Sunday, October 21, 2018

Also from Reb Chaim, on Yisurin

Also from Reb Chaim, on yisurin. I particularly like the paragraph on gilgulim. Secular research on reincarnation (via hypnosis) also reveals that neshamos are parties to the choice of their circumstances in their next sojourn down here. 

From the Divrei Si'ach to Parashas Noach.


81 comments:

  1. I would love to see this in English. I am a convert, and I cannot read this yet.

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  2. Rabbi Bechofer,
    You seem to have no inkling of what hypnosis actually is and just how suggestible people are during it.
    see here for details:https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319251.php
    Also numerous times people who've recounted alleged past life stories have been revealed to be products of imagination when fact-checked.
    Also when analyzed by linguists people don't speak languages they don't know any better than me trying to guess-speak chinese.

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    1. I find the work of Dr. Michael Newton compelling.

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    2. From Wikipedia
      " The use of hypnosis and suggestive questions can tend to leave the subject particularly likely to hold distorted or false memories.[3] The source of the memories is more likely cryptomnesia and confabulations that combine experiences, knowledge, imagination and suggestion or guidance from the hypnotist than recall of a previous existence. Once created, the memories are indistinguishable from memories based on events that occurred during the subject's life.[1][2] Memories reported during past-life regression have been investigated, and revealed historical inaccuracies that are easily explained through a basic knowledge of history, elements of popular culture or books that discuss historical events. Experiments with subjects undergoing past-life regression indicate that a belief in reincarnation and suggestions by the hypnotist are the two most important factors regarding the contents of memories reported.[1][4][5]"
      [1] Carroll RT (2003). The Skeptic's Dictionary: a collection of strange beliefs, amusing deceptions, and dangerous delusions. New York: Wiley. pp. 276–7. ISBN 0-471-27242-6.
      [4]
      Spanos NP (1996). Multiple Identities & False Memories: A Sociocognitive Perspective. American Psychological Association (APA). pp. 135–40. ISBN 1-55798-340-2.
      [5]
      Sumner, D (2003). Just Smoke and Mirrors: Religion, Fear and Superstition in Our Modern World. San Jose, [Calif.]: Writers Club Press. pp. 50. ISBN 0-595-26523-5.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Past_life_regression

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    3. Thank you for including the references. Not exactly non-biased sources... ;-)

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    4. By definition every source has a bias.

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  3. RYGB,
    What exactly is your understanding of what hypnosis is?
    I'm different from the prior commentor.

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    1. Hypnosis evidently taps into a person's unconscious thought and either issues to it instructions or elicits from it memories forgotten to the conscious mind.

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    2. Out of curiosity, have you ever been hypnotized?

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  4. Hypnosis is ridiculous nonsense
    Most of these inductions basically consist of stepping on someone's foot and ekraing b'kol gadol "SLEEP"https://britishhypnosisresearch.com/hypnosis-techniques/

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    1. Really...

      https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/hypnosis

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    2. When they're in a highly suggestible מתנמנם state where they can be guided to recall fake memories (and hence memories recovered under hypnosis are inadmissible in court) by accident or intentionally is unreliable scientifically speaking.

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    3. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/hypnosis-memory-brain/

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    4. How exactly may I ask does a study showing that people can be instructed to remember or forget things in hypnosis prove that they can remember past lives of dubious existence
      https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/media-spotlight/201211/implanting-false-memories
      Memories recovered by hypnosis are of dubious reliability

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    5. Damn my generation is screwed
      https://bigthink.com/philip-perry/scientists-have-discovered-how-to-implant-false-memories

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  5. I have a ra'ayah from the Gemara against Gilgulim from Bava Metzia 107A
    ברוך אתה בבואך וברוך אתה בצאתך שתהא יציאתך מן העולם כביאתך לעולם מה ביאתך לעולם בלא חטא אף יציאתך מן העולם בלא חטא
    This contradicts gilgulim because if someone is born sinless than he has nothing to atone for defeating the entire point of gilgulim.Checkmate.

