Of rabbis and rivals, part 1

In the early 1600s, wave after wave of Jewish refugees from Portugal and Spain arrived at the docks of Amsterdam looking for a safe place to build a community. After enduring generations of paranoia, violence, torture and death in the Inquisitions there, these new arrivals wanted three simple things: A secure home for raising a family, a welcoming place offering economic opportunity and a land allowing them to return to their practice of Judaism openly and in peace.

In Amsterdam, they’d found all three. Not only did their arrival coincide with the boom of the Dutch Golden Age, but the Dutch had decided to allow everyone to follow their consciences when it came to G-d. Everyone, that is, except for Catholics, who the reform-minded Dutch weren’t quite certain could be trusted.

Rabbi Saul Levi Morteira

This newfound freedom must have been a stunning turn of fortune for the Portuguese Jewish community in Amsterdam. But like many people facing freedom for the first time, it was also dizzyingly bewildering. Being Jewish, in the traditional sense, is so much more than just showing up to the synagogue once a week. It is a lifestyle based on 613 commandments and a cascading system of delineated laws covering everything from food (what to eat and how to eat it) to how to interact with non-Jews and the minutia of how every holiday should be celebrated. And having been disconnected from these traditions for decades, if not centuries, the refugees knew little of it.

Free at last, but now what?

Finding a safe haven to be Jews was one thing. But actually acting like Jews? That was an entirely different matter. After having to confine any Jewish practice to secrecy — or deny their Jewishness completely for generations — the Jewishness of these renewed Jews was in a sorry state. So sorry that the first order of business for many of the newly arrived male adult refugees was to arrange for a circumcision, something that should normally be done on a baby boy’s eighth day.

The Portuguese community quickly worked to set up Jewish institutions in their new home. These included houses of worship, ritual butchers, religious schools and institutions for orphans and the poor. But all of these also required rabbis — men of advanced religious training — in order for the community to truly function.

The first rabbi to answer the call was Rabbi Uri Ha-Levi who came from Emden, Germany, in 1602. Along with his son, Aaron, who acted as a hazan (cantor), Ha-Levi is said to have overseen the circumcision and rejudaization of 2,500 men. 

But as the Jewish joke goes, wherever there is one Jew, there will always be at least two synagogues: the one he attends, and the one he will never set foot in. It didn’t take long for the fledgling Sephardic community to fracture into smaller divisions. More synagogues were set up, each needing its own rabbinical leaders. 

The names of those first rabbis of Amsterdam have become legendary over time. The venerable Saul Levi Morteira, who came from Venice was not a Sephardic Jew himself, but found himself becoming the de facto leader of a community that prided itself in its hereditary purity — eventually, the Sephardic schools would be closed to Jews not of Spanish or Portuguese heritage and buying meat from German Jews could get you banned from the community, yet Morteira was accepted as the wisest man among them. He led the Beth Jacob congregation, the community’s first synagogue.

Rabbi Isaac Aboab de Fonesca

There was Isaac Aboab de Fonesca, an ambitious rabbi who holds the twin distinctions of being the first rabbi in the Americas and the rabbi to read Baruch Spinoza’s excommunication. De Fonesca was the lead rabbi of the Beth Israel congregation in Amsterdam, but when it consolidated with the Beth Jacob and Neve Shalom congregations in 1638, his ambition led him to look for greater opportunity. He left Amsterdam for Recife, Brazil, in 1642 where he is believed to have been the first rabbi in the New World. When Portugal retook the city in 1654, he fled back to Amsterdam to escape the ongoing Portuguese Inquisition, arriving in time to deliver the coup de grace to Spinoza.

 Then there was the wildly eccentric Menasseh ben Israel, a thorn in the side to many in the Jewish community but oddly adored by the gentiles who considered him to be the most famous Jew in Europe at that time. His hobby was lobbying leaders of every nation to open their doors to Jews to become citizens. His reasoning was that in order for the end times to begin, G-d would have to gather Jews from every nation an return them to Israel. And that could only happen if Jews were in those nations to begin with. He was simply trying to help the end of the world along, and many apocalyptic-minded Christians were glad to help. Ben Israel’s other pastime was publishing, and he both wrote and published other people’s material on his own printing press. But his tendencies to literally break bread and drink wine in gentile houses and to openly debate the merits of Judaism against Christianity put him out the outs with many leaders of the Jewish community, so when his Neve Shalom was consolidated with the other two Sephardic congregations, he was awarded the smallest annual salary of all three rabbis.

