Monday, October 31, 2022

Yad Moshe Hebrew edition

 My sefer Yad Moshe has been unavailable in seforim stores. However it was recently reprinted and shipped to New York

There are two distrubutors - Berman and Levitts who should be getting it soon In Israel Shanky is the distributor

Previously it took only a week to get to New York now it can take 6 or more weeks

If you are not willing to wait,  the English edition is available now from Amazon

Divine Providence

 Netziv (Shemos 34:10) We need to explicate the manner of Divine Providence. There are two types which four. 1) there are two by means of an angel. It can be given in a general manner that an angel is to guard the person. However the Jewish people are generally not on such a low level. 2) It is given to a specific angel to guard him.  With these two types it is possible to directly request from the angel for protection since the angel was given him by the Will of G-d. For example Lot directly made a request of the angel.  There are also two types by G-d directly. For example livelihood is provided by G-d Himself, Nonetheless it is actually being carried out by an angel. Consequently since this is being directed by G-d it is prohibited to ask the angel. Nevertheless these two – livelihood and protection are not interdependent. In the days of Yehoshua they became separated so that livelihood is from G-d while protection is from an angel. Thus we have two that are four.  There is a clear difference between whether it is an angel or directly by G-d. An angel is not able to change nature if he were not sent to do a miracle. In contrast when directly from G-d, it can be done in a natural way as we see for livelihood in Israel or it can be done in a miraculous manner. 

Sunday, October 30, 2022

Do Liberals Disdain the Disabled?

But more is at stake here than factual inaccuracies. Mr. Santorum and Ms. Palin are spreading a poisonous meme: that liberals disdain the disabled and look down upon parents who raise children with physical or intellectual limitations. They seek to insert the hateful rhetoric of the culture war into one of the few areas of American life that had remained relatively free of such rancor. Care for people with disabilities has quietly been one of the few causes in this country on which social liberals and conservatives could put aside their differences to get important work done. I fear this may be changing, and at the precise moment when budget crises and the knife fight over health care reform place the future of key disability services into doubt.

Williamsburg Hasidic School Fined $8 Million for ‘Several Overlapping Frauds’

Central United Talmudic Academy (CUTA), a.k.a. Yeshiva Torah ViYirah DeRabbeinu Yoel MeSatmar, in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, on Monday admitted in federal court that it was involved in several overlapping frauds, including a multi-million-dollar scheme to wrongfully obtain funds designated to feed needy schoolchildren, the US Attorney’s office for the Eastern District of New York reported Monday.

CUTA has entered into a three-year deferred prosecution agreement with the government in connection with the criminal information filed in the Eastern District of New York charging the school with conspiring to commit wire fraud. As part of the agreement, the school has agreed to pay $5 million in penalties, on top of more than $3 million in restitution it has already paid.

Satire? Don't Be Fooled by Their Defense of Fetterman. The Left Loathes the Disabled

Leftists loathe the disabled. I learned that the hard way during the COVID lockdowns. But when it is politically expedient, they will happily and shamelessly pretend otherwise.

This cynical and disgraceful anti-human machination of the Left was exposed to sunlight in the Fetterman-Oz debate. It's truly disgusting, transparent, and cruel and it needs to stop.

Magic Demons and Astrology real?

 Rav S. R. Hirsch (Letter to R. Hile Wechsler,published by Mordechai Breuer in Hama’ayan 16:2 (Tevet 5736/1976) p. 6) A related topic is the question of the nature of magic, astrology, demons, and suchlike... Who dares get involved in a dispute between Rambam and Ramban, following whom the camp of Israel is split in two on such matters? ...And if so, every intelligent person is entitled to adopt either view in the absence of either being ruled out. Alternatively—and in my view, this is the more correct approach—he can admit that he has no clarity in the matters. And I will admit without shame that I have never bothered to investigate and analyze the nature of these things, just as I have never been curious to investigate and inquire as to the nature of the World-to-Come, the world of the resurrection, and so on. For the truth of these things is concealed from everyone, and it is impossible to attain clarity on these things with decisive proofs... What difference does it make if with regard to matters of witchcraft and suchlike, the truth lies with Rambam or Ramban? Either way, we have to distance ourselves from such things, whether they are genuine or nonsensical. (

Saturday, October 29, 2022

Israeli researchers say magnetic fields provide way to securely date biblical events

An interdisciplinary team of Israeli scientists and archaeologists may have come one step closer to “proving” the historical veracity of the Bible.

Through archaeomagnetic dating, archaeologists can now combine the holy trinity of modern biblical archaeology — the biblical text’s account, extrabiblical historical sources and scientifically excavated artifacts — to do precise dating of destruction layers from military conquests described in the Bible.

The method utilizes excavation layers that have already been reliably dated to create baseline anchors for the archaeomagnetic data, which can then be applied to other sites that until now had been impossible to confidently date. The more anchors are created, the researchers say, the more finely calibrated the dating method will become.

Agada must accept as true?

 Rashbam (Shemos 4:10): It is inconceivable that a prophet who spoke with G d face to face and received the Torah from Him should have a speech impediment. Such an assertion is not found in the words of the Tanayim and Amoraim. We don’t concern ourselves with what is written in books outside the canon [The assertion found in Shemos Rabbah 1:26 that Moshe stuttered]. 

Ramban (Dispute): We have three types of books. The first is the Bible and everyone believes in it with perfect faith. The second is called Talmud and it is a commentary on the mitzvos of the Torah. The Bible has 613 commandments and there is not one which is not explained in the Talmud. We believe in it concerning the explanations of the mitzvos. There is a third type of book which is called medrash i.e., sermons. It is comparable to a preacher getting up and giving a sermon and some listening liked it and recorded it. Concerning medrash - it is fine if one wishes to believe them. However there is no loss if one doesn’t want to believe them.

Sefer HaEshkol (Hilchos Stam): Rav Sherira Gaon [found in Sefer HaEshkol] stated that those things which are produced from verses and are called medrash or agada are the result of deductive reasoning (umdena). Some of them fit this description such as Shimon being included with Yehuda… which is supported by the fact that Yehoshua had a portion with Yehuda. However many Agada are not such as R’ Akiva’s identification of Mekosheis as being Zlafachad or R’ Shimon identify the “tenth fast” as being the fast of the 10th of Teves. The various views are presented in the Agada and medrash and we decide based on understanding which we view as praiseworthy. This is true also of the later medrashim such as from R’ Tanchuma and R’ Oshiya where the majority are not based on deductive reasoning. Consequently, we don’t rely on the authority of Agada. The valid ones are the ones that are consistent with our understanding or supported by verses. However, there is no end to Agada. Rav Hai Gaon was asked what is the difference between those Agada and medrashim which are written in the Talmud and those that are not? He replied that whatever is found in the Talmud is more valid that what is not found in the Talmud. Nevertheless, even those Agada and Medrash which are found in the Talmud if they make no sense or are erroneous are not to be relied upon. That is because in general we don’t treat Agada as being authoritative. However that which is found in the Talmud, we should correct their errors if possible. That is because if they didn’t have validity they would not have been included in the Talmud. Those that we cannot figure out how to correct should be viewed like that which is not the Halacha. In contrast that which is not in the Talmud, we have no need to attempt to correct them and make sense out of them. We merely should examine them as to whether they are correct and nice. If they are, we teach them. If they are not, we pay no attention to them. 

Menoras HaMeor (Introduction): Rav Sherira Gaon wrote: Medrash and agada which are derived from verses are just conjecture. This statement is true, however, only for some of the more recent medrashim such as those of R’ Tanchuma and R’ Oshiya and to a small number of agada found in the Talmud which were written speculatively. An example of the latter is found in Shabbos (96b) where it states that Mekosheis and Tzelafchod were two names of the same person. However, the majority of medrashim and agada are profound secrets and esoteric wisdom as well as ethical principles, good traits and conduct as well as beneficial prescriptions for health and spirituality. It is not fit to reject the majority for the sake of the minority. Even the Torah which is interpreted through the 13 hermeneutic principles there are minority opinions and views which are clearly not the Halacha. Nevertheless, they are recorded in order to aid in determining the truth.

