September 22, 2021 9:12 pm at 9:12 pm #2009304
“That may be why no one on this thread has managed to answer my original questions without either appealing to the authority of the Ba’al Hatanya or the vague answer that “Hashem is above all these discussions”.
no, thats because most people dont waste their time on ywn coffeeroomSeptember 23, 2021 8:31 am at 8:31 am #2009475
But the ones who do waste their time here ar more than welcome to suggest answers.September 23, 2021 5:43 pm at 5:43 pm #2009681
As I stated in my posts above, there are plenty of additional sources for the idea of the Tanya from sources not known to be affiliated with Lubavitch.
There is the statement quoted by many in the name of the Zohar ; מאן דנפח מדיליה נפח.
The Nefesh Hachaim in שער א פרק ה and פרק טו explains the Neshama pretty close if not the same as the Tanya.
I remember Rav avigdor Miller as well using the idea of Chelek Eloka Momaal to explain the words of the Chovos Halevavos who says in his Hakdama that והשכל הניצל מכל פגע is one of the three possible sources for dinim that are דאורייתא! The Gemara says למה לי קרא סברא הוא and Rav Miller’s explanation is this idea of the Chovos Halevavos that as Chelek Eloka Mimaal the סברא of an “undamaged mind” has the status of דאורייתא!
Your statement above “It is much more dangerous to blur the line between G-d and man than to over-emphasize the gap between us and Hashem, even if that is also a mistake.” is a fatal error and quite the contrary is the case.
It is the idea of Chelek Eloka Mimaal that has the power to inspire people (who view themselves and others as Chelek Eloka Mimaal) to emulate Hashem and seek to bestow kindness on others like Avaraham Avinu, to “over-emphasize the gap between us and Hashem” especially when it is “a mistake” as you suggest, is what leads people to lose all sense of humanity and sink to the level of animals in their own behavior and especially in their behavior towards others.
I don’t think anyone has ever gone off the derech by getting “carried away” with the idea of Chelek Eloka Mimaal (aside for Pharaoh and a few others) while an unfortunate amount of people have sunk to unthinkable levels of inhumanity due to the idea being neglected.
Philosophically the “fallacy” and “absurdity” (as well put by Yechi above) of your questions are well exposed in my posts above, after a basic understanding of אין עוד מלבדו, as explained by others in addition to the Tanya, you’re questions are all what is known in the Beis Medrash as a “Klotz Kasha”.
Your questions are like a question I once heard from a Lomdishe rebbe of mine who asked, why is it muttar to daven while wearing Tefillin if it is assur to be מסיח דעת from ones Tefiliin?
I will leave off with one more question for you, it says שמע ישראל ה’ אלו’ ה’ אחד how can there be Hashem and Elokim if “G-d cannot be divided into parts.”??September 24, 2021 1:33 am at 1:33 am #2009797
so if you dont get a satisfactory answer here, dont assume there is noneSeptember 24, 2021 1:35 pm at 1:35 pm #2009887Reb EliezerParticipant
The Chasam Sofer asks why we say שהכל נהיה בדברו rather than במאמרו? He answers that it also applies to us. If we don’t mess up our mouth we would have G-dly strengths with it. Maybe the Targum translates the pasuk where Hashem blew in his nose a neshama of live giving him life to speak. Whoever blows, blows from his own abilities, so we should have the abilities to change nature with our mouths but we turned it impure by speaking improperly and thereby we lost the abilites to do so.September 26, 2021 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm #2010245September 29, 2021 8:43 pm at 8:43 pm #2010539
Duvidf- The Baal Hatanya did not make up the idea of the neshama being a חלק א-לוק ממעל out of nowhere, but he is the only one to use the word ממש in his discussion. The Nefesh Hachaim, for example, uses the word כביכול instead, as you helpfully quoted earlier:
אמנם בחינת הנשמה היא הנשימה עצמה, שפנימיות עצמותה מסתתרת בהעלם, ומקורה ברוך כביכול בתוך נשימת פיו ית”ש, שאין .עצמות מהותה נכנסת כלל בתוך גוף האדם
This suggests that R’ Chaim Volozhiner did not believe the neshama was literally “part of G-d” and only describes it as part of Hashem’s נשימה, just like the Zohar. The question is whether even the Tanya really means that the neshama is a literal part of Hashem.
When I wrote that it is much more dangerous to blur the line between G-d and man than to over-emphasize the gap between us and Hashem, I was referring to mistakes made by those who consider themselves frum Jews, not to non-Jews and idol worshippers. Granted that the idea of חלק א-לוק ממעל inspires many people to seek to emulate Hashem and to do chesed, or to have high “spiritual self-esteem” that encourages them to do mitzvos and dissuades them from doing aveiros, but all those things are also possible without believing in the concept at all. Going to the opposite extreme and believing that we are so far removed from Hashem that we can have no relationship with Him at all is also a serious error, but it doesn’t lead to kefirah. I don’t know if anyone has “gone off the derech” and stopped being mitzvah observant because of getting carried away with the idea of חלק א-לוק ממעל, but plenty of people who observe mitzvos have gone overboard and blurred the line between how we are supposed to treat human beings and how we relate to G-d.
