Thoughts on Judaism

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Daat Emet

Because there is a link in my blogroll to Daat Emet, I have been getting anonymous comments that are part of a coordinated effort to attack Daat Emet or at least reduce its publicity. On this blog, it is listed under SKEPTICS and is uniquely designated ANTI-FRUM. Like many antifrum skeptics, the site examines many of the same subjects that we examine in Jblogs, and he comes to conclusions that overreach and pontificate. On the other hand, he brings sources, quotes relevant Talmud, rishonim and acharonim, and states his premises and conclusions, according to his understanding. In the process he brings a relevant point of view to the table, one that would certainly be influential to someone seeking get a comprehensive look at a particular difficult issue in these areas, if that person were already disposed to be skeptical. I had also intended to do some examination of his conclusions and write my responses, which I felt were valid and which were overreached. His essays are usually long and involved. Perhaps the time has come.

Nonetheless, the link remains relevant to the discussion and remains here as it should. Probably, those who have a simplistic view of the world (Linked there=bad, not linked=good) will not be satisfied with this, and they will somehow lump me in with the "bad guys" somewhere, if that has not already happened. Sadly, they only feed the fire that is consuming the frum world from the bottom (its children) up. Nowadays, we do far more service to discuss, argue and even concede that we do not know some things, than in trying to silence the opposition. You heard it here first.

27 Comments:

  • I think 1/2 of the team behind Daat Emet is a former maggid shir at a good-sized Litvish yeshiva in Israel. Try Googling Daat Emet and Haaretz and see if you can find the Haaretz article on them – it's about a couple of years old.

    Part of me would like to take a Hebrew -Yidish version of the pamphlets and heavily distribute them in haredi areas in America, Canada and England. (That part of me is much smaller than than the part that will not do this, however.) I wonder how many haredim would frei out if presented by an insider like Daat Emet with facts that strongly challenge their beliefs?

    By Anonymous Shmarya, at 2:55 PM  

  • Daat Emet is run by Yaron Yadan, a former talmid of Rav Moshe Shapiro. This is part of the story behind Rav Shapiro's extreme position on R' Slifkin's books, which were, ironically, written to counter Daat Emet.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:31 PM  

  • The problem is Daat Emet doesn't hesitate to pass off his own version of Orthodoxy which he then attacks and identifies with Judaism and condemns the Jewish people as traditionally an embarrassment to the nations. He is not direct but distortionist and disingenuous. There is a difference between having a link to something on a site and between discussing it. How we react to linking to a hate site in general should determine the policy in particular. What is more important and commendable on this blog now is what you do not have allowed on the Daat Emet site namely critical comment on Daat Emet’s assertions. A word of caution is in order: Daat Emet because of its demagogic character has to have either quotations for its statements or else has to be checked on. For the Talk Reason site I have the following dialogue http://www.talkreason.org/Forum.cfm?MESSAGEID=645 between me and Naftali Zeligman. Despite its focus on science it is still relevant to this site for displaying the dishonesty on Daat Emet.

    “Naftali Zeligman appears to be identical with Yaron Yadan the maker and author for the Daat Emet site. Yaron Yadan writes on Daat Emet "Never is life spontaneously created from inanimate materials." Scientists though say that the conditions for the origin of a species requires life from nonlife. Questions of ultimate origins he claims are meaningless. They are not meaningless to scientists.

    Daat Emet also rejects creation from nothing not from anything in physics but out of his own outdated view of science. Creation from nothing is nowadays believed in thanks to Einstein and is challenged only by those who wish to reconcile it with Quantum Mechanics in a way that would eliminate Creation from nothing. Their efforts have not amounted to Orthodox science as it has come to nowhere except to help towards a grander picture of some future theory to come. More properly speaking since time and space came into being through the universe and would die with the death of the universe the universe has a first moment but no moment before. By definition there was nothing happening before the Big Bang because there was no time and so no before to be had.

    Daat Emet writes Parthenogenesis is sexual reproduction, but that "the female provides the impregnating material to the egg she produces." Parthenogenesis is not sexual reproduction. On the contrary Parthenogenesis is defined as reproduction from an unfertilized egg. Fertilized eggs by definition are eggs that have been fertilized through sexual reproduction. Sexual reproduction by definition involves male and female reproductive contributions whether from two beings or plants etc. or even one.

    Naftali Zeligman (pen name for Yaron Yadan??) wrote in Talk Reason before his supposed incarnation as a Chareidi struggling to maintain his faith in the face of arguments to the contrary and waiting in vain for his helpless Rabbi to say anything. The guy's a faker. He wrote against Orthodoxy at the time and yet his article is reproduced on Yaron Yadan's Daat Emet's site described on it http://www.daatemet.co.il/en_index.html as

    "New on the Site:

    Letter to My Rabbi
    A letter from a Charedi intellectual
    who lives between two worlds: reason and faith."

