Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Education interferes with faith

 Likutei Moharan (123) 1. The essence and foundation on which everything depends is one’s binding oneself to the tzaddik of the generation:accepting his word in whatever he says, “This is how it is,” in matters small and great; not deviating, G-d forbid, from his word “to the right or the left” as our Sages teach: even if he tells you that right is left…;casting off from oneself all pseudo-wisdoms;and dismissing one’s knowledge as if one had no intelligence other than what one receives from the tzaddik and rav of the generation, because as long as one retains some of one’s own intellect, one lacks completion and is not bound to the tzaddik. 2. When the Jewish people received the Torah, they possessed great pseudo-wisdoms. For then, the mistakes of those who served idolatry at that time stemmed from great pseudo-wisdoms and philosophies, as is known. Had Israel not cast off from themselves the pseudo-wisdoms, they would not have received the Torah. They might have denied everything, G-d forbid. All that Moshe Rabbeinu did with them would have been of no help to them. Even all the signs and awesome wonders which he performed before their very eyes would not have helped them. Today, as well, there are heretics who deny G-d based on the foolishness and error of their pseudo-wisdoms. 3. But Israel is a holy people. They saw the truth and cast off the pseudo-wisdoms, and “believed in G-d and in His servant Moshe”. Through this, they received the Torah. Thus, Onkelos renders “a nation naval (foolish) and unwise” (Deuteronomy 32:6) as “a nation that received the Torah and did not act wisely.” They received the Torah primarily because they “did not act wisely”—i.e., because they cast off from themselves all the pseudo-wisdoms, as above. 4. This is NaVaL: an acrostic for LeV Netivot (thirty-two paths). These encompass the entire Torah—the true wisdom, vis-à-vis which all pseudo-wisdoms are nullified. Thus, NaVaL is an aspect of Torah, which is called “NoVLot (an incomplete version) of the Upper Wisdom”. For it is really surprising, and everyone wonders about this: What reason is there for naval to be translated as “receiving the Torah”? But now, how sweet are these words of the Aramaic translation. 5. Now, the essential devotion is to be ‘simple and upright, G-d-fearing and diverted from evil’ without any pseudo-wisdoms. 


  1. Who is the tzaddik? Who determines? Is it berland? Left is right all the time.
    Rebbe n did not accept the rambam.
    And the people of Israel, after 40 days accepted a golden cow, again left is right, Who needs external logic or education?

  2. A cynic could look at this and conclude that the Bratzlover wanted a Judaism of mindless faith with a small group of tzaddikim ruling dictatorially over a bunch of sheep.

  3. By "pseudo-wisdoms" does he mean that all wisdoms except Torah are fake? How did rockets get to the moon? What about Chazal saying that wisdom exists among non-Jews. If he means that there are valid wisdoms, what if they go against what the tzaddik says?

  4. The way understand it, for guys like Ramban, the Maharal and Rebbe Nachman, this world is like the computer-generated world of The Matrix movies. It's all an illusion and we go through the motions of living our lives but it's not real. That computer, desk and chair you're using to read this blog are not real. So yes, rockets went to the Moon but it's all part of our fake universe. If we could see the truth like them then we'd remove the veil from our eyes and see that there is only Torah.

  5. No, I'd say Ramban was also interested in science. He was great in Torah, perhaps close to the Rambam, but not as great in science and philosophy as Rambam. On the other hand, his pshat on the Torah excels over the Rambam, if one has a pshat outlook. His commentary is better than guide for the perplexed, IMHO.
    Waiting for Blog owner's snarky comment...


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