Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Guest Posting From Chabakuk Elisha - Chumash

(Picture courtesy of OyToys.com)

Lately I've been feeling religiously stale. The things that once inspired me didn't have the same umph; the sedorim that I try to keep, weren't inspiring me or stimulating me Jewishly. I haven't had much energy for delving into my learning. I haven't felt connected.

But something started to change - and it's funny, because there's no legitimate reason that I didn't do this earlier - it's called Chumash.

Yep, Chumash.

Gemmara is nice, but it does little for my Yiddishkeit. Chassidus is always beautiful, but lately I wasn't connecting with it for some reason. I "learned" Chumash & Rashi daily, and have done so for years (well, usually anyway), but most of the time I'd rush through it like a water skier skimming the surface, without really looking around the page to see what the underling issues were. Sure, we constantly hear or see insights, and contemplate them, but I seldom took an analytical approach passuk by passuk to try to get a fuller experience - until now that is. Maybe I'm the only one who has been sitting in the dark all these years, but it seems like the Malbim or Ramban, Ohr HaChaim, Baal HaTurim, Klei Yakkar & Ibn Ezra were virtually hiding from me on the pages; of course, I always knew they were there, and I even glanced at them once in a while, but I never sat down and tried to delve into them systematically. Well, I started to, and you know what? I found what I've been missing.

We often fall into a trap - we rethink or reexamine less and less as we get older. The ideas we picked in school are often not updated or analyzed again, and so they remain that way for life - as a result, we can maintain a child's understanding of Chumash, sometimes forever. This is a true tragedy and a stifling of the human spirit. If we don't update and reexamine, trying to better understand things, than it would seem that we relegate ourselves to a decidedly superficial existence. Incidentally, this is what attracts me to Chassidus; it was never the movement (as I am not a movement person), nor was it for the socially benefits (since we can find a social circle anywhere) - it was predominantly that from sifrei Chassidus I found that I was encouraged, and taught, to think.

It's funny, because I mentioned this to our friend A Simple Jew and he sent me this quote by Rabbi Yaakov Kamenetzky that really sums it up nicely - and I couldn't agree more:

"One of the greatest tragedies of intellectual human experience is that we study Torah stories when we are 55 in the same manner as we studied them when we were 5."

It always gets me looks, but for years I have been saying that the chinuch our yeshivos offer really does our sons a disservice. There is no curriculum - who would ever think that a single subject curriculum makes sense? If it was up to me, I would close the Gemmaros a little and redefine the goal. Our Yeshivos don't attempt to educate, they attempt to provide skills (not even all that successfully either), but is that Yiddishkeit? I would like my kids to really understand Chumash; I'd like them to learn seforim like the Kuzari and really understand what we believe; how can we raise inspired serious Jews if these things are neglected?

So this is my new goal: Back to basics, I hope to really begin to learn Chumash now.


At November 28, 2006 at 7:29:00 AM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice post, CE. Try out the Gur Aryeh, I think you'll like it too. It's not JUST a pirush on Rashi!

At November 28, 2006 at 10:47:00 AM EST, Blogger yitz said...

Good post, CE... There are worlds in the perush of the Ramban, Ohr HaChaim, et al... not for naught were they placed in the "Mikraos Gedolos Chumashim."
Your critique of Yeshivish learning seems a bit unfair & over-generalized to me. Surely there are places where our sons do learn the way they should. The Zilberman yeshivos in Artzeinu HaKedosha [Israel] come to mind.

At November 28, 2006 at 11:35:00 AM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Zilberman yeshivos in Artzeinu HaKedosha [Israel] come to mind.

Heaven Forbid that a Chossid send his child to one of those Yeshivos! The founder was a known "hater" of the Baal Shem Tov and his teachings.

At November 28, 2006 at 11:46:00 AM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

> Your critique of Yeshivish learning seems a bit unfair & over-generalized to me

Sounds fare to me. Such yeshivoys as Derech haMelech look unique today.

At November 28, 2006 at 2:25:00 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Heaven Forbid that a Chossid send his child to one of those Yeshivos! The founder was a known "hater" of the Baal Shem Tov and his teachings."

Yeah, better have they shouldn't go there, they may learn too much of our heilige Toyrah there. They may find that there can be a geshmak and a gevakdige taam in learning 'regular Toyrah' (non-Chassidus). They may become less mikushar to Chassidus as a result, and may see that the snags are not all a bunch of non-spiritual haters and robots. Such an encounter with spiritual and holy snags may be very dangerous to your child as it will strongly clash with Hassidic propaganda he was brought up with that teaches that snags are sad haters that have no geshmak in Yiddishkeit.