    Sincerely
    Yisrael Asper
    Related Articles: Letter to My Rabbi



    Title Author Date

    Naftali Zeligman and Yaron Yadan Zeligman, Naftali Jan 02, 2006
    Dear Mr. Asper--

    Although I am acquainted with Yaron Yadan and have accepted his arguments on some issues, I am not he, and my "Letter" reflects my own
    point of view. In any event, I was pleased to find my essay featured on the Daat Emet website (a couple of years after its initial posting on
    TalkReason).
    Now to the points you raised.
    1. It is certainly wrong to say that "the conditions for the origin of a species requires life from nonlife," when it comes even to the simplest single-cell organisms, let alone multicellular ones like lice. Obviously, to
    account for the origin of life in materialistic terms -- which science is all about -- one has to assume that some kind of entity able of reproduction did develop out of non-living matter. What the first entity of this kind
    was and how it did develop, is not yet entirely clear (at least as far as I understand), but many advances in this field of research have already been made (see, on the TalkReason site, a discussion by Ephraim Rubin, chapter "Endeavor to Deceive"). In any event, creation is, in scientific terms, a bad hypothesis -- or actually, a non-hypothesis -- because it cannot be tested.
    2. Of course, strictly speaking, arthenogenesis is not sexual reproduction. But neither is it the birth of a living organism from sweat,
    dust, or other inanimate matter, as stipulated by the Rishonim (whom I mention in my "Letter").
    3. It is certainly wrong to claim hat "Creation from nothing is nowadays believed in thanks to Einstein." Those who believe in "creation from
    nothing" out of religious considerations obviously owe nothing to Einstein, and to those pursuing a scientific line of reasoning, "creation" is a non-category, because it involves an entity outside the natural world (a creator). If you meant the Big Bang theory (to which Einstein had no direct
    relation), then I should note that this theory in no way requires postulating "creation from nothing." See Stephen Hawking, A Brief History of Time (or, for that matter, a summary of Hawking's view by Ephraim Rubin, chapter "The Big Puff").

    Regards,

    N.Z.”

    My emailed response below avoided contradicting his scientific assertions since they are harmless scientific denials and consequently I didn't have to wage a scientific campaign over them. A harmless scientific denial is when you don't see something as possible like when Einstein denied that his own theory postulated Black Holes. Talk Reason perhaps is not interested in my scientific assertions and it's not worth a fight.


    "Concerning my comment that for the scientific community "the conditions for the origin of a species requires life from nonlife" I was having in mind the larger view held by scientists that at some point there has to be life from nonlife. But on the semantic score for the scientific community you win. Although I don't feel bad about this unclearness on my part considering that the very concept of species is denied by some and where to draw the line for a species is controversial. The point I was raising was contrary to what you and I say, Daat Emet claims that the question of origins is so outside of science that not even for the origin of life do you have life from nonlife. Concerning your point about the Big Bang, since the Big Bang Theory is one embraced by people of many persuasions in Physics one can be said to believe in it even if they deny Creation from Nothing. I see now that Talk Reason correctly has you and Yaron Yadan listed as separate people. I would have still been skeptical if you had written this in Daat Emet. Daat Emet's "letter writer(s)" are according to what I was told nowadays misrepresenting themselves and certainly are more easily explainable by saying that they are indeed forgeries. Certainly identifying you as a Chareidi is a false representation. Being in its "Guest Column" implies your acceptance of their putting you in and makes you responsible for their characterization of you being propagated since you should know what type of a site it is. If you had first had the article "Letter to my Rabbi" in Talk Reason before your other article it could have shown an evolution that you supposedly went through. But you didn't. You are represented assuming you intended it to be so not as someone who has become Chareidi and secular a few times over since the article was made and appeared in Daat Emet so you are not a Chareidi.
    Regards
    Yisrael Asper"

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:27 PM  

  • Reb Yisroel
    Your scientific apologetics are atrocious but I agree with the gist of your conclusions on DE. Spontaneous Generation is very simply NOT VALID and has been rejected by CONCENSUS modern scientists. See my earlier post on this subject. You do not seem to understand the process of peer review nor what constitutes a theory, nor what "theory implies. Nor do you understand Einstein's objections to Copenhagen QM, nor the implications on relativity. In fact, you do not seem to understand scientific subjects well enough to carry the discussion further, since your arguments seem to be boilerplate kiruv apologetics.