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    1. According to the Arizal it is not enough that you did not sin. You must keep coming back until you have fulfilled all the mitzvos of the Taryag.

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  6. Rabbi Bechofer,
    How exactly should one fulfill the following mitzvos today (list taken from antzaklipedia Yehudit)
    שמט: מצוות עשה - לעבוד בעבד כנעני לעולם
    נ: מצוות עשה - להרוג בסייף להמחויב סייף
    צג: מצוות לא תעשה - שלא לכרות ברית לז' אומות ולכל עובדי עבודה זרה
    צד: מצוות לא תעשה - שלא ישבו עכו"ם בארצנו
    צה: מצוות עשה - לבנות בית מקדש
    Just to name a few which we can't do now. If you hold like that then God's setting us up for failure(list from http://www.daat.ac.il/encyclopedia/value.asp?id1=1601)

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    1. There weren't as many Jews around in Shlomo's time as there are nowadays to build a beis hamikdash. And you have more than Double than according to the Torah what we had when entering ארץ ישראל. So unless one soul shares a body with another please explain how this is supposed to work.

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    2. It's gonna be hard for me to argue against you from mathemtical impossiblility if you don't "do numbers" (whatever that means).

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    3. It means I am not good at math and have a mental block against it.

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    4. How exactly do you pay for anything without math or keep a budget or anything math related?

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    5. Does your landlord kick you out of the house constantly? How do you have running water and electricity if you don't pay the bills?

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  7. Rabbi Bechofer, according to the census numbers in Shmuel beis 24 there were 1,300,000 (800,000 in Israel and 500,000 in Judah) men aged 20-60 in Dovid's time among the Jews tripling that number to account for women and children only gets you to 3,900,000 for Shlomo's time a far cry away from 12 million.
    The population of Yehud Medinata during the Bayis Sheni Period was even according to Ezra and Nechemiah no greater than 100,000 at absolute maximum. In other words the number of souls to do the mitzva of building the Beis Hamikdash doesn't match up with population numbers making the Arizal's claim impossible. (Unless he means we only break out of the gilgul when Mashiach comes and Bayis shlishi is built.)

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    1. Rabbi Bechofer,
      I did the number crunching for you. Will you abandon gilgulim now?

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    2. I thought it was a davar pashut that they do it with Bnyan Bayis Shelishi.

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    3. So no one can break out of the גלגול cycle until משיח comes? Not even an innocent baby?

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    4. According to the Arizal, perhaps not. But I would assume that even according to him, if one fulfills a "bechina" of Binyan Beis HaMikdash, like building a shul, that will fit the bill.

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  8. On a seperate topic how do you deal with the contradictions between normative morality and halahic morality.
    For example the laws of warfare vs the rules of war nowadays(quote from Devarim 20)
    כִּֽי־תִקְרַ֣ב אֶל־עִ֔יר לְהִלָּחֵ֖ם עָלֶ֑יהָ וְקָרָ֥אתָ אֵלֶ֖יהָ לְשָׁלֽוֹם׃וְהָיָה֙ אִם־שָׁל֣וֹם תַּֽעַנְךָ֔ וּפָתְחָ֖ה לָ֑ךְ וְהָיָ֞ה כָּל־הָעָ֣ם הַנִּמְצָא־בָ֗הּ יִהְי֥וּ לְךָ֛ לָמַ֖ס וַעֲבָדֽוּךָ׃וְאִם־לֹ֤א תַשְׁלִים֙ עִמָּ֔ךְ וְעָשְׂתָ֥ה עִמְּךָ֖ מִלְחָמָ֑ה וְצַרְתָּ֖ עָלֶֽיהָּ׃וּנְתָנָ֛הּ ה' אֱלֹהֶ֖יךָ בְּיָדֶ֑ךָ וְהִכִּיתָ֥ אֶת־כָּל־זְכוּרָ֖הּ לְפִי־חָֽרֶב׃רַ֣ק הַ֠נָּשִׁים וְהַטַּ֨ף וְהַבְּהֵמָ֜ה וְכֹל֩ אֲשֶׁ֨ר יִהְיֶ֥ה בָעִ֛יר כָּל־שְׁלָלָ֖הּ תָּבֹ֣ז לָ֑ךְ וְאָֽכַלְתָּ֙ אֶת־שְׁלַ֣ל אֹיְבֶ֔יךָ אֲשֶׁ֥ר נָתַ֛ן ה' אֱלֹהֶ֖יךָ לָֽךְ׃כֵּ֤ן תַּעֲשֶׂה֙ לְכָל־הֶ֣עָרִ֔ים הָרְחֹקֹ֥ת מִמְּךָ֖ מְאֹ֑ד אֲשֶׁ֛ר לֹא־מֵעָרֵ֥י הַגּֽוֹיִם־הָאֵ֖לֶּה הֵֽנָּה׃

