Jewish Atheist

An agnostic atheist perspective
from a once orthodox Jew.

my-borderline-nightmare:

I guess I will just never understand the shidduch system.

People coming up with “resumes’ and giving them to people to give out to guys to see if they’re interested. Resumes basically selling yourself to the guys. You are not an object. You do not need to be advertised. 

It just makes me so uncomfortable whenever my friends are into it.

well, to be fair, a wedding in judaism was, traditionally, basically about purchasing a woman to bear you children. 

Assumptions and Outlooks About A True Judaic Society

Sooo… I was talking with one of my best friends - who is not practicing, but quite agnostic - and another friend of ours, who is religious, but from an ortho-light sefardi background… Religion came up, as always, and I was rather amazed by some of the assumptions my friend still holds on to (even more than our religious friend!).

For instance:

1) He believes ortho culture is probably “better” than most others. I disagreed. (This discussion began, btw, with me pointing out an article on FailedMessiah.) My contention is that the jewish world is just as fucked up as the outside world - though in different ways.

He argued that jewish parents don’t abandon their families, or commit murders, for instance. And he may be right, they may be less prone to those particular evils, but that doesn’t mean they’re not prone to other horrible evils. (eg. homophobia, over-reproduction to the point where they can’t support themselves, a culture of covering up sexual abuse, etc.)

2) He thinks that were the “right” orthodox jews put in charge to run the world ortho style, that the country (world?) would run just as well, if not better, than in a democracy. To me, this would be a nightmarish scenario for so many reasons… but amongst those we discussed, he believes, for instance, that corruption of power is probably no worse in a theocratic monarchy of orthodox design than in a democracy. (And I agree our democracy is terribly corrupt in the US… but I still think that having a theocratic ruler would make it much worse!)

3) In that same scenario, he doesn’t think religion would impede scientific development. I find that hard to believe. The history of science is littered with examples to the contrary, and it’s an issue even today! ‘But, wait, I forgot, those were christians or other religions in charge… Jews wouldn’t be like that, of course! We are pro-science! Like Maimonides!’

(He also considers ortho culture very intellectual, bc of talmudic study. I disagree. While there certainly is an element of intellectualism, it’s extremely limited in scope - legal casuistry, mostly - and it actively limits the mind of those who embrace it, such as not allowing one to question the system itself, and to doubt the scientific method and rationalism compared to faith, and an extreme lack of fact-checking, etc etc. That is, talmudic study has intellectual elements but is also an intellectual sinkhole with little to no benefit to society.)

4) When I countered that there are many examples of orthos being anti-science (e.g. anti-evolution, or the many ortho schools which don’t even teach secular subjects!), he explained that those aren’t the right examples of a real torah jew. Bc he grew up in a close-knit community of very sincere jews. He knows what they’re like. And they’re not like the posers and extremists and controversial and insincere orthos from the big city, like NY, the ones you read about in headlines on FailedMessiah. No, he grew up with the True Scotsmen, er… torah true judaic posterboys.

Anyways, my point isn’t to talk trash about my friend, but to point out how amazed I was. I had not realized how much we differed on some of this thinking. I had not realized how much my mentality had changed since I was religious - bc I definitely had a very similar mentality to his. I was much more optimistic and idealistic about the nature of the jewish cultural system. Now, not so much.

Now I start with the assumption that they’re basically the same as people everywhere. Historically as well. I don’t think the ancient jewish monarchy ran any more piously than other ancient religious monarchies. I don’t start by making them exceptional, just like I don’t start examining the torah with the assumption that “amongst the thousands of ancient religious texts, these happen to actually be true.” I start with the assumption that it’s like the rest, and guess what, it quickly and obviously confirms that suspicion.

It was a good discussion though. It made me wonder if I’d become too passionately anti-judaism and anti jewish society. I don’t think I’ve gone too far, but it’s good to question one’s self now and then. One thing I am certain of is that I began my journey with an obviously too passionately pro-judaism and pro-jewish-society outlook. It’s been one of the more subtle but also more difficult ideologies to challenge. But I have. I’ve evolved. Others, not as much.

Thoughts?

ramrituals:

My view on the jews true nature will and is received as ignorance and racism all which is presissly what the masses have been groomed for . Ask anyone how many people died in ww2 they will have not any idea but they will recall the number of jewish death. Ask any youth why the USA sends billions in US tax payers money to the state of Israel, they will have no answer. Ask any youth why until the state of Israel, the USA had no enemies in the middle east, they will have no answer. The jew only grooms the mass of sheep to attack any attack on the jew the sheep is not groomed in history because then the sheep will know the true nature of the jew. 

