11 August 2006

Second Letter to the editor.

Here's the second E-mail from an amateur psychologist attempting to categorize my intellectual opposition to Judaism as something else.


Reading your blog a little more, I noticed this:

If you had a troubled child, what's the right way to handle the situation. Do you throw your child out? Do you to smack him senseless?


What's interesting is that you seem to believe that Jews are "troubled children" being abused by God. I wonder why you feel that way? Most people understand that after a certain age we are adults and we are responsible for our actions. Bad deeds have consequences. Sometimes crime justly carries a harsh punishment. So where did this abused child come from? Were you abused as a child?


"I love Shukkling in Shul for hours on end.

I love three day Yom Tovim when all we do is eat, daven, sleep, visit friends,

eat, daven, sleep, friends visit us, eat, daven, sleep, visit friends."


Sounds to me like the whole thing bores you. Or at least that's as much as you want to tell us about why being Frum bothers you.

Devarim: VS Any secular book on Jewish History

Why do you assume that any book critical of the Torah is true? Because scientists are so smart they are always right? What about Freudian psychoanalysis, scientific racism, scientific Marxism, social Darwinism and eugenics - also always right?

Anyway, that's about as much sense as I can make of it; please correct me if I'm mistaken.


***********************************************************************************
And here's my reply:

I do appreciate your Email but once again you are totally mistaken.

You seem to look for things where there are none. I specifically keep on stating that Judaism was a good life and I still stay with, albeit as un unbelievers, because even in my dis-belief I can tolerate it well.

You take my statements out of context. It was in my Tisha B'av post and had to do with sin and that God punishes us with Hester Panim. To me it makes no sense. Of course, I never thought of it that way 10 years ago, but that's how I see it now.

I had a wonderful childhood and I was not abused.

You seem to take many of my statements out of context and deliberately mis-interpret others.

>Devarim: VS Any secular book on Jewish History
>Why do you assume that any book critical of the Torah is true? Because scientists are so smart they are always right? What about Freudian psychoanalysis, scientific racism, scientific Marxism, social Darwinism and eugenics - also always right?

The Secular History books about Judaism, that I've read, are not critical of the Torah, they barely discuss it. It's only the Frum books that are have Jewish History as being dominated by Rabbis. These books (Science, History, etc)from my five books of Baal Habos) simply present a radically different vantage point of life that I decided makes more sense that the OJ perspective.


Why can't you just accept that I was happy with Judaism?

When the Gemara discusses the apostasy of Ben Avuya and Acher do you also look for hidden unstated reasons?

I have nothing to hide, I'm anonymous. If I didn't want to state my story, I would not have done so. You can either take my life story at face value or invent a story on my behalf. But mine is the truth.

BHB

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    69 Comments:

    At August 13, 2006 1:42 AM, Blogger Irviner Chasid said...

    >When the Gemara discusses the apostasy of Ben Avuya and Acher do you also look for hidden unstated reasons?

    If I am not mistaken, some people to talk about being "embarassed" by a rabbi one day or something like that.


    Personally, I don't get how you can think that randomness created Judaism.

     
    At August 13, 2006 1:57 AM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    > If I am not mistaken, some people to talk about being "embarassed" by a rabbi one day or something like that.

    IC, A gut voch.
    I have no idea what you mean and what that has to do with Acher or Ben Avuya;there must be a typo or missing word somewhere.

    > Personally, I don't get how you can think that randomness created Judaism.

    Who said randomness created Judaism?

     
    At August 13, 2006 8:56 AM, Blogger jewish philosopher said...

    So basically, your position is that you are simply an average, normal, happy Frum Jewish man who has simply rationally realized that Judaism is false.

    My small question is: Mah Nishtaneh haLilah Hazeh? In other words, if you are no different than about a few hundred thousand other Frum people out there, why have you and only you been so disturbed by reading a few secular books? Because you have better judgement and are more intellectually honest? I'm not so sure.

    And yes, Ben Avuyah did have hidden reasons. Chazal say he alway was humming Greek tunes to himself - in other words he was emotionally attracted to non-Jewish culture.

    The fact that you are anonymous I think shows that you have everything to hide.

    May I ask you a question - do people who know you ever tell you that you are a little strange? Just curious.

     
    At August 13, 2006 8:59 AM, Blogger jewish philosopher said...

    So basically, your position is that you are simply an average, normal, happy Frum Jewish man who has simply rationally realized that Judaism is false.

    My small question is: Mah Nishtaneh haLilah Hazeh? In other words, if you are no different than about a few hundred thousand other Frum people out there, why have you and only you been so disturbed by reading a few secular books? Because you have better judgement and are more intellectually honest? I'm not so sure.

    And yes, Ben Avuyah did have hidden reasons. Chazal say he alway was humming Greek tunes to himself - in other words he was emotionally attracted to non-Jewish culture.

    The fact that you are anonymous I think shows that you have everything to hide.

    May I ask you a question - do people who know you ever tell you that you are a little strange? Just curious.

     
    At August 13, 2006 10:12 AM, Blogger happywithhislot said...

    JP
    "Because you have better judgement and are more intellectually honest? I'm not so sure."

    My theory is the theory of attained position. A orthodox jew can be somebody in the orthodox world. So why become a nobody?
    So there are many "frum" people who dont toe the belief line of current definitions of charedi orthrodoxy, and maybe even MO orthodoxy.

