Jewish Atheist

An agnostic atheist perspective
from a once orthodox Jew.

bennistar:

Local missionaries are operating a $5 million, 14,000 sq. ft. building in the heart of Jewish Brooklyn to convert Jews. The missionaries prey on Jews who may not know the difference between Judaism and “Messianic Judaism” (i.e. the Christian version). The missionaries often dress like religious Jews and converse in traditional Jewish language in order to deceive Jews who may not know any better.

Unfortunately, many Jews are being lost to the missionaries. A shocking study recently showed that 34% of American Jews think that “a person can be Jewish if they believe that “J” was the messiah.” In other words, a full third of Jewish Americans think that followers of J.C. (i.e. Christians) can also be Jews.

We are now expanding to include an additional Jewish outreach center to stop the missionaries. Our newest center -now under construction- is located directly across from the train and bus stations, just blocks away from the missionary center. Thousands of Jews pass by daily. BJX’s newest center is committed to reach unaffiliated Jews who otherwise will be entrapped by the missionaries.

Our mission is to educate and empower young Jewish men and women who may not have had the benefit of a Jewish education. Our loving and tolerant faculty gives young men and women the ability to question, challenge, explore and grow as Jews.

1) I love the dramatic music in this video.

2) I love how orthodox jews are freaking out that others have different opinions. “They think passover is about jesus!” **cue dramatic music!!**

3) I personally credit my time arguing with missionaries as being a crucial step in my eventually seeing the problems with religion and deism altogether. Can’t wait to see what effects this place has on the neighborhood.

4) I love how they’re basically saying, “They’re missionizing the non-religious jews!…. how terrible!.. those people are ours to missionize!” (Quote: “BJX’s newest center is committed to reach unaffiliated Jews who otherwise will be entrapped by the missionaries.”)

5) I also like how they have to point out that they’re faculty are “loving and tolerant”… as opposed to what these kids are used to? Probably.

6) Oh, I also love how these orthodox jews are freaking out that anyone could even think that you could be jewish and christian. They quote a study (source?) about it the same way I would a study about evolution or climate change… except their quoted study just comes down to opinion. But no, they can’t stand that opinion. ‘That opinion is wrong!’

p.s. looks like BJX doesn’t like atheists either: ” BJX believes that the Torah must be the first address where people turn to with their questions and not secular sources or organizations such as Footsteps [the organization that helps haredim who want to leave what are often closed haredi communities and live in secular or non-haredi communities] that are rabidly anti Yiddishkeit” (x)

Anonymous asked: How did you comprehend all those "miraculous " stories you were told, when you were religious, without God?

I don’t quite understand the question. When I was religious I did believe in god. =/

Anonymous asked: Aish has posted some truly nasty vile articles before. One article implied that pro-Palestinian Jews were "irredeemable" to their own people and were compared to the Wicked Son at Passover. Another told women that the only way to meet a good husband is to dress attractively and never ever argue with him or talk about yourself (basically be stupid eyecandy). They've also posted articles that are pro-"reparative therapy" for LGBT people. Aish also has ties to the anti-Muslim Clarion Fund.

yikes, fucking aish. can’t believe I used to love that tripe bullshit.

blardenfrazifonochip asked: Have you ever considered that religion (not religious institutions, but the thing itself) is not what causes all the problems in the world, but rather capitalism, colonialism, imperialism, heterosexism, and the cisheteropatriarchy? Now before you tell me that some of those things are included in religion, have you ever thought that that's only because religion was mostly formed and led by straight cis men?

yes, I’ve considered that. those things definitely suck, but it’s not only that which makes religion suck.

Anonymous asked: Doesn't Chabad practice idolatry?

I really don’t care. It’s all just different flavors of nonsense to me.

There was once a girl who was davening at the kosel on Tisha B’Av and crying.
Her friends asked her what she was crying about. They wondered what she really felt.
She replied that she was crying because she didn’t know what she should be crying about. She didn’t know what to feel.
Today, we are so lost; we don’t even know what we’re missing.

Excerpted from email which took from Divreichizuk.com (via girloverhere)

I’ve heard this story many times. It’s something of a classic. Which I think is telling: Most jews really don’t care that we lost our animal sacrifice headquarters thousands of years ago. But we’re told that we should care, that we should feel devastated! We’re instructed to feel bad. So they tell stories like this. And I believe this story, personally. Having experienced the cognitive dissonance and instructed emotions of Judaism, I understand this story. And it’s really sad. This girl is crying - she’s that torn up - bc she can’t force herself to care about our primitive ancient history; she sad bc she can’t emote as she’s “supposed to” on command. And so she feels bad about that.