You misspelled “precisely”. Also, you seem pretty ignorant and racist. Cheers

Is this like one of those religion-based detox programs? First step is admitting the supernatural exists…
I’d rather suggest using drugs to kick magic.

Is this like one of those religion-based detox programs? First step is admitting the supernatural exists…

I’d rather suggest using drugs to kick magic.

(via trippppyyyyytittieeeesssss)

If genital cutting is one of the worst things that can happen to a woman, how could it relate to something so routine in a Western democracy that most men don’t even think to question it?

If you were circumcised, are you a victim? – Rhys Southan – Aeon Magazine (via aeonmagazine)

Interesting article…

Pick It Up

eretzyisrael:

by Reb Gutman Locks.

This week’s Torah portion tells us in a number of ways that we are responsible for each other. We are to help our brother pick up his fallen donkey and to return his lost items. “You shall not see the donkey of your brother or his ox falling on the road and hide yourself from them; you shall surely stand them up, with him.”[i] We are not allowed to hide ourselves from these tasks.

     Even though the vast majority of Torah observant Jews would run to obey these commands with a lost or fallen donkey, so very few see that the Torah is also telling us to help pick up our fellow Jew’s lost or fallen soul

Leave it to gutman locks to equate an antiquated verse about helping your neighbors donkey as suggesting one should missionize to one’s less or non-religious neighbors. What an ass!   ;P

(Source: mpaths.com)

Anonymous asked: Do you think that the fact that Kabbalists during the middle ages beloved that the universe was 15.3 billion years old is good evidence for god?

Firstly, I’m not sure how many kabbalists actually believed that. (For instance, check this out.)

Secondly, I’m curious as to which other potential ages of the universe were believed? Surely many believed in the literal 6000 date as well, and probably others had other dates as well, based on exegesis and such, just like the 15.3 number [edit]. So getting one good guess amongst a bunch of totally wrong ones isn’t very impressive. I’d need a well researched paper illustrating which dates have been proposed. 

Lastly, considering the universe is actually around 13.8 billion years old - around a 10% difference - that’s not too much to brag about.

Also, I might ask you how convincing you find the following (which I just found); do you find it persuasive?

Anonymous asked: I'm "the g word" but I've been fascinated with the secular side of Jewish culture for years. I try not to appropriate anything or pretend to know more than I do, but I think my interest (which mostly manifests as having Jewish friends, reading books by Jewish writers, and watching Seinfeld reruns) has kept me from making stupid mistakes when I talk about Israel & Palestine, atheism, Nazis, classic deli food, and many other topics. So, uh, rock on, JA.

Hey anon, Thanks for the awesome message. (Took me a minute to figure out what the “g” word is, lol.)

And just to add a bit to the topic du jour, I think cultural sensitivity is important, and understanding the ways in which “appropriative” actions can be seen negatively is important, but yeah, it shouldn’t be an excuse for stopping people from exploring their own ideas or ways of life. 

Cheers!

nicejewishqueer:

jewishatheist has callously violated my boundaries and is showing no remorse. Do not engage with them.

Honestly, I would have had no problem with you posting the first sentence, but the second - well, once again, telling your followers what they should or should not do.

To all of my followers: Talk with whomever you like. In fact, I encourage you to engage with people with whom I disagree with on whatever subject. And that’s bc I value the free exchange of ideas and don’t think anyone “owns” ideas or words or the internet.

Btw, was I “allowed” to respond to this post since it’s about me and tagged me? Or is that also “callous”?

Anonymous asked: isn't it sort of a double standard to say that you don't want goyim in your space or looking at your posts… and then you turn around and get mad that they don't reblog anything? there are dozens of posts i've wanted to reblog from you, but your attitude makes me feel as if i'm not allowed to reblog anything because i'm not jewish. anti-semitism is one of the most upsetting types of oppression to me, but since following you i've been questioning my ability to talk to people about it.

borjesunchaser:

No, this is not how a discussion is meant to be, you are blatantly ignoring the fact that they’re telling you they no longer wish to discuss this with you, and you’re ignoring them.

I’m not forcing anyone to have a discussion.

Your ‘feelings’ are not being hurt because someone doesn’t feel safe with you interjecting your opinion into their space,

I’m not interjecting anything into anyone’s space other than my own. The responses are on my blog. They have not been personal or attacking. It’s just been me, on my blog, responding to an opinion I disagree with. This seems 10000% ok to me.

you simply don’t want to admit that you don’t care about them, and are using that as a way to turn favor towards you. 