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    1. Anyone willing to keep Sheva Mitzvos Bnei Noach is not put to death.

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    2. That's not exactly hinted to by וְהִכִּיתָ֥ אֶת־כָּל־זְכוּרָ֖הּ לְפִי־חָֽרֶב and sounds suspiciously like an example of adopting Halacha to modern morality whcih the RW bashes 24/7.

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    3. Granted you may not hold that there's anything wrong with that like me whether it's tradition or not.
      Although you have a number of other ones (just 3 which come to mind.)
      -Given that freeing an eved kenaani is assur it seems like the Torah meant to make permanent rules about slavery and that in the Torah's ideal world in which the Yidden never did Aveiros Slavery wouldn't be abolished.
      -Moshe commanding his troop to kill all Midianite men without any "but if they agree to accept the sheva mitzvos bnei noach" dispensation. "וְעַתָּ֕ה הִרְג֥וּ כָל־זָכָ֖ר בַּטָּ֑ף וְכָל־אִשָּׁ֗ה יֹדַ֥עַת אִ֛ישׁ לְמִשְׁכַּ֥ב זָכָ֖ר הֲרֹֽגוּ׃" (Bamidbar 31:17)


      -Dovid's war crimes against the moabites
      וַיַּ֣ךְ אֶת־מוֹאָ֗ב וַֽיְמַדְּדֵ֤ם בַּחֶ֙בֶל֙ הַשְׁכֵּ֣ב אוֹתָ֣ם אַ֔רְצָה וַיְמַדֵּ֤ד שְׁנֵֽי־חֲבָלִים֙ לְהָמִ֔ית וּמְלֹ֥א הַחֶ֖בֶל לְהַחֲי֑וֹת וַתְּהִ֤י מוֹאָב֙ לְדָוִ֔ד לַעֲבָדִ֖ים נֹשְׂאֵ֥י מִנְחָֽה׃
      (Shmuel Beis 8:2)
      I found R.Weinberg's letter to Prof.Atlas dated to September 19,1957 interesting in this regard.(see: download.yutorah.org/1997/905/704650.pdf)

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    4. הלכות מלכים ומלחמות פרק ו
      א אין עושין מלחמה עם אדם בעולם, עד שקוראין לו לשלום--אחד מלחמת הרשות, ואחד מלחמת מצוה: שנאמר "כי תקרב אל עיר, להילחם עליה--וקראת אליה, לשלום" (דברים כ,י). אם השלימו, וקיבלו שבע מצוות שנצטוו בני נוח עליהן--אין הורגין מהן נשמה; והרי הן למס, שנאמר "יהיו לך למס--ועבדוך" (דברים כ,יא).

      ב קיבלו עליהן המס, ולא קיבלו העבדות, או שקיבלו העבדות, ולא קיבלו המס--אין שומעין להם: עד שיקבלו שניהם. והעבדות שיקבלו--היא שיהיו נבזים ושפלים למטה, ולא ירימו ראש בישראל, אלא יהיו כבושים תחת ידם; ולא יתמנו על ישראל, לשום דבר בעולם.

