Sunday, May 3, 2009

Orthodox Judaism in a Nutshell - Response to Jewish Philosopher's Blog

Founder: Who da fack knows, Orthodox Judaism focuses on hagiography not history.

Sacred Text: Torah & Talmud

Basic Beliefs: Modernity is evil. Listen to rabbis or burn in hell.

Basic attraction: Negative attraction. Everyone wants to get da fack out. Orthodox Judaism's Kiruv rates can't keep up with its off-the-derech rates.

Basic Proof: None. Nada. Zero.

Debunked: my own blog, failedmessiah.com, and talkreason.org are good places to start.

19 comments:

FrumJewInYU said...

Wow, you've really accurately described all of Judaism. I've never seen a more truthful nutshell.

Look, if you're gonna accuse us of being intellectually dishonest, at least hold yourself to that standard as well and write what Orthodox Judaism really entails instead of the negative aspects that some people contribute to it.

SJ said...

if you want monotheism bla bla bla 10 commandments bla bla bla, there's wikipedia.

FrumJewInYU said...

I'm not talking about writing the actual details such as those. I'm talking about not spouting stupidity such as "Basic Beliefs: Modernity is evil. Listen to rabbis or burn in hell." and "Basic attraction: Negative attraction. Everyone wants to get da fack out." I've got nothing against encountering modernity with a Jewish perspective; there's a name for that (Modern Orthodoxy, in case you couldn't figure that one out yourself). And I dunno, all of my friends and family seem to find it pretty attractive, and nobody's trying to leave.

SJ said...

right, someone from orthodox judaism is going to just blurt out that he's a skeptic or something like that so he can be blacklisted by rabbis, big shidduch, orthodox jewish girls, etc.

your community is rotten to the core.

SJ said...

Also in my opinion so called modern orthodoxy is still too ritualized as to be against the idea of modernity that only being a good person matters.

Off the Derech said...

>Look, if you're gonna accuse us of being intellectually dishonest, at least hold yourself to that standard as well

And if you're going to be intellectually honest, you'd comment on JP's blog and give him hell about his nutshell, too.

FrumJewInYU said...

OTD, I don't read his blog, so I haven't seen it until after you posted. I just glanced at it now, and I agree with your assessment of his material; I didn't see much there that intrigued me, to say the least - and I told him same thing I told SJ. But two wrongs don't make a right.

And, SJ, you claim to know more about my community than I do? Why, because maybe 5 people have confessed to you about how they're Orthodox but secretly atheists? Please. Call my community rotten when you have some proof; we've been around for a pretty long time, and we're not going away. Let's see if your great-grandkids even know they're Jewish.
As per your opinion: since when is modernity defined as "only being a good person matters." Modern Orthodoxy (in a nutshell, ba-dum-cha) is the belief that our values still come from the same place they've always come from (that would be G-d) and that we can be involved in the world (which is a very loaded phrase, I'll admit) instead of having to withdraw from it. So, yeah, we keep our "rituals" because they're still the law as dictated by G-d and the Mesorah. My values aren't modern, because modern values are a false standard. We are modern in everything besides our values - that's exactly the point. Ask my boss, coworkers and professors if they thinks I'm "modern," and I can guarantee they'll say yes.

And please don't use this as an opportunity to bash G-d (I know, He doesn't really exist), or Mesorah (I know, just a bunch of power-hungry guys with beards), or Torah law (I know, just some addictive, meaningless rituals) - just stay on topic and prove to me that really Modern Orthodoxy is archaic.

SJ said...

You're beating around the bush Frum, you know quite well that if a guy in the religious community indicates he's having doubts or he may want to leave it, then the religious girls are going to talk "non-lashon-hara" (sarcasm) amongst themselves and the guy's gonna get blacklisted.

Secondly, just being a good person matters as opposed to ritual, is an aspect of modernity.

Thirdly, I'm more concerned that my kids are able to grow up in a free society which in the USA they will be, than if they are apart of any particular sect.

Fourth, if you think orthodox judaism has nothing to learn from modern values you are on crack.

