Wednesday, November 30, 2005
Last nights episode had a revelation.
One of the charachters (Mr. Eko - Left) sees a film that is missing some important moments.
He tells the other mysterious charachter (John Locke - Right) a story:
"There was a king Yoshiyahu of the Jews who wanted to rebuild the temple with gold from the treasury. He told his secretary to get the gold, but he returned empty handed.
He told the king that he found a old book. "
Eko says, "I too found an old book, on the other half of the island", and hands Locke a book, inside of which is found the missing moments of the film.
According to Torah.org
"On Tisha B’Av we just read Yirmiyahu’s anguished Kinah over the death of his beloved student and king, Yoshiyahu. King Yoshiyahu encountered his first accurate Torah when he was 26 years old 18 years after becoming king! Prior to that, the only Torah he had ever seen were those that his grandfather, King Menashe had corrupted by exchanging G-d’s name for various popular pagan deities! If not for the far-thinking courage of the Kohanim who hid a Torah from the corruption of Menashe, there would not have been an accurate Torah to be found anywhere in the world!. It’s foolish to think that the Written Torah demands any less trust to believe its divine and accuracy than does the Oral Torah!"
This drasha seems to make the point that given this history, believing in the written torah is just as big a leap of FAITH as the Oral torah.
On the blog Rabbi Reisman Navi Shiur i found the following:
"We've been learning about the malchus/kingship of Yoshiyahu, during which Jews worshiped idols. This led to the kohanim finding the sefer torah in the mikdash rolled to the tochacha/rebuke in parshas Ki Savo, a sign of punishment for Klal Yisrael's many aveiros. Yoshiyahu sent messengers to Chulda HaNeviah to find out what the sefer torah's position meant and what punishment G-d had in mind for Klal Yisrael. Thus concludes our brief introduction and we will henceforth learn about pasuk 20.
Chulda said that because the Jews were worshiping idols, they'd be punished. However, because Yoshiyahu was a great leader and got Klal Yisrael to do teshuva/to repent, he would die in peace without seeing the bad that will befall his nation. This response was conveyed to Yoshiyahu and was considered a zechus/merit for him. What was it? That he'd die before the churban habayis/destruction of the holy temple.
First of all, this sounds incredibly selfish. Yoshiyahu is told that although the mikdash will be destroyed, he will be dead before it happens so he shouldn't feel so bad. What kind of nechama/solace is that for a leader of Klal Yisrael?
Second, Yoshiyahu only lived 39 years. The churban took place 29 years later. Had he lived, it would have taken place when he was 68. The bracha/blessing was to die a younger man and wasn't zoche/he didn't merit to live to 68? Is this really a bracha? [I'm not 100% sure I got the numbers right...feel free to comment or write back if I'm wrong on this one.]
According to Nachlas Shimon (as cited by the late Ner Yisrael Rosh Yeshiva, Rav Yaakov Weinberg, zt"l,) we know that there are two tochachos/portions of rebuke in the torah. One is at the end of sefer Vayikra in parshas Bechukosai, while the second one is written in sefer Devarim in parshas Ki Savo. Ramban holds that the first one is for churban bayis rishon/the destruction of the first holy temple while the second is for churban bayis sheini/the destruction of the second holy temple. The sefer torah found in the time of Yoshiyahu was up to the tochacha in Ki Savo although Yoshiyahu was king before churban bayis rishon!?! Nachlas Shimon answers that were it not for Yoshiyahu the first churban would have been as permanent and terrible as the second was/is. However, because of his tzidkus/righteousness it didn't happen that way. It's called "galus Tzidkiyahu/the exile of Tzidkiyahu" because it happened during the kingship of Tzidkiyahu who followed Yoshiyahu. In fact, when Yoshiyahu died, Yirmiyahu HaNavi made a takana/decree that Jews should remember the accomplishments of Yoshiyahu. Rash"i says-in Divrei HaYamim-that's it is precisely for this reason that we say a kinah/lament in his memory a Tish'a B'Av; for the king whose life was an inspiration for generations to come who was able to turn things around and prevent that level of churban/destruction. That constituted sachar/merit for his neshama/soul. The neshama only wants its life b'olam hazeh/this earthly world, to be an inspiration to those that remain. "
Not surprisingly, Lost got it wrong. I think i have convincingly upgeshlugged them from rabbi Reismans shiur!
