A lot of times movements are caused by perceived abuse of an existing system. Not that the newer system that is promised turns out so much better. It does not matter so much if the old system was really all that bad. What matters is that people got mad enough to decide to change it.
I am thinking of Communism for one example. Enough people were upset by the abuses they saw under capitalism. And to a large degree the abuses were real.
But then Communism did not exactly turn out the way most people expected in Russia. So they went back to capitalism. I was kind of shocked when I asked people in the former USSR how were things? And I always expected an answer terrible. But instead they always said "Better than now.."

The same thing applies to Martin Luther. Enough people got upset with the Catholic Church to throw it out. But that is not to say that what they got instead was much of an improvement.
In the Middle Ages this dynamic existed in what was considered "fair price" of goods.

This dynamic still take place  when people wander from movement to movement.


The awkward thing at the beginning of bava batra is this. Tosphot says therefore the brick belong to both since they were forced to build refers to both opinions in the Gemara damage done by eyes is or is not damage. Even the opinion it is not but they remember that they agreed to divide.  But then to answer the question Toshot raises he is forced to say that the bricks fell into one domain and stayed for a long time  This pushes to time scale to be long. The first approach of Tosphot makes the time scale contract. Besides  this his question seem odd because המוציא החבירו עליו הראיה  we do apply even when it was not clear whose the object was from the beginning for example שנים אוחזים בטלית

There are some good points  about Paul. That is mainly the idea of אמונת חכמים faith in the wise. That is faith in a true tzadik like  Jesus has great merit in itself even if it is overdone. That is that there is a certain degree of virtue that enters into a person when he ha faith in a true saint. This is true even if that faith is overdone to the degree that Christians take it. But to over do it is better than to under do it-- that is by denying any virtue to that saint at all. This is one area that the the Ran of Breslov was right in terms of emphasizing the importance of belief in a true tzadik.
The presence of the Dark Side got into the world of Torah by sleight of hand. Tricks and cunning, To imagine the Dark Side has no tricks is not accurate. Though in Reform Temples you might hear that the Satan is not an actual presence in Torah this doe not seem accurate. It is not just in the book of Job but also where it says that the Satan conned King David to count Israel. You see there also that he is a presence and an actual being that tries to bring bad ideas into people's heads to cause their undoing.


"The law of the country is the law." To me just off hand this seems to only apply to dealings between a Israeli and  a Gentile. The reason is that that is the way the Gemara and Rashbam looks like to me. The Gemara brings the law that the gentile sells the field and the Israeli gives him money. Then another Israel can grab the field before the first one gets the document. But that does not work if the sell is between two Israelis. If I get the time I will try to go into more detail to prove this point. But if you look at the Gemara in Bava Batra I think you will see my thesis is openly implied.

[What I am saying is to look at the first Rashbams on that page--not just the one where he talks about taxes and you will see that at least the Rashbam spells this out clearly.] ]


The Gra emphasized the Seven Wisdoms. This is stated by one of his disciples in his translation of Euclid. [In the Middle Ages these were called Trivium and Quadrivium].
But these do not correspond directly with the Rambam's emphasis on Physics and Metaphysics.
Nor are the Rambam's categories all that clear. He was thinking in terms of learning the sets of books by Aristotle the Physics  and the MetaPhysics and today Physics has gone further and philosophy has gone backwards.

My view is one ought to learn (1) The Written Law. (2) The Oral Law, that is Gemara Tosphot and the Avi Ezri. (3) Physics (4) Plato, Plotinus, Kant.

straight Torah

In the prophet Zephaniah 3 there is a verse that compares the judge of Israel to evening wolves that are constantly hunting new prey so that they do not even bother with the bones and leftovers from their old prey.

This goes along with the idea brought in the end of tractate Shabat "If you see a generation upon that troubles come go and check the judges of Israel. For all the troubles that come into the world only come because of the judges of Israel."

To some degree this can be even in the Rambam also in his commentary on Pirkei Avot that כל הנהנה מדברי תורה נוטל את חייו מן העולם. [Whosoever derives monetary benefit from the words of Torah takes is life out of the world. The Rambam says that means the world to come.]
The actual statement of Hillel was in the beginning of Pirkei Avot not to make money off of Torah nor get paid for learning or teaching. קרדום לחפור בהם. But later in Pirkei Avot  that same statement is brought a second time with explanation כל הנהנה מדברי תורה נוטל את חייו מן העולם and that is where the Rambam goes into detail about this problem.

This does however leave a kind of problem about how to give a divorce or other aspects of Law.
In fact in order to have a good idea of how to keep Torah knowledge of Gemara and Musar is necessary but you need to find a kind of legitimate Lithuanian kind of Yeshiva to get straight Torah.


When the Rambam stated that to fulfill the commandments to love and fear God is by learning Physics and Metaphysics he made it clear in the Guide that he was referring to these subjects as understood by the ancient Greeks.  I think this means that he understood these subjects as aspects of the "revealing of Being."

The Rambam apparently did not see fanaticism as per spending all day in rituals as the path to God,


Hegel has had a curious history. Hegelian Idealism was totally gone by 1850 but somehow had a revival by Marx and Kierkegaard. Now these two modifications of Hegel encompass a large part of the globe. And a great deal of twentieth century philosophy is a kind of struggle to escape Metaphysics. Is not it time to give Leonard Nelson and the Kant Fries approach due consideration?


To come up with a political system based on the best philosophy ends up with the worst systems in politics.

WWI and WWII brought an end to interest in German Idealism.
As a matter of fact it was mainly WWI but WWII finished the job. And in place of Kant and Hegel you got a host of  vacuous philosophies of the twentieth century.  
The reason was that the connection between philosophy and politics  is non trivial.

On the other hand, I think this is somewhat tragic since Kant and Hegel were the best the happened in philosophy ever since Aristotle and Plotinus. But in fact when it comes to politics, philosophy  is weak.
Staring from Plato, philosophers have come up with one ridiculous scheme after the other when it comes to politics and in understanding human nature.

What makes this confusing is that in some cases Hegel and Communism seem still to be functioning like in China. And even in Czarist Russia,  the simple implementation of some kind of Parliament  system [the Duma] did not help any of the problems of WWI nor the civil war.

The best idea in political thought to me still seems to be the Constitution of the USA. Politics and Philosophy seem best to be divided. To come up with a political system based on the best philosophy ends up with the worst systems in politics.