Friday, May 08, 2009

Buzzkill


[busted]

One interesting thing I have noticed is that my blog seems to get more than its share of negative comments.

I suppose one reason for that is the fact that my opinions differ from the opinions of most people who use the Internet. I am an Orthodox Jew, and they are not.

However I think there is something more to it than that. Based upon the emotion in many of the comments I get (many of which I don’t even post because they are so mindless) it appears that I am really hurting people.

Imagine someone who was raised in an Orthodox home who has read, let’s say, The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins. He has finally persuaded himself that the there is no God and he is free to do whatever he wants to. He no longer has to feel guilty about being lazy, dishonest and self indulgent. Without God, everything is permitted! Hurray!

Then somehow he stumbles across my blog. And here I am, point by point, logically, irrefutably contradicting all of his new found atheistic ideas. This must be devastating. So, in anger and frustration, he must lash out. He must make some meaningless comment about how “Science proves evolution.” (Yeah, right. Just like Christians claim that the Old Testament "proves" the New Testament.) Or he may hope to convince me to stop hurting him by claiming “Your ignorance and hatred are an embarrassment to Judaism so stop blogging.”

In any case, if my blog upsets someone for these reasons, I am not sorry. On the contrary, it proves to me that I'm doing a good job.

Here’s a suggestion to all these people: If you want to stop feeling guilty, then stop being guilty. Clean up your act. Return to Judaism.

123 comments:

onionsoupmix said...

I once had a similar discussion with an anti-Semite. He also saw those who were upset by his comments as further proof of his truthful world view, because as we all know, "the truth hurts."

Hard core Freudians tend to make this leap also when they claim that those who don't think they are interested in sleeping with their mum are just still stuck in the denial stage.

So don't worry, JP, you are in good company. There are plenty of others who make foolish and self-servient leaps in logic. You are not alone.

Child אִישׁ Behavior said...

I smiled through that whole post. You are so funny. Keep it up. I get a real kick out of reading what you write. Your ignorance and hatred is a constant source of laughs. Knowing what the extreme is teaches me what I should not want to become. Without your view people may start thinking that the mainstream is truly the extreme, you help show people that normative true Yiddishkiet is not really extreme, it is just you who is. Extremism is always fought by a move to the other extreme. You are not a buzzkill, you just show people how they shouldn't be. So yes you are doing a good job, but not in the way you think you are.

Joshua said...

Seriously? Do you really think that someone considering going off the derech will be convinced by you to stay on it? If anything I imagine it will have the opposite effect. Note how many even frum people disagree with you. Someone reading your blog will likely react by seeing it as an example of how bad the apologetics are. The fact that you feel a need to describe yourself as "intelligent, mature, educated, psychologically savvy" really doesn't help matters.

If there is an afterlife, I expect that the beis din sh'malah will have some very choice words for you when you get there.

jewish philosopher said...

Onion, if I'm not making people feel guilty, then why all the emotion? Do you feel any need to visit Catholic websites for example and leave comments about how terribly mistaken they are about the Virgin Mary, the Pope and abortion rights?

"Knowing what the extreme is"

Have you ever visited Lakewood, Monsey, Bnei Brak, Boro Park, Meah Shearim, etc? I'm probably a little left of average in the Orthodox Jewish community as a whole.

"many even frum people disagree with you"

Who? Modern Orthodox? That not what I call "frum".

jewish philosopher said...

I don't see any reason for someone who is a committed, self confident atheist to visit a blog dedicated to "promote Orthodox Judaism and to critique other ideologies, in particular atheism".

Atheists have no religious obligation to convert others to atheism. On the contrary, with a little thought, it is obvious that atheists should want most people to remain believers so that society will not entirely collapse.
http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2008/10/god-save-king-why-we-need-both.html

So why do I get these comments on a daily basis? I think the obvious answer is: Buzzkill.

FrumJewInYU said...

>> Have you ever visited Lakewood, Monsey, Bnei Brak, Boro Park, Meah Shearim, etc? I'm probably a little left of average in the Orthodox Jewish community as a whole.

Haha! (I would say lol, but I hate that.)

DrJ said...

"I don't see any reason for someone who is a committed, self confident atheist to visit a blog dedicated to "promote Orthodox Judaism and to critique other ideologies, in particular atheism".

Then why do you leave periodic comments on numerous skeptic blogs (you know which ones)?

Regarding emotional reactions to your blog, I would describe mine as more amusement and ridicule rather than anger.

Ploni Almoni said...

I am frum, not modern Orthodox, and I am disguested with your departure from principles of derech eretz and darche noam.

DrJ said...

JP, why don't you turn off comment moderation to allow free dialogue among people who leave comments? You can still delete comments that you deem inappropriate, but allow for a more normal dialogue, rather than waiting for you to respond to each comment.

jewish philosopher said...

"Then why do you leave periodic comments on numerous skeptic blogs (you know which ones)?"

My religion obligates me to protest against false beliefs.

In fact, if someone attempts to convince people to worship idols, he should be executed.

http://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt0513.htm#7

"I am disguested with your departure from principles of derech eretz and darche noam"

How do you feel about the Haggadah?

The wicked one, what does he say? "What is this service to you?!" He says `to you,' but not to him! By thus excluding himself from the community he has denied that which is fundamental. You, therefore, blunt his teeth and say to him: "It is because of this that the L-rd did for me when I left Egypt"; `for me' - but not for him! If he had been there, he would not have been redeemed!"

http://www.chabad.org/holidays/passover/pesach_cdo/aid/1737/jewish/Maggid.htm

"why don't you turn off comment moderation"

Everyone in the universe who wants to make fun of a rabbi will leave some insults.

DrJ said...

"My religion obligates me to protest against false beliefs."

You do it like the haredim who come out to the streets on shabbat and yell "shabbos, shabbos" at the drivers, and hurl stones. Real effective persuasion.

"In fact, if someone attempts to convince people to worship idols, he should be executed..."

Every posek knows that these laws do not apply to the present reality, where most Jews are not observant and do not believe. Check the chazon ish and others on the subject. Nor the the haggadah as source of halacha.

"Everyone in the universe who wants to make fun of a rabbi will leave some insults."

Perhaps this has nothing to do with being a rabbi, but with the inflammatory and insulting nature of your posts and comments.

