the question.[Meno]

Even with Musar/Medieval Books of Ethics the question still seems hard to answer.


I could vaguely see this, but someone coming into the city (of the former USSR) where I am right now pin pointed the problem: "Punk-keit". That is in this city there is a kind of idealization of the punk. The young criminal thug. This must account for the fact that the Russians always seem to look down on this area and think of it as second rate.

This reminds me that when a person has a "yetzer hara" an evil inclination he does not think of that thing that he desires as being wrong. In this city theft is certainly not considered a bad thing. I think it shows how much learning Torah is needed for people to get an idea of the difference between right and wrong.


I am realizing how hard it is to repent  because of lack of knowledge of what one's mistakes are and also from lack of desire. Twice in my life I decided to correct these two lacks by learning books of ethics from the Middle Ages [called Musar].

Not only that but even books from the Talmud period like the Midrashim and Mesechet "manners" דרך ארץ.

I seem to have drifted away from this important  practice and have found lots of obstacles.

After all two of the major goals of Torah are to bring one to fear of God and to human decency דרך ארץ and I am aware that without Musar it is very hard to come  to these goals or even to realize that they are worthy goals


U-3 G Minor

Not edited [in the hospital room there was a TV blasting away when I was doing this].

Even after so many hints from Heaven, I still do not be able to correct my ways.  But I have written that anyway many times on this blog. The only way I think repentance is possible for me is to awaken others to the light of "Musar" [that is the works on Ethics from the Middle Ages as emphasized by Reb Israel Salanter].

That is I am thinking along the lines that helping others to learn Musar, might reflect back to me.
The two problems with the Cult of Personality that exists in the religious world: it does not make people any better or worse. After the storm and fury are over, the excitement and elation, people have to get back to the daily business of living. And invariably, nothing has changed.

The other problem is that it is hard to distinguish the cult of personality from plain idolatry. I learned as well as I could tractate Sanhedrin from from around page 62 to 64 [with Tosphot] to get a decent idea of what idolatry is about and to me it seems that the cult of personality I have seen throughout the religious world is simply no different than ancient idolatry.

You could look at this from the standpoint of the Nesfesh HaChaim [by a disciple of the Gra]. He deals with this issue in terms of people "tying" their soul to the object of their worship. But to me  it seems this is putting too much into it. Not all idolatry has to be tying oneself to the object of worship.

[I might mention that the cult of personality often leaves people considerably worse off morally and spiritually.]


I admit I am profoundly disturbed by the argument between Dr Kelley Ross [the Kant Fries school] and Hegel. [This argument is an inheritance from the differences between Hegel and Fries. Also there is the fact that the Marxists made extensive use and still make extensive use of Hegel though they reject more than they accept.]

It does not help much the fact that Hegel himself says on occasion outrageous things like his treatment of Newton.
My own feeling about this is that Both Hegel and the Kant Fries School have  a lot to say that is valuable and important.[This is like the difference between Plato and Aristotle. There also it is hard to decide.]

The truth be told is that if you would whittle down the argument to looking simply at the difference between the two systems--the difference would not be great and almost complementary.


Israeli Supreme Court

The Israeli Supreme Court decided it is allowed to deport illegal immigrants involved in criminal activity.

I heard about the problem surrounding the Ben Gurion airport. [Criminal activity by people from Africa]  I was warned not to leave the airport grounds at night for that reason.--by Tel Aviv people! That was something like 7 years ago. It took them long enough to come to a decision.

Nationalism has some support from Hegel and Howard Bloom. The main thing I think is important to remember about Hegel is he not thinking of every state that ever was or will be. He is thinking of an ideal state.
Some Protestants read the Bible and get inspired to do great things. I am in a hospital room with a fellow who broke his leg. Pentecostals  come in every day  and they put together enough money to pay for his operation.   I am impressed. I have seen this kind of thing enough to realize it is no accident.

I do not hold much about Paul but even the letters of Paul inspire people towards great things. E.g. Faraday.