Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Why Risk Hell?



[“Fire is one-sixtieth part of Gehinnom” Talmud Berakoth 57b]

I think it’s obvious that it is worthwhile to be an observant Jew even if one is not certain that Judaism is true – provided one condition is met: one is convinced that Judaism is more likely to be true than any other religion.

The reason is as follows. Let’s say someone would give you a hamburger but then explain to you that there is a 1% chance that there is fatal dose of cyanide in the sandwich. Would you eat it? I definitely wouldn’t. Therefore how can someone eat pork if there is even a 1% chance of burning in hell if he eats it?

The only logical reason I can imagine for ignoring Judaism would be a situation where someone believes that another religion which threatens damnation makes more sense, and therefore he is embracing that instead, however actually no other religion comes close to having the logical basis Judaism does.

Alternatively, one could argue that although there is some chance that Judaism is true, however the cost of being a Jew is too great to make being observant worthwhile. This is surely untrue, since actually Judaism does so much to enhance the lives of those who observe it.

What amazes me are the skeptics who seem to view religious discussions as some sort of court case where they are the accused and I, the Jew, am the prosecutor. I must “convict” them. I must bring evidence beyond any reasonable doubt that Orthodox Judaism is true before they can be “condemned” to a life of observance. So long as they can raise some doubt, they are free. This is just delusional nonsense. The truth is precisely the opposite. They must bring evidence beyond any reasonable doubt that Orthodox Judaism is false before they can be “freed” from a life of observance.

[Incidentally, I have heard of “Pascal’s Wager” , however I believe that my argument avoids all the major objections to it.]

70 comments:

NC said...

You are making the linkage that if Judaism is true, damnation in hell follows. But this is false, for even if orthodoxy is true, other than the contiued existence of the soul after death, there is no definitive or required belief. In order to believe in hell, you have to take the Talmudic references literally which you yourself said is frequently allegorical when speaking of spiritual matters.

Another problem with your argument: Pyschology. We live with risks all the time. We get into our cars. We sometimes eat unhealthy foods. We cross the street. We make plans for the future. We put money in the stock market. We sometimes engage in dangerous sports or recreational activities. We don't live our lives as though each unlikely risk will actually happen.

jewish philosopher said...

One of the 13 principles of faith is:

I believe with perfect faith that G-d rewards those who keep His commandments, and punishes those who transgress Him.

http://www.ou.org/torah/rambam.htm

So somewhere, somehow punishment for that cheeseburger is inescapable.

"We live with risks all the time."

But as little as reasonably possible.

Mike said...

I think you are right on this, JP.

For most non-Jews this should be compelling enough reason to accept the Noahide laws. Abiding by its strictures should be easy for most. Folks like Richard Dawkins are either hopelessly ignorant of the real issues of living, or reckless with their lives in the extreme.

For Jews, while this argument is still compelling to my way of thinking, their problem is more difficult. Observing Torah Judaism, for one not accustomed to its observance, and who has no feeling whatsoever for its practice, is difficult. While it's considered axiomatic that the pain of punishment in the afterlife exceeds whatever pain one may encounter in this world, this rationale does not feel compelling to a Jew who has a definite preference for living a secular life. The treat of punishment in the afterlife doesn't make keeping kosher, davening 3 times a day, learning Gemara, family purity, etc. feel any more appealing. Absent genuine "fear of Heaven," this reasoning fails to motivate, on a practical level.

Of course, I believe that for most Jews, a Jewish life, properly lived, would be more fulfilling than living a secular life, so this modified Pascal's wager would not really be so difficult in practice, but many secular/ex-religious Jews would disagree with me on this point. Add to that the fact that there are religious Jews who approach Judaism in ways that appear to promote unhappiness, if not downright antisocial behavior, and the appeal of Judaism is further lessened in the eyes of these folks.

jewish philosopher said...

There are unhappy observant people, however those same people would probably be even more unhappy if they were not.

NC said...

I consider the likelihood of hell to be approaching zero. However, if you can give me even one iota of objective evidence that it does exist, I will be willing to upgrade the chances to infinitesimal.

Acceptable evidence would include:

1. credible eyewitness testimony
2. indirect physical evidence

Arguments based on authority alone are unacceptable.

ksil said...

LOL

based on this logic, you should believe in Jesus.

unless yu obelieve and practice judaism according to the lithuanian rabbis of the 1920s and 30s you are damned to hell!

ROTFL

jewish philosopher said...

"I consider the likelihood of hell to be approaching zero. However, if you can give me even one iota of objective evidence that it does exist, I will be willing to upgrade the chances to infinitesimal. "

No problem. In I've even got it on YouTube.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ty86MxLgxLM&sns=em

Rabbi Chaim Ozer Grodzinski, in 1939, stated that the Nazi persecution of the Jews was the fault of non-Orthodox Jews (Achiezer, volume III, Vilna 1939), in the introduction. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holocaust_theology#Haredi_theological_.22tendencies.22

I expand on this here in more detail.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2009/06/holocaust-clear-evidence-of-gods-hand.html

For the benefit of skeptics, God brought hell to earth. Think of the Holocaust as Hell for Dummies.