A blog is a form of expression, and certainly you are free to use it as you see fit. But since it is public, it is a form of dialogue, which should in and of itself act as a moderating factor in what people say. If you write insults, people will hurl insults back at you. So what good have you done?

Ploni Almoni said...

Modern Orthodox are not kofer b'ikar, like the rasha of the haggadah, they are nevukim who need a moreh... Or maybe the Rambam was "halfway between atheism and Judaism" for his discussing Aristotle in a non-hostile fashion instead of insulting his audience of ideologically confused but observant yidden? (To bring this on the topic of Jewish philosophy, which seems to be the last thing this blog is about.)

onionsoupmix said...

It is self-serving to use a chabad site to support your hateful views, when the chabad interpretation of the wicked son is exactly in polar opposite to yours. Do not use chabad to support your stance, it again just shows your vast ignorance. Here's what chabad has to say on the topic of the wicked son in the haggadah:

http://www.chabad.org/holidays/passover/pesach_cdo/aid/660998/jewish/The-Wicked-Son.htm

http://www.shmais.com/pages.cfm?page=moshiachdetail&ID=41605

The rebbe generally taught that encouraging change in people is done ONLY b'oifen hamiskabel, in a way that they are likely to accept it. Don't twist chabad's position for your own agenda, the rebbe ztl at least deserves more respect than that.

And the reason that we all come to your site and leave comments as opposed to roman catholic sites- for me it's partially the fact that you belong to a religious group that I'm affiliated with and it affects me personally if someone would, G-d Forbid, lump us togther in the same category and assume that all frum people agree with your silly arguments and hate speech. Of course, I can't deny it, partially the reason we all come here is the reason people stop to look at car accidents- morbid curiousity with the disgusting and offensive. You know, of course, that there is a whole site devoted to ludicrous quotes from fundamentalists, gay bashers, racists, etc.? It's quite entertaining.

FrumJewInYU said...

>> Regarding emotional reactions to your blog, I would describe mine as more amusement and ridicule rather than anger.

I think, DrJ, that we all agree on that point. And probably also onionsoupmix's:

>> morbid curiousity with the disgusting and offensive

jewish philosopher said...

"You do it like the haredim who come out to the streets on shabbat and yell "shabbos, shabbos""

If an atheist gives a speech like this on television and publishes it in a best selling book which is read by millions, I don't see you getting upset.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ovWs8JQN7FE&feature=related

However if a rabbi dares to accuse atheists of being promiscuous, then he is an evil person. Interesting.

DrJ, you hate God and therefore you hate me. It's that simple.

"they are nevukim who need a moreh"

No problem. I'm ready.

"It is self-serving to use a chabad site to support your hateful views"

It's the first site I found with a haggadah in English. The Haggadah was not written by the Lubavitcher Rebbe.

"it affects me personally if someone would, G-d Forbid, lump us togther"

You'll walk down street someday and someone is going to notice that you are Jewish (how?). And they'll run over to you and say "Wait, you're a member of the same religion as that awful anti-atheist, anti-gay, anti-Muslim blogger Jacob Stein, aren't you! Shame on you!"

That's probably going to happen a lot. I can understand the concern. That's probably the reason for the comments I get. It's that fear.

jewish philosopher said...

I wish to point out as well, regarding the idea that my views are extremist in the Orthodox Jewish world, that in the current Israeli Parliament, there are a total of 19 Orthodox members. Sixteen are ultra-Orthodox (11 Shas and 5 UTJ) while 3 are religious Zionist (The Jewish Home). Based upon this, it would appear that about 85% of the Orthodox community would endorse the views in this blog.

onionsoupmix said...

You'll walk down street someday and someone is going to notice that you are Jewish (how?). And they'll run over to you and say "Wait, you're a member of the same religion as that awful anti-atheist, anti-gay, anti-Muslim blogger Jacob Stein, aren't you! Shame on you!"That scenario is my worst nightmare. They would notice I'm Jewish because I cover my hair and dress the part. Or they might talk to me at work or school and find out we keep orthodox traditions. And then they would somehow group my beliefs together with the hateful and intolerant views of yours and those of your ilk. The very thought makes me ill.

onionsoupmix said...

I don't care if it's the first site you found with an English haggadah. Don't post links unless you are willing to do the research and gain some knowledge about the beliefs behind the links you post.

FrumJewInYU said...

Right, because the citizenship of Israel are an exact microcosm of Jewish beliefs everywhere.

More importantly, though: you don't even represent well the views of those you claim to represent. You are all the way on the right, even among that supposed 85%. I've been to Ponovitch a couple of times with MO groups. The menahel sat down in his office and spoke to us, and guess what: he didn't call us the stuff that you do. In fact, he was very nice to us and treated us like any other good Jews. And I presume he voted UTJ, if he voted at all. Crazy, no?

You don't represent Judaism. You don't even represent ultra-Orthodox Judaism. You represent your own views, and maybe Neturei Karta's. That's it.

jewish philosopher said...

"That scenario is my worst nightmare."

Onion, let me give you a little bit of advice. The best remedy for anti-Semitism is to be Torah observant. See for example Leviticus 26:3
"If ye walk in My statutes, and keep My commandments, and do them; I will give peace in the land, and ye shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid"

http://mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt0326.htm#3

"you don't even represent well the views of those you claim to represent"

If rabbis speak to atheists, Christians, Muslims or Buddhists doesn't mean they agree with those religions. People who vote Shass or UTJ would have no problem with my blog.

onionsoupmix said...

If the best remedy for anti-semitism is to be torah observant, I suggest you start to observe the Torah, in that case. Feel free to begin with the principle of Ve'Ahavta Lereacha Kamocha and then continue on to the other ben adam lechavero commandments that you seem to have skipped in yeshiva. Maybe through the great merit that you will gain through the observance of these commandments, you'll be able to decrease the enormous chillul hashem that you continue to cause.

DrJ said...

"in the current Israeli Parliament, ....Based upon this, it would appear that about 85% of the Orthodox community would endorse the views in this blog."

That is incorrect. Many, if not most national religions/MO jews vote for non-religious parties, such as Likud or Yisrael Beiteinu. Furthermore, many sefardim who are not ultra-orthodox vote Shas because of their social/agenda. In any event, however much I don't agree with the ultra-orthodox parties, they do not in any way espouse your xenophobic, homophobic and extreme views, which rely on a literal and severe interpretation of Talmudic Judaism. This interpretation seems to ignore the historical context in which many statements were made in the gamarrah and the subsequent development of halacha in the 1500 years since then.

