Thursday, November 30, 2006

Miriam Adahan: Awareness

I highly recommend this book, to myself(!) and to others.

In general I hold highly of the writings of Miriam Adahan- the reason for that I can't go into it fully here. But very basically; kind of like the book actually says- you can't serve G-d if you don't even know who you are. That's why we have to know a certain amount of psychology. But alone, psychology is very devoid of G-dly-ness. It's hard to know how it affects you in an 'ethical' way . And that's why a legitimate religious-Jewish approach towards psychology, which not only integrates the ideas of mussar into it, but is only used as a tool to fully understand mussar (especially in the 'innovative' way it was understood in Lithuania and beyond) is necessary. This is one of those books.

As for a description, uhh, well, this is what the Feldheim site says "An in-depth analysis of the nine principle personality types, based on an amazingly accurate, ancient classification system called the Enneagram. The author demonstrates how an understanding of one's strengths and weaknesses can lead to spiritual growth".

Want to buy it?(!)

ממני העבד-

Monday, November 27, 2006

מה דינם של שירי חשק- המכונים בלשון חז"ל שירי עגבים

ספק: האם מותר לשמוע או לשיר שירים אשר אינם דנים אלא בעניני אהבה אשר "בינו ובינה"? אני תמיד אמרתי לנפשי, האדם שר (ושומע שירים) על דברים אשר בעבורו הם בגדר "ענינא דיומא", אז אם שומע הוא רק שירים על נשים ואהבתן, מוכח בהדיא שבדבר הזה הוא שם כל מעינו (מוטב שהאדם ישיר שירים הדנים על דברים אשר בין אדם למקום- להראות ששם חפצו האמיתי. (וכך אומרים אפילו כמה מהנוצרים האדוקים באמריקה, המכוים איבנגליקלס .

אבל גם ידוע שחכמי ופייטני ספרד בתקופת תור הזהב כתבו "שירי אהבה", אשר עבורי קשה להבחין אם הם מכווונים באמת על נשים ממש, או על משל לשכינה וישראל, אבל על הצד שכן דנים על נשים, רואים מכאן את דעתם להתיר.

וצע"ע. ודו"ק

ממני- ס"ט

מהו גדר -איכא דרכא אחרינא

ספק- היכא אמרינן היכא דאיכא דרכא אחרינא נקרא רשע, והיכא אמרינן שכמעט דבר זה הוא בגדר ליכא דרכא אחרינא. כגון טלפון ואינטרנט שכמעט לכמה אנשים הם הכרחי חיים. וצע"ג

Thursday, November 23, 2006

עוד אחד- דומה לראשון במהותו ובחשיבותו

עוד מאמר על מאכלים המזיקים

How to give yourself cancer in five easy steps

"Following with our ever-popular series on "How to Get Disease," this article discusses how to give yourself a raging case of cancer. It could be breast cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer or even something like leukemia. By following the instructions in this article, you can give yourself almost any form of cancer desirable and if you pursue these strategies to their fullest potential, you could end up with several different forms of cancer all at once. So, let's get started and learn how to give yourself

If you're aiming for a raging case of cancer, the first thing you've got to do is start consuming
food ingredients that actually promote cancer. One of the most powerful cancer-promoting food ingredients of all is called sodium nitrate. This is an ingredient that is added to virtually all packaged meat products including hot dogs, pepperoni, ham, lunchmeat and other similar products. You'll also find it in bacon, sausages and most breakfast meats. It's listed right on the ingredients labels of all of these foods. In order to find sodium nitrate, all you have to do is walk around the grocery store, read the ingredients labels of various packaged meat products and purchase those products that contain it. Then, consume them on a frequent basis and before long, you will greatly increase your odds of being diagnosed with cancer.

There are other ingredients that are suspected of causing cancer. These include
hydrogenated oils, aspartame, saccharin and artificial colors, to name a few. A diet that is very high in refined carbohydrates has also been clinically shown to increase your odds of being diagnosed with cancer, so be sure to get plenty of these foods in your pro-cancer diet. That means chowing down on white bread, sweetened breakfast cereals, white fluffy pancakes, candy bars, granola bars, cookies, crackers and sweets of all kinds.

The next thing you can do to give yourself cancer is one of the more obvious things: take up a
smoking habit. The more you smoke, the more likely you are to get cancer, especially if you're eating cancer-causing foods and ingredients as discussed above. By smoking, you will multiply the carcinogenic effect of everything else in your life. Before long, you will succeed in your goal at being diagnosed with cancer.

If you'd like to move things along a little more quickly, you can also stay out of all sunlight and use plenty of sun block and
sunscreen any time you go outside. This will prevent natural sunlight from touching your skin. Now, how will this give you cancer? It turns out that natural sunlight is powerful prevention for cancer. People who get plenty of natural sunlight have a greatly reduced risk of being diagnosed with prostate cancer, breast cancer and many other disorders that aren't cancer-related such as osteoporosis and mental depression. By staying out of the sun or using sun block and sunscreen every time you're under the sun, you can prevent your body from preventing cancer, thereby giving yourself a much greater risk for cancer with each passing day. If you find it difficult to avoid the sun, just get a night shift job where you work all night and sleep all day. That's a hugely successful pro-cancer strategy.