Anyway, this (ie the divinity of the Torah) has been a hot topic on the jewish blog world (BTA, Godol, Orthoprax, RTJB, RJ).
Some felt that Kiruv spent too much time trying to prove the Torah. I think from above it seems you have to have faith in it, it may not be provable in the traditional sense of the word.
I also found it ironic that this "lost book" made it into a plot on LOST.
I googled for him and found the following exchange on jewschool.com
Ive Bolded Heshys comments.
"Hasidic Jew" Email A Hoax?
Posted by The Town Crier 18.7.05 LinkAn e-mail supporting the recent attacks in London, sent to British MPs allegedly by a Hasidic Jew, is a hoax. The letter expressed approval of the metro bombings as retribution for the murder of the Jews of York.
If YOPU want to know why G-d allowed the attack on London see my blog at Heshys house.blogspot.com entitled why London now.
Heshy • 07/19/05 06:28am
then what about measure for measure for the jews of york?
The Town Crier • 07/19/05 07:51am
"then what about measure for measure for the jews of york?" Centuries of bad teeth? Hey, Heshy, wouldn't it make you more believable if instead of finding reasons for events after the fact, you were able to predict who's going to be punished next, and why? How about some predictions?
J • 07/19/05 04:44pm
I predict that in 20 years time the orthodox and chassidic Jews will be the majority both here and in Israel.The reform and conservative and modern orthodox movements will be history.The largest minority in New York will be Asians and in the United States will be spanish speaking.
Heshy • 07/19/05 10:58pm
that's just projecting current trends into the future. no big deal. how about predicting the next God-mandated terror attack?
Sam • 07/19/05 11:28pm
Heshy, what about those of us Chassidic Modern Orthodox Jews?
The Town Crier • 07/20/05 10:06am
I then found a complete reproduction of Heshys blog on Google (Ive edited out the cell #):
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
- Godol Hador (not!) [Well, he actually only had a personality disorder]
- A Chassid and a Heretic [Well, seems like he pulled a fast one.]
Then Heshy went down, and now I'm Happy again.
I know many Chassidim.
Believe me, they completely couldn't care less about MO.
I mean that literally.
They NEVER EVER think about them!
MO on the other hand, are COMPLETELY OBSESSED with Chassidim.
They think and talk about them ALL the time. EVEN the MO Rabbis. They constantly complain that they are made to feel inferior.
Its a complex, not a real issue.
The same is true for the Yeshivishe and Heimishe yungerliet.
They simply couldn't give a hoot about MO. It never comes up in discussions.
I will add, the same is true for locations.
I came from Brooklyn, and now live in MO neighborhood.
In Brooklyn they never talked about MO.
But in this MO neighborhood, talking about Brooklyn is an obsession.
Saturday, November 26, 2005
He was successful.
Interestingly he points out that even Christian experts on Talmud of his day, were defending the Talmud against slander.
He also points to debates occurring in England in the 16th century.
That reminded me that it seems for 2000 years the Talmud has been under attack.
The Hellenized (ok, that was against Judaism in general), Sadduccees, Christians during the eras of Spain, and humanists in Germany.
Now its the blogs turn. Im talking about the skeptics, not the blatant antisemites.
What did Koheles say, there's is nothing new under the sun?
I think the blogs say well you have new evidence. I guess that's what the antisemites said in each era of attacking the Talmud.
Oh, yes, I'm sorry, this time the blogs are really right!
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
That is the problem of our generation.