It’s kind of fucked up.

p.s. Just some food for thought: The temple was destroyed around 2,000 years ago and jews are expected to still continuously mourn its loss. And yet many Palestinians lost their homes within the last 100 years and we expect them to just forget it and move on. =/

Anonymous asked: Since you're doing Aish again, there's a new article on there called The Hamas Miracle. Would love to read your response. Thanks so much.

bluejewofzsouchmuhn:

jewishatheist:

Sure…

The Hamas Miracle, by Rabbi Tzvi Gluckin

"It is miraculous. Rockets miss their targets. They miss populated areas. The wind blows them off course." - Is it miraculous? Or is firing home-made rockets just a lot more difficult and susceptible to things like wind? Maybe, just maybe, it’s as difficult as, say, rocket science! I’m guessing the answer is not “this defies scientific explanation.”

Oh, and what about that missile defense system?

MIT said Iron Dome doesn’t work. Too many rockets slip through, and yet – a miracle – they miss their targets.” - So, actally, MIT did not say that the Iron Dome doesn’t work. MIT acknowledges (x) that it hits its target; MIT merely said that it’s not destroying the warheads attached to them, which could still detonate and hurt people, though that hasn’t happened yet. So this is misleading at best, or just plain false at worst.

They even quote Hamas. ‘Our rockets are good,” says Hamas. “Obviously their God loves them.’” - So, firstly, there is no one person in Hamas who could say this and represent all of hamas. that’s absurd. so it’s just an essentially meaningless opinion from one person. If that. Because I can’t find a source for that quote. (Anyone?) So, poor logic, and possibly false.

"But you should be confused. Why does God wait until the last minute to make miracles?… The greater miracle would be a peaceful or cooperative Hamas. Or no more war…" I’m going to skip to the rabbi’s brilliant answer: "God is talking to us. He is trying to get our attention." That’s a fucking socoipathic way of getting our attention. That’s like firing bullets into your children’s rooms to cal them for dinner. Knowing that some will get hurt. And so will hundreds of your neighbors. WTF? Just WTF?

But let’s get back to where we left off:

How can it be that Hamas – a terrorist organization… are the good guys, and Israel – trying to protect civilians…are bad?” - Firstly, most people aren’t saying that Hamas is good. They recognize that they’re terrorists. However, most people feel for the people of Gaza, bc they’re getting a very shit deal from Israel. Both are acting fucked up and the Palestinians are caught in the middle. For instance, this poll (x) found just 7% support for hamas, but 43% support for Israel; with 43% nto sure who to side with, and 14% sympathizing with the Palestinians. Or a Gallup poll (x) which essentially found that “Americans are divided in their views of whether Israel’s actions against the Palestinian group Hamas is ‘mostly justified’ or ‘mostly unjustified,’ but they widely view Hamas’ actions as mostly unjustified.” But people so fervently invested in their narrow-minded way of thinking aren’t interested in such nuance. So instead “ALL arabs hate Jews.” “Everyone hates Israel.” “Everyone loves Hamas.” So, Rabbi, reality check. Things aren’t black and white. 

What’s more, there’s no magic here creating antisemitism. It’s not a miracle that people dislike the oppression that Israel is committing. This isn’t fucking unicorns and talking hats, this is simple history and psychology and empathy. And it’s usually the result of the same kind of closed-minded bigotry which causes worldwide attacks on Muslims as well. And there ain’t nothin miraculous about idiots.

"[God] is better than the Iron Dome. He can stop rockets." - If you really believe that, go live near the terrorists without a defense system. Afterall, ‘MIT said it doesn’t work anyways’, right?

and the rest of the article is blah blah blah.

Honestly, nothing of real substance here: false claims of military-themed miracles (when clearly it’s just fucking science), and hyper-paranoid notions of a global divine-orchestrated cabal of hate. And those are the author’s “miracles”. Riiiight. Welcome to aish logic.

What? No magic creating antisemitism?!! But it says so right here (x):

Anti-Semitism, which defies all natural laws, is in truth supernatural.”

Also here (x):

Most young people are content to leave their Jewish identity undefined, nebulous. Until they encounter the reality of anti-Semitism, a cosmic force programmed into the fabric of human history that serves as the crucible for our identity through its applied heat.”

And you laugh at the notion of a global divine-orchestrated cabal of hate! Clearly you are not spending enough time on Aish!

daaaaaaaaamn, aish is fucking whack

Anonymous asked: What are your thoughts about the conflict between Israel and Palestine ?

I wrote about it the other day. basically, it’s complicated and fucked up.

Anonymous asked: Since you're doing Aish again, there's a new article on there called The Hamas Miracle. Would love to read your response. Thanks so much.

Sure…

The Hamas Miracle, by Rabbi Tzvi Gluckin

"It is miraculous. Rockets miss their targets. They miss populated areas. The wind blows them off course." - Is it miraculous? Or is firing home-made rockets just a lot more difficult and susceptible to things like wind? Maybe, just maybe, it’s as difficult as, say, rocket science! I’m guessing the answer is not “this defies scientific explanation.”

