Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The End of SJ

My father is a health nut and I'm not. Today he was eating his usual healthy stuff and I was going to go to McDonalds, he told me SJ, you are going to have to see a doctor going there. I told him his food is boring. We both agreed to disagree since there's nothing else to do.

Is it better to live a stale (in my opinion, and in terms of food) yet healthy life in terms of food, rather than to live a little shorter (they say vegetarians have longer life spans) and to enjoy life?

My choice is the second. I would rather live shorter and enjoy what I have rather than to live longer in a life that isn't mine. Life has no meaning to me if I can't define myself, express myself, sense for myself, and be myself. Other people may find meaning in conformity, hence the orthodox jews, and that's not me. My values are not their values.

Though I am secular, I picked up blogging about the orthodox community because I thought that all jews should be concerned about them due to their fascist asceticism and Manifest Destiny agenda towards the Jewish people as a whole (Stifling dissent, superstrict rules, kiruv towards other jews). (I meandered in and out of the orthodox community for a long while.)

There is also another reason why I picked up blogging, a clique of orthodox jews aka the anti - loshon hara crowd (not all Orthodox Jews of course, just a clique of them) nuked my reputation at school. As a result of both reasons, SJ came into being. This blog came into being as a blog that would be critical of the orthodox jews on levels that are theological, sociological, psychological, historical, etc.

Then eventually, through DK the www.kvetcher.net blogger, I found reference to an anti-semitic blog, where I found myself defending jews from conspiracy theories. This was odd to me because for a long time now I'm used to attacking orthodox Jews on my blog and other OTD blogs, and as a political conservative and I never thought I'd come to the defense of liberal jews. On that blog I came to speak for all Jews, which actually had me feeling awkward.

I know some of the things I wrote on this blog and other blogs were harsh, but I am one jew critical of jewish society. You want to know of other jews critical of jewish society? The writers of the Old Testament.

In any case, while all this is happening, I believe I have found certain answers that I have been looking for, with regard to the nature of God and God's relationship to man.

I am no longer an atheist or an agnostic. It would seem to me that atheism requires one to believe in an infinite universe since nothing can pop up from nothing; and it would seem to me that an infinite universe requires one to believe that new energy is perpetually being created and thus that infinite energy is perpetually being created in an infinite manner.

The problem is, I don't see how this is possible in a naturalistic universe for infinite energy to be propagating. Energy just poppin outta nowhere? Cooooooooome on. That's not naturalistic.

I do see how a universe would require a first cause who is himself unmoved in order to get the ball rolling, in the first place.

Thus, it would seem to me that atheism is the ultimate creation ex nihilo belief and that atheism is the ultimate supernatural world view (ironic), and that theism in fact is the quintessential naturalistic world view.

As you can see I have picked a different religious path for myself. I have even begun praying regularly, something I haven't done in years. These prayers aren't the songs I've sung as a younger individual, which admittedly even today I may be nostalgic from time to time for the tunes of the 2 different ways of singing Ashray. the tune of Alainu, to Al Kane Mikavah, etc. I just felt a strong need to go my own way, and with that being the case, SJ is going to be put to rest as while I am still secular (as I go out of my way to not be fundamentalist), and still Jewish by blood, I am something different than what I was before.

My faith requires me to be forgiving and to be zionist (God gave Israel to the jews.). I will have to be both but in the future it will be a more balanced zionism, because, let's face it, Israel does have its issues with the balance of religion and state and granted it's better than the rest of the Middle East in that regard.

In accordance with my recent new belief, I'm going to avoid attacking orthodox jews now on blogs from now on. God knows I wrote enough, and my Required Reading section is STAYING. I'm not sorry for anything I wrote. I'm not sorry for one little thing that I wrote.

As for me, I will continue to live life, to improve myself in various academic interests, and perhaps follow the news on what's going on in the Jewish world every now and then, but I wash my hands of being apart of the political discourse with regard to Jewish society. As soon as my debate with the anti-semitic guy is over, SJ will be gone. As for my new faith, I will remain an independent practitioner for the foreseeable future. Synagogue and I never mixed.

What is this new faith for me? Here's a hint in Isaiah 9:6 "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."

I'm pretty sure I found the path that is right for me. May you all find the path that is right for you.


The Leader, Garnel Ironheart said...

> Is it better to live a stale (in my opinion, and in terms of food) yet healthy life in terms of food, rather than to live a little shorter (they say vegetarians have longer life spans) and to enjoy life?

How many years have you been flailing around for and you still don't get it!

The world is not black and white. To use your example, the choices are not
a) boring, healthy diet
b) exciting, unhealthy diet

There are lots of great diets that have variety and taste which are also healthy. You can have both. The world isn't limited to black and white, there are shades of gray. Why do you refuse to see that?

> Here's a hint in Isaiah 9:6 "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.

You're converting to Chrisianity?!

Oh well, best of luck and I hope the meds keep working.

SJ said...

>> There are lots of great diets that have variety and taste which are also healthy.

I know -.- My diet is indeed balanced. Thanks for caring. XD

>> You're converting to Chrisianity?!

