Monday, January 21, 2013

Teaching Torah to gentiles | Rav Aharon Kahn | Orthodox Union




  Content Description: Teaching Torah to gentiles. Analysis of commentaries on gemara Chagigah 13a, which focus on the pasuk brought to support the prohibition of teaching Torah to gentiles. Who ‘owns’ the Torah? Do I have a partial, but individual ownership? Or do I individually own nothing of Torah, but rather, as a part of Klal Yisroel, it is group-owned? An understanding of the word: “morasha”--nuances of ‘yerushas kehillas Yaakov’ in contrast to ‘morasha kehillas Yaakov.’

Citations: Gemara Chagigah 13a with Tosfos, found in the source packets on page 1, and Turei Even on that Tosfos, found in the source packets on pages 1-3, and Sfas Emes (Chagigah 13a) found in the source packets on page 3.

19 comments:

  1. Recipients and PubliicityJanuary 21, 2013 at 1:01 PM

    "Teaching Torah to gentiles | Rav Aharon Kahn | Orthodox Union"

    You are citing from relatively liberal speakers who have recorded classes on audio that are NOT representative samples of what is normative in the Torah world at large where as you know the Gedolim's views reign supreme on such matters for their followers and not what a speaker at an OU seminar said someplace. While Rabbi Kahn is a very fine man, he teaches and caters to the left-wing Modern Orthodox YU crowd, and he does NOT in any way represent or speak for the righ-wing Yeshivish and Charedi point of view.

    But really, by now since you have dragged the issue of teaching Torah to gentiles, as a related "proof" to validate the teaching of Kabbalah, you have now created for yourself a far deeper quagmire that you will now be forced to address:

    Is it permissible to teach, not merely Torah, but Kabbalah itself to gentiles and are they permitted to study Kabbalah?? Because by posting material and having discussions about Kabbalah on your blog that is on the world wide web of the Internet you are making it available to EVERYONE, gentile and Jew alike, and because Jews are only a tiny part of the world population, one can assume that more gentiles than Jews are now reading these posts, because (a) it relates to them as a subject when matters are phrased as "may one teach a gentile Torah?" or "may a gentile study Torah?", and (b) the subject of Kabbalah is very popular in the world at large and holds a great interest for many curious gentiles, when the most famous celebrities not just study but become fervent devotees of "Kabbalah" -- bottom line how different are you now from the controversial "Kabbalah Centre" people???

    So again, the real question for you now, and that you must answer for, IS IT HALACHICALLY PERMISSIBLE TO TEACH KABBALAH TO GENTILES and IS IT PERMISSIBLE HALACHICALLY FOR GENTILES TO STUDY KABBALAH???

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    Replies
    1. Is it permissible to sell an Artscroll gemora to a nonJew?
      Is it permissible to have Torah video on Youtube?
      These issues were decided a long time ago - where have you been?

      Delete
    2. שו"ת אגרות משה יורה דעה חלק ג סימן צ

      ולכן אין לו להמנע מללמוד בעצמו וללמד לאחרים בשביל מה שיושבת שם נכרית (עי' אג"מ שם) שאסורה בלמוד התורה דהרי הנכרית עושה האיסור בעצמה דאין הכרח שתשב שם ואף כשיושבת שם אפשר לה שלא להאזין ולשמוע ורק שהיא בעצמה עושה מעשה האיסור בזה שהיא מאזנת ושומעת להבין הוא מעשה שלה וליכא בזה לפנ"ע, ולשמור נכרים מלעבור על איסורים ליכא שום חיוב ולא שום מצוה ואף ת"ק דרשב"ג יודה בזה, אף כשאינם גרועים משאר נכרים, ואף לבני נח השומרים ז' המצות המחוייבים מסתבר שאם הוא באופן שליכא לפנ"ע ליכא חיוב זה דשמירת אחרים מחטאים שאיכא בישראל אף שאין לומר עלייהו הלעיטהו לרשע וימות מכיון ששומרים המצות המחוייבות להן, שלכן הוריתי היתר והוא נכון ואמת.