Being frum is not a challenge. The twentieth century ushered in progress and ushered out mesiras nefesh. (At least in america)
We are practicing by rote.
The challenge is to find a challenge for us.
Sunday, November 20, 2005
The topics range from the value of learning & the role of kiruv (BTA, ABT & rebeljew), to the topic of elephant jumping (hirhurim, godol, and zooshoteh), and then to the posts at maven yavin.
Doing so helps sharpen my understanding of where I stand. Feel free to visit those sites to see my views.
RTJB pushed me to start posting again.
So here we go.
Watched Curb tonght. The show centered on Larry needing a favor from an orthodox jew. The frum guys daughter gets stuck on a ski lift with larry, and jumps off when its gets to evening, because of issur of yichud.
Is the portrayal of frum people on this show what the average american jew thinks of frum people?
In my mind it was so off.
But if this is what they think, no wonder they go nuts when someone chooses to become frum.
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
- Cheese Grating on Shabbos
- Gay Rights
We live in a society that not only wants to do Aveiros, but need everyone to know about it and accept it (ie I want to be mechallel Shabbos, and i want to feel good about it as well.)
Edit: added the link to the comment and post. Changed the title.
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
I stepped out of the room for a second, and when I came back my 5 year old daughter says:
"Daddy, they said they dont know how the sun became the sun. But its so simple, if they asked me, I would tell them that it was Hashem. "
This is a nachas moment.
I dont think my daughter coming home from OTD yeshiva, telling me about the myth of
Hashem would engender any equivalent nachas. But that could be only me.
By the way, as a public service, and until I get a cease and disist order from GH Z"L, anyone interested in the GH Z"L archives, i've created single file explorer archive files of the sites including all graphics etc., and a pdf version of april and august (for some reason those wouldn't get saved as MHT Archives.)
Just email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
From what point of view do you come at with your skepticsm and what you define as frum?
There is the view that nothing about judiasm is true, except it is a very charming religion. These Bloggers need proof there is truth in all aspects of judiasm.
This is NOT FRUM. This is treating judiasm as dabbling in any other religion. Some nice quaint things, some nice customs, some nice values etc.
There is the view, that everything about judiasm is true. No exceptions, and this generation is not equipped to note any exceptions. This seems to be the view coming out of the Slifkin ban.
This is Chareidi Frum.
There is the view that everything in judiasm can be true. But you dont need it all to be true. And you respect those who see it all as true, but its perfectly ok to question what seems unnecessary to be true.
This is Frum Skeptic. This is me. I am the real frum skeptic. The other so called Frum Skeptics are NOT Frum skeptics. They are skeptics who pretend.
My favorite example of questioning is the tales of the Besht or Golem. I am skeptical about any of these stories. Especially the Golem, ever since it became a cartoon in the Jewish Press.
Over the course of time, ill share some more items that im skeptical about.
So i shouldnt be considered a liar, here is my long anticipated Bobbishe Kugel recipe:
5lb bag of potatoes, peeled and quartered.
2 Onions, chopped.
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh pepper
Heat up a 2 round pans layered with oil in the oven at 400 degrees.
Use a food processor to ground the potatoes and onions to a fine mush.
Quickly mix in the eggs, salt and pepper to avoid the potato mix getting brown.
Take hot pans out of oven and pour the mixture into the pans and return to the oven.
Leave for about an hour, to hour an half checking for browness of the top of the kugels.
Eat right away.
Alternatively, if you like your kugels thicker or plan to leave in a warming drawer all night for a hot kugel on shabbos lunch, then combine the mixtures into one pan high enough to hold the combined mixture.
Enjoy, drop me a line if the recipe works for you.
Sunday, November 13, 2005
The Kvetcher clearly says, it doesnt bother him what their agenda is, as long as they are ordered and reasoned arguments.
Really? Should I care?
Ive been getting flack from those commentors who say use the "shower em with love" approach.
Can I really love a blogger who hates jews so much, that posting a blood libel is worth it so that it can have ordered and reasoned arguments to be proud of?