Also, I don't hate god (in whatever form I believe) and I don't hate you.

jewish philosopher said...

Onion and Jewinyu, you may want to check this out:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elazar_Shach#Political_life

Rav Shach was deeply opposed to Zionism, both religious and secular. He was fiercely dismissive of secular Israeli culture. For example, during a 1990 speech he derided kibbutzniks as "breeders of rabbits and pigs" who did not "know what Yom Kippur is". In the same speech he said that the Labor Party had cut themselves off from their Jewish past and wished to "seek a new Torah". Shach was also critical of democracy, once referring to it "cancer", adding that "only the sacred Torah is the true democracy."

Onion, do you even believe that God wrote the Torah?

JewinYu, I would suggest you head for a Jewish book store and buy some collections of letters written by the Chazon Ish, Rav Shach and the Steipler.

jewish philosopher said...

"That is incorrect."

Actually, I think it is. I would assume that the attitudes of Israeli parliamentarians fairly accurately reflects the attitudes of the Israeli public. Furthermore, I have the impression that Israeli Jewry and American Jewry are ideologically fairly similar.

"they do not in any way espouse your xenophobic, homophobic and extreme views"

Of course they do. See Rav Shach quote above.

jewish philosopher said...

Anyway, keep screaming all you want.

I'm not apologizing for the buzzkill.

FrumJewInYU said...

Once again, you leave out the word "frum" from my name intentionally. I will now refer to you only as P, because you don't exactly hold up the J part of very well. Well, you don't uphold the P part either, but still.

Anyway, P, regarding this:

>> If rabbis speak to atheists, Christians, Muslims or Buddhists doesn't mean they agree with those religions. People who vote Shass or UTJ would have no problem with my blog.

He didn't just SPEAK to us. He ENCOURAGED us. I repeat - he ENCOURAGED us in our derech. He didn't give us mussar about how wrong we were. If we're so bad, you'd think he would've said SOMETHING, no?

As for these:

>> JewinYu, I would suggest you head for a Jewish book store and buy some collections of letters written by the Chazon Ish, Rav Shach and the Steipler.
"they do not in any way espouse your xenophobic, homophobic and extreme views"
>> Of course they do. See Rav Shach quote above.

Nope. The only thing he comes out VERY strongly against is secular kibbutzniks. NOWHERE do any of them take the extremist views you espouse re Modern Orthodoxy.

Shalmo said...

How many apostates have you managed to return to Judaism?

Be honest.

Have you considered that maybe your approach, with all the vulgarity and pseudo-science that comes with it, isn't working?

Btw I disagree with your opponents. I think you very much indeed represent what Judaism is all about.

But have you considered that the reason so many people are leaving Judaism, is because its just not true?

The records from civilizations far superior to anything Judea ever produced prove to us that the world has existed far longer than 6000 years. Same with evolution, its proof being that people such as Nasir Al Din Al Tusi came up with it centuries before Darwin.

Anyway Judaism today is mostly just a dead religion. Without the temple, you really can't practise much of anything. What you follow today is just rabbinical plagiarism of Zoroastrian ideas, designed to replace what Jewry lost with the temple (prayers instead of sacrifice, and so forth).

jewish philosopher said...

"NOWHERE do any of them take the extremist views you espouse re Modern Orthodoxy."

Of course they did.

"Rav Shach was deeply opposed to Zionism, both religious and secular."

Buy some collected letters.

As I've said, in the Orthodox community today, I am probably a little left of center.

FrumJewInYU said...

P:

>> "Rav Shach was deeply opposed to Zionism, both religious and secular."

"Deeply opposed" is very different than what you're doing, P. I'm "deeply opposed" to Reform and Conservative, but I don't call them atheists. And how about accounting for the encouraging rav who spoke to us at Ponovitch? Did you conveniently forget to write about that?

>> As I've said, in the Orthodox community today, I am probably a little left of center.

As I've said, HA.


As for Shalmo:

>> Btw I disagree with your opponents. I think you very much indeed represent what Judaism is all about.

C'mon man, that's not cool. He doesn't represent Judaism at all, and you know it.

>> The records from civilizations far superior to anything Judea ever produced prove to us that the world has existed far longer than 6000 years. Same with evolution, its proof being that people such as Nasir Al Din Al Tusi came up with it centuries before Darwin.

You can believe in evolution and still believe in G-d. You're arguing with science-ignoring people like P, but not on normal Jews like me.

>> Anyway Judaism today is mostly just a dead religion. Without the temple, you really can't practise much of anything. What you follow today is just rabbinical plagiarism of Zoroastrian ideas, designed to replace what Jewry lost with the temple (prayers instead of sacrifice, and so forth).

Not dead, in the least bit. (How'd those darn Jews last for so long, more than any other people have ever lasted, even under constant persecution? Hmmm.) See you when mashiach comes!

jewish philosopher said...

JewinYU, I get it. You're modern Orthodox and you like being modern Orthodox because it's easier than being regular Orthodox and I'm making you feel guilty. So no matter I'll say, you'll come back with "You haven't proven anything." I'll quote the Chazon Ish, Rav Shach, modern Orthodox bloggers, Israeli Parliament members, whatever, and you're going to keeping going on "Ha Ha".

Buzzkill. And I'm not sorry.

jewish philosopher said...

I think it's safe to say that 80% of the Orthodox Jewish community today does not believe that they are descended from monkeys, does not celebrate Israeli Independence Day and does not support gay rights and would be horrified by anyone who does.

Very frankly, I think that the pathetic and dwindling 15% of the Orthodox community known as “modern Orthodox” should perhaps be more properly called Phonydox or Lazydox.

DrJ said...

Sadly, your comments reveal a profound ignorance about the Jewish State and its internal politics.

From wikipedia:
..As of 2006, 10% of Israeli Jews defined themselves as Haredim; an additional 10% as "religious"; 14% as "religious-traditionalists" ; 22% as "non-religious-traditionalists" (not strictly adhering to Jewish law or halakha); and 44% as "secular" (Hebrew: חִלּוֹנִי‎, Hiloni).[4]..

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_Israel)

This is consistent with my observations as well.

So less than a third of Israeli religious are Haredim. Of those, only a minority hold your anti-zionist views (neturei karta, satmar, and the likes). Shas, for example, is zionist, and so are its voters, who tend to be right wing.

