Tuesday, February 22, 2011

What Jews believe

[Explanation: Not all Jews embrace these convictions, of course, but some do. The point of this post is not to mock them, but to stamp out errors.]

Experience tells me that in any group of Orthodox Jews, you'll find a few who accept the truth of at least one of the following statements.

  • God only listens when you pray in Hebrew.
  • Waving a terrified and tortured chicken over your head pleases the creator of heaven and earth.
  • A hat is essential to prayer.
  • There are men (balei mofsim) with the power to change and control nature, (yet they use this power primarily for parlor tricks.)
  • Judaism was down with a wasting disease before the Ball shem Tov healed it - and not through the application of new ideas, God forbid, but via the rehabilitation of original ideas.
  • The Talmud we have today is the same Talmud Moshe studied during his 40-day seclusion on Mount Sinai.
  • ... where he also studied midrash.
  • ... and musser
  • In the main, Rishonim agreed about essentials of Jewish thought, and biblical interpretation.
  • Our customs and new religious practices were, for the most part, created by Rabbis, for specific and important reasons. Examples include the fact that we wear masks on Purim to emphasize the hidden nature of the miracle, and the upshurim, which is performed because "man is like a tree" [Deut 20:19, stripped from context.]

What say you?


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