Monday, October 15, 2012

Today's stupid wing nut thing in the Jewish Press

A certain Rabbi Rosenblatt from Dallas tried to teach Sara Silverman a lesson on the pages of the Jewish Press and came across sounding like an arrogant moron. In the following fisk I explain why.

Dear Sarah,
You have grown political as of late, and your politics have traction. Your YouTube video “Let My People Vote” has been viewed more than 1.4 million times. You have 3.4 million Twitter followers apparently eager to consume your mix of sexual references and political barbs.
Odds are most of those users are inactive. Some might not even be real people (Does Sarah purchase followers? Maybe) But in any event, its an exaggeration to say all of them are on the edges of their divans waiting for Sara's next Tweet.
I wouldn’t be writing these words had your most recent video not been framed in biblical language. Its title held deep significance to me, as I am sure was your intention.
Gee Rabbi. Its just a dumb pun. "Let My People Vote" She wasn't trying to push your Jew button. She was trying to match her clever piece with a clever title. 
Your name is Silverman. My name is Rosenblatt. We both have Jewish ancestors; I am not sure what else we share. 
You're both human beings? You're both Americans? You're both white? You both speak English? You're both in show biz?  Hell, you are both Jews. Remember? But sure, bring on the narcissism of small differences. Because other than some of the more important things about your identities, you really do have absolutely nothing in common
You are good at what you do – comedy – and I try to be good at what I do – being a husband, dad, rabbi, and manufacturer of kosher meat. My wife and I are blessed with six children and my day is spent earning for the brood.
You stand out among comedians because your comedy is sharper than theirs. It is crude and clever, simple and punishing; your perception of the human condition is acute, which is why your punch lines bite deeper and hurt longer. You have a knack for finding faults and inconsistencies in people and blowing them wide open with carefully plotted language and cleverly nuanced pauses.
If I were to be gratuitous, I would say you mock what is imperfect because you know what perfect should look like and you seek the ultimate perfection.
I don't think you know what gratuitous means. Anyway, your attempt at psychology is screamingly  juvenile. All you know about the women is her public face. The things she shows you and says to you as part of her job. But you think you're looking at her soul. Idiot. 
But I won’t be so gratuitous. You are in show biz. I am in the rabbi biz. 
What's the difference? You're both performers.  And this dumb article is predicated on the fact that you think Sara is some kind of preacher for secularism. 
You entertain people. I serve people.
And you also entertain people. Inadvertently.
 I believe I have your number.
How many interviews did you conduct before acquiring her number? Or did you just read all of her Tweets and watch a Sarah Silverman show marathon? Honestly, what kind of vanity does it take to declare that you "have someone's number" when you've never said as much as two words to her?
 You will soon turn 42 and your destiny, as you stated, will not include children. You blame it on your depression, saying you don’t want to pass it on to another generation.
Where did all this stating take place? And who did the stating? The real Sarah Silverman, or the character she plays on TV?
I find that confusing, coming from someone as perceptive as you are in dissecting flawed arguments. 
Maybe you find it confusing because you're basing this analysis on a fictional character?
Surely you appreciate being alive and surely, if the wonder of your womb were afflicted with your weaknesses and blessed with your strengths, it would be happy to be alive, too.
You said you wouldn’t get married until gay people can. Now they can. And you still haven’t married. I think, Sarah, that marriage and childrearing are not in the cards for you because you can’t focus on building life when you spend your days and nights tearing it down.
You have made a career making public that which is private, making crude that which is intimate, making sensual that which is spiritual. You have experienced what traditional Judaism taught long ago: when you make sex a public thing it loses its potency. 
Where did "traditional Judaism  say this? Before or after Absalom has sex on a roof with his father's concubines? 
When the whisper is replaced with a shout there is no magic to speak about. And, in my opinion, Sarah, that is why you have had trouble forging a permanent relationship – the most basic desire of the feminine soul.
How many souls have you interviewed? And even if we could somehow magically ascertain that this really is "the most basic desire of the feminine soul" isn't Sarah Silverman entitled to decide for herself what her own soul may or may not want? Or would you deny her even that? God. You imagine yourself to be such a thoughtful guy, reaching out to the poor confused woman, but really you're a two bit tyrant and an insufferable know it all.
Human beings have many acquaintances and fewer friends, but only one spouse. 
Some human beings, in fact, have many spouses as Mitt Romney would be happy to confirm.
Judaism celebrates the monogamous, intimate relationship with a spouse as the prototype of the intimate relationship with God. 
Are you stupid? Ashkenazi Judaism only embraced monogamy after Rebbenu Gershon's takana and sefardi Judaism still hasn't fully embraced it. How can Judaism "celebrate" something it only partially accepts -- and rather recently, to boot?
Marriage, in Judaism, is holy. Family, in Judaism, is celebrated. 
Marriage in Christianity is also holy, and even secularists celebrate family. Surprising, but true. 
But for you, nothing is holy; in your world, nothing is permanent. Your ideology is secular. Your culture may be Jewish, but your mind is not.
I think you have latched on to politics because you are searching for something to build. 
And I think you latched on to Rabbinics because you like the sound of your own voice and because you enjoy bossing people around. See how easy your game is?
There is only so much pulling down one can do without feeling utterly destructive. 
Said the man who has just finish pulling down Sarah Silverman.
You want to fight for a value so you take your belief – secularism – and promote it. 
And what's wrong with that? You can fight for your ideas, but she can't?
As an Orthodox rabbi, I disagree with just about everything you say, but respect your right to say it. 
Yes, yes. the respect has been oozing.
All I ask, respectfully, is that you not use traditional Jewish terminology in your efforts. Because doing so is a lie.
Where was the lie? She called her web thing "Let my people vote". You don't own those words, and she hasn't misled anyone by using them.
Nothing you say or stand for, Sarah, from your sickening sexual proposal to a Republican donor to your equally vulgar tweet to Mitt Romney, has the slightest thing to do with the most basic of tenets which Judaism has taught the world – that the monogamous relationship is the most meaningful one and that a happy marriage is the key to wholesomeness.
Catholicism is what taught the world about monogamy  Not us. It was their non-negotiable value before it was ours. The Ashkenazin copied them. Which is why the Jews who lived in Christian realms embraced monogamy while Jews who lived in Muslim lands did not.
You are driven. You are passionate. I pray that you channel your drive and direct your passion to something positive, 
Encouraging people to vote is something positive, you dolt. As is making a living as a comedian.  
something that will make you a better and more positive person, something that will allow you to touch eternity and truly impact the world forever. 
I bet we'll be watching Sarah Silverman reruns, long after you are forgotten
I pray that you pursue marriage and, if you are so blessed, raise children.
How would you feel if she were to pray that your life become restructured to match her values? Not great I bet.

Marriage and children will change the way you see the world.It will allow you to appreciate the stability that Judaism, the religion of your ancestors, espouses. 

Lots of things espouse stability. Judaism is not one of them. A religion espouses nothing. The espousing is done by the religion's adherents and interpreters. And Judaism's adherents and interpreters have not always espoused "stability". (and when they have espoused stability, it wasn't always the right choice)

And it will allow you to understand and appreciate the traditional lifestyle’s peace, security, and respect for human dignity – things you have spent your life, so far, undermining.

This is laugh out loud funny. Judaism has delivered peace and security? During which ten minutes in between wars and massacres? Peace and security with 10 kids underfoot, and no idea where the next dollar is coming from? That's peaceful?  Moreover,  it was secularism that (finally!) taught the world about human dignity. Not pro-slavery, gentile bashing, dissent suppressing Judaism.

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