    However, having said that, I agree that DE is an agenda based site rather than an honest truth seeking site. He cites extremes in halacha and gemorras for which the answer is well known and acceptable, but he does not acknowledge those answers. He also addresses subjects like the incompatibility of the reproductive system in Mes. Nida with actual physiology and the admission by later halachists that that is indeed the case. He discusses the hare and hyrax cud problem as well. In short, one might get the most extreme viewpoint from reading DE, and thus, we can define the endpoints of the arguments, on what do both sides agree and disagree, on what strengths and weaknesses do the defenses lay.

    DE is a skeptic, someone who has learned and derived an extreme skeptic view. It is relevant. Teh dogmatic approach shows fear, rather than strength.

    By Blogger Rebeljew, at 7:57 PM  

  • Spontaneous Generation is indeed very simply not valid and has been rejected by modern scientists period thanks to Louis Pasteur. I was saying that at some point in history at least you had to have had life from nonlife as even Naftali Zeligman unlike what Daat Emet says. Theory in science means fact and also a proposed fact. A fact in science is something always tested and retested. Peer review is necessary to keep science grounded in reality. Einstein's objections to the Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics were based on his belief that there is an absolute reality not determined by how an experiment is done. The implication of QM Theory is that while Quantum Theory asserts that reality is divided into discrete quantities called, Quantums where you cannot have an arbitrary division of space, time or anything but instead they all come in discrete quantities, Einstein's Theory of Relativity asserts that Space and Time are seamless and can be divided endlessly. As you travel closer to the speed of light you experience distortions in your measurements of Space and Time, that since the Speed of Light is considered absolute irrespective of ones speed relative to it, it is considered always and so seamlessly divisible. Since in Relativity Theory you can divide Space and Time endlessly when you reverse the picture of the Big Bang's expansion of the universe you reach as Stephen Hawking showed a point where Space and Time reach a Singularity, a point of infinite contraction in both Space and Time unless Quantum Theory could find a way out. When as Shwartzchild showed a star undergoes and for that matter anything undergoes a certain amount of contraction it becomes a Black Hole with its own singularity. Since Space and time end at that point it is called the Event Horizon. The greater amount of gravity one undergoes the more time goes slowly so that at a Black Hole which contains an endless amount of gravity at the Event Horizon one moment for you is an endless amount for everyone else even if history continues forever. So that everyone else "sees" you as never quite reaching the Event Horizon. I compliment you on your recognition of the agenda basedness of Daat Emet but I fail to see where you get your ideas concerning my knowledge of Physics. Creation whether according to Quantum Mechanics in a marriage with Relativity and also Relativity alone says the universe was created, being only so old. At present I read it is measured at about 14 billion years. The term Creation in science does not as Daat Emet or Naftali Zeligman imply a Creator. If science declares a Creator He would have to be Himself subject to Scientific laws. That would be what scientists like Einstein would refer to as God. The term God in Judaism transcends science. Science is self limiting and so while like with a singularity it as scientists say implies unless dealt with, something beyond itself science can hint towards an even higher God in that sense but strictly speaking a God and the Supernatural are beyond what science deals with either to say yes or no. All this is scientific fact.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:25 AM  

  • Spontaneous generation was indeed refuted, the concept that insects or mice are born from anything other than Min b' min reproduction. The origin of life is not relevant to this point because, a) the relevant halachas are about current reproduction, not original reproduction, b) the beginning of life defined life, so obviously, if there was no life, and then there was life, at some point their was one act of "spontaneous generation", but that is what defined life as different from nonlife. That is not the same as saying mice are born from dirt.

    Einstein's (more correctly, EPR's) primary objection to QM - Copenhagen was that it VIOLATED the theory of relativity, the principle of locality and causality. You cannot propose QM - Copenhagen at a macro-level and also rely on relativity's locality principle. I would recommend that you direct the black hole issue to observantastronomer.blogspot.com. He can explain it much better than I. Einstein retracted his early pronouncements on Newtonian time progression, but that digresses. I have two posts on using QM in apologetics, linked on the right column under their own heading.

    A scientific theory is not "fact and proposed fact". That is a philosophical or sophistic theory. A scientific theory is tested and retested fact and a model of a working system explaining all available observations and predicting future results. It follows that if future observations and results violate the theory, we must alter the theory or explain the exception, why it does not fall into our system. Then, those theories are made available for application, the ultimate "proof" for a theory. But there no point in time where a theory is "proven", it simply becomes more and more solidified as details are discovered or eliminated. x+y=y+x remains a theory, because we cannot test for all values of x and y. I would add that there are such theories that explain the origin of the universe without a creator, but at this time, they are only sophistic speculation. That means only that we have no further means to test the observations. We learn gemorra much the same way, using known halacha (observation) to prove mishna (theory), and altering the theory (b'meh devarim emorim) when the known mesoretic halacha would violate the mishna. The fact that mishna that mishna is legal "theory" does not imply that it is not a fact, does it?