Rav Avraham ben Haram bam (Essay on Derashos): The fourth type of drasha is explanations of verses in the manner of poets. What they say is not because they believe it is the actual meaning of the verse - G d forbid! This is what our Sages mean when they say the language of verses is different than ordinary speech [Chullin 137b]…One should not think that the drasha is merely explicating that which is in the verse  - as those who are ignorant think. These ignorant people think that the drasha is based upon some tradition and it constitutes Torah itself and is part of the Torah traditions. This is simply not so! They are simply comments about verses which are not connected with foundation principles of religion or Halacha when they don’t have a tradition concerning the verse. Some of them are simply conjecture and some are beautiful poetic expressions. They utilize the verses for whatever they can associate with them but it is in essence a form of poetry…The main point is that these drashos are not the actual meaning of the verse but are ideas and expressions that are independent… Close to the majority of drashos of our Sages are in fact in this fourth category. This is the truth that cannot be questioned except by idiots and fools. This category is itself subdivided into as many types as there are different types of poetic expression and ways of thinking. It is important to understand this.

Michtav M’Eliyahu (4:355): R’ Shmuel HaNagid in his Introduction to the Talmud is to be understood in the following manner. Those words of Agada which we don’t understand - we are not obligated to learn them and to base our service of G d upon - even though we know that all agada are foundation principles of the Torah. In contrast, Halacha which is involved with deed, is obligatory even if we don’t understand it. The purpose of Agada is inspiration and therefore when it doesn’t inspire us because of our limited ability to understand we have no obligation to study that which doesn’t inspire. When we reach the level that that we can understand it then it becomes obligatory. Furthermore, Agada has deep secrets of the Torah. As long as we are not on the spiritual level that these secrets should be revealed in a particular Agada, there is no reason to study it since we would be misunderstanding its true meaning. This is actually what R’ Shmuel HaNagid meant when he said if the Agada doesn’t make sense to use we shouldn’t learn it or rely on it. You will notice that he didn’t say that those Agada that we understand are true and the rest are fantasies - G d forbid! However, it is as we explained that there is no benefit in learning profound material that we don’t comprehend. This is also the correct way of understanding commentaries such as Rashi and the Radak when they say a medrash is far from the simple meaning of the verse or doesn’t fit the verse. They are saying the medrash can’t be used until it is comprehended and clarified…

Shmuel HaNagid (Introduction to the Talmud): Agada are all the statements in the gemora that are not concerned with Mitzvos. You should only learn from them what makes sense. Those statements of Halacha which Chazal indicate are from Moshe Rabbeinu which he received from G d cannot be modified, however Chazal’s explanations of verses were done according to whatever each one thought was correct. Therefore, whatever makes sense of these explanations you should study and the rest do not rely on.

Rav S. R. Hirsch (Letter on Agada): You believe that Agada was received by Moshe at Sinai and that there is no difference between Agada and the Halacha that was transmitted to Moshe. However, in my humble opinion this is a very dangerous path to take. It poses a serious threat for those students who grow up believing this to be true and comes close to opening the gates of heresy for them. What should these unfortunate students do when they hear from their teachers that “Agada was given at Sinai just as the Torah itself,” and then they discover in the books of the Rishonim - upon whom all of Judaism is based - statements to the contrary. For example the statement that “Agada are not required matters of belief but are speculation” and “Agada are exaggerations” and “Agada are like statements people make to others which are not intended to be accepted as true but just to entertain for the moment” and “These are description of what they saw in a dream” and “Learn from Agada only that which makes sense” and others like them? What are these unfortunate students to do when they read these and other similar statements which contradict that which they have been trained to believe by their teachers that Agada also came from Sinai and there is no difference between Agada and the Torah itself? Obviously, they will find themselves in great spiritual danger and be ready to reject both Agada and the Torah itself and accept only that which their little minds can comprehend. Wouldn’t it be better for them never to have studied Torah and mitzvos in depth and instead observe the mitzvos mechanically and thus avoid this dangerous path? That is why in my humble opinion that we should not budge from the path of life which we have been taught by the Rishonim. They made a large and intrinsic distinction between that which has been transmitted to Moshe from G d and Agada. Their names reflect this distinction. While both have been transmitted person to person through the generations, only Torah originated with what G d told Moshe. In contrast Agada originated in the mind of a sage according to his broad understanding of the Bible and the workings of the world or what he said concerning ethical conduct and fear of G d to draw his audience to Torah and mitzvos.

Israeli study: People with autism don’t have less empathy, paradigm shift needed

Among non-autistic people, levels of the two broadly match, meaning that when they feel the experiences of others via emotional empathy, they have the cognitive empathy to decide on and execute an appropriate response.

Dr. Florina Uzefovsky, one of the psychologists behind the study, told The Times of Israel: “What we found is that people with autism feel affected by situations — in some cases even more so than others do — but have a cognitive understanding of the situation that lags behind their emotional response.”

A Political Party Unhinged From Truth

It took months of reporting before I fully appreciated the pervasiveness of the Big Lie. As I came to learn, the hallucinatory claim that a grand if largely unnamed conspiracy managed to snatch victory away from Trump and hand it to Joe Biden is not a trivial, stand-alone falsehood. Instead, it has become as central to the MAGA belief system as the crucifixion of Jesus is to Christianity. It affirms the martyrdom of their revered leader as well as the incorrigibility of his persecutors. Furthermore, it encourages the belief that the former president’s imagined adversaries across the globe have colluded with domestic malefactors to undermine all manner of American liberties. In these fevered scenarios, Venezuela and South Korea have corrupted our electoral ballots, China has implanted COVID vaccines with mind-control devices, and liberal Jewish billionaires like George Soros have underwritten acts of domestic terrorism. I attended a two-day ReAwaken America convention of right-wing influencers earlier this year at a Phoenix megachurch in which each of these claims was uttered from the stage, to more than 3,000 attendees. And I’m sorry to report that those conspiracy theories were not even the craziest I heard at the convention.

GOP candidate said Dems 'still mad' the North won the Civil War

Tudor Dixon, the Republican gubernatorial nominee in Michigan, invoked a conspiracy that the Covid-19 pandemic and protests in the summer of 2020 after the killing of George Floyd were part of a decades-long plan by the Democratic Party to "topple" the United States as retaliation for losing the US Civil War, adding that the party wanted to enslave people "again."

Friday, October 28, 2022

Rav Sternbuch: Tradition is not to teach Tanach - why?

Rav Sternbuch (Teshuvos V’Hanhagos 2:457): Question: Should Tanach  be taught in talmud Torah (cheder) before learning gemora? Answer: The accepted practice is not to teach Tanach – even though the halacha is that one should teach Tanach since it is included in the category of holy writings (mikra). The reason for avoiding teaching Tanach is it tends to give a less spiritual understanding – G‑d forbid –  of G‑d’s relationship with us. In fact it is more difficult to learn Tanach then it is to learn a complex issue in the gemora. The Chasam Sofer (Toras Moshe Parshas Shemos) stated that when the Torah was translated into Greek then Jews began be aware of the plain meaning of the verses. As a consequence heresy developed and people were not interested in hearing the explanations of our Sages. This in fact is still a concern today. That is the reason that we keep our children from “higayon” – which as Rashi (Berachos 28a) explains means not to present them with Biblical texts unaccompanied with explanation and interpretations. However one who has been educated in Talmud and halacha and has a solid foundation of the pure fear of G-d – he is definitely obligated to learn the entire Bible. Rashi himself notes in his commentary to Torah that a talmid chachom needs to be expert in all 24 books of the Bible. However for young students our ancestors in recent times have not taught them Bible and one should not change this tradition. In fact teaching the Biblical stories carries the real danger that they will view the activities of our forefathers as lowly and coarse behavior because they are missing context and principles for proper understanding of the text. You also asked which commentaries should you use for self-study of Bible? I would recommend intially the commentaries of the Metzudos Dovid, Redak, Abarbanel and the Malbim. However the fact is that for most of Tanach we still don’t have a proper commentary on the elementary level which arouses the heart to fear G‑d – which is the main concern in our days. The heretics that learn Bible their entire purpose is to show that the Biblical personalities also sinned in those days. In this manner they want to minimize the negative connonations of sin. The fact is that the true meaning of Bible is like that of the true meaning of Torah – without the commentaries of our Sages we have little ability to understand them properly. Because of these difficulties in  learning Bible one will receive greater reward for not studying Bible then he would in studying it. He should leave his son to learn in the accepted manner which means Torah, Mishna, Gemora and Rishonim and then afterwards he should study Bible by himself with the proper commentaries and that will be the best for him.\\\\\

Thursday, October 27, 2022

Michigan GOP gubernatorial nominee invoked conspiracy claiming Democrats sought to ‘topple’ US in retaliation for losing Civil War

The Republican gubernatorial nominee in Michigan invoked a conspiracy that the Covid-19 pandemic and protests in the summer of 2020 after the killing of George Floyd were part of a decades-long plan by the Democratic Party to “topple” the United States as retaliation for losing the US Civil War, adding that the party wanted to enslave people “again.”

