New Frum Blogger (to me)

I just wanted to tip my hat to a new blogger that I found (surprisingly enough through SJ).

Modern Uberdox

Keep up the good work, glad I found your blog

So These Are the Arguments of the “Intellectuals”

Many times we have heard people who hate hassidic, yeshivish, and in general more religous people, argue that these groups are not “intellectual” and the only books they look at are the gemara so they obviously know nothing about a scholarly argument.

On that note I would like to point out what some people I have been arguing with have said after I wrecked them in an intellectual argument.

Half Sours:

You sir, are liar, liar pants on fire. And everyone knows it now. Another kiruvnik discredited. My work here is done.

DK:

Cheerer, have you considered dating a militant feminist? Because your whole, “That’s not funny!” refrain would go over quite well with those women.

DK after someone questioned his making holocaust jokes in the context of the Heeb Magazine Contest for fake holocaust stories

Liz: No matter how you want to spin it, Holocaust “jokes” are not funny.

DK:  Then don’t laugh.

And of course DK’s response to my argument based on his making a satirical posting about the OU giving a haskgacha to Zyklon B

Me: I will not be told that I “didn’t think” from someone who marginalizes the holocaust.

DK: I will not have one of my best satires marginalized by someone who connects issues that are not interrelated.

These are the people who claim there that frummies are “anti-intellectual”.

These are the people who are trying to stop kiruv.

These are the people who say religious people are stopping the advancement of the Jewish People

These are the people we fight for future of our people.

Don’t ever forget it.

It was Bound to Happen…

Well, it was bound to happen.  Sooner or later, despite the fact that DK applauded my disagreement with JSU, Kvetcher has attacked me.  He does this if you like kiruv, or in this case…logic, and the English language?

Let me explain.  If you look at the comment “war” that has been going on my last posting there has been a major disagreement between me, HS and DK.  The main reason I am being attacked on his page is my statement that,

rather then let it be at that (there are far worse traditions for people to attack in Judaism) people like DK attack this tradition (albeit not as the main focus of the posting) as if it also involves killing a human baby.

While there is a great more that we argue about this is what he took exception with.  He begins his post by claimingthat I did not

much success at countering my attacks on Big Kiruv.

Actually, I answered all of your attacks in the comments.  If anything, your post on your page is because you were so fed up with getting smacked around on my page that you figured you would use your own soapbox to try and make it look like you were winning.  Nice try.

My defense of the “killing babies” comment is based on the fact that I was using exaggeration to prove a point.  DK says i was lying.  I let you the public be the judge.  However, let me give you the following points to consider.

The American Heritage Dictionary says that an exaggeration is an intransitive verb which is defined as,

To make overstatements

But I think exaggeration was probably not the right word to use.  Rather I should have used Hyperbole which is defined as

a figure of speech that uses an exaggerated or extravagant statement to create a strong emotional response. As a figure of speech it is not intended to be taken literally.

Wow.  That’s amazing.  Anyone who actually read what DK wrote would know that he didnt actually say it was like killing a baby.  I  even linked to his article so that anyone could read it.  Now he may claim that people may not read it and so they wouldn’t know what he actually said.   Then my question would be: why did you use the exact same argument against someone who wanted you to speak of the different view on JSU?

Brad:  “I applaud your passion for this subject. But, you are clearly masking some aspects of the article for it to fit your agenda.”

DK: “And the article in its entirety is linked.”

Double standards? I think so. But typical DK, the facts won’t stop him.

I think that’s enough for everyone to stew on for a while.  If he continues his assault I will post a list of articles on his site that do EXACTLY what i did (here are two for a preview, one, two)  I used those two because they require no explanation.  All the others I have require an explanation  to understand.

I know I didnt hold up my end by posting the article about respecting other Jews like i said i would.  That will be soon, I had to address this first.

My View on JSU

There is an organization that runs jewish clubs throughout the country called the Jewish Student Union or JSU Kvetcher, among others, have commented that they think that JSU is a part of NCSY and a way to trick public school kids into joining NCSY without their knowledge.

Let me start by saying the following: I think NCSY is great.  I think the work they do is great.  I think that every person who is not religious and is a teen should join NCSY and that NCSY people are doing the right thing by trying to get more and more teens to join so that they can make them religious.

However, the method of using JSU to “trick” kids into joining NCSY and becoming frum is not the answer.  If JSU was merely the name of the NCSY public school arm then I would have no problem with it.  But, the way it is described on the JSU site and everywhere else I have seen it is merely considered a partner group with NCSY. Except that Rabbi Burg (national director of NCSY) is also the “dean” of JSU.  Seems kinda shady to me.