    But these very smart people can easily attain positions of power, wether its the gabbai or the president of a shul, the rabbi, or heading up one of the million odd charities.

    As lawyers, doctors, they get honored by yeshivas. they get chanfid by the RY.

    Of course many are frum, because they havent asked basic questions.
    They actually believe the world is 5766 years old, like you. You cant argue with fundamentalism.
    That is what charedi judiasm has become.
    Remember, JP, you are a Ger. Which along with BT, is a special briah. And like sienfield said, not that there is anything wrong with that.
    But your question to BHB about people finding HIM strange is laughable.

    Most FFb do not think like you. trust me on that.

    By the way, this strong reaction is becuase of your smugness. stop being so smug. It will come back to bite you on your tuches.

    Just argue the facts. actually, im not even sure why youre capable. All you do is talk about the idiot scientist, or athiest or strange frum but not believing jews.

     
    At August 13, 2006 10:15 AM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    > jewish philosopher said...
    So basically, your position is that you are simply an average, normal, happy Frum Jewish man who has simply rationally realized that Judaism is false.

    Exactly.

    > In other words, if you are no different than about a few hundred thousand other Frum people out there, why have you and only you been so disturbed by reading a few secular books?

    That is a very fair question.
    Lots of people have questions, most just go with the flow. I have a fuller post in the works for that. You'll see it within a week or two.

    > And yes, Ben Avuyah did have hidden reasons. Chazal say he alway was humming Greek tunes to himself - in other words he was emotionally attracted to non-Jewish culture.

    Ben Avuyah and everyone else around him.

    > The fact that you are anonymous I think shows that you have everything to hide.

    The only thing I have to hide is my identity. Nobody is forcing me have a blog. It's something that I want to do. Being a frum skeptic can be quite lonely

    > May I ask you a question -

    Sure. As many as you'd like.

    >do people who know you ever tell you that you are a little strange?

    No never, you're the first one.

     
    At August 13, 2006 10:19 AM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    Happy,

    > Just argue the facts. actually, im not even sure why youre capable. All you do is talk about the idiot scientist, or athiest or strange frum but not believing jews.

    Happy, believe it or not I don't mind the debate about emotions and deciding. I actually prefer to cover that in this blog. I'll leave the endless back and forth proofs and contraproofs for the GH type of blogs.

     
    At August 13, 2006 12:41 PM, Blogger happywithhislot said...

    BHB
    NO problem.

    JP:
    Smug away.

     
    At August 13, 2006 8:25 PM, Blogger Enigma4U said...

    Jewish "Philosopher" said: "if you are no different than about a few hundred thousand other Frum people out there, why have you and only you been so disturbed by reading a few secular books?"

    Orthodox Judaism makes grand historical claims
    which don't bother most adherents, because once indoctrinated, they accept those fantastical stories (creation, Noah and a global flood, the exodus of 2.5 million Hebrew slaves out of Egypt, etc.) as truth. Growing up frum ensures that critical thinking skills are severely curtailed, questions are highly discouraged, and dissent has grave consequences. Only when reading what you refer to as "secular" sources, such as history and science, does one realize how ridiculous the claims made by frumkeit are. That's what happened to BHB and to most frum skeptics. Their eyes were opened to the truth and their faith shaken to the core when they came across information that didn't jibe with their mesorah and allowed themselves to
    discern fact from fiction.

     
    At August 13, 2006 10:21 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    Enigma, exactly. The system does a very good job at brainwashing.

     
    At August 14, 2006 8:54 AM, Blogger jewish philosopher said...

    The fact is, I sent the emails privately because I don't see them as being of general interest under the circumstances.

    Baal habos can claim anything he wants to about who he is although the truth may be entirely different.

     
    At August 14, 2006 9:06 AM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    Sure, the truth might be different, I might also be the pope. The fact is I say exactly what's on my mind.

     
    At August 14, 2006 1:30 PM, Blogger Irviner Chasid said...

    >Growing up frum ensures that critical thinking skills are severely curtailed, questions are highly discouraged, and dissent has grave consequences.

    What world do you live in?

    Judaism is about questions... Everything we do is question.

    There is a very simple concept that people who believe in reality adhere to. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Secular books do not compare to the reality of our current world in its understanding and means of coping with what we have. The secular world does a great job at showing us everything that is wrong, but does a terrible job at showing anybody what is right.

    There are currently in our era two ways of explaining the world we live in and History.

    1. It is all predeterimed events based on the physcial realities of our world, through the chaotic mechanism of randomness which produces what we have by sheer chance and causality.

    2. Religions based on Avarahm. Non "Abrahamic" religions that still have followers, do not even pretend to have -real- answers about the world anymore. The answers they do have are currently based on "the bible"

    The truth is, that answer number 1, is just as proveable and self fufilling as answer number 2. As far as I know, those are the only two systems that claim to explain "everything"

     
    At August 14, 2006 6:00 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    > Judaism is about questions... Everything we do is question.

    IC, no it's not. Maybe when you're becoming a BT. But to FFB's, you're not supposed to be asking your tough own questions.

     
    At August 14, 2006 6:31 PM, Blogger Irviner Chasid said...