He was a 'hater', huh ? You sound pretty good yourself in that department.

At November 28, 2006 at 2:28:00 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

CE, it's good that you realized this about learning chumash now. Better late than never.

Unfortunately, some don't realize this for many years, maybe some never do, may G-d help us.

At November 28, 2006 at 2:55:00 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So we come full circle...

Almost thirty years ago, I got started in serious learning (pre-Gemora) with Nehama Leibowitz a"h's studies in the Chumash, which analyze a wide range of meforshim, classical and more contemporary, followed by R' Nachman Levine's delicious iyyun shiurim in Chumash back in Providence, which brought in a few Yalkut Reuveinis and some Chassidisheh sources, too. Plus Rashi and Ramban, of course. Then it was onward and upward to yeshivah and kollel etc. And now you tell me "Get back! You are missing the boat!"

OK, I'll try your advice, CE. But this time I'll follow your example of looking into the Malbim and maybe the Netziv and Torah Temimah, too.

BTW, do you want to make a weekly seder sometime?

At November 28, 2006 at 2:57:00 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

R. Zilberman zt"l was born to a German-Jewish household. He decided to stay on an Ashkenazic path. He felt that one could be a fulfilled, holy and spiritual Jew without being a Chossid, and refused to give up his ancestral heritage and convert to Chassidism. I know that some Chassidim want everyone to convert to their sect. Well, they can dream as much as they wish, but boruch Hashem there still are some Jews out there that are faithful to their holy mesoyrah, follow it and don't convert.

At November 28, 2006 at 3:04:00 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Snag: Any litvak today who is a misnaged and is hostile to Chasidus - doesn't learn Toyro liShmo, and is not in the geder of "mitoych sheloy lishmo bo lishmo", which is really a chalio, if you rememember what Chazal say about such individuals. Heilige Toyrah can become a sam hamoves, if you remember, when applied incorrectly.

At November 28, 2006 at 3:06:00 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not talking about R. Zilberman, as I'm not familiar with his biography. I speak in general.

At November 28, 2006 at 3:48:00 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am embarrased to admit that although I have heard of his yeshivos, I have no idea who the man, R' Zilberman, was...

A Mile,
Since you mention the Netziv, I was quite taken by his biography. Interestingly, the Netziv had a somewhat Chassidic approach to limud hagemara (unlike his co-Rosh Yeshiva the Beis Halevi):

"The [Netziv's] approach, which he imparted to his students, followed a strict, orderly regimen. First the Gemara was studied only with Rashi & Tosafos until the student had mastered - qulatitatively & quantitatively - a large segment of the Talmud. Afterward, a small number of commentaries were studied, concentrating on those who delved into the simple and most straightforward meaning of the text. Only then would he add Rif, Rosh, Tur, Bais Yosef and Shulchan Aruch. Everything was to be studied in the plainest manner, without dialectics, without deep strokes of brilliance, and without forced logic.

This was the way he learned - with a straightforward intellect and a clear mind ... His explanations were always perfectly logical as was his learning and teaching. Concerning those who dove headlong into commentaries before mastering the relevant Talmudic sections he would say: "... I say it is like eating pepper without the fish. Fish without pepper might be a bit bland, but at least one tastes the fish. But learning poskim without the gemora has no purpose at all. Those who learn this way think they understand what they are learning, but they have really don't understand a thing. Indeed, it is the kind of deficiency they wont even realize until they merit learning something the way it should be studies - from the sources."

"Concerning pilpul, [the Netziv} would say that just as one cannot be nourished from a meal of candies and cakes - which should come as a dessert after a nourishing meal of bread fish & meat, so too, pilpul is only beneficial when it comes after a fixed study schedule in Talmud, codes & rishonim, when the student has aquired a clear, fundemental knowledge of the length and breadth of Torah. The more time an inexpirienced student spends on pilpul & charifus, the greater the loss he will suffer..."

At November 28, 2006 at 3:48:00 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

a yid - what is chalio ? maybe spell it out in loshon koidesh oisiyois ?

"Any litvak today who is a misnaged and is hostile to Chasidus - doesn't learn Toyro liShmo"

How do you know ?