So if I want as many public school kids to join NCSY, why do I have a problem with JSU?  Because it is a form of tricking kids.  If we (religious jews) really believe that observant Judaism is the correct way for a Jew to live his or her life, then why would we need to trick people to do the right thing?  If we truely believe that the Torah (all of it, including the Gemara and Mishna) are truth, then why does NCSY need to hide behind a false entity named JSU?  If we are truely doing G-d’s work then we don’t need to trick people into following us, G-d will open their minds to the words.

Moreover, if JSU truly does allow groups of other denominations into the clubs then these kids will get exposed to USY, NFTY and other groups who’s goals are the complete opposite of NCSY’s.  If i was a member of any Jewish group and they didn’t allow me into the clubs I would throw a hissy fit.  And if I was a NCSY member and they did allow these other groups in I would throw a hissy fit.  This is not ok.

We shouldn’t and cannot be tricking kids.  The reason most people go “off’ is because they don’t have a solid foundation in Juadism.  Either they just accepted whatever they were told and never used logic and reason to reach the conclusion that religious Judaism is correct, or they were tricked with reasoning that was flawed in its conception.  We must correctly educate those teens who aren’t religious so in 10 years when they question their faith they have the backing needed to stay religious.

By tricking kids they can come to resent religious Jews or Jews altogether.  This is not ok.  If Orthodox Judaism is true, then why lie to kids when teaching it?

The Single Greatest Problem?

Jewish Atheist has decided that he has pinpointed the greatest problem in Orthodox Jewish communities,

It’s because the communities engage in social shunning of anybody who doesn’t fit in…Orthodox Jews have gotten so terrified of exposing their children to anyone who they deem a bad role model that they just kick out everybody who’s not perfect (by their standards.) And they do it to kids, too. In many right-wing communities, if you talk to girls on a Saturday night, you might as well be a crack dealer. They’ll treat you the same way.

This is the biggest problem?  I can probably think of at least 5 more important problems that need to be dealt with.  But since it has been brought up, I will address it.

First of all, I don’t see lot of shunning that you speak of.  It is far from a rampant problem in the Orthodox community because usually when the parents find out they just cover it up because they are so embarrassed.

Second of all, the shunning and sheltering of their children are two totally issues.  Yes while parents do shelter their kids in order to protect them, its not because they feel they will be shunned, but because they don’t want their kids doing it!

Third of all, lets say that the fact that people leaving Orthodoxy is a major problem and it is based on the fact that they are sheltering their kids, what is JA’s solution?

Let them have beliefs that aren’t 100% Orthodox.

Excuse me? So its not the things that we are protecting them from that are wrong, rather it is us for being mad when the kids misbehave?  So kids in certain communities who have a tendency to do drugs or join gangs they kill people…we should let them do a little bit of it?  Its fine if they aren’t 100% law observant!

Show the kids that there are alternatives in life.

Introduce them to drugs! Show them the awesome effects that crack and violence can have on a community.

I do agree that we cannot shun people who act differently, we cannot take the drastic actions that JA calls for.  In fact, the whole kiruv movement, and really the Torah in general, teaches us that our goal isn’t to shun these people but rather to teach them the right way to act.  Sunning someone doesn’t get them to stop doing it, it merely blocks them access to the people who can convince them to change their lives.

However, to change our lives and permit some actions that are wrong or to even allow for the possiblity that its ok not to keep halacha is not ok.  We cannot compromise our beliefs merely because society disagrees with us.  It is at times like these that we must be extra viligent to protect the Torah way of life.

The Cheerer?!?!?! And Other FAQ

The Name???

I know, I know.  The name is a little bit cheesy.  Ok, its a lot of bit cheesy but I couldn’t find a better alternative.

So Who Are You?

I prefer to remain anonymous mostly because the people I know might not approve of the things that I post, and it could cost me my job and a lot more.

So Why Bother Posting At All?

I was mad as hell and I couldn’t take it anymore! I have been reading blogs for about as long as they have existed.  However, there are a few particular blogs that are out to get Observant Judaism (the only correct Judaism btw), and it has to stop.  We, as Jews, have an obligation to prevent our bothers and sisters from going “off the path” and so I couldn’t sit idly by and let these select few individuals try and destroy what G-d gave us.

Who Are You Talking About?

It’s a collection of bloggers, but as my name suggests there is one in specific, namely The Kvetcher, written by David Kelsey.  Not only does he pick out the worst part of Torah Observant culture and act as if it is the norm, but even the good parts of observant Judaism like Aish, NCSY and Ohr Somayach he thinks are evil because they (gasp) try and get people to follow G-d’s word.

The attacks on Torah Observant Judaism MUST stop and there must be someone to stand up and say it.

So What Should We Expect To Read?

Most of the postings will be direct arguments against and/or contradictions of false statements/accusations/assumptions made by The Kvetcher and other blogs like him (but mostly DK).  Sometimes (although it is rare) I will even agree with one or all of them, and other times I will post on issues I feel are merely important to put out there even if they themselves hadn’t spoken about them.

So please come back often and tell your friends, because together we can make a difference!