    >IC, no it's not. Maybe when you're becoming a BT. But to FFB's, you're not supposed to be asking your tough own questions.

    That is very disturbing to hear. I have never seen that.

    What would the Gemorah be if you took out the questions? What would Pesach be if you took out the questions?

    Normally, you have to ask the right question in the right setting. As that is all about knowing how to ask questions properly. But there are hundreds of not thousands of essays and books which discuss the "tough questions" if you are willing to spend the time reading them. Infact I believe Hirsch and Rambam devoted entire books to the issue.

     
    At August 14, 2006 6:33 PM, Blogger Irviner Chasid said...

    Also, if any tough question is answered by 2 lines or a paragraph, it either isn't a tough question, or you are getting a very incomplete answer. You would have to spend weeks and months if not years learning to get good answers to the tough questions.

     
    At August 14, 2006 7:21 PM, Blogger Enigma4U said...

    Irviner Chasid said "What world do you live in?"

    I have two words to answer that question:

    NOSON SLIFKIN

    Yeah, Orthodoxy really encourages questions!

     
    At August 14, 2006 7:38 PM, Blogger Irviner Chasid said...

    Enigma, I ask you, have you read Slifkin's books? Have you read the objections to the books?

    The objections have nothing to do with asking questions, they have to do with catagorical statements of fact that were made, taken out of context.

    Kaplan said the same thing Slikin said, and Kaplan's books arn't banned. Because he worded them diffrently.

    When I finally read Slifkin's book, my reaction is "Whats new?" this is old news.

     
    At August 14, 2006 7:39 PM, Blogger Irviner Chasid said...

    Controversy is good for book sales don't you know :P

     
    At August 14, 2006 7:58 PM, Anonymous Jewish skeptic said...

    Frum people & those emotionaly inclined to become BT & apologists,
    ignore or conveniently one important thing.
    when they say Judaism is all about questions,that's all WITHIN THE FRAMEWORK. The same with the Talmud.
    All the dialogues & disputes in the Talmud is within that framework.
    First you have to accept as a given
    the divinity of the Torah & also that the Torah shebaal peh also goes back to Sinai,only then are you permitted to ask questions in order to understand them better.
    This goes for all Rabbinic lit.from the time of the Talmud till now. You are NOT allowed to ask questions OUTSIDE the system.
    Anyone who is really frum (& I don't mean someone who has a smattering of J.with a mixture of New Agey Kabbalah) knows that.
    The above goes also for Kabbalah.
    Which reminds me of G.Sholem,who told that he went to a very famous kabbalist to be taught by him K.
    The kabbalist agreed,but had one condition, that he never ask him any questions...

     
    At August 14, 2006 9:22 PM, Blogger Irviner Chasid said...

    >when they say Judaism is all about questions,that's all WITHIN THE FRAMEWORK.

    Ummm... if you say so.

    I suggest you go to a university, and ask your teacher about the scientific method, and have them prove to you that the scientific method works. Ask the tought questions like, "How can we trust our insturments" or, "How can we trust observation"

    Perhaps you should ask them why P and ~P can never be True.

    You can never ask anybody questions outside of the framework... that is true in all fields.

    Ask a lawyer how they can let someone who commited a crime go free on a "technicality". The normal answer to that question is because the technicality eans that the person is not guilty.


    As for questions about G-d and Kabbalah. You can't aks questions untill you finish learning the basics. Because your questions won't make any sense. Also, you can't ask Questions on what I experience. Or on what another person experiences. That is outside our realm of possiblities.

    However, I don't know anyone or anything that says you can' ask "Why does science imply one thing, and the tradition imply another" That is fully accepted question, and often discussed.

     
    At August 14, 2006 9:23 PM, Blogger Irviner Chasid said...

    >Anyone who is really frum (& I don't mean someone who has a smattering of J.with a mixture of New Agey Kabbalah) knows that.

    Good to know that you are the definer of Frum. How arrogant can you get?

    And here I thought Frum ment you followed the mitzvot. Oh well. Guess you are now the thought police? And you dare accuse Judaims of not being open to questions?

     
    At August 14, 2006 9:27 PM, Blogger Irviner Chasid said...

    And for the record, I have a feeling I know more about what is wrong with New Age Kabbalah than you do. And imagine I can discern which is real kabbalah and which isn't. Even with my limited knowledge.

     
    At August 15, 2006 9:39 AM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    Irviner, I think JS stated it accurately. It's not an honest question, if the answer "Must" lead to one place. It's like a stated script. Ramabam was different, and he indeed was an outcast because of what he did. I love to ask the question. "if the Rambam would be around today, what conclusions would he come to?". And don't say the same. Ramabam was affected by Aristotillean philosophy (JP, just like Ben Avuya and Greek philosophy?).

    BTW, IC, you must live in a different society. Maybe as a BT you're free to question. If and when you have children, and they grow up going thru the "system", they'll be playing to a different set of rules.

     
    At August 15, 2006 12:29 PM, Blogger Irviner Chasid said...

    >BTW, IC, you must live in a different society. Maybe as a BT you're free to question. If and when you have children, and they grow up going thru the "system", they'll be playing to a different set of rules.

    I don't know what "through the system means" but the only time I ever went to a non Jewish school was between the ages of 18 and 24. Before then, I went to Chabad, Jewish day school, Yeshiva highschool, Yeshivah in Israel.