I guess in your book, it's ossur to be a misnaged. In my shulchan oruch there is no such halocho. You should have learned by now that there are different shitos in Yiddishkeit and the Litvishe-Minagdishe derech is one of them. The fact that you don't like it doesn't mean it's not a legitimate derech.

What are you gonna require next ? That all Sefardim become Chassidim ? I know, ultimately you guys want all Jews to convert to Chassidism.

At November 28, 2006 at 4:00:00 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

> How do you know ?

Very simple. Because he is denying Toyras Emes. For example, the Bach is writing, that one who denies Kabolo is on the edge of apikorsus. While I don't know if this aplies to denying chasidus exactly the same, definitely one who does it - doesn't learn lishmo at all (in today times, see below why).

Note, I didn't state that anyone has an obligation to become a chosid. It is a legimitame derech as welll. I said, that if one is hostile towards Chasidus - he isn't learning lishmo. If the Gr"o and Noyde beYehuda and other misnagdim of that time could be misnagdim and lishmo in the same time, because of their misunderstanding of Chasidus and and miscommunication, today noone can dress it on himself. That time had passed, and it is clearly known what Chasidus sates for.

At November 28, 2006 at 4:02:00 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

CE - The Netziv was one of the greatest Litvishe gedoylim. Unfortunately he is not always given his due. Many people today, Chassidim and non-Chassidim, seem to think that Litvak = Brisker = pilpul (or some variation thereof). As if Litvaks were/are monolithic. As if there was only one derech in avoidas Hashem in Lita.

Actually the Brisker derech was/is controversial. Some Litvishe gedoylim oppose/d R. Chaim Brisker's derech. It was derisively referred to as chemistry or the chemical derech by some of it's opponents back around a hundred years ago.

The GRA also wrote shtark against improper pilpul, advocated learning the whole Toyrah (not only gemara), not only lomdus and Yeshivishe mesechtos and warned strongly against too much/premature/untruthful pilpul. He also strongly advocated learning with a focus on halocho.

This perhaps lesser-known, but nevertheless very vital and important aspect of the Litvishe heritage still lives on today among people like Rav Chaim Kanievsky and Rav Elyoshiv shlita. It was also carried on in recent years by Rav Zilberman zt"l, and previously by the heilige Netziv zt"l. In my opinion their way is a more authentic continuation of the derech HaGRA than that of the Brisker derech and the derech of many Litvishe Yeshivos today.

At November 28, 2006 at 4:04:00 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What does your profound comment have to do with Chumash - Can't the politics ever take a back seat?

Interesting post. Be careful when learning too many Meforshim on Chumash - choose a meforesh and stick predomanantly with that one, otherwise you'll get lost in a maze. I know a fellow that selects a different meforesh every year (one yar Ohr haChaim, one year Alshich, one year Malbim, one year Ramban, etc..)
Also, I hear that the GR"A at the end of his life only learned Chumash, and he was able to see everything there.

At November 28, 2006 at 4:06:00 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

" If the Gr"o and Noyde beYehuda and other misnagdim of that time could be misnagdim and lishmo in the same time, because of their misunderstanding of Chasidus and and miscommunication, today noone can dress it on himself."

You are repeating the old Chassidic claim that the GRA and Noda Biyehuda just opposed Chassidus because they didn't know what it really was. That is not true. They opposed it because they didn't hold of it. They wanted to stick to their mesoyrah, old-fashioned Ashkenazishe Yiddishkeit, and didn't want to change and join a new movement.

At November 28, 2006 at 4:14:00 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought I was at A Simple Jew - when did this become Circus Tent?

At November 28, 2006 at 5:06:00 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ASJ forgot to switch on his snag filter this morning. ;-)

At November 28, 2006 at 5:14:00 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Snag - by saying it, you are taking too much on yourself, claiming that for "sticking to their mesoyrah, old-fashioned Ashkenazishe Yiddishkeit" big leaders of that time went that far as severely persecuting a big cheylek of Yidn. Some litvaks today think like you, not realizing they are blaming a big avlo on the Gr"o, by saying something like this and not the opposite like they think. (So did the author of the recent book "haGro" for example).

I don't think you have enough strength to bear responsibility for such claims. No one was forcing the Gr"o and others to join new movement. They fought against Chasidim, again as you say - because they didn't hold of Chasidus thinking it is wrong, but because they didn't understood it, and not because they were too nostalgic about Ahskenazishe Yiddishkayt. If you don't agree - you are taking it all on your head, which no one will advice you to do, and in this case I don't see any purpose to argue further.