However, of course, like there are Holocaust deniers there are hell deniers. People have an immense capacity to refuse to believe unpleasant facts.  

"based on this logic, you should believe in Jesus."

Jesus - one guy claims to be God. Judaism - three million people hear God. Lol.

NC said...

JP, you make a false analogy between the holocaust, which is historical fact documented by multiple independent sources (including the perpetrators), and Sinai or Hell, which is documented in one book.

"Rabbi Chaim Ozer Grodzinski, in 1939, stated that the Nazi persecution of the Jews was the fault of non-Orthodox Jews (Achiezer, volume III, Vilna 1939), in the introduction. "

So you believe every dumb theory some idiot writes? How does he know? The same way that Talmud rabbis knew about keeping snakes out of horny women's vaginas.

jewish philosopher said...

You wanted proof of hell. Did you watch that Youtube clip? If that's not proof, then nothing is.

If you're saying that you want proof that God exists in the first place and that He gave us the Torah, that's a different story. See this post for example.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2006/12/truth-of-judaism.html

And by the way, since you keep bringing up Talmudic science, didn't Darwin speculated that life began in a warm pond on the primordial Earth? So how can you take seriously anything written by such a idiot?

NC said...

"You wanted proof of hell. Did you watch that Youtube clip? "

Are you just being poetic? That humans are capable of great evil is nothing new. Is that supposed to prove an "afterlife" hell?

"So how can you take seriously anything written by such a idiot"

Do you really fail to see the difference?

Darwin is no longer considered an authority. Your talmudic rabbis are. Darwin made a discovery. But a lot has happened in 150 years. Claiming that evolution is true is not based on the authority of Darwin anymore.

OTOH, you consult the Talmud for the rabbinic statements as an authority. A later rabbi cannot go against him.

jewish philosopher said...

What difference does it make if your hell will be in this world, the next world or both? At the time and place of His choosing God will get you. He has more options than you can imagine.

And my belief in Torah has no more to do with any infallibility or psychic powers of the rabbis than your belief in evolution has to do with the infallibility of Darwin.

Abe said...

jewish philosopher said...
>>>You wanted proof of hell. Did you watch that Youtube clip? If that's not proof, then nothing is.<<<

Ha Ha Ha.

This is dopey Stein and just as just as delusional.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i7Ge0fWvgr8

NC said...

"And my belief in Torah has no more to do with any infallibility or psychic powers of the rabbis..."

That is an interesting statement coming from you. It is not consistent with heredi hashkafa. All of the Oral Law is based on Talmudic authority.

"What difference does it make if your hell will be in this world, the next world or both?"

These are two different claims that you are conflating. "hell on earth" means that justice is served up in this world. Hell in the next world means something very different. Two different claims, requiring different arguments. The first is testable, and obviously fails. The second is untestable.

I can live without the delusion or false hopes that goodness is always rewarded and evil is punished. I know, its painful to realize this, JP, but you seem to get some distorted sadistic joy out of believing that we skeptics who disagree with you will be tortured for eternity.

jewish philosopher said...

You see Abe, this is why (in the fantasies of the sick atheist mind) atheism can never be falsified.

If an atheist is doing well (as I suppose you are) then that proves there is no God - if there was, He would surely punish him.

There is the story about Robert G. Ingersoll who was delivering lectures against the Bible. One night he dramatically took out his watch and said, "I'll give God a chance to prove that He exists and is almighty. I challenge Him to strike me dead within 5 minutes!" First there was silence, then people became uneasy. Some left the hall, unable to take the nervous strain of the occasion, and one woman fainted. At the end of the allotted time, the atheist exclaimed derisively, "See! There is no God. I am still very much alive!"

http://www.freshministry.org/030500.html

But then, when the inevitable punishment does strike, it also proves there is no God.

http://www3.dbu.edu/mitchell/holocaust_views.htm

jewish philosopher said...

"All of the Oral Law is based on Talmudic authority."

Which is based on well known facts of Jewish history, not magic.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2010/03/jewish-literature-seeing-effects-of.html

"we skeptics who disagree with you will be tortured for eternity"

And the burden of proof is on you to prove you won't be punished as I explain in this post.

Abe said...

>>>jewish philosopher said...
You see Abe, this is why (in the fantasies of the sick atheist mind) atheism can never be falsified.

If an atheist is doing well (as I suppose you are) then that proves there is no God - if there was, He would surely punish him.<<<

Untrue. It proves nothing either way.
Only your warped sophistic logic directs you to that specious conclusion.
And we can only blame years of baleful torah inculcation for your casuistic mental transformation. You should have remained a goy. At least you would have retained some measure of absurdity forebearance

Jeff said...