I don't know the stats in the US, but I suspect that its not that much different. Mostly MO or "traditional", the rest ultra.

Your 80% haredi figure is grossly exagerated.

You live your a bubble of your own creation.

Ploni Almoni said...

Actually, in spite of the frequent embrace of evolution of the Modern Orthodox laity, I am wondering if you could produce a quote from a Modern Orthodox affiliated *Rabbi*, such as Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik or another gadol-level MO affiliated rabbi, that endorses evolution or the atheist elements of Zionism. Serious question. I suspect Modern Orthodox is like the old (and no longer true, if it ever was) joke about Conservative: Orthodox Rabbis and Reform congregants. (Except with MO it'd be Conservadox, though there is a large minority of MO who are more or less frum.)

DrJ said...

On a personal level, I don't know you, perhaps you are a generous kind person. I am thus speaking only about the ideas that you write about in the blog.

Your ideas follow strict Talmudic Judaism. Although this is partially the utra-orthodox view, you should know that yours is a particular, severe style practiced by a particular group of European Ashkanazi Jews, in a particular period of time. This is not the sefardi tradition at all. It is not the Hasidic tradition. It is also probably very different than what the talmudic rabbis themselved observed.

The rabbis in the talmud wrote down their interpretations and rulings in the context of a very specific cirumstance in Jewish history-- loss of sovereignty, in danger of extinction, being relatively powerless and surrounded by goyim who were dangerous enemies. Therefore, you have to bear that in mind when understanding everything they say about anything-- sex, goyim. women, idol worship, health, etc.

Taking everything the talmudic rabbis say at face value is not only incorrect but leads to immoral racist, sexist and misanthropic values. Not to mention unscientific ones. The rabbis themselves had to creatively "moderate" the severe rules in the Torah.

The same is true of "Lithuanian" stream of Judaism. The rulings were a reaction to a very specific set of circumstances.

Think about your positions, JP. Basically, you have contempt for most Jews and most non-Jews for that matter. They are deserving of death at worst, and at best, your condescending sympathy. Your beliefs leave no room for legitimacy of beliefs other than your own.

One could call you anti-semitic. Why not? Like the born-again christians, you think that most Jews are condemned to hell.

I measure devotion to Judaism by devotion to Jews. You measure by devotion to ancient ideas, or to long dead Jews.

You want to call MO lazy, fine. But its really about lifestyle, and you can get used to anything. So I don't think that your life is any "harder" than mine.

All religions have this same argument of fundamentalism vs reform. Even Islam has it. Its not just Jews.

So get over it. So you converted, OK. I know several moderate converts. They are secure, devoted Jews. It doesn't have to be "all or nothing". As with other religions, only insecure, frightened Jews adopt an uncompromising extreme position, fearful of that "slippery slope".

jewish philosopher said...

DrJ, the poll you cite is presumably wrong. It was probably done by secular people and few ultra-Orthodox agreed to participate.

If you look at the composition of the Israeli Parliament over the past 60 years, you’ll notice that the number of Orthodox parliamentarians remains fairly consistent (around 20 out of 120) however the proportion of modern Orthodox to ultra-Orthodox gradually reverses, from about 16 modern and 4 ultra in the early years to more like 4 modern and 16 ultra in recent years. This sounds about right. Many American Jewish skeptic bloggers likewise complain about the “shift to the right” in the Orthodox community. The days when the yeshiva student with black hat and tziztis was the exotic extreme while the Sabbath observant lady with short sleeves and uncovered hair was the norm are long over. That was the 1950’s; we are now in 2009.

This makes sense when you consider that modern Orthodoxy is merely a transitional stage between Judaism and atheism. It’s a bridge so to speak, and no one lives on a bridge. You move one way or the other.

Ploni, about evolution, check this out

http://www.rabbis.org/news/article.cfm?id=100635

in regards to Zionism

http://www.mizrachi.org/aboutus/default.asp


DrJ, in my profile I state “This blog as a rule follows the teachings of the Lithuanian rabbinical seminaries of the 1920s and 1930s.” I think however everything in my blog does have a source in the Jewish classics – Bible, Talmud, midrash or Zohar. Generally, sources are cited.

In regards to feminism, see this:

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2007/10/is-judaism-opposed-to-feminism.html

about racism, see this:

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2009/04/trip-to-zoo.html

about God’s justice, high standards and punishment of sinners, see this:

http://mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt0326.htm#3

(Actually, that’s in this weeks Torah reading.)

Abe said...

Folks,
Its obvious that Mr. Stein's mental faculties are compromised. Does debating a lunatic make any sense?
If you just ignore him, he'll go away. Unless of course the voices in his head incite him to manufacture responses to the lack of feedback to his disturbed rantings.
Folks, just let the poor guy be.

jewish philosopher said...

That anonymous comment is so mean, angry, bitter and totally meaningless, I think it is the perfect proof to validate what I am talking about in this post.

Buzzkill. Big time. Those burning hot needles of guilt are burning into people's psyche, driving them crazy. And I'm not sorry.

DrJ said...

JP,

The biggest growth in political parties has been Shas. The Asheknazi Heredi parties have stayed about the same, about 5. Before Shas, traditional and religious Sefardim voted either Likud or for other right wing parties. The rise of Shas is due in to its cultural/ethnic message and reemergence of sefardi pride.
I do agree that there has been growth in the number of Heredim, but they are still far from being a majority. If you think the poll is wrong, perhaps you could bring another source that supports your contention, rather then just writing it off.

Regarding your theology--I never said that you are inventing it out of thin air. Obviously you can bring sources to support it, as can people who support opposing approaches. My point it that it is far from mainstream and unnecessarily severe.

Belying much of your approach is the fear of the slippery slope. If we allow one thing, then the whole system will erode. Therefore hold on to the maximalist position, no matter how extreme or exclusionary. The problems with this approach are:

1. The slippery slope is not always slippery and not alway just from one point. Who was it that lost all of the Jews in Europe during the enlightenment? You can't blame modern orthodoxy, which didn't exist-- the leak came from Heredim. It wasn't a slippery slope, it was a steep cliff.

2. From #1 above-- from the desire to win the battle you lose the war. By being so exclusionary and extreme, you alienate and lose more people than ever. If modern orthodox had existed at the time of the reformation perhaps we wouldn't have had such a hemorrhage.