      ג והמס שיקבלו--הוא שיהיו מוכנים לעבודת המלך בגופם וממונם, כגון בניין החומות, וחיזוק המצודות, ובניין ארמון המלך וכיוצא בו: שנאמר "וזה דבר המס אשר העלה המלך שלמה, לבנות את בית ה' ואת ביתו ואת המילוא, ואת, חומת ירושלים . . . ואת כל ערי המסכנות, אשר היו לשלמה . . . ויעלם שלמה למס עובד, עד היום הזה. ומבני, ישראל, לא נתן שלמה, עבד: כי הם אנשי המלחמה, ועבדיו ושריו ושלישיו, ושרי רכבו, ופרשיו" (מלכים א ט,טו-כב).

      ד [ב] ויש למלך להתנות עימהם שייקח חצי ממונם, או הקרקעות ויניח כל המיטלטלין, או כל המיטלטלין ויניח הקרקעות--כפי מה שיתנו. [ג] ואסור לשקר בבריתם ולכזב להם, אחר שהשלימו וקיבלו שבע מצוות.

      ה [ד] ואם לא השלימו, או שהשלימו ולא קיבלו שבע מצוות--עושין עימהם מלחמה, והורגין כל הזכרים הגדולים, ובוזזין כל ממונם וטפם; ואין הורגין אישה ולא קטן--שנאמר "והנשים והטף" (ראה דברים כ,יד; וראה דברים ב,לד), זה טף של זכרים.

      ו במה דברים אמורים, במלחמת הרשות, שהיא עם שאר האומות. אבל שבעה עממין ועמלק שלא השלימו, אין מניחין מהם נשמה: שנאמר "כן תעשה לכל הערים . . . רק, מערי העמים . . . לא תחייה, כל נשמה" (דברים כ,טו-טז), וכן הוא אומר בעמלק "תמחה את זכר עמלק" (דברים כה,יט).

      ז ומניין שאינו מדבר אלא באלו שלא השלימו: שנאמר "לא הייתה עיר, אשר השלימה את ישראל, בלתי החיווי, יושבי גבעון: את הכול, לקחו במלחמה. כי מאת ה' הייתה לחזק את ליבם לקראת המלחמה את ישראל, למען החרימם" (ראה יהושוע יא,יט-כ)--מכלל ששלחו להם לשלום, ולא קיבלו.

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    5. One must assume that there was a Kerias Shalom and that the Midianites were not willing to accept subservience and shiva mitzvos.

      Note that the terms given here are very similar to Islam's Dhimma terms. Jews did pretty well under the Dhimma system, v'dok.

      I furthermore believe that the paramters of Tinok She'Nishba apply to non-Jews as well.

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    6. I can't answer Dovid's war crime. It does make me queasy. I don't have a problem with avdus for several reasons, not the least of which is the Hashgocho of the Industrial Revolution...

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    7. Why "must we assume" anything? Why couldn't the Halachic position on certain issues including the laws of war to quote Obama have "evolved" in accordance with changing morality? Additionally, while those Halachos are an improvement you're still talking about killing male-noncombatants come wartime and if they don't accept a krias shalom.

      --> Note that the terms given here are very similar to Islam's Dhimma terms. Jews did pretty well under the Dhimma system, v'dok.

      Rabbi Bechofer, have you read anything about the life of Yidden in Muslim countries?
      From:https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/the-treatment-of-jews-in-arab-islamic-countries
      "In the early years of the Islamic conquest, the "tribute" (or jizya), paid as a yearly poll tax, symbolized the subordination of the dhimmi. Later, the inferior status of Jews and Christians was reinforced through a series of regulations that governed the behavior of the dhimmi. Dhimmis, on pain of death, were forbidden to mock or criticize the Koran, Islam or Muhammad, to proselytize among Muslims or to touch a Muslim woman (though a Muslim man could take a non­Muslim as a wife).

