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                                                  "Praise Him sun and moon, praise Him all bright stars....
                                                        for He commanded, and they were created."                                                         The Hubble telescope's
Even at 55 million light-years,
the galaxy is larger than Hubble's field of view,
                                                                                    King David: Psalm 148                                   best images yet of our 'neighbor' Mars
                                                                                                                                              - a mere 43 million miles from Earth
estd                                                                                                                                                        Dedicated to Scriptural and Rabbinic Verification
1997                                                                                                                                                                          of Jewish Beliefs and Practices




Volume I, No. 26...Aug. 1, 2002                                     www.mesora.org/jewishtimes.pdf                                                                     Download and Print Free

           In This Issue:                                    Talmud vs.
                                                              Science
Parsha: Blessings & curses                        1, 2
Talmud vs. science                                1. 3
Love of god-whose obligation?                     1, 4
Appearing before god                              2, 4        rabbi moshe ben-chaim
God cannot be physical                               3
The jew - by mark twain                              3
Subjectivism ii                                      4       Reader: In a recent edition of the
Why god made the israelites                          4    "The Jerusalem Report," there was an
                                                          article, entitled, "The Heretic." It is the
  Suggested Readings:                                     story of a man, named Yaron Yadan,
       see these and other articles at our site           living in Israel, who is an ex Ultra
                                                          Orthodox Yeshiva head. He is an EX
    Maimonides' 13                                        orthodox Jew because of the following
                                                          reasons. Using his logic, he thought
       PRINCIPLES
      The basic foundations which all Jews
                                                          that if the Talmud was the word of G-d,
                                                          and that it was originally taught to
   must know as true. We urge you to read them:
   www.mesora.org/13principles.html                       Moshe, and had been passed down
                                                          until it was written down by Rabbi
                                                          Yehuda Hanasi and later rabbis, then
        God's Existence

       Proof?
                                                          the science that it talks about would be
           Belief or                                      accurate according to todays science.
                                                          So for example, he took a look at what
                                                                                                                  Alan and Jocelyn Keyes visiting the victims
                                                                                                             An example of the highest level of human love, visiting the sick. See our special
                                                          our Sages have to say about Kashrut                 section, "Response to Terror", with a documentary by Connie Hair, producer.
                                                          and family purity laws. He also studied
       www.mesora.org/belieforproof.html                  human, animal biology. He came to the                 A SPECIAL THANK YOU TO JASON SALAMON


                        God?
                                                          conclusion         that     the     Sages      Jason's father and I learn regularly. Jason recently asked his father of the meaning
   God's Land                                             understanding of animal biology was            behind our placement of the right shoe first as we dress each morning. His wish to
                                                                                                         understand such an "insignificant" topic, lead to his father and I uncovering some
   Without
       an open letter to the jewish community:
                                                          wrong and therefore the laws of
                                                          Kashrut are flawed. He reached the
                                                                                                         beautiful ideas this entire week. "Thank you Jason!"
                                                                                                               Have your children email us with their questions: questions@mesora.org
 www.mesora.org/openletter/openletter2.html               same conclusion when he studied
                                                          female anatomy and he now believes


                                                                                                         Love of God - Whose Obligation Is It?
                                                          that the family purity laws are flawed
                                                          as well. One more example is that of
  Blessings and Curses                                    fish, and he claims that some early

   Upon the Mountains                                     rabbis ate non kosher fish due to their                                              rivka olenick
                                                          ignorance of maritime life. And finally,
                                                          since our sages thought that the world            Shimon the Righteous was one of the last of the Men of the Great Assembly. He used to say:
     rabbi moshe ben-chaim                                                                               "The world stands on three things on the Torah, service and deeds of kindness." Pirkei Avos 1:2
                                                          was flat,the times for the beginning and
                                                          end of Shabbos are wrong.                         In developing one's love of God, avas Hashem men and women have to be involved in the
   What is the concept intended by Moses                                                                 three things that the world stands on Torah, service and good deeds. There is no other way to
commanding the Jews to receive both                          I'm very sorry that I am being so           love God. A person can have an appreciation for the entire system of Torah, but how can one
blessings and curses upon Mt. Grizzim                     ambiguous and I'm also sorry that I            have an appreciation without real knowledge? A person must learn what the system is. How can
                                                          cant find this article on the internet, but    anyone be involved in service, performing the commandments if we don't understand what the
and Mt. Eval respectively?                                                                               commandments mean? If performing deeds of kindness are based on the Will of The Creator
   There are a number of questions to be                  this article is in the June 17th issue of
                                                                                                         than every person has to know what His will is, and why and how we perform it. So, doesn't
addressed:                                                "The Jerusalem Report." I'm very sorry         everyone, male and female have a chiyuv, an obligation of avas Hashem, love of God?