Another thing you can do is avoid all
physical exercise. It turns out that moving your body helps you prevent cancer. Part of the reason is that body movement moves lymph fluid around, and this is an important function of your immune system that fights cancerous cells. If you refrain from all body movement, you will hamper your body's ability to fight off cancer, thereby further increasing your odds of being diagnosed with this chronic disease.

One thing to keep in mind in all of this is that everybody has cancer right now. In other words, there are cancerous cells in the human body of every person who is living and breathing right now, at this very moment. All you have to do to get diagnosed with cancer is make sure your immune system is sufficiently suppressed so that your body can't take care of the cancerous cells on a regular basis. In other words, if you destroy your immune system function through poor
nutrition, nutrient depletion, smoking, lack of sunlight and lack of physical exercise, then it won't be able to do its job of cleaning up cancerous cells around the body and as a result, cancer will become a full-blown disease in no time.

In fact, all of these strategies for giving yourself cancer have one thing in common: the suppression of your natural immune system. Now, if you've been following along and you don't have cancer yet from doing everything mentioned here, and you want to increase your odds even further, the very best thing you can do is actually get chemotherapy or
radiation therapy. All you have to do is go to an oncologist and tell them that you think you have cancer, and they may find some reason to put you on chemotherapy or radiation therapy. These therapies do such an outstanding job of destroying the human immune system that you might find yourself experiencing multiple cases of cancer at various sites throughout your body in the subsequent months and years. Chemotherapy is perhaps the most effective method known to modern science for destroying the human immune system other than working at Chernobyl during a nuclear accident. So, if you’re looking to contract cancer as quickly as possible, make sure that you get chemotherapy into your life as early as you can.

By combining all of these strategies, you should be able to give yourself cancer without much effort on your part and without having to wait too long. After all, it would be a shame to die from natural causes and not have the opportunity to "invest" in the R&D efforts of
pharmaceutical companies who peddle anti-cancer drugs.

Are you crazy?You might be asking me, "Why on earth am I writing an article that tells people how to give themselves cancer?" The answer is because virtually all Americans are following this plan right now, today. They are giving themselves cancer step by step by using precisely the detailed plan that I have outlined here. And when they are suddenly diagnosed with cancer, they have a puzzled look on their faces and ask, "Gee, why do I have cancer?" The answer is because they've been following the cancer plan as outlined in this article -- all the foods they've eaten, their lifestyle choices, lack of exercise, lack of sunlight, smoking habits and reliance on chemotherapy and other radical western medical procedures has, in fact, accelerated their cancer and put them in the position they're in today.

All I've really done here in this article is described the plan most Americans are already following. This is the pro-cancer plan that's actually promoted by brand-name food manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies, and most of
conventional medicine. For example, how many doctors are still screaming for people to avoid sunlight like it was the plague? Practically all of them, last time I checked. It's almost as if the entire medical community actually wanted the population to get cancer. Sadly, the entire anti-cancer campaign of conventional medicine seems to be limited to three words: "Don't smoke tobacco."

Of course, most individuals aren't really interested in contracting cancer. They'd rather prevent cancer or even reverse cancer, and now after learning how to give yourself cancer, the process for avoiding that is fairly straightforward: don't do any of the things that have been mentioned in this article. That is, avoid smoking; get plenty of sunlight; get outstanding nutrition and avoid all food ingredients that are known to promote cancer such as
sodium nitrite, hydrogenated oils, refined carbohydrates and chemical additives. Also avoid chemotherapy since it is the most powerful way we know of to destroy the human immune system, thereby leaving you more vulnerable to cancer.

I present this information as a unique way to get the point across to people that if they don't want to have cancer in their lifetimes, they need to get off the cancer plan and get on to a plan that actually prevents this terrible disease."

ממני העבד-

ראוי לפרסם- ע"פ דברי הרמב"ם

מאמר על משקים המזיקים לגוף

Soft Drinks: America's Other Drinking Problem
By Judith Valentine, PhD, CNA, CNC
"The addict feels low. His body needs a boost. He reaches into his pocket and finds a dollar bill. He slides it into the machine and a can rolls out. He opens the can and guzzles. He feels his energy return. His fix will last a couple of hours, enough to keep him alert for the rest of the morning.
The addict is twelve years old and his drug is a soft drink, purchased from a vending machine in his school. This addict and thousands like him will attend special classes, sponsored by his school, to warn him about the dangers of drugs, tobacco and alcohol. But no one will tell him about America’s other drinking problem.

According to the National Soft Drink Association (NSDA), consumption of soft drinks is now over 600 12-ounce servings (12 oz.) per person per year. Since 1978, soda consumption in the US has tripled for boys and doubled for girls. Young males age 12-29 are the biggest consumers at over 160 gallons per year—that’s almost 2 quarts per day. At these levels, the calories from soft drinks contribute as much as 10 percent of the total daily caloric intake for a growing boy.