      Dhimmis were excluded from public office and armed service, and were forbidden to bear arms. They were not allowed to ride horses or camels, to build synagogues or churches taller than mosques, to construct houses higher than those of Muslims or to drink wine in public. They were not allowed to pray or mourn in loud voices-as that might offend the Muslims. The dhimmi had to show public deference toward Muslims-always yielding them the center of the road. The dhimmi was not allowed to give evidence in court against a Muslim, and his oath was unacceptable in an Islamic court. To defend himself, the dhimmi would have to purchase Muslim witnesses at great expense. This left the dhimmi with little legal recourse when harmed by a Muslim.(4)

      Dhimmis were also forced to wear distinctive clothing. In the ninth century, for example, Baghdad's Caliph al-Mutawakkil designated a yellow badge for Jews, setting a precedent that would be followed centuries later in Nazi Germany.(5)"
      Doesn't sound like very good living conditions if you ask me.

      --> I furthermore believe that the paramters of Tinok She'Nishba apply to non-Jews as well.
      That's highly debateable and definitely doesn't apply for "don't murder."
      https://judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/92144/is-there-a-status-of-tinok-shenishba-for-non-jews
      ->I don't have a problem with avdus for several reasons, not the least of which is the Hashgocho of the Industrial Revolution...
      Can you please elaborate.

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    8. 1. if you don't want to assume that, don't. Then the answer becomes: God's command, God will balance matters Up There or in another Gilgul.

      2. http://assets.press.princeton.edu/chapters/p10098.pdf See his conclusion there. Even if not, יאה עניותא לישראל.

      3. Reb Elchonon is pretty tough on non-Jews, and he

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    9. ...is tough on Religious Zionists too. :-)

      Nevertheless:

      בן נח נהרג בלא התראה (סנהדרין שם), שאזהרתם זוהי מיתתם (רש"י יבמות מז ב ד"ה ומודיעין). ונחלקו ראשונים:

      יש אומרים שמכיון שאין צריך התראה - נהרג אפילו בשוגג (רש"י מכות ט א ד"ה לפיכך; החינוך מצוה כו).
      ויש אומרים שאם שגג בכל המצוות פטור מכלום, חוץ מרוצח בשגגה, לענין זה שאם הרגו גואל-הדם (ראה ערכו) אינו נהרג עליו, ואין לו עיר מקלט (ראה ערך גלות), אבל בתי דינים אינם ממיתים אותו (רמב"ם י א), שאף על פי שאינו צריך התראה, מכל מקום צריך שנדע מתוך מעשיו שעשה הדבר במזיד ובכוונה (לחם משנה שם).
      ואף לדעה זו אין שוגג פטור אלא כשעבר בלא כוונה, כגון שבעל אשת חברו ודומה שהיא אשתו או שהיא פנויה, אבל אם ידע שהיא אשת חברו ולא ידע שהיא אסורה עליו, וכן אם הרג ולא ידע שאסור להרוג, הרי זה קרוב למזיד ונהרג, ולא תיחשב זאת להם לשגגה (רמב"ם שם), שבן נח נהרג על שהיה לו ללמוד - דרך ארץ - ולא למד, ולכן אבימלך, שלא למד, היה חייב מיתה (בבא קמא צב א, ומכות ט א וב, ורש"י שם ושם; רמב"ם שם. וראה ערך אומר מותר: בחיוב גלות).

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    10. 4. Avdus was essential to history until the Industrial Age. Were we to have had a Sanhedrin at the time, I am sure they would have abolished Avdus. If they needed a loophole to release slaves, there are easy workarounds.

      The system was meant to be updated and upgraded over time. Since we have been mostly a grand failure over the course of our collective history, we lost the mechanisms to accomplish those upgrades.

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    11. "1. if you don't want to assume that, don't. Then the answer becomes: God's command, God will balance matters Up There or in another Gilgul."
      Well does it? We know from תנורו של עכנאי that Halacha is in the hands of man and God ratifies it why couldn't that happen here?
      "2.http://assets.press.princeton.edu/chapters/p10098.pdf See his conclusion there. Even if not, יאה עניותא לישראל."
      Not having legal recourse can hardly be included in that.

