Thursday, January 26, 2012

Why We Should Be Orthodox


(Sabbath table)

Believing, observant Jews are going to eternal paradise according to the Talmud Berakot 17a: In the World to Come there is no eating nor drinking nor propagation nor business nor jealousy nor hatred nor competition, but the righteous sit with their crowns on their heads feasting on the brightness of God's presence.

Nonbelievers are going to hell forever according to the Talmud Rosh haShanah 17a. The Talmud Berakoth 57b explains that the fire of hell is sixty times stronger than ordinary fire.

This is referred to in the book of Daniel 12:2-3:

And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to reproaches and everlasting abhorrence. And they that are wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn the many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.

The evidence supporting this is clear beyond any reasonable doubt.  

The Torah is validated by nature and history

by the descending levels of Jewish literature

by the wisdom of the Torah

by the honesty of the Torah

and by the Holocaust.

Atheists attempt to debunk the Torah using evolution

the documentary hypothesis

the suffering of the innocent

and all sorts of logical fallacies.

In fact, it's obvious that atheists do not really believe their own stated beliefs.

Food for Thought



Malcolm Muggeridge, British journalist

a few interesting quotes.

“If God is dead, somebody is going to have to take his place. It will be megalomania or erotomania, the drive for power or the drive for pleasure, the clenched fist or the phallus, Hitler or Hugh Hefner.”

“Never forget that only dead fish swim with the stream.”

"People do not believe lies because they have to, but because they want to."  

Monday, January 23, 2012

Newt Is Onto Something



Newt Gingrich speaking on 3/27/2011 

"I have two grandchildren — Maggie is 11, Robert is 9," Gingrich said at Cornerstone Church here. "I am convinced that if we do not decisively win the struggle over the nature of America, by the time they're my age they will be in a secular atheist country, potentially one dominated by radical Islamists and with no understanding of what it once meant to be an American."

Gingrich said he hadn't intended to fight another political battle, and was looking forward to relaxing in private life after leaving public office. But in 2002, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the phrase "under God" in the pledge of allegiance was unconstitutional (the ruling was later overturned).

"I had been watching the courts grow steadily more secular and steadily more anti-religious starting with the 1963 school prayer decision," he said. "But for some reason this particular decision struck me as so blindingly stupid, so profoundly un-American."

"Bravery will come from our churches, our synagogues, everyday folks," Gingrich said. "It won't come from the elites. It won't [come from] those currently in power because if it could have come from them, it would have."

I'm starting to like this guy a little. I would add that bravery may come from a few bloggers too.

[Disclaimer: I do not know if Gingrich is God fearing. In fact he is probably not. However he is claiming to enthusiastically support God fearers, and that wins him a point with me.]

As a pessimist, I believe that the larger cultural battle has been lost many years ago. The United States in a decade will probably look very much like Ukraine does today, with it's poverty, alcoholism, crime and corruption. (Zbigniew Brzezinski published a new book this week in which he compares the US today to the USSR in 1988.) Nevertheless, within our own orthodox communities we will survive. We must emphasize a maximum of Torah study. We must emphasize kindness - and that begins at home, making peace with our spouses and children. We must use software to filter and monitor Internet usage in our homes. We must shun and expel drop outs from our communities.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

A Rose with a New Name



This blog's name is now Torah Philosophy and the domain name is torahphilosophy.com. All of your old links to jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com will continue to function.

I decided that acquiring a custom domain name would give an added impression of prestige and authority to this blog, however nothing else has changed.

"A rose by any other name would smell as sweet" Shakespeare 

Enjoy! 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Comparative Chronology


Jewish chronology of the Torah period

3760 BCE Adam & Eve created

c. 2500 BCE period of "mighty men that were of old, the men of renown" Genesis 6:4

Tuval-cain was the first man to work with iron (Genesis 4:22). According to Jewish tradition he was the brother in law of Noah who, according to Jewish tradition, was born in 2704 BCE.

2102 BCE The Flood

1765 BCE The Dispersion

1313 BCE Exodus from Egypt, Revelation at Mt Sinai

1272 BCE Joshua leads Jews into Israel


Gentile chronology of the Torah period

3300 BCE Bronze Age begins in the Middle East

3200 BCE writing begins in Egypt and Sumer

2600-2400 BCE Stonehenge constructed

2540-2560 BCE Giza Pyramid constructed

2500 BCE the earliest iron tools are smelted 

c. 2200 BCE A severe climatic event causes a cultural upheaval. It is very likely to have caused the collapse of the Old Kingdom in Egypt as well as the Akkadian Empire in Mesopotamia.

c. 1700 BCE the written history of China begins

c. 1700 BCE Vedic culture begins in India

1550 BCE Jericho destroyed

1206 BCE the entire eastern Mediterranean area is mysteriously, suddenly destroyed (approximately corresponding to the time of the Ten Plagues in 1313 BCE) 

1200 BCE Hazor destroyed

1200 BCE Egyptian inscription mentions Israel

1200 BCE Israelite highland settlements established

c. 1100 BCE oldest Hebrew inscription

Broadly, there is an agreement between archeology and the Torah and relatively minor differences I believe can be attributed to the inaccuracy of current archaeological knowledge. If the Torah was indeed fabricated by Ezra the Scribe as atheists believe, then he really made some lucky guesses. In contrast, the Book of Mormon for example is entirely baseless archeologically.

Regarding the prehistoric era, prior to the Bronze Age, the Torah is silent, however I have a theory about that.