More or less, I'm still not big on the organized religion thing, but I think it does a better job answering questions than Judaism does. Orthodox Judaism = this is what we believe either go along with it or have a nice day, fuck answering questions.

>> Oh well, best of luck and I hope the meds keep working.

Thus sayeth the one who thinks that high fiving with a girl is punishinable by God.

jewish philosopher said...

"My choice is the second. I would rather live shorter and enjoy what I have rather than to live longer in a life that isn't mine."

Like all addicts you'll keep going until you hit bottom. Bottom can be extremely painful however.

Garnel Ironheart said...

So let me get this straight.
You don't believe God appeared to our ancestors and gave them the Torah.
You are prepared to believe in a virgin birth, turning water into wine and a resurrection?
How is that consistent?

SJ said...

>> You don't believe God appeared to our ancestors and gave them the Torah.

Garnel, cool down.



there. now we can talk. XD

>> You don't believe God appeared to our ancestors and gave them the Torah.

Belief in the Bible entails belief in the claims of the Old Testament.

And JP, I think you need to work on your addiction to food and oxygen. XD lol just kidding. By the way JP, do you drink coffee?

DK said...


Why convert out? Also, if you leave Judaism, why not go to Unitarian Universalism? Who go to another religion that has its own baggage and fantasy narratives?

Also, don't get caught up with the antisemitic dudes. They are not worth your time.

SJ said...

I'm not a universalist.

It would seem to me that the New Testament adds to Tanach a level of empiricalness. Tanach alone is not enough for me to justify religious faith but the both testaments together does seem to be enough to justify it, to me.

All religions have baggage and fantasy narratives. Atheism also has baggage and fantasy narratives (I'm not calling atheism a religion though). For one, Christopher Hitchens is going around saying that the communist killers of the twentieth century were religious.

Ahavah Gayle said...

I was curious why you didn't press me to finish Fabric of the Cosmos - I am awfully curious to know if your newfound belief in the Bible has anything to do with that subject. I also recommend a book to you called "The Hebrew Yeshua vs. the Greek Jesus" by Nehemia Gordon, a dead sea scholar and Karaite elder (not a messianic). He found that Jesus was an early Karaite (the difference between sadducees and karaites is that sadducees didn't accept the book of Daniel as canon, whereas Jesus taught extensively from it and modern Karaites accept it in full) - Jesus was trying to return his flock to a simple observance of Torah stripped of it's then-current "chereidi" traditions and precedents. Gordon's and other books show that a close analysis of his sayings indicate he didn't teach against the written Torah - he taught against the imposition of traditions and precedents on people as if they were God's law - in that I think you and I can both agree he was in the right, at least. Since I don't disrespect chabad messianists who think schneerson is coming back from the dead I will not disrespect you, either - though many will. I just don't think big esoteric questions about the nature of God and the universe are part of our covenant relationship with God - the Torah is a blueprint for everyday lives of everyday people - most people would never have had time ponder deep thoughts and God never considered them as not being adequate by covenant standards. Torah is the measuring stick that counts in our day to day practice - even people who believe Jesus is the Messiah ought to realize that the "new covenant" is the TORAH written in our hearts and minds so that we can DO it with faith, as Jeremiah tells us plainly. If you think you have that new covenant because of your newfound faith, well, I won't say you don't have it - but even the NT says "faith without works is dead," and "sin is the transgression of the Torah." (My degree is in philosophy specializing in religions, if you recall.) So if you at least plan to repent of your sins (that is, your transgressions of Torah), I'm happy for you and I believe God will honor your intentions.


Neil Harris said...

For what it's worth, Humanistic Judaism might be a better option for you.
There are plenty of rules and regulations within the New Test.

friend said...

>> Oh well, best of luck and I hope the meds keep working.

Thus sayeth the one who thinks that high fiving with a girl is punishinable by God.

February 3, 2010 9:12 AM

You are worried about high fiving?
In your new chosen faith you are supposed to believe that you are committing adultery by as much as looking at a woman :
In the famous "Sermon on the Mount" as recounted in the book of Mathew Yeshu states:
27"You have heard that it was said, 'Do not commit adultery.'[e] 28But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.

In the next verse it also encourages people to stay in dead marriages by stating:

31"It has been said, 'Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.'[f] 32But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery.

Elsewhere in Corinthians Christian women are taught that they should cover their hair or else shave it off completely, that they should shut up in churches and let only the men speak etc.
This is the religion you are willing to follow over Judaism?

SJ said...

Friend, I believe the intent is to focus more on religious matters than on primal instincts. I personally have other interests besides religious interests of course, but I don't see Jesus' statement as being too much different than a twenty first century father telling his son to just take care of his business and the girls will come.

Secondly, the stuff on divorce is not as black and white as you seem to think.

Lastly, the actual quote of
Corinthians that you are probably referring to is (11:5) "If a woman does not cover her head, she should have her hair cut off; and if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut or shaved off, she should cover her head." There's no requirement for shaving hair, and I highly doubt anyone does.

Between you, me, and the wall, there is a hassidic sect where women shave their hair. There is muuuuch more I can say, but I am not going to attack, as my intent is to follow my faith and move on.

SJ said...