So your haredi approach is simply wrong headed, immoral and selfish.

jewish philosopher said...

Who even conducted that survey you're citing? I think that the makeup of the Israeli parliament pretty much tracks the makeup of Israeli society.

The Enlightenment was basically about money and safety, not evolution or gay rights.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2008/08/jewish-heretics-how-things-change-how.html

DrJ said...

You can download the survey (in Hebrew) directly from the link in the article. It was an official government commissioned survey. The wiki article actually misquotes it-- of Jews, the actual percentage of heredim is 7%, not 10%.
But you discount it, since it doesnt agree with your world views...

JP, you are plainly wrong. Since there is not regional representation and accountability, it produces distortions in voting patterns. I already explained why Shas is so large. But it shrunk from 17 seats in 1999. Why? Did Heredim suddenly disappear? From the Shas wiku entry:

"The majority of Shas voters are themselves not ultra-orthodox. Many of its voters are Modern Orthodox and 'traditional' Mizrahi and Sephardi Jews. Some Druze also vote for Shas, due to its alignment with the promotion of an 'authentic Middle Eastern' Israeli culture, which fits well with traditional Zionist beliefs of a revival of authentic Jewish culture"

On the other hand UJT 'aguda' remains at 5 seats.

"The Enlightenment was basically about money and safety, not evolution or gay rights"

Lets say you're right. So whose fault is it that most Jews defected? It was the all-or-nothing orthodox rabbis at the time.

Abe, maybe you're right. But I enjoy it anyway.

jewish philosopher said...

The download didn't work for me.

Many ultra-Orthodox choose not vote and with a high birthrate a disproportionate number of ultra-Orthodox are too young to vote.

In addition to that, simple observation shows many huge ultra-Orthodox communities of tens of thousands of residents, but no similar modern Orthodox communities.

Obviously, many people who are not ultra-Orthodox would like to imagine that we are a "tiny almost extinct fringe". Sure. And we have been for 3,000 years.

"So whose fault is it that most Jews defected?"

People are responsible for their own behavior.

jewish philosopher said...

It may be instructive to look at other non-Talmudic Jewish communities which have popped up over the centuries – Hellenizers, Sadducees, Karaites, Samaritans. Not huge success stories.

Ploni Almoni said...

Modern Orthodox are Karaites now? Funny, last time I checked, YU studied the Talmud... I wonder if your Rov is aware of and reads your blog.

jewish philosopher said...

The point is that it is absurd and counterproductive to attempt to improve and reform perfection.

"The law of the LORD is perfect, restoring the soul"

http://mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt2619.htm#8

onionsoupmix said...

JP- can you give 3 examples of where any commentors on this blog, over the many years of your writing it, have been able to convince you of the inaccuracy of any of your positions? One example?

I am also starting to think all this debating is totally useless, like a discussion with a young child who has his fingers in his ears and sings "la-la-la, I can't hear you" whenever someone points out how wrong he is.

jewish philosopher said...

Onion, this blog really bothers you doesn't it? Every time you see me, it reminds you of what you're not and of how the fires of Hell will be roasting you eternally, while you scream in torment forever...

DrJ said...

My theory about JP.
He is either:
1. a closet atheist
2. an anti-semite
3. a bad humorist

Which is it, JP?

DrJ said...

"It may be instructive to look at other non-Talmudic Jewish communities which have popped up over the centuries "

How about Christianity?

jewish philosopher said...

DrJ, I really don't know what it is that you find so puzzling or extreme about me. That I believe in God? I'm anti-gay? Anti-porn? Anti-evolution? Have you ever spoken to a rabbi? This blog is not being written by the editors of the New York Times.

jewish philosopher said...

"How about Christianity?"

No one has succeeded in observing the Torah other than rabbinical Jews.

jewish philosopher said...

It’s not easy being wicked, is it DrJ? Being out of control, constantly lying to yourself and everyone else, knowing that at any moment you may be flipped out of this world and into the endless inferno of hell….

You hope that ridiculing rabbis, while hiding behind a veil of Internet anonymity, will make you feel a little better, but it never really does. The only cure is to repent.

Larry Tanner said...

My hypothesis about JP is that he has some deep-seated pain and resentment because of his unfortunate childhood.

Anyone as anti-everything as JP is clearly in pain. And notice that all those "antis" belong to areas that JP has no experience in. What does he know about homosexuality, porn, about biological research, etc.?

With respect to evolution, for example, JP has never once conducted a biological experiment or looked first-hand at actual evidence. He simply sits back in the shade and make pronouncements.

And when it comes to Judaism, this is where he fails most of all. Yes, he may know some pithy statements from the Torah, the Talmud or some funny site on the Web.

But he knows nothing about the God of our fathers.

jewish philosopher said...

Larry, I see, so to be qualified to discuss Judaism I have to be a gay porn star and a biologist from a Jewish family. Maybe then you would take me seriously if I told you to be Orthodox. Or maybe not.

Again, desperately searching for some way to feel less guilty, when you know you are damned. It must be tough.

Larry Tanner said...

JP, you don't feel you need to know something about your subject before you spout opinions on it?

How could I possibly take a person seriously with such an anti-intellectual stance.

I'm not damned, and you would know nothing about this anyway.

jewish philosopher said...

And I should take you seriously, even though I have no way of knowing who or what you are. Right.

lmark75 said...

"Onion, this blog really bothers you doesn't it? Every time you see me, it reminds you of what you're not and of how the fires of Hell will be roasting you eternally, while you scream in torment forever..."

From your letter to you folks when you were 17:
"And what crime can possibly merit eternal punishment, which I suppose I am now, as an apostate and non-believer, entirely
eligible for?)"

Interesting. You rejected Christianity because of its belief in eternal damnation, yet you embrace a Judaism that you think contains the same beliefs. You should listen to your 17 year old self. Apparently, he was much smarter and insightful than you.

jewish philosopher said...

I have learned a lot since 1977. And I understand exactly what's bothering people like Onion.

Have you ever seen someone being burned alive? Imagine that continuing eternally. That's a very well roasted Onion.

lmark75 said...

But now that you "know" Judaism believes in eternal damnation (and I used quotes for a reason), you should reject it for the same reason you rejected Christianity. Besides, where in Jewish scripture do you get the idea of eternal punishment? I'm familiar with gehinom, the one year purgatory, but I haven't seen much support for the idea of eternal damnation in Judaism.

jewish philosopher said...