   1) What were these specific areas of                   to bother you but I am very interested             "But how come I don't have an obligation to learn Torah? Women often ask. Why does one
                                                          in hearing your thoughts on this matter.       need an obligation to obtain knowledge? Obtaining this knowledge is voluntary. Do you
blessing and curse? 2) What is a                                                                         involve yourself in learning and love of God only because of obligation? Isn't it important to
"blessing" and what is a "curse"? 3)                      Is this man correct in the the Talmudic
                                                                                                         know how your purpose in life relates to love of God?
Why at this time? 4) Why on 2                             Sages are flawed in their science, and             After the Torah reading on the Sabbath we say: "It is a tree of life for those who grasp it, and
mountain tops? 5) Why six tribes on                       therefore the Talmud could not have            its supporters are praiseworthy. Its ways are ways of pleasantness and all its paths are peace.
                                                          been from G-d? This man, Yaron                 Lengthy days are at its right; at its left are wealth and honor. Hashem desired for the sake of its
each mountain top? 6) Why were the                                                                       righteousness, that the Torah be made great and glorious." Didn't God give the Torah to us to
priests, Levites and the Ark remaining in                 Yadan, talked to Yeshayahu Leibowitz,
                                                                                                         maintain its, greatness and to continuously glorify it's greatness? The Creator has given us all
the valley between these mountains, and                   the famed orthodox scientist, who              the wonderful gifts life has to offer, family, our homes, our physical needs met and the means to
what was achieved by these individuals                    agreed with Mr. Yadan, that the science        sustain our lives. The Sabbath, the holidays, and the opportunity for continuous enjoyment that
                                                          of the Talmud is wrong. So what is             thought and wisdom provide are also gifts! We express our appreciation for the greatest gift of
                            (continued on page 2)                                (continued on page 3)                                                                                (continued on page 4)




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Volume I, No. 26...Aug. 1, 2002                                                                                                                     www.Mesora.org/JewishTimes.pdf
                                                  life. If he chooses the Torah, then he is as                                                      must apply to man. Thereby defining the
  Blessings and Curses                            the goat offered to G-d. If he does not, then
                                                  he is as the second goat destined for                  Appearing                                  command as "man must appear before

   Upon the Mountains
                                                                                                                                                    God." (The additional instance of "yih-ra-
                                                  tragedy as it is sliced to death by the rocky
                                                  outline of Mt Azazel. As the priests and
                                                                                                         Before God                                 eh" in this verse also applies to man - being
                                                                                                                                                    the same word form - and thereby is
     rabbi moshe ben-chaim                        Levites were always involved in study, and            rabbi moshe ben-chaim                       interpreted that man must also "see". The
                                                  do not inherit the land, land-related fortune                                                     Rabbis derive from this second instance that
(continued from page 1)                           does not apply to them. Further, they are                                                         blind men are exempt from this command).
                                                  above the need to do labor as Maimonides             In Deuteronomy, 16:16, we find the           We have now clarified the command to be
placing the blessings and curses? 7) What         teaches in the last law of Shmita v'Yovale,      command for males to appear before God           "man's obligation to travel to the Temple,
connection if any, do both Ibn Ezra and           "not only the Levites, but any one who           (in front of the Temple) three times a year;     appearing before God". Man only is
Ramban allude to by referencing the               enters this world - even Gentile, who            on Passover, Tabernacles and on the              commanded - as opposed to women - and
Scapegoat thrown off of Mount Azazel on           dedicates himself to learning, G-d will give     Festival of Weeks. The passage reads thus:       only those men with eyesight.
Yom Kippur?                                       such a person a portion (his physical needs)         "Three times yearly, there shall appear         We now observe a fascinating statement
   To answer these questions, we must first       as is sufficient for him". Maimonides            all males - to the face of God your God - in     recorded by the Marsha: "Man must appear
take note at what time these blessings and        teaches that there is a special Providence       the chosen place; on the holiday of              before God's two eyes, and even man must
curses were commanded to be placed. It            administered by G-d for any human being          Unleavened Bread, the holiday of Weeks,          come to see God with man's two eyes." This
was upon the Jewish nation entering the           who sincerely spends his life in the pursuit     and the on the holiday of Tabernacles, and       is truly astonishing. What can be meant by
land of Israel for the first time.                of wisdom. For such an individual, G-d           you shall not see the face of God empty          "God's two eyes"? He is not physical, His
   I feel this would be an appropriate time       maintains his needs directly. This makes         handed."                                         knowledge is not based on vision. God has
for Moshe to urge the Jews to follow the          sense, as G-d's desire is just this, that man        The Amoraim, who who succeeded the           no organs.