Too many cooks in the kitchen

As someone who has worked in a building filled with strong personalities, I can tell you that concentrating so much charisma in one place is both a good and bad thing. And in the case of the three illustrious rabbis of Amsterdam, each of these men was a genius in their own way to boot.

Rabbi Menasseh ben Israel, engraving by Rembrandt van Rjn

It didn’t help matters that the ma’amad, the governing council of the Portuguese community, saw fit to create widely divergent wages for the three men. And it didn’t make it any easier that there were significant theological differences between all three of them. Some of these disagreements were so severe that it took letters sent to rabbinical referees in Venice to settle the matter — and even then, differences of opinion stubbornly hung on.

But these powerful personalities were also strong enough to shape a growing community that knew who it wanted to be, but didn’t know how to be it. Through their guidance, Amsterdam’s first Jews learned to be Jews again, even if they sometimes differed on the hows and whats of it all.

In the upcoming posts in this series, I’ll introduce you to each of these men in detail and explain how their backgrounds and interests affected the community they served.

3 thoughts on “Of rabbis and rivals, part 1

  1. The 4th sugia of our Av Mishna goes from :ד to .ה. Our Mishna over simplifies the complexities of damages in order to clarify the fundamentals. The subject of damages directly impacts strong emotional feelings of distress.

    פרק ראשון כריתות. דתנן. ל”ו כריתות בתורה. דף ב: לאפוקי מדרבי אושעיא, דאמר י”ג אבות נזיקין הן. ולר’ אושעיא מניינא למה לי? לאפוקי מדרבי חייא דאמר כ”ד אבות נזיקין וכו’.
    The tuma Yatzir arouses within our heart the desire to maximize claims for damages. Our Mishna teaches the opposite Yatzir, to minimize damages. Mishnaic law opposes ambulance chasers. Justice strives to reconcile differences between parties in conflict. Debate over damages and compensation arouses the tuma Yatzir within the hearts of both the plaintiff/claimant/pursuer, and equally the defendant, suspect, accused, litigant, respondent, appellant, prisoner at the bar, suspected person etc. Both parties to the conflict tend to view the opposing other(s) as enemies. They both have strong interests which causes them to deliberate how to make hatred without cause the יסוד by which they base their claims. Restitution for damages, which either exceeds the value of damages inflicted, or the reverse, unfair compensation which minimizes the actual loss, both this and that negate the Torah commandment:
    ויקרא יט:יז,יח. לא תשנא את אחיך בלבבך, הוכח תוכיח את עמיתך ולא תשא עליו חטא. לא תקם ולא תטר את בני עמך, ואהבת לרעך כמוך — אני ה’.
    All prophetic mussar stands upon this יסוד. The sages of the Talmud lacked clarity how to “paint” this commandment and mitzva into a defined posok halaka. This commandment/mitzva compares to a work of art, a profound wisdom, an abstract concept rather than a concrete plain idea. To delve into this subject requires, so it appears to me, a preface proem prologue.

    Brit does not mean “covenant”. Brit means an alliance achieved by way of swearing an oath. The Hebrew name for the USA includes the word “brit”. When States form a union with other States they establish a “Republic”. The 12 tribes, for example, cut a brit alliance and established the 1st Republic of Israel in the days of the prophet Yehoshua.

    The noise testament exists as a Roman wolf dressed in sheep clothing. That alien counterfeit has no connection whatsoever with the Hebrew T’NaCH. The latter serves as the יסוד upon which the Talmud stands. What model of justice sums up Talmudic jurisprudence? Lateral justice. The Talmud establishes Courts of Common Law. British courts too rely upon Common Law. Israel differs, in that the Talmud establishes Torts courts of 3 judges and small and large Sanhedrin courts of 23 and 71 judges. Judges receive no salary from the State.

    Other distinctions between these two Common Law systems: A lateral court contrasts with a vertical court. Talmudic common law courts exist as lateral courts of law. Vertical courts systems, the State pays the salaries of both the judge and the prosecuting attorney. Lateral courts, no judge or court member receives a salary from the State. The US revolutionaries rejected the vertical British ‘Star Courts’; in response to the hatred Americans despised the British ‘Star Courts’, American revolutionaries instituted the jury system. A form of lateral law.