"Rabbi Chaim Ozer Grodzinski, in 1939, stated that the Nazi persecution of the Jews was the fault of non-Orthodox Jews", "Think of the Holocaust as Hell for Dummies". If you want to argue that the Holocaust is proof that Hell is real, what type of God are you worshiping? Were all those who suffered in the Holocaust evil? A God who punishes the innocent will not reward the righteous.

jewish philosopher said...

Abe, please remember to take your medication. This is very embarrassing.

"what type of God are you worshiping?"

He's fair, but not an enabler. I explain in more detail here.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2009/08/kindness-of-suffering.html

Anonymous said...

Abe:

I think you missed JP's point. He was presenting the atheisys arguement. If an atheist does well, the atheist sites this as proof that there is no God, or else he would be punished. If the atheist does not do well, it is sited as proof that there is no God because no god would be that cruel.

Jeff said...

There is nothing just about the suffering of the innocent. As for the argument that those who suffer are the reincarnation of someone who has done evil in a past life, how can one argue that a person who has no knowledge of a past life, and who has done no evil in their present life, will suffer?
To use one of your analogies, a Father who punishes their child for something the child has no knowledge of is not being just, he is being cruel.

jewish philosopher said...

I don't think amnesia is generally a successful criminal defense.

http://www.totalcriminaldefense.com/news/articles/unusual/car-crash-amnesia.aspx

Jeff said...

Punishment for actions in past lives is not a case of Amnesia. In a criminal case one must present evidence in court, which is then reviewed by both sides. If the defendant suffers from amnesia, he will still have seen the evidence of his guilt in court (Habeas Corpus).
If one wants to argue that suffering is punishment for the sins of a past life, then shouldn't one know the reasons for one's punishment?
An easy answer would be that the proof of one's sins is the punishment itself, but that is not a logical argument. Instead you are basing the argument on belief. Since God is Just, there must be a reason for suffering. We suffer because of our sins. But this is just circular reasoning.
Would it not be easier to acknowledge that evil is unjust, and that God's ways are unknowable? For to say Evil is a result of God's Justice makes a mockery of God.

jewish philosopher said...

" If the defendant suffers from amnesia, he will still have seen the evidence of his guilt in court"

Of course you will, prior to you rebirth.

jewish philosopher said...

Let's say someone has committed a crime, been tried, convicted, sentenced to ten years in prison. In prison he has an accident, bangs his head and loses his memory. He really truly, and a lie detector confirms, that he has no memory of his crime whatsoever. No court in the world would release him.

Jeff said...

The question isn't whether the person remembers, the question is whether their guilt has been established in court.

NC said...

JP, I have already demonstrated the absurdity and untestability of your claims about evil.

1. If something bad happens to an evil person-- its because he deserved it.
2. If something bad happens to a seemingly good person, he's actually either actually bad, or did something bad in a previous life.
3. If something good happens to a good person, he was rewarded,
4. If something good happens to a bad person, he will certainly be accordingly punished in the world to come.

So basically, no matter what happens to anybody in any situation, you have an "explanation", but which is so inconsistent and unpredictable that the recipient of the good or bad has no idea of what he is getting. As someone once said, its like nailing jell-o to a tree. It slips and slides and serves no purpose. Using your "rules" can you predict anything?

Your amnesia analogy is really dumb, JP. Because, in the case of a reincarnated person there is no record, no possibility of ever recalling or verifying by any other party what actually transpired.

If you have a child with CP, and that is punishment because in a previous life 200 years ago your forbearer was a mass murderer-- does that really make sense to you, JP? Is that supposed to promote justice? That is what you are saying.

I think you should put down the booze.

jewish philosopher said...

I'm not claiming that current events are generally a proof of God. I am merely refuting Sam Harris "irrefutable" proof that there is no God.

http://www.samharris.org/site/full_text/atheist-manifesto-dec-7-2005/

But on the other hand I never underestimate people's capacity to deny the unpleasant truth that there is a God and reward and punishment are inevitable.

This tidbit is from Libya yesterday:

"Life is normal, the ports, schools and airports are all open. The problem lies in the eastern regions," Saif Gaddafi told Libyan television while touring the station's offices.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/02/23/948913/-BREAKING:Gaddafi-Ordered-Lockerbie-Bombing,-Libyas-Justice-Minister

Sure, Saif, everything's fine. 

NC said...

Many people have tried to prove there is no god but failed. However, this is mainly because of the difficulty inherent in proving a negative. To the best of my knowledge nobody has conclusively proven that there are no UFOs or celestial teapots.

jewish philosopher said...

There's also nobody in libya against Gaddafi. Don't worry NC, it's all good.

Abe said...

<<>>

No rational atheist would make that argument in defense of god's inexistence. It matters not if one does well or exceedingly fails. It neither proves nor disproves god's existence. JP just rambles mindlessly, utilizing sophistry as the cornerstone of his delusionary contentions.
Its not difficult to resort to falacious argumentation when you suffer from diminished logical capacity. In fact, you might say that JP's reasoning insufficiency might vitiate the conjecture that evolutionary theory champions higher reasoning.
Imagine that -- JP's cognition disproves evolution. I'm converting to chareidism tomorrow.

jewish philosopher said...