right way of life, and more so, to put the        pursue wisdom. It follows that G-d will          authors of the Mishna (Oral law) argued             As always, we must ask properly
land in perspective, the conquest of which        then create a situation for such a man to        regarding to who we refer to by the the          formulated questions to arrive at answers.
was anticipated for decades. Perhaps              continue his growth of knowledge.                term "appear". The Hebrew word "yay-ra-          How shall we formulate this question? I
Moshe's plan was to drive a point home to            The concept of blessing and curse is not      eh" means to appear. This can apply to God       would suggest as follows: "What do two
the Jews, that is, that the Land per se is not    to be understood as anything other than the      appearing to man, and visa versa, man            eyes convey, why not one eye?" Well, two
a goal in itself. The goal is the adherence to    actual experienced lifestyle. Following the      appearing before God. Rabbi Yochanan b.          eyes means to me, that something was in
the Torah's philosophy. To make this point        Torah itself is the blessing, the pure           Dahavai explained it as referring to God,        full vision, that is, both eyes saw it. But
cogent and concrete, and for the sake of          enjoyment of the pursuit of wisdom.              meaning, man must place himself in the           again, in relation to God, how can we apply
being seen from a distance by those who           Conversely, abandoning a life of wisdom          situation where God appears to him.              the term "vision"? But perhaps, "full
did not ascend, Moshe first commanded the         will result in constant frustration and a life   Rabbeinu Tam explained it referring to man       vision", means not that sight exists with
Jews to stand on two mountain tops. (I do         of pain.                                         appearing before God.                            God, but that God beheld something which
not believe all women and infants                    To say there is blessing besides the Torah        Rabbeinu Tam explains his reasoning as       occupied His 'vision', or, His interest. He
ascended.) In order for the event to be           is false and diminishes the Torah's worth,       follows: There are two versions of the           was so to speak, "looking" at that which
witnessed by all, elevation was necessary.        and to suggest another pain aside from           structure of the word; There is "yay-ra-eh",     interests Him. What interests God about
Moshe desired that the people take to heart       abandoning Torah is unnecessary.                 meaning "to appear" before someone. And          man? The answer is man's performance of
the fortune and consequences of living or            Reader: I was reading your article on         there is "yi-ra-eh", meaning "to look". The      the Torah. We may suggest that "God's two
abandoning the Torah. Proper conduct              Mt Grizim and Mt Eval this morning. I felt       former is the actual written form located in     eyes" mean that God took full note of man's
would lead to one retaining the gift of           a bit confused on one point- at the end you      the Torah script, while the latter is only the   action by appearing at the Temple, in
Israel, as is seen by the blessing being          write that the Torah life is its own reward,     accepted pronunciation. We have this many        accordance with this Torah command. The
placed upon the lush Mt. Grizzim.                 while simultaneously stating that the right      times in the Torah, we call it the "ksiv" and    medrash is relating to us that which "caught
However, if one abandons G-d, the fate of a       to a bounteous (and secure!) land of Israel      the kri", the written and the spoken forms,      God's eyes". It is an important phenomena
barren Mt. Eval is certain. Moshe desired         is the direct result of following a life of      respectively. These dual word forms are          when Jews appear before God in the
the best for the Jews, and showing them           Torah. I feel sure that the answer lies not in   Masoretic (Traditional) vehicles for passing     Temple.
real differences between bountiful and            one extreme or the other, but in a blend of      down additional teachings, unavailable              This being the case, how can the medrash
barren geography would be the best means          the two concepts, or maybe in the idea of a      without the additional word form.                go on to state that we in turn must have our
for opening their eyes to the truth of the        result as different from reward or                   Rabbi Yochanan b. Dahavai held that we       two eyes working - literally - in order to
purpose of the Land, and to the real results      motivation; I would appreciate some              use the orally transmitted forms of words as     participate in this command? Why should
of one's actions.                                 clarification on the point though. Thanks!!!     starting points in Biblical exegesis. This       the Rabbis take a metaphoric gesture, God's
   Moshe decreed that people should act as           Mesora: Israel is only given as a means       means that the term "to look" can apply to       eyes, and incorporate it as a physical action
models for both the correct and incorrect         to prolong adherence to Torah deals, as we       both God and man, as both can do the act         which prohibits blind men from attendance?