But you'll have to realize, that a claim that it's bad to send kids in yeshiva which leaders don't learn lishmo because they are denyig Chasidus there (at present time), is 100% legitimate.

At November 29, 2006 at 1:50:00 AM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A yid - you're wrong.

Sefer HaGaon has the answers.

Maybe I will elabaorate later, but it's late now.

At November 29, 2006 at 11:37:00 AM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sefer haGoen contains all kind of shmutz, which a normal person would consider total garbage. Rav Elyashiv was very sharp, when he said to R. Kanievsky not to give a haskomo to those disgraceful lies. However R. Kanievski didn't pay attention to his warning, and fell into the trap, not realizing on what kind of dirt he gave his haskomo (he didn't read it before giving his haskomo, that's for sure).

At November 29, 2006 at 3:38:00 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

a yid - you are full of baloney.

I know you and your ilk don't like the holy sefer HaGaon because it exposes the lies and the slander of misnagdim that you have been spreading for years. But you should know that sheker ein lo raglayim, falsehood ultimately will fall.

I invite anyone with an open mind to look at it for themselves.

At November 29, 2006 at 3:59:00 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I will respond briefly to the allegations made by 'a yid' earlier, though whoever wants more info should see sefer HaGaon and similar.

In general, people should not jump to conclusions before hearing both sides of a story. In this case, for many years, the Hassidic version of events, which the Hassidim push agressively, is the only one that many have heard, as misnagdim talked little, if at all, about the topic. While misnagdim, to a large degree, put aside memories of the conflict for many years, burying the hatchet so to speak, Hassidim persisted in relating their version of events, which, naturally, is very negative to misnagdim, and paints them as dark, evil forces.

The Hassidim like to present themselves as totally innocent victims, who were persecuted for no legitimate reason. That, however, is a gross distortion of what happened.

What happened was that when the Hassidic movement started, they sent out emissaries in missionary fashion to spread their teachings. They converted young people to their new group, away from the ways of their parents, thereby splitting up and causing dissension and strife within families. As happened in Williamsburg in Brooklyn a number of years ago, when Lubavitcher emissaries tried to convert Satmar youngsters to their faith, the parents took strong exception to this. The Hassidim also broke up communities. While previously people had davened together, the Hassidim changed the way of davening, and broke away from the main Shul of the community. They also came and claimed that the meat-shechita in the community was not sufficiently kosher. They tried to take over communities and overthrow the established leadership.

There are other things that happened too, but the above should suffice to give a more balanced picture of what actually happened, and provoked a strong response from the misnagdim. The bottom line is, that the opposition to the Hassidic movement didn't come out of nowhere, for no reason.

While you may still not like what happened, it is wrong to falsify history and pretend that the opposition was totally baseless.

At November 29, 2006 at 4:20:00 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why dont you go to the loshon hora blogs to spew your garbage? Why defile a place like this?

At November 29, 2006 at 4:58:00 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Snag: I agree, that seyfer is fool of baloney, which is sheker and rishus. And if you support it I see no purpose in continuing discussions with you.

At November 29, 2006 at 5:04:00 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whoever likes rummaging through a garbage dump - might look in the seyfer "haGoen" or similar. It is necessary sometimes though, to be able to understand claims of today "misnagdim" who still spread their lies and venom. But arguing with such fanatics is in most cases useless. They know their own lies, and their feed on strife. For such - the best medicine is ignoring.

At November 29, 2006 at 5:12:00 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I understand also, that some people might believe lies, and repeat them as "history". But no one gave them right throw insults on tzadikim. And just for this, such kind of sforim can be considered garbage.

At November 29, 2006 at 7:25:00 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Much of which you speak is long gone, we live in a very large world, but very small when you're Jewish and frum.

The reason for the ingathering is to bring all of (our differences) together so we can all share in the multifacedted richness of our golus experience with one another.

There need not be any resentment or guile, please. This is a very pleasant blog, please don't do this.

And who says that the Judaism of the future will not become something that we don't now recognize, despite adherence to halacha.

Let's not be short-sighted to the satisfaction gleaned from learning what our Gedolim/Meforshim have to improve/enlighten our tiny minds.

I just heard something very shocking last night about an undercurrent of Kishuf that is sneaking into our communities (via proxies, Jewish healers), via homeopathy, applied knesiology, universal life healing, energy healing, macrobiotics, yoga, Chi, Reiki et al, being a form of avoda zara. I was shocked to hear this, because it is becoming acceptable. There is a phone # to call to hear the Torah source explanations.

