Monday, March 1, 2010

What Garnel's Blog Masthead Should Really Say

"The Navonim Philosophy: In a world that would like to see things as black or white, we remember that there are many shades of gray (because we rabbis make it that way). The Torah is deep beyond comprehension (because we rabbis make it that way), the halacha complete beyond measure (because we rabbis make it that way) and the believing Jew knows that almost no question has a "yes" or "no" answer (BECAUSE WE RABBIS MAKE IT THAT WAY) but one that is always intricate and a source of joy to he who learns it (but not for one who follows it. you must sacrifice to follow the rabbis * cough * i mean, follow hashem. if you try to have fun, chances are you are violating halacha somehow.)(and, oh yeah, because we rabbis make it that way.)"

The plain text of the Torah is much more lazziez-faire than orthodox judaism actually is.


Garnel Ironheart said...

Oh, are you feeling ignored goyboy?

Anonymous said...

It is not clear to which rabbis your complaint is directed. To those of this generation with the daat torah concept that gives them the right to claim anything they say is daat torah--or towards rabbis of previous generations. I think they are not all in the same category.

SJ said...

Garnel, thanks for blowing out of the water the myth that orthodox judaim believes that "once jew, always jew."

It's something that dissenters already knew, but thanks again for confirming it.

Better to be a goy than to be hareidi or modern orthodox (haredim in denial).

Anonymous, wikipedia says that Avi Shafran wrote "The phrase Da'at Torah may be a relatively new one, but the insinuation that the concept it reflects is some sort of modern invention by "unmodern" Jews is absurd. "Emunat chachamim," or "trust in the judgment of the Torah-wise," has been part and parcel of Jewish tradition for millennia. The Talmud and Jewish history are replete with examples of how the Jewish community looked to their religious leaders for guidance about social, political and personal decisions - decisions that, as believing Jews, they understood must be based on authentic Torah values.[1]"

I wonder who I should believe Anonymous, the PR spin? Or the shmuck who don't know when to shut his mouth?

Anonymous, your PR spin failed.

no one said...

Anonymous asked an honest question. The way the Talmud was originally written was not what is claimed for it today. These were rational thinking people trying to figure out the mishna in light of the braiita. Plus a discussion of ruling by other amoraim living in real Jewish communities in Persia in which they had to make rulings based on their understanding of Torah. There is nothing wrong or dishonest about that. And despite by great admiration of Jesus I don't think there is any reason to disparage the amoraim of the Talmud or the rishonim that were trying to understand the Talmud. When you find dishonesty in later generations and you attack it I think that is wonderful and I admire your courage and tenacity and clear thinking when you do so. But to attack the Talmud for what idiots claim it represents is not right. And incidentally the idea of oral law is not mentioned anywhere in the mishna. it is a Talmudic concept and does not apply to the Talmud itself according to rashi in brachot. Oral law as being handed down from Sinai is to the rambam is rulings in the Talmud in which there is no machloket. While clearly the Talmud in its entirely [non rigorous form] does represent oral law but not in the way it is considered today [the rambam considered the Talmud to be incomplete in so far as it did not poskin.

Garnel Ironheart said...

Be careful with SJ. He's not in his right mind.

Old joke: Jewish fellow converts to Chrisianity. One morning his wife finds him wearing his tefillin and bowing before a picture of JC.
"Fishel!" she shouts. "You converted. Why are you wearing tefillin to pray?"
"Oy!" Fishel cries. "Must be my goyisher kopf!"

At any rate, quoting Avi Shafran as an accurate source of Jewish history is like quoting Rush Limbaugh on how narcotics aren't addicting. Anonymous' point is sound. What Shafran claims daas Torah is and the actual level of rabbinic authority through the ages are nothing similar to what actually was.

SJ said...

I haven't wore tefillin in almost ten years. I literally threw my pair in the garbage when I was leaning towards atheism.

And I think Avi Shafran represents orthodoxy very accurately. After all, noone's firing him from his PR job at the Aguda.

no one said...

I have seen some of SJ comments and I don't think it is right to insult him. He is very intelligent and I am surprised at his ability to question and cut through to the core of issues. In some of his old essays there were some insightful comments. I just think that he might have considered a rambam approach to the Talmud instead of the modern fanatic version.
I feel that the making of the Talmud Divine was what he was reacting against

SJ said...

>> I feel that the making of the Talmud Divine was what he was reacting against

And the mishna for that matter.

no one said...

Attacking the Christianity is a bit like dropping your keys in a dark alley and looking under the corner lamppost because the light is better there - it's an easy and obvious target. Also, it's a safe target; nobody will criticize you for being a racist or ethnocentrist if you attack Christianity. Finally Christianity is fun to attack. It is the in thing in the Jewish world.

How to deal with the monotheism issue I admit I don’t know. But I feel that if anyone is capable of dealing with the theological issues of Christianity it is SJ because I don’t know how myself.

SJ said...

Hey I'm not a biblical scholar here.

I think it's accurate to say that in Christianity, Jesus is יהוה himself in a flesh and blood form, and thus it's monotheistic because it's the same יהוה but with a different nature than what Mainonides would try to establish.

Mighty Garnel Ironheart said...

No one, see my comments on your blog.

SJ, I should thank you for the mention but you forget to link my blog in your post. Silly you.

Finally, it's nice to see you've found a new friend.

SJ said...

Garnel don't be mad because I made a joke out of your masthead. lol

Garnel Ironheart said...

Who's mad? I'm flattered that you seem to feel my attention is important. I just wanted the link to up my traffic, that's all.

SJ said...

Ya Garnel and you never traded links back with me. To be fair, I never asked, but still there's a such thing as reciprocating ;D