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Oh, and actually no less than Chazal (Berachos 5a) say that when calamities befall us, we are supposed to do introspection to see what areas of observance need improvement. And the default area to improve given by Chazal is Torah study!

But then again, Chazal were Chareidi, so scratch that.

Update: See happygolucky's response here:

https://irrationalistmodoxism.substack.com/p/a-vacation-from-torah

And this one from me:

https://irrationalistmodoxism.substack.com/p/is-there-anything-at-all-rational

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Apr 16, 2023·edited Apr 16, 2023

Chazal are making unfalsifiable claims, here. No way to prove or disprove. They should know better that this is a fallacy. You are making an appeal to authority. Another fallacy. Both examples of the logical weakness of religious apologetics. Both commonly employed by clergy, mass movement leaders, as well as people who know exactly what they are doing (who we would call charlatans.) No grade on this one.

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Sorry, you've come to the wrong address. As the good rabbi has said, this site is for people who believe in the basic tenets of Judaism. What we argue about here is what exactly those are. But for those who don't believe in Judaism, this is not the place for you. Do us all a favor and get the hell out of here.

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The discussions between Hillel and Shammai were l'shem shamayim

Rabossi - what's going on here is definitely NOT l'shem shamayim

Get outside your heads, if possible, and look at what's going on in Israel, in the Yiddische Welt, in the middle east, in the world in general.

All of this brainpower, when focused positively, should be a light to the other nations

Exactly what the f**** are y'all doing??

Don't respond - just think about it; rationally, if possible - and if you are pointing a finger[literally or figuratively] go stand in front of a mirror

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WADR, you are unread on some fundamental elements of Chareidi thought. It's worth a shot at communicating this to you since you appreciate thinking and not responding. Find a friendly Chareidi person IN A DIFFERENT PLACE to share your questions with & become better read, while here everything is in the context of fighting.

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Apr 16, 2023·edited Apr 16, 2023

appeal to emotion. Giving you an incomplete. I am being a nice guy.

but, in terms of what you do say - what could you mean by believing in basic "tenets" that you can't define? You say you "believe," but the evidence points to the contrary.

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It wasn't an appeal to emotion; it was an appeal to a mamzer.

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ad hominem fallacy. I'd advise you repeat the grade...you got this..!

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Yes, ad hominem indeed. It is pointless to attempt in engaging in intelligent conversation in Judaism with someone who openly isn't working with the premise of Judaism.

And that's if I thought you were capable of engaging in intelligent conversation to begin with. But from observing your immature comments here, it seems the extent of your capability is to "grade" or attack other commenters. Intelligent argument does not seem to be your strong point.

But you'll have to excuse me. I've broken my commitment not to engage with idiots. As Mark Twain said, "Never engage with a fool; the onlookers won't be able to tell the difference." So adios, amigo!

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So if it's unfalsifiable, it is automatically false. Does that pass for logic?

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Apr 16, 2023·edited Apr 16, 2023

straw man. it is neither automatically true, or false. no one, not the arguer or his counter arguer - can make heads or tails of it.

the con man has the deeper problem: he makes claims that he knows are false. that's why after he sells his snake oil, he must leave town.

Religious apologists have it much easier: "faith can move mountains." "I have faith, and can't move mountains with it." "You lack real faith."

You got to figure this is why there are so many mega churches with teams of clergy pontificating from the same pulpit for decades, and con men are wily and adept at making the hasty exit.

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You called it a fallacy, meaning 'a mistaken belief'. Seeing as you have no idea if it is true or not, you are blowing smoke.

But the truth is, experimentation is not the sole method of ascertaining the truth. There are other ways. But believers in the religion called empiricism have a myopic condition that does not allow them to see straight. A condition of all believers in man-made convenience religions.

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Apr 16, 2023·edited Apr 16, 2023

A logical fallacy is not a mistaken "belief."

From Google:

"Logical fallacies are deceptive or false arguments that may seem stronger than they actually are due to psychological persuasion, but are proven wrong with reasoning and further examination. These mistakes in reasoning typically consist of an argument and a premise that does not support the conclusion."

There are many kinds of logical fallacies. These are not matters of "experimentation," as you state.

Your last two sentences are non-falsifiable.

My HUMBLE advice to all religious apologists (from all religions; from all mass movements, too): go and learn.

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You are the religious apologist over here, trying to twist yourself into a pretzel to justify the religion of empiricism. Go and learn and you might find out that falsifiability is not the gold standard at all.

Google gave me the definition of 'a mistaken belief'. Which is your belief in using falsifiability as the only way to believe anything.

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Akiva,

But "idiocy" remains just that.

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Not the default rather the fallback option when no reasonable alternative is at hand . Torah learning is at an all time(?) high. Infighting is as well. So which one is more reasonable. The reason R Gershon Edelstein doesn't say this is because the far right view is that increased division is the best situation possible to insure the religious level of the "proper" jews. (A la the chazon ish) How can the proper jews get punished when they are doing everything right? (Note he doesn't blame Frei people breaking sabbath laws etc.. Arvus is viewed in a diminished fashion due to the self identification as seperate)

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Response to Natan's nonsense

https://irrationalistmodoxism.substack.com/p/a-vacation-from-torah

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author

Welcome back. You never responded to my question about what you found theologically objectionable about my matzah/chametz post.

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Besides your mocking Rashi (which is just par for the course for you, I have come to accept it), I didn't find it theologically objectionable, just silly. Like a parody I would write on Irrationalist Modoxism. Did you like my pshat in רק הכסא אגדל ממך?

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author

Come on, Happy, I'm waiting. Why do you think it is "silly" to show that chametz is culturally associated with Egypt?