    And I agree that scientific theory does not refute Torah. But we cannot pretend that OBSERVATIONS which violate a stated dogmatic prinicple in Torah do not exist. Then we are denying what is proven, as the Rambam derides anddiscusses at length.

    By Blogger Rebeljew, at 9:07 AM  

  • Spontaneous generation was indeed refuted, the concept that insects or mice are born from anything other than Min b' min reproduction. Yes I never said otherwise. I always knew mice do not come from dirt. As regards what a fact is in science I was saying like you that in my words "A fact in science is something always tested and retested." What I meant by a theory also meaning a proposed fact is some theories are not generally held in the scientific community but advocated by some in the scientific community. "Einstein retracted his early pronouncements on Newtonian time progression" What do you mean by that? What you said about the Mishna is true. One thing I must also say is that physics with me is uninfluenced in a dogmatic sense by anything but science and philosophy. Religion influences my scientific thought like it did for Einstein but it doesn't lay down rules for my science.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:11 AM  

  • "Teh dogmatic approach shows fear, rather than strength." At least for Daat Emet which believes that restrictions on other ideologies are always necessary for the survival of your own and so the State of Israel he wants to take away legally the right of parents to pass down a frum education (see his site in his Questions and Answers section).
    Yisrael Asper

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:36 AM  

  • There's a difference between addressing the claims of a hate organization and having them listed as a link.
    Yisrael Asper (The same one as all the above. I'm not so anonymous a poster. I just click on the anonymous button.)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:20 PM  

  • "You cannot propose QM - Copenhagen at a macro-level and also rely on relativity's locality principle." Nice try, but the truth is that if there would really be in theory what comes out approximately in fact, namely the line you draw between the macrolevel and the microlevel (as proposed by Heinz Pagels) then Relativity and QM would not clash.
    The truth is you cannot propose QM - Copenhagen at any level and also rely on relativity's locality principle.
    Me again (I know this is off topic for this site but physics is in my element and being charged with incompetence in it by you made me want to show off. Please don't make me show off some more. Physics at this level is exhausting.)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:00 PM  

  • "Nowadays, we do far more service to discuss, argue and even concede that we do not know some things, than in trying to silence the opposition." Silence slanderous sites yes. If Daat Emet (a hate site) is really willing to change let him engage his opposition. You do.
    Me again

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:20 PM  

  • On rebeljew.blogspot.com/2005/06/chabad-and-elokistim.html you say that if there is an Elokist movement in Chabad we should "fight furiously to keep these fanatics from making any sort of inroad anywhere" and also "Upon further examination, it does seem much ado about nothing. The decalration of Rebbe equals G-d is not nearly so clear from the source as from the accuser. I am sure you understand that a matter like this could not be taken lightly.

    On the other hand, those that spread this accusation should really be aware that it is similar to spreading a false story against a restaurant using poisoned food. It does its damage regardless of its factual truth. Chevra, let's spread this story no further, and stomp it out whereever it show up." Yet shouldn't the same be done with the slanderous Daat Emet? Don't we have enough of his slander being used by AntiSemitic sites? What would you say if now would be the eve of WWII and you could have foreseen the worst? Daat Emet gets free uncriticized publicity by you simply listing it as an Anti-Frum Link. What other hate site would you dare to include? Daat Emet thrives on spreading ignorance, abusing the sources to say whatever it feels like in order to destroy Judaism and defame the Jewish people. I am urging you to think about what to do with Daat Emet.
    Me again

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:32 PM  

  • So how do you recommend that we prove that Daat Emet said X, Y or Z without referring to it. In truth, were my subject neo-Nazism, I would link to Nazi sites so that the reader could refer to the real article. In the example of Elokism that you mention, I do, indeed, link to one of the many aliases for RebbeGod.blogspot.com, an ideology which I consider downright slanderous to Chabad, by trying to associate with its teachings. However, after having looked at Milchstien's writing, he didn't say that the Rebbe was G-d. Some others did. I concluded that this was a movement of fewer than 50 people and urged that it had no importance.

    Daat Emet represents a philosophy that is incidious. I certainly hope that the best scholars of Israel will put their heads together and say something reasonable to refute this man, who speaks for far more than himself. What I have seen so far is not impressive, and there is certainly plenty to say. But we have passed the time when we could just ignore science Torah conflicts or stuff them into talking point apologetics.