      4. Avdus was essential to history until the Industrial Age.
      Is this really true? Wang Mang of the Xin dynasty in China abolished slavery in 9 C.E. In the early 6th century B.C.E Athens abolished debt slavery.Ashoka of the Maurya empire abolished the slave trade in India. In 873 Pope John VIII commanded under penalty of sin that all Christians who hold other Christians as slaves must set them free. In France in 922 the Council of Koblenz equated the enslavement and sale of a Christian with homicide. In 1102 the Council of London banned the slave trade. In 1117 Iceland abolished slavery.In 1214 the city of Korčula abolished slavery.In 1315 Louis X of France abolished slavery.In 1335 Sweden abolished slavery as did Poland in 1347 and the Ming dynasty in 1368. This is just to give some pre-industrial revolution examples.
      "The system was meant to be updated and upgraded over time. Since we have been mostly a grand failure over the course of our collective history, we lost the mechanisms to accomplish those upgrades."
      So if Israel become a Medinat Halacha tomorrow what would we do about slavery and the like?

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  9. Just before Shabbos, a small admonition for false argumentation: Yes, China abolished slavery (for whom?) in 9 CE. But it reestablished it in 12 CE!

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    1. In 9 BCE for everyone.
      The other medieval examples still stand.

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    2. Even if quickly reinstated it does show that the idea wasn't totally beyond the pale.

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    3. At that point Jews didn't have many slaves either. Soon it would be immaterial what they thought about slavery, as for the next 1900 years they would have no jurisdiction with which to issue legislation...

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    4. From Jewish Virtual Library
      "Opinions are divided among modern scholars whether and to what extent slavery was practiced in post-biblical times. There is repeated mention of Tebi, the slave of Rabban Gamaliel (Ber. 2:7; Pes. 7:2; Suk. 2:1), and a freed slave formerly belonging to Tobiah the physician (RH 1:7) is also mentioned. In amoraic sources there are reports of cases of men selling themselves into slavery as gladiators (Git. 46b–47a), apparently from dire necessity (TJ, Git. 4:9). There is a strong talmudic tradition to the effect that all bondage of Hebrew slaves had ceased with the cessation of jubilee years (Git. 65a; Kid. 69a; Ar. 29a; Maim. Yad, Avadim 2:10), which would mean that from the period of the Second Temple the practice of slavery was at any rate confined to non-Hebrew slaves."
      It wasn't necessarily something you wouldn't see. Remember Chazal doesn't make rules for cases which won't realistically happen.
      But in a modern medinat halacha they would have a say.

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    5. It was a tiyuvta of your claim that slavery wasn't practiced during the Bayis sheni period.

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    6. -->If they needed a loophole to release slaves, there are easy workarounds.
      What loopholes do you have in mind to proclaim liberty throughout the land?

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    7. I didn't say it wasn't practiced at all, and I wasn't referring to Bayis Sheni when it stood.

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    8. You can release an eved to make up a minyan... You could release an eved to make a Kiddush Hashem.

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    9. I know the source for the first but what about the latter?

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    10. My extrapolation based on the Yerushalmi on R' Shimon ben Shetach.

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  10. Also Dr.Bechofer I spoke with my informants on the subject of repressed memories retrieved by hypnosis and they're notoriously unreliable. Under hypnosis fake memories can be created by accident. One gave the example of a therapist telling a client "You're depressed and you don't know why. Do you remember your father ever touching you inappropriately in your younger years?" This can create a false memory and trigger a massive lawsuit and drive feminists and scientists insane as happened in the '90's. So, memories from non-existent prior "gilgulim" are not reliable.

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    1. I invite you to read Dr. Newton's books and then give me your opinion.

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    2. If you could point me to a PDF of it I'll read it. I don't have money to spend on it now. I invite to read:http://debunking-nonsense.blogspot.com/2013/03/past-life-regression.html
      Don't claim that I can't disprove it so you have license to believe it, im kein you have license to be a solipist as well.
      I can ask leading questions to get what answer I want even more so in hypnosis (If you want me to elaborate on this point just ask). To use an out-of-trance example by pollsters they'll ask "Do you support free Healthcare" instead of "Are you willing to pay the taxes neccessary to fund free Healthcare."

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    3. Rabbi Bechofer,
      Please explain the mechanism by which gilgulim should happen, what soul means, how is this soul influencing our behavior etc.