Tudor Dixon, a former TV news anchor, made the remarks on the far-right streaming news network Real America’s Voice, which hosts former Trump adviser Steve Bannon’s show, in late June 2020.

Ted Cruz's Claim That 'Antifa' Burnt U.S. Cities For A Year

In short, Cruz appears to have grossly mischaracterized both the nature, scope and length of time these protests took. While Cruz may have been referring to protests in Portland which continued for almost a year, it is inaccurate to describe or imply that these happened across the country with each beset by arson.

Fake History from MTG

Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene has been savaged by Civil War historians after tweeting two photographs of herself at a monument to Union troops which she incorrectly claimed "honored the Confederate soldiers."

She wrote: "Tonight, I stopped at the Wilder Monument in Chickamauga, GA, which honors the Confederate soldiers of the Wilder Brigade. I will always defend our nation's history!"

Wife disagreed with Daas Torah

Shemos Rabbah (52:03) The story is told of R. Simeon b. Halafta, that he once came home just before the Sabbath and found that he had no food for that day, so he went outside the city and prayed to God, with the result that a precious stone dropped down for him from heaven. He sold this to a jeweller and bought with the money provisions for the Sabbath. When his wife asked him, ‘Where did you get all these [good things]?’ he replied: ‘God has provided them.’ Said she, ‘If thou dost not tell me whence these come, I will not touch a morsel.’ He then told her the whole story, concluding: ' Thus did I pray to God and [the precious stone] was sent down for me from heaven.’ But she replied: ' I will not taste aught till thou promise me to return the precious stone as soon as Sabbath terminates.’ When he asked her the reason, she replied: ‘Dost thou wish that in Paradise thy table shall lack all good things, while that of thy colleagues shall be laden with them?’ R. Simeon then went and told the story to Rabbi Judah ha-Nasi who said to him: ' Go back and tell thy wife that if aught be lacking from thy table, l will replenish it from mine.’ When he told this to his wife, she retorted: ‘Take me to him who has taught thee Torah.’ When she came to him, she said: ' O master, does then one righteous man see the other in the World to Come? Has not every righteous man a world for himself’ When R. Simeon b. Halafta heard this, he at once returned the precious stone to heaven. Our Sages said: This last miracle was more difficult to perform than was the first. As soon as he stretched out his hand to restore it to heaven an angel descended and took it from him.

Berachos (10a)There were these hooligans in Rabbi Meir’s neighborhood who caused him a great deal of anguish. Rabbi Meir prayed for God to have mercy on them, that they should die. Rabbi Meir’s wife, Berurya, said to him: What is your thinking? On what basis do you pray for the death of these hooligans? Do you base yourself on the verse, as it is written: “Let sins cease from the land” (Psalms 104:35), which you interpret to mean that the world would be better if the wicked were destroyed? But is it written, let sinners cease?” Let sins cease, is written. One should pray for an end to their transgressions, not for the demise of the transgressors themselves. 3Moreover, go to the end of the verse, where it says: “And the wicked will be no more.” If, as you suggest, transgressions shall cease refers to the demise of the evildoers, how is it possible that the wicked will be no more, i.e., that they will no longer be evil? Rather, pray for God to have mercy on them, that they should repent, as if they repent, then the wicked will be no more, as they will have repented.

Lapid’s near-impossible task: Why victory may not be in the cards

Prime Minister Yair Lapid is in a sense the tragic figure of this election. His task is an almost impossible one. At first glance, polls seem to consistently show the same basic deadlock of the past four elections with Benjamin Netanyahu no closer to victory. But scratch the surface and that apparent parity turns out to be a massive advantage for the right.

On the all-important question of turnout, as well as in the post-election coalition calculus, Lapid is at a desperate disadvantage.

It’s not that turnout is expected to be very high among supporters of Likud, even if Netanyahu has reason to hope that 18 months in the opposition has lit a fire under his base. Lapid’s problem lies mainly on his own side.

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Rabbinic court approved publishing the name of American-Israeli get refuser

An American Israeli couple that made aliyah from the US a few years ago has separated since the wife claimed that the husband disappeared constantly to the US. The husband has refused to divorce his wife in a Rabbinic court according to Jewish law for a few years. The court therefore dramatically allowed to publish his name, Eliyahu Pollak, in order to pressure him to officially divorce his wife.  

Until a few years ago, anyone would have thought that 30-year-old Rachel (name has been changed to preserve anonymity) had a perfect life: She and her husband were raising three healthy children. Yet according to an Israeli organization, "she was living a nightmare," and "endured physical, emotional and verbal abuse at the hands of her husband since their aliyah five years ago. 

Monday, October 24, 2022

Psichas HaIgros – Seforim in Review

In the fourth appendix, Rabbi Rosman discusses Rav Feinstein’s approach and usage of Rishonim and Acharonim. Rav Feinstein generally did not delve significantly in Acharonim, with the exception of the Mishna Brurah and the Aruch haShulchan. He cites another source that Rav Feinstein’s view was that when the Aruch haShulchan argues with the Mishna Brurah the halacha was with the Aruch HaShulchan.

Aruch Hashulchan and Mishna Berura

Finally, although the Mishna Berura was written by a great sage, he was not a practicing rabbi. The author of the Aruch Hashulchan, however, was both a great sage and a practicing rabbi. As such, Rav Epstein was much more involved with the community and had first-hand familiarity with the problems and challenges that people faced. Because of this, he had much more skill and experience in applying halacha to real-life situations and individual needs. Indeed, Rav Moshe Feinstein is reported to have said that the Aruch Hashulchan is to take precedence over the Mishna Berura for this reason alone.[4] There is a growing list of other contemporary halachic authorities who concur, as well.

Mishna Berura vs. Aruch Hashulchan

Reb Moshe did prefer the AH over the MB. It is cited here:

“Two Sons, Two Views, One Vision – A Conversation with the Legendary Sons of Rav Moshe Feinstein…” Mishpacha Magazine – 4 Sivan 5769 5.27.09″

Ari Enkin


“The Rosh Yeshivah once commented that the decisions of the Aruch HaShulchan — who was a full-time Rav — take precedence over many poskim who were not active rabbanim. A Rav takes into consideration more than just the abstract and black-and-white concepts of the halachah when rendering a halachic opinion.

Genetic test finds couple are not biological parents of mistakenly implanted embryo

A genetic test has ruled out the parentage of a couple who had been presumed to be the biological parents of a fetus mistakenly implanted in another woman.

The error occurred during fertility treatments at Rishon Lezion’s Assuta Medical Center. After whittling down the list of potential parents, Assuta notified one couple that it was the most likely to be the fetus’s biological parents, pending a genetic test.

This led to a very public fight between the two couples, with the supposed biological parents saying they would seek custodianship of the child, while the pregnant woman and her husband vowed to fight to keep it.

Evil Eye endangers Windfalls

 Eruvin (64a) should he who took possession of the property of a proselyte do that he shall be worthy of retaining it? Let him purchase with it a scroll of the Law’. R. Shesheth said: Even a husband [should act in a similar manner] with his wife's estate. Raba said: Even a man who engaged in trade and made a large profit should act in a similar manner. R. Papa said: Even he who has found something [should act in the same manner]. R. Nahman b. Isaac said: Even if he had only arranged for the writing of one pair of1 tefillin.2 In connection with this R. Hanin [or, as some say: R. Hanina] stated: What is the Scriptural proof?3 It is written: And Israel vowed a vow etc.