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    3. Recipients and PubliicityJanuary 21, 2013 at 3:04 PM

      "Daas Torah said...Is it permissible to sell an Artscroll gemora to a nonJew?"

      RaP: No! ArtScroll, like any sefer company does not publish for gentiles, but being that gentiles dominate Jews, then a gentile may buy what he wishes on the free market, just as a gentile and a Jew can marry if that is what they want to do in an open democratic society, but it is NOT what Halacha permits. Likewise if a gentile wants to take a stroll on the Har Bayis and sit on the Even Hashesiya in the Kodesh HaKedoshim, he is quite welcome to do so in the big wide world controlled by Muslims, but as far as Judaism is concerned he has committed a big no-no. I am astounded at your lack of thinking here! If a gentile comes in to buy it in a place where gentiles rule, there is nothing anyone can do. In a Torah state it would be forbidden to sell a gentile a Gemora.

      We have a fast day Asara BeTeves that's connected to the Eighth of Tevet that mourns the translation of the Torah into Greek (and Greek writing was yet a language that a sefer Torah may be written in) see: "The Translation of the Seventy: A Troubled Day The day on which the 72 Elders concluded their Greek translation of the Torah, the 8th of Tevet, was a day of sorrow for Israel, despite the clear hand of G-d in the events of the day. Although God's Providence on behalf of His people was made manifest that day, and though the matter evoked general wonder in non-Jewish eyes, the day was nevertheless a very tragic day. The sages call it as tragic a day for Israel as the day on which the Golden Calf was made. In Megilat Ta'anit, the Sages described the event as follows:

      On the 8th of Tevet, the Torah was rendered into Greek during the days of King Ptolemy, and darkness descended upon the world for three days.' To what may the matter be likened? To a lion captured and imprisoned. Before his imprisonment, all feared him and fled from his presence. Then, all came to gaze at him and said, 'Where is this one's strength?"

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    4. Recipients and PubliicityJanuary 21, 2013 at 3:05 PM

      "The Translation of the Seventy: A Troubled Day:

      Likewise the Torah, as long as the Torah was in Hebrew and was interpreted by the Sages, it evoked reverence, and many feared to cast blemish upon it. Even the non-Jews who desired to study the Torah, had no contact with the Torah until he or she had acquired a knowledge of the Holy tongue and the prescribed ways for understanding the Torah.

      Once the Torah was imprisoned in the Greek translation, it was as if the Torah were divested of reverence. Whoever wished to, could now gaze at the Torah. Anyone who wanted to find fault with its logic, could now do so, based on the translation. The Sages, therefore, likened the event of this day, to the day on which the Golden Calf was made. For just as the Golden Calf had no reality, and yet its servants regarded it as having real substance, likewise the translation, devoid of the true substance of Torah, allowed non-Jews to imagine that they already knew the Torah.
      "

      "Is it permissible to have Torah video on Youtube?"

      RaP: Strictly speaking NO, for the same reasons as above. That much should be obvious.

      "These issues were decided a long time ago"

      RaP: WHO decided them and when? As you would say, do you have the written teshuvus saying that ArtScroll Gemoras and Torah lectures on YouTube are Halachically okay for gentiles? You know, there is a huge differences between producing something for Jews and then not being able to control if gentiles buy it, and directly marketing something Jewish to gentiles. You are now spouting like Philip Berg (aka Feivel Gruberger) who hit on the brainwave to market the Kabbalah to gentiles after having studied it under his Kabbalah rebbes in Yerushalayim. He even dumped his choshuva first wife from the Ashlag family and many kids and ran off with his secretary to teach Kabbalh to gentiles and Jews without asking questions, actually they ask for a lot of MONEY!

      "- where have you been?"

      RaP: Right here on this planet, happily saying the blessing "Shelo Asani Goy" every day! How about you?

