Sunday, March 2, 2008


Okay so the title of this post is a joke, but with much truth into it.

Especially in the light of the recent Satmar ban on Yiddish rock music.

I think that the question needs to be asked, is Judaism to be a religion of fear of God? Or is Judaism to be a religion of fear of one's neighbor? Of one's friends and family? Of one's own WIFE calling him a heretic if he decides he is bored one Shabbat and decides to bend the rules alittle bit?

Is Judaism to be a religion of anti-intellectualism in which only religious studies matter, or is Judaism to be a religion of pro-intellectualism in which all academic knowledge is valuable?

Is Judaism to be a religion of fun through boredom or fun through having fun?

I envision a Judaism that is less stringent on halacha and that has more emphasis on having fun. Going out with the opposite gender, music, art, television, and real intellectualism as opposed to Talmudic "more than one world existed" crap.

It is about time that Orthodox rabbis who pasken on halacha learns that public opinion matters for after all, the one of the main purposes of law is to meet the needs of the people who are going to be following it. If Orthodox rabbis can't understand that (which they don't), they loose their legitimacy.


Rabbi Ariel Sokolovsky said...

US Congress produces if I remember correctly something like 55,000 pages of varios laws and regulations per month or year or something Google it you'll see.
In any case this creates much bigger and more complicated and contradictory laws and regulations than what we have in Judaism as can also be seen from the high salaries of lawyers and accountants and consultants who have to deal with all that stuff.:-)
As to the rest of your post if you really want to achieve any of this go to Yeshivah learn become one of those rabbis whose opinions matter and patiently convince them and the public of the truth of your approach like Mimanides or any other person who achieved great and lasting positive changes in the way Judaism is taught or practiced has done.
In any case why does it bother you that Orthodox Rabbis don't care about your opinion?
You live in a free country they can't force you join their club if you don't like theirs create your own in your own image and liking instead of spending so much time and ink on this shtus.

SJ said...

Ariel- your analogy is incorrect because American law is not meant to regulate human behavior anywhere near the extent that halacha means to regulate, hence the term- free society.

Further I am very aware that orthodox rabbis don't agree with me on many things, I am but one person voicing his opinion. You see Ariel, in free societies this is allowed. In orthodox judaism, this will get you shunned as a heretic.

Garnel Ironheart said...

Ah, finally an ally of sorts.

Rav Ariel, SJ is the guy you invite to a party, who then declines the invitation but spends the night outside the party screaming at anyone who will listen about how lousy a party it is.

He has this obsession with an Orthodoxy that really doesn't care about him. The Talmud is 5422 pages long? That's his big complaint? Find me a well developed legal system whose tax code along is shorter than that.
Orthodoxy has some expectiations of you? Mein Gott! As you say, it's a free society but SJ insists on not only being secular but screaming in response to non-offered demands of compliance that don't affect him.

As for becoming a rabbi and helping solve the problem, that's a no go from the start. After all, it's a constructive solution.

SJ said...

>> The Talmud is 5422 pages long? That's his big complaint?

That was a joke. If one were to get more serious Garnel, would you mind telling my readers how many pages the Shulchan Aruch is with all 4 sections?

One cannot hope to change the system by being a rabbi, ESPECIALLY an orthodox one. Try being a rabbi and saying that not being able to cook an animal in its mothers milk does not equal having to wait a couple of hours between eating dairy and meats. Try saying as an orthodox rabbi that a yamica is not halachic but merely cultural.

The system of orthodox judaism is too rotten to the core in order to be changed from the inside.

Garnel Ironheart said...

>If one were to get more serious Garnel,

Then I probably would be elsewhere on the net right now.

> would you mind telling my readers

You mean me telling myself?

> how many pages the Shulchan Aruch is with all 4 sections?

Lots. I don't know the number off hand but hey, it's shorter than the tax code in the US. Considering it's the complete legal criminal and civil law code applicable today, why would length be a detriment?

SJ said...

Garnel, all you did was repeat Ariel's argument. I answered it already.

Garnel Ironheart said...

But that argument is the answer to your question! The length of a legal code is irrelevant to its usefulness and applicability. The whole question is a non-starter and the examples brought are to demonstrate just that.

SJ said...

Talmudic logic strikes again. Garnel thinks that repeating an already answered argument somehow magically makes it unanswered and valid.

That argument is not the answer to my disagreement, for the reason that I provided already.