Jewish Atheist

An agnostic atheist perspective
from a once orthodox Jew.

"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!)

Read More

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.

============================

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

Read More

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

eh, we’ve been called worse.

passive-aggressiveprincess asked: Sorry if this has been talked about already, but have you ever looked into Humanistic Judaism?

I’ve written about it before briefly. basically, it holds no appeal. I feel no need to revamp an old religion to make it more tolerable to modern reasoning. I feel no need to make jews my in group. I feel no need to study the bible even as a fictional text for inspiration or ideas. the whole thing just seems kinda silly and unnecessary.

Anonymous asked: What is the best evidence for Yahweh's existence?

Wait… there’s evidence?!

Anonymous asked: My parents are Jewish. As an atheist, I'm not sure whether I should consider myself jewish or not. I come across as self-hating. The Jewish people are not a race. There are Jewish people all around the world, including Yemen & Ethiopia. Most white Jews are khazarians. No one is a descendant of Abraham or Jacob, they are fictional characters.

adrivenleaf:

doctormichal:

fuckyeahsoftzionism:

jewishatheist:

Regardless of our origins, we have been a tribe, a people, living together for a long time. That definitely means something.

Whether you want to actively consider yourself part of the jewish people, or just consider it your background, it’s up to you.

I personally find it harder and harder to associate with the jewish people bc I don’t share their values. But I definitely consider it part of who I am, if only historically. but to each their own.

"I personally find it harder and harder to associate with the jewish people bc I don’t share their values"

what? there are no jews who share your values?

Is no one going to address the khazar thing?

I don’t like to imagine the values of someone who can’t seem to find any if theirs mirrored in the Jewish people…

So apparently what I wrote hit a nerve in a lot of people. I’m going to elaborate just to make my position clear. Some may still dislike it, which is fine. I just don’t want to be misunderstood.

So, it’s not that I don’t know any Jews who I share values with - I have several OTD jewish friends with whom I agree on many, many things - it’s just that the “jewish” parts of the identity are not what I share (except perhaps the shared “getting over it” aspect). The values I share are more universal ones, and often ones which are the opposite of those with which I was raised, and those I hear from prominent voices in the Jewish community.

I suppose I could find a jewish humanist group, but that already doesn’t feel like I’m being honest to myself, because, honestly, I don’t feel any need to frame my humanist values in jewish terms. They’re just values, values which anyone could have.

The nebulousness of “jewish values” perhaps contributed to some misunderstanding as well. So maybe I should ask those criticizing me what they mean by “jewish values”? If they mean something like “education”, then yeah, of course I value that, but not because I’m jewish. It’s not rooted in my being jewish. And it’s not a value which I feel I only or must or exclusively share with other jews. Nor necessarily a value which I think all jews share. Not at all.

And if what’s meant is something more exclusively jewish, like separating milk and meat, or sacrificing a goat for god, it’s pretty obvious that I just reject those values. Even secular celebrations of things like hannukah really hold almost no interest to me, let alone fasting on yom kippur as many chilonim do.

So, like I said, my values are not framed in jewish terms, so there’s no real connection to be made with other jews in that way. And when I hear about “jewish issues,” they usually don’t really interest me, except for the fact that it’s fun to study something you know a bit about. Of course, I hate to hear about antisemitism, and it does create some sense of connection, but hearing that terrorists want to bomb america creates a similar connection - and frankly, I don’t feel particularly connected to most americans. and, to me, the jewish struggle against prejudice is the same struggle that all minorities must fight. I identify more with the larger struggle - though again, of course as well with my particular ones. 

I also just don’t feel a particularly strong connection to my fellow jews. It’s not that I dislike them, nor that I don’t recognize a connection to them on my own and through the eyes of others, it’s just that I don’t feel a connection, and so I don’t necessarily identify myself through my association with them. The historical or genetic connection is more of just an interesting fact for me. Put another way, I felt way more connected when I used to meet my fairly diverse group of friends at a primarily atheist group I used to belong to. Meeting anyone there felt more connected to meeting someone and finding out they’re jewish.

For me, my jewish heritage is more a thing of the past: my youth, my family history, my people’s history, my genetic heritage… but not so much something I actively share with other jews. With perhaps the exception of a taste for jewish food. (but that doesn’t add up to much of a connection or identity for me.)

So it’s not to say that other jews with my views and values don’t exist, it’s just that I’m much more likely to connect to someone - whether jewish or not - based on those values, and not based on our immediate shared ancestry. So when I think of the people I identify myself with, jews aren’t really at the top of the list, certainly not like it used to be. It doesn’t mean I’m ashamed of being a Jew. I have no problems with it, and there’s what to be proud of. I even named my blog “Jewish Atheist.” I know I’m a Jew. But I also know that I’m an American, a virgo, a millennial, a New Yorker, a college grad, etc etc And just as I don’t really define or strongly identify myself in those terms, I similarly do not primarily identify myself as Jewish. It’s part of who I am, but it is not who I am. And the people with whom I once felt very close, and the community whose concerns were once my own, are now distant voices and minimal concerns. And frankly, I don’t mind.