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    5. Recipients and PubliicityJanuary 21, 2013 at 3:19 PM

      "Daas Torah said...

      שו"ת אגרות משה יורה דעה חלק ג סימן צ

      ולכן אין לו להמנע מללמוד בעצמו וללמד לאחרים בשביל מה שיושבת שם נכרית (עי' אג"מ שם) שאסורה בלמוד התורה דהרי הנכרית עושה האיסור בעצמה דאין הכרח שתשב שם ואף כשיושבת שם אפשר לה שלא להאזין ולשמוע ורק שהיא בעצמה עושה מעשה האיסור בזה שהיא מאזנת ושומעת להבין הוא מעשה שלה וליכא בזה לפנ"ע, ולשמור נכרים מלעבור על איסורים ליכא שום חיוב ולא שום מצוה ואף ת"ק דרשב"ג יודה בזה, אף כשאינם גרועים משאר נכרים,"

      RaP: This case from Rav Moshe is obviously not a blanket "heter" to go out an teach Torah and Kabbaallah to gentiles or to sell them ArtScroll Gemoras or to post Torah videos for them as some groups do, it is a case where in the course of teaching Jews a gentile is present, so that it is the gentile that "owns" or takes responsibility for being there and it's not the Jews fault. Fine. But you have been talking about going out and teaching gentiles Torah as if it was some sort of new "jihad" when there is no such thing and Rav Moshe is not talking about such a case.

      "ואף לבני נח השומרים ז' המצות המחוייבים מסתבר שאם הוא באופן שליכא לפנ"ע ליכא חיוב זה דשמירת אחרים מחטאים שאיכא בישראל אף שאין לומר עלייהו הלעיטהו לרשע וימות מכיון ששומרים המצות המחוייבות להן, שלכן הוריתי היתר והוא נכון ואמת "

      RaP: Rav Moshe is confirming that a gentile who is already keeping a good part of the sheva mitzvos Bnai Noach should not be an obstacle for him to learn, but that does not cover the majority of gentiles who are not in the category of a Ben Noach so that to teach such gentiles Torah, or Kabbalah, is obviously not permissible, at least I don't see it from Rav Moshe here (unless you now want to be a "missionary" to such people like those wonky groups you posted about recently that rabbi Michale Katz is involved with, and that then becomes pure PROSELYTIZING).

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    6. RaP you are twisting the issue around. you question was why I was allowed to post discussion of these issues. The answer is clear that I am doing it to teach Torah to Jews. Rav Moshe says teaching Torah in a public manner is not a problem. Furthermore the sources indicate a variety of views concerning teaching Torah directly to non-Jews. These issues have been discussed and decided by gedolim a long time ago.
      what made you wake up and suddently discover there is a problem?

      When Rabbi Teitz taughter Torah on the radio - it was decided that this was permitted. Rav Eliashiv has stated that one can give a public shiur - even though a non-Jew will learn from it. Rav Shimon Shwab told me that it is permissible to answer Torah question if a non-Jew initiates. Such an approach clearly is described in the gemora itself.

      So again - why the sudden concern about these issues?

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    7. Recipients and PublicityJanuary 22, 2013 at 3:10 AM

      1 of 2: "Daas Torah said....So again - why the sudden concern about these issues?"

      Please: Let's retrace our steps:

      *The subject was if it is permissible to teach Kabbalah openly to groups of Jews, because you started to post Kabbalah-related stuff. Period.

      *I was not talking about teaching Torah to gentiles, it was you who dragged that in and then muddied the waters.

      *I affirmed that the answer is no, Kabbalah may not be taught to groups of Jews, even to very learned ones, and I proved it from the RAMBAM who says a teacher should not teach PRDS to more than one person at any one time and that Jews should keep learning the Gemoras of Rava and Abayei ("davar katan") if they know what's good for them.