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Dear me, wouldn't want to keep you waiting. "Silly" is by definition an impression, not a logical argument. A few things I found humorous:

-Your pshat in כי אם הלחם אשר הוא אכל

-Your idea that Sar ha-ofim is related to Egypt's unique status as the Capital of Leavened Bread. Was it also the Capital of Wine and Meat?

-Your statement that leavened bread was unknown in Canaan

-Your assertion that leavened bread requires heavy ovens, which is why it ties into nomadity or lack thereof

-Your idea that Hashem wanted to teach the Jews to embrace a nomadic lifestyle, despite the fact that they were to shortly enter the Land of Israel and become farmers

All of these humorous points coalesced together to give me the impression of frivolity. Now this doesn't mean your pshat is for sure WRONG, but the way you presented it, it just sounded silly to me,

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author

Ah, okay. So even though there is enormous cultural significance of chametz to Egypt, you think that these points mean that this should be ridiculed as being "silly." And it is much more reasonable to say that Lot served matza to his guests because he was celebrating the future rushed exodus of the Jews from Egypt than because it was a food that was eaten in Eretz Yisrael. Got it.

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author

Why did you think it was silly?

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i thought his examples showed why your pshat was silly

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that pshat was epic!

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That gemara says the opposite. The default area is not Torah study:

אם רואה אדם שיסורין באין עליו יפשפש במעשיו ...פשפש ולא מצא יתלה בבטול תורה

A straight reading here, indicates the default area of improvement is NOT Torah study. Only if someone finds himself faultless in other areas, should he attribute his ordeal to neglect of Torah study.

For a deeper reading, see the Kotzker who notes that the simple reading implies a redundancy. Wouldn't ביטול תורה be already included in faults discovered through examines one's deeds? Rather ביטול תורה here doesn't refer to neglect of Torah study per se, but using ביטול תורה as an excuse for not carrying out one's other responsibilities. So you have someone who examines his deeds and discovers that he has neglected his responsibilities, but excuses such neglect by saying that he was too busy learning to do the other things required of him. As such פשפש ולא מצא- he finds himself faultless. So the גמרא continues and says יתלה בבטול תורה, that it's the excuse of ביטול תורה that caused him to neglect his other duties and thus brought on calamity.

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Another interpretation of that statement is that יתלה applies to the פשפש ולא מצא, not to the יסורין - i.e., your neglect of Torah study is *the reason you don't realize what it is you did wrong*. In other words, it's never the lack of Torah study itself that causes יסורין; you're sinning in other areas because you lack sufficient understanding of Torah to know what's forbidden.

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Nice.

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The gemara is saying that one should examine what he could improve in. If he cannot find any obvious serious sin that seems to be the cause, then he can assume that the only serious sin that he has is bittul Torah. As Rashi explains, this is because calamities come especially from lack of Torah study. See the Maharsha there which explains this very clearly.

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"As Rashi explains, this is because calamities come especially from lack of Torah study."

Where does Rashi say "especially"?

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Apr 16, 2023·edited Apr 17, 2023

@Oiberchochom,

Could Rashi be wrong? And if not would you explain why?

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Kollel/yeshivah style of learning does not do 'straight readings'. That is was academic talmudists do (kofrim the lot of them). In chareidiland practically each and every aggadic statement can be twisted and cherry picked to mean whatever the quoter wants it to mean.

But seriously speaking, you can hardly claim something is a 'basic tenant' when there are so many different interpratations. Everything is a machlokas.

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You're apparently ignorant of how long what you call the "Kollel/yeshivah style of learning" has been in use.

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It's ironic for the kotzker to say that seeing as students abandoned their families to deprivation and starvation to study by him. (Other masters encouraged or condoned the same )

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Why is that behavior "ironic"?

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From Google. "happening in the opposite way to what is expected, and typically causing wry amusement because of this."

Saying a vort which is an attack on your own shitta is opposite to expectations and hence ironic.

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I know what "ironic" means. I was asking what is ironic about these rebbes' advice yielding lives of poverty.

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Apr 18, 2023·edited Apr 18, 2023

Statement 1. Using the excuse of spiritual growth to shirk one's obligations to one's family is fine. statement 2. Bitul torah means Using one's learning as an excuse to shirk one's obligations (and is wrong) . If someone maintains 1. It would be unexpected for him to maintain 2. as well since it is in contradiction. Thus these two statements fulfill the conditions to be declared ironic insofar as they are found to emanate from the same source.

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yes, the purpose of torah study is to practice what one has learned.

introspection is not for the faint of heart

perhaps we need to get back to the basics - learning and applying the mitzvot in sefer d'varim, before moving on to gemara

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On the contrary, the gemara says to check what you did wrong, and only if you found nothing, to assume it is because of Bitull Torah.

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This is totally ridiculous. Yes, Chareidim really think that Torah protects! This concept is not a Chareidi innovation. It is classic Judaic philosophy and Chazal say as such in numerous places. https://irrationalistmodoxism.substack.com/p/does-torah-protect. This very speech from R' Edelstein demonstrates that Charedim believe so, as well as the psak from R' Zilberstein that you were busy mocking last month, as well as numerous other statements and halachic rulings by Chareidi Gedolim and Poskim. It is simply not practical to leave all Yeshivos running 24/7. Most Yeshiva students are not cut out for that type of schedule, and it would in fact be detrimental in the long-term. Although in times of danger, Torah students do increase Torah study, exactly as R' Edelstein is advocating for here. When the rockets were falling in the south, MOST YESHIVOS STAYED, based on the psak of R' Chaim Kanievsky and others. The ones that relocated were mostly high schools, where the young bochurim were not able to cope with the situation. Not because the Yeshiva administration was frightened.

This is extremely straightforward, and you seem to be the only one confused about it. I think the real reason that you can't seem to wrap your head around is because that YOU don't think that Torah protects, as you've said numerous times. So it's kinda like me having trouble believing that intelligent Indians really, really believe that they are created and governed by a bunch of action figures. You are so far removed from believing in the Torah's protection that you have trouble understanding that anyone else really does.