    Another fundamental distinction between Talmudic lateral common law courts and British common law courts … Parliament – every law it passes defines the Constitution of Britain. A British court, unlike the US Supreme Court, can not declare a law passed by Parliament as “Unconstitutional”. The 5th Book of the Torah – דברים – this Book has another name. Yidden commonly refers to this closing Book of the Torah by the name – משנה תורה. Mishna, the name of the 6 Orders of the Oral Torah codified by Rabbi Yechuda, head of the Great Sanhedrin. The Rambam so admired this name, he called his code משנה תורה.

    The word משנה means to repeat. Open any page of the Talmud, and observe – that above the Talmudic text stands 4 lines of Rashi and Tosafot commentaries to the Talmud. Learning involves repetition. A key interpretation of משנה תורה which defines the role and function of the Great Sanhedrin, a so to speak Supreme Court, these two Hebrew words likewise mean: “Legislative Review”. A court that “reviews” laws passed by legislatures or Congress, rules upon the Constitutionality of these laws; and if the “Supreme Court” rules them as Unconstitutional, then that Court rewrites those Unconstitutional laws, such that they become Constitutional law, and then imposes these rewritten laws as the law of the land, independent from any other branch of Government.

    Effectively the Court of Moshe made “legislative review” upon the commandments located within the first four Books of the Torah. Yetro, the father-in-law of Moshe, advised prior to the revelation of the Torah at Sinai, that a nation could not stand without Justice; that Moshe could not bring the nation of Israel into Canaan without first establishing courts of justice to hear civil disputes and contentions that divided Moshe’s people.

    The Torah defines the term “prophet” as a person who commands mussar to the generations. The sages of the Talmud defines mussar as דרך ארץ, the dedication of tohor middot unto HaShem, as expressed through a persons’ social behavior and conduct with his/her peers. The entire time that Moshe stood in the Court of Par’o, he behaved himself with דרך ארץ. Contrast when Moshe stood before the Rock, after 40 years of g’lut, he failed to conduct his behavior toward his people with דרך ארץ. In that moment Moshe failed to sanctify the Name. To do a mitzva לשמה requires דרך ארץ.

    The idea of “immigrant”, in Jewish art should address the idea of g’lut. Prior to 1948 and Israeli Independence, Jews for some 2000 years existed in the category of “stateless refugee populations who had no country of our own”. Stateless refugees by definition have no rights. This explains how virtually all European governments unilaterally expelled Jewish refugee populations from their lands, forced us to live in ghettos for centuries, made blood libels, pogroms etc, with virtual impunity.

    Following the multiple defeats at the hands of Roman troops, Caesar commanded the expulsion of Jews from Judea and “christened” the land with a new name – Palestine. The British repeated this action when the League of Nations rubber stamped their imperial acquisition of Ottoman territories. From the time of the Roman g’lut unto after the Shoah, Jews lived as despised stateless refugee populations scattered across Europe and the Middle East and North Africa. Britian returned Shoah survivors back to Germany. Our leaders had to negotiate Jewish rights from this leader or that tyrant for over 2000 years.

    The Shoah stands upon the foundations of hostile Church decrees. The Nazis book burning crimes committed again and again throughout the 1930s based itself upon the Church decree by which all the handwritten Talmudic manuscripts, the Church, by order of the Pope and the king of France, burned in Paris in the year 1242.

    From this Talmudic void, sprang the Zohar. It aimed to give Jews some type of masoret/kabbala/tradition. Obviously the Zohar – not written by Shimone bar Yohai. Why “obviously”? Because after rabbi Akiva’s 20,000 talmidim died, [Jews don’t cut our hair for the 1st 32 days of the counting of the Omer to remember this tragedy], rabbi Akiva taught 5 major talmidim thereafter. These talmidim of rabbi Akiva, passed his masoret of learning to all generations unto today. Rabbi Shemone bar Yohai – one of those 5 rabbis – taught the פרדס masoret. The Talmud as we know it comes from these 5 rabbis. What defines the kabbala masoret of rabbi Akiva? In a word פרדס. The Zohar lacks accurate פרדס scholarship. But to know this, a person has to know how to learn “through” פרדס scholarship.

    Few know how this kabbala learns today. But the Author of the Mishna, and all the Amoraim of the Gemara, their scholarship stands upon the יסוד of פרדס. During the Middle Ages Reshonim rabbis debated over how to define P’shat. Ibn Ezra’s דקדוק theory of p’shat clearly different from Rashi’s Chumash theory of p’shat, which stood day and night opposed/contrasted by Rash’s Talmudic commentary theory of p’shat! Jewish art requires awareness of Jewish leadership decisions during the dark night of g’lut Jewry.