lifestyles. He therefore chose that six tribes    see Divine eviction the result of                of looking, in some sense. But this allowed         Here we find a beautiful idea: The fact
stand on each mountain top, to indicate that      abandoning Torah. But even so this is not a      Rabbi Yochanan b. Dahavai to entertain           that God looked at our fulfillment of this
just as there are only six tribes, and either a   "reward", as a Rabbi mentioned, there can        this passage as referring to God. To this,       command with "both His eyes", conveys, as
tribe was on Mt. Grizzim or Mt. Eval, so          be no reward in the true sense for Torah         Rabbeinu Tam objected,                           we said, the idea that this command is set
also, one's life can go in only one of two        adherence, as that would make the reward a           "...we do not form Torah explanations        apart from all others. There is some element
paths. There is no other choice. As the           more prized object than following the            based on oral transmission. The primary          in this appearance before God, which "fills
Talmud's analogy goes, (paraphrased) "...A        Torah itself, and this cannot be.                and authentic explanation must be rooted         God's vision", i.e., it is most favorable to
man is a very sick creature, and there is a          Even Olam Haba - the Future World - is        and commenced in the written form of the         Him. The Rabbis interpreted the second
bandage he can wear. If he keeps on the           only an increase in the same area of             Torah, and only then do we look to oral          instance of "yay-ra-eh" to mean an
bandage, all will be well. If however he          involvement in ideas, as the soul is the only    transmission for embellishment. But the          exclusion of all blind men. They were
removes it, his death is certain. The             part of us which survives death.                 primary teaching must emanate from the           saying that this very concept of God's
bandage is Torah".                                   Therefore, there are three things             written form." (Paraphrased)                     delight in man must somehow permeate the
   The tribes modeled for the rest of the         discussed, 1) Torah - intellectual                   Since this is the case, the written text     very maaseh mitzvah - the act of the
Jews, as well as themselves, what would           involvement, the pursuit of understanding        literally means "to appear". Rabbeinu Tam        command. How did the Rabbis determine
result from one of the two paths of life.         reality - THE prized involvement , 2) Israel     explained that this is impossible in             that the action together with the concept
This is what I believe Ibn Ezra was alluding      - as a secured vehicle for Torah                 application to God's actions. He cannot          makes this specific mitzvah so important?
to with the reference to the scapegoat. The       involvement on Earth, and 3) Olam Haba,          "appear in the Temple" to be "seen" by           They decided to characterize our action
2 goats on Yom Kippur also teach man of           the highest level of involvement in reality -    man, as God does not occupy space.               with the element of God's delight as is
the only two possibilities he can travel in       no physical limitations.                         Therefore, this written form of "appear"         (continued on page 4)                Page 2


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                                               exists due to health considerations. When       teaches, what we know of God is always        has no shape or image or relationship to

     Talmud vs.                                they find shrimp to be as healthy as cow,
                                               they proceed to attack the Torah for
                                                                                               in the negative. We cannot know what
                                                                                               He is, we can only know what He is not,
                                                                                                                                             a body or parts thereof. This is why the
                                                                                                                                             Sages of blessed memory said with

      Science                                  making a mistake by prohibiting shrimp.
                                               But where is their proof that Kosher is
                                               based on health? Some people attack the
                                                                                               i.e. He is not physical, He is not
                                                                                               emotional, He is not governed by
                                                                                               anything, including time, he is not
                                                                                                                                             regards to heaven there is no sitting, nor
                                                                                                                                             standing, no awakeness, nor tiredness.
                                                                                                                                             This is all to say that He does not partake
     rabbi moshe ben-chaim
                                               Torah because they feel restriction on the      affected by anything, including His           of any physical actions or qualities. And
                                               Sabbath too harsh. They don't realize that      creations' actions.                           if He were to be a body then He would
(continued from page 1)                        restriction is only to set the stage for           Following are a few arguments              be like any other body and would not be
your position? Can the wisdom of               focusing exclusively on beautiful ideas,        refuting the notion that God can be           God. And all that is written in the holy
science          and       the     Talmud      ideas unattainable while we labor at our        physical:                                     books regarding descriptions of God,
converge? Thank you so very much for           positions.                                         1) "Limit" is not a negative. God being    they are all anthropomorphic. Thus said
taking the time to read my email and              I would question Yadan, "Were not            limited, in that He never becomes             our great Rabbis of blessed memory The
hopefully respond.                             King Solomon, King David, Moses, and            physical, is a perfection. For example, a     Torah spoke in man's language (i.e.