Ive been getting flack from other kvetchers who say they arent kvetching that I should stop telling them not to kvetch.
They seem to be very ok with their kvetching. One blogger even has that as its first link, a kvetch forum. But it is "just joking".
I get flack for not seeing a middle ground.
Is it middle ground to post blood libels?
Do the left see a middle ground?
One blogger suggests use humor.
I dont find blood libels humorous.
Finally, one blogger suggests use food to gain their hearts.
Ok, my next post will be a recipe for my bobbys world famous bobbishe kigel.
Friday, November 11, 2005
At OTD we strive for the fineist education we can obtain from the rest of the world. Our emphasis is teaching our kids values, that fit the world we live in. Our jewish heritage is a beautiful one, but we dont only accept jews in our school, since we dont know who is jewish anyway.
It just wouldnt be right to ask.
You can trust that your child will not grow up and go out into the world and be surprised by anything they hear. Well, maybe we cant guarentee that since the American government says the terrorists are evil. Our research indicates that students believing that, have become non americans when confronted with the overwhelming political and scientific evidence of the world around us.
They are shocked to find out we are imperialists.
So this year we have introduced a core curriculum teaching our kids how horrible we are. This way, they may not want to be american, but at least they wont be shocked and kvetch all day.
1st grade - evolution, and why there is no G-d
2nd grade - why there is no torah as the orthodox understand it
3rd grade - the case against the jewish people
4th grade - america, teh imperialists
5th grade - grief therapy, just in case you get shocked one day and feel bad
6th grade - What happens after you die....nothing
7th grade - exploring the worlds religions, they are very charming
8th grade - jewish history from the arab point of view
9th grade - dealing with your pintele yid, and supressing it
10th grade - a critical look at orthodoxy, chassidism and kabbalah
11th grade - tikun olam,
12th grade - ancient jewish culinary delights cooking class (hey someobody needs to learn how to make a good bobbishe kugel)
As always, if you object to any of the courses, please feel free to burn the school down.
We believe its all or nothing.
So my fellow OTD, what would be your dream curriculum?
And please provide me odds that it would be around in 50 years, producing any jews.
Everything is false.
Ok now what?
- Whats our plan?
- Do we still care about our fellow Jew? Wait, who is a jew? under what standard?
- Do we treat the rituals like kwaanza?
- Yipee, i get to still eat heisa kigil with kishke!
- Matjas herring from Millers appetizing (fresh cut)
- Lulav and Esrog, In, its charming
- Tefillin, Out
- Menorah, In
- Yom Kippur, Out, whats the point?
- Rosh Hashana, In, very charming
- Tshuvah, out, hey we shouldnt teach our kids to actually feel bad about anything. They should simply respect the law. (the American one)
- Daf Yomi, In, charming, like a crossword puzzle.
- Do we marry catholics?
- What issues do we now care about?
- Do we all feel better now?
At the current birth rate from kids educated in IPS, there will be no jews left in israel.
What is our plan? Or maybe, that is our plan.
My fellow OTD, am i off the mark?
Well, Im a positive guy, so I have a proposal for a OTD Yeshiva curriculum, next....
Thursday, November 10, 2005
Its really a lot of work!
Maybe my problem is I'm too verbose.
Now I know why his comments were of few words.
The hardest part is typing all this on my BlackBerry and correcting all the mistakes because it guesses wrong.
One new goal is to try to make my points in a more concise and cogent way.
The complainers talk about "knowing" its all false. They know better than everyone else. Its either true or false. if one thing is false, everything is false. They know how to learn pshat in every posuk to prove their point. And every rishon and achron was a liar who purposely kvetched bad pshat to fool the jews.
However, we know that everyone argued about everything. Why didnt the gemera know what avodah was in the beis hamikdash? You think Rav Eliyashuv doesnt know the gemera about the tannoim saying some of the goyish scientist were right? Why does the gemera end up with teiku? Why does the gemera say that both sides of an argument are true. How could the Raaved and Rambam both be right.?