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author

"It is simply not practical to leave all Yeshivos running 24/7." It is extremely straightforward to arrange things so that different yeshivos take vacations at different times. And if you believe that lives are at stake, this is exactly what should be done.

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Well, theoretically you may have a point, and there has even been a strong push in the past to do that a few times, but:

1. Bein Hazmanim of Nissan and Tishrei is an old tradition (which even has a source in Chazal), and like any tradition, it is hard to change (and summer bein haznanim goes back at least to the 19th century European Yeshiva era).

2. Being that we are in golus and lack central authority, it is very hard to make any large-scale communal change that involves many parties. As someone who is involved in klal related work in the US, I would call it next to impossible.

3. It is not as if this happens every bein hazmanim. There are some years that nothing out of ordinary happens. Yet every few years, we have bein hazmanims like this.

4. It is not as if there is no Torah learning happening during bein hazmanim. Most bachurim and avreichim maintain regular sedarim of a few hours during bein hazmanim. And when calamities such as these befall us, we are capable of increasing in Torah study, even during bein hazmanim.

So basically, it's easier said than done.

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author

Ah, so it would be a great way to save lives, but it's organizationally too difficult? Gosh, maybe they should get the IDF to help them schedule things.

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Akiva,

yes it is סכנת נפשות so no excuses.

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“It is not as if this happens every bein hazmanim.”

So, decreasing Torah study doesn’t always cause calamities to take place? What determines whether it does or doesn’t? 🤔

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You gotta ask God.

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Apr 16, 2023·edited Apr 16, 2023

That seems a very reasonable approach. Perhaps we should indeed leave questions of theodicy to Him, rather than make up reasons for why bad things happen.

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Uh, just we didn't make it up. Chazal (Berachos) say that when bad things happen, we can assume that the reason most likely is a due to a decrease in Torah study.

All the more so when it happens during bein hazmanim.

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It's an 'old tradition', yeah back to the 'mesorah' again, never fails.

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Don't you know that it's an old tradition that in times of war or danger, we are Machmir to take off on Bein Hazemanim? I mean every knows that tradition.

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F- for reading comprehension.

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Specious. Volozhin, one yeshiva (much smaller than the Mir and several others), had students learning practically 24/7, even during bein hazmanim.

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Yacov,

This protection ideology as in the extreme is not chazal but political nonsense.

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you can take the charedim out of the ghetto, but ya can't take the ghetto mentality out of charedim. Please request that das toireh people substantiate their irrational claims and statements Remind them why Jewish armies are required to do battle on Shabbos

You might even suggest they put down the Talmud and learn TaNaCh

You have a great blog, R Slifkin, but your detractors have the mindset of 19th century shtetl dwellers and kollel bochrim(who probably believe R Akiva's students literally died in a plague [Chazal's codeword for rebellion - not a good word to mention when living under foreign domination]

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A guy who can speak of "kollel bochrim" is probably not the best person to be lecturing others on anything relating to learning...

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'Acquiring a wife' doesn't mean one sheds the appellation 'bocher' - you can have 12 children and still remain a jejeune 35 yr old

BTW the idea that chazal were charedim is so outrageous, so eastern european and so ignorant.

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Uh, obviously no one thinks that they wore contemporary Chareidi garb, spoke Yiddish, and whatnot, but their value system was far more in-line with that of Chareidim than that of liberal MODOX, which is antithesis to their teachings in so many ways. I IYH have a few in-depth posts coming up on Irrationalist Modoxism on this very topic.

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I am not sure if any 2 people have the same definition for who or what modox is, let alone liberal.

Haredim I can at least differentiate between Israeli and non Israeli in some respects; and das toyreh vs non das toyreh -- certainly very binary and generic, when in reality am yisrael is a very complicated and unconventional Venn diagram

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"Acquiring a wife doesnt mean..." - actually it does, and to claim otherwise means you're either speaking your own language or making up definitions to suit your own tastes.

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Garvin, you are a bocher - i'm not litvish, so i say 'bucher' Your inability to distinguish between figurative and literal is disappointing.

Bucher, you need to get out into the real world and see how people struggle every day to eke out an honest living; go comfort the sick and the dying, try helping someone who has been attacked and is bleeding to death.

Get back to me after you've had a few of these experiences - and don't be an asshole and reply prematurely

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And yet again, another left winger who can't write without resorting to disgusting nivul peh. Thanks for proving the point.

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You are a Boucher- I’m a registered Republican and no doubt much more conservative than you are!

My advantage is that I’m at least 40 yrs older and have gone through what I suggested you might try experiencing; and by responding the way you did -

You just proved what a miserable supercilious progressive woke parasite-asshole you are

Go out and get a life

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Why do u object so robustly to the term "kollel bochrim" that u think its usage invalidates the speaker's opinions?

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Apr 16, 2023·edited Apr 16, 2023

As you ask like a gentleman, Kollel is for marrieds, and Bochurim are singles. Anyone unaware of that in the heat of a debate can expect to be jeered & sniggered at for that lapse in their knowledge, and have the remainder of their comment hooted at and dismissed

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Literary devices are not taught in yeshiva. Too bad one needs to dumb things down.

I know very well the difference, and have put my time and money where mouth is to support a kollel.

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Apr 17, 2023·edited Apr 17, 2023

Mr. Coyote--Some1's failing to make that purported distinction among word choices is an insignificant error, (if it is indeed an "error"), in no way detracts from the thrust of some1's arguments or opinions. U r desperately over-reacting, clearly intentionally, to shout down an opinion with which u disagree. Your endless amplification of Kenneth's "error" is more hammy than a footballer's play-acting serious injury to draw a penalty upon their opponent.

