Caucus in Pennsylvania

Is Judaism rational?

Joining Rabbi Leib Tropper at his lectures, discussions and caucuses is a pleasure. This past week Rabbi Leib Tropper joined a caucus held in Southern Pennsylvania discussing rationality and Judaism. One of the earlier figures of Jewish enlightenment was Moses Mendelssohn. The enlightenment Movement attempted to put tremendous emphasis on reason over clerical authority. Riding on The back of this “enlightenment” was a Judaism prepared for reform based on their ideals.

Rabbi Leib Tropper continued by challenging the idea that their is an independent “rationale” Other than G’d’s. The source of all wisdom from a Religious perspective is G’D ,hence Modifying practices that are divine in the face of the eternal wisdom of G’D is foolish and no Less arrogant.

 Unfortunately, subsequent derivatives of Mendelssohn like Geiger expanded Mendelssohn’s Heresy to the extreme conclusion that parts of Halacha are historical relics.

The lack of knowledge compounded by the hubris that was the composition of men like Geiger And his ilk demonstrated earned him great embarrassment in the Orthodox circles.The Eternal wisdom of Torah is rooted in the eternity of G’D . Is G’D not rational? Rabbi Leib Tropper continued to present the arguments against Mendelssohn from his Contemporaries.

(Written by David Gold)

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Psychology-The religion of and for the self

Rabbi Leib Tropper was the third speaker at this forum. He opened his statement by stating that Theories and practices of psychology , however the name are rooted and sometimes directed By Freud. Adlerian therapy, Rogerian therapy, Reikian therapy, Imago therapy and parts of Fritz Pearls Gestalt therapy are built on the foundation of the Godless Jew , Sigmund Freud.

In Judaism ( Rabbi chaim of Volozin) the purpose of the self is to cultivate a selflessness which Declares the divinity of the human soul. In the universe of pathetic reductionists particularly Freud and Novelist Ayn Rand aka Alysa Rosenbaum, the “self” is for cultivating “selfism” and Worshipping it.

Rabbi Leib Tropper continued by asking the participants to try to comprehend and To understand the tragic impact of Freudian psychology and it’s branches have on values We must first concur that Human behavior is Primarily ethical behavior.

The reflex declaration of the Freudian practioner is humanly crippling . By attaching scientific Adjectives to character malfunctions we undermine the principle of personal responsibility.
Freudian psychology as currently practiced allows the world to regard many individuals as ” irresponsible patients” to borrow a phrase from Thomas Szaz.

Written by David Gold


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Anger- The Nemesis of Character

Once again Rabbi Leib Tropper was asked to share some words Regarding the above topic.

This took place in Eastern Long Island. The 18 participants were Members of the Executive circle Of the Character first program. I was privileged to be able to join.

Rabbi Leib Tropper opened his Discussion with a quote from the Book ‘Anger: The Misunderstood Emotion’ by the noted author Carol Tavris. She writes in the first chapter of her book that “Caged anger over time will dissipate” meaning that outbursts of anger or rage are Never justified though Common.

The Kabbalist, The Alshich writes That expressing anger on Shabbos is a violation of the sanctity of Shabbos. Rage invites all sorts of physical and spiritual maladies. The domino effect on other emotions is nothing less than Devastation.

President FDR told a friend a few Minutes before he was going to Deliver an angry message in a public speech ‘This is the best speech I will ever regret’!

(To be continued)

Written by David Gold


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Lecture in Middletown , New York

Rabbi Leib Tropper was invited to discuss certain parts of the character First program He is involved with, in Middletown, New York. I attended the discussion together with Twenty two participants who were ,for  the most part, physicians. I tried to capture the Main parts and write it down. The topic was “apology”

Rabbi Leib Tropper opened the discussion with a quote from a respected British Historian And essayist : ” The Greatest of all faults is to be conscious of none”.(Thomas Carlyle)

This remark is profound. It however is not novel. The DNA of human existence from the Days of his creation on, is to be overwhelmed by temptation . It comes in various colors And degrees. Some by  money , some by glory , some by self gratification etc…

In genesis the Biblical phrase is clear “for Man’s impulse is BAD from his youth” To be obstinate in the belief that man escapes wrongdoing is a violation of multiple Torah teachings. Though the Evil impulse is not indomitable the wrong doings of humans, Not born out of ‘evil’ are immutable facts.