      *You did not like those RAMBAMs, and said (a) how can the RAMBAM even mention PRDS at all and (b) that the "heter" to teach Kabbalah to Jews in groups is "no different" to teaching regular Torah to gentiles and that the RAMBAM would allow the latter (teaching Torah to gentiles) so similarly that would apply to the former (teaching Kabbalah to Jews) and (c) you ignored the RAMBAM's directive that Jews should stick to learning Gemoras and not the "davar gadol" of PRDS as well as his warnings to gentiles not to learn Torah.

      *I then pointed out that the two subjects are not the same, since gentiles and Jews are not the same. Jews are Godly, while gentiles are closer to the world of nature. A gentile does not have a Jewish neshama ("soul" -- while a gentile only has a "nefesh" that makes it it assur for him to keep Shabbos or learn Torah or keep mitzvos that involve kares as punishment for example) and a gentile may basically not learn either Torah or Kabbalah.

      *While we agree that in the case of a GENUINE Ben Noach (Noahide) or even a GENUINE Ger-to-be he or she may learn whatever Torah applies to the Sheva Mitzvos Bnai Noach (Seven Noahide Laws) to become a better Ben Noach or Ger Tzedek but not stam to learn Torah the way all Jews are required to learn Torah.

      *In any case just as the RAMBAM said a gentile who learns Torah is liable to a death penalty under some circumstances, the RAMBAM also warns that a Jew who studies PRDS is also liable to suffer the fate of the four who entered PRDS and 3 out of the 4 were badly harmed.

      *But from my point of view, the discussion about whether gentiles may or may not learn or be taught Torah is still BESIDES THE POINT and not equal in any way to the question of whether Kabbalah may or may not be taught openly to groups of Jews in a public way.

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    8. Recipients and PublicityJanuary 22, 2013 at 3:10 AM

      2 of 2: "Daas Torah said....So again - why the sudden concern about these issues?"

      *So let's get back to the subject at hand, without the interjection of a gentile learning Torah, but what about a Jew learning Kabbalah. I have noted that in the Litvish yeshivas there the open study of Kabbalah is traditionally NOT allowed since it is not part of a mesora in those yeshivas, as per the rulings of the RAMBAM. You and R. Michael Tzadok claim that there are special yeshivot for this, Sefardim do it more, and that there are now special shiurim in Kabbalah even at Litvish yeshivas. I have stated that such shiurim at litvish yeshivos defy the norm, in fact they are in rebellion like MORDIM, and in fact would require an actual written pesak din or "heter", or teshuva, or statement from all the roshei yeshiva and Litvish gedolim that they now allow Kaabbalah study in their yeshivas, which in actual practice they do NOT! If anything, the the minor exceptions prove the rule.

      *Now, since you have insisted on dragging the question of teaching Torah to gentiles into the discussions, I in turn then ask you quite fairly in these discussions, according to you, is it then permissible to teach Kabbalah to gentiles in large groups, and they are NOT even Bnai Noach? which you have so far ignored.

      *You ask about ArtScroll Gemoras or YouTube shiurim being accessible to gentiles, and I simply refute that because as long as Jews live under the subjugation of the gentiles, then the gentiles can step in at any time and either "take" or "partake" in Torah, there is not much we can do. It is a tragedy we have to live with and mourn, it is not a "ma'aleh" or something we agree with.

      *Even the quotes you mention from some gedolim are only in situations where one cannot help a gentile sitting in an audience or coming along and confronting us with questions, so we do our best and answer accordingly, but it is not a "lechatchila" either.

      *However, if we want to talk in the strict spirit of the law, then Kabbalah should not be taught to groups of Jews, and neither should Torah be taught "on the free market" to gentiles. Of course if they want to be good Bnai Noach and become Geirie Tzedek we can teach them the Torah they need for that.

      *You seem to be flustered that I now challenge your approach and just want to know what your position is about if, according to you and R Michael Tzadok, one may in fact teach Kabbalah to gentiles, as you are now doing on your blog since gentiles read it, just as the way the controversial Kabbalah Centre openly advertises and teaches Kabbalah to gentiles, and charges a lot of money for that to boot?