I am going to hope that you don’t mean your last question. If you really do understand the relationship between Hashem and Elokeinu to be equivalent to the relationship between Hashem and the supposed “cheilek” of Him, then my point here is entirely vindicated.September 30, 2021 7:37 am at 7:37 am #2010807
The Baal Hatanya did not only “not make up the idea of the neshama being a חלק א-לוק ממעל out of nowhere” rather it is a well established fundamental idea before and after the Baal Hatanya with sources before and after Lubavitch.
The Nefesh Hachaim also uses the word גמור in his statement “מבחי’ הנשמה דלהון ולמעלה הוא אלקות גמור”, the meaning of כביכול is also not as simple as you suggested.
One thing is absolutely clear and unanimously stated by all the sources here; as much as it is a creation, the Neshama is a unique creation sourced much higher than all other creations, this is the point of the Baal Hatanya and the Nefesh Hachaim here.
As the Chovos Halevavos writes, only a fool spends his time trying to understand the essence of HKBH, when you finish (כביכול) explaining the essence of HKBH you can expect to understand exactly how mamash or not mamash, gamur or not gamur the Chelek Eloka Mimaal is.
The main “equivalence” intended in my last question was that as stated here above, in the context of a proper understanding of אין עוד מלבדו and the true meaning of Hashem’s Oneness your “questions” are just as much of a “Klotz” question as that question is, certainly not grounds to call into question the legitimacy of the Baal Hatanya or those inspired by him and suggest that there is any problem with their אמונה.
As stated above, when it comes to the actions and behavior of people which is what really matters at the end of the day, the damage of people who underestimate the power of this idea is far greater than those who you think may have gone “overboard” with this idea.September 30, 2021 9:56 am at 9:56 am #2010886
Duvidf- “One thing is absolutely clear and unanimously stated by all the sources here; as much as it is a creation, the Neshama is a unique creation sourced much higher than all other creations, this is the point of the Baal Hatanya and the Nefesh Hachaim here.”
I agree 100%. If we agree that the neshama is a creation, then any other differences are not important.
The issue here is not understanding the essence of Hashem or what חלק א-לוק ממעל actually means. More important than knowing exactly what it does mean, which is out of reach for the vast majority of us, is knowing what it most definitely does not mean. Hashem is the One and Only Creator and anyone and anything else is His creation. That is alef-beis and without that, your Yiddishkeit is built on quicksand.
The actions and behavior of people are extremely important, but their beliefs are too. Do followers of Shabtai Tzvi or early Jewish Christians count as frum Yidden in good standing just because they kept mitzvos? This issue and others like it are important – first of all so we know how to deal with people whose beliefs are heretical, but more importantly, so we know what we should believe and what we should teach our children and talmidim. Surely you agree that even if there are more important things to do than to question whether Torah-observant Jews aren’t unwitting heretics, we have to make sure to teach our children the correct beliefs.September 30, 2021 5:09 pm at 5:09 pm #2011033
I don’t know of any frum yid that disagrees with the fact that the Neshama is a creation despite their understanding of the word mamash in the Tanya and / or the word gamur in the Nefesh Hachaim.
As stated above once all agree on the basic principles of אין עוד מלבדו and Hashems Oneness as explained by the Rambam, Chovos Halevavos, Tanya and the Nefesh Hachaim any other differences are what chazal call משמעות דורשין איכא בינייהו.
Perhaps a much more important topic for discussion in the frum world is the fact that in the past months in Israel around 23 people have been dying a day from Covid (about a third of them fully vaccinated) who would have otherwise seemingly been alive if not for the adamant refusal of people especially orthodox and ultra orthodox to wear masks in closed spaces as instructed by the health ministry (while the protection to the mask wearer is disputed, the protection to the people around the mask wearer is almost undisputed). Especially after the vaccine roll out this unfortunate behavior seems to have almost complete rabbinic support across the entire spectrum of orthodox Judaism.
What happened to לא תעמוד על דם רעך?
What happened to לא תרצח?
What happened to כל המציל נפש אחת בישראל…?
What happened to חמירא סכנתא מאיסורא?
Are all the above mere empty slogans?
How come when it comes to איסור most charedim will not touch a Rabanut Hechsher with a ten foot pole but when it comes to סכנה which is much more חמור than איסור the charedim are more secular than the secular???????
A young grandson of the head of the beis din in Yerushalayim (“העדה החרדית”) passed away from covid this week, can the dayanim on that beis din bring an עגלה ערופה and say ידינו לא שפכו את הדם הזה???
Can anyone imagine the Kiddush Hashem it would have caused around the world had the charedim shown with their behavior this past year that all the above commandments and principles are not just empty statements that are ignored when they need to be acted upon????
Is it not an immeasurable tragedy that instead of being a light unto the nations and leaders of the world when it came to value for life as we were commanded to, the vast majority of “frum” communities around the world showed regarding covid that just the opposite is how we act????
The problem today of “Torah-observant Jews” who are “unwitting murderers” is far greater than the problem of “Torah-observant Jews” who you think might be “unwitting heretics”.
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