Thursday, May 13, 2010

Decisions, decisions...

Please answer the new two polls.

In the first poll, it’s very important to know that I am not talking about Halacha (of course, preserving your health is Halacha, but the question here is how to do it most effectively). For example, in many works of Chassidus it says that signal transduction between the brain and the foot takes no time. Modern science says that it does, and this has been shown beyond any shadow of doubt. If you have to make a decision (for yourself or others) between, say, two courses of treatment: one assuming that there is no time lag, and one assuming that there is, which one would you choose?

(If you don’t care about works of Chassidus, pick something in Gemara or something in the words of Rishoinim or Acharoinim, etc.)

In the second poll, I am asking for the deepest possible answer. Obviously, a person could have all four motivations in mind — I am asking which one is the most important. Also, when I say “it’s morally wrong”, I mean something which is objectively and naturally wrong — whether or not there was a gezeira from Hashem telling you it’s wrong (and whether or not you know that Hashem will be pleased, if such an arrangement is possible). And, I am asking you to give a realistic answer about yourself — i.e., what your motivation is. Not what it should be.

18 comments:

e said...

I read this post and thought you had some serious polls up. Then I saw the frivolous options you gave us.

A Pseudo-Chossid said...

(Of course, in the first poll, only the first two choices are serious, and in the second — only the first four.)

A Pseudo-Chossid said...

Actually, I added new choices.

Michael said...

The second poll is the Machloikes between R'Akiva and R' Yishmoel as to whether the Jewish people answered Hein or Lav to the negative Mitzvois, per the Sicha in Chelek Vov, Parshas Yisro.
For me, the answer is Lav, because I live in a world of Eloikus B'Hischadshus, but, from a theoretical perspective, I find R' Akiva's point of view more appealing.
So, how would you want me to vote? I guess you are saying that I should give my actual answer, not the one that I believe in more, so I should vote according to R' Yishmoel.

Michael said...

The first question is very hard to answer, because there are no actual cases like that. But, if there were such a case, it seems to me that the Halacha is that you have to follow the experts in the field, especially because the Pshat in Chassidus is subject to debate

A Pseudo-Chossid said...

What do you mean, there are no actual cases like this? I gave you an example.

How is pshat subject to debate? The guy who translated Derech Mitzvosecho says: “Were the soul to exist only in the brain and not in the foot, the foot’s response to the mind’s command would require a proces of communication and interface as one frame of reference relates to another. For example, when two people communicate, even though one is willing to do what the other says without any question, a communication process — which takes time — is necessary for the one to express his will and the other to understand it. With regard to the limbs of one’s own body, such a process of communication is not necessary. The fact that the body responds instantaneously indicates that throught exists inherently — albeit in a hidden manner — in all of the body’s limbs. (See Mitzvas Binyan Mikdash and Mitzvas Tzitzis for further explanation.)”

Now, the logic of the first sentence is actually debatable. One could conceive that the soul would exist in the foot and it would still take time for the foot to respond to the brain. Because I don’t really know what soul is and how it works (and what the mechanics of its relationship with the body is), you can say anything.

Also, it takes time for us to think, even though presumably, the soul is everywhere in the brain. Why don’t we think instantaneously? And if you say that we think only inside our soul¹, then the same question arises: why does it take time? For whatever reason it takes time for a thought to develop inside our soul (or inside the brain), it can also take for command and its execution to develop inside the soul as it is enclothed in the body (or inside the body).

Is it subject to debate that one’s seed is created by one’s brain?


In the second poll I asked that you answer how you feel. You told me yourself that very few people do mitzvos because they genuinely desire yichud of Kudshebrichu u’Shchintei. So, I am asking a similar thing here.

Mor said...

Couldn't the cause of emotional distress be ahava misuteres, so that is really the ultimate reason and you just aren't aware of it?

A Pseudo-Chossid said...

Were you being asked to worship idols?

Anyway, yes, that could be the case, but I am asking about things that the person is aware of.

Mor said...

Does ahava misuteres kicking in even for a rasha work for situations less extreme than idol worship? Is that discussed?
You asked about what the most important reason is.

A Pseudo-Chossid said...

When A"R talks about ahava mesuteres, he talks in terms of avoida zarah. He mentions that since committing any aveira is like a"z, a Jew can meditate on that and arouse ahava mesuteres, which will prevent him from doing the aveira.

I asked the most important reason that moves you to do it. You don’t know that ahava mesuteres moves you in a certain case. Mesuteres doesn’t mean subconscious. It means potential.

A Pseudo-Chossid said...

Well, actually, the love itself may always be present, but its effects are not; they are in potential.

Mor said...

I know that. What I am asking is: A"R cites example of a"z as something that even a kal shebikalim would be willing to die for, even without any prior meditation. So I am just wondering if it is a formal thing that a"m just springs from potential to actual in the case of a"z (without meditation), or if it can happen in other cases as well.

A Pseudo-Chossid said...

I don’t know if it happens in other cases. Seemingly not. Jews commit murder and forbidden sexual contacts all the time, but idol worship — presumably much more rarely because of a"m.

I think the point is that in the case of a"z, a Jew openly separates himself from G-d. But a Jew cannot separate himself from G-d, because he has a"m. In the case of a"z, the separation is obvious, and that causes a"m to stop the Jew from worshiping idols. But in the case of running over the girl riding a bike, the separation is not so obvious — at least for most people.

Maybe I should have added the choice: “Because I don’t want to separate myself from G-d”.

Mor said...

Fine. But just because the a"m doesn't always automatically act in those cases doesn't mean that it couldn't. But you would need to have a logical recognition of the fact that something will separate you from Hashem in order for a"m to work automatically? That makes sense actually.

A Pseudo-Chossid said...

If a Jew is constantly aware of the fact that any aveira will separate him from Hashem, then I could see that a"m would be constantly active. But I am not sure.

Mor said...

Well, of course in that case it would be! That is a huge point of Tanya - how to be a beinoni even if you are incapable of avoda. Make sure that your are constantly aware that every aveira seperates you from Hashem. That is being a beinoni using the a"m.

A Pseudo-Chossid said...

But most Jews are not beinonim, so I suppose, that answers your
question (can it be a"m motivating one in the case of the girl on bike
-- it can, but it's unlikely).

Mor said...

I was really asking about whether it could be the ahava misuteres without the person realizing it. Now I see that that is impossible - there must be consciousness for a"m to work.