    To conclude, if I have underestimated your scientific exposure, Reb Yisroel, please forgive me. The fact is that most apologists simply quote popular apologetics on science and have no clue what they are saying. I often discuss this with people who have never heard of the Copenhagen interpretation, EPR etc. Yet, they thunder their apologetics through the kiruv streets.

    Do you consider DE a standard hate group like neoNazis, or are you just amplifying philosophically, because he supports people that do not want to practice Judaism any more?

    By Blogger Rebeljew, at 11:03 PM  

  • Dear rebeljew
    I apologize for making you feel the need to apologize. There is no need. I should have kept quite about the science and stuck to Daat Emet. I had read about him in the Jerusalem Report. That was his big error because it made it that I one day was finally curious enough to see his site. It quickly became apparent to me that writing to any Jewish organization asking them to remove his link is appropriate as he is so against orthodoxy that he is totally AntiJewish. If Israel happens to be Jewish in majority population so for him that's as significant as France being mostly French. He loves learning Gemora and lacks the subtlety for anything outside of it. This would be fine if he were still teaching Gemora. But he is in over his head. It's one thing to explain Gemora it's another to try to distort it. He creates a strawman Orthodoxy saying what it should say according to him and then attacks it. Things over his head like Kabbala and whether you can use all methods of making a baby are to him explained away. The Gemora never talked directly about a test tube and the Kabbala he simply attacks without knowing what to attack since he lacks what a Kabbalist has in common with a physicist namely a way of seeing behind appearances to see cause and affect. The difference is of course that the Kabbalist deals with the spiritual world in addition to the physical and the Kabbalist claims all as a Kabbala passed down from heaven so to speak. Daat Emet is an organization consisting of one man Yaron Yadan with his obedient helpers all working in his home. A mom pop sort of business. He thinks he can destroy Judaism and he doesn't care if Israel and the Jewish people get destroyed along the way. Of course he can't destroy Judaism or the Jewish people. He can't destroy Israel either but he has a Messiah complex. His problem is he's too young to be that delusional. He is bound to fail. And being relatively young he will have so many miserable years. I've eliminated him from so many sites but that’s only an addition to his suffering. Time with the mission he thinks he can fulfill is his own worst enemy. He can use his demagogic skills to fool the ignorant and those who want to be fooled or want to fool but he can't destroy Judaism. I've quoted him showing links for proof but if you eliminate him as an official link then it weakens him further. We can fight him on the material he has and eliminate him. We should be smart enough to ask and answer questions that are probing without idiots like him pointing them out. If it's only idiots who can point a particular thing out, its not something worth knowing. It sure would be a sorry state for the mind. You can quote him I'm saying and you can show the linkages. But by people seeing the criticism beforehand they will enter into his site if at all with a more critical eye. Simply listing him as a link in the links list doesn't do that and sends the wrong message and shows up when someone does an internet search for Daat Emet as just a reference and another conquest for Daat Emet to boast to his benefactors who give him money to conduct his fight and so earn his “livelyhood.” Incidentally I having searched your site because of Daat Emet found myself understanding your site. I like it. I may not agree with everything but it's interesting enough.
    Yisrael

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:59 AM  

  • On one hand Daat Emet claims it wants peaceful coexistence with the Chareidim but at the same time it wants them to give up their ideas (see for both www.daatemet.org.il/en_medina_halacha.zip this contradiction). So how do they stay Chareidim? The guy talks out of the two sides of his mouth. They also distribute their material in Yeshivas. That is littering. He also urges others as can be seen on his site in the want to help section to give addresses of Chareidim so he can give them material. This is an invasion of privacy.
    Yisrael (again)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:07 PM  

  • Yisrael

    Do the Charedim want peaceful coexistence wih DE even if he maintains his beliefs? No, of course not. Each wants to fight the other. That is the nature of diametrically opposed viewpoints.

    "That is littering"
    Cute.

    The charge of invasion of privacy is well founded, and is probably done l'hach'is.

    However, this type of warfare is not "hate group" warfare. If you can show that he is trying to kill the children or that he thinks that Charedim are genetically inferior or something like that, there might be more meat to the charge. But whatever tactics you use will ultimately be used against you. I say, if the fight is for hearts and minds, then let it be fought. Are you afraid of him? I am not.

    As for the charge that it gives him publicity, I'd say that if someone is making overreaching comments, I want him to have publicity. If his argument is selfdestructive, I want him to make it.