How about Isaiah 66:24

http://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt1066.htm#24

Larry Tanner said...

JP,

"And I should take you seriously, even though I have no way of knowing who or what you are. Right."

You have a way of knowing. You could ask me, and I could perhaps provide information that would allow you to make an informed decision as to whether I am telling the truth or not.

For someone who claims to be intelligent, you seem to miss the obvious too often.

jewish philosopher said...

Who are you?

jewish philosopher said...

It's interesting, however it looks as if this post about why my blog gets so many negative comments will probably receive a record number of negative comments.

Joshua said...

The point about eternal damnation is particularly fascinating. JP, I'm very curious. If you could talk to your 17 year old self, how would you respond to that concern?

jewish philosopher said...

I would tell my 17 year old self that some people do indeed deserve it and will get it.

onionsoupmix said...

I once met an unmedicated schzophrenic, it was a fascinating conversation, in much the same way that this one is. Perhaps you could enlighten us JP. Why am I going to burn in hell? Is it because I don't agree that negative reactions to your posts mean you're doing your job? Or is it because I don't believe in Our Savior Jesus Christ? Or is it because instead of being an observant orthodox female, I am actually a porn star and abortion provider? What did the little voices talking to you through the radio tell you about me?

Anonymous said...

I know that I'm going to hell for my atheistic beliefs. I'll be sure to send regards to your parents. I know that they're suffering mightily down there for spawning you. God doesn't forget the sins of the fathers! (And mothers too).

DrJ said...

"No one has succeeded in observing the Torah other than rabbinical Jews."

A truism, because you're specifiying the torah as defined by the rabbis.

Christians, Kariates, Samarians observe the "torah" as much as you do, they just emphasize different things, not what the rabbis do.

Remember, the Christians didn't reject the Bible, they rejected the rabbis and their interpretations. Instead, the apostles were deemed qualified to interpret and re-interpret the bible.

I would say that the Christian idea succeeded.... not that I agree with it.

DrJ said...

I can't speak for other commentators here, but what i find objectionable here is not only the fundamentalism and scientific ignorance (which I refute point by point) but the angry venom and contempt that you show for the "other", which is completely against Jewish tradition as well as modern poskim. You certainly give anti-semites lots of fodder.

Shalmo said...

Actually guys Judaism very much does believe in eternal Hell.

"Hell is a place of fire where sinners are punished after they die. People who deny religion receive eternal punishment there (Maimonides, Mishneh Torah, Teshuvah 3:5-6)

Also the Talmud makes it clear that any gentile religious system is illicet (Laws of Kings 8:11) and the only option for gentiles is observance of the 7 Noach laws ONLY [Laws of Kings 10:9].

And since most gentiles are NOT noachides, well that means most of the human race is burning in Hell.

jewish philosopher said...

Onion, DrJ and others, can you please explain to me why I should be impressed by the opinion of spineless, anonymous douche bag traitors?

DrJ, where have you ever bothered to refute anything I've ever written? You just wave everything away as being "hateful" and "ad hominem" because I think atheists have some issues and in your fantasy world that settles that.

And Christians do not observe the Torah.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biblical_law_in_Christianity

jewish philosopher said...

Here is an interesting article about the type of losers who drop out of Judaism.

http://www.cross-currents.com/archives/2007/03/12/the-wonders-of-leaving-observance/

Anonymous said...

Abe is right.
Please don't respond to Stein's sophistic rantings. You only instigate him to manufacture more stupidity. But, the sad part about him is that he truly believes his absurd arguments.
Why would anyone find satisfaction debating an idiot ?

jewish philosopher said...

Ah, a blatantly insulting comment. My blog is really bothering people!

Joshua said...

JP, and if your 17 year old self asked for an explanation of why someone could possibly deserve that what would you say?

jewish philosopher said...

Well, I think once you begin to comprehend the immense greatness and majesty of God, you can begin to understand why someone who hates Him deserves an infinitely painful punishment.

Joshua said...

That's fascinating. In that it is an almost identical argument to that made by evangelical Christians about why the default state of all humans should be to burn in hell.

So you have no problem with infinite punishment for finite wrongdoing?

Also, I'm curious, do you think that there are people out there who actively think G-d exists and yet hate him?

superchick said...

Dear Jewish Philosopher, I haven't even read this blog, just your personal life story. I had seen your comments on other blogs- heavy with wit but so impoverished in substance and designed solely to offend, I wanted to see who you are.

And I am very not surprised you to find that you were abandoned by your parents at birth. You are not the only person with such a history who seeks in Judaism the essential bonding and connection that they never had. And is so lacking in connection to fellow humans.

I bless you to find enough meaning in your spiritual life that you no longer need to trash others.

jewish philosopher said...

Joshua, of course people hate God. They want to be Gods themselves.


Chick, my hatred is based upon the purest of motives.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2007/12/good-hatred.html

Joshua said...

JP, I'd be curious what makes you think anyone wants to be gods. But even if they do, that doesn't mean that they hate anyone. I want to be smarter. That doesn't mean I hate people who are smarter than I am.

And you didn't answer the second part, so do you think infinite punishment for finite wrongdoing is ok?

jewish philosopher said...

Atheists worship themselves. And the infinite punishment is OK with me.

Joshua said...

How do atheists worship themselves? Not worshiping anything is distinct from worshiping themselves. Furthermore, even if one did worship one's self, that wouldn't mean one hated God. Saying an atheist hates God is like saying I hate leprechauns. I don't hate leprechauns. I just don't think they exist. The atheist's attitude towards God is no different.

Regarding infinite punishment for finite sin and your claimed majesty of God, if God is so majestic that certain sins can result in infinite punishment then how can tshuvah ever make sense? Presumably the notion of repentance does exist. How do you reconcile that?

jewish philosopher said...

"The atheist's attitude towards God is no different."

I don't think anyone can really deny God; he would be denying the existence of the universe. The universe is inexplicable without a creator.

"how can tshuvah ever make sense"

God is also infinitely merciful.

Ploni Almoni said...

Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto, mechaber of Mesillas Yesharim and Derech Hashem, among other works, writes that the amount of people who are to be eternally punished is "me'at me'at" (a miniscule portion). When our sages write about those who are punished past the 11th month and onwards, they always write about truly notorious sinners, those who sinned, and led the masses to sin, and worse.