Anyone hear of the words "Tzorech Iyun". It means I DONT KNOW. These words were used by many rishonim and achronim. When they didnt know they didnt make it up. They said, it needs more research. They didnt say, oh, if i dont have an answer i must go off the derech and take everyone with me. If they wrote something, they had every reason to believe it.
My opinion on some belief is not that important. I'm humble enough to know how little I know.
I think the issue here, is maybe as anonymouse says, there are types of people who went to yeshivas and never experienced any skepticsm, and feel shocked by what they hear and see out there.
Maybe there is a feeling that its worth risking some of you guys by not introducing skeptism.
Maybe the Yeshiva feels there is plenty enough time for that when you go out in the world. Not everyone is a soul searcher. So lets teach them the important stuff.
Parents feel that way as well. The famous "they have plenty time to fall, let them get close to ideal as possible" approach.
Im not sure much thought is put into worrying about those who can't take the shock, and are going to kvetch so much about it.
I will not debate the validiy of Torah. I believe what I believe. My wish is that folks stop attacking the torah, and frum people who believe in certain derech.
You dont believe in it, good for you. Gei gezunta heit. Be positive about your derech. Not negative about mine.
Ezzie suggests i tell you about the positive of my derech.
First of all, no pedestals for me. Im imperfect. Let me ponder about it.
So i decided to copy all the comments that were in Haloscan to the posts, and only have blogger comments from now on.
I use Blogger comments, and HaloScan trackbacks. In a recent roundup I linked to Basil, who discusses how to do so smoothly...The reason is that HaloScan's trackbacks are far better; but HaloScan comments get deleted after a number of months.Ezzie Homepage 11.10.05 - 2:25 pm #
I find it easier to post with haloscan, but sometimes it is quite buggy.With that said, I'll bite. When you come down to it, much of the dogma taught in Yeshivas IS outright false, at least if you are a sentient human being.The reason I came to the blogosphere is to see if there is any reason to think otherwise. Now that we see there isn't, I mean if GH couldn't do it, nobody can, the new tact is tell us to stop complaining. So you concede that OJ dogma is false and that we should be thankful for having this stuff drilled into our head for the first 20 years of our life.The "lurking skeptics" aren't out to ruin anyone's life. The sad fact is that people who come here to debate the skeptics tend to leave disapponted, confused and hurt. It's an awful thing to discover that most of the idyllic picture painted by your childhood's social institutions was a paint-by-number, cookie cutter, false picture.So beware the dangers of the blogosphere, you may not like what you find.respondingtojblogs Homepage 11.10.05 - 2:31 pm #
R2JB - as a note, I'd disagree: The ones best able to debate the skeptics aren't usually on the blogs. I once remarked to my FIL (half-joking) that he should come on the blogs and debate. His response (also half-joking) : "I don't have time to waste debating with people who have no clue what they're talking about."He - and many others - recognize that our schools are atrocious in terms of scientific teaching. But they're not about to spend hours a day online debating skeptics instead of working (or learning). There is still plenty of reason to "think otherwise" - and even GH, who acknowledges he's understood far more questions than answers since he began blogging, is still able to remain confident in his frumkeit.I also wouldn't say that the Yeshiva dogma is "outright false" all the time. Most of the time, they don't focus at all on the issues that all of us discuss online - on the rare occasion they do, they tend to give their view, and there, it sometimes is presented in ways we might consider "false". However, some of it is not "false", but more unlikely or debatable. Some I'll grant is false.I'm losing my train of thought - keep getting distracted - so I'll stop here.Ezzie Homepage 11.10.05 - 3:13 pm #
So where does one go? It seems to be a fatal flaw in our educational system if, after one goes through it, they are caught flat footed when the issues start hitting. If a system requires post-graduate study to understand it, it's broken.respondingtojblogs Homepage 11.10.05 - 3:21 pm #
Personally I don't agree with the entry of happywithhislot. Not all frum skeptics who come to this site do so to deliberately sabotage Judaism. Most do to try to find like-minded individuals and commiserate with them. And although I can never compare to GH's seek for the truth, I do have some pretty strong beliefs about hwo the real world can relate to Orthodoxy- Modern Orthodoxy that is- and I think that comes with being a BT. I came to this on my own so my entire childhood was shattered- but in the opposite way. However, I don't find it as scarring because I finally feel like I'm on the right path. Maybe the problem with OTDs is that they aren't quite sure if what they are doing is correct, so they dwell on a shattered childhood. Again though, I am not accusing anyone of doing anything not understandable. It's human nature after all to question surroundings.Anonymousette 11.10.05 - 3:41 pm #
But i want to discourage him from posting peoples names on my website.