Huge increases in soft drink consumption have not happened by chance—they are due to intense marketing efforts by soft drink corporations. Coca Cola, for example, has set the goal of raising consumption of its products in the US by at least 25 percent per year. The adult market is stagnant so kids are the target. According to an article in Beverage, January 1999, "Influencing elementary school students is very important to soft drink marketers."
Since the 1960s the industry has increased the single-serving size from a standard 6-½-ounce bottle to a 20-ounce bottle. At movie theaters and at 7-Eleven stores the most popular size is now the 64-ounce "Double Gulp."

Soft drink companies spend billions on advertising. Much of these marketing efforts are aimed at children through playgrounds, toys, cartoons, movies, videos, charities and amusement parks; and through contests, sweepstakes, games and clubs via television, radio, magazines and the internet. Their efforts have paid off. Last year soft drink companies grossed over $57 billion in sales in the US alone, a colossal amount.

In 1998 the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) warned the public that soft drink companies were beginning to infiltrate our schools and kid clubs. For example, they reported that Coca-Cola paid the Boys & Girls Clubs of America $60 million to market its brand exclusively in over 2000 facilities. Fast food companies selling soft drinks now run ads on Channel One, the commercial television network with programming shown in classrooms almost every day to eight million middle, junior and high school students. In 1993, District 11 in Colorado Springs became the first public school district in the US to place ads for Burger King in its hallways and on the sides of its school buses. Later, the school district signed a 10-year deal with Coca-Cola, bringing in $11 million during the life of the contract. This arrangement was later imitated all over Colorado. The contracts specify annual sales quotas with the result that school administrators encourage students to drink sodas, even in the classrooms. One high school in Beltsville, Maryland, made nearly $100,000 last year on a deal with a soft drink company.
While our children are exposed to unremitting publicity for soft drinks, evidence of their dangers accumulates. The consumption of soft drinks, like land-mine terrain, is riddled with hazards. We as practitioners and advocates of a healthy life-style recognize that consuming even as little as one or two sodas per day is undeniably connected to a myriad of pathologies. The most commonly associated health risks are obesity, diabetes and other blood sugar disorders, tooth decay, osteoporosis and bone fractures, nutritional deficiencies, heart disease, food addictions and eating disorders, neurotransmitter dysfunction from chemical sweeteners, and neurological and adrenal disorders from excessive caffeine.


Warnings about the dangers of soft drink consumption came to us as early as 1942 when the American Medical Association’s (AMA) Council on Food and Nutrition made the following noble statement: "From the health point of view it is desirable especially to have restriction of such use of sugar as is represented by consumption of sweetened carbonated beverages and forms of candy which are of low nutritional value. The Council believes it would be in the interest of the public health for all practical means to be taken to limit consumption of sugar in any form in which it fails to be combined with significant proportions of other foods of high nutritive quality."
Since that time the first notable public outcry came in 1998, 56 years later, when the CSPI published a paper called "Liquid Candy" blasting the food industry for "mounting predatory marketing campaigns [especially] aimed at children and adolescents." At a press conference, CSPI set up 868 cans of soda to represent the amount of soda the average young male consumed during the prior year. For additional shock effect, CSPI displayed baby bottles with soft drink logos such as Pepsi, Seven-Up and Dr. Pepper, highlighting a study that "found that parents are four times more likely to feed their children soda pop when their children use those logo bottles than when they don’t."

In "Liquid Candy" CSPI revealed that even though, over a period of fifty years, soft drink production increased nine times and by 1998 "…provided more than one-third of all refined sugars in the diet, . . . the AMA and other health organizations [remained] largely silent." How could the medical community and we as responsible citizens concerned with health policy have been apathetic for a half a century? Considering this question makes me feel like a tired old guard dog that knows he is ignoring his responsibilities, but is too worn down to do anything about them. Even if inertia were not a problem, the money and effort required to launch a public interest campaign to stand up to the soft drink industry would be Herculean if not impossible. In the meantime, the relentlessly ambitious and wealthy soft drink companies with their very hip life-style ads manage to seduce ever increasing numbers of consumers, most of them our kids.


One common problem I have seen over the years, especially in teenagers, is general gastrointestinal (GI) distress. This includes increased stomach acid levels requiring acid inhibitors and moderate to severe gastric inflammation with possible stomach lining erosion. The common complaint I hear is chronic "stomach ache." In almost every case, when the client successfully abstains from sodas and caffeine, the symptoms will go away.

What causes these symptoms? We know that many soda brands contain caffeine and that caffeine does increase stomach acid levels. What we may not be aware of is that sodas also contain an array of chemical acids as additives, such as acetic, fumaric, gluconic and phosphoric acids, all of them synthetically produced. That is why certain sodas work so well when used to clean car engines. For human consumption, however, the effects are much less satisfying and quite precarious. Drinking sodas, especially on an empty stomach, can upset the fragile acid-alkaline balance of the stomach and other gastric lining, creating a continuous acid environment. This prolonged acid environment can lead to inflammation of the stomach and duodenal lining which becomes quite painful. Over the long term, it can lead to gastric lining erosion.

