Back and More Pissed Off Then Ever

Yes, I am back.  Hold your applause till after my entire post please.

So recently I have read some postings by a new blogger who calls himself “Mainstream Jew“.  This is he has proved in one very quick night to be completely false since he specifically said, there is no creator who is receiving your prayers”.  No matter if someone is Orthodox, Haredi, Reform, Conservative or any other sect the majority of Jews believe there is a G-d in heaven.  How to observe his laws is in question, but the actual existence of G-d? Mainstream Jews believe in Him. If you don’t believe in Him? Then don’t call yourself Jewish, because while you are to me (assuming you have a Jewish mother), technically to the world you are an atheist.

Second I he is just like DK, SJ, OTD and everyone else like them who hates religious correct Judaism.  We must be tolerant of their views, but ours? If they make Jews look crazy we must stop.  This is exactly what happened in Germany at the beginning of the Reform movement.  “Shut down Orthodoxy! (a term they came up with and as my friend Factual Basis points out should be a racist slur) Close their mikvahs! Close the kosher slaughterhouses! We Jews are just like the rest of you! Don’t pay attention to the freaks!”  It’s really crazy the double standards that we are subject to.  I’m honestly considering changing the name of the blog to double standards because most of posts point them out between them and us.

What evidence is there that he/she/it would want you to pray to him for three hours on a Saturday (and how do we know its actually Saturday and not Tuesday).

How long has it been since you have been to Shul MSJ?  My shabbat davening is 2 hours MAX and that’s on a bad weekend.  Next, personally I try and go to shul every single day of the week.  It’s not just saturday, the reason most people go then is because they don’t have work because of the shabbat.  The shabbaton is the 7th day of the week, hence Saturday.  Why not Sunday? Because its not.  The Jews for thousands of years had shabbaton on a Saturday because that’s the day G-d told us was the 7th day.  If its any other day how would they get the millions of Jews all to change the day? How? Wouldn’t there be sects that had it on the old day, that were left over from the old guard?

Which trasitions very nicely into my next point.

What evidence is there that the Torah is his rule and guidebook?

Because he told us.  Yes he told at least 1 million Jews that this is his rule.  This wasnt the 1990’s where someone could have pulled off the special effects or dupted everyone into “hearing” G-d’s voice.  And how to I know it happened? Because my father who was told by his father by his father by his father and so on and so on back to my relative who was at Mount Sinai.  There is someone I know who can literally trace their passing down of the Torah all the way back to Moses (not that he is related, but that he has an accurate line straight from the source of teaching the torah).  I’m waiting for the famous “but there is no archeological evidence” actually there is someone that perfectly correlates with some stuff on the book of prophets.  What about the Torah itself you ask?  Well if you know anything about archeology, you know the famous line “a lack of evidence is not an evidence of lack”.  Just because we haven’t found it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.  All the stuff that has been found does not contradict (in fact most of it supports) stories in the torah.

Whats amazing is yet another double standard.  Everyone agrees there was a Hammurabi code of law.  This is based on very limited finds on the code itself.  However there is no debate as to its existence and place in history.  But the torah? Well it requires us to do something so we must apply a different standard!

The torah was given to our ancestors by G-d himself.  They were there.  The same way we know there was a Civil War, or a Roman Empire, or anything else we didn’t personally live through.  We have history both from first hand accounts and from finds.  While the exodus from egypt has yeilded limited finds its not surprising if you actually think about it.  No one knows their exact route, plus there haven’t been extensive tries to find results, and it’s the desert so digs are very hard especially when one doesnt know even a general 5 mile area to look.

As for your comment about woman equality? You have no idea how I feel on the matter, but of course all orthodox Jews are the same right? I will address my views on woman in Judaism in a post in the near future.

Yes, I’m back and better than ever.  I will keep fighting off these attacks on our people, you do your part and keep reading

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?

I Feel So Stupid

I have always been told that Orthodox Judaism is the sect of Judaism that refuses to allow people with different beliefs have their own say.  I have been told time and again by SJ and his whole group of friends that other movements allow opposition and treat dissension with respect.  Even OTD has this viewpoint about orthodoxy.  Well, since Conservative Judaism is so open and willing to hear other opinions I was shocked to read the following in the bible criticism section of Etz Hayim: Torah and Commentary published by The Rabbinical Assembly of The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism,

Many of us naively assume that the Torah that we use today is an exact copy of one original text, but there are many versions of the text of the Torah.

It goes on to talk about different version of the translations of the Torah, not the original hebrew version mind you.  The argument made in this section is that since there are different translations it can be the same book.  Huh?  There are different translations of Beowulf, Don Quixote and various other ancient documents but no one doubts their accuracy to the original text. Whatever.  Moving on.

Beyond that I feel so stupid! I have been so naive!  It’s so nice of the Conservative movement to point this out.  Never-mind the fact that a bible sitting in the pews of a Synagogue has a section with bible critism, I am all for talking about the issues people have but to have a whole section in the book itself? Just plain silly.  The constitutions people carry around don’t have a section ripping the founding fathers for letting slavery stay or having gun ownership as a right, nor is the standard Shakespeare sold with criticisms of his work.  Those are sold in special volumes unto themselves, NOT in the standard print edition.

What really annoys me is that it doesn’t say “some believe” or even “there are some who think that” the Torah is the same.  But rather it is naive to believe otherwise!  How dare I, based on an unbroken chain since the giving of the Torah, KNOW that the Torah is virtually the same document (there is some issue with some LETTERS, just letters, not words, and certainly not content).

This is typical of people who are not as religious as others.  They scream for the rooftops “how dare you try and force me to believe what your believe!? Its my right to believe what I want!“, but then when I believe something different? I’m naive or stupid or any number of insults.

Its very common…”You can believe whatever you want, as long as it’s what I believe.”

UPDATE: It seems that I was mistaken over DK on this, so I have removed his name above.  See, unlike some other bloggers (SJ) I am willing to admit when I may have made a mistaken.

The Tolerance of Intolerant People

In general, the idea of freedom in the US generally says the following, “You are free to do whatever you like, as long as it doesn’t infringe on someone else’s rights”.  Sure there are exceptions to this rule, but generally I think thats a pretty good way to put it.  

There are a lot of people in this country who are tolerant of views that aren’t their own.  Then there are others who are only tolerant of views that aren’t their own, as long as they dont conflict with their own views.  David Kelsey aka The Kvetcher is one of the later types of people.  

While DK seems to be very tolerant of certain things, the is far from tolerant of anyone who’s religious views that conflict with his own.  

For Example

That whole “dash” thing is not appropriate in the least bit. Only wackos use a dash instead of an “o,” and they should probably all move to B’nai Brak and use gender segregated forms of transportation.

So because others have a respect for The creator of heaven and earth and are extra careful not to use his name in vain (one of the commandments btw) they are “wackos”.  Sure you may argue that it may not be in vain, but there are those of us who don’t want to take chances.  Moreover, its a matter of respect.  Its similar to not calling the President by his first name or even Mr. Bush/Obama you call him “Mr. President” out of respect.  More importantly do you hear me attacking him for using the “O”? Not at all.  Do it if you like!  Why? Because it doesn’t effect me!

But this is far from the only instance of intollerance again here,

Additionally, I support France’s clamp on religious fundamentalism in public schools and elsewhere. No kippahs; no hijabs or veils.

Got to love that merely wearing a religious article of clothing is fundamentalism.  I could go on and on but honestly i don’t keep track of all of DK’s comments i disagree with (because I have a job and have better things to do with my time).  But check out his past posts and you will see… tolerance only goes as far as he agrees with you.

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.