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)
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.
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.
Almost immediatly after Rabbi Leib Tropper returned from Israel. He was asked to speak on the Island at a local synagogue. 62 participants came to participate in this night lecture and contributed in a way that all enjoyed. Though the weather was unfriendly, people came the Topic Rabbi Leib Tropper Discussed was ‘ Can one change’?
Rabbi Leib Tropper first quoted Maimondies that one should and could make changes in their Behavior. However , he thought that perhaps Maimondies meant changing behavior but not changing internally. Is it ok for one to be content though living with certain contradictions? Or is it ethically inappropriate and one must resolve the contradictions , the Divide in oneself? It is assumed that in order to change one must resolve their Inner spiritual conflict….is that true?
Rabbi Leib Tropper quoted the Midrash in Bereishis tells us that when Man (in generic term) was about to be created, Hashem discussed it with the angels. Some angels protested because Man is full of lies’ which is synonymous with saying that Humans suffer from inconsistency and contradiction. Unquestionably it is unhealthy to live a life of contradiction and Split. Climbing the ladder of life is possible even if one lives with contradiction. Most people ,religious or non religious Live the life of ‘divide’ inner conflict and even contradiction.
Only G’D is without contradiction. As humans, perfection is imperfection ,Rabbi Leib Tropper says. Walt Whitman writes towards the end of his popular poem ‘leaves of grass’ ‘Do I contradict myself? Very well then…I contradict myself; I am large I contain Multitudes’. Rabbi Leib Tropper quoted Otto Rank , once a devout student of Freud in the 1920′s and then parted to deal with neurosis. In the book ‘A Psychology of Difference’ Rank makes a critical Observation (pg 47) “a fully functioning person “must learn to live (leben lernen)to live with his split,his conflict,his ambivalence , which NO therapy can take away, for if it could , it would take with it the actual spring of life” Rabbi Leib Tropper was fielding questions for a while after the Lecture. I felt excited to be there.
Written by David Gold
A teacher and philosopher, Rabbi Leib Tropper is committed to positively influencing individuals and teaching them to make better decisions. One of the ways in which Leib Tropper accomplishes this is through his involvement with the organization Character First.
The group was founded based on the idea that teaching children simple values can make them more successful adults. One of the ways this can be accomplished is through teaching children the importance of financial responsibility. Following is a list of ways to instill financial responsibility in children:
- Be a good financial role model. Engage in family budget meetings and help children learn how to communicate about money. Explain to them the difference between needs and wants.
- Teach personal responsibility. An allowance should not be free money, but rather it should be connected to specific jobs.
- Provide children with financial goals. One way this can be done is by labeling three containers for saving, spending, and giving. Discuss weekly goals and create a plan to achieve them.
- Learn to keep track of money. Something as simple as a pen and paper can help children to keep track of their money. Allow them to add it up and formulate a budget.
This past month Rabbi Leib Tropper celebrated two special Occasions .One was the Wedding of his grandson held during the last week of December and the other Was the Bar Mitzva of a grandson held on Parshas B’shalach. The Wedding was celebrated with much festivity and joy with An oversized crowd of participants.
The Choson’s Rebbeim and Other Roshei Yeshiva joined in this momentous occasion. During Rabbi Leib Tropper’s stay in Eretz Yisroel he lectured and delivered shiurim in a few Israeli Kolelim.
Rabbi Leib Tropper had the opportunity to meet with a few Gedolei Yisroel, shlita. An Alumni reunioun was one of the highlights of the trip. 40 couples paticipated in the Melave Malka full of Divrei Torah And song .
Actively involved in New York’s thriving Jewish community, Rabbi Leib Tropper founded the Kol Yaakov Yeshiva and Torah Center in Monsey, New York. A respected author, Rabbi Leib Tropper recently published two books that address Jewish responsa.
Responsa is a Jewish practice dating back to the geonic period, when Jewish scholars requested information on Jewish law from recognized authorities in Babylonian communities. The information they required often pertained to new situations that were not specifically addressed by the Talmud. The responses (known as geonic responsa) were collected and printed, sometimes several centuries later. The practice continues today, and responsa by well-respected rabbis are still published, sometimes electronically.
An example of a 19th century dilemma considered by responsa was the introduction of electricity. Scholars were uncertain whether the use of an electric light would be seen as creating fire, an activity forbidden on the Sabbath. Today, more than 2,000 responsa have been published, and serve as an important supplement to Jewish law, and a trove of information for the study of Jewish cultural and social history.