Anything or anyone that takes you away from Hashem as the only healer is kefira - kishuf.

At November 29, 2006 at 7:43:00 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

a yid - " For such - the best medicine is ignoring."

Your lies have finally been exposed, you are trying now to 'shoot the messenger' instead of discussing the topic.

Whoever wants to know the truth should read the holy sefer HaGaon, Hashem should bless the holy mechaber (author) of it with shefa brocho vihatzlocho. Then they will see why people like 'a yid' are so angry against it. People tend to get angry when their lies are exposed so thoroughly.

At November 29, 2006 at 7:53:00 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neshama - FYI, I posted about this because previous posters started along these lines starting with one poster who attacked Rav Zilberman zt"l and I felt compelled to respond.

At November 29, 2006 at 8:31:00 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

> why people like 'a yid' are so angry against it.

Very simple. When a rosho dares to open his mouth to spit dirt from it on tzadikim - his seyfer is not less the garbage than his hatred towards chasidim.

At November 30, 2006 at 6:20:00 AM EST, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Chabakuk Elisha: How much of the parsha do you go through each day -the way it is divided in Chitas? Which commentaries do you go though on a daily basis and how much time does it take you?

I am curious because in Chok L'Yisroel there is a daily Chumash with Rashi but by Thursday/Friday one has to learn the lion's share of the parsha and thus I sometimes not spending as much time with it as I would like.

At November 30, 2006 at 6:35:00 AM EST, Blogger yitz said...

ASJ: The division of the Parsha of the week in the Chok is al pi [according to] Kabbalah, as it says in the fine print before each day's portion. It is basically for the Shnayim Mikra v'Echad Targum - the double-learning of the Hebrew verse, with the Aramaic translation.
You can always learn Rashi according to a more balanced breakdown of the Parhsa -- many find since there are 7 aliyos and 7 days a week, to learn an Aliya a day. May we all have an Aliya from our Torah learning!!!

At November 30, 2006 at 6:40:00 AM EST, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Thanks, Yitz. I was actually curious to find out how Chabakuk Elisha is able to learn so many commentaries during the week and if he has a unique learning schedule that allows him to accomplish this.

How about you, Yitz, what do you do?

At November 30, 2006 at 10:29:00 AM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My new approach to Chumash is still evolving. I have 3 Chumash sdorim now:

1. Chumash / Rashi - the Aliya of the day.

2. Parshas hashavua, basically with Malbim, Ramban, Ibn Ezra. I go at my own pace and don't necessarily learn all of the meforshim; It depedns on how the week goes, and which shtiklach grab me.

3. Starting Sefer Berashis from the beggining and take it as it comes, with major meforshim. I hope to take it as one would approach learning Gemorra with primary commentaries. I want to cover ground as slowly and clearly as possible.

This is aside from my sedorim of learning Germora with my chavrusa for about an hour every morning after shacharis, and Tanya each day.

In time we'll see how this develops.

At November 30, 2006 at 10:33:00 AM EST, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

I think that #3 is a very important point since often one finds himself rushed by a schedule and gloss over things that really require more depth of study.

Do you still find it difficult to learn Gemara like I do?

At November 30, 2006 at 1:51:00 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some other meforshim, which might be of interest and help for Chumash study, though they aren't present in Mikrooys Gdoloys:

Pirush Rabeynu Bachya ben Osher (with haghoys from the Baal Toysfoys Yom Tov).
Pirush Reb Yoynoson Eibeshitz

From Baal Toysfoys Yom Tov there is also a whole pirush on Ibn Ezra's pirush.

At November 30, 2006 at 1:52:00 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also, there is a FULL pirush from Baal haTurim.

At November 30, 2006 at 2:21:00 PM EST, Blogger yitz said...

Due to erractic scheduling, my seder haLimud isn't as strong as I'd like it to be. I go to a Gemara shiur 4 times a week. Chumash is usually learned on my own or with my wife. And, Baruch Hashem a million times for my Rav's Friday night Ohr HaChaim shiur -- it makes my week. I try to peek into a Chassidic sefer over Shabbos, usually Modzitz; and on the yahrzeit of a tzaddik I try to look into something they wrote.

At November 30, 2006 at 2:36:00 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"A Yid said...
> why people like 'a yid' are so angry against it.