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Atheist "Rabbi"


[here's Jeff]

I came across this week a blog entitled The Atheist Rabbi. The blog is almost entirely devoted to denigrating anyone who believes in God. Comments are moderated. No critical comments will be posted by the "rabbi". Apparently criticism embarrasses him since he cannot respond to it intelligently.

It's written by a man named Jeffrey Falick.  He is about 50. He writes that he was ordained by a Reform seminary in 1989 and is currently a member of the Society for Humanistic Judaism, a small sect which is even more secular than Reform.

He is openly homosexual and resides with his male partner.

Based on research that I have done, I happen to know that he was previously married to a woman and fathered a daughter in 1991. The daughter today is apparently orthodox.

He is currently employed as Assistant Executive Director for the Dave and Mary Alper Jewish Community Center in Miami, Florida.

I have never written a post about another blog before, however I am making an exception in this case. I believe that it is an incredible insult to the rabbinate for an individual like this to claim to be a rabbi. If he simply called himself "Mr" I wouldn't give him a second thought. The Internet is loaded with liars, lunatics, perverts, scumbags and so on of all stripes. That's nothing noteworthy. However I do feel the need to protest when one calls himself "rabbi". I really haven't seen something like that before, surely not such an extreme example. Even Reform Judaism officially accepts a belief in God. A militantly atheist "rabbi" is just absurd. How can a clergyman be openly antireligious? Can one imagine the harm done if some naive person were to approach this man for spiritual guidance? I feel it's as if someone like Ron Jeremy (also Jewish by the way) would start calling himself "rabbi". Imagine the storm of disgust and protest that would provoke. What's next - "The Neo-Nazi Rabbi"? "The Islamic Terrorist Rabbi"?

As publicly listed on the Internet, Falick resides at:
1621 Bay Rd, Apt 507
Miami Beach, FL 33139-3250
(305) 531-7720
jfalick@yahoo.com

He works at:
Dave and Mary Alper JCC on The Jay Morton-Levinthal Campus
11155 SW 112th Avenue Miami, FL 33176
Telephone: 305.271.9000 ext 239 
Fax: 305.595.1902
rabbi@alperjcc.org
 
Joan Stern
Human Resource Director
305.271.9000 ext 347
jstern@alperjcc.org

the president of the Dave and Mary Alper JCC is:
Jorge Rawicz
office:
President, Terra Mortgage Bankers
1900 N Bayshore Drive, Unit 204-A
Miami, FL 33132
(305)921-0818
home:
20379 W Country Club Dr
Aventura, FL 33180-1666
(305) 931-7876

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Does Egyptian History Contradict the Torah


[Great Pyramid of Giza]

One apparent conflict between secular history and Judaism is that according to traditional Jewish chronology, the Deluge (Genesis 7) occurred in 2106 BCE. The Dispersion (Genesis 11) occurred in 1765 BCE. This means that between those two dates, for a period of 340 years, the earth was uninhabited outside of Mesopotamia. Also people after the Dispersion spoke different languages than they did before the Deluge. According to Tan. Buber, Noach 28, prior to the Dispersion all people spoke Hebrew.

Egyptians, however, supposedly the spoke the same language from 3400 BCE until 1700 CE. How can this be explained?

I would assume that the antediluvian Egyptians were among the “mighty men of old” (Genesis 6:4). They built the Great Pyramid and spoke Hebrew. They died in the Deluge. [I suspect that this early race of superior men also built the remarkable Stonehenge monument which dates from about the same period.]

Following the Dispersion, new settlers arrived in Egypt who wished to revive the culture of the earlier inhabitants. They never approached the architectural achievement of the original Egyptians, however they emulated Old Egyptian culture and claimed descent from them. (Many ancient dynasties claimed descent from ancient gods or heroes.)

Until about 1300 BCE, writing was pictographic. This means that each character represented a word, not a sound. This system is still used in eastern Asia today. Therefore, we cannot know what ancient Egyptian sounded like. For example, today, Japanese writing is derived partly from Chinese characters, although the two spoken languages are entirely different. The written language may have no connection to the spoken language in some cases. The antediluvian Egyptians may have spoken Hebrew while Egyptians after the Dispersion spoke Egyptian, but continued to use hieroglyphics.

This is to some extent similar to the Latin alphabet which continued to be used long after the destruction of Rome. In fact, this blog is being written in the Latin alphabet. Classical Greek and Roman architectures were also often revived. Most people today use a slightly modified Roman calendar. So the old Egyptian writing continued long after the original old Egyptians were gone.

Interestingly, the Egyptians are virtually the only ancient culture not possessing a flood legend, I would suppose because they wished to deny their lack of continuity with the pyramid builders.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

The Fanatic Fringe


[the orthodox terrorists]

It's come to my attention that there exists a group of Jews in the Jerusalem area known as Sikrikim. They have recently received a huge amount of attention as violent ultra-orthodox extremists.

I just want to make a few points.

In a world population of about two million orthodox Jews, these people amount to a few hundred.

Everyone else thinks they're crazy.

To the best of my knowledge they have caused no bodily injury to anyone beyond a few bruises. They have engaged in some property vandalism and some screaming.

Therefore it may be a little bit early to condemn orthodox Jews as being the next wave of religious terrorists. Comparing the Sikrikim to al-Qaeda or the Irish Republican Army is laughable. They are more on the level of Occupy Wall Street. These few unbalanced and pretty much harmless clowns merely provide some filler for the news media on slow days. Let's hope that after a few land in jail, the rest settle down.