Monday, December 21, 2020

The American Yeshiva Day School fraud

Gone are the days of real ideological disputes between misnagdim and hasidim, Modern Orthodox and yeshivish. Those were for the simpler times, when Jews were still poor and sidelined members of society. Today, when we have reached the pinnacles of success in the secular world, the hashkafic distinctions that once defined us are no longer real.





  1. The ruchnius sheker - there is no ruchnius without money. A glatt chicken costs much more than a basic shulchan aruch shechita. Tefillin, mezuzot, marriage, house / mortgage all cost money. Shadchanim first look at your wage slip or bank account.
    Rabbis take salaries paid for by bal habatim.
    All we read about in frum books is how poor rabbis needed parnassah, and got a job in one town or other. The fraudulent yeshivas are those who discourage students from secular education, economies , whilst enjoying the largesse of those who fund them.

  2. Maimonides peddles this myth, claiming that Avraham avinu was only wealthy so as to take his mind off material things, to focus on ruchnius.
    Perhaps his own experience as a hard worker doctor for the caliph led him to dream about a life with no financial burden.

  3. You seem to misuse the quote of Maimonides here. For one, I don't see how it's a "myth" or the peddling of a myth for him to emphasize the ideal purpose/use of wealth as the statement about Avraham indicates. Secondly, emphasizing an ideal purpose or use of wealth nowhere discourages the obtaining of said wealth!

  4. It is a falsification of the Torah, which says Hashem blessed Avraham with everything.
    Remember, Guide for the perplexed is a philosophical work not halaacha. Chatam sofer and rav Yaakov Emden were highly critical of that book, only the ohr sameach defended it.
    Avraham didn't need so much wealth to study Torah. He would only need a basic income. So logically also, the statement of rambam is a sad joke.

    It's not an ideal purpose. You don't need to be super wealthy to be Torah observant, but you do need to be able to pay a mortgage, shul fees school fees etc.
    Also, the rabbis do not help , but instead they impoverish their followers , with their abstract and false pronouncements.

  5. also, Chazal tell us that Avraham was the richest man in the world. That means, he was financially, someone in a similar position to Jezz Bezos (Amazon) or Bill Gates (Microsoft).
    This isn't like a 47th street diamond dealer who has a nice house and few million in cash at the bank.
    The gap between the Chazal version, and the Aristotle inspired Rambam is too big to resolve rationally, hence he has to either abandon his ascetism (which he doesn't) or throw in a poor explanation (which he does).
    Some people are more bothered by his attack on astrology and amulets :)

  6. There may be other purposes to wealth than being a full time kollel student. Perhaps Hashem wants us to have some material wealth, self esteem, leisure time etc.
    Rambam brings an antimaterial framework for death and olam haba. He says denial of this world makes it easier to make the transition to the next world.
    Thats why Jacob risked his life to embezzle eisav, to gain the physical blessing / inheritance of his father? Why do we wish for nachalat Yaakov ?

  7. Torah thought on ויגש
    “Joseph then brought his father Jacob and presented him to Pharaoh; and Jacob blessed ויברך Pharaoh. Pharaoh asked Jacob, How many are the years ימי שני of your life? And Jacob answered Pharaoh, The years of my sojourn [on earth] ימי שני מגורי are one hundred and thirty years. Few מעט and hard ורעים have been the years of my life היו ימי שני חיי, nor do they come up to the days of the years of the life of my life of my fathers in the days of their sojourns ולא השיגו את ימי שני חיי אבתי בימי מגוריהם . Then Jacob blessed ויברך Pharaoh, and left Pharaoh’s presence.” (Genesis 47:7-10)
    מלבי"ם בראשית פרשת ויגש פרק מז פסוק ט
    ובאשר פרעה לפי הבנתו קרא כל השנים שיתהלך האדם על האדמה בשם שנות חיים, א"ל יעקב שלא דייק בדבריו, שאם תשאלני על ימי שני מגורי אוכל להשיב לך שהיו שלשים ומאת שנה, אבל אם תשאלני על שני חיי, דע כי מעט ורעים היו ימי שני חיי, ר"ל השנים שהייתי חי חיים הנפשיים שהם חיי האדם, ולא השיגו את ימי שני חיי אבותי בימי מגוריהם שהם הרבו יותר הימים שעבדו בהם את ה' וקנו השלמות הנפשי:
    Malbim says that Pharaoh asked how many years did Jacob live? Jacob replied that Pharaoh Is not being precise. If Pharaoh is asking how many years my sojourns I answer 130 years. If Pharaoh asks how many years חיי real life, know that few and hard years of real life שלוה. That is to say, years חיי real life did not reach the real lives of my forefathers in their sojourns, for far more years they worshiped God and achieved inner satisfactions השלמות הנפשי.
    Beautiful. True living, inner satisfaction, not easy to come by. Abraham and Isaac had far more inner peace years than did Jacob. Nice to see Pharaoh speaks reverently and respectfully to Jacob. The Malbim stresses inner peace with oneself. This is a lesson for us, to look for inner peace. But how can we, when the Progressive Left is so villainous and apparently succeeding? I still hope and pray four more years Trump POTUS.

