Monday, December 24, 2012


I am not sure what I find more deeply distasteful:  Idiots who say the unlucky midrashim or the unlucky rishonim are "against real Judaism" or "not from our mesorah" or the jerks who say the masses of Jews who know of nothing but the lucky midrashim and the lucky rishonim are "simpletons."

I posted this on Facebook last week, and I have to confess the strangeness of it has caught up with me. When I first started this blog I was definitely the sort of jerk described in the second part of this post. And, I suppose, like all of us,  I went through a stage in late adolescence when I was every bit the idiot described at the beginning of the post. 

The lucky midrashim are the ones you learned in grade school and likely never re-examined. These include "Rivka the three-year old bride" and "Stretchy-armed Bas Paroh.*" The lucky rishonim include the Ramak who taught that "there are no coincidences" and the Rambam who convinced us all that God is incorporeal and that the Torah we have today is exactly the same Torah Moshe received.  If you're a certain kind of moron, you react with pious indignation whenever someone shows you a  midrash or rishon that presents another view. Those unpopular opinions are the ones I call "unlucky"

*And if you're a different kind of moron you believe that any supernatural sounding midrash is an allegory or not to be taken literally even when the context makes it clear that the midrash's author believed he was describing a historical event. But that's a subject for a different post.

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