   Mesora: You do not quote what               so many other prophets and Rabbis much          human judge who can never make a              using our terms so that we'd have some
exactly Yaron Yadan thought to be              closer to the truth than us? The Torah          mistake, limited to being right, is more      understanding). And the Rabbis have
Talmudic facts, nor what were his facts        proves God spoke with Moses. He did             perfect than a judge who can make             already spoken at length on this issue.
derived from science through "his own          not speak with you for good reason.             mistakes. Being limited to perfection, is     This is the third pillar and is attested to
logic", as you put it. We have two             Moses had the correct ideas, direct from        perfection. Being right is clearly a good.    by the verse "For you saw no image"
unknowns, and perhaps two errors.              God. Why then did not all of these great        Being physical is definitely an evil, as it   meaning that you did not see an image or
   Talmudic knowledge is man's own             individuals realize your new found              subjects the one physical to all sorts of     any form when you stood at Sinai
understanding, it is not from God. Is man      'knowledge' that the Torah is inherently        damage, decay, destruction and death.         because as we have just said He has no
flawless? Of course he is not. Did the         wrong? All the world came to hear               Being physical is worlds apart from           body nor power of the body."
Rabbis of the Talmud make mistakes             Solomon's wisdom. Did they come to              being metaphysical.
based on limited scientific knowledge of       hear you? Solomon spoke endlessly on               2) How can that which is not physical
their times? Yes. So Talmudic knowledge
when discussing certain areas in science
is limited to the Rabbi's current-day facts.
                                               the wisdom in the Torah, and the world
                                               understood him as tremendously wise.
                                               Mr. Yaron Yadan, are they all wrong?"
                                                                                               'become' physical? This is an
                                                                                               impossibility. Something which exists
                                                                                               already in a metaphysical state, means
                                                                                                                                                      The Jew
                                                  Although some, few Rabbis'                   that this is its nature. As God already                 mark twain
The Rabbis even acquiesced to the
Greeks when they saw their correct             statements are flawed by inaccurate facts       exists in His perfection as non-physical,           Harper's Bazaar, Sept. 1899
positions. They were right to investigate      (dwarfed in number by accurate ones)            this metaphysical state is His very
and base decisions on the best of their        why did Yadan abandon ALL of Torah?             definition. It is as if you suggest that         "If the statistics are right, the Jews
abilities, just as we do today, and how the    People are looking for excuses to be            water can become dry. Then it would not       constitute but one percent of the human
future leaders of Israel must continue.        "free" from Mitzvos. The Jews did so in         be water. But even this impossibility is      race. It suggests a nebulous dim puff of
   However,          God's      knowledge      the desert, and this hasn't changed with        more plausible than God's transition into     star dust lost in the blaze of the Milky
transmitted to us as Mosaic law differs        many Jews today. At the very least,             corporeality, as water is already matter.     Way. Properly the Jew ought hardly be
from man's knowledge based on science.         Yadan should keep the laws which "his           Change in moisture is more plausible          heard of; but he is heard of, has always
There is no divinely passed down book          own logic" say are error-free. The fact he      than change in God. God cannot become         been heard of.
on science, as there is on Torah. We do        does not, demonstrates that he is not           physical, then He would not be God. An           He is as prominent on the planet as
not say the Rabbis had a Mishna or a           consistent, and we cannot side with             important point for those who ascribe to      any other people, and his commercial
Biblical verse erroneously. That which         inconsistent 'reasoning'. Reasoning, by         the notion of the Trinity.                    importance is extravagantly out of
stems from what God spoke to Moses,            definition, is consistent.                         3) Another absurdity from your             proportion to the smallness of his bulk.
and Moses to us, is 100% accurate. It is          It is only he who seeks with earnest,        premise is as follows: God is the Creator.       His contributions to the world's list of
God's knowledge which contains no              the underlying depths of knowledge, who         To become physical means He is now the        great names in literature, science, art,
error. "He is our rock, there is no flaw in    will find it. "If you dig for it like silver,   'created'. These two are mutually             music, finance, medicine, and obtuse
Him" (Psalm 92).                               and search it out like a buried treasure,       exclusive. Equally impossible is that         learning are also way out of proportion
   God created both the physical world         then you will understand the fear of G-d,       something physical can become God.            to the weakness of his numbers.
which contains all laws of science, and        and the knowledge of G-d will you find"         Since it is already a created being, by          He has made a marvelous fight in this
the Torah. Both are reflections of His         (Proverbs, 2:4-5).                              definition, it cannot be the Creator.         world in all the ages, and has done it
consistent and perfectly wise and rational                                                        4) Change implies imperfection.            with his hands tied behind him. He could
system of knowledge. As both are                                                               Something changes either to become            be vain of himself and be excused for it.
rational systems, they cannot contradict
each other on even one, single point. If
                                                God Cannot                                     more or less perfect. If we say God
                                                                                               changes, (which opposes the verse in
                                                                                                                                                The Egyptians, the Babylonians, and
                                                                                                                                             the Persians rose, filled the planet with
we see contradictions, it is our own error.