It just makes my blog no fun.
My goal is to try to encourage complaining frum skeptics to stop complaining.
My other goal is to expose (obviously not their names) all those lurking skeptics who have made it a mission of their life to ruin it for everyone else.
See my comments to mikeskeptic in the posts below.
I urge people to stop using the words False and Lies when posting about Judiasm.
I respect the use of the word imperfect.
Or we can think of the machlokes between beis shammai and beis hillel as elu velu divrei elokim chaim.
So its all TRUE.
I have more to say....
Im new to this so i do have a unrelated question.
Do commentators prefer haloscan comments services or the one provided by blogger?
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
So who am I?
Im FFB with EP (european parents).
I went to orthodox yeshivas.
My first experience with kannoim was when the discussion turned to college and yeshivas for post high school.
To my surprise, college was an issue. I hadnt learned earlier that college was an issue.
But now it was.
The given reason was the girls, and maybe evolution.
The real reason (i now believe) was the science. and maybe the girls.
This reminds me about all the lakewood "ban the internet" stuff goin on.
The given reason is the shmutz loi aleinu.
The real reason (i believe) is science.
This issue with college prepared me to be comfortable with my skeptism.
The reason i didnt understand what the issue was is that i had dieted steadily on Rab Avigdor Miller books and tapes.
Surely I was prepared to deal with evolution?
I think back, maybe its exactly the problem. Deep down they werent convinced his arguments were convincing. But you know what, I was convinced. Then.
More about me in the another post.
Let me list some of the complaints (not in order of importance)
- The evil Kiruv workers lied to me
- The Chareidim lied
- My Rebbiem lied
- The Gedolim lied
- If Bereishis stories are not literally true , then everything must not be true
- Judiasm doesnt treat x, y and z nicely
- Its too much to daven, so I need to leave my wife and kids
Feel free to provide me some more, maybe I will update the post.
So, for these reasons they complain, ad nausem.
I'm here to talk about NOT COMPLAINING.
I'm here to expose some of these excuses as they are, excuses for wanting to be selfish.
"I don't want to daven, its too hard, so I will leave my wife."
Really? Maybe the reason you left your wife is because you didnt find her attractive or couldnt have a conversation with her, or you liked the shiksa at work better.
But please don't tell me (as some idiot did) that he couldn't deal with the davening and doing it just for the wife and kids.
Why not? Have we sunk so low that we leave our responsiblities if we can't get everything our way? Oh no, these frum skeptics won't compromise on their values.
No, they would rather abandon their kids. Some values.
So what do these skeptics/athiest do, they complain to us, so we should make them feel better about abandoning the faith, the kids, the wife, us.
One goal of this blog is to peruse all these complainers and try to point them out, and get them to stop it. (Using reason of course)
The other is to show that you can be frum, skeptic and be bsimcha.
If I can think of some more goals, i'll post them later.
The following Blogdolim have passed on to the Oilam Haemes.
- Godol Hador (not!)
- A Chassid and a Heretic
lets make this a memorial for those beloved who have left us behind and hopefullty they will be a meilitz yoishar for us.