      *Again, to reiterate, the subject is about teaching Kabbalah to Jews and NOT about teaching Torah to gentiles, so please STOP confusing and conflating the two subjects it just creates confusion and you avoid answering about the problems with kabbalah which is the subject we are discussing, but if you do want to mix them together then please also answer if it is permissible according to Halacha to teach not just Torah but also Kabbalah to gentiles?

      What am I missing? Thank you.

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    9. Recipients and PublicityJanuary 22, 2013 at 3:26 AM

      "James said...Rav Aharon Kahn is anything but left wing MO, nor does he cater to the left wing. Go to his shul in Flatbush and see for yourself."

      RaP: Rabbi Kahn is a maggid shiur at YU, or is he now giving chaburas in Lakewood and seminars at the Aguda Conventions? even though he had a right-wing education, like Rav JB Soloveitchik or Rav Dovid Lifshutz also did, they had right-wing backgrounds but they also taught at YU and they were relatively liberal roshei yeshiva. That is the reality. Sorry you don't like it. Rabbi Kahn did not "create" his congregants in Brooklyn, they are NOT graduates of YU, they are Flatbush people who come to his shull and he is their hired rabbi. He is not recognized as part of the Agudath Israel movement in Flatbush.

      "Farshlofehneh said...Recipients and Publiicity In spite of what you think of yourself, the way you labeled Rav Kahn shows that you are clueless. Stop twisting people &/or Halacha &/or Hashkafah around."

      RaP: Read my words VERY carefully again and tell me what you don't like without getting into personal insults that is just not an "argument" it just shows that you are not a mentsch:

      "[RaP:] You are citing from relatively liberal speakers who have recorded classes on audio that are NOT representative samples of what is normative in the Torah world at large where as you know the Gedolim's views reign supreme on such matters for their followers and not what a speaker at an OU seminar said someplace. While Rabbi Kahn is a very fine man, he teaches and caters to the left-wing Modern Orthodox YU crowd, and he does NOT in any way represent or speak for the righ-wing Yeshivish and Charedi point of view."

      Now again, please, which of those words is not accurate or wrong?

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    10. RaP wrote:

      *So let's get back to the subject at hand, without the interjection of a gentile learning Torah, but what about a Jew learning Kabbalah. I have noted that in the Litvish yeshivas there the open study of Kabbalah is traditionally NOT allowed since it is not part of a mesora in those yeshivas, as per the rulings of the RAMBAM. You and R. Michael Tzadok claim that there are special yeshivot for this, Sefardim do it more, and that there are now special shiurim in Kabbalah even at Litvish yeshivas. I have stated that such shiurim at litvish yeshivos defy the norm, in fact they are in rebellion like MORDIM, and in fact would require an actual written pesak din or "heter", or teshuva, or statement from all the roshei yeshiva and Litvish gedolim that they now allow Kaabbalah study in their yeshivas, which in actual practice they do NOT! If anything, the the minor exceptions prove the rule.
      ================
      I don't understand how such a brilliant person can so misundertand the topic at hand.

      I have answered your questions a number of times and you don't understand what I am talking about. I have noted the conceptual similarity of the prohibitions of learning kabbala and non-Jews learning - but you don't see it. The fact that the Rambam prohibits learning the secrets of the Torah and yet discusses them openly in Mishna Torah has been deemed irrelevant. Furthermore you make up a mesora that the Rambam has categorically prohibited teaching kabbalah - YOU ARE WRONG! There is no such mesora. There has always been a concern for the harm that result from people studying material that can be misunderstood. The laments regarding this were voiced by many big people such as the Rema. they emphasize that a person needs to learn Talmud and poskim first and should have a good teacher. In fact while the Council of Four Lands issued a general ban against kabbala seforim - they permitted seforim such as Shomer Emunim. All this was because of the particular conditions at that time.

      The fact that kabbala is being taught and learned in major litvische yeshivos - is misunderstood by you as rebellion because it is only permitted with a written psak or public announcemnt from the roshei yesiva.