  8. Trump is finished time to switch your prayers to Biden

  9. "There may be other purposes to wealth than being a full time kollel student"
    Once again you are abusing the words of the Rambam as he didn't say this. You are reading "full time kollel student" into it.
    Perhaps that is what much of the charedi world equates with Ruchnius, but that's not consistent with Rambam's teachings, and it certainly isn't what I think the term means. I doubt you do either, so why do you adhere to their definitions to bash this straw man in Rambam?!

  10. "Remember, Guide for the perplexed is a philosophical work not halaacha. "

    Aka, I dismiss what I don't like and can't agree with! Disappointed in you Kalonymous. You are a better thinker than this.

    " Chatam sofer and rav Yaakov Emden were highly critical of that book, only the ohr sameach defended it."

    So what? Is it a popularity contest? Irrelevant comment.

    Even if you disagree with some of the hashkafic content, it would be intellectually dishonest to claim everything in the work is false, and you know that. "This is only hashkafa/philosophy" is just an ad hominem - straw man combo.

    "It's not an ideal purpose. You don't need to be super wealthy to be Torah observant, "

    This is another straw man as Rambam did not say you need to be super wealthy to be Torah observant, and you never quoted him as saying this anywhere. This is just dumb.

  11. Thank you for the compliment - let me try to clarify your points vs mine:

    "Aka, I dismiss what I don't like and can't agree with!"

    I generally do that, unless it is too complex for me to grasp. However, Hashkafa vs halacha distinction means I am less likely to be clobbered and called an apikores.

    "So what? Is it a popularity contest? Irrelevant comment." I don't have details of why they opposed it. Rav Emden was a materialist, and very much in this world. He studied sciences but opposed philosophy.

    Rav Emden was the most modern Orthodox Rav in history, and rationalist. I think the Guide may be too much into Aristotelian ascetism. Chatam Sofer, well maybe he didn't like taamei hamitzvot, or certain suggestions that these may lead to.

    i am not talking about popularity, the Ohr sameach was also a unique thinker , but he supported Rambam on pretty much everything.

    "if you disagree with some of the hashkafic content, it would be intellectually dishonest to claim everything in the work is false, and you know that."

    Your statement would be true had i made such a false statement - but I didn't. I didn't say i reject the entire sefer. I accept a lot of it, especially the criticisms of mysticism ;) I disagree with his anti-materialism. however, even that , may be a secret doctrine for the dying man. I don't accept that this life should all be as a dying man - the Torah says Chai Bahem - we are meant to love, laugh, live, dance, like David hamelech, not to be hermits. In any case, there is reason to believe that even the Rambam himself didn't follow this path entirely. for example, in his medical writings, he developed a viagra application lotion. he says that he applied it and it works - even though in halacha he states that this would be assur. it is assur to have contact with one's ever, so how can one apply such a lotion?

    "another straw man as Rambam did not say you need to be super wealthy to be Torah observant"

    Ok - what he did say was that Avraham was super wealthy only to be free from financial burden so he can learn/ contemplate Torah and G-d's unity all day. So yes, one can be Torah observant without learning all day, but those are not the sole reasons he was super wealthy.

    the Torah makes a number of explicit promises of wealth and sustenance in reward for keeping the mitzvot.

    these are the Bracha and Klala in Leviticus; the bracha and klala in Devarim. The 2nd paragraph in particular of Shema. And many other passages in Devarim.

