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26.3.17

תוספות בבא מציעא דף ק''י ע''א But the basic subject is in בבא בתרא דף ל''א.Talmud Bava Metzia page 110

תוספות בבא מציעא דף ק''י ע''א But the basic subject is in בבא בתרא דף ל''א.
Two people come to court. Each one says, ''this field was my fathers and I have been on it three years שני חזקה.'' Then two sets of witnesses come to court. One set says it was his father's. The other set says about the other טוען, " he was on it three years. רבה says he could have said, Why should he have lied? He could have said "I thought of it as my father's." אביי says, "We do not say 'He could have said' in a place there are witnesses."

The issue here is that in תוספות בבא מציעא one opinion  is this. If it were so that a person can say that land you have been on for more than three years came to you as a guarantee for a loan, then even without מחאה protest within three years, one would always be believed that land you are on is mine and you have it because you stole it. For he could have said it is a משכון guarantee and be believed. So believe him now. That is a מיגו can take out of חזקה.

Thus, the argument in תוספות seems to be the connected to the  argument between רבה and אביי. Because in our situation in בבא בתרא, no witness is saying either plaintiff owned the land. Rather, the set of witnesses that said about one plaintiff that he was there for the years of possession. That means he has חזקה. The testimony is that he has a חזקה, not that he has ownership. Thus the argument between רבה and אביי is if there is a מיגו in the place where there are witnesses is connected with case of תוספות.
But the difference is this. In בבא בתרא רבה is not saying we believe a מיגו to take of of חזקה. just the opposite.  We believe the person that has the חזקה because he also has a מיגו. It is rather אביי that says we o not even believe him because of his מיגו and also not because of his חזקה.

But w can also see that the person with  the מיגו is in fact taking out of the חזקה מעיקרא  of the other טוען. That is we put his חזקת השתא  and חזקת שלש שנים together with the מיגו to take out of חזקה מעיקרא. I am assuming here that the fact that the land once belonged to his father that at least gives him the standpoint of חזקה מעיקרא
In any case, I think that this argument between רבה and אביי might also depend on the argument in תוספות in נידה whether חזקה מעיקרא וחזקה דהשתא are equal. If that is the case then we can understand רבה that if you add a מיגו to the חזקה דהשתא that can outweigh the חזקה מעיקרא of the other טוען. But if חזקה מעיקרא is stronger then we can understand אביי that does not think putting together a מיגו with חזקה דהשתא can overpower a חזקה מעיקרא. But to him it might be that even so חזקה מעקרא in our case might also not be enough. After all the other טעון was on the land three years


תוספות בבא מציעא דף ק''י ע''א. הנושא הבסיסי הוא בבבא בתרא דף ל''א. שני אנשים מגיעים לבית המשפט. כל אחד אומר, "השדה זה היה של אבותיי ואני עובד שם שני חזקה, שלוש שנים." ואז שני סטים של עדים באים לבית המשפט. קבוצה אחת אומרת ששדה זה היה לאביו. הסט השני אומר על טוען האחר, "הוא היה על שדה זה שלוש שנים. רבה אמר למה לשני לשקר? הוא היה יכול לומר, "חשבתי על זה כעל של אבי."  אביי אמר," אנחנו עושים לא אומרים 'הוא היה יכול לומר' במקום שישנם עדים". כאן הבעיה היא כי תוספות בבא מציעא דעה אחת היא זו. אם זה היה כך שאדם יכול לומר כי הקרקע שיש לך כבר למעלה משלוש שנים בא לך כערובה להלוואה, אז גם בלי מחאת מחאה בתוך שלוש שנים, אחד תמיד יהיה אמין בטענה "הקרקע שאתה עליה היא שלי ויש לך את זו כי אתה גזלת אותה" עבור שהוא היה יכול לומר את זו היא ערובת משכון ושיאמין. אז מאמינים לו עכשיו. זהו מיגו יכול להוציא חזקה. לפיכך, טיעון תוספות נראה את מחובר להוויכוח בין רבה ואביי. כי במצב שלנו בבבא בתרא, לא אף עד אומר שהתובע היה בעל האדמה. במקום זאת, הקבוצה של עדים שאמרו על תובע אחד שהוא היה שם לשלשת השנים. כלומר, יש לו חזקה. העדות היא כי יש לו חזקה, לא כי יש לו בעלות. לכן הוויכוח בין רבה ואביי הוא אם יש מיגו במקום שבו יש עדים קשורים במקרה של תוספות. אבל ההבדל הוא זה. בבבא בתרא רבה הוא לא אומר שאנחנו מאמינים מיגו לקחת של של חזקה. רק להפך. אנו מאמינים האדם שיש לו את החזקה כי יש לו גם מיגו. זה לא לאביי שאומר שאנחנו אפילו לא מאמינים לו בגלל מיגו שלו וגם לא בגלל החזקה שלו. אבל ניתן גם לראות כי האדם עם מיגו הוא למעשה לוקח מתוך חזקה מעיקרא של טוען האחר. כלומר שמיגו שלו עם חזקת השתא, ואת החזקה של שלש שנים יחד יכולים להוציא מחזקת מעיקרא. אני מניח כאן כי העובדה שהקרקע שייכת פעם לאביו שלפחות נותן לו מבחינת החזקה מעיקרא. בכל מקרה, אני חושב כי מחלוקת בין רבה ואביי אולי גם תלוי טיעון בתוספות בנידה ב: אם חזקה מעיקרא וחזקה דהשתא שווות. אם זה נכון אז נוכל להבין רבה שאם תוסיף מיגו אל חזקת השתא שזה יכול להכריע את חזקא מעיקרא של טוען האחר. אבל אם חזקה מעיקרא חזקה, אז נוכל להבין את אביי שלא חושב להרכיב מיגו עם חזקה דהשתא כדי להכניע חזקה מעיקרא. אבל לו  יכול להיות שגם כך חזקה מעקרא בענייננו אולי גם לא יספיק. אחרי שהטוען השני היה שם בשלוש שני חזקה.

