In which you will find
words of truth about
wisdom and halacha,
the knowledge of Chazal
and what is to be found to enlighten
an unknowing heart
and the reader will understand from it
the source of knowledge and wisdom
Please safeguard the sanctity of this page
The month of Marcheshvan, year 5759
“Ben Bag Bag said: Turn it over and turn it [again] for all is contained therein” (Avot, chapter 5, mishna 22).
We are lucky to have been judged worthy. After we publicized Pamphlet no. 1 in a new edition many readers have asked for the other pamphlets in their new form. We are now publishing Pamphlet no. 2 and soon will publish no. 3. Thanks to all those who contacted us and to those who held our hands in this work; the words will speak for themselves.
It is accepted by us that just as the Written Torah was given at Sinai, so too were the scientific words in the Talmud handed down from Sinai. These are the words of Chazal (Mesechet Rosh Hashanah 21b,), who said that 50 measures of understanding were created in this world and all were given to Moshe Rabbeynu OBM at Sinai aside from one, as it is said: “That You have made him little less than divine.” And so writes the Ramban in his introduction to Genesis, that the fifty measures of understanding are one measure of mineralogy and one measure of knowledge of ground plants, and one measure of knowledge of trees and animals and birds and reptiles, etc., etc.
In Pamphlet no. 1 we set out to check the knowledge of Chazal. We began with the issue of vermin (the problem of the louse which “does not multiply nor reproduce,” see there) and with G-d’s help we well showed that Chazal did not receive [information from] or did not understand Moshe Rabbeynu OBM; we have found that their knowledge of natural wisdom was as the knowledge of the wise men of those generations.
We have found in the Writings: “One should not validate the words of doctors against the words of the Sages which are as a pegs established forever,” the words of the “Chazon Ish” in Hilchot Treifot chapter 5 section 3.
And so wrote the Saba of Kelem “B’m’orot Gedolim,” “What the renowned wise man Aristotle, chief of philosophers, innovated in philosophy throughout his life, is found hidden and intended in one word by Rabbeynu Yonah in the book ‘Shaarei Teshuvah’.”
And now we will clarify the knowledge of Chazal about the anatomy of the animal, from which halacha in all issues of treifot were determined.We will prove, G-d willing, that the pegs of the sages are not established forever but rather the opposite.
One of the types of treifot is the drusa—an animal known to have been attacked by a beast of prey, and in Hulin page 42, in the mishna, they counted the prey saved from the attack of a wolf, and Rashi commented that it strikes with its nails and poisons it and burns it.
And so it is written in the Gemara, in Hulin page 53a: there is no prey except by forefoot, to exclude by hindfoot, there is no prey except in life, to exclude after death, and the Gemara adds that if it was preyed upon and [the attacker’s] forefoot was cut off before it managed to retract the forefoot it does not project its venom. And in the words of Chazal there: “Now, if you say unintentionally, is it necessary to say not after death? No, it is necessary, for if people cut its forefeet off while it was attacking you might think it discharges its venom when it inserts its nails. This comes to teach us that it discharges its venom when it retracts its nails.” That is to say, the projection of venom is only when the beast of prey’s claw is withdrawn from the animal or bird who was attacked.
And in order to remove all doubts, you should know that the animal is known as a drusa because of the projection of venom alone and not because of the penetration of nails to the internal organs of the bird or animal, since it would then be considered punctured and not drusa.
The whole issue of the drusa is also brought in the Cuzari (see there, fourth article, section 31) as a proof and sign of Chazal’s knowledge of realistic knowledge.
Yet here it is, simple and known to every schoolchild, that neither the lion nor the wolf nor the cat secrets any venom.
And the Sages’ claim that these animals secret venom is particularly difficult. The Rambam, in the laws of shechitah chapter 5, halacha 3 wrote, “And even though they all (all types of treifot) are law handed down by Moses on Sinai, since none are mentioned explicitly in the Torah except for the drusathey were stringent about it and every doubt which arises about a drusa makes it forbidden.”
It turns out, therefore, that the only treifah explicitly mentioned in the Torah is not found in reality at all!
And in the book “Mitchtav M’Eliyahu” by R’ Eliyahu Dessler (volume 4, page 355) he was asked about this issue and answered that one should not change halacha, even if its cause has ceased to be. The book’s editor, Rabbi Friedlander OBM, found a pretext that issue of the drusa is not the projection of venom but the fear of filth and dirt which accumulate under the nails, which could lead to pollution and could kill the slashed animal (and by this agrees that beasts of prey have no venom, nullifying the words of the holy Gemara!).