And fifth as to why MO is archaic, refer to my post atheist questionnaire. And don't try to say what I can or can't talk about on MY blog.

FrumJewInYU said...

I wasn't trying to dictate what you discuss on your blog. I was trying to make sure you, like I've seen many other people do when confronted with a question (maybe not you, I don't know; this isn't an accusation), answered the question instead of going off into a tangential rant against Judaism. And besides, I said "please" - it was a request, not a command.

I'll try to address the other points later, but I gotta go run to shiur now.

FrumJewInYU said...

OK, SJ, I read your stuff on MO. I'll just reprint it here for convenience:

"I don't view the modern orthodox as legitimately modern due to their anti-television undercurrent, their support of shomer negiah (God will punish you if you are a guy and you commit the terrible atrocity of having a high five with a girl), and their tacit approval of stricter orthodox sects."

Please let me address this from my religious perspective, i.e. please only attack my applications of Torah principles, and not the principles themselves (and I said please, SJ). Here we go:

Being a good person is not a modern concept; it's been around at least since the Torah's "v'ahavta l'reiacha kamocha." We believe in being a good person AND ritual. Allow me to amend what I said before about modern values: we accept modern values that aren't antithetical to Judaism and the Torah. For example (to choose a nice and inflammatory example), we don't condone engaging in homosexual activity because the Torah calls it an abomination, even though modern values state there's nothing wrong with it. But values such as learning about the world - of course we adopt those. I'm not sure which important modern values our rituals don't allow us to observe... could you please elaborate?

And what's so important about television? There's not really that much positive going on to override the negative.
And shomer negiah: we keep the Torah She'bichtav and Torah She'beal Peh, and the halacha is clear on the matter. Sorry you can't accept that. Is this really the biggest deal?
As for our acceptance of stricter Orthodox sects: there's obviously a lot of stuff we disagree on, but what exactly are we to do about it? They have't done enough to not let me daven in a minyan with them (that's your job, sorry), and there's still a ton of Torah there. Of course some of the stuff that's out on the fringes of ultra-Orthodoxy is absolutely despicable (bleaching women et al), but once again, nobody behind this kind of stuff would listen to any MO Rav trying to come out against it. What would you have us do differently?
And, really...television?!?

As for the other point: I'm not arguing that there would definitely be a fear of a skeptic in our community speaking out. I'm just saying that YOU can't possibly call my community "rotten to the core" because you ASSUME there are tons of atheists stuck in it; what do you know?

SJ said...

>> Being a good person is not a modern concept; it's been around at least since the Torah's "v'ahavta l'reiacha kamocha.

I see how well talmudic logic is working for you. You speak as if I thought that being a good person is exclusive to modernity whereas I wrote (to paraphrase) that being a good person without worrying about ritual is exclusive to modernity, and then you go on a whole bla bla bla answering stuff that I didn't write.

Second is you can be modern and still think homosexuality is wrong. To think that modernity is being ok with homosexuality is nonsense.


>> And what's so important about television? There's not really that much positive going on to override the negative.

More nonsense. You obviously don't watch tv and yet you comment like an expert on it.


>> And shomer negiah: we keep the Torah She'bichtav and Torah She'beal Peh, and the halacha is clear on the matter. Sorry you can't accept that. Is this really the biggest deal?


It's apart of the general view in orthodoxy that it is ok to put religious regulation after religious regulation on an individual that has nothing to do with being a good person. This is inconsistent with modernity in my opinion.


>> As for our acceptance of stricter Orthodox sects: there's obviously a lot of stuff we disagree on, but what exactly are we to do about it? They have't done enough to not let me daven in a minyan with them

You're a dope. The question is how far they have to go for you to separate your "modern" selves from them. Censorship? Not letting their kids go to college? Not teaching their kids english (new square, new york)? Total separation of the genders?

>> I'm just saying that YOU can't possibly call my community "rotten to the core" because you ASSUME there are tons of atheists stuck in it; what do you know?

I call your community rotten to the core for other reasons. I have never made an assumption on the percentage of the modern orthodox community that are in fact closet atheists. It's impossible to say.