"rational atheist"

This doesn't exist.

onionsoupmix said...

just wondering if you are aware that there are some orthodox jewish groups that don't believe in a traditional hell. Or if you are ignorant of them as well.

jewish philosopher said...

There may be traditional orthodox Jews who don't believe in God. Or who do believe in Jesus or Buddha. So what?

onionsoupmix said...

so that means hell is not a normative concept in orthodoxy judaism and your whole post is a waste of my blog reading time, as most of your posts are.

jewish philosopher said...

My sweet onion, my posts are always of mind blowing importance.

One of the 13 principles of faith is:

I believe with perfect faith that G-d rewards those who keep His commandments, and punishes those who transgress Him.

http://www.ou.org/torah/rambam.htm

So somewhere, somehow punishment for that cheeseburger is inescapable.

No orthodox Jew disputes this. If he does, he's not orthodox.

onionsoupmix said...

first of all, punishment doesn't have to be in a form of a physically painfull hell, as your post suggests. It can be, for example, the emotionally-painful realization that you have done something wrong or lived your life incorrectly.

Second of all, the 13 principles of faith are not prerequisites for orthodoxy. There were chachomim who strongly disagreed with one or more of those tenets. The 13 principles are just what the rambam thought were the basics.

What is the point of me arguing about this? Nothing. You will shortly resort to name calling and other ad hominem attacks just like you always do when you run out of actual arguments. Eh, I have no interest in this anymore. Ciao.

jewish philosopher said...

No one disputes the inevitability of divine justice and judgement, onion. Except you I guess.

And can anyone explain to me why all ex-orthodox Jewish girls are fat? Do they also believe that diet has no connection to weight?

Abe said...

>>jewish philosopher said...
My sweet onion, my posts are always of mind blowing importance.

One of the 13 principles of faith is:

I believe with perfect faith that G-d rewards those who keep His commandments, and punishes those who transgress Him.

http://www.ou.org/torah/rambam.htm<<<


You know who else has the same perfect faith? And inspires and instills the same perfect faith in his flock?
The Pope. So why should his perfect faith be any less all-encompassing and valid than yours? Of course it can't because its an unfalsifiable spiritual intangible.
If your faith were perfect, by definition, all Catholics should have already converted to chareidism. Since they havn't, it rings true that your faith is not perfect.
And the corolary to that is that neither of your faiths are perfect. Indeed they are nothing more than a sham; a convenient from of delusory mind control.

Abe said...

>>jewish philosopher said...
My sweet onion, my posts are always of mind blowing importance.

One of the 13 principles of faith is:

I believe with perfect faith that G-d rewards those who keep His commandments, and punishes those who transgress Him.

http://www.ou.org/torah/rambam.htm<<<


You know who else has the same perfect faith? And inspires and instills the same perfect faith in his flock?
The Pope. So why should his perfect faith be any less all-encompassing and valid than yours? Of course it can't because its an unfalsifiable spiritual intangible.
If your faith were perfect, by definition, all Catholics should have already converted to chareidism. Since they havn't, it rings true that your faith is not perfect.
And the corolary to that is that neither of your faiths are perfect. Indeed they are nothing more than a sham; a convenient from of delusory mind control.

Anonymous said...

***And can anyone explain to me why all ex-orthodox Jewish girls are fat? Do they also believe that diet has no connection to weight?***

I think that's because all those ex-orthodox girls have become so depressed because they've realized that they've been deceived all their lives under the awful orthodox faith. Coming to the realization that they wasted their lives can lead to awful eating habits.
But, weight watchers can help. Unfortunately, nothing can help the spiritualy corrupted ultra-orthodox mind.

jewish philosopher said...

"So why should his perfect faith be any less all-encompassing and valid than yours?"

I've explained that.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2011/01/does-ezra-jesus.html

"I think that's because all those ex-orthodox girls have become so depressed because they've realized that they've been deceived all their lives under the awful orthodox faith."

Or maybe they're just stupid and ugly.

Anonymous said...

"I think that's because all those ex-orthodox girls have become so depressed because they've realized that they've been deceived all their lives under the awful orthodox faith."

**Or maybe they're just stupid and ugly.**

More likely is that they've come to the realization that their former lives were oppressed by a stupid and ugly religion.
I'm sure that with a bit of counseling, they'll be alright. Unfortunately, stupid and ugly chareidism is beyond the help of psychiatry.

jewish philosopher said...

"I'm sure that with a bit of counseling, they'll be alright"

Email me the before and after photos.

JRKmommy said...

What if hell happens to be populated with misogynists? Are you willing to take the chance?