And if truth and honesty will guide you, you will understand and learn that this pretext does not at all hold true since Chazal explicitly stated that if you should cut off the forefoot before it retracts it is kosher, the venom only being projected when the forefoot is retracted. Were it for fear of pollution there would be no difference were they to cut off the forefoot before it was retracted (because if there is pollution it is specifically from the very moment the nail penetrates, as then the filth enters the body) and the law should have been that it certainly is treif.
And to reinforce our words I will further state that according to “Michtav M’Eliyahu” the pollution is what makes it trief, and logically there is no difference between a forefoot or hindfoot—with both of them the rule should be treif, but Chazal, in Hulin page 53a, say that it is considered as being drusa by forefoot, to exclude the hindfoot.
But the whole issue of venom in beasts of prey and all the halachot of the drusa which are learned from it have no hold in reality and a wise person will fall astonished and silent.
And if we are dealing with treifot, we will bring more from Masechet Hulin, page 45b,: “If it pierced the heart to its chamber, it is treif. Rabbi Zira asked: to the small chamber or the large chamber?” And Rashi interprets: “the large chamber, the middle chamber, the small chamber: there are many chambers around it,” end of quote. And so interprets the Ran.
And the Rashba, in “Torat HaBayit” wrote: There are three chambers to the heart, one is large in the center, and there are two smaller ones, one to the right and one to the left.
And so rules the Shulchan Aruch in Yoreh Deah, chapter 40: “The heart has three chambers, etc.”
And who is a fool and does not know that the heart has fourchambers, two large (ventricles) and two small (atria)?
About these the “Yad Yehuda” wrote in his laws of treifot, chapter 30: “And it is clear that our master the Rashba OBM was not an expert in this, it is only that this is how it appears from the view of the Gemara.” Cutting words. According to the author of “Yad Yehuda” not only did the Rashba, one of the greatest in his generation, make a mistake in a halachic issue, not only this, but he obtained his mistake from the Gemara which misled him. What can we say?
And who will remove the dust from the eyes of the author of the Tanya, whose words all are kaballah and the Divine spirit coming from his throat? He writes in Part A, chapter 9: “The left chamber of the heart is full of blood, etc. and also the right chamber of the heart which has no blood, as is written, ‘a wise heart to his right’.”
And it is known and obvious that in the cycle of blood there is blood in the right chamber.
It is obvious that an understanding of the actions of the heart and the cycle of blood in an animal’s body is predicated on correct knowledge of the anatomy of the heart and its functioning; anyone who is not expert in these simple and obvious matters can not be called a scholar nor an expert but an ignoramus, with all due respect. And how will one who is not expert in simple reality make halachic rulings?
About these did the “Yad Yehuda,” in the laws of treifot, say: “And we find that in some matters they were not fully expert, etc. and this is not to detract from their honor, as we have also found in the Gemara in Hulin 57a that Chizkiyah said a bird has no lung and Rabbi Yochanan said it has. The Gemara concluded ‘from the words of Baribi (Chizkiyah) it is obvious that he is not expert in fowl.” Because a leader of his generation like Chizkiyah did not know that birds have lungs is there no lessening of honor in the ignorance of the Achronim?
And look at the more difficult example of the sages’ ignorance of reality. In Hulin page 45b it is said, “Amimar said in Rabbi Nachman’s name, ‘there are three windpipes, one goes off to the heart and one goes off to the lungs and one goes off to the liver’.” And Rashi commented that the windpipe enters the chest and divides in three. According to Chazal through Rashi’s interpretation: the windpipe branches off to the lungs, the liver, and the heart.
And anyone who has eyes in his head knows that the windpipe goes only to the lungs and divides in two, one to the right lung and one to the left lung.
Go and learn how the laziness of rabbis in our generation preventsthem from learning and knowing matters which could not be more simple or clear: The author of “Kehilat Yaakov,” the Steipler, did not bother to check at all and wrote (in Hulin section 17) about the needle found in the liver, “that there is a vein which goes from the liver to the lung.”
This is not reality and is not correct at all. There is no vein which goes from the liver to the lung.
And on that same topic, the Rama (Yoreh Dayah, section 40, article 3) says: “If it (the needle) was only found in the large tube in the heart and the vessel to the outside, that is, next to the open area of the heart, if the head of the needle is as the seed of a date-palm, it is kosher, as something which enters through the windpipe to the tube and through to the heart.” And there never has been and never was any way through the windpipe to the tube of the heart.