25.3.17

People are souls, not selves. But to figure out what one's soul connections are and what they ought to be  is hard.

Isaac Luria goes into this in some depth but the short of it in a practical sense is there is a certain amount of control a person has over what he feeds his mind. And what he absorbs into his mind at first is software but after some time becomes hardwired. Howard Bloom went into this in detail and I can't repeat the whole thing here,[ in The Lucifer Principle].


In any case this is certainly an argument for Musar [the books of Ethics from the Middle Ages plus the books that came out of the Musar Movement.]

But my point is a little more subtle. First that one can not always tell why or from where his or her attraction to a certain group comes from. It might be from the Realm of Holiness, or t might be from the Sitra Achra [the Dark Side]. An the fact that it is intense and feels great is no proof one way of the other.  

But the Rambam does give a pretty decent way of discerning--Reason. Natural Law was a level that was needed before the giving of the Torah. And though natural law  needed to be revealed to Abraham, still once it has been revealed already to human consciousness, it provided a base upon which Matan Torah could happen.  [This also goes along with the idea of certain periods in history being unique and prepared for certain kinds of Revelation.]\

In any case we can learn from this the importance of Musar and learning Torah.



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

The Self that is not a soul is a secular thing.

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.








22.3.17

It is possible for teachers of Torah to be satanic

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 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.

21.3.17

A legal measure adopted by a later Beit Din when the reason for the law is gone is well known to be the subject of a debate between the Rambam and Raavad. It stems from the Gemara in Betza page 5.

The interesting thing about it is the Rambam in the introduction to the Mishne Torah where he deals with a different issue about a local beit din. There he brings down that no one has the authority to nullify a law of the gemara [Talmud]. [And we have in the Gemara a set of rules how to decide any halacha. In any case the Rambam had no doubt about that. But among rishonim there are different opinions on which of those rules takes precedence]. The odd thing he does not seem to refer to a beit din without the authentic semicha from Sinai {which no longer exists} except in the Mishne Torah itself. In the introduction he seems to refer to the kind of Beit din of three that can judge a very limited  set of things. So in Mishna Torah why does he not go into the subject of a beit din with no true semicha. Obviously because  as we can see he felt they had no authority to make  decrees.

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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.

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I see things in the last century worth preserving. There is a lot of good work in Math and Physics and Engineering. [Frankly the progress in these fields is astounding] Some good work has been done in philosophy by Kelley Ross and Michael Huemer and Jerold Katz and John Searle. Some of the best work Maimonides also has been done in the 2Oth century. Plus there are plenty of good Thomas Aquinas people out there. And what about Godel? Only time will tell about other areas, but after about 200 years of socialisms the fact of Trump shows the people of this century has discovered what many others did not discover--that Socialism is a bust.

Review. That is saying the words of each section forwards and backwards

There is an idea of learning that helped me get through very hard courses in Physics and Math in NYU. That is saying the words of each section forwards and backwards. I picked up this idea from Isaac Luria in שער רוח הקודש but it came up also in the Middle Ages with mystics in Germany. 

I confess I would not have been able to get through my courses without this idea. But it should not be considered opposed to the idea of learning fast. Learning fast is more for the first few times you go through a book or some set of let's say a hundred pages. But then the process of review begins.

20.3.17

Ari is the ten sepherot. But Rav Shalom Sharabi [from Yemen and then Jerusalem] showed how that boils down to five Partzufim [פרצופים]

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.


I should mention there is a somewhat different approach to the Ari, the פשוט פשט the simple explanation which you see in Rav Yaakov Abuchatzaira and the Ramchal.



18.3.17

legitimacy of authority

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. 

The problem with authority in the Jewish world goes back a long way. The simple way to avoid the problem is simply to take note that religious clothing usually means someone is trying to get money out of real Jews, by pretending to know and teach Torah. The best approach with these people is to shoot them on sight  so as not to let them into your communities where they do infinite damage to your children.
The most explicit explanation of this problem come from Reb Nachman who thought most people play the role of teachers of Torah are actually demons. That is messengers sent on earth from Satan to trick people and give them a false counterfeit teachings.
This really began in the days of the prophets but is also mentioned in the Talmud and Rishonim. In short there have always been scammers from the Sitra Achra [realm of evil].