OSM is correct that the popular notion of hell (as a place ruled by an evil supernatural force separate from G-d, filled with fire, to which souls are eternally damned) is a Christian and Islamic concept. Judaism certainly has a notion of a World to Come and of eventual judgment and reward and punishment, but it's not known for the specific theology that sinners burn in hell for all eternity. Some say that the concept is either vague, or closer to that of purgatory ie. a stage of temporary suffering which prepares the soul to come closer to G-d.

http://judaism.about.com/library/3_askrabbi_o/bl_simmons_heavenhell.htm

jewish philosopher said...

"What if hell happens to be populated with misogynists?"

You're not referring to my hatred of Tova Schreiber, I hope.

This is a woman who, because I had the courage to criticize her, has caused me to lose my job as a computer programmer, which I was engaged in to respectably support my wife and three small children, including a nine year old in a wheel chair.

http://righteousrasha.blogspot.com/2009/10/jew-president-two-patriots.html

http://jacobstein-mystory.blogspot.com/2007/03/more-about-me.html

Thanks to her, we are on the verge of becoming homeless. And she's proud of this. I frankly don't see much more to admire about her than I see to admire in Hitler. In fact, I respect Hitler far more. Raised as he was, a 19th century Austrian catholic, of course he hated Jews. He was a product of his society. Tova, raised an orthodox jew, has no such excuse.

The type of suffering to be found in hell is made clear in the Talmud.

"Fire is one-sixtieth part of Gehinnom” Talmud Berakoth 57b

And heretics will remain there forever. Talmud Rosh haShanah 17a

JRKmommy said...

Actually, I was referring to your comments just above mine on this thread. Making negative comments about the appearance of some women is not befitting a Torah-true Jew, and it's not aidel.

I am sorry to hear about the suffering of your family. If it gives you chizzuk, remember that parnasseh is dictated by Hashem. This is clearly causing a great deal of pain for you and your family, so I can understand that you feel angry, and may even be blinded by that anger. Please realize that this isn't about Tova. It is about you. The Jewish response to hardship is introspection.

I constantly have situations where I need to explain to clients that their words and deeds sometimes stand alone and speak volumes, even if they believe that they felt provoked.

The information on the Jewish concept of hell comes from the link that you provided. It is seen more as a process of purification than of punishment, lasting no more than 12 months. This is references in the Jewish practice of one saying Kaddish for one's parents for 11 months. We hope that this mitzvah will count toward their merit and ease their way into the World to Come, but ending it before 12 months indicates our faith that they were not so bad that they needed the full 12 months.

jewish philosopher said...

"This is all a wonderful idea. People who do not adhere to halacha should be ejected from their communities, homes, etc. Maybe even shot. I like that. Since the above, sadly, is against halacha, we should foremost start with the author of the post."

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2008/11/hunting-secret-atheists-beginners-guide.html?showComment=1226041320000#c4372363075324285627

To the best of my knowledge this was my first contact with OSM; a suggestion that I should be shot.

My policy is that if people are rude to me, I am rude to them. If they can dish it out, they should be able to take it.

"Please realize that this isn't about Tova."

I am happy to have the opportunity to suffer for my beliefs. I also have no doubt God will repay her, as He is surely repaying all Jew haters.

"lasting no more than 12 months"

For a Jew, however heretics are not Jews, but the opposite, as I explain here.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2009/06/jewish-heretics.html

I think one of the basic differences between you and I, Mommy, is that you seem to believe that so long as someone is Jewish then, no matter how outrageous their behavior may be, they still deep down have a "good heart" and they will probably eventually repent. This is the "pintele Yid" idea.

In reality, I think this has no basis in the Talmud and it even sounds somewhat offensive. Does this imply that gentiles (who make up about 99.8% of mankind) don't have a "good heart" and will surely never repent? I don't believe that there is on a visible, psychological level any such distinction between Jews and gentiles.

JRKmommy said...

I believe I made reference to the pintele Yid concept in a previous comment, but I have never, ever said or implied that gentiles don't have a "good heart", nor have I ever referred to anyone lacking the capacity to repent. Righteous gentiles are surely destined for a great reward, and we should honor them.

Furthermore, you are completely missing my point. I'll try to explain it more clearly. It think it's possible that your psychological makeup or personality is such that you are reasonably intelligent in abstract intellectual matters, but lack social perception and judgment. It's not unlike the description of Mark Zuckerberg in 'The Accidental Billionaires". In plain English - maybe you simply don't realize just how offensive you can be, so you rationalize any anger toward you as coming from "enemies of Judaism".

You can express total disagreement with someone. That's fine. However, your choice of words and actions will always say something about YOU, which is separate from the other person.

To give an example: I know a Muslim woman who was considered to be a heretic in her community. She would get hate mail calling her a Jew. The fact that someone would use "Jew" as an insult is an indication of their own Jew-hatred, which is unrelated to this woman.

Similarly, whenever I see someone use foul language, it reflects upon that person's character and refinement. If someone throws around words like "retard" as an insult, it indicates a poor attitude toward those with developmental disabilities. If someone those around words like "fat" as an insult, it also reflects intolerance and a lack of maturity. If someone hurls insults like "fat" and "ugly" exclusively at women, it suggests that they think it's appropriate to put down women on the basis of appearances (quite contrary to the sentiments in Proverbs 31). It's sexist and misogynist. Making sexual comments as insults towards women not only reflects a crudeness associated with the lowest levels of society, but a total lack of respect toward all women.