Why you put people who merely disagree with you on the level of Adolph Hitler ym"sh, Hadrian, the leaders of cults of Avoda Zara, and other such sinners, is something you'll have to face when you have to answer before the beis din shel ma'alah why you didn't observe v'ahavta l'reiacha chamocha. That is, if you don't do teshuvah.

Joshua said...

So if someone simply doesn't find the existence of God to be a satisfactory explanation for the existence of the universe what then?

As to your second point, if tsuvah is possible because God is infinitely merciful why then must God then damn people for eternity? That doesn't seem to fit with the infinitely merciful claim. It doesn't even seem to fit with a having a moderate level of mercy.

jewish philosopher said...

What exactly is this fascination with the eternal damnation business? Are you planning on being eternally damned?

Joshua said...

JP, I'm not obsessed with it by any stretch of the imagination. It is however, one of the most distasteful doctrines of Christianity, and your 17 year old self was completely correct to point that out. I'm therefore intrigued by your current rejection of it.

defenestration said...

One of my rabbis, who is very much on the right side of the religious spectrum, thinks that one should not try to sell Judaism by means of proofs. All it does is to set up a defense mechanism. And if the listener is able to rebut even part of your argument, or even THINK he rebuts parts of your proof, you've probably lost him. He says to just offer to start learning Torah with him. That, and cholent.

jewish philosopher said...

"It is however, one of the most distasteful doctrines of Christianity"

Distasteful doesn't equal false.

I won't worry to much about what God is doing. On the dollar it says "In God We Trust" and that's a good idea. It's more important for us to worry about what we are doing.

"start learning Torah with him"

I suppose there are different opinions, or we would not have books like the Kuzari and Moreh Nevuchim. However, my blog does include links to several Torah study programs and kiruv retreats.

Anonymous said...

>I don't think anyone can really deny God; he would be denying the existence of the universe. The universe is inexplicable without a creator.<

Wrong.
Acknowleding god's existance is as easily dispatched as insisting on universe's eternal existance.
There is as yet no scientific evidence for either one. That does not mean that the answer to the universe's creation will not one day be discovered. It may be shown it had a creator or it might be shown that it always existed.
In either event, in the absence of any scientific evidence for god's existance, it presently makes as much sense to worship god as it is to worship my refrigerator.
On the other hand, my refrigerator gives me food, so it may make more sense to worship a major appliance.

jewish philosopher said...

Dear Anonymous,

Let me mention that since I began writing this blog I have been receiving constantly comments from anonymous trolls like you to the this effect:

It is obvious that religion is irrational. Religion causes nothing but hatred and violence. If you do not realize this then you are insane.

This is the Gospel According to Richard Dawkins.

I have not been brainwashed to believe this gospel. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Let the record show that Mr. Stein did attempt to refute any of my arguments against the probable existence of god. Its his usual ad hominem attacks that he finds perusuasive. Fortunately most rational people don't and that is why he has no credibility.

Anonymous said...

sad that the one who seems to defend your viewpoint the most is a holocaust revisionist/anti-judaism blogger...yikes

Der Snag

Yeshivish Atheist said...

JP,

For what it's worth, I happen to love your blog.

jewish philosopher said...

As the old saying goes, blogging make strange bedfellows.

Joshua said...

Yes, distasteful doesn't mean false. But I can be more blunt: It strains credulity that a merciful deity (indeed, according to you infinitely merciful) would damn anyone for eternity. And answering by saying you trust God isn't an answer for a variety of reasons, most seriously that it is a criticism of a specific belief about God. So saying you trust God isn't an answer.

So how do you reconcile your infinitely merciful deity that allows people to repent from the most heinous of crimes and yet if they die too soon they have no choice but to suffer eternally?

Anonymous said...

Yeshivish Atheist,

I love his blog too. He's the perfect poster boy for going and staying off the derech.

Hatzlacha raba to you Mr. Stein !

Anonymous said...

Y'know, scientists say that dark matter and dark energy exist, even though, they can't see them directly (Thats why they're called dark). We can only detect them indirectly. Certain phenomena cannot be explained without them. So if inderect evidence is good enogh for physicists, why can't it be good enough for theists?

jewish philosopher said...

Joshua, I don't know anything about you, however I think you are touching upon a common atheistic trick.

If a Christian comes along and say "God is all love and mercy! He's so beautiful! Believe in Him!" the atheist responds "Well that's a lot of nonsense. Look at the Holocaust, cancer, etc."

If a Jew comes along and says "God is fair, however He is also angry, vengeful and jealous. You better believe in Him or He'll zap you!" The atheist responds "Well, I refuse to believe in a cosmic tyrant and bully."

So either way, atheism wins.

Let's face it, once you've been brainwashed by the Gospel According to Richard Dawkins, logic doesn't really matter anyway.

jewish philosopher said...

"Let the record show that Mr. Stein did attempt to refute any of my arguments against the probable existence of god."

I think you mean "did not".

Well, actually every post in this blog refutes you. But I'm not bothering to bring that up. Based on your comment, it's obvious that your beliefs are faith based. I may as well as try to tell the Pope that Mary was not exactly a virgin.

I have not been brainwashed to believe in the Gospel According to Richard Dawkins. But thanks anyway for visiting.

Joshua said...

JP, something isn't a trick if it is a well-reasoned argument. In the case you bring up, there is a logical argument being made. It is a valid dilemma. That it implies conclusions you don't like doesn't make the dilemma any less real. And simply making some sort of vague ad hominem attack about Richard Dawkins won't make it go away.

But in any event, the dilemma in question that you've brought up isn't the argument that I'm making. I'm not making an argument against the existence of God at this moment in time. The argument is against your personal interpretation of what that God does to people in the afterlife. There is a fundamental difference between a God that allows suffering in this world and a God that not only punishes people in the next but subjects them to eternal torture. That second is the form you are attempting to defend.

jewish philosopher said...

What I'm talking about is a tactic commonly used by atheists to deny something they don't want to believe. No matter how God may be described, they dream up some objection to that description.

"That second is the form you are attempting to defend."

It's just a fact. Let's say your doctor tells you that eating a half gallon of ice cream a day is going to quickly kill you. You can tell him that is unfair, outrageous, it's not humane, he has no right to threaten you, what's wrong with ice cream, and so forth. But the doctor may still be right.

Joshua said...