    Most Jews today, almost totally unaware of the international Civil War which the Rambam halakic codification caused. To attempt to convey Jewish culture and customs – to Yidden ignorant of the subtle colors and shades of Jewish history – truly restricts modern Jewish art unto ghetto-like depression. Rabbi Karo, as a point of reference, witnessed the opening of the first ghetto as a young man.

    The Rambam theory of halaka radically changed the definition of the key Talmudic term – “halaka”. The Rosh, a vocal and harsh critic of the Rambam, rabbi Karo glossed over the Rosh opposition to the Rambam. Rabbi Karo sought to heal the damages resultant of that long term international Jewish Civil War; which directly contributed to the destruction of French Jewry (and the obliteration of the Rashi/Tosafot school of Talmudic scholarship).

    The Rambam originally came from Spain. The chief rabbi of Spain placed him in Charem about 15 years following his demise. Just as people and not guns – kill, so too and how much more so, rabbis place a person(s) into charem/נדוי and not just their books! Modern rabbis declare that Rabbeinu Yona placed only certain books written by the Rambam into charem.

    This revisionist history stands upon bad scholarship, and a skewed agenda. The rabbis placed Baruch Spinoza under the ban of charem, not his obtuse theories of Pantheism. The Rambam, like so many of his assimilated Spanish peers, like Ibn Ezra and many many others, embraced Hellenism. Judea under the Maccabees existed in a completely different Age than g’lut Jewry struggling with the growing anarchy of medieval Spain. The Rambam, due to political anarchy and national chaos, at a young age, had to flee for his life from Spain.

    The rediscovery of the ancient writings of Plato and Aristotle and other Greek writers like Euclid – whose axioms on geometry students study to this very day! The Muslim invasion of Spain caused this concealed wisdom to become widely known. Prior to this rediscovery, that medieval Age, history refers to as the ‘Dark Ages’. The rediscovery ancient Greek works produced a revolution of knowledge. History calls that Age by the title: ‘the Renaissance’.

    Hanukkah, commemorates a much earlier Jewish Civil War. The Perushim made alliance with Maccabees to overthrow – domestically – the rule of the Tzeddukim – and externally – the rule of the Syrian Greek king. The Tzeddukim agreed to turn Jerusalem into a Greek polis. Worse still, these assimilated sons of Aaron agreed to interpret the Torah by means of Greek logic! Hanukkah, as stated within the after meal blessing, declares that the wicked sought to cause Israel to forget the Torah. Which Torah? Not the Written Torah, but rather the Oral Torah. The latter exists as a completely different logic format than that produced by either Plato or Aristotle!

    Over a 1000 years later, with the rediscovery of ancient Greek philosophy, assimilated Spanish rabbis embraced Greek philosophy with relish and gusto. These rabbis reintroduced, in effect, the Tzeddukim vision of Torah, which rejects the Oral Torah. The Rambam, for example, based his code of halaka upon Karaite religious customs. The Karaites organized their versions of halaka into organized religious concepts and subjects. The Gaonim scholars placed the Karaites into charem. The Rambam publicly denounces the Gaonim and their scholarship in the introduction of his halakic code!

    The Framers of the Talmud wove halaka together with aggadita. This warp/woof relationship the Rambam code totally destroyed! Contrast the B’hag (a late Gaon scholar), Rif, and Rosh codes of halaka. Why did they link their halakic rulings to specific pages of Gemara? פשוט, to simplify those complex texts. These codes did not seek to divorce halaka from its opposing aggadic threads, their warp/woof fabric.

    Aggadita, based upon Midrash (primarily the scholarship of Gaonim scholars), makes a דרוש back to T’NaCH sources. The kabbala of Talmudic scholarship, from Rabbi Yechuda – author of the Mishna – to the rabbis who sealed the Sha’s – 6th generation rav Ashi and rav Ravina – they all uniformly learned the Talmud based upon the kabbala of rabbi Akiva – פרדס.

    The Rambam code knows nothing of פרדס scholarship, he did not know how to learn aggadita. [The Rambam confused aggadita as halaka; specifically in the matter of 7 mitzvot bnai Noach. A fundamental error. Goyim living outside of the holy lands, even if a Great Sanhedrin existed, that Court would have zero jurisdiction to put a Goy to death if he violated any of the 7 commandments!!!