    So it is not a question of me picking and choosing, rather it is a matter of the rationale of the Torah for reward and punishment.

    People in general want to be rich rather than poor - and we see that Avraham was rewarded by this. And Yaakov also makes a contract with Hashem that if hashem gives him prosperity, then he will keep the Torah, and not the other way around.

  12. Yes, I accept this point - he is not specifying being a Kollel student, I was using a contemporary example to express my point.

  13. Daas Torah “Trump is finished time to switch your prayers to Biden” No. Torah thought on ויגש
    “And they said, You have saved our lives! We are grateful to my lord, and we shall be serfs to Pharaoh. And Joseph made it into a land law in Egypt, which is still valid, that a fifth should be Pharaoh’s; only the land of the priests did not become Pharaoh’s. Thus Israel settled in the country of Egypt, in the region of Goshen; they acquired holdings in it, and were fertile and increased greatly.” (Genesis 47:25-27).
    My theory. Joseph (for Pharaoh) got all the money, all the livestock, all the land, and all the people except for the priests. Joseph was doing spending appropriations, spending Pharaoh’s wealth. Politically easy to spend money, much like USA houses of congress easy to do spending bills, give to this project to that project etc. No debate needed, 5,600 pages on spending programs. Just an up and down vote on the whole package. Joseph’s 20% tax is simply that Joseph advances seed money to farmers and tells them to pay Pharaoh 20% of harvest. “Then Joseph said to the people, Whereas I have this day acquired you and your land for Pharaoh, here is seed for you to sow the land. And when harvest comes, you shall give one-fifth to Pharaoh, and four-fifths shall be yours as seed for the fields and as food for you and those in your households, and as nourishment for your children.” (Genesis 47:23-24).
    Sorry, I don’t see great wisdom here on part of Joseph. I like how Adam Smith described the economic success of ancient Egypt in his 1776 Wealth of Nations. I’m a PhD economist supporter of Trump and Netanyahu. Heaven forbid if Biden becomes president and McConnel is not majority leader in the Senate... Wow---terrible, be more and more spending appropriations which will lead to higher taxes and a worse economy.

  14. you mean you don't think Trump was a major factor in budget deficit?!

  15. Trump switches sides and supports more spending
    Trump’s central complaint in a video he posted on Twitter is that Congress should send folks $2,000 checks, not the “ridiculously low” amount of $600 his own Treasury Secretary, Steve Mnuchin, wanted.

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi found herself in rare agreement with Trump.

    Game on.

    “Republicans repeatedly refused to say what amount the President wanted for direct checks. At last, the President has agreed to $2,000 — Democrats are ready to bring this to the Floor this week by unanimous consent. Let’s do it!” Pelosi said in a tweet.

    Pelosi called Trump’s bluff.

  16. Daas Torah “you mean you don't think Trump was a major factor in budget deficit?!” No. Back to ויגש
    My Theory. Judah and Joseph’s elder brothers were developing the land of Israel, having children and staking out property. Jacob, Benjamin, and Isaac stayed home and learned Torah. My theory is that Judah was referring only to the crime that Benjamin stole Joseph’s goblet: “Judah replied, What can we say to my lord? How can we plead, how can we prove our innocence? God has uncovered the crime of your servants. Here we are, then, slaves of my lord, the rest of us as much as he in whose possession the goblet was found.” (Genesis 44:16).
    I heard a vort. According to bene Noah laws: 10 thieves in band caught all are prosecuted equally. According to Torah laws, only the thief found with the stolen item is prosecuted and the rest allowed to go free. Judah saw that Joseph was ruling according to Torah laws: “But he replied, Far be it from me to act thus! Only he in whose possession the goblet was found shall be my slave; the rest of you go back in peace to your father.” (Genesis 44:17).
    In the midrash the brothers felt that Benjamin did steal Joseph’s goblet much as Rachel did steal Laban’s idols. I heard that Judah felt that is not the disaster that Judah promised to be surety of: “But he said, My son must not go down with you, for his brother is dead and he alone is left. If he meets with disaster וקראו אסון on the journey you are taking, you will send my white head down to Sheol in grief.” (Genesis 42:38).
    But when Judah heard Joseph applies Torah laws on a band of thieves----Judah then has a doubt if this qualifies that he, Judah, must be surety to bring back Benjamin. My theory. Judah was serious: “Here we are, then, slaves of my lord, the rest of us as much as he in whose possession the goblet was found.” Normally a surety can insist that the primary party pay up before the surety must pay. Judah felt that Benjamin was 100% guilty and this is not the disaster Judah is surety of.
    Judah’s surety applies where there is a reasonable doubt if the primary party is guilty. Judah was willing to give up his kingship rule in the Land of Canaan, until he heard: “Only he in whose possession the goblet was found shall be my slave; the rest of you go back in peace to your father.” Beautiful.