    By Blogger Rebeljew, at 8:22 PM  

  • He is easily attackable. He is afraid of criticism. His site is a dictatorship. The problem is how not to give him endorsement. He creates a strawman Halacha that he then condemns and if Orthodoxy is more liberal he condemns them still for its Halacha as interpreted by him. Daat Emet has been continually attacked by me because it provides such good material as it sticks its foot in its mouth. I've used that foot. A hate site promotes hate against a group using prejudice. He condemns Judaism period. Littering is a phenomenon of placing their papers where there not wanted. That's why they have been thought to be NonJewish missionaries.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:23 PM  

  • The above was my reply.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:24 PM  

  • I think that two things are going on. His arguments and his agenda. His arguments are really not for answers but to support his agenda, but whose are not.

    Thank you for all of your input. I will definitely consider amending the label on the link or heading to make clearer that site is more agenda based than argument based. Obviously, he selectively presents the argument. I understand your point about increasing search hits and whatnot, but it is small benefit for him and it cannot be helped if we are to discuss the subject and not just do the same agenda pushing.

    By Blogger Rebeljew, at 9:22 AM  

  • Thank you and you’re welcome. Certainly we can't help having awareness of him
    because of discussing him. He has made it so unreliable a site that I always
    look for quotes. That's the only thing about him that I feel he won't forge though he does put some out of context and half quotes. But otherwise we are really presented with a great deal of deceit. He says his site is about Orthodoxy and then identifies first Orthodoxy with Chareidism and then his strawman version of it and then this with Judaism. Then when convenient he
    paradoxically identifies the religious nationalist camp with Orthodoxy. In another
    spot he claims he values our texts. On the other hand he then devalues all
    Jewish texts. So where is the value? Scientifically and historically too he is
    suspect. His site doesn't leave one with any choice but to check up on its
    claims in a much more severe way than with other sites. I being concerned for the
    integrity of science makes Daat Emet also puts alarm bells in my head there too. As far as
    history a ridiculous example is when he shows something about Josephus and says
    see about the Orthodox! Josephus was a traitor in the war against the Romans so
    Pharisee or not he was not a Talmudic Jew by definition. Daat Emets’ humanism is just based on the idea that there is no objective morality only a code of the "enlightened nations." Someone so exacting as he had been in the Talmud should know better about using such a term as “enlightened nations" based on it as a set system. There may be common Western values but that's about it especially in such societies which revolt against their own traditional values. He just sees freedom from constraint as the achievement of a meaningless life as he sees life to be. Every ideology he sees as needing to protect itself against others through censorship. Judaism would be not perpetuated by parents under his regime by force of law. All Orthodox are guilty according to him of heinous crime by supporting their supposedly heinous system. He protests that the Chareidim are ridiculous and then in the same breath he complains of being branded someone who mocks religion (remember yet in his mind Chareidim=Judaism). He fails to have the idea of the State of Israel being established a Jewish State and dismisses its pressing war needs. He writes on Talk Reason as a sober secular writer and yet in his first pamphlet of Daat Emet (which he extolls to no end as the ground breaking of great learning for Daat Emets’ pamphlet campaign) in which he makes that sex science error I mentioned he acts like he is a Chareidi until you read further and protests them daring to confuse him with Christian Missionaries (I was in Yeshiva, when you get papers left unsolicited from G-d only knows whom it could be for all you know from a Junkman) he protests that Daat Emet hates Christians. He's quite a menace.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:23 AM  

  • Below is from Daat Emet. If anyone took Logic in college it would be noticed that this is something Aristotle could have used as an example of a verbal contradiction. Daat Emet says:"The Ministry of Communications guards the nonsense of religion, cloaking it with the name of tradition and heritage while rejecting the rational criticism of Daat Emet, claiming it belittles faith."
    In the U.S. we are more enlightened than Daat Emet.

    Me again (I couldn't resist this as it sums up the type of character foreign to U.S. audiences that allowed an organization like Daat Emet to have gained any semblance of mainstream acceptance.)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:12 PM  

  • "http://www.daatemet.org.il/questions/index.cfm?MESSAGEID=2510
    Question: Publication date: 09-04-2006
    Title: Hayitachen?
    Content: Is it absolutely necessary to make available to a whole world of people who are looking for excuses to harm Jews all the chilukim in Halacha between Jews and goyim?

    Is there one person in the world who will become a greater yirei shmayim because of this? Would you fell proud if the NY Times quoted your site and the Halacha of emet spread thought America and the whole world even causing the death of one Jew?

    R' Moshe Feinstein, z"l allowed members of Hatzalah to be mechalel Shabbat even with Isurei D'oraisa because he considered it "pikuach nefesh of a Jew" (not mishum eivah) since they will not respond to Jewish calls for help, yet you are b'yadaim giving them the ammunition to let Jews die in the street since, after all, we would do the same to them? If for Shalom bayis we are allowed to be meshaneh the emet why not simply not publicize it to save a life? Isn't that the reason Dovid Hamelech was mochek the Shem Hamefurash?