      In fact it is like many things in life in which seichel must be utlilized in the proper implementation. Don't know what hat you pulled the requirement for written psak. There is no such thing! Obviously the roshei yeshiva would not allow something that they find harmful.


      the concern in essence is the harm resulting from misunderstanding the material versus the positive benefits to be gained.

      Obviously the material taught/learned depends on the particular situation. It is clear from the Rambam that the material can be taught on some level - which is why he taught it in Mishna Torah. On the other hand there are obviously dangers.

      RaP you have climbed up a very high tree. it is time to come down. The "scary" monster you have tried creating with your idiosyncratic understanding of the Rambam - simply is a fantasy. If you want to cite some authoritative teshuvas from the last 200 years that backup what you are claiming - then they will be welcome - otherwise I think it is time to move on from this tempest in a teapot.

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    11. RaP, the Rambam is not saying what you claim he is saying. For instance here are his requirements for one who wants to learn Kabbalah(Maaseh Merkava).
      The matters discussed in these four chapters concerning these five mitzvot are what the Sages of the early generations termed the Pardes, as they related: "Four entered the Pardes...." Even though they were great men of Israel and great Sages, not all of them had the potential to know and comprehend all these matters in their totality.

      I maintain that it is not proper for a person to stroll in the Pardes unless he has filled his belly with bread and meat. "Bread and meat" refer to the knowledge of what is permitted and what is forbidden, and similar matters concerning other mitzvot. Even though the Sages referred to these as "a small matter" - for our Sages said: "'A great matter,’ this refers to Ma'aseh Merkavah. `A small matter,’ this refers to the debates of Abbaye and Ravva" - nevertheless, it is fitting for them to be given precedence, because they settle a person's mind.

      Also, they are the great good which the Holy One, blessed be He, has granted, [to allow for] stable [living] within this world and the acquisition of the life of the world to come. They can be known in their totality by the great and the small, man or woman, whether [granted] expansive knowledge or limited knowledge.

      Actually I see absolutely no different between what he says here, and what Rav Ovadia Yosef writes in his Teshuva in Yehave Daat 4:47.  In fact it is no different from Rav Haim Vital writes in the name of the Arizal in his introduction to Eitz Haim(actually Shaar HaHakdamot, but found in Eitz Haim).  He even quote the very Rambam you claim supports your position, starting here at the bottom of page 13 and continuing on to page 14.  Perosnally I see no one better to say precisely who may learn Kabbalah than the Ari.

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    12. Recipients and PublicityJanuary 22, 2013 at 5:20 PM

      1 of 2:

      Help me out here please:

      "Daas Torah said...I have answered your questions a number of times and you don't understand what I am talking about. I have noted the conceptual similarity of the prohibitions of learning kabbala and non-Jews learning - but you don't see it."

      RaP: Please answer this simple question: Forget the lomdus (that can become a distraction anytime, let's focus "in pupik arein"), but lema'aseh, is it permissible to teach Kabbalah to all Jews at any time in large opne groups, yes or no? Is it permissible to teach Torah to all gentiles unconditionally, yes or no? Is it permissible to teach Kabbalah to ANY gentile, yes or no?

      "The fact that the Rambam prohibits learning the secrets of the Torah and yet discusses them openly in Mishna Torah has been deemed irrelevant."

      RaP: What are you talking about? Who is making it irrelevant? In order to know aht he is referring to he must describe it. You tried to use it to justify teaching Kabbalah because he mentions an outline of it.

      "Furthermore you make up a mesora that the Rambam has categorically prohibited teaching kabbalah - YOU ARE WRONG! There is no such mesora."