    I think you are deceiving yourself if you think science doesn't have a "Must" you have to come to the conclusion to. One thing my mom likes about Math is that there is only one answer you can ever come to.

    Last night, my father told me a story about a BT guy in conneticut. He was reading Faith and Doubt, and said to the BT guy, "Great doubt leads to great Faith" and the BT guy responded "You mean like when you ask a shayla?"...

    Granted there are people and communities of people who are not interested in asking questions, and don't search for "the big answers" but that has nothing to do with the system.

    However, I did come across a mishna last night, in Chagigah. The one where it says do not teach arayot to more than 3. It later say, that certain questions should not be asked.
    What came before, what came after, what is above and what is below. Because there is never going to be an answer which can be found to these questions.

     
    At August 15, 2006 4:09 PM, Anonymous SZ said...

    Irviner:
    "What world do you live in?"

    The real one? The one where, you know, reality isn’t dependent on who believes in it? The one where facts matter more than dogma?

    "Judaism is about questions... Everything we do is question."

    Questions where the only acceptable answer is the pre-conceived, vouched for, and approved one isn’t called questioning. It’s called being facetious.

    "There are currently in our era two ways of explaining the world we live in and History."

    Many eminent scientists will be very interested to know you’ve discovered the elusive Theory of Everything. Care to share?

    "What would the Gemorah be if you took out the questions? What would Pesach be if you took out the questions?"

    What would the Gemorah be if you took out the answers and substituted them with answers that jive better with the facts as we now know them? What would Pesach be if instead of the compulsory printed answer of Avadim Hayinu, we use instead a more forthright and honest answer regarding our origins and national mythology?

    "The objections have nothing to do with asking questions, they have to do with catagorical statements of fact that were made, taken out of context."

    Oh my God! Not the facts! And categorical statements! Hashem yerachem! Taken out of context my foot. You mean like suggesting that when a statement by Chazal clearly contradicts well established facts, the fact remains fact and Chazal remain fallible? Or do you mean suggesting that current scientific understanding trumps 1500 year old superstition?

    --SZ

     
    At August 15, 2006 4:28 PM, Blogger Irviner Chasid said...

    He had a line that said "clearly chazal did not know what they were talking about"

    That taken out of context, is misleading and removes much of the actual wisdom that is contained in thier sayings, as well as distorts Slifkin's actual arguments.

    If you believe that Chazal were even interested in "scientific fact" for any reason other than to make a moral argument than you are not reading chazal.

    In the 2,000 years since the Gemora was written, "science" has changed a lot, however human behaviour and pyschology havn't. Something to think about.

    I am pretty convinced that the only reason people insist on a 6,000 year old earth, is because they assume that if you think otherwise than that means you don't believe in G-d as a constant creative force in the world. And the reason for them thinking that, is because that is how people sound when they ask such questions. They never really want to understand Chazal, they just want to "prove them wrong" and they almost certainly never are able to articulate how knowing that the earth is 6,000 or 26 trillion years old makes any difference to anything in one's life.

     
    At August 15, 2006 5:03 PM, Anonymous SZ said...

    "In the 2,000 years since the Gemora was written, "science" has changed a lot, however human behaviour and pyschology havn't."

    This is a false dichotomy. The physical world that science seeks to explain hasn't changed one wee bit in the last 2,000 years -- the same as human psychology. What has changed is our scientific understanding of that physical world; but our understanding of human psychology changed quite a bit, too.

    "They never really want to understand Chazal, they just want to "prove them wrong""

    No, they already understand Chazal. They want to see if Chazal's claims hold up under the scrutiny of critical thought and established facts -- something Orthodoxy clearly cannot brook.

    --SZ

     
    At August 15, 2006 8:28 PM, Blogger happywithhislot said...

    ic
    "they almost certainly never are able to articulate how knowing that the earth is 6,000 or 26 trillion years old makes any difference to anything in one's life. "

    the difference is if you are told chazal are perfect and knew everything, and then you happen to learn that the world is older than you were taught. You begin to wonder, why did they teach me the wrong thing? what else?

    but if youre taught initially that the world is billions yrs old, and chazal werent perfect in science, then you dont grow up shocked by what you read.

    IC
    the charedi world has decided they would rather lose some souls to science rather than risk telling people chazal may have been wrong.

    I agree that there is a tendancy to take it further. But we have ourselves to blame.

     
    At August 15, 2006 8:31 PM, Blogger happywithhislot said...

    bhb
    ive been talking to a charedi.
    something in our discussion made me think of you.

    do you believe bemunah shleimah that orthodoxy is false?
    If not, is that why you remain frum?
    My problem is what if we are wrong?
    what if the plan is for us to throw off the yoke of superstitious beliefs that infiltrated judiasm?

     
    At August 15, 2006 9:59 PM, Blogger Irviner Chasid said...

    >This is a false dichotomy. The physical world that science seeks to explain hasn't changed one wee bit in the last 2,000 years -- the same as human psychology. What has changed is our scientific understanding of that physical world; but our understanding of human psychology changed quite a bit, too.

    I have never found anything Chazal has said about human beings and pyschology to be false. And that is what they focused on.

     
    At August 15, 2006 10:01 PM, Blogger Irviner Chasid said...