How can man have God's knowledge? It
                                                Be Physical                                    Malachi, "I am God, I do not change...")
                                                                                               we are suggesting that He is either
                                                                                               imperfect now, and is moving towards
                                                                                                                                             sound and splendor, and faded to dream
                                                                                                                                             stuff and passed away. The Greeks and
                                                                                                                                             the Romans followed and made a vast
is ridiculous, impossible, and far more             rabbi moshe ben-chaim
foolish an assumption than any other. To                                                       perfection, or He is perfect now, and is      noise and they are gone. Other peoples
this, King Solomon referred, (Koheles,                                                         moving away from perfection. In either        have sprung up and held their torch high
5:1) "Don't be excited (with) your mouth,         Reader: I'm confused. You say that           case, we suggest a moment where God is        for a time. But it burned out, and they sit
and do not hasten to bring forth words         we should not come up with our own              imperfect.                                    in twilight now, or have vanished.
before God, for God is heaven and you          definitions of God. Yet, you say it is             5) God cannot be controlled by the            The Jew saw them all. Beat them all,
are on Earth, therefore let your words be      impossible for God to become physical.          very laws He created. Becoming physical       and is now what he always was,
few".                                          Isn't that limiting God? Where are the          means he is governed by laws of the           exhibiting no decadence, no infirmities
   It seems Yaron Yadan based his              scripture verses that support your              physical.                                     of age, no weakening of his parts, no
understanding Jewish law on his own,           assertion that God can never become                6) I quote Maimonides' third principle:    slowing of his energies, no dulling of his
flawed reasoning, and did not perceive         physical?                                          "Principle III. The Denial of              alert and aggressive mind.
God's consistent and perfectly rational           Mesora: Man cannot perceive that             Corporeality in Connection with G-d              All things are mortal but the Jew.
ideas. Many people make the mistake            which is imperceptable, I refer to God.            This is to accept that this Oneness that      All other forces pass, but he remains.
that they found "the reason" for such and      This is why one cannot come up with             we have mentioned above (2) is not a             What is the secret of his
such. They assume Kosher for example,          "definitions" of God. As Maimonides             body and has no strength in the body, and     immortality?..."
                                                                                                                                                                                 Page 3


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                                                      THEIR OWN merits, is God's own words,                but to understand God, and the reality He
                                                                                                                                                                Love of God-Whose Obligation?
      Appearing                                       "Shall I keep hidden from Abraham that which I
                                                      do?" The reason for this engagement is also
                                                                                                           designed. Do we argue that gravity should have
                                                                                                           been created differently? Do we argue that the                     rivka olenick

      Before God                                      clearly taught, "that he will command his sons
                                                      and his household after himself". For Abraham
                                                                                                           human body should have two hearts instead of
                                                                                                           just one? No. We strive to understand the
                                                                                                                                                                (continued from page 1)
                                                                                                                                                                Torah through the obligation of love of God and
      rabbi moshe ben-chaim                           to be a leader, he must lead with accurate           wisdom enveloped in the perfect design of            we do this with sincere gratitude. Isn't our
                                                      knowledge.                                           nature, and we find that wisdom only after years     existence based on fulfilling a purpose? Isn't that
                                                         The answer to what the unique quality is in       of study. In similar fashion we must approach        purpose to fulfill the Will of God and have love of
                                                                                                                                                                God? Isn't this the only reason we were created? It
(continued from page 2)                               the command to appear before God: This act is        God's Torah. It too is His creation, containing      is. So, a woman may learn as much as she wants
demonstrated by requiring that we too have full       to demonstrate that we admit to God's that we        even finer marvels.                                  in any area voluntarily if that's what she desires. To
vision. This full vision displayed by all             admit God's existence. We do this by traveling          God teaches that homosexuality is a               enhance her love of God, she is obligated to learn
                                                      to a place known only for His glory. There is no     deviation, as is abortion. Our attitude should be    and understand the commandments that were
attendees at the Temple, reflects the very nature                                                                                                               given specifically to her: Taking challa and candle
of this mitzvah as one which man performs in          other attraction at the Temple mount. Besides a      to study God's wisdom in these areas too,
                                                                                                                                                                lighting and the laws of family purity given to
God's delight.                                        desire to approach God, there is no other reason     learning what the deviation is, and not contest      married woman. All three commandments were
   What do I mean by God's delight? It is a state     for observing this as a commandment.                 them simply because they oppose our subjective       given to her so that she may continuously sanctify