Rebbes (and Alan Dershowitz) do it all the time to suppress purported apikorsim. Unfortunately, some bochrim, maybe u, pick up the habit. While u at at it, feel free to criticize my use of text abbreviations to dig yourself a deeper hole.

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Apr 18, 2023·edited Apr 18, 2023

Kindly bear in mind once and for all that I'm not a desperate commenter, let alone intentionally shouting...; I rarely raise my 'voice'. I was explaining to you what you asked about others.

Generally speaking, where there's a cultural gap and one party feels that the other can't see across it at all, but in a way that isn't easily quantified, and the other also made a tangible albeit insignificant error, the first party will point out the latter in attempt to convey that the other party, in their opinion, is clueless in general of what goes on on the other side. I've seen this among atheists, agnostics, believers; Jews, gentiles--anyone and everyone.

Huxley did something similar to great effect in his 1860 debate with Wilberforce.

Chill, good man, chill.

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Coyote, u r very desperate. U invalidated a person's opinion because of a SMALL terminology maybe-error, as per you: Anyone unaware of that...can expect to be jeered & sniggered at for that lapse in their knowledge, and have the remainder of their comment hooted at and dismissed."

Unaware of "that" WHAT? A terminology error? You: "The first party will point out the latter in attempt to convey that the other party, in their opinion, is clueless in general of what goes on on the other side."

U r desperate, Dude. U r probably 1 of the idiots that dismisses my frum brother-in-law because he cannot gutturally pronounce khof and khet!

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Well said, except that I would not call the error insignificant. To be so unfamiliar with such basic terminology betrays such a woeful understanding of the subject in question, that it is not worth one's time to engage the individual further in discussion.

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That nonsense about Talmidei Rabbi Akiva really takes the cake.

The Gemara actually tells us which illness it was that killed them. But it's all code. Sure.

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I have a bridge I'd like to sell you. Try studying gemara in the context of historical, political, socioeconomic circumstances. You will never understand chazal if you do not attempt to understand their world They lived in the real world, not in an ivory tower - and those who got stuck in the tower were instructed to go into the marketplace, mingle with the ordinary people and observe the day to day comings and goings: Chazal did not presume to have haredi privilege, which affects so many people these days and has not produced an original thought in a generation

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Wow! So much stupidity, in one short comment.

1. There is no proof at all that the Talmidim of Rabbi Akiva died of anything but a plague. It is mere conjecture that Rabbi Akiva, through his 120 years, lived through a rebellion, that made some guy decide that maybe they died of other causes. Someone took two factoids - that Rabbi Akiva lived through a rebellion, and that his Talmidim died, and joined them together in unholy wedlock for no particular purpose. Even though the Gemara says Askera, commonly translated as diphtheria.

2. The Chachamim of the Mishna lived in an ivory tower. Contact with amei ha'aretz was severely limited, due to the Halachos of Tum'ah and Taharah.

3. The 'historical, political and socioeconomic circumstances' are completely unknown to us. Archaeologists make 'discoveries' and historians pontificate, but they all have no clue what they are talking about. They make up stuff based on the feeblest of proofs, and with their dusty bowties and tweed jackets they can convince the feeble-minded Kenneths of the world that they know what they are talking about.

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thank you for that enlightening response; although I will grant you that diphtheria epidemics have been described in ancient times. I was not aware that "Contact with amei ha'aretz was severely limited, due to the Halachos of Tum'ah and Taharah,' even though we are speaking of 'post-churban' period extending over a few hundred years.

'historical, political and socioeconomic circumstances' are completely unknown to us,' is a baseless statement, perhaps stemming in part from your contempt for academics, to say nothing of us feeble-minded apikorsim

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Actually, there are very little contemporaneous accounts of Chazal at all. A little from Josephus but that's about it.

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actually not, but you avoided all the issues

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As I read the comments, I ponder why certain people come to rage at Rabbi Slifkin while a simple "I disagree, here is why" would suffice. I also ponder why certain other people use this comment section to express their anger at a God they don't believe in.

So much irrational behavior. To paraphrase the words of a certain sci-fi character "Consider the illogic of wasted energy."

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You can ask the same questions of Slifkin himself too.

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Actually I agree with Rav Edelsten that Charedim did enable many of the recent tragedies/ disasters, but not for the reason he gives. They have contributed to the division that has turned Jews against each other. They have increased wanton and needless dislike and hatred (Sinat Chinam). When our enemies see they we are not united, when reserve officers threaten not to report for duty, when we came close to all out civil war.. they rub their hands in glee and take the opportunity to strike out against us. That has caused tragic loss of life.

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Apr 16, 2023·edited Apr 16, 2023

Working from the premise that the universe would cease to exist if all Torah study were to cease even for a moment, R’ Chaim Volozhiner instituted round-the-clock “mishmaros” in his yeshiva so that, at least in Volozhin, someone was always learning Torah (for the sake of the rest of the world). It’s worth noting that:

A) Reb Chaim did not seem to believe that the protective effect of Torah study was geographically or spatially limited (i.e., as long as someone was learning in Volozhin, the rest of the universe was OK), and

B) It wasn’t necessary that *everyone* always be learning, just that someone was always learning.

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What an ignorant comment. R' Chaim held that there always has to be at least one person learning in the world or else the world would cease to exist. This has nothing to do with what we are talking about, which is the concept of Torah protecting. See this article https://irrationalistmodoxism.substack.com/p/does-torah-protect which brings many proofs from Chazal that A. The more Torah learned, the more protection gained from it. B. That the protection is stronger where Torah is being learned.