    This tremendous error of scholarship transformed a gere toshav Goy – a Goy temporarily resident within the borders of Judea – unto Universal halaka, applicable to all Goyim. This Rambam halaka, so to speak, converted all Goyim, living in all countries on the planet, unto brit Bnai Noach. But, based upon the opening pages of the tractate of עבודה זרה, Goyim never accepted the revelation of the Name made at Sinai. The stories of both Avraham and Yitzak, their traumatic experience with Goyim, spiced together with the story of Sodom, strongly supports the conclusions the Gemara of עבודה זרה determined. Neither the Xtian bible nor the Muslim koran even once makes reference to the Sinai Name revelation.

    The Rambam code divorced the warp/woof “marriage” of halaka with aggadita – and it failed to even give aggadita her get! A man who divorces his wife and refuses to give her her ‘get’ makes public his contempt for the Name of HaShem. The B’hag, Rif, Rosh codes did not divorce halaka from agaddita. But the Rambam, Tur, Shulkan Aruch codes did divorce halaka from its aggadic “wife”. These disastrous sequential decisions/rulings, set the stage for post ghetto Reform Judaism to declare the Talmud as archaic in the Modern Era.

    Reform based their conclusions upon another fundamental error made by virtually all Reshon halakic commentators. Reshon scholarship upon the Talmud separated halaka, practical to the g’lut-Era, from pre-g’lut halaka – when the Temple worship thrived. This Reshon decision authorized, so to speak, the Reform heresy, which made a similar argument by which that movement rejected the relevance of halaka in the modern Era. The Rambam code redefined halaka unto ritualized observance of mitzvot, which Jews – released from the ghettos – almost immediately assimilated to European culture and customs – came to despise. It destroyed any and all linkage which bound halaka unto prophetic mussar commandments. Mussar means דרך ארץ, the dedication unto HaShem to self actualize tohor middot within one’s’ social interactions with other Jews.

    The placement of the Rambam into נדוי, triggered an international Jewish Civil War which, comparable to a wildfire, which quickly spread from Spain to France to Germany and beyond. This Jewish Civil War brought in its wake, horrible consequences. A chain reaction which caused all Jewish communities across Europe and the Middle East to fall into total poverty and Ghetto servitude. As a consequence, Jews fled from Western European oppression unto Poland and Russia.

    Jewish art, to date, has not recorded this absolute disaster, which damaged – across the board – virtually all g’lut Jewish communities. Why? Jewish art should explain the population transfer of Jews from Western Europe (Rome) unto Eastern Europe (Russia). Jewish art should attempt to view the T’NaCH and Talmud as political documents; as the Constitution of the Republic basic law and as the יסוד of lateral Israeli Common Law Courts. Jewish art should differentiate between tefillah – the dedication of tohor דרך ארץ middot to HaShem; the fragrance of these dedications, [the modification of how a person socially interacts and behaves with other Jews] – from personal petitions made unto other Gods, the prayers made by Goyim.
    מלח כנגד מלך… ולירושלים עירך ברחמים תשוב, ותשכן בתוכה כאשר דברת, ובנה אותה בקרוב בימינו בנין עולם, וכסא דוד עבדך מהרה לתוכה תכין: ברוך אתה ה’, בונה ירושלים.
    Chariot mysticism, the kabbala of דניאל explains: the four faces of the chariot כנגד the four winds that go out from before HaShem, Daniel the mystic understood these “winds” as מלאכים whom the Goyim of great and mighty empires/”giants” worship as their Gods.

    Learning by means of comparison: how to understand the Temple service performed by the House of Aaron, as contrasted by the mussar by which this commentary despises halakic observances – defined solely by means of ritualism. Based upon the satire of ישעיה, line by line, here a little and there a little, stammering lips – childish rote learning. Wood and stone do not make – neither the “house of Aaron”, nor the “house of Israel”. Therefore how much more so, wood and stone do not make the Temple which king David commanded his son Shlomo to build. The decision to limit David’s last Will and Testament to a physical structure compares to the damages that the Rambam code inflicted upon g’lut Jewry.

    Ritualized observance of halaka compares to Aaron or his sons offering a Bar BQ to Heaven as korbanot avodat HaShem. The sequence of comparative learning goes like this: At Gilgal king Shaul renewed the kingdom. Rashi tefillin, forever serves as witness to the sworn oath Israel cut at Gilgal. Just as HaShem, and no מלאך, delivered Israel from the bondage of Egypt; HaShem judged the מלאכים which Par’o and all Egyptians worshipped as their God. דכתיב
    ישעיה כד:כא. והיה ביום ההוא יפקד ה’ על צבא המרום במרום על מלכי האדמה על האדמה. פי’: רדק. רבי אברהם בן עזרא ז”ל פירש כי צבא המרום הם המלאכים שהם עומדים לעזור לגוי אחד ולהסטין לגוי אחר, כאשר הוא מפורש בספר דניאל, ועל כן אמר ועל מלכי האדמה כי מלכות הגוים דבק עם מלכות המלאכים.