Ahava, to answer your first question, my newfound belief was a gradual process.

Jesus obviated the need to follow Old Testament laws that have nothing to do with moralitiy. I do indeed believe that being a good person should be the primary focus of religious practice, and James seems to agree with regard to his writing that faith without works is dead.

I really have no interest in interacting with anyone on a religious level (that should also keep the disrespect from certain people that you mention Ahava down to a minimal extent). I am just an independent nondenominational Christian now and I go my own way.

Joshua said...

Well, if this makes you happy than good for you. Honestly though if I were going to pick a religion other than Judaism, almost anything would come before Christianity. Islam and Ba'hai both by quite long-shots. But if it makes sense to you. *shrug*. Good luck. Let us know how it works out. Are you picking any specific denomination?

Freethinking Upstart said...

That there are billions of humans whose psychological disposition is such that they require a religious narrative, no matter how absurd on it's face it may be, will never cease to give me a certain sense of bewildered pleasure.

SJ said...

Freethinking Upstart I remember when you came to defend religion on my blog a while back. ;D

Freethinking Upstart said...

haha... interesting interpretation of my comments here

I was pointing out your conspiratorial remarks toward another blogger and your extreme childishness as well as your mis-representations of Rabbinic and Orthodox Judaism.

That isn't in any way defending religion.

Best of luck to you on your new journey into grossly fallacious beliefs.

SJ said...

Freethinking Upstart, your "arguments" easily could have came from a Lakewood bochur, and even Facutal Basis the religioso you defended said that you misinterpreted something I wrote.

Come back to me to say that we live in a godless universe when you have investigated every square inch of this universe and everything beyond.

Anonymous said...

I think you are on a good path. According to Rabbi Avraham Abulafia (kabalist from the Middle Ages) Jesus was a zadik (mashiach ben yoseph) and that has been my belief for many years. The Trinity thing seems to me to be a problem but I think if we look at the idea of the energy or influx of God that might be an answer to that. In general I have found all organized religion to be a problem including Christianity.

SJ said...

The trinity kinda makes sense to me

Father- God
Son- God on Earth
Holy Ghost- God in the form of the implementation of his will.

It's not the God of Rashi and Rambam but it's an interesting concept when you think about it.

leto said...

the problem I have with the trinity is (the way I understand it) God is not a composite but if you want to believe in you fashion that God on earth is represented by Jesus that seems to me to be fine and in fact close to what the Eastern Church believes (that Jesus is the energy of God.)
As for rashi I have no idea what he says but as for the Rambam I am just stating to read him. He is famous for saying there are no traits in God at all and that seems to me to be wrong and there are scholars that find in other places that the rambam held that God can have traits.
I think God has all positive traits and yet is not a composite.

Shalmo said...

SJ I testify with perfect faith that a cosmic jewish zombie who is his own father, committed suicide on a cross to pay himself the price of the original sin he cursed mankind with because some naked woman ate from a magical tree. Which part of any of this is not true to your new faith?

I'm assuming you wanted to remain in the Abrahamic framework, because you want familiarity with how you relate to God. If that is the case you may as well just have gone to Islam, which in its ideological form really has none of the problems Judaism and Christianity do.

But in all seriousness, I find it odd that you defended on some forum, but then you feel it is ok for you to become a christian. Who more than christians have spilled jewish blood for a messianic concept they plagarized in the first place? If you feel any empathy for the Jewish people, you would realize this is really the worst path you could have chosen.

If you want humanistic expressions of God, hinduism and buddhism provide both of those in abundance. Please consider them instead of Christianity.

PS: the trinity comes from council disputes over the nature of Jesus. Marcion the first person to ever conceive of creating a christian canon, conceived of two gods, Yahweh and Jesus, one for each testament. The trinity was a reaction against marcion and other polytheists; trying to create a united god to avoid polytheism hence the trinity came into existence.

No serious person believes there is any truth in what the NT records of Jesus. All the Gospels are apologetical tracts designed for each of the authors to finalize their own theologies and opinions on Jesus.

SJ said...

This is getting better and better.

First the genius comes on talking about women shaving hair among other things, then Freethinking Upstart comes back from out of his hole to spew some more bull shit, then comes Shalmo talking about empathy for the Jewish people while Shalmo disses zionists (jewish nationalists) at every chance he gets.

I can't make this stuff up.

Anyways, if God were to come to Earth in a natural manner, it would entail being born, and the death of Jesus was for everyone's imperfections, not just original sin.

No religion is free from having blood in its history, not even Hinduism and Buddhism. The Western world today leads the world in civil rights and in science and technology so I think I'll stick with that.

As for alleged bible contradictions this link is a good debunking resource. and for suggestions that the NT was copied from other traditions, one can do a youtube search for Zeitgeist Debunked for responses to these suggestions.

Shalmo said...

There are plenty anti-zionist jews

Your links do not address what I said about Marcion and the trinity at all. It seems you are just throwing links into the air!

SJ said...

You are making something out of nothing. Also, being against your own nation-state does seem to be an exclusively Jewish disease. I don't think you are going to find too many anti-Italy Italians and anti-Russia Russians.