Your family is clearly suffering. I'm sure you find that extremely difficult. Psychologically, it would be extremely difficult for you to see yourself as being the cause of such distress for the people you love. For your own self-preservation, it's far easier to shift the blame and anger onto others, and to even repaint your actions as righteous. You would rather see yourself as martyr than failure.

The only problem with that is that Orthodox Judaism doesn't encourage crude language, it doesn't encourage sexist insults, it doesn't encourage sexually explicit comments, it doesn't encourage a man to make unwanted contact with a girl, and it doesn't encourage using an employer's computer for improper purposes.

jewish philosopher said...

"I believe I made reference to the pintele Yid concept in a previous comment, but I have never, ever said or implied that gentiles don't have a "good heart", nor have I ever referred to anyone lacking the capacity to repent. Righteous gentiles are surely destined for a great reward, and we should honor them."

Ok, so exactly what does "pintele yid" mean if not some innate moral superiority of Jews compared to Gentiles based purely upon ethnic background and where do we find this mentioned in classic, premodern rabbinical literature? To put it another way, if I would condemn Islamic terrorists as being filthy, mad dogs would you rush to their defense based on their innate human goodness?

"In plain English - maybe you simply don't realize just how offensive you can be, so you rationalize any anger toward you as coming from "enemies of Judaism". "

I haven't noticed any ultra-orthodox Jews having a problem with me.

And by the way, would you also feel that Polish hassidic Jews deserved to be murdered for dressing in a way which was so offensive to Polish Catholics?

"If someone hurls insults like "fat" and "ugly" exclusively at women,"

I have no trouble using them regarding men either, however many male apostates seem to be slim and as far as "ugly" goes, I am not a good judge of male beauty.

" You would rather see yourself as martyr than failure."

Since you feel free to call me a "failure" based on my employment status, would you mind releasing to me your own financial records?

"The only problem with that is that Orthodox Judaism doesn't encourage crude language, it doesn't encourage sexist insults, it doesn't encourage sexually explicit comments, it doesn't encourage a man to make unwanted contact with a girl, and it doesn't encourage using an employer's computer for improper purposes."

Actually, Judaism obligates us to use all means to fight against heretics, including in theory vigilante style assassination.

Maimonides wrote in The Laws of a Murderer, chapter four, halacha 10: Heretics, which are those among Jews who deny the Torah and prophecy--it is a commandment to kill them, and if he has strength to kill them with a foil he does so in public, and if not, he should act against them with cunning, until he causes them to be killed. If he sees one fall into a well and the ladder is in the well, first he should remove the ladder and say, 'I must take my son down off the roof, I'll bring it back' or some such thing.

http://www.mechon-mamre.org/i/b504.htm

Although in practice we cannot go that far, however I think blogging is still OK.

Anonymous said...

Heh-heh-heh. I stand by my words. If you advocate the hunting of those who do not adhere to halacha, that in itself is against halacha, so you must use your logic first and foremost against yourself.

Also, JP, you and I have never met. You have no idea what I look like, so the comments about my appearance simply reflect your overall hatred of women. I do not understand why no one in your community will help your wife leave. That is the saddest thing about this blog, thinking about your poor wife. - OSM

jewish philosopher said...

You have a profile picture.

The fact is that happy, smart, slim girls don't leave. The dregs sometimes do and we're better off as a result.

Anonymous said...

The profile picture is a face shot not a body shot. It also happens to be a very cute picture. In addition, you don't even know that it is mine; I could have just lifted it off of google images for all you know.

And happy, smart, slim girls leave all the time. I am a perfect example.

The sad people with low self esteem and no options are the ones who are forced to stay.

-OSM

jewish philosopher said...

So you're saying the profile isn't you and you look even worse. I'll buy that.

Mommy, just getting back to you for a second, I'd love to hear more (independently verifiable of course) details about your remarkable success in life, since I see that you seem to be an authority on success. I'm sure that you could inspire and guide many failures such as myself.

First of all, what about your health and fitness. I'll bet you're in top shape. What's your secret?

Next, your warm loving family life. How long married? How many kids? Are they academic and athletic successes like mom? Don't forget photos. 

What about the community? Any important honors and awards? Don't be shy!

Finally, your successful career. Let's see those income tax returns, bank statements, etc. After all, money is the real barometer of success in your opinion.

How do you balance it all? I'm dying to know.

Anonymous said...

yeah, it seems like you'd be a perfect candidate for us to send our personal information to. I mean, it's not like you've ever used womens' personal information in a threatening way, right? We should totally send you all our family info, right down to our social security numbers, that's how trustworthy you are.

Why didn't we think of that before JRK? hahahahaha. -OSM

jewish philosopher said...