Rashi (Eruvin 64a) Any large gain acquired without effort should be used for a mitzva to protect it from the Evil Eye

מזעזע: מיסיונרים נוצרים פועלים כאן במרץ ויש להם הצלחות לא מבוטלות יהודים הגיע הזמן להתעורר! - TOV

Evil Eye - concern?

Beis Yosef (OC 141:5) כתוב בא"ח שאין לקרות בתורה ב' אחים או אב ובן זה אחר זה מפני שהם פסולים לעדות זה לזה וכתיב עדות ה' נאמנה עכ"ל והכלבו בסי' כ' והמרדכי בהלכות קטנות כתבו בשם הר"מ שיכולים לקרות ב' אחים זה אחר זה והבן אחר האב ואין מניחין לעשות כן בשביל עין הרע :

Shulchan Aruch (O.C. 141:6) Two brothers may be called up for an aliyah, one after the other, and so too a son after a father. But the accepted custom is to refrain from doing so only because of Evil Eye. And even if one was called up for the seventh aliyah and the other was called up for maftir we do not call the second by his name because we are concerned for the Evil Eye.

Aruch HaShulchan (OC 141.8)Two brothers may be called up for an aliyah, one after the other, and so too a son after a father. But the accepted custom is to refrain from doing so only because of Evil Eye. And even if one was called up for the seventh aliyah and the other was called up for maftir we are concerned for the Evil Eye. But this is only for Shabbos but not Yom Tov or Shabbos Rosh Chodesh and Chanuka and the 4 Pashas because maftir is read from a different Torah scroll we are not concerned with Evil Eye and not for hagba If a person isn’t concerned about the Evil Eye he can do what he wants

Mishna Berura (141:19)Even those who say they are not concerned about the Evil eye are not allowed

Igros Moshe (Even Ha’ezer 3, 26) With regards to an Ayin Hara, one should certainly take it into account, but one shouldn’t be overly concerned, because about these kinds of things the rule is: “One who is not troubled by it, will not be troubled by it” (Pesachim 110b).

Russian TV presenter says sorry for call to drown Ukrainian children

 Russian TV presenter says sorry for call to drown Ukrainian children

A Russian TV presenter apologized on Monday for calling for Ukrainian children to be drowned, as Russia's state Investigative Committee said it was probing his remarks.

In a show last week on state-controlled broadcaster RT, presenter Anton Krasovsky said Ukrainian children who saw Russians as occupiers under the Soviet Union should have been "thrown straight into a river with a strong current" and drowned.

Ukraine said on Sunday that RT was an inciter of genocide and should be banned worldwide. Margarita Simonyan, the channel's editor-in-chief, said she had suspended Krasovsky because of his "disgusting" comments, adding that no one at RT shared his views.

מרגש: המיסיונרית הנוצרית המצליחה שחזרה בתשובה ונלחמת במיסיון - רק בערוץ TOV

At 3:20 - mentions the fake "Michael Cohen".

ABOUT - Beyneynu - Confronting Missionary Influence
Shannon Nuszen
Founder and Director

A former Evangelical Christian missionary, Shannon Nuszen grew up steeped in the study and analysis of Christian scriptural polemics. The daughter of a former Assemblies of God minister, she was immersed in the Evangelical Christian movement from an early age, even traveling with her father as an evangelist in his ministry. Her involvement in this movement acquainted her with the inner workings and behind-the-scenes tactics and manipulation used to convert Jews to Christianity.
As a young adult Shannon became engrossed in the Christian messianic movement and affiliated with some of the most deceptive missionary organizations ever to penetrate the Jewish world. Today she is Jewish, and although she wholeheartedly regrets these associations, she knows they provided her with an intimate knowledge of the Christian missionary agenda, a knowledge that enables her to educate the Jewish communities in Israel and the Diaspora about the dangers this agenda poses to them.

 After her conversion to Judaism some fifteen years ago, Shannon began working in various roles within the counter-missionary field. However, it is only recently that she began speaking publicly about her personal Jewish journey. Since then, her story has appeared in The Jerusalem Post, has been featured by Aish HaTorah and the Orthodox Union (OU), and has been carried by a host of other print and online publications.  

 After moving to Israel, Shannon founded Beyneynu, an organization that monitors missionary activity in Israel and abroad and works to bring awareness of the missionary agenda to Jewish leadership and the worldwide Jewish community. Beyneynu has successfully dealt with some of the most high-profile cases that have rocked the Jewish world in the recent past and is frequently quoted in the news as the go-to source on missionaries.

Saturday, October 22, 2022

Mishpacha magazine - Trump is a major asset for Democrats

BUT ALL the damage wrought by Trump’s role in handing the Senate to the Democrats in 2020 and to Republican chances of retaking the Senate this year pales in comparison to the impact of his running again in 2024. He is, at least at present, the only Republican who would likely lose to Joe Biden or whomever Democrats substitute in his place. Even with polls showing voters disapproving of Biden’s handling of the issues of greatest concern by margins of 20 percent or greater, he still narrowly defeats Trump in polls of those same voters.

Friday, October 21, 2022

Ben Shapiro Says Republicans Are ‘Cruising for a Bruising’ in Midterm Elections Thanks to Trump

Conservative staple Ben Shapiro thinks Republicans need to start detaching from Donald Trump if they want to have a shot in the 2022 midterm elections. According to Shapiro, the party is “cruising for a bruising” by continuing to make the twice-impeached former president the “centerpiece” of conversations.

Conservatives Crushed by Durham Probe Failure: 'Unbelievably Disappointing'

The Durham probe, which former President Donald Trump once said would uncover "the crime of the century"—a massive conspiracy to defame him and impede his victory in the 2016 election—ended up being a flop this week, much to the disappointment of MAGA Republicans.

The three-and-a-half-year investigation led by special counsel John Durham into the origins of the 2016 FBI Trump-Russia report ended with a second trial loss on Tuesday, as Russian analyst Igor Danchenko was acquitted of all remaining charges against him, after a federal judge dismissed the first count against him on October 14.

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Donald Trump supports Kanye West after another antisemitic rant

It didn’t matter that West’s rant took aim at Trump’s own son-in-law, Jared Kushner. West, who now goes by the name Ye, asserted that Kushner, a former White House adviser to Trump, only brokered the Abraham Accord peace deal between Israel and some Arab states because he hoped to benefit financially.

Ye insisted, “We’re not going to be owned by the Jewish media anymore” and warned “these people” could end the career of anyone who isn’t aligned with ”the agenda.”

Rabbis can damage with evil eye

 Bava Metzia (85a) When R. Zera emigrated to Palestine, he fasted a hundred fasts to forget the Babylonian Gemara, that it should not trouble him. He also fasted a hundred times that R. Eleazar might not die in his lifetime, so that the communal cares should not fall upon him. And yet another hundred, that the fire of Gehenna might be powerless against him. Every thirty days he used to examine himself to see if he were fireproof. He would heat the oven, ascend, and sit therein, but the fire had no power against him. One day, however, the Rabbis cast an envious eye upon him, and his legs were singed, whereafter he was called, ‘Short and leg-singed.’

Bava Basra (75a) R. Johanan explained when he once sat and gave an exposition: The Holy One, blessed be He, will in time to come bring precious stones and pearls which are thirty cubits by thirty and will cut out from them openings ten cubits by twenty, and will set them up in the gates of Jerusalem. A certain student sneered at him: Jewels of the size of a dove's egg are not to be found; are jewels of such a size to be found? After a time, his ship sailed out to sea where he saw ministering angels engaged in cutting precious stones and pearls which were thirty cubits by thirty and on which were engravings of ten cubits by twenty. He said unto them: ‘For whom are these?’ They replied that the Holy One, blessed be He, would in time to come set them up in the gates of Jerusalem. When he came again before R. Johanan he said unto him: ‘Expound, O my master; it is becoming for you to expound; as you said, so have I seen.’ He replied unto him: ‘Raca, had you not seen, would not you have believed? You are then sneering at the words of the Sages!’ He set his eyes on him and the student turned into a heap of bones.