FrumJewInYU said...

>>I see how well talmudic logic is working for you. You speak as if I thought that being a good person is exclusive to modernity whereas I wrote (to paraphrase) that being a good person without worrying about ritual is exclusive to modernity, and then you go on a whole bla bla bla answering stuff that I didn't write.

Yeah, because this sentence

"Also in my opinion so called modern orthodoxy is still too ritualized as to be against the idea of modernity that only being a good person matters."

was really intelligible.

>>Second is you can be modern and still think homosexuality is wrong. To think that modernity is being ok with homosexuality is nonsense.

Dude, it was just an example.


>> More nonsense. You obviously don't watch tv and yet you comment like an expert on it.

Not speaking as an expert; just speaking like someone who's grown up with a TV in his house, whiled away way too many hours on it, and regrets it and plans to not have one in his own home.
So please, by all means, enlighten me. What glorious positive results can I get from television that will outweigh the negatives? Keep in mind I'm retaining Internet access.


>> It's apart of the general view in orthodoxy that it is ok to put religious regulation after religious regulation on an individual that has nothing to do with being a good person. This is inconsistent with modernity in my opinion.

See, you think it has nothing to do with being a good person, but I disagree. I think it has a lot to do with being a good person, because I think G-d's perception of good is clearer than yours.
Perhaps this is a better example of where modern values and Jewish values don't line up than homosexuality (which, by the way, is DEFINITELY more accepted in our modern world than it used to be).

>> You're a dope. The question is how far they have to go for you to separate your "modern" selves from them. Censorship? Not letting their kids go to college? Not teaching their kids english (new square, new york)? Total separation of the genders?

[I appreciate the name-calling; why do you have such a problem remaining civil?]
Seriously, though: everything you've mentioned are obviously things that we MO disagree with. So how should we separate ourselves from these people more than the natural separations that already exist (they wouldn't even step foot in YU, etc. etc.)? We're not gonna call them apikorsim, because they're not.

>> I call your community rotten to the core for other reasons. I have never made an assumption on the percentage of the modern orthodox community that are in fact closet atheists. It's impossible to say.

So what was your intimation when I said

"And I dunno, all of my friends and family seem to find it pretty attractive, and nobody's trying to leave."

and you responded with

"right, someone from orthodox judaism is going to just blurt out that he's a skeptic or something like that so he can be blacklisted by rabbis, big shidduch, orthodox jewish girls, etc.
your community is rotten to the core."

?

The implication I got out of that was that there are many more skeptics than I think, but they are simply afraid to speak out, and thus my community is rotten to the core. If I interpreted this wrong, please let me know what you really meant. I'm truly curious for your take on this, and would prefer to keep this civil.

SJ said...

You are a putz. YU should send someone else over here.

FrumJewInYU said...

Oh snap. This seems to be your signature move, SJ - resorting to namecalling and/or labeling others' posts "incoherent" when you have nothing of substance to say. Good day to you, sir.

SJ said...

Bye retard I was not about to dignify your bull shit with a response but here goes one just to show that you really are a putz:

>> Yeah, because this sentence ...
was really intelligible.

LEARN TO READ


Secondly about television.

a) look up the word moderation and get back to me.

b) just because jerry springer is on tv does not mean that there are no great stories told on tv. Indeed, there are many.


>> because I think G-d's perception of good is clearer than yours.

Argument based on some entity that can't be proven to exist. Brilliant. Why didn't I think of that? Oh wait, I subscribe to the scientific method.


The rest of your post is really poor reading comprehension to be honest.

FrumJewInYU said...

This is too funny. If anyone else is reading, please feel free to weigh in. I'm not gonna bother anymore.

jewish philosopher said...

Well, at least Orthodox Judaism is not based on a stack of porn movies and a pile of dirty towels, as atheism is.

FrumJewInYU said...

Just for the record, I disagree with what JP just said. He does not represent the best of Orthodox Judaism.

SJ said...

hey Jewish Philosopher, were you touched by any of the rabbis that the unorthodox jew blog exposes? XD if you catch my drift. XD