Another problem with sodas is that they act as dehydrating diuretics, much like tea, coffee and alcohol. All of these drinks can inhibit proper digestive function. It is much healthier to consume herbal teas, nutritional soups and broths, naturally lacto-fermented beverages and water to supply our daily fluid needs. These fluids support, not inhibit, digestion.


Students are now being given "electrolyte" drinks called "ergogenic aids" to replace electrolytes that are allegedly depleted during workouts. There are three problems with using these drinks as a rehydration solution. First, most soft drinks are diuretics, meaning they squeeze liquids out of the body, thus exacerbating dehydration instead of correcting it. Second, most people actually lose few electrolytes during exercise. After exercise the body is usually in an electrolyte load having lost more fluids than electrolytes. If sweating has been profuse, electrolytes can be replaced by drinking a lacto-fermented beverage or pure mineral water, which contains a proper ratio of minerals (electrolytes), and by eating a healthy diet containing Celtic sea salt. Third, when we give sugar-laden drinks to dehydrated kids, the high sugar content requires that blood be sent to the stomach to digest it. This fluid shift can lower the blood volume in other parts of the body making them more susceptible to cramps and heat-related illnesses.


The industry has begun to market so-called stimulant soft drinks, which usually consist of higher-than-usual levels of caffeine, along with other compound stimulants. According to an article published in The Lancet, December 2000, the Irish government ordered "urgent research" into the effects of so-called "functional energy" or stimulant soft drinks after the death of an 18-year-old who died while playing basketball. He had consumed three cans of "Red Bull," a stimulant soft drink. The article noted there have been reports of a rise in aggressive late-night violence occurring when people switch to these drinks while drowsy from too much alcohol. The resulting violence was so pervasive that some establishments in Ireland have refused to sell stimulant drinks. The entire European community has taken the problem seriously enough to ask the EU’s scientific community to examine stimulant sodas and their effect on food and health safety, but no such outcry has been heard in the US.


Over the last 30 years a virtual tome of information has been published linking soft drink consumption to a rise in osteoporosis and bone fractures. New evidence has shown an alarming rise in deficiencies of calcium and other minerals and resulting bone fractures in young girls. A 1994 report published in the Journal of Adolescent Health summarizes a small study (76 girls and 51 boys) and points toward an increasing and "strong association between cola beverage consumption and bone fractures in girls." High calcium intake offered some protection. For boys, only low total caloric intake was associated with a higher risk of bone fractures. The study concluded with the following: "The high consumption of carbonated beverages and the declining consumption of milk are of great public health significance for girls and women because of their proneness to osteoporosis in later life."

A larger, cross sectional retrospective study of 460 high school girls was published in Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine in June 2000. The study indicated that cola beverages were "highly associated with bone fractures." In their conclusion the authors warned that, ". . . national concern and alarm about the health impact of carbonated beverage consumption on teenaged girls is supported by the findings of this study" (emphasis mine).


The dangers of society’s other drinking problem have recently been in the news. Senator Christopher Dodd and Representative George Miller have commissioned a study on the uses and oversight of school vending machines. Pending legislation in the State of Maryland would turn school soda vending machines off during the school day. Senator Patrick Leahy has introduced a bill requiring the USDA to rule within 18 months on banning or limiting the sale of soda and junk food in schools before students have eaten lunch.

The soft drink industry has fought back by funding four studies on soft drink consumption at the Georgetown Center for Food and Nutrition Policy. Predictably, these studies found that there was nothing wrong with soft drinks. In fact, researchers said they found a positive relationship between soft drink consumption and exercise. All this means is that those children participating in sports programs drank more sodas.

The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NAASP) says that decisions about soda sales should be made at the local level and not by the federal government. School administrators are caught between demands of a few parents for a saner food policy and the need for more funds in the face of dwindling school budgets.

One good idea comes from the Philippines, a country where malnutrition is an ominous health threat. A recently devised plan there would allow citizens to cash in on the country’s "junk food diet" by taxing every liter bottle of carbonated soft drink sold. If the US taxed soft drink sales, the new income stream generated could then be distributed to declining school budgets. Is this not a better idea than forcing our schools to sell their souls to soft drink companies under the titanic sink of fiscal degradation?

The alarm has been sounded! Are you listening? I strongly encourage all who are concerned about the health of their families to consider the debilitating consequences of drinking soft drinks. How many more studies and reports need to be published before we notice the tsunami lurking ahead? In the 1970s, we finally recognized the risks of smoking. In the 1990s, the problem of teenage drinking became widely known. The new millennium is the time for awakening to the risks of soda consumption—America’s other drinking problem."