Oh, and what about that missile defense system?

MIT said Iron Dome doesn’t work. Too many rockets slip through, and yet – a miracle – they miss their targets.” - So, actally, MIT did not say that the Iron Dome doesn’t work. MIT acknowledges (x) that it hits its target; MIT merely said that it’s not destroying the warheads attached to them, which could still detonate and hurt people, though that hasn’t happened yet. So this is misleading at best, or just plain false at worst.

They even quote Hamas. ‘Our rockets are good,” says Hamas. “Obviously their God loves them.’” - So, firstly, there is no one person in Hamas who could say this and represent all of hamas. that’s absurd. so it’s just an essentially meaningless opinion from one person. If that. Because I can’t find a source for that quote. (Anyone?) So, poor logic, and possibly false.

"But you should be confused. Why does God wait until the last minute to make miracles?… The greater miracle would be a peaceful or cooperative Hamas. Or no more war…" I’m going to skip to the rabbi’s brilliant answer: "God is talking to us. He is trying to get our attention." That’s a fucking socoipathic way of getting our attention. That’s like firing bullets into your children’s rooms to cal them for dinner. Knowing that some will get hurt. And so will hundreds of your neighbors. WTF? Just WTF?

But let’s get back to where we left off:

How can it be that Hamas – a terrorist organization… are the good guys, and Israel – trying to protect civilians…are bad?” - Firstly, most people aren’t saying that Hamas is good. They recognize that they’re terrorists. However, most people feel for the people of Gaza, bc they’re getting a very shit deal from Israel. Both are acting fucked up and the Palestinians are caught in the middle. For instance, this poll (x) found just 7% support for hamas, but 43% support for Israel; with 43% nto sure who to side with, and 14% sympathizing with the Palestinians. Or a Gallup poll (x) which essentially found that “Americans are divided in their views of whether Israel’s actions against the Palestinian group Hamas is ‘mostly justified’ or ‘mostly unjustified,’ but they widely view Hamas’ actions as mostly unjustified.” But people so fervently invested in their narrow-minded way of thinking aren’t interested in such nuance. So instead “ALL arabs hate Jews.” “Everyone hates Israel.” “Everyone loves Hamas.” So, Rabbi, reality check. Things aren’t black and white. 

What’s more, there’s no magic here creating antisemitism. It’s not a miracle that people dislike the oppression that Israel is committing. This isn’t fucking unicorns and talking hats, this is simple history and psychology and empathy. And it’s usually the result of the same kind of closed-minded bigotry which causes worldwide attacks on Muslims as well. And there ain’t nothin miraculous about idiots.

"[God] is better than the Iron Dome. He can stop rockets." - If you really believe that, go live near the terrorists without a defense system. Afterall, ‘MIT said it doesn’t work anyways’, right?

and the rest of the article is blah blah blah.

Honestly, nothing of real substance here: false claims of military-themed miracles (when clearly it’s just fucking science), and hyper-paranoid notions of a global divine-orchestrated cabal of hate. And those are the author’s “miracles”. Riiiight. Welcome to aish logic.

Anonymous asked: Oh yeah I forgot to tell you, I'm a 17 year old who's been reading your site for a while and a huge chunk of your anons are me, and you were the main cause in me becoming an atheist and OTD. Yes you. You did it.

I’m flattered, but also hope you don’t begrudge me for your loss of faith.

Anonymous asked: I find the juxtaposition of "you haven't read a single word of the Torah" with "you're a Jew if your mother's a Jew" to be quite humorous. Surely this guy knows that matrilineal descent (that you're a Jew if your mom's a Jew) is not found anywhere in the Torah, or in the Tanach for that matter. It's a Rabbinic creation, which was sketchily justified like all the others. This is why Karaites don't follow matrilineal descent. -Fizzix

Fizzix, we need you around more!

"No One Tells Me How to Dress"

bluejewofzsouchmuhn:

Hey Blue. I wanted to know your opinion on this one. It seems Crown Heights is having an exaggerated tznuis crisis. 

——

Well, I can’t imagine why you want my opinion. If you follow me, you must already know what I think of this kind of thing. Also: What kind of tznius crisis isn’t exaggerated?!

I gave the article a quick read and skimmed some of the comments, and can’t be arsed to do much more than that, because: 1. I don’t live in Crown Heights, and I never will as long as I have anything to say about it, thank Self! 2. I am no longer religious at all, much less frum, and don’t really give two shits about the stupid arguments the frummies have; they just make me mad about the waste of brain cells. 3. Fuck Chabadniks in particular. Like most religious subgroups, they’re loaded with people who can’t wait to tell you why their subgroup is not just the best religion but the best subgroup of the best religion, and has the most “Truth” in it, etc. etc. etc.