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Dangerous vision

 Rekanti (Vayikra 19:4)  You should know that there is a power within the sense of vision to cause both good and bad. That is why the evil eye causes damage. And thus if a tzadik curses and looks with an evil eye the damage can only be repaired if another tzadik does the opposite. From this reality it is possible to understand that there is a power in the senses to cause good and bad. This is why G-d  prohibited the Jews not to even look at idols as this provides power to the yetzer harah and surely they are not to enter temples of idolatry since the spirit of impurity resides there. A proof to this assertion is from Eliezer the servant of Avraham who did not want to enter into the house of Lavan until he removed all his idols.

Mazikim Erev Shabbos

 Sefer Chasidim (1170) Why do the spirits attack on Erev Shabbos? Because at that time there are no spirits in Gehinnom i.e. no spirits of the wicked which have died and become mazikim as all the descendants of Cain who upon death their souls became mazikim and have been given permission to cause harm to those that profane Shabbos or those who are depressed on Shabbos or even those who don’t feel pleasure on Shabbos…

Monday, October 17, 2022

Trump’s company charged Secret Service ‘exorbitant’ hotel rates to protect the first family, House committee report says

The committee said the Trump Organization charged the Secret Service more than the government rate at least 40 times from January 2017 to September 2021.

One of those times was in March 2017 when the Trump Organization charged a nightly rate of $1,160 to stay at the Trump hotel in Washington, DC, to protect Eric Trump, who was promoting a golf tournament at the Trump National Golf Club. According to the General Services Administration’s website, the per diem rate was $242 in March 2017 in Washington, DC.

True Strength


Demonstrating Authentic Strength: a Hoshana Rabbah update on IDF Refusnik Maital bas Tamar

By Binyomin Feinberg, former contributor to The Jewish Press

21 Tishrei, 5783/ 16 Oct. ,'22 (Zos HaBracha) v.1a

We recently reported on a 20-year-old Israeli girl being twice imprisoned by the Israeli Army for her refusal to serve in the IDF ( Thank G-d, she was able to obtain her temporary release until after Yom Kippur, which was then extended until Oct. 18.  On the morning after Yom Kippur, Oct. 6, she travelled to the "Bakum" for an appearance before an Army officer, and was released home. B"H, she is now free, at least until Isru Chag Sukkos, Oct 18th (Simchas Torah outside of Israel), when she's currently scheduled to have another appearance at the "Bakum" Military Court in Tel HaShomer, at 10AM. She was told that they've not received a decision as to whether to just free her, or to incarcerate her yet again, for a third time. She'll ostensibly know that after Sukkos.

The Oct. 6th meeting/ hearing was scheduled to start at 9AM, but she wound up waiting over four hours. According to the refusenik girl, the presiding officer asked her why she refuses to enlist. She mentioned the low spiritual level of the Army environment. He reportedly told her that there are laws, and she's obligated to enlist. She replied that G-d, (le'Havdil) also has His Laws (which obviously supercede human laws).

The officer told her he was able to put her back in prison for another 20 days (as punishment for being absent from the Army), but allowed her to go home, ordering her to return Oct. 18. It's plausible that the Army is being more accommodating at this point in order to avoid demonstrations on her behalf, after those of two weeks ago held at the main military prison (#10). Demonstrating for such girls often has multiple benefits, both for the girl in question, and for an untold number of others.

Maital reported that, in the course of both of her detainments, she was subjected to denial of basic human needs, including water and food, and was prevented from relieving herself, all while handcuffed by military police. 

She reported that in the process of her arrest two weeks ago she was put in foot-cuffs (in addition to the standard handcuff treatment). The reason? Her refusal to don the Army uniform. After the regular Police handed her over to Military Police on the Sunday morning of her arrest, the military police ordered her to replace her modest clothing with  military garb. On grounds of personal modesty she refused. As if out of vengeance, they put her in handcuffs, chained her to a female escort - and also put her in footcuffs. She asked them what she did to warrant being mistreated as a violent terrorist.

Reports of such human rights shortcomings by Israeli military police are not uncommon, in the slightest. They are done in a very demeaning manner, and quite apparently intending to break the fighting spirit of these innocent young women. Accordingly, there appears to be a systemic toleration of such human rights violations, if not an active encouragement thereof. Those who are pained to hear this would be advised to actually try to speak to multiple girls who experienced it personally. There are enough of them around. As imperative as it is to shun exaggeration, we also need to shun silence and apathy in the face of systemic outrages.

Public pressure, and even simply making people aware, is needed. People should be encouraged to call the Israeli government, e.g. the Consulate in NYC: 212.499.5000.

The message ought include the following:

1) Free Maital bas Tamar immediately.

2) Why is the Israeli Army drafting ANY girls? Forcing any girl into the Army is a violation of Torah Law, and, le'havdil, basic human decency. If they insist on flaunting such basic Torah values, then let them stop calling themselves a "Jewish State."

3) We demand that the Israeli Army immediately stop all discriminatory misconduct against traditional and religious girls who come from "periphery" backgrounds, or are encumbered by other circumstances that make them easy targets for persecution by the Army Draft Office.

4) The dehumanizing human rights violations have to stop immediately.

Please have Maital bas Tamar in mind in davening, and spread the word, at least through Tuesday.

Extending to our esteemed readers a piska tavah,


The following is a link to a  Guidebook ("pocketbook") provided by the pro-Israel organization "Chotam." It's an English guide for religious girls to avoid enlistment in the IDF: 

This very publication is a stinging indictment of the Israeli Army Draft Office, and the antireligious Establishment behind its escalating crusade to rob religious (/ traditional) girls of their legal entitlement to a religious exemption from military service. The very need to publish such a guide speaks volumes of the danger posed to the next generation of Jewish mothers by "fellow Jews." The professional, psychological warfare techniques that these 16- and 17-year-old girls need to be trained to defend against, all alone - without even legal counsel or a family member - are almost as outrageous as they are anti-Torah. These techniques indicate how intent the Israeli military is on drafting increasing numbers of religious girls, and to what depths they're willing to stoop to do so. Thus, unrelenting vigilance is required in identifying developing trends in the encroachment of the female draft on religious communities. Moreover, we need to undo the entire female draft ASAP, for ALL girls, not only those the Draft Office deigns to sanction as religious enough to be exempt from the "Mizron Tzahali" treatment. No other path will solve the problem.

"... And if someone, like Pinchos, is one among a multitude, and every man is against him when he dares to speak out for truth and to fight for the Law -- the more lonely his stand, the greater the number of his adversaries, the more powerful is his word, the mightier his deed."

--  Rav Shamshon Raphael Hirsch OB"M (1808-1888), (in "Judaism Eternal," vol. 2, p. 293)

Bataireacht: The ancient Irish martial art making a comeback

Once associated with deadly brawls, bataireacht has found a new identity. Yet at the core of its revival is the pride and spirit of Irish people, a resilience that helped them survive more than seven centuries of occupation and subjugation by the British. "This is the martial art of our ancestors," said Leddy, "They all would have done this in some shape or form, and we as Irish people should embrace it and carry the tradition onwards."

Abbas is cosying up to Putin, why is anyone surprised?

But even by the depraved standards of the Palestinian Authority regime over which Mr Abbas presides, his toadying visit to Vladimir Putin this week was egregious. Days after the Russian president launched multiple missile attacks on civilian targets across Ukraine in a vain attempt to rally his domestic audience in the wake of serious military setbacks, and while he continued to threaten the world with the first use of nuclear weapons since 1945, there was Abbas, embracing the corrupt dictator.

Sunday, October 16, 2022

Questions II Answering heretics

Rav Chaim Brisker[i](MeAtiki Shemuah): In truth the entire basis of our permission to ask questions and analyze the Torah is because the Torah was given in this manner that questioning and analysis are critical to comprehending the depths of the Torah. Therefore, the question is itself made part of the Torah. Consequently, if a question is valid then both the question and the answer are inherently part of the Torah itself.

