Thursday, August 27, 2020

New religion

I am willing to bet the Vilna Goan, the Bal Shem Tov and the Chofetz Chaim all sat next to women on train and stagecoach rides. How can we prove it? 

Because these idiots and their new fangled notions of piety aren't helping anyone.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Magic of Uman

This guy I know is bright. If a test showed he was smarter than me I'd believe it. No problem. He's also rich and mostly self-made (Let's ignore the childhood privilege, the advantages his parents bought him, and the lucky breaks) which gives him a bit of the wrong kind of confidence to go with his brains.

Anyway, he's convinced that there is something magical in the air in places like Sefad and Uman that cause him to feel a certain way (he calls this holiness.) When I suggest that he feels the way that he feels in Uman due to his upbringing and education he counters that there is no rational reason for him to enjoy being in a smelly stink hole like Uman. Therefore the cause must be the invisible magic things in the air that he is perceiving through an invisible antenna.

Naturally, I found this absurd until it occurred to me that I might be making the same mistake the rich guy is making. See, I like going to Uman or the graves of tzadikim for the exact same reason I like to go to museums or football games, ie something about how I'm wired makes the experience pleasurable. So I assumed that it's the same for everyone. But how do I know that? Perhaps he's experiencing something radically and quantifiable different in Uman? Perhaps if I had that same experience I would agree that it couldn't possibly be the product of outlook and education!

Here is what I would like to subject to a test...

a) I experience Safed and Uman the same way I experience museums and football games; I and I believe that is due to the forces that have shaped my personality, including education and upbringing, I find the experience pleasurable. 

b) My friends and others like him discount this and say that the experiences are not identical. As a result, they hypothesize magic. We can't test for magic; however...

C) My hypothesis is that people like them experience Uman and Safed in a way that is radically and quantifiably different from the way that I experience it. 

This is what I would like to test. How to do it?

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Were the rules of morality altered?

Following is a short list of some of the pleasures the Torah permits but were proscribed over the last few thousand years thanks to the accumulation of Jewish piety.

1 - Chicken pizza (At least according to Rav Yosi Haglili, a first-century sage, who allowed fowl and milk to be eaten together.)

2 - Kitniyos on Pesach

3 - Multiple wives

4 - Concubines.

5 - Premarital sex (Hard to prove, I know, but I think there's an early consensus that this is permitted, technically, so long as the woman has been to the mikva)

6 - Slaves

And how's this for bizarre - if I, today, were to take a concubine, or a second wife, or a slave, my morality would be denounced, and leading the pack of denouncers would be the sort of people who swear and insist that morality never changes!.

It's really a puzzle for us relativists. The evidence of history is that we've always been content to let morals shift and slide, even - sorry, no especially- within the major religions. 

So how do the people who say that morality is absolute and never changing explain this?  Why can't I take a slave? Were the rules of morality altered?

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Yair Hoffman is a joke

Pro-menuval propagandist Yair Hoffman thinks a questionable line in a speech is the same as gaslighting the entire world for four years - if not worse.

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Uman Loves Trump

Is it just me or do you also see a double standard when it comes to how Jews who love both Trump and Uman organize reality? 

Trump Jews on Participation Trophies:
They are terrible! They give you a false sense of achievement and discourage you from putting in the time and work that is necessary to actually accomplish anything

Trump Jews on Uman:
Just Participate! Go to Uman and you're automatically forgiven, redeemed, rescued, saved and delivered.


Trump Jews on Government Freebies:
They breed dependence! People just prefer to remain on assistance and make no real effort to improve their lives!

Trump Jews on Uman:
Invisible, super-dead Rabbi Nachman will do all the work. All you have to do is go and enjoy!


Trump Jews on Israel:
It is the holiest, best most important place in the world!!!

Trump Jews on Uman:
... um, except on Rosh Hashana

Hey! Have you always want to shop in a DovBear branded store? LUCKY DAY!