      RaP: What are you talking about? I was specific that the RAMBAM says that PRDS, or what relates to it such as Ma'asei Merkava and Ma'asei Bereishis, should only be taught taught to ONE talmid at a time, nowhere does the RAMBAM say it is permissible to teach it to masses of Jews. That is not "my" or the RAMBAM "mesora" it is the standard mesora in the world of Litvish Torah Jewry, specifically in its yeshivos for 99.999% of the mainstream. You can't stop every problem, but learning Kabbalah openly in Litvish yeshivas is NOT part of their mesora. Which Litvish yeshivas do have such a mesora?

      "There has always been a concern for the harm that result from people studying material that can be misunderstood. The laments regarding this were voiced by many big people such as the Rema. they emphasize that a person needs to learn Talmud and poskim first and should have a good teacher. In fact while the Council of Four Lands issued a general ban against kabbala seforim - they permitted seforim such as Shomer Emunim."

      RaP: And this BAN still applies and is practiced today in the Litvish Torah world, as far as anyone knows. R Michael Tzadok cannot be trusted to give an impartial view he is too much part of the Kabbalah fad already and has no objectivity on it.

      "All this was because of the particular conditions at that time."

      RaP: The conditions and ignorance and "Kkein kepeldikeit" (small mindedness) have only gotten worse. Hiskatnu Hadoros (the generations have declined). The opposition to Chabad and its Kabbalistic ideology of Tanya, as well opposition as to the general involvement with Kabbalah is still standard procedure in the world of the Litvish yeshivos.

      "The fact that kabbala is being taught and learned in major litvische yeshivos -"

      RaP: Only R Michael Tzadok thinks so, no one else has agreed with him or verified his claims yet, we need much better proof that what he says is reliable and even then it does not amount to much. Remember that this same R Michael Tzadok also backed Leib Tropper's partner R Nochum Eisenstein and way back on this blog tried to back the validity of Nochum Eisenstein's positions about conversions but this same Michale Tzadok was found to be an agent of Eisenstein and withdrew from this blog in shame, now he has come back and you allow him to speak on yet another major issue, WHY?

      "is misunderstood by you as rebellion because it is only permitted with a written psak or public announcemnt from the roshei yesiva."

      RaP: It is an hashkofic-ideological rebellion, I stand by what I have said.

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    13. Recipients and PublicityJanuary 22, 2013 at 5:21 PM

      2 of 2

      Help me out here please:

      "In fact it is like many things in life in which seichel must be utlilized in the proper implementation."

      RaP: Oh yeah, who is the one to use that seichel in the yeshivas when teaching Kabbalah is concerned? Every Litvish Rosh Yeshiva most people have ever met NEVER talks about Kabbalah and will look at you like crazy if you even mention that word "Kabbalah"

      "Don't know what hat you pulled the requirement for written psak. There is no such thing!"

      RaP: From you, you always ask!

      "Obviously the roshei yeshiva would not allow something that they find harmful."

      RaP: Nothing is "obvious" here, this is a VERY dangerous game, no different than SUPPOSEDLY getting Roshei Yeshiva to support "higher standards" for geirus by Leib Tropper and company when in the end the whole undertaking was shown to be a fraud and scam. Just as there are folks who are meshuga about being megayer gentiles, there are folks who are meshuga to teach gentiles Torah and likewise to teach Kabbalah to all the Jews and gentiles of the world. It is a dangerous and crazy world out there with all sorts of bizarre people with bizarre agendas claiming it is "Torah" and is now the "standard" when it is not.

      "the concern in essence is the harm resulting from misunderstanding the material"

      RaP: There can be only harm!

      "versus the positive benefits to be gained."

      RaP: There is no "positive benefit" and that is the crux of the problem, repeat, there is absolutely NO benefit from teaching Kabbalah to all the Jews and gentiles of the world which is what R Michael Tzadok is doing and advocating, like teaching a new "religion" as if old time Yiddishkiet was "broken" and needed "fixing" and "replacing" ch"v.

      "Obviously the material taught/learned depends on the particular situation."