That's a poor analogy. In the case of the doctor, he is telling you how the world works. In the case of God, God made the rules. The proper analogy is a man putting a gun to your head and saying "if you keep eating icecream I'll shoot you."

That's the sort of situation one would have.

To summarize: You have two statements you seem to accept:

1) God is infinitely merciful.
2) God subjects people to eternal torture.
3) God is functionally omnipotent.

Those are contradictory.

jewish philosopher said...

"God is infinitely merciful."

If you repent. Practically the entire subject of the Hebrew Bible is God's punishment of sinners.

Joshua said...

JP, so your conception of God isn't infinitely merciful? It is only conditionally merciful? And if repentance is necessary then why cannot repentance occur in the afterlife? And even if one did not repent, how does that justify infinite punishment?

jewish philosopher said...

"It is only conditionally merciful?"

Infinitely merciful under certain conditions.

"why cannot repentance occur in the afterlife"

We will no have free will then.

"how does that justify infinite punishment"

Why not?

Joshua said...

So in your conception, God is only infinitely merciful if someone dies at the right time? If they happen to die too early then they don't get any further chances?

And if free will vanishes at that point then why can't God simply continue to allow free will? He is omnipotent is he not?

Meanwhile, your response of "why not?" is simply ridiculous. It is akin to someone advocating the death penalty for parking violations and when someone says otherwise respond with "why not?"
Infinite punishment for finite wrongdoing isn't just. Moreover, it fails to accomplish anything. Punishment for the sole sake of punishing is cruel and an extremely inefficient use of resources. What is gained by having people tortured for eternity? And do you honestly think that humans will be happy while their loved ones suffer for eternity? There are so many problems with such an idea that it is difficult to list them all.

jewish philosopher said...

Just repent now and it's going to be the right time.

Apparently denying the infinite God is not a finite wrongdoing, it is infinitely wrong.

RebPloni said...

Do you have a Mashpia? A Rav? SOMEONE?! Because never EVER have I seen someone so desperately in need of a teacher. And no, I am not mad at you because I feel guilty. Why should I? I live my life in accordance with the Torah, I try my best to be a good person, and I genuinely love Yiddishkeit... which is why it pains me so when I see someone who is so misguided. Have any of the Rabbonim I am sure you learned from seen this site? Have they had any comments on what you have had to say? I doubt I can convince you. You are too close minded to see anything. Just please, please, for the sake of klal yisroel take down this blog and stop making such a chilul Hashem!!!

jewish philosopher said...

Who are you?

Joshua said...

I posted an additional comment a while back. I don't know if there was an error or if you decided not to publish it so I'm repeating it again.

Your response of "just repent" isn't satisfactory. First, the entire issue is whether your view of things is in fact correct, so it doesn't work. Second of all, the prospect of my own possibly suffering eternally pales in comparison to the thousands who are already dead and damned in your view. No repentance I can do will change that according to your worldview.

jewish philosopher said...

I don't remember this comment, however I don't think I understand it. Everyone is eventually justly rewarded or punished for his or her own behavior, unless they repent.

Joshua said...

The point is that saying to someone "just repent now" isn't a satisfactory explanation when the concern isn't about one's own ultimate destiny but those of all the other people. And simply repeating yourself doesn't make your notion of God any more just.

jewish philosopher said...

I think "justice" is a little bit vague and subjective.

Let's say someone steals a car. What should happen to him? Should he hang? Should his hand be cut off? Should he locked up a cage with violent criminals for five years where he will probably be beaten and raped? Should he pay a fine? Should he be asked to go to therapy? Should just return the car? Different people might have different answers.

So what you consider to be a just punishment may not be what God considers to be a just punishment.

The best policy is to do what God wants and otherwise don't worry about it.

Joshua said...

Saying "don't worry about it" is essentially the same as saying "yeah. I don't have an answer." That's particularly a problem because you continue to insist that God definitely does this. That's a problem because that's precisely the issue in question. If there is a God who is just and merciful (as you claim), I'm quite confident that he isn't putting millions of people into eternal damnation. If you are going to claim that HaKodesh Borich'Hu is doing anything like that you need to counter arguments not simply say that it can't be questioned. That doesn't deal with it.

jewish philosopher said...

"I'm quite confident that he isn't putting millions of people into eternal damnation."

Why?

Joshua said...

JP, turn it around, why are you so confident he is?

I've outlined already how it doesn't make sense that one would have infinite punishment for finite sin. It especially doesn't make sense given that the vast majority of humans make their decisions in good faith.

So, do you have a reason to think that God does this other than your own so say?

jewish philosopher said...

Maimonides mentions this in the Laws of Repentance if I remember correctly. I think he's basing it on the Talmudic statements regarding certain sinners who were being punished long after death.

http://www.come-and-hear.com/gittin/gittin_57.html

Obviously, punishing someone who has committed no crime is unjust. However, once a person has committed a crime, I don't believe that there is any universally accepted index of just punishments which tells us what a fair punishment is.

Joshua said...

Ok, first the Gemarrah you linked to doesn't say anywhere that there are eternal punishments. Moreover, the next thing that Gemarrah talks about is a person being able to jump impossible distances so interpreting this Gemarrah in a literal fashion seems problematic (or are you the sort of person who insists that every Aggadatah is literal?)

Meanwhile, whether there is no universally accepted index of punishments doesn't change the fact that reasonable people can discuss punishments and agree that some are unreasonable. For example, no one thinks that jaywalking should be a death penalty offense.

jewish philosopher said...

The next time God wants to discuss it, I'll ask Him to email you.

Joshua said...

JP, this is my final attempt to discuss this with you because you seem either unwilling or unable to have an actual discussion.

The entire issue at hand is whether your personal view of what God would do is correct. So saying I'll have God discuss it with you is identical to saying that you can't justify it. Do you see why that is a problem?

jewish philosopher said...

You feel that the rabbinical Jewish concept of God is unreasonable and unbelievable. You may think that dark energy or quantum physics are unreasonable and unbelievable. I don't think I change how you feel about anything.

Joshua said...

JP. I really wish I could be there to see the look on your face when the Beit She'll Mailah informs you that "What God Thinks", "What the Tanaim and Amoraism Thought" and "What Jacob Stein Thinks" are not all synonyms.

jewish philosopher said...

This blog as a rule follows the teachings of the Lithuanian rabbinical seminaries of the 1920s and 1930s.

I generally provide sources for my opinions.