Very simple. When a rosho dares to open his mouth to spit dirt from it on tzadikim - his seyfer is not less the garbage than his hatred towards chasidim."

No, he was just explaining a machlokes, giving the misnagdish shita. You don't like it because you want to continue demonizing misnagdim, you want people to believe they were all dark terrible people since they didn't join your sect.

Why can't you accept that there can be a machlokes lisheim shomayim (disagreement for the sake of heaven) and that they held differently than your side ? Disagreement is not new in Yiddishkeit.

Rav Eliach shlit"a is a yid a tzaddik, unfortunately he was attacked by people like you for writing the emes, but don't worry, every time he is attacked he is getting more schar in shomayim for his great work.

At November 30, 2006 at 3:03:00 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Snag: Don't waste time. I'm not going to read your comments further.

At November 30, 2006 at 3:05:00 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And others will judge themselves, are insults to tzadkim from the author (not quotes) considered a "legitimate" machloykes, or simply absence of emuno.

At November 30, 2006 at 3:09:00 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For chabakuk elisha:

In the hebrewbooks.org online archive, there are many issues of "Beys Aharon veYisroel" magazine. There is an article about the Tzoyref in one of them (number 65). You can find it here: http://www.hebrewbooks.org/root/data/pdfs/as/av65.pdf

Look there in the very end, in the article about Karliner archive.

At November 30, 2006 at 5:40:00 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here you can find two bundles of many issues (though not all) of one of the best Breslover magazines ever made - Mabuey haNachal. (It is not published anymore anfortunately).

Bundle 4: http://www.hebrewbooks.org/root/data/pdfs/as/mabuei5.pdf
Bundle 5: http://www.hebrewbooks.org/root/data/pdfs/as/mabuei4.pdf

(Naming of files is mixed up).

Many more sforim on line: http://www.hebrewbooks.org

At December 1, 2006 at 7:37:00 AM EST, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Yitz: Sounds great. What is it about the Ohr Hachaim shiur that makes your week. I ask because I am on the verge of starting to learn Ohr HaChaim. I have the will now I just need the seforim!

Chabakuk Elisha: I was thinking this morning about your daily seder and think it is a very healthy approach. One can see why the Degel Machaneh Ephraim often spoke about how Torah could be a "sam maves" if used incorrectly. If one only learned Gemara, he could become intellectually engaged by the material but removed personally...he goes through Torah but Torah does not go through him. This is how we get things like "frum" Jews who embezzle money, don't pay taxes, or defraud people on kashrus issues. They can spend hours on things like what things invalidates a mikva, but at the end of the day this doesn't translate into anything practical. They don't take Rebbe Nachman's advice and learn-daven-learn in order to bring it into their daily lives.

I think your posting helped bring to light just what the Degel was trying to hammer home.

At December 1, 2006 at 1:18:00 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ASJ: Also, I saw pretty strong words from the letter of Reb Gedalya ztz"l regarding misnagdim (though implicit) to one of my friends. He (my frined) asked a hard question. How could the churbon in Europe happen, if tzadikim (the Baal Shem Tov and the Rebbe and other tzadikey emes) brought such awesome tikunim, which could save the whole world? Reb Gedalya writes, that while it is true - all tikunim are here, and anyone who wants can use them. Alas, many refused! Man has a free will...

At December 1, 2006 at 1:39:00 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"A Yid said...
Snag: Don't waste time. I'm not going to read your comments further."

So please don't read this post further.

"A Yid said...
And others will judge themselves, are insults to tzadkim from the author (not quotes) considered a "legitimate" machloykes, or simply absence of emuno."

It is not a matter of insults, you are distorting the situation. The topic is discussed with respect in the sefer. Disagreement is not the same as insult or lack of emuno (faith).

It's just a matter of Rav Eliach shlit"a explaining the shita of the misnagdim, which is a legitimate derech in avodas Hashem, but is a derech that you don't like because you feel that to become a complete Jew one must be a Chassid. And that is the crux of the matter. You want every Jew to convert to Hassidism. Misnagdim however, hold that one can be a complete Jew without being a Chassid, like Rashi, Tosfos, the Rama, Chasam Sofer, Rambam, and so many other outstanding Jews were and are.

At January 19, 2012 at 1:52:00 AM EST, Anonymous Lotus said...

I really liked your post.I am curious because in Chok L'Yisroel there is a daily Chumash with Rashi but by Thursday/Friday one has to learn the lion's share of the parsha and thus I sometimes not spending as much time with it as I would like.


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