    I would like to see the source that says that the year 0 is the year the earth was made.

     
    At August 15, 2006 10:03 PM, Blogger Irviner Chasid said...

    >My problem is what if we are wrong?
    what if the plan is for us to throw off the yoke of superstitious beliefs that infiltrated judiasm?

    That is a question that I personally think is silly.

    What if Judaism as whole is wrong? What if beign human is wrong? What if our real test in life is to throw off the yoke of civilization and live with the animals? What if the real test is having the will to commit suicide to return back to G-d really quickly? What if our purpose in life is to destroy all the humans so the world can live on peacefully? The possiblities are endless.

     
    At August 15, 2006 11:17 PM, Blogger happywithhislot said...

    ic
    exactly

    So how can you choose to believe in something patently dumb?
    charedim would have you believe that the maharal could of made a golem.
    (Read the hamodia website.)

    Isnt that patently dumb?
    so are they going to hell for making this stuff up?
    Anyone with half a brain knows its BS.
    Yet they take it very seriously.
    Do you?
    If you dont, then you are on the outs as far as they are concerned.
    So welcome to the club.

     
    At August 16, 2006 9:28 AM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    > do you believe bemunah shleimah that orthodoxy is false?
    If not, is that why you remain frum?

    Coming up soon

    > My problem is what if we are wrong?
    what if the plan is for us to throw off the yoke of superstitious beliefs that infiltrated judiasm?

    To me, thats an excellent question. We have no idea of anything except what we can prove.

     
    At August 16, 2006 9:30 AM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    > What if beign human is wrong?
    IC, what does that mean?

    What if our real test in life is to throw off the yoke of civilization and live with the animals?

    Why would that be a test? You can make up any test.

    What if the real test is having the will to commit suicide to return back to G-d really quickly? What if our purpose in life is to destroy all the humans so the world can live on peacefully? The possiblities are endless.

    True. I gues this all falls under the category of Trickster God.

     
    At August 16, 2006 3:44 PM, Anonymous Jewish skeptic said...

    B.H
    The way I see it,the crux of the problem with Orthodoxy is as follows:
    Lets assume that the Torah nitnah l'moshe misinai(which i definitely do not),how can we have the assurance that the chazal had the keys to its correct interpretaion,going back to sinai?

    We see they were wrong in scientific facts & even more importantly in historical facts.
    e.g 165 years were erased of jewish history(what happened during those yrs?...).
    or the discrepacy between between the accepted date for the destruction of 1st temple as 586 b.c.e & chazal dating it 166 yrs later!(Btw the former is accepted by Orth. see Hertz comm.on chumash,& believe or not,even by the Ramban! I have his vikuach with a meshumad where he states it,not in those words but it amounts to the same thing).
    These problems have been addressed in part by some rabbis.
    On of them r.Azariah min Ha'adumim, 16th c. wrote a most fascinating book 'me'or einayim',in it he states that all historical facts by chazal should be taken as aggadot & not taken at face value.
    For that R.J.Karo wanted to excomunicate him,but R.karo died before he could carry it out.
    The Maharal said harsh words against him.
    Another attempt to tackle the problem of strange chazal was by the Ramban. In another vikuach with a meshumad(which quite a lit.has been written on it).he stated he DOESNT believe in a certain aggada,& many aggadot should be treated as "sermons",just as the christians have sermons in their churches & the people are not obligated to believe them.
    However,the problem persists.Its not so simple to differentiate between halachah & hagada.e,g the wrong date on a get makes it pasul.
    Its not in a acomment enough space to enumerate all the other halachot which are based on history & science. there are too many.
    The question arises,if the chazal could err in 166 yrs of jewish
    history,then how can we believe them in anything?! WHAT BECOMES OF THE FIRST MISHNAH IN AVOT,Moshe kibbel torah etc?!!!
    This very same question was asked several yrs ago in the O.mag.Jewish Action by an an O.scholar who tries to make use of Velikovsky's books Ages in chaos & world in upheaval to reconcile the discrepancies.but its a weak attempt & just shows desperation.
    So there it is ,& as we say in ivrit 'al ktse hamazleg',how can we give any credence to what chazal are claiming that they have the right interpretation of the torah & mesorah,when we see they had such blatant errors in historical & scientific facts?

     
    At August 16, 2006 8:08 PM, Blogger Irviner Chasid said...

    >how can we give any credence to what chazal are claiming that they have the right interpretation of the torah & mesorah,when we see they had such blatant errors in historical & scientific facts?

    Let me turn this question on its head.. and maybe you will see the ridiculousness of your question.

    How can we give any credence to Euclidian Geomotry, when we see that they had such blatant errors in Astronomy!

     
    At August 16, 2006 8:11 PM, Blogger Irviner Chasid said...

    >
    True. I gues this all falls under the category of Trickster God.

    No, that was not my point at all.

    My point was that asking "what if we are wrong" is a stupid question. "what if we are right?"

    In order to have a good answer to this question, you really have to come up with an alternative answer first, and then perhaps see if that answer is any better.

    In all my searching, I have never found a better answer.. and I have done a lot of searching. For me, the answer was to the question, of "Why the physical world".. For others, the question might be a different one. And the question is, how many other things are you going to be willing to waste your time learning about only to come home?