Look, some women are more comfortable covered up, and some are not. This article’s author basically reiterates the same old bullshit that women who don’t cover up are sad little whores looking for attention, and that men can’t control themselves and so women should have a heart and cover up and be responsible for what the men are too weak and animalistic to handle for themselves. Lady, if nothing else, you’re forgetting all about the gay guys! They too enjoy a nicely dressed woman with a good bod, but not the way you think.

For a Jewish girl to dress in a blatantly immodest way is an expression of unhappiness.” Yeah, whatever. In some cases it is, and in some cases it isn’t. Guess what, lady? The same is true for covering up. In some cases it represents the woman’s feelings about “dignity” and “self-respect,” as you claim. In other cases it represents shame about her body and fear of other people’s attention. In still other cases it may mean other things; only an ignoramus would claim to know what one type of choice “means” for everyone, everywhere, all the time. You can’t generalize in such a stupid way and expect to be taken seriously by a thinking person.

A woman who feels fulfilled as a woman does not need to express her femininity through her clothing.” Gee, thanks for explaining to me how I feel and what I need (not to mention what it means to be a woman). That’s not patronizing at all.

Speaking of taking this author seriously:

So what is important? How you dress? Or relationships? A relationship with G-d. With the Rebbe. With family and friends. With a spouse.”

I’m disturbed by the order in which she lists these important people in her life. Intelligent persons can and do disagree about the existence of an entity so thoroughly invisible as “God.” But the Rebbe? A woman needs to give consideration in her everyday life to her relationship with A DEAD GUY? What fucking planet am I on?

Oh yes, and this one: “If only until the end of the current hostilities – please cover up for the sake of our soldiers – they are combatting Hamas – please combat your personal feelings and give the soldiers extra protection that a Jewish woman has the power to give.”

Reminds me of that time when I read that I helped murder and dismember Leiby Kletsky by not wearing knee socks with my sandals.

Jewish women, be happy, but always bear in mind: You can kill children and soldiers with nothing but your bare ankles or your décolletage. Your tits and ass are the destroyers of worlds.

i can’t wait till the jews of crown heights start wearing burkas.

Anonymous asked: Ok I found one! look up 10 Ideas Judaism Gave the World Aish. (and I'm in the process of becoming OTD btw, though Im going to yeshiva next year)

So, I looked over the article, and my first point is: And…? I’m not sure what’s supposed to be proven from this list? The article itself doesn’t try to make any grand point from it either!

But I assume you mean to ask that it should imply some sort of divine wisdom, and therefore some evidence that the torah is true. Ok… But does it?! Does inventing the sabbath or animal rights mean you have divine wisdom?! Does crop rotation or taking a census imply a document authored by the creator of the universe(s)!?! Honestly, it’s a laughable proposition.

But let’s go a bit further into the ten. (btw, the article is here.) “10 Ideas Judaism Gave the World: Some revolutionary concepts found in the Torah” by Yvette Alt Miller

1) monotheism - firstly, I’m not convinced that creating monotheism is necessarily an achievement. for atheists like myself, it’s just another flavor of being wrong. secondly, the torah didn’t being as monotheistic, it began as monolotrous (and wasn’t the first either), recognizing the existence of other gods. it was only later that people reinterpreted the torah as monotheism. so, yes, jews may have created monotheism, but since it’s not what the torah was actually about, I think this actually works against judaism.

2) sabbath - it’s actually not clear that the jews invented this. many believe the jews adapted it from nearby cultures, such as the assyrians or the babylonians… and guess what, if either of them invented it, I wouldn’t take their god myths any more seriously either.

3) census - another mindblowing idea that only a divine creator could have…. oh wait, many other peoples did it too (x), and considering that the bulk of the old testament is probably pure fabrication, they likely did it before the jews did too. (and it doesn’t make their god myths more convincing either!)

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Response

I am the one that called you disgusting. Think what you want. This country grants freedom of speech unfortunately, so I can’t do anything about it. Whether or not you like it, you’re still Jewish. If your mother is Jewish- you’re Jewish even if your dad is the pope. And, obviously you’ve never read a single word of the Torah. FYI, the Torah says we have to treat our servants (not slaves) at least equal to us, and in some cases better than ourselves. You think you know everything? Guess what: you don’t know anything. Science is like a mouse trap. From far away it looks great, but once you get stuck in it- you’re there forever, and a lot of suffering accompanies you. And just so you know, I don’t follow the Torah out of fear or “tradition”. I follow it because every other bible is full of human errors, and because I love following it, and following G-d.
I encourage people- do email me. I’d be more than willing to go back and forth talking about religion.

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Ok, I’m gonna break this down line by line:

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navajomoose asked: the "khazar myth" was specifically propagated for antisemitic purposes, though, it's not just innocuous folklore.

eh, we’ve been called worse.