December 15, 2010 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm #593529klachMember
I have heard alot about machshava, but its contradictory. Some people say its kabbalah, others say its just jewish philosophy, others say its a steppingstone to kabbalah, others say its a form of mussar, etc.
My Q is – what is it and is it ok to learn it?December 16, 2010 7:51 am at 7:51 am #718675RuffRuffMember
Machshava means thought. Whatever you think about, that’s what it will be.
BTW, is your screen name based on a ‘Machshava’ Sefer?December 16, 2010 7:13 pm at 7:13 pm #718676Pashuteh YidMember
I personally feel that after the Holocaust, and in our times, it is hard to get inspiration from some of the works that were written before then.
I think everybody has to develop his/her own path in Avodas Hashem relevant to the times he lives in.December 16, 2010 9:05 pm at 9:05 pm #718677popa_bar_abbaParticipant
Machshava usually refers to books like the nefesh hachaim by R’ Chaim Volozhin.December 16, 2010 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm #718678rtParticipant
P. Yid: it almost sounds like you’re saying, after the Holocaust we can’t get inspiration from Chumash either, after all it’s all in the tochacha. The Ribbono shel Olam is the same Ribbono shel Olam & the Torah is the same Torah.
Find your path, but use Torah as its source, we always look back for inspiration- chadesh yamainu k’kedemDecember 17, 2010 12:05 am at 12:05 am #718679ItcheSrulikMember
Don’t you know it’s assur for men to know chumash, rt? </sarcasm>December 17, 2010 7:08 am at 7:08 am #718680RuffRuffMember
rt, why do you make that leap when he didn’t get near suggesting anything close to that? He is talking about Sefarim written to inspire, and he is saying that he doesn’t think those will do. I don’t know if I agree totally to what he is saying, but definitely, every generation has it’s personality and has to be dealt with accordingly. If he is talking about the prevalent Apikursus of today, that is true. Although, between the world wars the situation was way worse than today.
So, there is something to that point, but it also depends on what is meant by inspire. Chasidishe Sefarim are also inspiring today to those that tune themselves to it. There is also the need for New Age Kiruv and inspiration.December 19, 2010 4:05 am at 4:05 am #718681ItcheSrulikMember
The problem with New Age kiruv is that it’s a stop-gap measure at most. By definition it borrows from a non-Jewish philosophy that is based solely on being content-free. Eventually the mekurav will look for content and the mekarev had better have something to offer.December 20, 2010 12:45 am at 12:45 am #718682Pashuteh YidMember
My point about machshava is that in the time of the Rambam, there may have been people with certain kashyas in their hashkafa, which are answered in the Moreh Nevuchim. However, the Rambam I believe holds that all yissurin comes from aveiros. I believe, in light of the Holocaust, where precious and pure little children were massacred, that that does not hold true. The main kashyas people have today are the misfortunes of the tzaddikim, and in the Rambam’s times, there were no misfortunes as great as what we saw in the Holocaust. We saw an entire continent of pure neshamos wiped out.
Second, many people have kashyas on the relationship of science and Torah. In the time of the Rishonim, science was practically undeveloped, and the sefarim of that time discuss the 4 elements, fire, air, water and earth. Different things were considered to be combinations of those four. Anybody reading the hashkafa works of those times will quickly get very disillusioned, as we know that we have much more sophisticated ways of describing nature (although there is far far more still to know that we do not understand.)
These are just some of the reasons why I don’t get much chizuk from these sefarim. On the other hand, my favorite mussar sefarim are Ish Tzaddik Hayah, and Tzaddik Yesod Olam about Reb Aryeh Levine. Holy Brother about Reb Shlomo Carlebach can also melt one’s heart.
Of course there may be general mussar concepts that one gets from these sefarim that apply at all times. However, I am referring specifically to Machshava.
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