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So, by that logic, couldn’t yeshivos simply coordinate “mishmaros” (like Reb Chaim did) and maybe, ya know, not all take vacation at the same time? Seems like a lot of lives could be saved that way…

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Apr 15, 2023·edited Apr 15, 2023

Its a Jewish thing to take blame for not living up to observance. From the times of Tanach the leaders have used any calamity happening to us as a sign that we have not lived up to our standards in Torah. Other nations blamed it upon the enemy, or their gods, or nature etc and they are no longer exist as peoples, but we always blamed it on our lack of observance everytime. And our Rabbis continue to lead us in the same true and trusted way.

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author

Taking blame means taking responsibility. If the problem is bein hazmanim, then stop having a simultaneous bein hazmanim for all the yeshivos!

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Yeh you might solve the problem of the tragedies. However the yeshiva system is what saved Yiddishkeit when everybody was going OTD and assimilating in Europe. If we change something then we don't know if that could ruin the great thing we have going that has saved Judaism and the world and produced millions of dedicated frum Yidden, when things looked like they would die out altogether. Unless the person is a major Godol Hador with immense Daas Torah. In that case then they have the authority but most Roshei Yeshiva will still not listen to them unless they are the more radical type.

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Reasonable fear. However it leads to stagnation when the world changes around us and what worked..... doesn't. Internal change happens as well ( as second and third generation roshei yeshiva and rabbanim fill positions held by people who grew up in a radically different world). So we just wait for the "inevitable " breakdown and then "bshas hadchak " (under duress) we invoke "eis laasos" and make the changes we should have implemented on our own.

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Nah. Lots of other belief systems say "Our Faith is perfect. If something bad happens it's because we didn't do it hard enough." Every time there's a natural disaster in the US the Gospel Grinders say "It's because we didn't oppress the Gays/Black people/Latines/Jews/liberals *ENOUGH*. Or " Forget policy. What we need to do is offer thoughts and prayers."

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The non-falsifiable assertion is the hallmark of religion (and other mass movements.). Things that cannot be proven false (or true) and therefore can’t be argued against. “Faith can move mountains.” “Well, I have faith and can’t move mountains.” “You lack true faith.”

This is the stock and trade of the manipulative mass movement leader. His go to tactic.

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Magical thinking is the opposite of living in the real world

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“Latines”?

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A non-gendered term invented by Spanish speakers to describe Spanish speakers

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I’m aware. That doesn’t make it any less dorky.

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What is "dorky" about that term? Do u have a non-dorky alternative? Labeling a term as "dorky" to be pejorative does not work after u graduate 8th-grade debate. In fact, doing so is retarded.

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Apr 16, 2023·edited Apr 16, 2023

“Retarded”! 😂

What’s “dorky” about it is that it is just one of many clumsy attempts to de-gender traditional language (typically motivated by well-meaning—but ultimately retarded—“woke” ideology).

Granted, “Latine” is less clumsy that some, but that doesn’t change the fact these silly and unnecessary neologisms are almost universally reviled by the Hispanic folks whom they patronize.

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Is this the first recorded non-ironic use of "retarded" by someone not me in this blog's comments? Howard, you deserve a participation award.

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Indeed, guilt-tripping is a long-misused Jewish tool to get people to do stuff they do not want to and that u cannot make a good case for them to do it. Read up Nietzsche on Ethics.

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Apr 17, 2023·edited Apr 17, 2023

When I was in the yeshiva, many learned bein hazmanim. This was true for both a DL and charedi yeshivos that I'd learned in. The reasons for bein hazmanim are obvious. The subject has been discussed numerous times and has become an obsession on this blog. I would guess, that something must be going not as expected with the chinuch of Slifkin's kids. Remember that as a general rule: כל באיה לא ישובון, good intentions not withstanding.

Slifkin hit a new low again. He looses this round hands down.

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My rules are simple:

1. No substantive reply to Slifkin and he wins aoutomatically, which is most of the time.

2. A substantive reply is judged on its merits.

3. A rediculous post, which didn't use to happen very often, is an aoutomatic loss for him.

In my yeshiva days bein hazmanim was the time of intense preparation for the next zman. Nothing would realy change.

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Yeah, but you said that Rabbi Slifkin won the Torah protecting fight besides the fact that the other side offered a very substantive reply and Rabbi Slifkin got himself all tied up in knots trying to respond to them.

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you like keeping score, eh? I can't figure out your rules though

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Apr 16, 2023·edited Apr 16, 2023

It should first be noted that you have yet to actually prove Charedim dont truly believe that Torah protects. In fact, last month you claimed there was a massive increase in Charedim applying for gun permits, and still haven't offered a word of proof to back that up. (You embedded a hyperlink to an article, which itself gave no evidence, whatsoever, to back the claim up.) So the whole premise is fatally flawed.

With that said, I personally share your belief that at least some Charedim dont truly believe the official claims, and use it as a convenient motto instead of their real reason for avoiding the army, viz, its corrupting influence. OK, let's assume arguendo that's true - what of it? All of modern society is based on official statements of position that party members themselves don't believe. Most Communist party members never believed their own propaganda, leaders of the US Democrats don't believe most of their own public statements, and neither do plenty in Republican leadership. The same is true in CEO messaging to the employees; they don't believe in many of the actions they've been forced to take because of a few powerful fund managers. So, at most, you've made an unproven claim that some in the Charedi world are the same as the rest of the world. We can live with that.

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Most people know how to "sincerely" convince themselves (falsely) that their position is not merely a cover for their own self-service.

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We all know the reason the charedi leadership doesn't want their youth to serve in the army has almost othing to do with learning torah and is more about not exposing their youth to outside influences. After all, the girls don't do sheirut leumi. I find this fascinating as they pray for kibbutz galiyot and moshiach all the time. Will they then be willing to serve in an army. There will also be outside influences. When push comes to shove, they want to continue living in the galut while physically being here.

BTW, The brisket Rav wanted to leave Palestine leading up to the war of independence because of the possible dangers and needed to be persuaded to stat.

