Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Los Angeles Lecture

If you have friends in LA, please pass this on to them:

Rabbi Natan Slifkin will speak on the topic of "One Judaism, Two Religions: Rationalism vs. Mysticism" at Young Israel of Century City, Wednesday July 15th, at 8.15 pm. Entrance donation is $10. Rabbi Slifkin will also be selling autographed copies of his books, The Challenge of Creation, Sacred Monsters, Man & Beast, and Perek Shirah: Nature's Song.

16 comments:

  1. Bemichilat kevodcha, after reading this blog for quite a while (and seeing your comments on Divrei Chaim), I don't think you are qualified to talk about the "mystical" approach. You have written very little that convinces me that you have really internalized what it actually entails.

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  2. The lecture will be about the new rational approach, and why it's needed, and what are the downsides to the mystical approach. And of course why the Rational approach is as old as Matan Torah itself, and there were always two paths torah.

    Therefore knowing about the mystical approach is irrelevant. Talmid, are you perfectly comfortable accepting psakim from Rav Eliyashiv considering his own grandfather was a severe mystic? Aren't you worried he may be paskening with the mystical approach, and not the rational one?

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  3. I must note that I find Non Talmid's comment to be next to incoherent (conceding that the Baal haBlog has just about said the same thing about some of mine :) ). Ins the rational approach "new" or "old as matan Torah"? How does this his explanation of the shiur negate the problem of someone of questionable authority on mysticism lecturing on it?

    Why is "guilt" by association a credible point about Rav Elyashiv shlita? What is the point of asking someone who clearly is a proponent of a more mystical approach if he is comfortable with possible mystical influence in Rav Elyashiv's psak?

    I dunno.

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  4. Non Talmid (whatever that means): I have been studying the writings of the majority of achronim who espouse the "mystical" approach for many years now, and am quite comfortable with it. I do not in any way begrudge R Slifkin his right to side with the minority.

    I am simply pointing out that R Slifkin has not demonstrated very much understanding of the mystical approach. Just as someone with little understanding or appreciation of the Rambam's approach in MN would not be qualified to lecture on it, I am simply - and politely - pointing out the same regarding R Slifkin.

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  5. Isn't a lecture with this title as divisive as the attacks against Rabbi Slifkin were?

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  6. Will it be recorded and posted to the web? I'd love to hear it.

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  7. Talmid, if you have any precise corrections that you would like to point out regarding your claim that I don't understand the mystical approach, I would be glad to hear them.

    Anonymous - this is not a divisive lecture. Those who attacked me delegitimized my approach; my goal is to legitimize both sides. Also, please comment using your real name or a pseudonym.

    Simcha - it probably won't be recorded. I don't like recordings; I much prefer to put my presentations in writing, whereby I can present my thoughts more accurately and with precise sources.

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  8. "I don't like recordings; I much prefer to put my presentations in writing, whereby I can present my thoughts more accurately and with precise sources."

    Why not do both?

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  9. Let me know when you speak in North Jersey!

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  10. Or South Africa for that matter!

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  11. "Talmid, if you have any precise corrections that you would like to point out regarding your claim that I don't understand the mystical approach, I would be glad to hear them"

    I think you need to find a teacher, or a chavrusa who actually espouses the "mystical" approach, and learn with them regularly for a year or two. This is the only way you will be able to appreciate it from the inside.

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  12. Phoen7x - I would LOVE to return to South Africa - maybe you can find a shul/organization that would bring me?

    Talmid - I attended Rav Moshe Shapiro's shiurim for several years and was very much into the mystical approach. Check out my book "Seasons of Life" from 11 years ago.

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  13. What does "two religions" mean?

    Are you prepared to do away with Halachah sourced to the non-rationalist Rishonim, such as

    A woman eating treif (for Pikuach Nefesh) should not nurse a baby (Rema YD 81:7), explained by Shach there as creating a bad nature in the child.

    A young child should not be allowed to eat treif - (Rema and Shach there, based on Hagahos Asheiri, based on Yerushalmi on Acher's mother).

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  14. "(Rema and Shach there, based on Hagahos Asheiri, based on Yerushalmi on Acher's mother)."

    What does that say about the Yerushalmi? (I can hear it now, the Yerushalmi was mystical, and the Bavli was rational. The Rambam paskens like the Yerushalmi over the Bavli.)

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  15. RNS: "Talmid - I attended Rav Moshe Shapiro's shiurim for several years and was very much into the mystical approach. Check out my book "Seasons of Life" from 11 years ago."

    Ah...I should have guessed. You need to stop spending so much time with those Litvaks, and get to know some chassidut. ;-)

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  16. Perhaps the title of the lecture would sound less divisive (as 'anonymous' thought it did) if the order was switched:
    "Two Religions, One Judaism: Rationalism vs. Mysticism"

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