[i] מעתיקי שמועה בריסק (חלק ב' פרשת העקידה עמוד קלב):, כי באמת כל מה שיש לנו רשות להקשות ולפלפל בתורה, הוא משום דהתורה ניתנה באופן הזה שיפלפל האדם בתורה ויקשה קושיות עד אשר מבין עומק הדברים, והקושיא נעשית גם כן חלק מהתורה, ואם זהו קושיא שניתנה לשאול אז בין הקושיא ובין התירוץ נעשה תורה והיו חלק מעצם התורה...

Rav Chaim Voloshner[i](Ruach Chaim 1:4): … It is prohibited for a student to accept the words of his teacher if he has questions about them. Furthermore sometimes the truth is with the student and not the teacher.” Avos[ii](1:4) says, One should sit in the dust at the feet of one’s teachers and drink with unquenchable thirst what they say. “The word for sitting - avek - can also mean struggle or warfare. That is because this is an obligatory struggle. The holy rabbis who have composed the books we study have in fact given us permission to struggle and to fight over their words and to answer the difficulties they raise. Therefore, we have the right to question what they say and not to blindly accept their words - but one must love the truth…. Since ascertaining the truth is the prime concern - we must be very careful not to be conceited and egotistical in the discussions and to imagine that we are as great as the teacher or author with whom we are disagreeing. We should be aware in our hearts that we might simply be misunderstanding their words. Therefore we must always be very humble. We must have the attitude, ‘I am not worthy to argue but this is Torah and I must know the correct answer’. Furthermore, the Mishna states that the struggle is conditional on being ‘in the dust at their feet’ which means we must be humble and submissive and figuratively sit on the ground before them in these discussions.

[i] רוח חיים (משנה א:ד) ואסור לו לתלמיד לקבל דברי רבו כשיש לו קושיות עליהם. ולפעמים האמת עם התלמיד וכמו שעץ קטן מלדיק את הגדול. וז"ש יהי ביתך בית ועד להחכמים והוי מתאבק, מלשון ויאבק איש עמו שהוא ענין התאבקות מלחמה. כי מלחמת מצוה היא, וכן אנו נגד רבותינו הקדושים אשר בארץ ונשמתם בשמי מרום המחברים המפורסמים, וספריהם אתנו. וניתן לנו רשות להתאבק וללחום בדבריהם ולתרץ קושיתם, ולא לישא פני איש רק לאהוב האמת.

...יזהר בנפשו מלדבר בגאוה וגודל לבב באשר מצא מקום לחלוק וידמה כל גדול הוא כרבו או כמחבר הספר אשר הוא משיג עליו, וידע בלבבו כי כמה פעמים לא יבין דבריו וכוונתו, ולכן יהיה בענווה יתירה. באמרו אם איני כדאי, אך תורה היא וכו'. וז"ש הוי מתאבק כנ"ל, אם בתנאי 'באפר רגליהם', ר"ל בענוה והכנעה לדון לפניהם בקרקע.

[ii] משנה (אבות א:ד) יוסי בן יועזר איש צרדה ויוסי בן יוחנן איש ירושלים קבלו מהם יוסי בן יועזר אומר יהי ביתך בית ועד לחכמים והוי מתאבק בעפר רגליהם והוי שותה בצמא את דבריהם:

Malbim[i](Mishlei 26:5): A fool should be answered because he might think he is wise You should answer a fool in a manner that he will realize that he is not wise. If you don’t answer him, he will think that it is because he is in fact a brilliant person. Therefore, you should answer him in a mild manner because the main thing is to convince him of his foolishness. If you should respond harshly that would indicate you merely want to convince him that you are brilliant…

[i] מלבי"ם (משלי כו:ה): ענה כסיל כאולתו פן יהיה חכם בעיניו - תענהו על אופן שלא ידמה לו שהוא חכם אחר שלא מצאת מענה, ועל אופן זה תענהו בדברים קלים, כי עיקר הכונה להראות שהוא כסיל, ולא תענהו בדברים חריפים להראות חכמתך, ועתה מפרש מה שיענהו.

Maharal[i] (Avos 2:14): One should not be wicked against oneself. Similarly R’ Eliezer says that one should study diligently in order to answer the heretic…This is referring to the transient thoughts of heresy that pop into a person’s mind… Thus if one learns diligently to be able to answer the heretic then he will not have even transient thoughts of heresy…

[i] מהר"ל (דרך חיים ב:יד) ד"ה ובא ר"ש והוסיף ...ולכך אמר אל תהיה רשע בפני עצמך כלומר שאתה רשע כנגד עצמך. וכן מה שאמר ר' אלעזר הוי שקוד ללמוד תורה ...ואמר ודע מה שתשיב לאפיקורס דבר זה הוא הרהורי מינות שעולים במחשבת נפשו של האדם ... וכנגד זה אמר ודע מה שתשיב לאפיקורס שאם ילמד מה שישיב לאפיקורס כל שכן שלא יעלה על לבו ומחשבתו שום הרהור רע. ומפני כי הנפש מהרהר המינות אמר שיהיה שקוד לבטל זה מעיקרא והרי זה תקון נפשו ביותר מן כל הראשונים...

Rabbeinu Bachye[i](Devarim 13:7): … Because if a person has faith entirely because of tradition, if he hears attacks on the tradition from mistaken and heretical people he has no certainly that he won’t be influenced. Since his faith is mechanical without understanding, it is definitely possible that he will be influenced - either by accepting their arguments or having doubts about his beliefs. This is just like a blind person who is not secure that he won’t stumble while a sighted person who relies on himself doesn’t have to be concerned about this. Thus, a person who understands his tradition is secure that he won’t be turned from his faith because his understanding can refute challenges to his beliefs. Therefore, a person should not rely totally on tradition but should learn and become knowledgeable until his faith is complete and thus have faith both from tradition and understanding. That is what is meant in Avos (2:19): Diligently study Torah so that you can know how to refute the heretic. That is why the Torah indicates here that there are two aspects off faith - understanding and tradition…

[i] רבינו בחיי (דברים יג:ז) ... כי המאמין מצד הקבלה אם ישמע דברי התועים והכופרים עובדי אלילים אינו בטוח בעצמו שלא יטה לבו לאחד מהם כיון שאין לו חכמה, אבל בודאי אפשר שיטה לבו, או יאמין או יסתפק כמו העור שאינו בטוח בעצמו שלא יכשל, אבל הפקח הוא בטוח שלא יכשל כי כח הראות חזק עמו ואין צריך לאחר, כן המאמין הזה שלם בעצמו, בטוח שלא יטה לבו אחרי המבהילים, ומתוך חכמתו וידיעתו יסתור דעתם וישאר לבו חזק באמונתו, לכך יצטרך האדם שלא יספיק לו ענין אמונתו מצד הקבלה בלבד אלא שילמוד ויחכם עד שתשלם אמונתו ותהיה לו אמונה מצד הקבלה ומצד הידיעה, ועל זה אמרו רז"ל הוי שקוד ללמוד תורה ודע מה שתשיב לאפיקורוס. וזהו שהזכיר בכאן שני חלקי האמונה ואמר אשר לא ידעת זהו אמונה מצד הידיעה, אתה ואבותיך היא האמונה מצד קבלת האבות:

Chovas HaLevavos[i](1:2): … Similarly the person who understands G‑d’s unity solely through the rote learning of tradition cannot be sure that he won’t come to believe in polytheism when he hears the arguments of the heretics. He might come to alter his understanding and err without being aware of it. That is why our Sages said (Avos 2:14): Study Torah diligently and know how to answer the heretic.

[i] חובות הלבבות (א:ב) .... וכן המייחד מצד הקבלה אין בוטחין בו שלא יבוא לידי שיתוף, שאם ישמע דברי המשנים (הכופרים) וטענותם, אפשר שתשתנה דעתו ויטעה (ויכפור) ולא יכיר. ומפני זה אמרו רבותינו, זכרונם לברכה (אבות ב:יד): הוי שקוד ללמוד תורה, ודע מה שתשיב לאפיקורוס.

Ksav V’HaKabbala[i](Bereishis 12:2): …When exposed to questions from skeptics it is possible that that his faith will weaken. Thus we see that faith is an aid to knowledge and knowledge supports faith and that they need each other. One should not stop studying the truth of his faith. However, if he fails to understand some aspect of it, he should assume that the problem is with his intellect and he should hold on to his faith. (Because of the importance of having both knowledge and emuna, the men of the Great Assembly decreed the beracha of emes (truth) and emuna which follows the saying of Shema. Emes (truth) refers to that which is known clearly through the intellect while emuna (faith) is that which is accepted because of the traditions from our forefathers.