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author

You are correct that you and I know what the real reason is, but a lot of people try to pretend otherwise.

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You keep saying that people are "pretending otherwise", but so far, all the evidence that you have brought is 100% to the contrary. In fact, this very post proves otherwise! Here you are mocking R' Edelstein for thinking that the increase in calamities is a result from the decrease in Torah study and for advocating for increasing Torah study. Last month, you were mocking R' Zilberstein for the same thinking. And so on. Of course, this is all endemic of Chareidi rubes who actually believe what Chazal say. He he he.

So far, the only one "proof" you have that Chareidim don't think that Torah protects was from one Yeshiva relocating from Ashdod to Beit Shemesh during one of the Gazan wars. But it just so turns out that the reason why they left had nothing to do with them not thinking that Torah protects!

Of course, there is also the obvious reason for not wanting to send kids to the army. But that does not preclude believing in the Torah's protection, exactly as Chazal say in numerous places. So seriously, what is so hard to understand about this??

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Apr 16, 2023·edited Apr 16, 2023

"So far, the only one "proof" you have that Chareidim don't think that Torah protects was from one Yeshiva relocating from Ashdod to Beit Shemesh during one of the Gazan wars."

There is also the increased security at the gates of kiryat sefer and demands for extra security in beitar, which you tie yourself up in knots trying to explain away. Plus demanding special gas masks for those with long beards.

Plus the complete self-contradiction in ignoring everything the talmud has to say about protection from disease also provided by torah learning. To which the obvious answer is that chareidim can't get anybody else to take the diseases for them.

There are plenty of examples, but needless to say you don't want to look.

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I don't ignore you in principle. I promise you, as soon as you respond with a comment that makes sense, I will respond.That also goes for you sock puppet, Test.

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You must have figured that out cause his comments were so testy ;)

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Nope. I figured it out a long time ago because they both have the same exact writing style, say the same types of things, and seem to have zero reading comprehension, either because this English bloke is not too intelligent or is intentionally dreying people a kup.

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So why don't you write a post relating to the real reason?

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He already did...7 years ago

https://www.rationalistjudaism.com/p/why-risk-your-kids

The reason he doesn't bring it up often is because it sounds so dumb-"yeah, we make the heroic sacrifice of our kids going OTD"-uh, no, they just don't care that much.

In a near future post I will explain why it is NOT in the interest of secularists to induct chareidim into the army.

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Rabbi meshulem dovid soleviechik the brisket ravs son is quoted as bemoaning the idea that "we" don't serve in the army because Torah protects and that the right reason not to serve is because in present circumstances it is forbidden to serve due to the detrimental religious atmosphere.

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I like that: the "brisket rav"! I used to call it the "brisk Lipton tea" school of learning. I referred to the Rogatchover Gaon as the rugalach rav.

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What a nonsensical article.

Bain Hazmanim is not a break that is given to bochurim because they deserve it for their hard work. There was a reason it was instituted, and if it did not exist, there would be less learning in the world, not more.

There is no comparison between learning and the army, and that should be simple to anyone who thinks for more than a nano-second and has no agenda. Oh, wait.........................

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Apr 16, 2023·edited Apr 16, 2023

But if the increase in calamities during bein hazmanim is directly attributable to less bochurim learning Torah during that specific time period, how can one justify such a calamitous break in learning (and the temporal protection it provides)?

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Maybe cause the system (as is) provides the most net learning and the most net merit. Tinkering with it would avoid Bein Hazmanim spiking but total lives protected over the year would lessen.

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Apr 16, 2023·edited Apr 16, 2023

Ha, that was the very next thing I was going to ask!

So, is the idea to sacrifice the few (the lives that will—apparently unavoidably—be tragically snuffed out during bein hazmanim) for the sake of the many (the lives that would otherwise be endangered the rest of the year if the bochurim didn’t get a chance to blow off some steam)?

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The 'few' and the 'many' are the same pool of people. There aren't different people being sacrificed by doing one way as opposed to the other.

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Apr 16, 2023·edited Apr 16, 2023

Um, it sounds like the poor folks who are destined to die due to decreased Torah study during bein hazmanim are being sacrificed so that the bochurim can get some vacation (sorry, Mr. LOL, I mean “unstructured”) time.

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If you want to understand better, run a Yeshiva for a while.

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You seem to be a complete outsider to the Torah world, but it's not as if no one is learning during bein hazmanim either. In fact, the study halls are full. But the Yeshivos feel the need to give a break from the structure and there is collectively less Torah being learned. And when things like this happen, the gedolim encourage increasing Torah study, EVEN DURING BEIN HAZMANIM.

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“Study halls”? You sound like a complete outsider to the Torah world… we say “batei midrash”.

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LOL was writing in English, so thereby used the English term "study hall" for batei midrash. Is it that necessary to speak yeshivish to make a valid point?

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We say "beis medrashes "!

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All right. I guess you know (a little) more than a gave you credit for.

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How do you know that? The system was created when travel was long and difficult and therefore it made sense to give a whole month off. Today there is absolutely no reason to shut down the yeshivas for a month in Nissan.

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A lot of minhagim and halakos were established for circumstances that r no longer valid, but still exist. The kitnityos ban was established when barrels of wheat grain were stored and sold next to barrels of rice. Further, barrels of maize (AKA "corn" in the US) did not exist in Europe before 1492. We still celebrate 2 days of yontiff in galus even though we know the new moon very precisely.

Do not go messing with bein hazmanim.

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Really? You want to compare bein hazmanim to kitniyos? Rabenu Tam famously said מנהג is the same letters as גהנם. Bein hazmanim is not a minhag and is not holy and certainly can be changed to fit the times.

