Monday, April 7, 2014


Seeing as people are still visiting this blog, despite the fact that I have not updated it in a long time, I wish to apologize. I have not forgotten that I need to finish the translation of "The Zohar" by Rabbi Kasher. There are still a few pages to come, but I have been extremely busy. IY"H I will finish it in the near future. I hope that those who have read what I have translated thus far have benefited.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Rabbi Dr. Michael Friedlander on Torah & Science

His words are just as relevant today as they were when this was printed in 1891. (Start on the bottom of Page 33.)

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Rav Menacham Mendel Kasher's Essay on the Zohar

Almost finished... I sincerely ask readers to correspond with any constructive comments or critiques relating to the technical or stylistic aspects of the translation. [Updated 5/1/15]
Here is a downloadable version. Here is the original Hebrew.

Thanks to Mosad HaRav Kook for their gracious permission to translate this work.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

בעלי רוח הקודש Still Make Mistakes

From Rejoice O Youth, R' Avigdor Miller zt'l, p.245. My emphasis:

526. Y. " In view of the fact that [Chazal] were given supernatural assistance, how was it possible for them to have differences of opinion (460-461)?"

S. "Supernatural inspiration is not Torah. After Moses, no Torah can be given by prophecy. From Heaven, the Sages received an abundance of mental energy, in addition to other important qualities, in a measure which was miraculous. In addition to their native ability and beside their intensive labor in study and discussion, they were rewarded with a largesse of genius from G-d. But each one utilised his genius according to his Free-Will, and they always had the opportunity to err. No amount of inspiration from Heaven can give Torah. Only that which is received in tradition from the Sages, and that which is deduced by the Torah processes, is Torah."

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Rav Avigdor Miller, zt'l, on Greek Science

The import of this transcription is that Rav Miller zt'l has impeccable hashkafa credentials in the charedi world, and his views expressed here are seemingly in sharp contradistinction to pronouncements made within the last few years by certain talmidei chachomim with regard to this matter. Additionally, I do not believe that this position is widely known, as I have never seen it discussed online, or heard about it, except on my own tape:

Career of Listening series, “Success in Challenging Times,” Tape T109.

The very beginning of Side B:

“…Everybody was satisfied with what the Greeks taught them, and they adopted willingly everything: all the wickedness, all the attitudes, and all the technical achievements of the Greeks. And here was one little enclave of humanity in a small corner of the world that considered themselves, not only that they were indifferent to what the Greeks had to offer, but they considered themselves superior to the Greeks. They said, what you have is sheker v’kozov, and what we have is the truth. At that time it was preposterous, it was ridiculous. Now, looking back today, if we want to assess: What did the Greeks have? We see that there was a big literature and a big science of foolishness. Today, many things are actually comical. The Greeks taught for instance that there are four elements, and they swore by that. Air, water, fire, and earth. The Greeks taught that all matter had a primeval element they called chomer hiyuli, and the reason that matter has different forms is there is a state of existence called the tzura, that’s the shape. When certain shapes… these shapes are something that exist only in the minds of the people that talk about them. Actually there’s no such thing. When the shape rests on this original matter, so the matter assumes such a form. So let’s say that all metals are one. And all earth is the same as the metals - but when a certain shape attaches itself to the original material, so it becomes gold, to another kind of material the shape attaches itself and it becomes silver, and so on. Now, many of these things were considered for generations to be foundations of science, because the Greeks earned for themselves such a secure place in the world’s esteem that it took a long time before the world discovered the errors of Greek science. But at that time there was nobody to criticize, nobody to point out the flaws of Greek science, and therefore it seemed insane when the people of Judea refused to accept the gifts that the Greeks wished to bestow on them. At that time, Josephus, that is, 2000 years ago, attempted to demonstrate that the Jewish people are an ancient people, not like the Greek writers said that they are recent arrivals,” etc.

… short continutation of the shiur before the Q&A section …

“Question: Don’t we find in Hebrew seforim the four elements? Yes. Because the Hebrew seforim wanted to synthesize, to show that these things are in conformance with the Torah. I remember about 60 years ago when it was considered the “thing” for rabbis, rabbonim, from the bimah, to show: “Socialism min ha-Torah minayin?”  [light laughter] …that the Torah believes in socialism. At that time, socialism was considered the wave of the future, and therefore people sought to justify it by the Torah. Now, some of the seforim use this only as a symbol for all the elements, but we don’t look in these seforim for the study of chemistry, and therefore we will take it in a general sense, when they talk about elements. But four elements, forget it. That’s an ancient Greek error, and that’s only one of many misconceptions that the Greeks taught. The Greeks today wouldn’t pass a high school test, in any of the sciences. Now today, even with the knowledge of 40 years ago, the Greek philosophers of the first degree would flunk a freshman’s test - they knew so little about science.”


The goal of this blog is to post new translations of Jewish religious/intellectual works into English, and also to illuminate previously obscure sources. All questions, comments, and constructive criticism may be addressed to