    Is Trump willing to give up four more years? Not clear.. Wow Trump not cooperating in 2 bills of Congress passed with overwhelming majorities in both houses! Was it Twitter that made trouble for the NY Post? Horrible that Twitter has immunity. This cost Trump a lot of votes. The list of pork and fat in the 5,600 pages --- so horrible. Pelosi wants a unanimous vote approval. She's nuts..

  17. Trump lost and is denying reality - just like you!

  18. Daas Torah “Trump lost and is denying reality - just like you!” No. More on ויגש
    “Joseph said to his brothers, I am Joseph. Is my father yet live הועד אבי חי? But his brothers could not answer him, so affrighted at his presence כי נבהלו מפניו. Then Joseph said to his brothers, Come near to me I pray you גשו נא אלי. And when they came near ויגשו, he said, I am your brother Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. Now, be not grieved אל תעצבו nor angry with yourselves ואל יחר בעיניכם because you sold me hither; for God did send me before you to preserve life כי למחיה שלחני אלקים לפניכם.” (Genesis 45:3-5)
    Joseph is a prophet, gets dreams from God. He interprets dreams. Inappropriate Joseph asks questions which he knows the answers to. As a rule asking a question knowing the answer is a debate trick. FBI did that with General Flynn to trick Flynn to incriminate himself. Whew Trump pardoned Flynn. Joseph’s brothers don’t answer Joseph until: “He kissed all his brothers and wept upon them; only then were his brothers able to talk to him.” (Genesis 45:15).
    בראשית פרשת ויגש פרק מה פסוק ג
    וַיֹּאמֶר יוֹסֵף אֶל אֶחָיו אֲנִי יוֹסֵף הַעוֹד אָבִי חָי וְלֹא יָכְלוּ אֶחָיו לַעֲנוֹת אֹתוֹ כִּי נִבְהֲלוּ מִפָּנָיו:
    כי נבהלו מפניו. בהלה הזאת היתה השתוממות וגם חרדה שאמר אני יוסף ויראו מן הנקמה, וכאלו אמר העוד אבי חי מרוב הצרות:
    The Malbim says the brothers were afraid of revenge, that Joseph was saying: Is Jacob still alive from all the troubles the brothers caused Jacob? Joseph was rebuking his brothers.
    Chagigah 4b:
    “R. Eleazar, when he came to the [following] verse, wept: And his brethren could not answer him, for they were affrighted at his presence. Now if the rebuke of flesh and blood be such, how much more so the rebuke of the Holy One, blessed be He!”
    My theory. Joseph thinks he won in his lifetime battle to be ruler over his brothers. No. Joseph was denying reality. Judah won the election in Dothan to be king of the Jews and not Joseph. Joseph is just temporary a king. See His usefulness over, the Dems will soon replace Joe Biden - Opeds - Israel National News: “His usefulness over, the Dems will soon replace Joe Biden Uneasy Democrats know that Biden must leave office soon. He cannot face the simplest of questions from an exasperated media.”
    DT rebukes Trump endlessly. Does Trump deserve this? Trump is so good for Jews.

  19. In Ki Thavo , one of the klalot is
    "40You will have olive trees throughout all your boundaries, but you will not anoint with [their] oil, because your olive trees will drop off."

    Why would people annoint? these are farmers, who are promised rewards for keeping Torah. They are not kings or priests to anoint, they are regular physical people enjoying gashmius and ruchnius together.

  20. Nittel spiel

    This musmach of Rav Moshe giving his haskamah to Trump (5 years ago)


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