[i] הכתב והקבלה (בראשית יב:ב) ד"ה ואעשך לגוי גדול... כי מצד שאלות המינים אפשר להתרפות באמונה לבדה, ולזה האמונה היא עזר הידיעה והידיעה משענת האמונה וכל אחת צריכה לחברתה, לא ירף מלחקור בדעתו על אמתת אמונתו, אמנם גם מה שנעדר ממנו הידיעה וההשכלה יתלה החסרון בדעתו ויחזיק באמונתו (ועל שתים אלה ר"ל הידיעה והאמונה תיקנו אנשי כנה"ג אמת ואמונה בברכה שלאחר קבלת מלכות שמים ואחדותו ועול מצותיו ית', אמת על ידיעת אמתות אלה לאנשי חקרי לב, ואמונה על ידיעת אמתותה מצד קבלת אבותינו שבידינו...

Shaloh[i](Tractate Rosh HaShanna): …a person who serves G‑d as a trained habit will sometimes do it and sometimes not and faith is not firmly established in his heart. Consequently, if a non‑Jew, or someone else like him, contradicts his faith with proofs and questions - it is possible that the critic will be successful in destroying his faith. In contrast one who serves from the knowledge in his heart, he will not be defeated in the slightest. The words of the Reishis Chochma are obviously true and coincide with what I have had said before on this matter. This that he concludes that the knowledgeable believer will not be influenced in the slightest - the reason is because truth establishes itself and man prefers to stay with the truth. The apparent exception to this was Elisha ben Abuyah (Acher) who knew the truth clearly in his heart that G‑d is unique unity, yet he argued with the truth against the normal way of the world. He did this entirely because of his bad heart and that is why it was such a tremendous sin. …

[i] השל"ה (הגהות למסכת ראש השנה—חמישית) ...העובד דרך מצות אנשים מלומדה, פעם יעשה ופעם לא יעשה, ואין לבו תקוע באמונה, ואם יבא גוי או אחר כמוהו ויסתור לו אמונתו מכח ראיות וקושיות, אפשר שינוצח, אמנם העובד בידיעת לבו לא ינוצח בשום פנים וכו': והנה אמת נכון הדבר ומכוון לכל מה שהזכרתי לעיל מינה בענין זה. ומה שסיים דבריו, אמנם העובד בידיעת לבו לא ינוצח בשום פנים, הטעם הוא כי האמת יעשה דרכו דרך גבר בעלמא להחזיק האמת, ואלישע אחר שהיה יודע האמת הברור בלבו שהוא יתברך אחד יחיד, והוא חולק על האמת שלא כדרך העולם, אין זה כי אם רוע לב העיד שקר בעצמו, על כן גדול עונו מנשוא. 

Rashbatz[i](Magen Avos 2:19): Know how to reply to the heretic. This is the justification of our practice to learn secular knowledge in order that we can reply to them and tell them that they have no proofs that contradict the Torah and Prophets. This is not a violation of the prohibition of learning books not included in the Bible - since Sanhedrin (100b) indicates that it applies only to books like Ben Sira which are part of the ancient Wisdom Literature or books written by heretics which lack wisdom and are just a waste of time. Furthermore, the prohibition of learning Greek Wisdom… does not apply to wisdom which is learned through intellectual analysis but refers to a skill that existed in Talmudic times for communicating by hints and allusions… In fact, this skill is not inherently prohibited but was prohibited because of its role in a particular event in the Destruction of the Temple…. The apparently prohibition found in Berachos (28b) to keep your children away for higayon - but higayon is not logic or rhetoric. Rashi says it refers to idle chatter… In sum, those books which are based upon intellectual analysis are not prohibited and someone who reads them should accept that which is true and will learn to reply to their claims which are against the Torah. We find this with R’ Meir whose teacher was a heretic and would accept the truth and discard the falsehoods… Furthermore Chagiga (11b) states that one can investigate anything concerning this world but not which above or below it and not which is before and after it. Therefore, it is permitted to investigate scientifically anything connected with this world. We are only prohibited to read those books which don’t contain knowledge concerning reality.

[i] מגן אבות לרשב"ץ (אבות ב:יט) ודע מה שתשיב את אפיקורוס מכאן נהגנו היתר בעצמנו ללמוד החכמות ההם, כדי שמדברי עצמם נשיבם לומר להם כי אין להם ראיות לסתור דברי תורה ונביאים. ואין זה בכלל מה שאמרו, הקורא בספרים החיצוניים, אין לו חלק לעולם הבא, כי כבר פירשו בגמרא פרק חלק [סנהדרין ק:], כגון ספרי בן סירא... וכמו ספרי הערב מדברי הימים וכן ספרי מינים שאין בהם חכמה, אלא אבוד זמן וכן מה שאסרו ללמוד חכמה יונית ... לא אמרו זה על חכמה שהיא על דרך חקירה שכלית, אלא על החכמה שהיתה נוהגת באותו זמן לדבר בלשון רמיזה... ואף חכמה זו מותרת היתה, אלא מפני אותו מעשה הנזכר במנחות פרק ר' ישמעאל [סד:], ועל אותו מעשה אמרו, ארור המלמד את בנו חכמה יונית והמגדל חזירים. ומה שאמרו בברכות [כח:] בפרק תפלת השחר מנעו בניכם מן ההגיון אינו חכמת א"ל מנט"ק [אמר אהרן יעללינעק, א"ל מנט"ק בלשון ערב הוא חכמת הגיון או לוגיק"ה] כי רש"י ז"ל פירש, הגיון שיחה בטלה.... אבל הספרים המחוברים על דרכי הראיות, אינן בכלל זה, והקורא בהם יקבל מהם האמת וישקוד ללמוד להשיב במה שהוא כנגד התורה וכמו שאמרו על ר' מאיר כשלמד מאלישע אחר, רימון מצא, תוכו אכל, קליפתו זרק,... וכבר אמרו בפרק אין דורשין [חגיגה יא:], מקצה השמים ועד קצה השמים אתה שואל, ואין אתה שואל מה למעלה מה למטה, ומה לפנים מה לאחור. אם כן מותר הוא לדרוש ולתור בחכמה בענין זה העולם כולו ממרכז הארץ עד מקיף הגלגל העליון, ולא הזהרנו אלא מהספרים שאין בהם חכמה מחכמות הנמצאות...

 Seridei Aish[i](2:53): In general there are two alternatives in the war against the false haskalah of non‑Jewish wisdom. The first is to prohibit, ban and fight with great ferocity against it. The second is to dismiss and ridicule it,  while increasing the love and respect to the holiness of our true wisdom which is our life and the length of our days. Therefore when one encounters a modern “rabbi” who is ignorant of the Torah but is an expert in the language of the country and secular knowledge, it is necessary to draw attention to his ignorance of Torah and ridicule him concerning that ignorance. At the same time not to acknowledge his mastery of secular knowledge or respect him as a secular scholar. Similarly concerning a person who is both a Torah scholar and has mastered secular knowledge, it is necessary to honor him because of his Torah and to ignore his secular knowledge as if it doesn’t exist at all.

[i] שרידי אש (ב:נג עמוד תצ"ט) ובכלל יש שתי דרכים של מלחמה נגד ההשכלה המזוייפת של חכמות חיצוניות. אחת היא האיסור והחרם והמלחמה בזעף נגדה, והשני' היא הביטול בלב והזלזול בכבודה ותגבורת חיבה וכבוד לקדושת חכמתנו האמיתית, שהיא חיינו ואורך ימינו. למשל, כשרואים רב מודרני שאינו יודע את התורה ובקי בשפת המדינה ויודע חכמות חיצוניות, צריך להכריז על מיעוט ידיעתו בתורה ולזלזל בו על מיעוט ידיעה זו. אבל לא להכריז על ידיעתו בהשכלה, שעי"כ אנו מחשיבים אותה. וכן כשבא אדם שהוא ת"ח ויש לו גם השכלה, צריך לכבדו בשביל תורתו ולהסיח דעת מהשכלתו, כאלו איננה בעולם כלל. 