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    4. Start here:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vk5bSG78pbQ

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    5. One of his books is available as an audiobook:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YpU8ANIZMY

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    6. From 2:28 there
      "[He said to the client] tell me the source of your pain. Suddenly he was on the battlefield in France in a British division at the battle of the Somme and was being shot at."
      1.He should give some details of what he said which i can check up, you'd also need to demonstrate that the client didn't already know this information beforehand and it isn't his mind playing tricks on him.
      3:50
      "A lady came to me who complained of loneliness and isolation in society. She felt that she wasn't really a part of this world.That she just felt so dioriented with the life she was living and the people around her that she was thinking of suicide.And so again, I worked with the lady was with the man...So I asked this lady as I did the man 'Go to the source of your loneliness and lack of companionship'.And again she was very somnabulistic (note:he also said this for the man) she went very deep very quickly, she was a very good hypno[tic] subject.and she said 'I see them all my companions they're here in front of me.' ...and I thought 'what are we talking about?' Who are these people?...[She said] these are my spiritual soulmates and there's 8 of them and she described who they are."
      I am less blown away by this than he was to put it mildly. Firstly, this seems to only happen in highly somnabulistic subjects for some odd reason (I'm oh so sure that just MUST be a dumb coincidence).Secondly, why does he never relate the details she gave so I can fact-check it?
      That's for the first 5 minutes. I don't have time to watch the whole thing tonight, If you wish I'll continue watching tomorrow.

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    7. That's up to you. I find his work compelling.

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  11. This is your most commented on post ever Rabbi Bechofer.

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    1. The most commented post was:

      http://rygb.blogspot.com/2005/12/post-from-my-friend-reb-aaron-berger.html

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  12. http://skepdic.com/hypnosis.html

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  13. proof Gematria is nonsense
    ישו = ויכפר (316)
    היטלר = רחום(254)

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    1. It doesn't mean it's nonsense. It means that it cannot be the basis of a system. That's why Chazal call it parparo'os l'chochmo, not chochmo itself.

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    2. Well if you hold by no coincidences...

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    3. ...then there are always ways of reconciling. Even in the cases you cite. :-)

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    4. Here's some because I really need a hobby
      יהודים = 75 = לְחַבָּלָה
      The Tetragrammaton (for obvious reasons not used here) has the same Gematria as בחטאו (the Gematria of which is 26)
      How do we know Stalin is the gilgul of b'tzalel? Because (סטלין = ובצלאל (159
      משה has the same gematria as לעמרה (both being 345)
      משיח has the same gematria as הַנִּרְצָחָה (both being 348)
      יאשיהו = וכוש proving that Yoshiyahu was an ethiopian(332)
      ...then there are always ways of reconciling. Even in the cases you cite. :-)
      So let's here some ideas.

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    5. The ones where you add a prefix or suffix - to my mind - don't really count. It's kinda cheating. Hitler=Rachum is therefore the Big One here. But it's easy, because antithetical concepts balance each other!

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    6. Nice Job.
      P.S not adding a prefix or suffix in Hebrew is almost impossible. Hebrew is well known for it's conjugations. A sentence is on average double the size in English as in Hebrew.

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    7. Here's one not cheating one before shabbos
      כפר = ערל = 300

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    8. Easy. They're both covers. "The word itself comes from the verb kiper, meaning to cover or ignore. (It can also mean to deny; one who is "kafar b'ikar" denies the existence of God.) From this kapparah comes to mean "expiation;" something that wipes out or erases guilt or sin." https://www.thejc.com/judaism/jewish-words/kapparah-1.5311

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    9. What about Stalin and b'tzalel?

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    10. You added a Vav to Betzalel. But, granting the cheat for the moment, it's easy: Stalin in Russian means steel, and Betzalel was an ironworker...

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  14. Some advice to those commenting: if you wish to make an actually convincing argument, you have to start by trying to understand the other side. Someone who can't do "devil's advocate" will utterly fail to make a compelling case to the intelligent listener.

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