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I agree with you, and apparently so does Rav Don Segal, the Steipler, and Rav Shach (although they were talking about summer Bein Hazmanim)

https://forum.otzar.org/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=1168&sid=00cf458a52a7b6326b97c069f827464d&start=40#p767999

And perhaps Rav Edelstein also agrees. In any case, ridiculous to think that chareidim don't believe Torah protects. According to Natan's logic, they also don't believe Torah study has any value.

https://irrationalistmodoxism.substack.com/p/a-vacation-from-torah/

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You've obviously never taken the bus to קרית ספר.

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Actually my son does take the bus there quite a bit, it’s not that bad. In any case, it’s at most hours from yeshiva to just about anywhere in Israel, not days so my point stands.

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For the record, I haven't. But complaining about public transportation is a national pastime. And yes, your point still stands.

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What pray tell is that reason and how does it apply today? How do you know that having a month long bein hazmanim increases Torah learning? Based on what data?

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Proposing hypotheses without proof is a long-accepted (and fallacious) way to rationalize some halakhos. E.g., rationalization for issur on masturbation: MAYBE Chazal KNEW that ejaculation with a post-menopausal wife is not really a "waste" of seed because it gives the woman "pleasure." Yet, forget about all the "pleasure" (and sanity) u deny teenage boys who r not allowed to masturbate!

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Based on the data that more tragedies occurred then, obviously. Voila.

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That is the reason for bein hazmanim? That there shoujd be more tragedies?

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Oh, ha, I misread your comment. I thought you wrote “How do you know that having a month long bein hazmanim *decreases* Torah learning?” (b/c some of the other guys here were arguing—contra R’ Edelstein, apparently—that *really* bein hazmanim doesn’t decrease Torah learning after all).

But, funnily enough, the circular reasoning still kinda stands…

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(Banned)Apr 15, 2023·edited Apr 15, 2023

A Jew who was living in China came to Europe on business. After his business was done he decided to go to Radin to visit the Chafetz Chaim before embarking on his homeward journey to that faraway land. The Chafetz Chaim asked him how the Jews in China were faring and the visitor told him that things were in a bad state; Jewish life was hanging by a tenuous thread. The Chafetz Chaim sighed and said that the situation was similar in other far-flung places around the world where the number of Jews was small and Torah observance was being neglected. He gave his visitor a copy of sefer Nidchei Yisrael which he had written especially for Jews who’d been carried away by Divine Providence to such far-off localities.

Then the Chafetz Chaim asked his visitor what was going on in China in general among the non-Jews. The visitor didn’t quite know what aspect of Chinese life to talk about so the Chafetz Chaim asked what was the last thing he had seen reported in the newspapers in China? The visitor recalled a story about the construction of a dam to stop the flow of a certain river. Tens of thousands of people had moved into agricultural settlements on the newly-dry land. But then tragedy struck: the dam burst and with sudden force the mighty river’s waters flooded the new settlements. Tens of thousands of Chinese people paid with their lives.

Hearing this the Chafetz Chaim began to cry. “So the midas hadin has reached all the way to there?” he said.

The visitor astounded asked “When I told the Rav about the miserable state of Yiddishkeit in China he sighed and gave me a book and now when I tell him a natural disaster that killed tens of thousands of Chinese people he cries?”

The Chafetz Chaim answered him “Have you ever been in Warsaw?”

The visitor nodded. Yes he had.

“How many non-Jews live there in the Polish capital?”

The businessman named a figure of about a million.

“And how many Jews?”

“About 300000.”

The Chafetz Chaim then asked him “If you were to go there and stand on a soapbox in a main square and start giving a mussar shmuess in Yiddish who would gather around to listen?”

“The Jews of course.”

“But they’re the minority” the Chafetz Chaim pointed out.

“Yes” said the businessman “but the Poles don’t understand Yiddish!”

“I will explain the nimshal of the soapbox speech to you” said the Chafetz Chaim. “A flood is a speech in Shamayim-language. Who understands it? Only the Jews. And the Hand of Heaven guided you here to Radin to tell me about the flood in China in order to alert me to pay attention like the Gemara says in Yevamos. And that is why I’m so disturbed.”

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Kol v'chomer when these troubles befall us, particularly here.

Natan, it must be you are not fluent in this language. You call it "fluffy spirituality" and other such terms of mocking. Since you do not understand it, it is not speaking to you. I suggest you learn. It is not subject to reductionist-rationalist reasoning.

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@ Shimshon

If there is any verifiable evidence that that tale of the Chinese Jew and Rav Kagan is true? What year did this occur, were there any reliable witness to the interchange between the two? Or is this just another apocryphal chasidish מעשה שהיה tall tale?

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I'm not the one with the questions. Why don't you do your own research and get back to us?

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@Shimshon,

I should perform the research to ascertain the authenticity of the Chinese Jew/Rav Kagan interchange when you’re the one brought it up? Is that your latest non-sequitur response to an incident that may or may not have taken place? I suppose that when you can’t or won’t supply the evidence to your assertion, you have no better way than to respond in a very dubious manner.

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There are multiple similar stories about him, including one about an earthquake in Japan. You can believe them or not, and raise what you think are intelligent questions too. The thing is, even if the stories aren't true, which I doubt, they are in line with Jewish mesorah and hashkafa, and what we know about him as well. You're not.

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Apr 18, 2023·edited Apr 18, 2023

@Shimshon

I read a few of the websites relating that questionable tale. I haven’t seen any that aren’t hearsay.

Listen to what you’re saying. You’d believe a story which may not be true because it’s in consonance with your Jewish Mesorah? So possible falsity is in consonance with our Jewish Mesorah? They’re in line with Jewish Mesorah even if the tales are false?

What an awful religion you saddle yourself with, one that invites deceit as one of its tenets.

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You don't know the story is false and yet you project your malevolent nature onto it. I'm okay with that.