יב ויש מאכלות שהן רעים, אבל אינם כמו הראשונות לרוע; לפיכך ראוי לאדם שלא לאכול מהן אלא מעט ואחר ימים הרבה, ולא ירגיל עצמו להיות מזונו מהם או לאוכלם עם מזונו תמיד

יג אין ראוי לאדם לאכול מאלו אלא מעט עד מאוד

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

עוד כתבה קצרה

Once I'm at it I decided to add another short article about Andalusian music in general:

יסודה של המוסיקה האנדלוסית במאה התשיעית בימי השושלת העבאסית, בסביבת קורדובה שבספרד. תחילתה במסורת מוסיקלית חדשה שהובאה לספרד מבגדאד על-ידי זיריאב, תלמידו המחונן של אל-מוצלי, אשר ברח מקנאת מורו והתקבל בזרועות פתוחות בקורדובה בחצרו של השליט עבד אל-רחמן השני. בקורדובה פיתח זיריאב את היסודות למוסיקה האנדלוסית כפי שאנו מכירים עד היום, כולל הנובה, הסוגה המאפיינת את המוסיקה האנדלוסית, שיצירתה מיוחסת לו. במהרה התחבבה המוסיקה האנדלוסית על הכול והפכה לעמוד תווך בחיי התרבות והאומנות של ארצות המגרב, אצל מוסלמים ויהודים כאחד.

רק הפתיחות והסובלנות התרבותית כמו זו שאפיינה את ספרד המוסלמית בחברה פלורליסטית בה חיו והשפיעו אלה על אלה, מוסלמים, נוצרים, יהודים ובֶּרבֶּרים, אפשרה את האווירה לצמיחתה של מוסיקה שהיא עצמה תפר בין ערב למערב. למוסיקה האנדלוסית ייחודיות משלה המבחינה אותה מהמוסיקה שהתפתחה במזרחה של האימפריה העבאסית. גורמים שונים מייחדים אותה, ביניהם הקשר עם הסביבה הנוצרית, הכלים המוסיקליים החדשים באנדלוסיה וריחוקם של המוסיקאים והמשוררים שפעלו בספרד, מארצות מולדתם.

המוסיקה האנדלוסית נתפשת כמוסיקה אצילית וחגיגית. כפי שהיה מקובל בימי הביניים, גם המוסיקה האנדלוסית כוללת מסכתות ארוכות של יצירות מורכבות, וכאן תמלילן היה בערבית קלאסית. זוהי מוסיקה ווקלית בעיקרה, בה למלה תפקיד מרכזי ביפויי הצליל והשבחתו. הסוגה המאפיינת ביותר את המוסיקה האנדלוסית היא הנובה-סוויטה, במסורת מזרחית בת חמישה פרקים הפותחת במבוא אינסטרומנטלי, ואחריו שורה של פרקים קוליים נפרדים. לכל פרק טקסט משלו ומאפיינים מלודיים וקצביים המייחדים אותו.עם גירוש המוסלמים והיהודים מספרד, מצאו מוסיקאים רבים מקלט בארצות המגרב, לשם הביאו עימם את תרבות המוסיקה האנדלוסית, שהפכה למוסיקה הקלאסית המקומית.

What is a "kanon" anyway?

I decided to add to this blog any random thing I might interesting (including stuff from the internet). This is a little aricle I found about the Moroccan instrument the "kanon"- might help to shed some light on it.

(בעיברית :"חוק" אחד הכלים החשובים ביותר במסורת המוזיקה הערבית הקלסית הנפוץ בכל ארצות ערב מאז המאה ה- 10, כאשר המוזיקאים הערבים עבדו על פי התאוריה היוונית, בצורתו המקובלת הקנון הוא כלי פריטה בצורת טרפז ישר זווית בעל גוף תהודה שטוח.כיום נפוץ הקאנון בכל ארצות ערב ככלי למוזיקה אומנותית . יש בו לרוב 26 קבוצות מיתרים בנות שלושה מיתרים כל אחד. פורטים עליו באצבעות שתי הידיים - במפרטים עשויים כאצבעונים- היד הימנית מנגנת את השיר והשמאלית עוקבת אחריו באוקטבה אחת נמוכה יותר. פרט חשוב במבנה הקאנון הם הווים, היכולים לכסות חלק מן המיתר וע"י כך לקצרו ברבע צליל.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

ראש חודש message- כסליו

ר"ח כסליו

Rosh chodesh kislev! What an oppertune time for spiritual embetterment!

"ותהי ראש החודש הזה סוף וקץ לכל צרותינו, תחילה וראש לפדיון נפשינו"- We see a lot of times dates in Judaism are meant to be an inspiration for action. But it's not that the date itself intrinsically has the power to change how we were acting untill then, but that it should inspire us to insightful and logical thoughts that do have the power to inspire us to 'change our evil ways', and maybe even perhaps keep those resoulutions we made on Yom Kippur.

On Rosh chodesh, more than normally, when saying yaaleh v'yavo, and saying "!והושיענו בו לחיים" that thoughts of strategies about how to have more restraint in action, and resist instinctive action once and for all should traverse a persons mind. How could we ask G-d for 'good life' this month, and ask him for this month to be the end of all our evils if we're not being very active in how to curb our desires? "!הבא לטהר מסעיין לו"- Only someone who's proactive about it will receive help from g-d! But then help he will defenetely receive.

Why is it that so long, and through so many situations we can't mannage to understand ourselves (or, in the words of 'sefer cheshbon hanefesh'- "our elephant"), and finally take full controll of ourselves and our lives? We have tryed many statagies? The truth is we have done it in the past, and we know we can do it again, all we need is a lot more active effort! Everything depends on it!