Ralbag[i](Mishlei 12:1): No sinful mishap will happen to the righteous because G‑d protects them from the harm that others want do to them and also protects them from improper attributes and thoughts. In contrast, the wicked are full of bad from all aspects because G‑d doesn’t protect them.

[i] רלב"ג (משלי יב:א) לא יאונה - לא יקרה לצדיקים שום דבר און כי השם יתברך ישמרם מהאון שיחשבו עליהם הרעים באופן שלא יזוקו בו וגם ישמרם מהאון במדות ובדעות על דרך ההשגחה ואמנם הרשעים מלאו רע מכל אלו הפנים כי אין הש"י משגיח בהם לשמרם מהם:

[i] מהר"ל (נתיבות עולם א:יד נתיב התורה) ..., אמנם עדיין צריך עיון שהרי אסור ללמוד מרב שאינו הגון ... וגם זה אין ראייה דשם אמר כשהוא לומד מפיו ויש לו התקרבות וחבור אל הרב שמקבל ממנו שאינו הגון ולכך אסור, אבל מן החבורים שחברו אין שייך זה. מכל מקום צריך עיון ללמוד בחבורים שלהם אשר הם דברים נגד תורת משה רבינו עליו השלום בחדוש העולם ובידיעות השם יתברך ובהשארת הנפש ועולם הבא אם יש לעיין בהם,... ויש לחוש באולי יהיה המעיין נמשך אחר דבריהם וראייתם, כמו שמצינו בני אדם שהיו נמשכים אחריהם... אך אמנם אם דעתו כמו שאמרו (אבות ב:יד) ודע מה שתשיב לאפיקורס ואם לא ידע דבריהם איך ידע להשיב על דבריהם ואם כן צריך לדעת דבריהם, ודבר זה בודאי מותר אם כוונתו ללמוד דבריהם כדי שידע להשיב לאפיקורס... ולענין זה מותר ולא נחוש שיהיה נמשך אחר דעתם אם תחלת כוונתו לסתור דבריהם כאשר דברו נגד התורה ודעת חכמים, אך לעשות דבר זה להביא דבריהם לפרש בהם דברי תורה ולהם אין חלק וזכרון בתורת משה והרי שם רשעים ירקב. ... ולא מצאנו דבר זה בתלמוד להזכיר את אחד להביא ממנו שום דבר חכמה את אשר לא היה לו חלק בתורת משה. ומקרוב זה שנתפשטו חבורים אלו ונמשך דעות בני אדם אחר דבריהם להתחכם גם כן בדברים שמגיעים לעקרי האמונה, ... בודאי אם הדבר שנמצא בדבריהם הוא פירוש וחזוק אל הדברים שנמצאו בדברי חכמינו דבר זה ראוי לקבל, אבל אם ... הוא כנגד מה שנמצא בתורה אף בדבר מה חס ושלום שיהיה מקבל אף דבר קטן... כלל העולה מדברינו כי יש לעיין בדבריהם שיוכל להשיב על דבריהם לשואל כמו שאמרו חכמים. ואם ימצא דבר הגון בדבריהם המחזיק האמונה יקבל, אך מה שנמצא בדבריהם אף דבר קטון שהוא כנגד אמונת ישראל או אשר נמצא בדברי חכמים אף דבר קטון חס ושלום לשמוע להם, אך יתבונן בשכלו להשיב על דבריהם כפי שכלו. ובזה יהיה זהיר וזריז בכל נפשו להעמיד דבר אמת, שלכך אבות העולם הראשונים צוו בגודל האזהרה הוי שקוד ללמוד כדי שתשיב לאפיקורס וכמו שפרשנו שם, ובודאי אין זה נאמר רק על פילוסופי יון שהיו חוקרים מדעתם ומשכלם ושאלתם חקירת פילוסופי, ולכך אמר שיהיה שקוד דהיינו זריזות יתירה ועיון שכלי להשיב על דבריהם להעמיד דת אמת. ובזה יהיה שכרו עם הצדיקים בגן עדן אמן כן יהי רצון. סליק:

Maharal[i](Divrei Nagidim): The person who doesn’t know how to ask a question is not far from being a wicked person. Even though he has not reached the level of causing others to sin by ridiculing their religion. By the fact that he doesn’t have questions at all concerning the commandments, it appears that he has no relationship at all with them. Therefore, it is quite appropriate to answer him by saying that for the sake of these mitzvos G‑d did miracles for me in my redemption from Egypt. This is to arouse his desire to take part in these mitzvos and to understand that they have such great power that they brought about the redemption… If he listens then it is well. If he doesn’t then you, speak to him exactly as you speak to the wicked person. “For me and not for you. If you had been in Egypt you would not have been redeemed.”

[i] מהר"ל (ספר דברי נגידים עמוד עג) ד"ה אמנם דע כי - וכיון שהאינו יודע לשאול הוא לא רחוק הרבה ממדרגת הרשע. אף שלא הגיע עוד אליו להיות גם מחטיא את אחרים ללעוג מעבודתם. אבל הלא גם הוא כיון שאינו שואל כלל על המצות נראה שאין לו שום שייכות אל המצות. ועל כן שפיר שייך אליו זו התשובה בעבור זה עשה ה' לי בצאתי ממצרים. לעוררו בחשקות ליקח חלק במצות האלו ולהבינו שכח גדול שיש להן שבעבורן היתה הגאולה.. ואם ישמע מוטב. ואם לא יאמר לו גם כן בדיוק הזה שיאמר לרשע. לי ולא לך. אלו היית שם לא היית נגאל...

Bava Basra (75a) R. Johanan explained when he once sat and gave an exposition: The Holy One, blessed be He, will in time to come bring precious stones and pearls which are thirty cubits by thirty and will cut out from them openings ten cubits by twenty, and will set them up in the gates of Jerusalem. A certain student sneered at him: Jewels of the size of a dove's egg are not to be found; are jewels of such a size to be found? After a time, his ship sailed out to sea where he saw ministering angels engaged in cutting precious stones and pearls which were thirty cubits by thirty and on which were engravings of ten cubits by twenty. He said unto them: ‘For whom are these?’ They replied that the Holy One, blessed be He, would in time to come set them up in the gates of Jerusalem. When he came again before R. Johanan he said unto him: ‘Expound, O my master; it is becoming for you to expound; as you said, so have I seen.’ He replied unto him: ‘Raca, had you not seen, would not you have believed? You are then sneering at the words of the Sages!’ He set his eyes on him and the student turned into a heap of bones.

Rambam[i](Avos 2:14): You should know what to answer the apikorus. It is necessary to learn things to be able to refute the apikorus when they ask you questions. It is important to note that this only applies to a non‑Jewish heretic. In contrast one should not argue with a Jewish heretic since it only makes them worse and they intensify their abusive comments. Therefore, one should not speak to them at all since it serves no constructive purpose and you can’t help them at all... Furthermore, even though the ability to respond to the heretics requires that one learn the non‑Jewish religions, one should take care not to accept any aspect of their religion. You should constantly be aware that G‑d is fully cognizant of what is in your heart. Therefore, one’s heart should always be directed at having the proper faith.

[i] רמב"ם (אבות ב:יד): מה שתשיב לאפיקורוס. אמר צריך שתלמד דברים שתשיב בהם לאפיקורסים ותחלוק עליהם ותשיבם אם יקשו לך, ואמרו (סנהדרין שם) לא שנו אלא אפיקורס עובד כוכבים אבל אפיקורס ישראל כ"ש דפקר טפי, ר"ל שיוסיף לבזות, ומפני זה אין צריך לדבר עמו כלל שאין לו תקנה ואין לו רפואה כלל ועיקר שנאמר כל באיה לא ישובון ולא ישיגו ארחות חיים, ואמרו אף על פי שתלמד דעות האומות לדעת איך תשיב עליהם. השמר שלא יעלה בלבך דבר מן הדעות 

ההם, ודע שמי שתעמוד לפניו יודע צפון לבך, והוא אמרו ודע לפני מי אתה עמל. רצה לומר שיכוין לבו באמונת השם יתברך: