Monday, November 22, 2021

Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan ztl with Dr. Russell Barber complete


  1. "if You were G-d"

    this is the title of one of his books
    it has some interesting and valid points, and argumentation, but the whole question of "could you do it better if You were God?" is ridiculous (and blasphemous, depending on which way one looks at it).
    If one is a believer, then the whole discussion is superfluous. If one has doubts, it is ridiculous. I don't wish to go in depth into a skeptical assessment, becasue i do not wish to mock emunah - but throwing the question "If you were G-d" is a ridiculous and dangerous exercise.

  2. This is also written by his colleagues, and citations from one of his books.

    Conspiracy theory? Or syncretism?


    Other Religions and Meditation

    Kaplan was adamant and unyielding to all those who asked him about TM

    and other Eastern techniques that they were “foreign worship” (avodah


    Kaplan, however, saw the practices of other faiths as deriving form

    Judaism. He popularized the statement of Rabbi Menashe ben Israel (17th

    century Amsterdam) that the gifts of Abraham to his concubines were the

    Asian religions. He thought that the ancient Canaanite practice of

    worshiping a sacred grove or asherah was based on the Kabbalistic tree.

    Or that Rav Hai Gaon’s statement that the hekhalot were done by placing

    one’s ead between one’s legs became the ancient pagan worship of dust.

    Realizing the importance of the tree symbolism in

    prophetic meditations, the idolaters attempted to emulate it. They

    actually planted trees which would serve as the object of their

    meditations and visions…. Through such Asherah trees, they hoped to

    ascend the spiritual Tree, which they most probably saw as the Tree of

    Life.” (107) In his speculative etymologies, Ashera is from the root

    shur- to see or have a vision of the tree. “This ‘tree’ is often said

    to refer to the entire array of the Sefirot…ascending through this array

    plays a key role in prophetic meditation.”

    “We often find counterparts of prophetic methods in idolatrous

    practices, since in many cases, the idolaters attempted to emulate the

    prophetic schools. A possible hint that this position was used among the

    idolatrous prophets is found in the Talmudic teaching that certain

    pagan Arabs used to “bow down to the dust of the feet….However, it would

    appear that some pagans viewed the prophetic position, where the great

    mystics sat with their head between their knees, and assumed that they

    were contemplating their toes, or the like. They adopted this practice

    and it gradually degenerated to the worship of the “dust of their feet.”


    Yet, Kaplan held that “Idolatrous and other occult practices often

    shed light on the prophetic methods.” (Innerspace 109, 115). Hence, he

    often used books about practices in other religions to figure out Jewish

    practices. We read books about Asian religions to reclaim Jewish

    practices which were primary.

  3. This is not support for your slander! Learning from aspects is not prohibited nor is it proof of belief in AZ

  4. If you were G-d, what socks would you wear today?

    That is the kind of nonsese that Kaplan is essentially writing.
    It is nto about me, i wear the same socks as yesterday.

  5. nonsense,
    you are only slandering yourself and and your many great achivements by your above desperate nonsense comment.

  6. He's trying to say we couldn't design a better world if we were creators. It's quite a contorted argument. A) who gives us the power to do so? What if someone comes up with another system he seems better?
    The Torah says that G_d regrets creating man, since his inclination is evil from youth. This touches on many approaches _ Kaplan, Cardozo, even reconstruction. The tells us that G_d regrets creating man, so in fact that refutes Kaplan's whole fantasy construction. On the other hand, it kind of supports Cardozo. It says there is a flaw in creation. Cardozo is saying that literal Torah has flaws, hence why we need the oral law.

  7. Your Torah education seems to be questionable.
    Spend less time on Internet and more time with Torah seforim

    Rashi (Bereishis 6:6)
    ויתעצב GRIEVED HIM — means, in the mind of God man became an object to be troubled (punished): it entered God’s heart to grieve him. This is how the Targum of Onkelos understands the verse. Another explanation of verse 6: וינחם AND [THE LORD] REPENTED — The thoughts of God turned from Divine mercy to Divine justice: He considered what to do with man whom He had made on the earth. Wherever this term is used in the Scripture it means “considering what to do”. Examples are: (Numbers 18:19) “nor the son of man that He should consider (ויתנחם)”; (Deuteronomy 32:36) “and reconsider (ויתנחם) regarding His servants”; (Exodus 32:14) “and the Lord reconsidered (וינחם) regarding the evil”; (1 Samuel 15:2) “I am reconsidering (נחמתי) that I have set up Saul to be king” — all these passages denote a change of mind.

