I was thinking the other day about morality and a line I like - that people can just as easily learn morality from tv shows - and it got me wondering about popular moral themes in todays entertainment compared to the bible, and jewish literature as a whole.
For instance: I can’t think of a single instance in the torah where people are at war, or someone did something terrible and deserves to die, but the opponent decides just to have mercy on the person.
Obviously the role of women is another good example, though I’m particularly interested in the torah’s portrayal of “strong women.”
Or how about the moral: “Be yourself”?
This isn’t even about the people back then being immoral, but simply that certain ideas hardly existed yet.
So I’m hoping you awesome followers might be able to contribute some ideas: Morals which are absent, or stories which might count as those moral lessons. (For instance, I had a discussion with my friend last night about whether the story of Abraham praying for Sodom was about mercy - I don’t think it is; and about Saul sparing the king of Amalek - which we both agreed, when looking at the text, didn’t seem to be a story of mercy at all.)
You are the Source of Blessing, Hashem Our G-d, King of the Universe, who created humans in wisdom and created within them many openings and vessels. It is revealed and it is known before the Throne of Your glory that if but one of them were closed or but one of them were opened it would be impossible to stand before You.
You are the Source of Blessing, G-d, You heal all flesh and work wonders.
"Asher Yatzar" blessing (said after by observant Jews after using the toilet)
yeah, there’s a long ass blessing you make every time you hit the john. though when I was a kid I said it even if I just brushed my teeth or washed my hands or whatever since my rabbi instructed us to say it whenever we leave the bathroom.
but yeah, ‘god heals all flesh’ … right.
I’m in a really pissed off mood today.
Anonymous asked: In Rabbi Akiva Tatz's book, The Thinking Jewish Teenager's Guide to Life, he says something really interesting. He says nowadays people have "blind faith" which is meaningless and you might as well have faith for anything, theres an infinite amount of things to have faith that are all equally as valid. BUT, Jews have Kuzari argument etc.. Therefore Emunah is not faith but rather "faithfulness." Based on that, if someone took down the Kuzari argument in from of him, he should become a Heskel.
In theory, anyways…
Anonymous asked: Did you know that in the Modern Orthodox community you're not chayav until you go to Israel for the year?
You Will See Me
Trying to manipulate the child of a holocaust survivor to wear magical amulets by telling him a literally painful holocaust story about such amulets. wtf. leave the guy alone. … and the post is titled, “really stubborn”. pffft… I really dislike gutman locks. what an ass.
by Reb Gutman Locks
Just as I arrived at the tefillin stand yesterday, Shmuli pointed to a group of American tourists and said, “One put on tefillin in the morning, but the rest refuse. It’s a father and his three sons. One of the sons is in the yeshiva here and said that last year when he was here with his younger brother, you made his brother promise to marry only a Jewish girl. But the other three won’t put on tefillin. The father is really stubborn.”
I walked over and told the father to give his son a blessing. He didn’t want to, but I took his hand and put it on his oldest son’s head. I had him repeat the words of the blessing, but when I told him to say out loud what he wanted G-d to give the boy, he wouldn’t cooperate.
“G-d knows what I want,” he said.
(Super valid point.)
I tried to explain that our words form a vessel that Hashem fills, but he wouldn’t cooperate.
(amazing that he wasn’t persuaded by such an obviously cogent point. pffft.)
I had him bless his other two sons, and this time he did say that he wanted them to have happiness and health. I made him add, “Tell them that they have to marry Jewish girls.” He reluctantly agreed.
(yep, don’t forget to mention some ancient tribalistic standards.)
I told the boys why it is so important to marry a Jewish girl, and that their life work should be trying to make the world a better place. I said, “If you will spend your life doing these things, you will have a happy life.”
Ah yes, unsubstantiated promises and premises. Way to go.
I pulled the boys in and put tefillin on them, but still the father refused. When I reached for his arm, he walked away from me. I finally asked, “Why are you not doing this? It’s a good thing for everyone.”
"See, it’s also good for you bc I believe it has magical helpful benefits for you! See, everyone wins!”
He wouldn’t answer, but his tour guide said, “I’ll tell you why, because his father is a holocaust survivor, and he doesn’t want anything to do with Judaism.”
I said, “Holocaust? Let me tell you a story about the holocaust. I quickly told him Leibel Zisman’s story, how as a thirteen-year-old boy he snuck his tefillin into the Death Camp, and even though he was beaten bloody and unconscious for handing his tefillin out through the bars of his barrack’s window, still, when another Jew came and asked to use his tefillin, he handed them through the bars again.
I said, “If that thirteen-year-old boy could risk being beaten to death by a nazi bastard to lend his tefillin to help another Jew, you can put your arm out to put them on!” I gently pulled his arm and this time he did not resist.
I asked, “How many Jews do you think there are in the world?”
“I don’t know, maybe a few million.”
“There is only one Jew in the entire world,” I told him. “The Jewish People are all one, and each of us has a small portion of the one body…, and right now, by you putting on tefillin, you are elevating the entire Jewish People. Not only that, but Leibel’s soul in Heaven just went up higher, too.”
I started to cry realizing just how true this was, and how I was able to give back a tiny bit to a man who gave so much to us.
I wasn’t even going to report this as I try not to focus on individual assholes in the jewish world (since every world has assholes in it), but then someone pointed out this is the guy who wrote the popular kiruv book “beyond a reasonable doubt.” So I thought it was worth mentioning.
oh, and the book is really unimpressive. as I recall, it basically read like this: “the world is amazing! therefore god!… our bodies are amazing! therefore god!… etc.”
Though I’m really curious how this news will effect the book’s popularity. But even if it gets dumped, some other non-intellectual will just repeat the same stupidity and get it published all over again with a new book, a new title, and the same ol’ shallow ideas.
p.s. I wonder if the jury will find him guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt.” hahaha, sorry, couldn’t help myself! =]
…do whatever you like. I’m gonna eat latkas and play dreydel on chanukah. I don’t give a shit. I do what I like. I identify as I like. and if someone gives you shit about it, ask them why they don’t identify as an asshole since they clearly are one.
part of a message I just sent out, lol.
Ironically, it almost makes the Christian argument (that God sacrificed himself to himself in order to appease his anger at his creations for acting the way he knew they would when he created them) sound sort of logical. lol
I was going to say the exact same thing! =]
What Makes Something Right or Wrong? | Narrated by Stephen Fry | That’s Humanism!
Good little video! ( ayekah , of interest?)
Also: When I was becoming an atheist I also struggled with the question of how morality could exist without an external guide. I also wondered “what stops an atheist from just killing people?” And really, the answer is just “themselves.” And that actually makes them really fucking awesome. Bc we’re doing good things bc we’re just aware enough to see what’s right, and decent enough to want to do it. We don’t have to. We really could do whatever, in theory, if there isn’t a cosmic external law code. But that’s what’s great: We do it anyways, at least the good people do. Bc it’s just the right thing to do.
Listen To Jesus, Jimmy from Reefer Madness
oh my gawd, this is amazing! (and I didn’t know they made a musical of it! that’s fantastic!)