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Apr 15, 2023·edited Apr 16, 2023

Writing tip: when an opinion piece ends with a platitude, e.g., "it's as simple as that," u acknowledge u have not really made a convincing logical argument. Similar useless platitudes, like ending a piece "Period" r equally unconvincing. Likewise, starting a piece with a platitude is a total turn-off, like "would somebody please tell me why..," as r silly analogies like, "well if u r so pro-life as to ban abortion, why r u not pro-life enough to ban the death penalty?"

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Jewish belief is that Torah is highly important for every step of Jewish life. The more Torah learning that exists, the better we are. We can keep Mitzvos better, we can reach correct Halachic decisions, we will lead more moral lives and we will fulfill our purposes in the world, and the world will reach its purpose.

Over the years it became quite clear that Yeshivos are the only way to ensure that Torah has any staying power in a person's head. When people learn privately in Beis Hamedrash, they are more susceptible to the winds of the outside world, small disturbances can upend entire lives, and the lack of a group of like-minded people creates doubts in people's minds. Reading auto-biographies of Maskilim and writers who left the faith underscores this problem. Those that learned in the local shtiebel, as soon as they or their friends were drafted to the army or otherwise left, had no more support system and left everything behind them quite soon.

Only when people had a period of total immersion during their youth, where the entire schedule, lifestyle and topic of conversation was the Sugya they were learning and its depths, were they fortified with the knowledge that this world is secondary to Hashem's purpose for it, and they would view the vicissitudes of life as mere obstacles in their way of Avodas Hashem and their focus did not waver. A community that respects such people, is a community that respects Torah, and they too will learn more and be more closely connected to Torah and its chiyuvim.

Yeshivos were developed by people with a real stake in the game. Not people suggesting ideas off the cuff, but by people who devoted time and effort to figuring things out, learning from experience, from other people's experiences and their own wisdom. These Yeshivos maximized their resources to achieve their purpose - a person who will dedicate his life to Torah, wherever he ends up in life. There was a need for a Beis Hamedrash, a Shiur, a Mashgiach, possibly a Mussar program, as well as Bein Hazmanim.

When some of the disapora found itself in a new golus - under a secular regime in Eretz Yisroel, things did not really change. At least not fundamentally. The language may have changed from Yiddish to Ivrit, but the purpose and goal of the Yeshivos stayed the same, as well as the methods of achieving that purpose. If the golus had an army, that is nice for them, not for those who are engaged in the supreme task of learning Torah and ensuring that it lasts amongst Klal Yisroel. We have a greater job to do, and we do it the optimal way, including Shiurim, Mashgichim, a Mussar program, as well as Bain Hazmanim.

By the way, the country does not suffer from the learning of the bochurim, because it has supreme spiritual powers, and the fact that the Yishuv in Eretz Yisroel is still there is, in no small fashion, thanks to the existence of the Yeshivos. But that is not their purpose, and they should certainly not arrange their schedule, goals or success yardstick based on saving the Yishuv. They have a greater purpose in the world.

That is why this post is irrelevant. Looking at Yeshivos solely through the lens of 'replacement for the Army' is a warped way of viewing things. It is like considering a lawyer 'someone who couldn't become a car service driver'.

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Sorry but this seems to be very ivory tower; and dedicating your life to Torah means interacting with the world - Jews and Gentiles alike - because you cannot be an ohr le’goyim if you sit in a study hall all day You are a monk

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Nice, but irrelevant.

Yeshivos follow a certain path, and 'ohr lagoyim' is not a value of theirs (Torah doesn't really mention it as a value either, not תורה שבכתב or תורה שבעל פה). The Yeshivos are based on that belief system, your religion may be based on something else.

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It goes without saying that people adopt positions that not-coincidentally jive with own their self-interest. Do 80% of rabbi-written Talmudic agadtas just "coincidentally" promote the primacy of rabbinic rulings, over Biblical rules or even verbal directives from God (like a bat-kol)?

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Have you studied Malbim, Torah Temima, &/or Ksav Vekabala?

You're also apparently ignorant of how the commentaries address "bat- kol".

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I am not ignorant, just unconvinced by roundabout non-explanations of a well-known term. As a finale, God's overtly praising rabbinical methodology was the icing for the amaratzim who did not get the message the 1st time.

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Apr 17, 2023·edited Apr 17, 2023

I'm not much of a scuffler.

If indeed you have the source material for an informed decision and already arrived at whatever conclusion, I'll withdraw amicably from the discussion.

But if not, I'd give you some references with which to inform yourself.

So which Sugyos & Mefarshim have you seen, so I'll know if I have anything to add?

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"As a finale, God's overtly praising rabbinical methodology was the icing for the amaratzim who did not get the message the 1st time."

What are you saying? I didn't get it the 1st time(! ;) ).

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1) Thanks, I believe I have enough info on the topic, having studied it with an MO rabbi/scholar.

2) I meant that the rabbi-writers of this midrash wanted their message to be crystal clear: God concedes (with a chuckle) that, ultimately, the halakha is to be ruled according to their decisions, even when the omniscient Lawgiver himself feels otherwise. He is to be defied, even when he miraculously appears in the sky. After all, we do know that Yahweh dwells in the sky above, not in the deep seas or underground, like some of those other gods. U know, those poseurs who have eyes that do not, get this, see! (Chazal and the psalmist might do themselves a favor by taking Comparative Religion 101.)

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When I learned in a kollel that went according to the Mifal HaShas program (20 daf/30 daf of Gemara, or 10 daf of Yoreh Deah/8 daf of Choshen Mishpat per month), they take off a bit from the load (9 daf Yoreh Deah/7 daf Choshen Mishpat) for the months of Tishrei, Nisan, and Av.

(Tishrei and Nisan I can understand, since people are so busy preparing for the holidays. But why Av?)

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