Coming Attractions

         What distinguishes knowledge from wisdom.  It seems to me that Western medicine, in a general sense, functions as ‘applied knowledge’.  Where doctors ‘input’ symptoms into a medical computer program, and rely upon the computer to direct them where to proceed from thereon.  According to [], {Computer use in primary care and patient-physician communication}:

                           “Physicians reported spending 42% of consultation time in
                           contact with the computer. A negative impact of computer
                           in patient–physician communication regarding the consultation
                           length, confidentiality, maintaining eye contact, active listening
                           to the patient, and ability to understand the patient was reported
                           by physicians, while patients reported a positive effect for all
                           the items. Physicians considered that the usual computer
                           placement in their consultation room was significantly unfavorable
                           to patient–physician communication.”

         Wisdom by contrast qualifies as a learned skill, practiced by way of repetition.  Like a brick-layer tradesman or a musician develops mastery with a musical instrument.  Wisdom comes from hands-on experience.  Virtually every employer weighs a University degree\knowledge against practical hands-on experience\wisdom.   Young folk searching for a job inevitably bump their head against this Wall of frustration: labeled as – unskilled who lacks experience.  The Gemara of קידושין  obligates the parents to teach their children a trade.  Alas Yeshiva students, most instructors focus upon broad halakic knowledge and miserably fail to teach a sh’itta wisdom of how to learn.

         From my personal experience, most real learning occurs when a person makes research alone by themselves.  The Yishiva system, as it stands today, relies upon the Chavrusa method of learning.  Being dyslexic, this style of learning frustrated me to the point of anger.  Rav Aaron encouraged me to search out primary sources as possible precedents, whereas Chavrusa learning primarily examined later commentaries.

         A popular bubba meiseh/grandmother folk tale, Yosef Karo relied primarily upon the Rif, the Rosh, and the Rambam – utter narishkeit.  The Shulchan Aruch functions as the cliff notes of the Beit Yosef commentary on the Tur.  Jacob ben Asher, author of the Arba’ah Turim, in that halakic code, he rejected the family tradition of his father the Rosh, in favor of the obtuse opinion of halaka expressed by the Rambam.

         Rav Ashi, a 6th generation Amora, he re-established the Sura Academy, and served as a primary editor of the Babylonian Talmud together with Rav Ravina, head of the Pumbedita yeshiva.  These two great Torah scholars, together with their peers like the famous Rava who argued with Abaye, scholars like these, shaped and determined the nature of halaka.  The later codes of the Middle Ages based how they defined ‘halaka’, upon how Rav Ashi and Rav Ravina defined the term.  The Rambam offered a completely alternative definition of the concept of – what qualifies as the halaka!  The Rambam code divorced halaka from aggadita in the name of simplicity and subject order.

         The Talmud stands upon the kabbala יסוד taught by rabbi Akiva to all his students – פרדס.  The Rambam did not understand the פרדס sh’itta of learning Sha’s.  The redactors of the Talmud made קידושין between halaka and aggadita.  The latter makes a דרוש unto the T’NaCH literature primary sources in a search for prophetic mussar.  Later, students of the generations, who make a study of the Aggadic דרוש – back to the T’NaCH primary sources – can grasp the mussar commanded therein.  This mussar defines the פשט within that specific aggaditah.  This פשט transfers unto the halaka learned from the linked specific Mishna, and becomes the רמז\סוד of the k’vanna of keeping the halaka.  Herein defines how the Sages of the Talmud understood the פרדס kabbala taught by rabbi Akiva.

         The halakic codes made by the B’hag, Rif, and Rosh, understood that פרדס scholarship determines and defines the meaning of halaka.  The Rambam code, together with the Tur and Shulchan Aruch codifications totally abandoned the kaballa sh’itta of פרדס as the basis by which to define the general term: halaka.  The magnitude of this gross error, viewed from the commentaries made upon the Rambam code, one and all – they fail to weave halaka together with prophet T’NaCH mussar.  These three latter day medieval codes totally undermined the authority of the Talmud.  They took the Jewish people down a completely different path, known as ritual halaka, as opposed to prophetic mussar halaka.

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