    What a burden you have placed on your shoulders. There are hundreds of thousands of Jews living among goyim and reshaim and you feel that the "end" - your spread of emet will justify the "means" - the placing of all these Jews in sakanah. Emet in Halacha is a lofty goal but to drag that emet into the forum of the internet where every evil person can use it for their own means is a perversion of all that Halacha stands for - to do the ratzon Hashem.

    Hashem yichapair ba'adchem v'yaster divreichem m'soneinu shelo yishpoch od dam yehudi b'glalchem.

    Most Sincerely,
    Yoel Silverberg



    Answer: Publication date: 09-04-2006
    Title: Hayitachen?
    Content: Dear Joel,

    We have decided to share with you a few thoughts produced by the contents of your letter.

    1. In this letter you represent the Orthodox point of view. For example, you express your doubt that even one person in the world will become a greater yirei shmaim as a result of our activity. Indeed, that is highly unlikely – if only because drawing people to religion, let alone religious Orthodoxy, is not our goal.

    2. Furthermore, it should be kept in mind that we speak completely different languages. Since you think as an Orthodox Jew, and we as ordinary rationalists, it is quite possible that each of us is wholly and totally right within the framework of his own cultural system. Without a doubt, an Orthodox believer is always right from his own point of view in a debate with the non-Orthodox. At the same time, most of his arguments are completely irrelevant to a secular person. Thus it would be a good idea to narrow the scale of our debate down to concepts and arguments that mean more or less the same thing for both of us.

    3. The only axiomatic statement you have made that can be rationally examined is the claim that the gentiles – or the goyim in your language – are villains and scoundrels. If not all, then most of them, at any rate. The poor defenseless Jews are forced to live among these fiends. You write, for example: “There are hundreds and thousands of Jews living among goyim and reshaim.” Among gentiles and villains! You offer no evidence in support of this claim, believing it to be more or less self-evident. The trouble is that we emphatically reject it.

    From our point of view, the majority of gentiles are far from evil, while the Jews are not all virtuous and defenseless. Most gentiles are completely decent people who have no inclination to inflict deliberate harm on anyone. The same probably applies to the majority of Jews. On the other hand, both the gentiles and the Jews contain quite a few vicious and aggressive people who cause untold harm to others -- whenever they have a chance, of course.

    There is no doubt that accepting your axiom regarding gentile maliciousness and Jewish defenselessness would be equivalent to agreeing with your view of our activity. On the other hand, accepting our view of human nature -- which holds, among other things, that the Jews are little different from the gentiles -- immediately puts our activity in a positive light.

    From our point of view, the Jews have won full equality throughout the Western world. No one impinges on their rights; their lives and property are protected to exactly the same extent as those of the gentiles -- say, the rest of US citizens. On the other hand, Jews that hold religious beliefs that deny the gentiles are their equals, deserving equal rights and equal protection. In Israel, this attitude finds glaring and regrettable expression; however, its effects in other places are equally worthy of note.

    We believe that the concept of Jewish exclusivity is at once mistaken, amoral, and dangerous. Among other things, our activity is intended to counteract this concept and its implications. We do not believe that in the modern civilized world the Jews are threatened by anything that does not threaten the gentiles. On the other hand, the advocates of Jewish superiority, as well as the advocates of any other kinds of superiority -- or, simply put, racists of every sort and nationality -- definitely pose a threat to others, not to say to all mankind.

    4. You assert that unmasking the true Jewish religious position would endanger the Jews. We believe that in the modern Western world no nation, including the Jews, is facing any kind of danger. Therefore, without any particular fear, we can strive to achieve our main objective: eradicating Jewish religious racism, creating conditions that would make its existence impossible. Speaking of which, religious Jews are always the first to speak out against others’ racism, which often threatens them. Why not apply the same yardstick to themselves, if only from time to time?

    5. In conclusion, we repeat: from the Jewish Orthodox point of view, we are certainly wrong. From the point of view of universal humanism, you are the one who is totally wrong. Thus all that remains for all of us to do is to choose the point of view. The rest is trivial.

    Respectfully,

    Daat Emet"

    Below is my (me again) response that I posted for his site:
    He needs proof and yet you don't? You are living in a dream world. Jews in
    France for example wear yarmulkas at their own risk. You ignore the news. What's
    more your supposed expose of Judaism's view of the Gentile is to a great extent
    a lie. Your view of the Talmud is also to a great extent a lie. You select and
    misinterpret and then you complain that you are not listened to in universities.
    Taking you seriously
    Sincerely
    Yisrael Asper
    My email to Talk Reason unpublished so far:
    > For a serious and balanced view of Judaism's attitude to Gentiles see
    http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=142&letter=G&search=heathens#52
    5 also see the Encyclopedia Judaica under Gentiles.
    Yaron Yadan's piece on the topic in Daat Emet is now only viewable on
    AntiSemitic sites such as the Nazi one. Previously it was on those sites and his
    own.