      RaP: PRDS and Kabbalah should only be taught to YECHIDIM, the ONE individual chosen by his rebbe-master in Kabbalah, ALL other situations are wrong Halachically and Hashkafically. In the Litvish Torah world they teach Mussar and Hashkofa but NOT Kabbalah and NOT Chasidus that's for sure!

      "It is clear from the Rambam that the material can be taught on some level - which is why he taught it in Mishna Torah."

      RaP: How absurd, to twist the RAMBAM and claim that because makes mention of the subject and in specifically FORBIDS it being taught UNLESS it is only to ONE fit individual, to then falsely extrapolate and allege that he now gives it carte blanche to be taught to all, even to gentiles presumably, because they too can read his Mishna Torah.

      "On the other hand there are obviously dangers."

      RaP: There are ALWAYS dangers! There is no such thing as "safe" electricity, it must ALWAYS be handled sparingly under control and with great care!

      "The "scary" monster you have tried creating with your idiosyncratic understanding of the Rambam - simply is a fantasy."

      RaP: There is no "heter" from the RAMBAM to teach Kabbalah berabim openly to Jews or to gentiles, say what you will.

      Delete
    14. Recipients and PublicityJanuary 22, 2013 at 5:22 PM

      Final:

      Help me out here please:

      "If you want to cite some authoritative teshuvas from the last 200 years that backup what you are claiming - then they will be welcome -"

      RaP: Here is my "teshuva": See what happened to Shabtai Tzvi and his followers they misused the Zohar and Kabbalah and became apostates, same with Jacob Frank and his followers they became apostates, same with Yonason Eibeshutz who caused amassive rift in Klal Yisroel, same with the BESHT and early Chasidim who split away from Klal Yisroel and whose teachings are all Kabbalistsic who were put in Cherem by the GRA, same with the the RAMCHAL who was put in Cherem for his advocacy of teaching Kabbalah (as R Michaal Tzadok does now), same with the opposition to Chabad and the last Lubavitcher Rebbe who have been publicly excoriated by Rav Shach and other Gedolim as suffering from false messianism based on erroneous Kabbalah, same as with the Torah world's opposition to the controversial Kabbalah Centre movement of Philip Berg, the opposition to all of them is the same as my opposition to you, what better "teshuvos" do you need?

      "otherwise I think it is time to move on from this tempest in a teapot."

      RaP: Why? Is this debate over in the world at large as well? You make a big mistake if you do.

      Delete
    15. Hello,

      I would like to ask a question regarding the matter of gentiles learning Torah, in particular in light of the view of the Rambam I am a gentile and I decide to learn Torah for the sake of the Seven Laws and for the sake of it's beauty (not to make my own religion, not to learn it as a Mitzvah). Now when I learn and learn I see that there can be resources and analogies to draw upon, to strengthen my understanding in all of the Torah, even if I only learn in order to be a better righteous gentile. And moreover , there are instances where, according to the Seven Laws as interpreted by the Sages, learning Torah and drawing the analogies from some Torah material that I hear or read can save my life. Say, I learn correctly some matters about the Shabbat and later I enter a situation in bussiness where there is halachic uncertainty as to whether or not such and such move is stealing. I remember a matter from my previous learning and that helps me to resolve that situation correctly, so that I will have not stolen. Since I as a gentile have no way to atone for stealing and even unintentional theft can be considered liable for death from heaven in my case, how can there be any part of the Torah that is forbidden to me since all of Torah is potentially useful?

      With regards,
      Michal

      Delete
  2. Shlomo Brody has an article on this topic in the JPost:
    http://www.jpost.com/Magazine/Judaism/Article.aspx?id=277264

    ReplyDelete
  3. Rav Aharon Kahn is anything but left wing MO, nor does he cater to the left wing. Go to his shul in Flatbush and see for yourself.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Farshlofehneh DreamerJanuary 22, 2013 at 12:26 AM

    Recipients and Publiicity
    In spite of what you think of yourself, the way you labeled Rav Kahn shows that you are clueless.
    Stop twisting people &/or Halacha &/or Hashkafah around.

    ReplyDelete

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