in man, where God commands man in this                Additionally, observing this as a commandment        preferences.                                         her home all of her life. The mitzvah of procreation
                                                      simultaneously demonstrates our conviction that         Realizing what and why God opposes offers         for man cannot be realized unless it is placed in the
single act which epitomizes man's ultimate state                                                                                                                care of women through her immersion into the
of perfection. This inevitably thrusts our quest      this command, this representation of God's           unique insights into tremendously wise               mikvah. This mitzvah is absolutely essential to
onto the specific design of this command:             system, is completely just, and ought to be          precepts. Opposing them cheats us out of such        Jewish life and it is her responsibility to protect it
"What purpose may we find in the act of               followed. Men are obligated, as men are the          pearls of wisdom.                                    carefully and to guard it. Obligation in this mitzvah
                                                      ones charged with Torah teaching and learning.          The Torah must determine all our actions.#        is a prerequisite in fulfilling her purpose as a wife
traveling to the Temple, simply to "appear"                                                                                                                     and when understood thoroughly greatly enhances
before God? (I isolate appearing from the             Endorsement of the system of Torah must be via          Read this article: Free Speech vs. Objective
                                                                                                                                                                her love of God. It would benefit all women to
obligation of sacrifice, for the passage clearly      those who carry the full weight of the system.       Morality                                             examine this commandment much more carefully
separates the two - "do not see God's face empty         The reason this command is to be performed                                                             whether you are married or not yet married, it is
                                                      at the holidays, is that these holidays are                                                               the foundation in preserving Jewish family life. It
handed" is a subsequent embellishment on the
primary obligation of appearance.) Why on the         samples of man acting at his most pristine level      Why God Made                                        is woman alone who engages her entire being into
                                                                                                                                                                this commandment. There are no external objects
                                                                                                             the Israelites
three Holidays? Why is this not applicable to         of existence. Therefore these days must be                                                                needed in this commandment she is the ritual
women? Is it only the principle of "zman              inextricably bound up with the concept of Torah                                                           vessel she is completely immersed in the process
gerama" which exempts the women? Or is it             adherence - this is man's sole purpose. On these                                                          of purity. God has endowed her physically and
something more basic in the command itself?"          days, man is prohibited from labor, he must              Question: Could you please explain to me         intellectually with the means to perform this
                                                      divert his attention and activities from the         why God willed it that a nation should be            commandment that can have a deep and profound
   Man's goal is to come to his greatest                                                                                                                        effect in connection to her devotion and love of
appreciation of the Creator. This - by definition -   mundane to the sublime - from the physical           formed? And why was this a reward to                 God.
requires a 100% conviction in God's existence.        pursuits, to the spiritual. On these days, man's     Avraham? Wouldn't he be long gone before the             In the Shemonah Esri we recite the blessing for
Above all else, we must view this as absolute         focus is redirected solely to God's existence, and   nation develops?                                     insight and we ask the Creator to provides us with
                                                      the system of his perfection. His appearance at          Mesora: God willed Bnei Yisroel to be            wisdom, insight and discernment. Men and
truth. We must also acknowledge that His                                                                                                                        women, ask God that these attributes be given to
system is perfect for man, meaning, all God's         the Temple embodies these ideas.                     formed as God's will was always that man
                                                                                                                                                                us. We need them in order to fulfill our purpose, to
ways are just, as it is written, (Gen. 18:17):           Appearance at the Temple three times a year       should lead a life of chochmah - wisdom.             have greater awareness and understanding of our
   "And God said, 'Shall I keep hidden from           to be performed on the holidays is an                Avraham spearheaded this effort by discovering       lives and to set up our lives according to its, true
Abraham that which I do? While Avraham will           endorsement of our complete belief in God, and       God. Perhaps God desired that a nation have at       purpose. Knowledge itself is a reward, a gift and it
                                                      His just system. This action is so grand, God        its identity, a founder who came to the ideals of    is an investment in the self, the soul that is part of
become a great and might nation, and all there                                                                                                                  one's involvement in one's perfection. This
will bless him all the nations of the land. For I     beholds our appearance, as it were possible,         monotheism through his own discovery.                investment in the self is what keeps a person strong
known in him that he will command his sons            with "both eyes".                                    Avraham thereby setting an example of the            and brings peace of mind. Love of God is an
and his household after himself, and he will                                                               prime existence of man, i.e., one who searches       obligation we all have. All the popular novels
                                                                                                           for truth and finds it. As opposed to one who        people "just can't wait to read" are really very
guard the path of God, to do charity and                                                                                                                        empty and hollow compared to the ideas contained
                                                                                                           just follows someone else's teachings, Avraham
justice..."