Don't try to make up excuses. People who blog anonymously do so for the same reason Klan members wore masks.

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/01/03/anonymity-and-the-dark-side-of-the-internet/

It's just pathetic to call people failures without being willing to disclose anything about oneself. Hahahaha

JRKmommy said...

This isn't about me. It's not my blog. The "failure" comment was simply in response to your statement that the well-being of your family had been jeopardized by your job loss. If the consequences of the loss were so severe that they justify calling the person you hold responsible "Hitler", then it is likely that if YOU were in fact the person responsible, that YOU would think of yourself as a failure.

In the current economy, I certainly don't label everyone who is struggling financially as a complete failure.

Where on earth did the comment about the clothing of Orthodox Jews come from? (Sigh) The very fact that you cannot differentiate between your offensive behavior and people who are simply wearing a certain style of clothes demonstrates my point that there is likely a large discrepancy between your standard IQ and your social/emotional intelligence. Ideally, you will find work again as a computer programmer, since this type of employment tends to suit people with high functioning Asperger syndrome and similar personalities.

As for the pintele Yid concept - I noticed that you have a link to Ohr Samayach. Here's something quick that I found on their website:

http://ohr.edu/yhiy/article.php/4543/html/rss/

I guess it's not just a Chabad concept.

There are numerous references in the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) to Israelites doing things wrong, including even severe sins such as idolatry, but nevertheless being beloved by G-d even throughout periods of punishment.

Basic halacha makes distinctions between Jews and gentiles. Jews have increased obligations in the form of more commandments, and have also been instructed to act as a "light unto nations" and as a nation of priests - which means that we are essentially in service to the rest of the world. "Moral superiority" would be the wrong term. All human beings who are mentally competent and at least 12/13 years of age are granted free will and can choose whether or not to abide by the commandments applicable to them. In other words - both Jews and gentiles can choose to act morally or immorally. It's also clear from Bereshis (Genesis) chapter 1 that humans - all humans - were created in the image of G-d.

JRKmommy said...

Back to the original argument - by the same logic, should I avoid killing bugs just in case Jainism may be true, even though I don't believe that to be the case?

I mean, if all of those mosquitoes really were souls of ancestors, then I'm in big trouble.

jewish philosopher said...

Mommy, I know it's my blog, however you disappoint me. I'm sure that someone such as yourself, who is such an authority on successful living, could, through your example, inspire so many poor losers such as myself. I didn't think you'd be this selfish.

Or, maybe you're an even bigger failure. Whatever.

Apparently, you can't answer any direct question, but prefer to just continue to throw out random insults hoping that something, somehow will persuade me to stop saying bad things about orthodox jewish apostates to atheism. Clearly you really like these people and therefore, I'm really upsetting you. Perhaps you feel solidarity; a Jew is Jew and whether he may atheist, Muslim, Christian or whatever that's not too important. If the Talmud says otherwise, well damn the Talmud.

News flash: it's not gonna happen. I think you'll just have to find a new hobby my friend.

Regarding biblical sinners, none were actually heretics. The prophets never criticized the Jews for denying Him or the Torah. They sinned in many ways and were heavily punished as well as brutally chastised by the prophets. Many lost the next world and/or this one. However they did not reach the level of depravity of recent generations who scoff at the miracles of the exodus or Sinai.

"should I avoid killing bugs just in case Jainism may be true, even though I don't believe that to be the case?"

Jainism - one guy had a revelation.

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

Judaism - three million people.

Which is more likely to be authentic?  

JRKmommy said...

It has nothing to do with the subjects of your words and actions.

I believe that you have a problem, which can be addressed. This is not an insult. It is a sincere suggestion which may improve your life and that of your family.

I do hope to inspire others through my writing, and occasionally I have success. For that reason, I use proper language, avoid gossip and generally try to model appropriate speech.

I realize that my chances of persuading you are low. We may continue to disagree. By posting, however, your readers may realize that you are not the most accurate representation of Orthodox Judaism, and that the Chofetz Chaim provides a far better example of proper communication, and organizations like Aish and Chabad are better examples of how observant Jews should relate to less observant Jews.

jewish philosopher said...

I think the message you're trying to get across Mommy is: tolerance. 

This seems to be your point: Judaism preaches tolerance, and you are horrified that I am insisting otherwise.

Yes, of course, the Torah is true, however we do not believe in forcing anyone, persecuting anyone, shunning anyone, insulting anyone, etc. If you want to be an atheist, a homosexual, a Jewish Christian, so long as you're not breaking the law or hurting anyone, you're fine. We believe in pluralism and liberal democracy and Orthodox Judaism is just my personal, private preference from the whole Smorgasbord of lifestyles modern society has to offer. The Torah is my personal truth.

This is classic modern orthodox philosophy. This type of thinking allowed modern orthodox rabbis to support Herzl and ben gurion for example without a qualm.

The fact is, that this contradicts the Torah, the Talmud, 3,000 years of Jewish tradition including sections of daily Jewish prayers and it is currently rejected by about 85% of orthodox Jews and virtually all distinguished Talmudic scholars.

