Friday, January 25, 2013

The Blog is Closed

I have decided to tentatively close this blog. The posts will remain however I do not intend to add to them.

I began blogging because of an experience which I had over seven years ago. About December, 2005 I accidentally stumbled upon a blog written by an Orthodox Jew who had converted to atheism. The blog was entitled "Hassidic Rebel" or "Hassidic Heretic" or something like that. The blog was devoted to vilifying Orthodox  Judaism. I was truly stunned and appalled. I left some comments. Another blogger, I believe identifying herself as a Hassidic woman, suggested that I start my own blog.

Hence this blog was born.

Now, however, the anti-Orthodox blogs which once were so numerous seem to have almost all have faded away. I would like to think that my constant exposure of their lies has had something to do with that. 

I have learned a tremendous amount from debating with anti-Orthodox Jews online for all these years. But I think now I have gained all that I can from "blogger university". I think it is time to graduate.

I tentatively intend to publish a book, both in electronic and paper format. I am exploring that concept at this time.

I want to thank all of the people who have left comments over the years. 

In particular I thank my critics. Although I may vehemently disagree with you and even in some cases personally hate you, however I have learned so much from all my critics over the years. Your critiques have immensely helped me to refine and strengthen my arguments. Your efforts I hope will make it possible for me to now successfully transition to different media.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Hemingway: the Atheist Trainwreck

Hemingway about age 50 - real man or real monster?
Ernest Hemingway is probably the most highly respected American author of the twentieth century. He won the Pulitzer Prize in 1952 and the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954. Probably no American graduates high school without reading something written by him. Additionally Hemingway has represented for many Americans the ideal of manhood.

But who exactly was this ideal man whose words of wisdom every young person must study?

First of all, he was apparently an atheist or at least close to it. In his book A Farewell to Arms, chapter 11, the main character, Frederic Henry, who apparently represents Hemingway himself, states that he does not love God, but he is sometimes afraid of God at night. According to Kenneth S. Lynn in his biography of Hemingway, page 314, Hemingway believed that God did not care about man, that the universe was an eternal, meaningless automatic machine and that human life was hopeless.

In his personal life, Hemingway's callousness is repulsive.

He married Hadley Richardson in 1921. In 1923, she bore him a son, Jack Hemingway.

In March, 1926, Hemingway began having a sexual relationship with Pauline Pfeiffer. He divorced Richardson in January, 1927 and married Pfeiffer in May. She bore him two sons, Patrick Hemingway in 1928 and Gregory Hemingway in 1931.

In 1937, Hemingway began having a sexual relationship with Martha Gellhorn. In 1940, he divorced Pfeiffer and immediately married Gellhorn.

In 1944, Hemingway began having a sexual relationship with Mary Welsh, who was at the time married to another man. In 1945, Hemingway divorced Gellhorn and married Welsh in 1946, after she had divorced her husband.

Hemingway did not stop there however. In 1948, 49 years old and of course married, he desperately attempted to seduce a 19 year old girl. And in 1953, he apparently had a sexual relationship with an African girl named Debba. He remained married to the long suffering Welsh however until his death.

In addition, at least from about age 40, Hemingway was an alcoholic.

At age 60, Hemingway shot himself.

This brutally selfish man who gradually destroyed himself as he had others, is for some bizarre reason, considered to be an icon for American youth. This may be a symptom as well as a cause for some of society's problems.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Our Islands of Civilization

"View of Fort Pierre," Dakota Territory, 1855

I clearly recall that as a fourteen year old gentile living in New City, NY, one of the first things which impressed me about Judaism was the lack of violence and substance abuse apparent in the Orthodox Jewish communities. This very much reminded me of a chain of colonial European forts, small islands of civilization, fixed in the midst of a sea of primitive barbarians. This was the first indication which I had that Judaism was not natural but supernatural, not man made but divinely created.

Perhaps not surprisingly, I was not the first person to make this comparison. Israel Zangwill was a British Jew who was raised in Victorian England. Although he did have some Jewish education, he was thoroughly secularized and married a gentile woman.

Nevertheless, in 1892 he wrote the following about the Whitechapel area of London in his book Children of the Ghetto: A Study of a Peculiar People at the end of Book 1 Chapter 18:

The roaring Sambatyon of life was at rest in the Ghetto; on thousands of squalid homes the light of Sinai shone. The Sabbath Angels whispered words of hope and comfort to the foot-sore hawker and the aching machinist, and refreshed their parched souls with celestial anodyne and made them kings of the hour, with leisure to dream of the golden chairs that awaited them in Paradise.

The Ghetto welcomed the Bride with proud song and humble feast, and sped her parting with optimistic symbolisms of fire and wine, of spice and light and shadow. All around their neighbors sought distraction in the blazing public-houses, and their tipsy bellowings resounded through the streets and mingled with the Hebrew hymns. Here and there the voice of a beaten woman rose on the air. But no Son of the Covenant was among the revellers or the wife-beaters; the Jews remained a chosen race, a peculiar people, faulty enough, but redeemed at least from the grosser vices, a little human islet won from the waters of animalism by the genius of ancient engineers. For while the genius of the Greek or the Roman, the Egyptian or the Phoenician, survives but in word and stone, the Hebrew word alone was made flesh.

Friday, January 04, 2013

Seven Year Anniversary

climbing a mountain toward the truth
It will soon be seven years since I began writing this blog.

Over the years of writing I think that my attitudes have changed significantly. Specifically, when I began blogging I still had some lingering doubts about whether atheism might be true. However as I spent more time writing and debating with atheists, both in the comments on this blog and in the comments on other blogs, it suddenly dawned on me, as Gertrude Stein once wrote, "There is no there there".

In other words, atheists simply have no good answers to a lot of very obvious questions.

For example, isn't evolution both impossibly improbable and contradicted by the fossil evidence? And isn't it unbelievable that Ezra could have invented Judaism, a feat which would require him to have had virtually superhuman power over others and which would have required many thousands of Jews and Samaritans to keep silent concerning any earlier traditions, characteristics which are clear signs of a false conspiracy theory?

Furthermore, I realized that atheists aren't in the least bothered by these questions and simply brush them aside, as would any irrational religious fundamentalist.

I became hardened in my belief that atheists were in fact motivated by addictions, not logic.

Finally, I became more aware of the horrible suffering directly caused by the atheist attitude toward the value of human life, or the lack of value, exemplified by the suffering continuing even today in North Korean concentration camps.

As the years have gone by, everything I have learned has caused me to become so much stronger in my appreciation for Judaism and conversly my distain for atheism.