Why don’t we readily apologize when we should? Well, sometimes one feels that ״apologizing” Makes them appear weak. That is fallacious thinking.  The Great Teacher ,Rav Nachman writes That the “The wrongness of doing something wrong is not recognizing the ‘wrong’”.There is much strength in mobilizing the inner deep feelings to admit to the wrongness of one’s actions and apologize ,weakness only lies in the inability to galvanize that strength .

Another common excuse for not apologizing is the remark of Hubris ” I didn’t do anything Wrong”. For this absence of probity few remedies exist. The provincial mind doesn’t allow For the “bigness” required to live with the virtue of “apology”.

The participants enjoyed the discussion. The discussion was for 1 hour.Image

Part 1- written by David Gold

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Truth and lies- part 1

Rabbi Leib Tropper was invited to speak upstate in a university. The topic was titled “Truth and lies and all in between”. Most participants were graduating students. One of the Professor’s introduced my Teacher, Rabbi Leib Tropper. Rabbi Leib Tropper brought up the Biblical story of the patriarch Jacob who identified himself To his father Issac as Esau which appears as untrue in the conventional understanding of The word ‘truth’.

The Torah position is that the only truth is what G-D declares to be true. In that sense since the Blessings come from G-D and we’re designed for Jacob any one attempting to alter The recipient ,is actively lying to G-D. This is the understanding of many particularly Hagaon  Harav Leib Chasman ob’m of Hebron. There is also the astounding Biblical story of Cain killing His brother Abel. Rabbi Leib Tropper pointed out that though Cain was severely punished for Killing Abel he was not punished for DENYING to G-D that he had killed Cain when G-D asked Him.

The famous author Celia Bok in her book “Lying” defines the crime of lying as depriving one Of their rightful access to information also to be interpreted as sub-category of stealing.Hence if one is asked by a thief if they have hundreds of dollars in their possession and The victim denies it ,there is no crime of lying even if the victim does have the money and is Verbally altering the fact.

We will continue this article in a few days.

(Written by David Gold)

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The Talmud – A Brief Historical Overview

Leib Tropper is the founder of Kol Yaakov Yeshiva and Torah Center and a key figure in the Jewish community of New York. A strong advocate for lifelong self-betterment through learning, Rabbi Leib Tropper continues to read the Talmud on a daily basis with a group of dedicated colleagues.

The Talmud is a large collection of Jewish laws and doctrines that were written by a group of rabbis before the 8th century, A.D. Having experienced extreme persecution and chaos, the rabbis decided to create a written record of the Oral Torah. Composed in Hebrew, the Mishnah, a concise collection of laws, was completed under the leadership of Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi.

Some years later, the Jerusalem Talmud was created in order to complement the Mishnah with more detailed explanations. This second part is also sometimes known as the Gemara. Together, the Mishnah and the Gemara form the Talmud that exists today, consisting of more than 6,000 pages. The vital information contained in the Talmud is often a point of reference for discussions of Jewish law and ethics. The authoritative version most commonly used today is the Babylonian Talmud, rather than the original Jerusalem Talmud.

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Rav Scheinberg, Founder of the Yeshiva Torah Ore in Jerusalem, Israel

While working toward becoming a rabbi, Leib Tropper studied under various Jewish leaders and educators, including Maran HaGaon Harav Chaim P. Scheinberg. A scholar and teacher of the Talmud, Rabbi Leib Tropper continues to be influenced by Rav Scheinberg and the education he received from the Yeshiva Torah Ore.

The Yeshiva Torah Ore was founded by Rav Scheinberg in 1960 and is located in Jerusalem, Israel. The school promotes education in Halachic ideals among the Orthodox Jewish community and has become a Talmudic institution in the Kiryat Mattersdorf neighborhood.

During his tenure, Rav Scheinberg was committed to his students’ education as well as their well-being. During the 1967 Six-Day War, he stayed in refuge alongside his students in a bomb shelter. Rav Scheinberg remained with the school until his passing in March 2012.

Prior to forming the Yeshiva Torah Ore in 1960, Rav Scheinberg was the mashgiach ruchani of Yeshiva Chofetz Chaim in New York for 25 years, as well as the Rav of Congregation Bakash Shalom Anshei Ostrov.

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