חודש טוב,
ממני הצעיר-

Monday, November 20, 2006

More letters- Jewish race

To me:

Lineage wise, I don't know where I inheritted my red hair from.........not that it really matters but anything can be a possibility but nonetheless, it doesn't affect my jewish heratige in any way. I was born a jew, I am living presenlty as a jew, and I will die as a jew. It can't be anymore cut and dry. It good to explore your ancestrial roots. I learned that I was an indirect decendant of the Taz. Quite a prestigious yichus,no? I hope to aspire in making my decendants proud of me which is something to think about.

I've got to go now since I have so much to do when candle lighting is frightfully early. I guess I'll have to postbone this intriguing discussion till afterwards.

Shabbat Shalom,

From me: yo, wh'sup, (a gutten),

Um, again, just to make my opinion clear- I think it's a great thing that there are Jews who look European, and that there are Jews who look African, etc., because that helps us internalize the idea that Judaism is a 'religion' not a race. And when G-d said he wants us to be a 'גוי קדוש' he meant our nationhood to be defined in religion only. And I feel that that's how it was -for example- when our ancestors still trodded upon our ancient homeland- that the Jews were different from the non-Jews only in belief and action, but not in culture or appearance...or race. And that's how it is again today (בחסדיו הרבים) when we again live in our ancestral homeland, that since all the Jews have gathered from all the nations among whom G-d dispered them, and because of some physical realities that existed among them, again we have much racial variety among us. And again, G-ds country is only defined by the practices and beleifes of the Jews, but not by their appearance (as the nations forced upon us in exile).

ממני, המצפה לגאולת ציון השלמהו
לשיבת ישראל לארצו
שלמה בן רפאל
למשפחת שריקי

Some letters I recentely exchanged with people

To me:


I spent time understanding your texts, and I find you very throught-provoking. I am sure you are not fitting into the mainstream chareidi kehilla at all - and you should be thankful that you are not! Many times, what is preserved in the Sephardi/Mizrahi/Temani edot is much closer to what I would call true Judaism. I wish that the many rabbonim in the west would appreciate the Jewish scholars who came out of the Middle East after the destruction of the Second Bet HaMikdash. There is a sea of wisdom, a rich heritage and immense knowledge within the Jewish kehilla of the Middle East and North Africa. You know this, I am sure. But I just needed to tell you that.

You're very mature for your age, or so I think. And you are - in my opinion - very brave for writing out an Arabic name in the alias. I'm almost eight years older than you, so I doubt I am writing to you as a possible "spouse". I just wanted to let you know that you are making perfect sense, in a world where the most watered down, irrational theories get more space than the richer, more authentic ideas from our Sephardi gedolim. Keep up learning. Maybe one day you can help Am Yisrael in a very unique way.

Kol tuv,

From Me: Hi,

"I spent time understanding your texts, and I find you very thought-provoking"- Oh, wow, thanks! I am honored (I don't know why but in my mind that's coming out in an English accent).

"I am sure you are not fitting into the mainstream chareidi kehilla at all"- I'm even more honored! Yeah, theres no question that the chareidim scare away possible converts, but even more importantly, Jews themselves.

"I wish that the many rabbonim in the west would appreciate the Jewish scholars who came out of the Middle East after the destruction of the Second Bet HaMikdash"- You know I just want to mention that the more I think about it the more it's true: the Judaism of the 'early Spanish scholors', and especially the Ramba"m was very different that that -for example- of the Jews of eastern Europe in the past 200 years.I'm sure you know what I'm talking about (the more of the Ramba"ms writings you read the more you see it). And also feel that one of the only people and groups to sort of follow the Ramba"ms (for example) ideologies in a real way was Rabbi Simshon R'fael Hirsh and his followers. And that after they disapeared from the map of orthodox Jews, nobody has come again who really resembles their ideals (even the 'modern orthodox machmir' are much more 'eastern Europe oriented').

"You're very mature for your age, or so I think"- Oh, thanks. (that's a compliment to me). I was actually recently dating a Sefardi American girl who was 18, but metally and personality wise was more like 40! She 'put me to shame'!"

And you are - in my opinion - very brave for writing out an Arabic name in the alias"- Yeah, it's a bit risque maybe.

Just some questions on your profile perhaps for a second: "Since I grew up by the sea, nature means a lot to me"- ??? (me; making sort of a confused face. but aren't there like, more trees and stuff away from the coast?)

"When I returned from the Middle East (I lived there for almost two years), I realized what I had been taking for granted all my life. If you would like to know what that was, write me a message"- Please, enlighten me.

אלף תודות. ירבו כמותך בישראל! ויהי רצון שה ישלח לך את זיווגך הראוי לך בקרוב אכי"ר
ממני הצעיר
שלמה בן רפאל
למשפחת שריקי

Sunday, November 19, 2006


In ספר דרך חכמה the רמח"ל says one should learn everything, from beginning to end: Tanach, Mishna, Talmud etc.

But in מסילת ישרים he says (פרטי הנקיות) you can't be a good person if you don't know what to do, so you should learn Halakhah and mussar before anything. It seems to be in contradiction to what he advised in דרך חכמה. Unless in דרך חכמה he's taking as a given that the person being advised already learned, and learns, Halakhah and Mussar.