    Ibn Era (Bereishis 6:6) AND IT REPENTED THE LORD. The Torah spoke in the language of men,18 for we know that God is not a man that he should repent. This term is used because if a human being acted in the way God did, destroying his creation, it would be said of him that he repented.19

    Rabbeinu Bachye (Bereishis 6:6)
    ויתעצב אל לבו, “and His heart felt sadness.” In terms of the plain meaning of the words the term “heart” when applied to G-d is, of course, only a figure of speech. The same is true whenever the Torah speaks of other organs and appears to attribute them to G-d Who is totally abstract, devoid of any such organs. The reason that the Torah nonetheless employs such terms is to convey to us that our actions may or may not please G-d, may even elicit reactions that if they had been observed in humans would be described as “joy, anger, frustration, happiness and the like.” Such reactions when expressed by human beings usually involve human organs also. When the psalmist (Psalms 104,31) speaks about ישמח ה' במעשיו, “G-d rejoices in His works,” on the one hand, and in this instance we read ויתעצב ה' אל לבו, ”G-d was saddened in His heart,” both descriptions are of necessity anthropomorphisms, i.e. approximations of G-d’s reactions in terms which we humans can understand. They do not reflect the objective reactions of Someone Whose Essence we have not been privileged to understand

  8. 1) What did Cardozo say? If he took the Torah literally (without the oral law) then...

    2) What did Kaplan say? "If You (literally) were G-d"

    3) what does Ibn Ezra say?

    Ibn Era (Bereishis 6:6) AND IT REPENTED THE LORD. The Torah spoke in the
    language of men,18 for we know that God is not a man that he should
    repent. This term is used because if a human being acted in the way God
    did, destroying his creation, it would be said of him that he repented.

    So even the Ibn Ezra (presumably what sparked kaplan's idea) Is saying a theme completely the opposite in conclusoin to Kaplan's - i.e.e even an athropomorphism, of a Human acting in in the way G-d did, would be regret for creating the world.

    The sources you bring, and i only thank you for them, support my argument - am haarez that I may be.

  9. I'm not sure I agree with Cardozo. The literal reading of the Torah makes sense, and is not problematic. The question is why eye for an eye is written in the same way as in code of Hammurabi, but chazal interpret it differently? Why doesn't the Torah just write pshat so we understand it the way chazal interpret it?


    Some very odd, maasim zarim, of rabbi Kaplan...

  11. R. Kaplan wrote that some
    medieval Kabbalists may have used psychedelic drugs[8] to achieve
    lofty states. Also, cannabis, known as k’nei bosem (sounds similar) was
    used in the anointing oil.[9]

  12. and therefore what?

    Nothing there is beyond Orthodoxy

  13. Keep taking the kool aid man, and say hi to Jimi Hendrix. He must have been a navi too.

    The scholar is a fraud. There is no support for this junkie claim that cannabis was one of the spices in the temple. In fact, the cannabis resin is reputed to smell like excrement.
    Plus he held services in rejection of the teshuva of rav Moshe.

    In any case, the drug use, the lsd etc is a clear red flag that the man was another behemo, not a rav, and not deserving respect.
    Are you a recreational drug user by any chance?

  14. Drug use/ its defence. And false attribution of foreign entities to Torah - simply unreliable.

  15. are Kohanim allowed to use alcohol in the Temple?

  16. Problem is, he's been dead 40 years, and his books are widely used, so falsehood has entered into Israel, by osmosis.

  17. no more than the introduction of foreign rites was rife in Biblical Israel, despite the warnings in the Torah and by the prophets. that was against G-d's Will, as far as we can speak of it.


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