    Consider the logical chain: King Shaul renewed the “kingdom” at Gilgal. יהושע defined the mitzva of tefillen at Gilgal and at Sh’Cem. The Rashi and Rabbeinu Tam further clarified the halaka of tefillen, as expressed through how they organized the order of the parshaot, tefillen contain. The Chumash description of the avodat HaShem, [portrayed in great detail in the Book of ויקרא], directly compares to the halaka by which both Rashi and his grandson Rabbeinu Tam understood the mitzva of tefillen; by which the prophet יהושע defined the Written Torah commandment,
    דברים ו:ח. וקשרתם לאות על ידך והיו לטטפת בין עיניך

    Just as our sages rejected a literal reading of the tefillen commandment, so too learns the Gemara of שבועות. The “mitzva” of tefillen shares a common denominator with the “mitzva” of Safer Torah. As a person stands with a Safer Torah, in order to swear an oath, likewise a person sits with tefillen – to swear an oath. To cut a Torah brit requires swearing an oath. The purpose of dedicating korbanot, to sanctify remembrance and renewal of the sworn oath britot established by our forefathers. Neither korbanot nor tefillen exists solely as some halakic ritual bar BQ to heaven. The substance of both commandments rests upon the יסוד of swearing a Torah oath. Swearing a Torah oath rests upon the יסוד of tohora – brit Sh’Cem.

    The word אחד in the opening p’suk of kre’a shma, [the halaka requires first placing tefillen, before accepting the yoke of heaven], a person accepts the yoke of the sworn oaths made by the Avot as אחד within his heart; the “mitzva” of קידושין too has external halakic rabbinic trappings/ritual observances. This “mitzva” from the prophets, a person obligates upon his “soul”, to pass this oath brit yoke of the kingdom of heaven unto his, as of yet, unborn O’lam ha’Ba children. The oath, which Yitzak swore at the Akada, he recalled that Sarah demanded that Avraham divorce Hagar – her slave. Yitzak dedicated the eternal obligation upon both himself and his unborn seed, to obey commandments. By the terms of the brit, keeping commandments causes HaShem to remember the oath sworn to Avram at the ברית בין הבתרים.

    Just as HaShem judged the מלאכי of Egypt, which Par’o worshipped as his Gods, so too this judgment judges Israel, when our people break faith as the chosen Cohen nation and assimilate to foreign cultures and customs. Equally and also, HaShem judges all other great empires and mighty nations throughout all time and forever, just as happened in Egypt. There HaShem judged the Gods of Egypt. Just as Dagon fell with his head and hands severed, so too all “daughter religion”, Gods worshipped by Goyim. Herein explains the kavanna of placing Rashi tefillen. Israel can only defeat Nations of greater might and number, if and only if, our G-d judges the מלאכי Gods that Goyim “giants” worship. The identical judgment which occurred in ancient Egypt.

    King Shaul did not renew the kingdom at Gilgal by chance. Israel anointed him to fight their wars against the Goyim. But the prophet Shemuel anointed him Moshiach to obey the Torah commandments, mitzvot, and halakot. The prophet Sh’muel set and defined the Mitzva of Moshiach, Achronim mystic kabbalists failed to clarify the halaka of Moshiach. Their commentaries, like this one, attempt to explain the k’vanna of prophetic mitzvot and rabbinic halakot.

    Speculations about moshiach ben David and Yosef, this commentary personally rejects, based upon the premise that no one generation holds a monopoly upon logic. The kabbala of mysticism learns primarily through the Book of Daniel, rather than the Zohar or Ari mystic kabbala obtuse contemplations. Yet when these latter day midrash-like commentaries explain the Book of Daniel or other Primary sealed masoret sources, this commentator applauds and validates their scholarship.

    The Holy Writings of the T’NaCH share a comparable relationship that the Gemara has with the Mishna. Literature in general learns by comparison and contrast. T’NaCH and Talmud learn by means of making “measured” middot comparisons or contrasts. The Mishna and Gemara, teach common law. And common law essentially requires additional precedents from outside Primary sources, as its Case/Law comparison study.