(האם הרמח"ל אולי אפילו חולק על חכמים כמו הרמב"ם שסוברים שאין בלימוד התורה שבעל פה חובה)

ממני העבד-


Rav Hirsch and his followers and decendants quoted 'Kant' as a good auther (so to speak) as reading his works a positive idea. Especially his "Critique of Pure Reason" as a work which truthfuly expounds on a persons logical norms and functioning (for lack of better words at 1:25 at night!).

"Immanuel Kant was born in the East Prussian city of Königsberg, studied at its university, and worked there as a tutor and professor for more than forty years, never travelling more than fifty miles from home. Although his outward life was one of legendary calm and regularity, Kant's intellectual work easily justified his own claim to have effected a Copernican revolution in philosophy. Beginning with his Inaugural Dissertation (1770) on the difference between right- and left-handed spatial orientations, Kant patiently worked out the most comprehensive and influential philosophical programme of the modern era. His central thesis—that the possibility of human knowledge presupposes the active participation of the human mind—is deceptively simple, but the details of its application are notoriously complex."

ממני העבד-

Some more מוצאי שבת Rambam thoughts- 2

הקדמה ליד החזקה

1. When the Rambam first explains what all the different sections of the book are accomplishing, he explains ספר המדע as: "עיקר דת משה רבינו- וצריך אדם לידע אותם תחילת כל"! So seemingly not only (as 'Ashkenazim' say) that it shouldn't be studied at all, but rather it should be studied constantely, and even more than all the other chalakim!

2. The first words of the Rambams hakdama to 'the yad' are: "ואז לא אבוש בהביטי אל כל מצוותיך"! (Powerful!)

ממני העבד-

Some more מוצאי שבת Rambam thoughts-1

ספר המדע- הלכות דעות פרק יד

1. The Rambam talks about health in the section of "being more like G-d"!

2. The Rambam quotes the doctors of his time as "אמרו"- (it's very likely that was talking about the doctorsof his time). So had he been living today, he would probably also quote the health tips of todays doctors in his sefer (and again, under "being more like G-d".

3. The 'מקור' for exersizing: הלכות דעות- פרק ד, הלכה יד וטו.

ועוד כלל אחר אמרו בבריאת הגוף: כל זמן שאדם מתעמל ויגע הרבה ואינו שבע, ומעיו רפים--אין חולי בא עליו וכוחו מתחזק, ואפילו אכל מאכלות הרעים; [טו] וכל מי שהוא יושב לבטח ואינו מתעמל, או מי שמשהה נקביו או מי שמעיו קשים--אפילו אכל מאכלות טובים ושמר עצמו על פי הרפואה, כל ימיו יהיו מכאובים וכוחו תשש. ואכילה גסה לגוף כל אדם כמו סם המוות, והיא עיקר לכל חולאים

Saturday, November 18, 2006

שיטת הרמב"ם

I always heard people say something which to me sounded like “the Rambam said that all you need is his sefer. He doesn’t even hold you need to learn Gemara, or anything else”, although I always found it a little hard to believe he ever said that.

Then, recently, I saw him say ‘במו עצמו’ in the hakdama to the ‘יד החזקה’ pretty much the very same thing. To quote:

"כדי שלא יהא אדם צריך לחיבור אחר בעולם בדין מדיני ישראל; אלא יהיה חיבור זה מקבץ לתורה שבעל פה כולה,... לפיכך קראתי שם חיבור זה משנה תורה--לפי שאדם קורא תורה שבכתב תחילה, ואחר כך קורא בזה, ויודע ממנו תורה שבעל פה כולה, ואינו צריך לקרות ספר אחר ביניהם."

So we see quite clearly (seemingly) that the Rambams opinion is that one does not need to learn any other sefer besides the Tanach and the Rambam! Not even Gemara or latter sefarim.

In regards to Halacha, it obviously seems that the Rambams opinions of ‘all a person has to be yotze’ is very different than, say, Maran. But that’s also partially because (partially because of his ‘magid’ and partially because of the ‘Ari’) he was very influenced by Kabala and the Zohar (whereas the Kabala and Zohar apparently weren’t yet ‘revealed’ in the era of the Rambam.

ועוד צריך עיון. ודו"ק ותשכח

ממני העבד-

Friday, November 17, 2006

בענין השתדלות בשידוכין

הנה, עוד הלילה דברנו ושוחחנו עם הבחור דניאל שטרסמן נ"י, ובתוך כדי דיבורינו עלה ענין כמות ההשתדלות בענין מציאת זיווג על הפרק. הנה ידוע שבזמה"ז דברים רבים נשתנו בענין "לקיחת האדם את האשה", ובפרט פה, בעולם המערבי.

הנה בודאי שדרך קדמונינו בענינים אלה עיקריים. שהדרך היפה, והנכון, והטוב ביותר הוא פירוד מוחלט בין אנשים ונשים, וששידוכין יערכו ע"פ ההורים והצדדים, ולא ע"פ החתן והכלה בעצמם. והנה- כדרכם בקודש- רבני ה"חרדים" סוברים שאפילו בזמה"ז אע"פ שנשתנו המזגים, אפילו הכי, לא נשתנתה התורה וההלכה בענינים אלו. ואפילו בדורות שעברו היו הגוים פרוצים ביותר, ואין זה סיבה להיתר.