Your insistence that this is "real" orthodoxy and I have a "problem" is just delusional.

JRKmommy said...

For once, you've actually gotten some of my views correct. You just left out the part about outreach and inreach - I don't just stay in my private Torah bubble, but reach out in non-coercive ways.

Tolerance is not to be confused with acceptance or approval. It is a framework for civil coexistence even when there is disapproval.

I'm curious about your figure that this is "currently rejected by about 85% of Orthodox Jews and virtually all distinguished Talmudic scholars". The last time that I asked you for the name of ANY other living rabbi who approved of your posts, you couldn't provide any.

Incidentally, back when I was still posting on Babycenter, I did have some sharp but respectful exchanges with a woman who had been a white supremacist. I managed to clear up some of her false beliefs about Jews and Judaism, and she passed on information about the movement.

jewish philosopher said...

"The last time that I asked you for the name of ANY other living rabbi who approved of your posts, you couldn't provide any."

All my posts and comments are very carefully sourced. If you lack the language skills to read some sources, then ask for help.

Modern orthodoxy is clearing small and shrinking, as I've explained here.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2010/03/modern-orthodoxy-is-it-ok.html

Out of curiosity, do you always cover your hair in public?

ksil said...

what i dont get is why you care so much about what other people do or believe?

if she covers or hair or not....who cares? you do? why?

and you seem to only care about certain mitzvot that you deem (for some reason) more important than others! like covering one's hair, versus child abuse, or lashon hara...

makes very little sense

jewish philosopher said...

OK, since your apparently have a guilty conscience: are you abusing children?

ksil said...

"while I believe it is obligatory"

FOR YOU!!!

also, if you spoke out about other (in my view) major "aveiros" in the orthodox community (such as child abuse or racism) with as much vigor as you do against (in my view) minor "aveiros" like married women covering there hair, or the particular personal beliefs of some orthodox jews (which does not affect you in the slightest) - you would have an ounce of credibility in your rants....but alas, yo do not.

jewish philosopher said...

Mommy, I think that our basic disagreement is that you believe that Torah observance is optional while I believe it is obligatory. Then, in order to discredit me, you falsely accuse me of being a woman hater and a sexual predator, all behind a cowardly mask of anonymity. For all I know, you're blogging from a psychiatric ward.

To insist that only the writings of living rabbis have any validity on this issue is merely a silly excuse to ignore the writings of Maimonides, the Shulchan Aruch, the Chofetz Chaim among others, in addition to the Talmud and Torah. Rabbis are not in the habit of repeating what is already clearly recorded and well known.

You apparently have been so thoroughly indoctrinated to believe in liberal democracy that that you cannot accept authentic Judaism.   
 

jewish philosopher said...

Ksil, the purpose of this blog is to promote Orthodox Judaism and to critique other ideologies, in particular atheism: promoting truth and real happiness; fighting lies and harmful addictions.

If you want the anti- orthodox blood libels, try reading failedmessiah, awarenesscenter or stormfront. They all have the same stuff basically.

ksil said...

"to promote Orthodox Judaism "

great job! bravo!

i would just point out that is your brand of orthodox judaism - rejected not only by 99% of the world, but by 75%+ of orthodox jews too

JRKmommy said...

1. https://sites.google.com/site/mynewdo/

2. Aseh l'cha rav comes straight from the Talmud in Mishna Avot. Orthodox Jews are not Protestants. Litvish/yeshivish Orthodox Jews, particularly those who don't live far from an established Jewish community, have a reputation for taking this seriously and seeking Daas Torah - even if they themselves have smicha.

3. Since you are unable to name even ONE other living Orthodox rabbi who approves of your posts, I can assume that none do.

4. Has any Orthodox rabbi ever criticized something that you have posted, or your behavior toward anyone that you have considered to be a heretic?

jewish philosopher said...

"great job! bravo!"

Thanks.

https://sites.google.com/site/mynewdo/

This seems to confirm my suspicions. Not many people take snapshots with their face blocked.

About the living rabbi who approves of my blog: me. However if you can arrange for another eminent Torah scholar whom we both respect and who is willing to review and critique my blog on a weekly basis, I am completely in favor of that. Bring it on. Something tells me however that those gentlemen may already have full calendars. Plus they probably don't use the Internet.

If this is helpful, many of my posts are inspired by the writings and recordings of Rabbi Avigdor Miller. But he's also no longer alive alas.

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

http://www.eichlers.com/ProductList/Books/Popular_Authors/Rabbi_Avigdor_Miller.html 

http://www.ishiur.com/Speakers/P1/Miller-Ztl-Avigdor-33.html

However I have a revelation for you: the idea that Torah observance is obligatory for Jews is not controversial in the orthodox community, outside the modern orthodox minority, probably left wing modern orthodox.

And incidentally, since you're tolerant of atheists and homosexuals, I think you should just tolerate me too.