    Midrash employs the Holy Writings, included within the T’NaCH, as the Primary source commentary to the Torah and NaCH. Logic works straight across the board, defining a sh’itta face of the Oral Torah פרדס. The rabbinic kabbala inheritance given by rabbi Akiva and all the Tannaim and Amoraim. The Torah, our sages say, has 70 faces, an expression of its diversity. Therefore a person who desires to learn Talmud requires a Rav experienced in the complexity of these texts.

    Just as the house of Aaron dedicates korbanot to renew, so to speak, the kingdom at Gilgal, so too did king Shaul. The yoke of the kingdom: just as all korbanot required מלח, Israel accepts upon ourselves the obligation to keep faith and obey the Torah commandments, the prophetic mitzvot, and the rabbinic halakot. HaShem, in turn obligates upon Himself the brit to war against the מאלכי Gods whom the “giants” [A reference metaphor made by the tuma spies, who described the people of Canaan.], throughout time, reverence for their supernatural powers; they worship their messiah Savior and/or prophet sent by Allah, unto this very day.

    The halaka of Rashi tefillen remembers renewing the kingdom at Gilgal. The mitzva of placing tefillen, we obligate ourselves to keep and obey the Torah commandments, the prophetic mitzvot, and rabbinic halakot whereby each and all generations of Israel “renew the kingdom”. Many descriptions apply to the rebellion of Korach against the Moshiach house of Aaron, but the words תחטא בשגגה clearly do not apply.

    Leaders who promote open treason and rebellion against the appointed leaders of their government merit the death penalty. Promotion of rebellion and anarchy, people who do this, compare, as if they put a gun against the heads of the populations of their nation, and blow the brains of the common man against a wall. Pardon simply does not apply to leaders who behave like Benedict Arnold. דכתיב:

    במדבר טז:כב. ויפלו על פניהם ויאמרו אל אלהי הרוחת לכל בשר האיש אחד יחטא ועל כל העדה תקצף? יז:יא. ויאמר משה אל אהרן קח את המחתה ותן עליה אש מעל המזבח ושים קטרת והולך מהרה אל העדה וכפר עליהם כי יצא הקצף מלפני ה’ החל הנגף. כה. ויאמר ה’ אל משה השב את מטה אהרן לפני העדות לשמרת לאות לבני מרי ותכל תלונתם מעלי ולא ימתו.
    ותנן פרק ראשון מכות: מעידין אנו באיש פלוני, שהוא חייב לגלות. אין אומרים יגלה זה תחתיו. אלא לוקה ארבעים.

    This Mishna refers to עדות שקר. Brought this precedent to suggest that the Sha’s addresses diverse ways by which a person can inflict damages upon others. Some types of damages, obvious to the eye to discern. But there exist concealed destructors, comparable to bacteria or viruses that can and do destroy the health of a man. These סודי destructors, they attack and destroy, like the din of כרת, worse than the most dreadful Black Death pandemics, not just a generation or two but all generations of the Yidden people.

    People of the tuma caliber of Benedict Arnold/Nancy Pelosi types, they threaten to wipe out their own people. Had the betrayal of Arnold succeeded, the United States would never have existed as a nation. The Madame Speaker has converted the House of Congress unto a political brothel. The decisions she has made as Speaker goes beyond show casing her public contempt for the Office of the President; she favors that the American people detest and despise their own forefathers.

    Other concealed destructors, Gay rights, Abortion, multiple sexual identities etc. Actions compare to stones thrown into a still pond, they produce their own unique set of ripples. The EU and UN loved the Clinton peace plan but they despise the Trump deal of the century. This suggests a hidden hostile agenda by which Europeans prefer g’lut Jewry over Israeli national independence. What strategic red line must they cross before our leaders determine the strategic best interests of our nation, to cut diplomatic relations with both entities, beginning with the EU.

    Europeans have no love for the Jewish people. The Shoah did not just “surprise” happen. These barbarians excluded Jewish refugee populations from working in the Guilds. They forbade Jews from owning or farming land. They take perverse pleasure in slandering our people at the drop of a hat. Given just about any opportunity they stab our people in the back. As they gently stroke our hand and look us in the face and say: “Trust me”.

    Arabs, their culture encourages them to lie to one another. But the suave debonair pistache by which European barbarians assume a position of moral superiority. Only disgraced Shoah Europe could, without shame, attempt to foist a European “International” Criminal Court upon all countries across the planet. As if Europeans had never repeatedly committed the most despicable war crimes against humanity, throughout its smug and conceited history. Europeans have this unique style, they doll up the most obnoxious whore in a Cinderella gown with glass slippers and parade this disgusting bitch as some Pope of moral superiority.