והנה- רבני ישיבת רבינו יצחק אלחנן, ורבני ה"דתיים הלאומיים" בא"י, והנגררים אחריהם רוח אחרת היתה עימם. והיא שבזמן הזה שהרבה צעירים מתקשים בענין מציאת בני ובנות זיווגם, וגם שהסדרים שהיו קיימים בעבר א"א לתקן אותם שוב, לכן למי שזה שייך, מותר אפילו בדרכים חדשים, (אפילו שנראים פרוצים בעיני רבני ה"חרדים") לחפש אחר זיווגם. כמו פגישות במסעדות, חתונות עם ישיבה מעורבת, ואולי אפילו בתי כנסת עם מחיצות ש"אינם ראויים". כמובן ההיתר היא רק לרווקים ולרווקות ולא לאלו שכבר נשואים.

אז יוצא לנו מזה שאין דעת יחיד מכרעת בענין הזה, ש"שבעים פנים לתורה" ואלו ואלו דברי א"להים חיים.

ממני העבד-

!?הרמ"א מצטט את הרמב"ם

לעיין במר"ן סימן רמ"ו סעיף כ"א, ובפרט ברמ"א שם. (אשר שם מביא הרמ"א את דברי הרמב"ם הידועים בענין הנאה ולקיחת ממון בשביל ת"ת. (על אף היות הרמ"א אשכנזי- וידוע שהאשכנזים ובפרט בארץ ליטא, ובפרט בדורות האחרונים, ובפרט בזמנינו בא"י ובאה"ב בהחלט לא נוהגים על פי דעת הרמב"ם בענין הזה. אז יוצא איפוא שהאשכנזים עצמם לפני 500 שנה החזיקו ונהגו (אפילו אולי ויתר ממר"ן והספרדים) כדברי הרמב"ם! (שאסור לרוב הבחורים והאנשים ללמוד תורה בלי דרך לפרנס את עצמם). ועוד חזון למועד

ממני העבד-

First 'real' post

As one of the first 'real' posts, I just wasn’t to speak about the background for this idea: I always thought (משחר נעורי) that the idea of writing a journal or a 'diary' was a very positive idea. I even started one as a youngster, but obviously had nothing of import to write. I think mainly the idea is ideal for adults who have many thoughts and life experiences they want to 'put on paper'. And especially for (what Rav Yosef Dov Halevi Soloveichick z"l calls) "the lonely man of faith", especially for the 'עובד ה' who has so much on his mind about his real- spiritual life, the idea of a journal, I feel, is almost essential. And especially even more if that spiritual person (I don't want to say "Jew" because I don't think it's limited to that) is a philosopher- a person entrenched constantly in deep thought (I would say even- whether or not he's able to, or does share those thoughts with other people) to have a forum where he's able to express himself, his thoughts and his ideas (or "her" for that matter).

(About " 'her' for that matter"- In our times, in the western world, even female people have a forum where they can express their thoughts, and in public yet! (which borders on two ideas: woman’s and men’s free intellectual expression between each other in the western world. And the idea of how easy it is to publish ones writings now in the western world (i.e. with the internet). Hopefully this will serve as a reminder for future discussion of these matters.

And now, in recent years, came even a new inspiration for people to write- internet blogging. And I always saw how clearly and wonderfully people were able to express themselves through this medium (אפילו אלו שאינם ראוים כ"כ) I always had that will to find out how to, and actually make a blog. And therefore, when I stand (actually- 'sit') before G-d- who is finally allowing me this privilege of the western world, I thank him from the depths of my heart, and it should be His will, that I will be able to accomplish herein that which I set out to- Amen!

אנכי העבד-

!!!בסימנא טבא

בסימנא טבא,

זה החלי בעזרת ה במלאכת כתיבת ה"בלוג" על קורות חיי אשר חנני הא"לוהים, ומחשבותי והגיוני לבי הקשורים איליהם. כי בתחילה עלה בדעתי לכתוב בלוג אחד על קורות חיי, ובלוג אחד על מחשבותי המתיחסים אליהם. אבל לעת עתה עלה בלבי לצרפם כאחד, ובאם יהיה צורך להפרידם, ולעשות שני בלוגים נפרדים- אעשה כן בעזרת הא"ל

והנה, בענין הלשון אשר בו אשתמש בכתיבת הבלוגים, כמובן שבדרך כלל אשתמש אני בשפה המדוברת פה-
אמריקה, שזהו שפת האנגליים. אבל גם מובן שבעת הצורך, כאשר קצר יקצר לשון אדום להכיל את הרעיונות ואת הרגשות העמוקים יותר, אשתמש בלשון הא"להים.

וה יערה מרוחו עלי, ובעזרתו יעלה בידי מה שעלתה על לבי:

אנכי העבד-

Thursday, November 16, 2006


Yo, whatup!

First blog post.

First blog post.

First blog post.