     
    At August 16, 2006 10:13 PM, Blogger happywithhislot said...

    daganev

    "How can we give any credence to Euclidian Geomotry, when we see that they had such blatant errors in Astronomy!"

    you realize that slifkin got banned for such thoughts.

     
    At August 17, 2006 1:02 AM, Blogger Irviner Chasid said...

    >"How can we give any credence to Euclidian Geomotry, when we see that they had such blatant errors in Astronomy!"

    you realize that slifkin got banned for such thoughts.


    As far as I read, Slifkin got banned because he made statements like "Chazal did not know what they were saying" And He never gave other Chazals to back up his claims, like most other authors who wrote about this 400 years ago did.

    Nobody suggests that to say that Chazal was wrong about spontanious creation from meat to flies, is bad, I'm pretty sure every rabbi today would agree with that.

    It is when science that is still in the "we are not so sure how it works phase" is vouched as 100% this must be the Truth there is no other way to understand the world, that rabbis start banning things.

    Apparently thier bans are needed if people can't make that distinction.

     
    At August 17, 2006 1:03 AM, Blogger Irviner Chasid said...

    For example, if you read Aryeh Kaplan books, he says hte same thing as Slikfin, however, when he does so, he quotes Rabbis from previous generations.

     
    At August 17, 2006 2:29 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    Jewish Skeptic. Amazing, you bring up issues that I never was even aware of as. There was an article about 8 years ago, I think, in the JO, trying to reconcile the dates. I never did put it into the context of Chazal's credibility though. I'm still in the middle of reading the letter to my Rabbi on TFSG. It's like the Makkeh B'patish. As I stated to Jewish Philopher, until very recently, I was never exposed to anything that was explicitly antagonistic to OJ or rabbinical Judaism. I probably would have been very much on the defensive. It's all the non-chalant stuff that convinced me (so easily).

     
    At August 17, 2006 3:34 PM, Blogger happywithhislot said...

    daganev
    "As far as I read, Slifkin got banned because he made statements like "Chazal did not know what they were saying" "

    cmon.
    you know he said no such thing.
    What he said was its possible chazal were mistaken in sceince since the son of the Rambam said that chazal were not scientist or doctors, so IGNORE what they have to say on the matter.

    He got banned because charedim claim this is a forgery or we simply can not say this ANYMORE.

    Witness your arguments with LY over at DB. Clearly he does not come from the same universe you do.
    Youre not charedi.
    and what you are arguing with him would be called apikorses by charedi rabbonim.

     
    At August 17, 2006 3:38 PM, Blogger happywithhislot said...

    JS
    re historical facts.
    Wasnt there a article in flatbush journal chakira re a professor who came up with a explanation for the "missing" years?

    I personally dont buy that if chazal didnt know science that means they didnt know how to learn anything.

    BHB can you also eloborate a little, what you talk about chazals credibility.
    Also, just had to ask. Are you Yodeah?

     
    At August 17, 2006 4:22 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    Happy, when I say Chazal's credibility, I'm referring to Jewish Skeptics comments.

    Am I Yodeah what? Or is Yodeah a blogger? in which case I'm not.

     
    At August 17, 2006 4:58 PM, Blogger happywithhislot said...

    BHB
    Yodeah was a commentor on GH blog. He disappeared around the time you showed up.
    Hmmmmmmm......

     
    At August 17, 2006 4:59 PM, Blogger happywithhislot said...

    He also said, he would come back as someone else, and we wouldnt know it.
    Hmmmmmmmm.....

     
    At August 17, 2006 5:53 PM, Anonymous Jewish skeptic said...

    JS
    >"re historical facts.
    Wasnt there a article in flatbush journal chakira re a professor who came up with a explanation for the "missing" years?

    I personally dont buy that if chazal didnt know science that means they didnt know how to learn anything."

    Happy,
    I havnt read any of chkirah journals.But as i wrote in my comment,the orth. mag, devoted most of its issue to this problem about 7yrs ago. The question that I raised in my comment( & its not ridiculous,it was asked by an Orth scholar.Its only people who are ignorant & dont have anything usefull or interesting to say,dismiss everything they dont know by using ad homineims argu.)
    How can we trust the mesorah of chazal if they got their dates mixed up? How can we trust the history of mesorah as stated by tha rambam in his hakdamah to the M.T.(all based on chazal)if they had their history wrong? No its not a ridiculous question...

    I dont have that mag.in front of me,but what i remember is that this Orth.scholar (Israeli) uses the theories of E.velikovski in his books that i mentioned,to reconcile the discrepancies.Its not for a comment,nor do i have the patience to go into Vel.theories.it has a long history.
    anyone inter. can google vel.& get more info.
    The charedi world,out of desperation jumped at this attempt of reconc. However,its not such a big 'metsiah'.The scientific comm. debunked Vel.theories a long time ago.