    Arabs – they live as our neighbors in the community of nations in the Middle East. Israel has no real dispute with stateless Arab refugee populations. This smoke and mirrors propaganda, foisted upon humanity primarily by imperialist European Capitals who seek to dominate the Middle East as if it existed as their private garden.

    The conflicts in the Middle East serve European imperialist interests – divide and conquer, also known as – the Two State “solution”. Jews well know Europeans love for “Final Solutions”. Israel, we must develop a respect for Arab and Muslim countries. Their prosperity assures Israeli prosperity. Their Civil Wars and occupation by European imperialist armies, as the cases of Syria, Libya, Afghanistan, and Iraq amply testify … Middle East chaos threatens the long term survival of the Jewish State.

    Let the Arab refugee populations believe their “obvious” lies, they only deceive themselves. The eternal enemy – from the Greek and Roman invasions till today – Europe hands down. European duplicity seeks to foist the “Arab/Israeli” conflict as if it exists as some unsolvable mystery. Horseradish. Don’t buy this rhetoric fraud. Arabs and Jews, we can work together in friendship. But Jews must never again permit ourselves to swoon like some fainting virgin Mary before the European stench of moral superiority.

    If we struggle with some difficult dispute, we must never turn to any European Capital to act as an “objective” “skilled” “mediator” on the behalf of the Jewish State. The Roman intervention into the Hasmonean dynasty dispute serves as an eternal warning to never return and eat this vomit again. Post Shoah Yidden must treat Europe, comparable to house training a Great Dane puppy that recently crapped diarrhea upon our fresh clean sheets. The strategic foreign policy of Israel toward Europe, to forever choke out of them, any and all moral superiority. To never forget their criminally insane moral depravity.
    דתנן פרק שלישי בבא קמא. שנים שהיו מהלכין ברה”ר, אחד רץ ואחד מהלך או שהיו שניהן רצין והזיקו זה את זה, שניהן פטורין.
    This Mishna refers strictly and only to Bnai Brit Yidden. Refugees and illegal aliens have no rights. Social and political rights, the Torah Constitution reserves strictly and only for Bnai Brit allies. Something similar to President Trump’s wise America First policy of State. The notion that promotes Universal love smells of Xtianity and its attempts to convert humanity to the tenets of its faith. The first priority of government to sow a strong social fabric among and between the diverse members of our own society. The second domestic priority, to continually return to accomplish the first priority of government.

    The negative perspective of this first priority of government, to prevent the outbreak of Civil War among and between the diverse and conflicting interests among Yidden. All other matters or interests play second fiddle to this essential first priority of the State.
    דתנן פרק רקיעי. שור שנגח את האדם ומת, מועד משלם כופר, ותם פטור מן הכופר וזה וזה חייבין מיתה. וכן בבן וכן בבת. נגח עבד או אמה, נותן שלשים סלעים, בין שהוא הוא יפה, מאה מנה …ובין שאינו יפה אלא דינר אחד. ותנן פרק שלישי ערכין. בשור המועד שהמית את העבד להקל ולהחמיר. כיצד. אחד שהמית את הנאה שבעבדים, ואת הכעור שבעבדים. נותן שלשים סלע. המית בן חורין, נותן שוויו חבל בזה ובזה – נותן נזק שלם.
    פרק שני חולין. השוחט לשם הרים לשם גבעות לשם ימים לשם נהרות לשם מדברות — שחיטתו פסולה. ותנן פרק חמישי גיטין. המטמא והמדמע והמנסך בשוגג – פטור, במזיד חייב.

    The subject of damages, both diverse and complex. Our Av Mishna seeks to simplify this exceedingly difficult subject. This conclusion sums up the 4th sugia of בבא קמא.

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    1. My apologies – WordPress knocked this into the spam filter and I only now just saw it. I didn’t mean to hold your comment for so long.

      You’ve written a lot here and to be honest, I’ve not had time to read it all thoroughly. A cursory glance makes me wonder how many issues I’ll end up taking with it, but that’s fine. Differences of opinion are welcome, so long as people engage respectfully.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Xtians teach only what to believe. Judaism – its not a belief system. Monotheism, that’s an example of a belief system – it violates the 2nd commandment of Sinai. If only one God, no need to command not to worship other Gods.

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