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Unread 11-19-2003, 11:50 AM   #1
Yankel Nosson
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Emunah

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"OUR G-D AND G-D OF OUR FATHERS..." -- TWO TYPES OF FAITH

"We say in our prayers, 'Our G-d and the G-d of our fathers...' The reason for this is that there are two types of people who believe in Hashem. The first believes because he follows the ways of his fathers, strongly maintaining their tradition of faith. The second is the one who gains faith through reason and analysis. There is an important difference between the two types of individuals. The first one has the advantage that he cannot be tempted, even if he is confronted with philosophical proofs that might contradict his faith, because he relies upon the traditions of his fathers and his faith is not dependent upon speculation. On the other hand, this person also has a disadvantage. His faith is not well reasoned, nor thought out, and is essentially based upon habit.

The second type's advantage is that he has discovered Hashem through logic, and is very strong in his faith. [His faith is strongly bound to his mind which leads him to the level of] absolute love. The flaw is this type is that he can be persuaded by logic, and if confronted with proofs that tear down the logical structure [of his faith], he can be tempted away. The person who attains his faith through both these methods has every advantage. He depends strongly on the traditions of his forefathers, while at the same time taking advantage of his ability to think things out. He thus has the best and most perfect faith. When we say, 'Our G-d and G-d of our fathers..." [we thus allude to both paths of faith in Hashem]".

(Sefer Baal Shem Tov, Parshas Noach 141)
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Unread 11-19-2003, 06:50 PM   #2
Jude
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there's a third factor, i.e. that we are innately Believers, "maaminim bnei maaminim"
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Unread 11-19-2003, 09:55 PM   #3
Yankel Nosson
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"Pesi yaamin l'kol davar."
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Last edited by Yankel Nosson; 11-20-2003 at 01:07 PM.
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Unread 11-20-2003, 10:33 AM   #4
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what's your point?
the Chazal I quoted is about belief in G-d, the pasuk you quote is about naivete
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Unread 11-20-2003, 10:42 AM   #5
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That pasuk also applies to Moshe Rabeinu
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Unread 11-20-2003, 10:43 AM   #6
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I'm all ears. Please elaborate. The heck with the thread topic.
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Unread 11-20-2003, 01:38 PM   #7
Yankel Nosson
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jude
what's your point?
the Chazal I quoted is about belief in G-d, the pasuk you quote is about naivete
The posuk from Mishlei is not merely that!

If Shlomo Hamelech wanted to tell us that a simpleton will believe anything they hear, 1) we don't need sifrei kodesh to tell us that, and 2) we know from experience that it's wrong: even simpletons believe some things and not others. The biggest simpleton doesn't believe that the world is flat and the world is round.

Rather, the posuk is telling you that because a simpleton is a fool--he lacks the ability to think things through--everything that he he holds true must be via emunah. An engineer knows that his bridge proposal will support the weight of rush-hour traffic; me, not knowing engineering, can only believe it to be true.

There is emunah in Hashem and also knowledge of Hashem. From a given level of emunah, one can "graduate" to knowledge. And having acheived that knowledge, a new, higher level is available to him only through emunah. And so on.

Ma'aminim bnei ma'aminim is simply the reason why emunah is accessable to every Jew. It is not a "third factor" (as though the divrei Torah of the Besh"t need a tikkun, chv"sh!).
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Unread 11-20-2003, 02:33 PM   #8
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obviously, it's not about correcting the Besht whose Torah focuses on that which is not innate
perhaps in that sense, it is correct to say it is not a third factor, but the factor that precedes the other two
AFAIK "maaminim bnei maaminim" is not "simply a reason why emuna is accessible" to every Jew, for emuna is not merely accessible (i.e. either one accesses it or they don't) but innate, an inseparable part of a Jew
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Unread 11-20-2003, 03:56 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jude
AFAIK "maaminim bnei maaminim" is not "simply a reason why emuna is accessible" to every Jew, for emuna is not merely accessible (i.e. either one accesses it or they don't) but innate, an inseparable part of a Jew
As stated in Lessons in Tanya (Igeret HaKodesh - Chapter 11):

"The Alter Rebbe therefore begins this letter in the singular, indicating that every single individual can attain this level of divine service. For it requires only an absolute faith in G-d, and this lies hidden within every Jew; let him but unveil this faith, and he will be able to live by it."
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Unread 11-20-2003, 04:19 PM   #10
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thanks for the textual support for what I said (beyond the Chazal) about emuna being innate in every Jew
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Unread 11-20-2003, 04:45 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jude
thanks for the textual support for what I said (beyond the Chazal) about emuna being innate in every Jew
What chiddush do you think you bring here?

The point is as stated previously: "maaminim bnei maaminim" is the reason why emunah is accessable to every Jew (i.e., it is an innate, hidden quality of very Jew).
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Unread 11-20-2003, 04:58 PM   #12
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I explained it post #8. There's an enormous (ein aroch) difference between something that is accessible and something which is innate.
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Unread 11-20-2003, 05:22 PM   #13
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"the Besht whose Torah focuses on that which is not innate"
Chochma and bina are not innate?! "Reason and analysis" are not innate?!

"emuna is not merely accessible"
A Jew eating pork on Yom Kippur, r"l, is definitely not accessing his innate emunah. But, says the Alter Rebbe, if he is confronted with bowing to an idol he will access this emunah, that is to say it will be revealed within him, and he will prefer to die rather than deny G-d's oneness.
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Last edited by Yankel Nosson; 12-02-2003 at 11:37 AM.
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Unread 12-02-2003, 10:47 AM   #14
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When I used the phrase "the Besht's Torah" I was referring to the Torah teaching quoted in post #1.

I had the thread reviewed, and was told that my posts are on the mark.
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