   God immediately informed Abraham of His             Subjectivism II                                     proved that there is objective knowledge in the
                                                                                                           universe which man can uncover, the search of
                                                                                                                                                                in Torah. When we "just can't wait to read" these
                                                                                                                                                                novels do we make any investment in the self or in
                                                                                                                                                                our purpose? Are we receiving any reward and do
plan to destroy Sodom and Ammorah. Had
Abraham awakened after the destruction of the                                                              which, is man's purpose, and man's ultimate          our minds really feel fulfilled and are we genuinely
                                                         Reader: My name is --------. We have              happiness. God showed this to be man's purpose       happy? No, there is no investment or reward, the
city, he would not have learned the fine                                                                                                                        fulfillment is momentary and happiness is an
intricacies of God's justice, but only that the       arranged for Dr. Alan Keyes to speak to our          by creating a nation from Avraham, thereby           impossibility. Precious time is lost and our minds
people were corrupt and deserved obliteration -       community in November. A number of                   underlining Avraham's ability and role to            are filled with waste! It is so much more mentally
as with the Flood. However, God 'invited'             influential members of our community are "up         uncover truths through reasoning alone. This         exhilarating when we "just can't wait to learn
                                                      in arms" about our decision, noting Dr. Keyes'       also falls in line with God's original plan bereft   ideas." The quality of the happiness that results is
Abraham to discussions, which was followed                                                                                                                      genuinely satisfying it is real happiness.
by Abraham's defense of Sodom. Abraham                anti-Gay and anti-abortion stands. They have         of a Bnei Yisroel, but just an Adam and Eve
                                                                                                                                                                    God commanded Jewish men to be the
exclaimed, "the Judge of the Earth won't              threatened to write letters to all board members     who would populate the world and generate            transmitters of the Torah. Torah is our greatest and
execute justice?"                                     and to write an article in our local Jewish          offspring, following their parent's method of        most precious gift ever given and is absolutely
   Abraham did not ask this as a question but         newspaper.         Would you have any                discovering God through the study of the             essential for having love of God. Every Jewish
                                                      suggestions as to how to best handle this            universe. Maimonides states that the study of        man needs to take their obligation much more
stated it as a certainty, as God does not answer                                                                                                                seriously and make it a priority in life if they
him on this. God only answers Avraham's true          delicate situation. One of the most vocal            the universe is what brings man to be in awe of      haven't. Women are also transmitters of Torah, that
query, i.e., whether the merits of some, can save     opponents of our decision is a Jewish member         God.                                                 begins in their home but women are not obligated
others. Abraham asked this, as he was not             of the local school board who has one son who            Since it was Avraham's sole desire to            in time bound commandments that men are bound
                                                      is homosexual. Thanks for your help and the          promulgate true ideals, later encapsulated in the    by. Nevertheless, men and women need to make
learned in certain ideas of charity. This is                                                                                                                    Torah the center of their existence and encourage
beyond natural observation - beyond the idea          work you are doing                                   Torah, Avraham's own existence is not essential
                                                                                                                                                                each other to understand and uncover the truths of
that each man pays for his own sins, and each            Mesora: I recently wrote my thoughts on           for him to reap the rewards of his actions.          Torah. As we each align ourselves with truth,
merits his own rewards. Abraham now realized          how the Torah approaches morality. Please have       Provided there are followers of Avraham's            which is true reality that brings all of us onto the
that God's invite in this decision making process     a read at the article below. I think you will        teachings, Avraham is satisfied that his plan        path of God- the path, the way, the derech that He
                                                      understand from here how we must approach all        continues, and this is his reward. Nothing           provided for us.
must mean that there are other considerations                                                                                                                       "Be of the disciples of Aaron, loving peace and
which he could not arrive at without God's            areas of morality. God alone determines what is      external to mankind's pursuit of knowledge is        pursuing peace, loving the created beings, and
intervention. Proof of the hidden quality of this     morally correct, and what is not. God                needed by Avraham, there cannot be anything          bringing them near to the Torah." Pirkei Avos 1:12
idea is that God saves people based not only on       determines reality. Our benefit is not to argue,     more which he could desire.
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