Anonymous asked: Ok I am looking for things

well, I’m off to work now, so you have a few hours to think of things. also, out of curiosity, are you religious?

Anonymous asked: Take for example your post on the iron dome. Pointing out that its Science and not God saving the people isn't so great because a) If someone genuinely believe that it wasn't the iron dome and God saving them pointing out the flaw in their thinking is low hanging fruit b) Most Theists would simply say that that God is acting through science, making your comment on the matter somewhat pointless. As for that juicy high hanging fruit, I really like posts on disproving a) apologetics b) general tora

I think it’s still helpful, mostly for people on the fence, which is who my blog is primarily for.

also, after doing this blog for like two years, I’m running out of apologetics and torah to disprove!

So, when I have free time and feel like writing, I surf the jewish tags for something which stirs me. Sometimes it’s apologetics, sometimes it’s torah, sometimes it’s random posts.

So, again, instead of complaining, send a suggestion for s/t you’d like me to look over.

ameliarating asked: You might want to add to your response about the anon who doesn't know if they should consider themself Jewish that the whole Khazarian thing is a myth as well.

yeah, I just didn’t want to get into it bc, really, it doesn’t matter. even if its true, it would be just like the adam and eve myth or the abraham myth… it doesn’t matter. thanks for the message though

Anonymous asked: You seem to have a tendency to go for low hanging fruit

Not sure what you mean, but if you feel that way, instead of sending whiny, cryptic messages, how about offering some of that delicious high-hanging fruit.

Anonymous asked: I find your public demonstration of leaving Judaism disgusting. I'm going to tell you my motto that I tell people to try and save them. We are both happy with our way of life. I'm happy keeping the Torah (and being saved from the curses), and you are happy with your heretical ways. When we die, if your way is correct- we are equal since we were both happy. But if I'm right: I have endless reward and eternity, and you have eternal punishment. Contact me at mickeysgordon[at] gmail if you want to.

You find me expressing my life decisions to be “disgusting”; how very open-minded of you.

Also, your brilliant “motto” is something called “pascal’s wager”. And, surprise surprise, there are a ton of problems with it, some of which I have written about on this blog.

And while I don’t find you “disgusting”, I do feel bad for you that you have to base your life decisions on avoiding (imaginary) threats from your a (supposedly real and) loving god. I find it sad that you think our ways of life are automatically equivalent bc we might both be “happy.” I’m sure there were many slaves throughout history that were satisfied with their lives, but I would not for an instant want to be one of them. Freedom and independence are their own virtues, aside from happiness. But you live your life making due with what you’re allowed to do based on the dictates of your divine ruler. You are a slave. And you worship out of fear. And, if you’re lucky and behave right, you’ll have the great fortune to be his slave for all eternity?! Lucky you. 

As for me, no thanks. I’ll stick with logic, reason, evidence, and progressive values.

And I encourage everyone to contact mickeysgordon@gmail.com to discuss this with him.

Anonymous asked: How do religious people believe in both evolution & Adam/Eve? They seem kinda stupid to me. I know some People who are using religion to support gay marriage when it obviously condemns homosexuality. Religious people lack critical thinking and are very ignorant. The can't accept the whole truth.

it’s not about being stupid. it’s usually about indoctrination. it’s a hard thing to get over. I don’t really blame the average religious person for their beliefs for that reason. I kinda feel bad for them.

but when they start preaching bullshit (or, say, harassing people outside of planned parenthood) that’s when I step in.

Anonymous asked: My parents are Jewish. As an atheist, I'm not sure whether I should consider myself jewish or not. I come across as self-hating. The Jewish people are not a race. There are Jewish people all around the world, including Yemen & Ethiopia. Most white Jews are khazarians. No one is a descendant of Abraham or Jacob, they are fictional characters.

Regardless of our origins, we have been a tribe, a people, living together for a long time. That definitely means something.

Whether you want to actively consider yourself part of the jewish people, or just consider it your background, it’s up to you.

I personally find it harder and harder to associate with the jewish people bc I don’t share their values. But I definitely consider it part of who I am, if only historically. but to each their own.

Parashat Devarim

zavatchalavudvash:

 It’s chilling to read the last passuk of this week’s Parasha.

 “You shall not fear them, for Hashem, your God – He shall wage war for you”

(Deuteronomy 3:22)

Despite the stress, the security tensions, the pain and the tragedy, the fact that so few rockets have hit civilians and populated areas, is simply a miracle. When watching footage of the Iron Dome in action on YouTube it’s easy to see God’s Zeroa Netuyah defending us, waging war for us….

I don’t understand the line of reasoning which sees miracles in seeing a machine do what it was designed to do. Like, cars are awesome, but it’s not a fucking miracle every time you drive your honda to 7/11.

No, it’s science. And science works. Consistently. And clearly. Understandably. 

So unless the car drove without an engine, or all the missiles suddenly imploded of their own accord, god doesn’t deserve any credit. Science and scientists do. And I don’t think this is controversial. Really it’s just the reality of the situation.