And all these things are known not only to those with secular knowledge; here is what the “Yad Yehuda” (R’ Leibush Landa, who held the rabbinical post in the holy community of Kallis and the holy community of Mahlov and the holy community of Sadigora and there is buried) said on this matter in the introduction to chapter 30: “I always thought that the liver really hangs from the windpipe, since this is what it seems from Rashi’s interpretation on page 45b about ‘Amimar said…there are three pipes, one goes off to the heart, etc.’ and Rashi interpreted ‘that after the pipe enters the chest it splits in three,’ end of quote and that is what the world thinks, etc. but I have seen that really they (the liver and heart) have no connection to the windpipe. That the windpipe, after it enters the chest, splits in two, one enters one part of the lung and one the other. But the windpipe does not go to the heart and the liver at all. This I have seen with my own eyes and this is what is brought by surgical scholars.”
And we will stand shaken and see with our own eyes how the actual truth uproots the words of the Gemara and the Rishonim; it is the words of the doctors and surgical scholars which are found in reality, and they are as established pegs. Even according to the “Yad Yehuda” this is so. Opinion becomes fact, and he saw with his own eyes the mistakes of the Gemara and the poskim and related them. And every thoughtful person, educated in science, knows that the Gemara really did make many mistakes in matters of reality.
And is it possible, G-d forbid, that Chazal received mistakes from Mt.Sinai? G-d forbid we raise such a possibility. But if not, then it is certain that Chazal said these things based on their own knowledge. And if Chazal said what they did based on their own knowledge, what will be of the Oral Law?
And you, the thinking student and the thoughtful person, after being convinced again that Chazal did not correctly know more about natural things than their generation and it is not possible that the Holy Spirit assisted them, but that they said what they said from their own knowledge, do not follow blindly without convincing proof—not after claims which do not exist in clear, known reality and certainly not after excuses which merely push aside evidence. And you have no greater pushing aside of evidence than the common saying “that in a single word are hinted all the words of Aristotle…”
Because if the Tanaim and Amoraim, the Rishonim and Achronim made mistakes about things in reality and spoke of their own accord, how very much more so [is it true] that not in a single word nor in an entire book of Rabbeynu Yonah is there wisdom like the wisdom of the philosopher Aristotle, as the Saba of Kelem boasted above. The holy Rambam said that Aristotle was the chief of all philosophers and also said about him, in the book Moreh Nevuchim, section 2, chapter 14 about the commands of scholars, “And I will pay attention to nonesave Aristotle, for his opinions are worthy of study.” The scholar Aristotle looked at reality correctly and found therein the truth.
And you, too, search and constantly research the actual truth, proven facts, and that which can be examined and verified; remember that only from reality can come deductions and not the opposite.
And we will say, as a side-note, that after the first pamphlet was published, the newspaper “Yated Neeman” criticized us and did not rest until they accused us in articles of “apostasy of the worst and most poisonous sort,” that in our pamphlets there appear “distorted quotes of sources from the Torah and Chazal,” and other such difficult and pernicious things.
How can the truth be “apostasy”? Where, in all that was said, are there “poisonous things”? All that we said is in honorable language which honors all. It is not possible that truth and plain honesty are “poisonous things,” as it were. If there is one who disagrees with some or all of the issues, he should stand and say his piece without unfounded slander and defamation.
And if the people of “Yated Neeman” think that we have brought distorted quotes from the sources, would those honorable ones please be kind enough to print, in their newspaper, a Torah article which would show where and how those so-called distorted quotes were cited.
While we were dealing with these matters an announcement was publicized throughout Bnei Brak in the name of Rabbi Moshe Yehuda Leib Landa, head of the Bnei Brak Beit Din, about these pamphlets. What reason he had for calling us heretics and missionaries we do not know. The rabbi knows well who we are and from which yeshivas we have come. Are all Jews who seek knowledge and truth to be called heretics and missionaries? After all, we hate the Christian faith with all our heart and soul.
Perhaps he should be saddened once again that he has not found an answer to our precise words; a person is not blamed for words uttered in sorrow.
But the honorable Rabbi Landa did us a great service when he wrote about the pamphlets in his letter and made a comparison to a Torah scroll written by a heretic. The honorable Rabbi Landa went to great lengths to note that even if the scroll is exact, “he did not add to it nor take away from it,” even so it is forbidden. He wanted to warn against the pamphlets, even if there were no changes, no additions or distortions in all the words of the Gemara, Rishonim and Achronim. And it is so; everything we have brought is exactly as in the sources, we have not added nor taken away.
And may Rabbi Landa be our honest advocate against false charges of distortion which have been launched against us by the people of “Yated Neeman.”
And you who thirsts for the truth, if you have thoughts and ideas or questions or disagreements with what we have written in these pamphlets, please write to us at the post office box number which appears here. We promise, on our honor, to maintain the confidentiality of those who write and what they write. We also promise to give a full and correct answer to all correspondents, so as to be pleasing to the listener and the speaker.
We have a small number of the first pamphlet, which will be willingly sent free of charge to anyone who requests it through our post office box. First come, first served.