    Let me give you one more example of chazals lack of historical facts.
    In Sanhedrin daf 21 there is a beraita discussing whether the Torah given to Moshe was given in our script-Ashuri(as we have it now),or whether it was in given in the Cuti -Samaritan script.vide the discus.there.
    Just think.the baraita was written between 200-300 c.e just a few c.after destruction of the temple,where they must have had libraries & ancient copies,& already they werent sure of the ancient script & whether Ezra changed it!
    Its especially problematic for the kabbalists.To them the letters & the shape of the letters contain the greatest of 'sodot & razim',& if its not the original Heb.scipt...
    Something so basic to jewish religion & tradition they already werent sure of 200 yrs after the destr. of the bet hamikdash!...
    Yet tey were sure of ,listen-
    In the book of kings its told how Chilkiyah,the priest found a copy of the torah .He & Shafan hasofer brought it to the King yoshiyahu.Bekitsur,(i am getting tired & its 12:20 am here in Is.)
    when the king heard whats written in it (tochechah),he trembled.
    The obvious ques. arises,why would he tremble if the torah was known to him? The Talmud Yerushalmi,quoted by all the meforshim on the text, that the torah they found was 'niglal,to the section of the tochechah,instead of being rolled up to bereshit,& the king took it as a bad omen.
    Now I ask you to think: the chazal werent sure in which script the torah was orig.written just a couple of yrs after the dest. of the temple, but they were sure (they had to,for apolegetic reasons...) of the minor incident that the torah found by chilkiyah hacohen was rolled to the tochechah,& that took place more than 1000 yrs before their time!
    of the script they werent sure but of this they were certain!...

    WHAT ARE WE TO MAKE OF THEIR CREDIBILITY?!!!

     
    At August 17, 2006 8:42 PM, Blogger Irviner Chasid said...

    >Youre not charedi.
    and what you are arguing with him would be called apikorses by charedi rabbonim.

    I am not charedi, but I don't deny the validity of the charedi life.

     
    At August 17, 2006 8:50 PM, Blogger Irviner Chasid said...

    >WHAT ARE WE TO MAKE OF THEIR CREDIBILITY?!!!

    few comments.

    I learned about the different types of script before I learned about Kabbalah, and I have to say, I have found no problems. Its not problematic, if you understand what the kabbalah is teaching.

    2. For being "not so credible" they sure seem to have so much -right-. Pyschology study after pyschology study just reveals what Chazal allready told us about raising families and dealing with our neighbors.

    3. Personaly, I sometimes have problems with what year I did what. Was I 7 or 10 when such and such happened. Thats my own life. I don't suddenly worry, that maybe my memmories are complete rubish.

     
    At August 17, 2006 9:53 PM, Blogger happywithhislot said...

    js
    re they werent sure about what the ksav was for torah.
    Maybe they versions of both?
    and they werent sure which one was holy.
    There is another way to explain it.
    They werent sure what is NOW considered holy. That means they know torah was written in both scripts, but at some point it was decided that we have today is the holy one. But those written in old script, were they STILL considered holy. I think this is gemera in shabbos.

     
    At August 17, 2006 9:57 PM, Blogger happywithhislot said...

    IC
    "I am not charedi, but I don't deny the validity of the charedi life."

    but Chardi dont validate your lifestyle. what you believe is apikorses to them.

     
    At August 18, 2006 8:15 AM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    Happy, sorry. "Ani, lo yodea".

    I liked your insight yesterday into LY's handling of the Cease Fire and victory/defeat issues. You're right, had it been an outstanding success they would have credited it to Teffilos. That's part of the problem with OJ, It's non-falsifiable. Like that absurd answer to JS question. If Sifrei Torah are so sacred, there can't be more than one version of K'sav, and there should not be any doubt. They probably acquired their Kedusha during the times of the Tannaim. I often had these same questions about the various Kolot for blowing the shofar, If you blow shofar every year, how could there be a doubt. Of course all these questions have been asked, and answered. But the answers don't ring true, to me.

    IC, why are you not Chareidi? After all Torah is the Ikar, and the Gedolim have the Mesora down better than anyone else. Why don't you drop everything and sit and learn Torah all day?

     
    At August 18, 2006 2:00 PM, Blogger Irviner Chasid said...

    >Why don't you drop everything and sit and learn Torah all day?

    Simple... I have ADD. I tried to learn in Yeshiva, and I spent most of my day doing other things, and learning only at night when my body was tired. I physcially can't be a kollel student.

    The torah teaches us some very important things about the 12 tribes. They each had a different Torah, no Torah was more correct than the others. However, also, no torah applied to everybody.

    Now, you may think this a copout, however, even in medicine, there is not allways the right pill for a person.

    Being, that I have ADD, I had to try over 4 different medicines to find the pill that worked with my body chemistry best. I won't go into the science here, but most of them all work on the same principle but are slighty variant from eachother.

    So while Ritilin might be good for one person, Dexadrin might be better for another person, and Strattera might be better for others. Some people love advil, some people love tyelonal, and there is actually a difference in how it affects the body, its not just "choice"

     
    At August 18, 2006 2:03 PM, Blogger Irviner Chasid said...

    >but Chardi dont validate your lifestyle. what you believe is apikorses to them.

    I doubt that. As I have had conversations with Charedim and not been called an apikores. However, if I was raised in a charedi family, I might be considered one.

    In many ways, the act of choosing which "path" is correct, can be bad. It is much better to be placed into a path by others than to choose your own when it comes to Torah, I think.

    And I say that on the highest mystical level, not on a pratcial level that I would actually say to my neighbor.

     
    At August 18, 2006 2:07 PM, Blogger Irviner Chasid said...