I care about most people, though I disagree with most of them on at least one thing. And I have no problem saying what I disagree with. I don’t think that makes me uncaring simply bc I live by a different philosophy, one which promotes free discussion of ideas and opinions.

Stop responding to this post, take it to your own blog,

It is on my blog.

you’re disregarding the wishes of the poster and continuing your attempts to try and force them into a conversation in which they don’t feel comfortable having with you.

How exactly am I forcing anyone to do anything?

You’re not in the right here, you’re very much in the wrong for not listening when told no, stop. 

I disagree.

Plain and simple, that’s the only option for you here, just stop talking to them, you’re not furthering your point or proving a moral high ground, you’re acting like a spoiled child throwing a tantrum because they’re not agreeing with you.

And how exactly do you think you guys sound? 

nicejewishqueer:

Ooookay first of all like, say gentile. Or non-Jew. The word goyim is ours.

Second, I’ve been pretty clear that the thing I need goyim to stay away from is INTRA-COMMUNITY ISSUES. That means that if I’m having a conversation with other Jewish people about conversion, about gender in Jewish spaces, or racism or heterosexism in Jewish spaces etc. etc., that is NOT FOR YOU TO REBLOG. That is not for you. Every community has issues, but they are our issues to deal with, and not for goyim to look at and tell us how much internalized anti-semitism we have (wtf) or how Judaism is inherently oppressive or any of that shit that is anti-semitic in itself.

If I have a post about anti-semitism, that is almost always okay to reblog. If you aren’t sure, you can always come and ask me or reblog the post and tag it “I’m not Jewish” and if it’s a post I don’t want you reblogging, I will tell you so and you can take it down.

This isn’t that complicated.

No matter what you may think, you HAVE to respect peoples boundaries, there are no ifs, ands, or buts. 

I disagree.

Cheers!

Anonymous asked: isn't it sort of a double standard to say that you don't want goyim in your space or looking at your posts… and then you turn around and get mad that they don't reblog anything? there are dozens of posts i've wanted to reblog from you, but your attitude makes me feel as if i'm not allowed to reblog anything because i'm not jewish. anti-semitism is one of the most upsetting types of oppression to me, but since following you i've been questioning my ability to talk to people about it.

nicejewishqueer:

jewishatheist:

nicejewishqueer:

Ooookay first of all like, say gentile. Or non-Jew. The word goyim is ours.

Second, I’ve been pretty clear that the thing I need goyim to stay away from is INTRA-COMMUNITY ISSUES. That means that if I’m having a conversation with other Jewish people about conversion, about gender in Jewish spaces, or racism or heterosexism in Jewish spaces etc. etc., that is NOT FOR YOU TO REBLOG. That is not for you. Every community has issues, but they are our issues to deal with, and not for goyim to look at and tell us how much internalized anti-semitism we have (wtf) or how Judaism is inherently oppressive or any of that shit that is anti-semitic in itself.

If I have a post about anti-semitism, that is almost always okay to reblog. If you aren’t sure, you can always come and ask me or reblog the post and tag it “I’m not Jewish” and if it’s a post I don’t want you reblogging, I will tell you so and you can take it down.

This isn’t that complicated.

A) ” I do not presume to speak for every Jewish person ever. I am speaking for myself.” Vs. “Ooookay first of all like, say gentile. Or non-Jew. The word goyim is ours.”

B) Yes, it’s not necessarily respectful. But like I said, I think some preferences are unreasonable and those preferences need not be respected. One can choose to, or choose not to. I choose not to. And I think it’s reasonable. 

C) “My boundaries are only unreasonable to you because you do not wish to respect them, do not want to keep my feelings in consideration.”

No, your boundaries are unreasonable bc you’re trying to dictate how people use this site and public information and discuss things in the public sphere. That is unreasonable. And it’s not that I don’t care about your feelings, it’s that I don’t care enough compared to my reasons for responding to you. Just like you don’t care enough about my feelings - that everyone should be allowed to talk about anything - to change your ways either. And that’s ok. This discussion that’s happening right now, where two people disagree about something and talk about it - that’s exactly how it should be.

No, this is not how it should be. You are blatantly continuing to violate my boundaries and taking absolutely no responsibility for that. I do not want to engage in this conversation, I want you to delete this and do whatever the fuck you want on your own blog. This is not a discussion, this is you continuing to harass me after I have told you to stop.

" I do not want to engage in this conversation.” - So stop engaging me in conversation.

" I want you to delete this and do whatever the fuck you want on your own blog." - I can’t delete things from your blog, thankfully, and I am doing whatever the fuck I want on my own blog.