    >C, why are you not Chareidi? After all Torah is the Ikar, and the Gedolim have the Mesora down better than anyone else. Why don't you drop everything and sit and learn Torah all day?

    Let me ask you this, why don't you become a [insert resepctable profession that you are not]?

    Do you think that your profession is more correct than the one you are not? would the world somehow be better if everybody was your profession?

    I am pretty sure that if you ask any charedi they would agree that it is good for You to become a charedi, but it is not good for Everybody to become a charedi.

    And that, is a very interesting condundrum/contradiction/paradox.

     
    At August 18, 2006 2:07 PM, Blogger Irviner Chasid said...

    >Happy, sorry. "Ani, lo yodea".

    ROFL, Awesome!

     
    At August 18, 2006 4:00 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    Irviner, for someone with ADD, you certainly accumulated a vast amount of secular knowledge. I see your postings on other blogs. You've got formal logic proofs, physics, chemistry, etc.

    It's an excuse, when you say you don't sit and learn all day because of ADD.

    From an MO perspective you're doing fine and possibly even the right thing (I've always subscribed to Torah Umada). But from a Chareidi perspective, you're copping out.


    > I am pretty sure that if you ask any charedi they would agree that it is good for You to become a charedi, but it is not good for Everybody to become a charedi.


    Chareidim would argue that if everyone should be a Chareidi and if everyone were Moshiach would be here.

     
    At August 18, 2006 4:03 PM, Blogger Irviner Chasid said...

    >Irviner, for someone with ADD, you certainly accumulated a vast amount of secular knowledge. I see your postings on other blogs. You've got formal logic proofs, physics, chemistry, etc.


    Thank you, but everything I have learned, I learned aurally. I am terrible at quotes and the like, because more often than not, I have heard the quote, not read it, and not visualized it, but rather get the basic idea behind it.

    If Kollel learning was more discussion and less reading, I could probabbly handle it.

     
    At August 18, 2006 4:05 PM, Blogger Irviner Chasid said...

    >Chareidim would argue that if everyone should be a Chareidi and if everyone were Moshiach would be here.

    Maybe, but I have never heard that.

    Chabad for instance has different levels of expectations for those who are born into it, and those who do teshuva.

    I have seen it written many places, not just Charedi, that if every jew kept 3 shabbats, the mashiach would come. That is quite different than saying that if everyone chose the kollel lifestyle.

     
    At August 18, 2006 4:06 PM, Blogger Irviner Chasid said...

    > I have seen it written many places, not just Charedi, that if every jew kept 3 shabbats, the mashiach would come.

    And ofcourse, chabad just requires 1 shabbos.

     
    At August 18, 2006 4:08 PM, Blogger Irviner Chasid said...

    >>Irviner, for someone with ADD, you certainly accumulated a vast amount of secular knowledge. I see your postings on other blogs. You've got formal logic proofs, physics, chemistry, etc.

    Something else to think about... because I realized my charachterization about aural vs reading learning may be off.

    What you see is a vast breadth of knowledge, but you will also see that my knowlede in any particular field is fairly shallow.

    When I went to yeshiva I went to mevesertZion, because they had chumash and nach and hallacha and "meditation" Not just Talmud. I also tend to read lots of very short books instead of one very big book. (for example the first gemora I learned on my own was Sefer Katanot)

     
    At August 18, 2006 4:08 PM, Blogger Irviner Chasid said...

    gah.. Mesechet Katanot, not sefer.

     
    At August 18, 2006 4:34 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    > have seen it written many places, not just Charedi, that if every jew kept 3 shabbats, the mashiach would come.

    IC, I think it's two shabbosos and the source is the Mekoshesh Eitsim that the jews could not even keep two shabbasos in the Midbar.

    The way I've heard it (from chabad/chareidi) is that even though there may be less expectation, the intent is to always continue to grow. The individual is not supposed to look at himself and be satisfied.

    BTW, How is it that you have so much time to blog? Are you a full time student?

     
    At August 18, 2006 4:39 PM, Blogger Irviner Chasid said...

    No, computer programmer.

    I blog while I wait for my code to compile.

     
    At August 18, 2006 4:42 PM, Blogger Irviner Chasid said...

    >The way I've heard it (from chabad/chareidi) is that even though there may be less expectation, the intent is to always continue to grow. The individual is not supposed to look at himself and be satisfied.

    Even the Carlbach guys say that.

    Adin Steinsaltz wrote a good book on that. I think its called the 13 pedal rose, I've forgotten.

    I am pretty sure that everyone who knows, says that if you are not advancing you are going backwards. Not just that you shouldn't be satisfied with where you are, but if you are satisfied it means you are going backwards.

    Even at the Yeshivah I went to, they told me I would probabbly be better served by not looking to making kollel my life (because I had asked them about how that worked, and how I could do so)

     
    At August 18, 2006 5:10 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    Just think how much more productive you'd (from the perspective of your boss), if you were provided with more a more efficient compiler (or faster machine). I found that Blogging was taking away from my productivity, and I limit it drastically now.

     
    At August 18, 2006 5:26 PM, Blogger Irviner Chasid said...

    BH, I agree.

    I wish there was more tolerance on the net, and less of the same old stuff being said over and over again, so I would have no desire of adding in my unique perspective.

     

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