    The Meiri's tolerance he backed up by extensive neglect from the masses
    including from the rabbis. The Talmudic interdictions which varied in time
    basically in response to how the world treated the Jew were made for a
    persecuting idolatrous world that was noted to no longer exist in full form
    later. Still not taking even the more relatively refined world that followed is
    a stretch. Not taking that into account is like denying a context to a Black
    slave for his measure of negative feelings towards whites when the world he saw
    was one of horrifying treatment towards his people. Omission of full quotations
    and contexts and extrapolating from legalistic wording that do not imply
    anything beyond words describing legalistic backups and underpinnings that even
    sometimes include categories of pious Jews shows a selectiveness or ignorance
    that makes one wonder what is the point made. There is the sin or ignorance of
    omission. There is also plain wild extrapolation that betrays ignorance. What we
    have here is an unbalanced and wrongly thought out reasoning for Jewish
    attitudes towards Gentiles. Theory real and imagined counts for all, but actual
    practice doesn't? Usually people speak volumes of the later since it is the real
    force. The world has done great harm to the Jew who has given so much to it.
    Including giving it a moral fabric that we all in the Western World share to
    some degree. It should be explaining itself infinitely more so than is victims
    still fresh with the memory of the dead that culminated after two thousand years
    of hatred in the Holocaust, More so to explain not only degree but in kind.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:43 PM  

  • http://rebeljew.blogspot.com/2006/01/daatemets-zoo.html

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:59 PM  

  • Daat Emet is no William Shakespeare or Isaac Bashevis Singer. His characters are lifeless and bland and not well drawn out, a lot like him. Here's his fictional masterpiece. It should leave no doubt that he is an assimilationist with no place for a Jewish State though he fits in his role like an elephant in a hospital room. Notice he has the conversion having to be for the Jewish character and also has to have it finished in Israel. This is done to make his central character involve indeed represent Israel rather than have the scene stay in the Diaspora. I forwarded it to Chabad with my comments on the bottom:"On the AntiSemitic Daat Emet site it
    said:”http://www.daatemet.org.il/questions/index.cfm?MESSAGEID=2840
    Question: Publication date: 23-10-2006 Title: The story of Tappuz, who lost his love because of conversion Content: Dear Daat Emet,

    First of all, I want to thank you for your wonderful site, which without a doubt has given me new information of which I was unaware. You are doing holy work.

    I wanted to share with you a personal story (in short, the connection between "the wonders of religion" and Israeli society):
    A few years ago I met a pretty young lady, who was about a month younger than I, during a trip abroad. She and I quickly came to speak the same language and sparks started to fly. But wonder of wonders, the girl wasn't Jewish at all. But I come from a secular household, value freedom, and accept each person as he is.
    I don't believe in the ignorances of religion, so I did not feel my love was something wrong or a crime. Over the course of time this woman and I spoke of a
    wedding and a marriage ceremony (civil, of course). After we married my family began to fear that the woman would not be accepted in Israeli society because she is not Jewish. My father (an atheist) and my mother (a secular person who believes in G-d) pressured me to have a religious marriage ceremony. That meant that they also wanted me to convert her. I, as an atheist, felt like I was betraying my faith, but even so, my wife began conversion on her own. After a
    short while I discovered that I, too, had to be present during the process of conversion. I had to undergo a "conversion" like my
    wife was. This upset and astonished me. I showed up at one lesson and as far as I was concerned that ended the issue of conversion. After my son was born my parents, worried that my son would grow up a gentile in the Jewish state and feel out of place, increased the pressure. My parents feared society would scheme against my wife and son. I let the matter lie and did not let it disturb me. But the issue kept coming up, even from my best friend, who worried about my son. My best friend knew my thought processes, but claimed that they are not realistic in today's society. That which I did not allow to bother those around me (secular people) started to bother me about. After a period in Israel my wife and I found ourselves once again abroad, in my wife's country, because she missed her family. While we were abroad I tried to take the initiative and take care of the conversion far from the Israeli swamp. During the process of conversion I tried (as an atheist) with all my might to
    connect with religion and the "divine" emotion. Keeping the Sabbath, holiday, tzitzit, kippah, and all the commandments. For months I kept the laws, truly
    attempting to draw close. My wife, who had to walk around completely covered during the height of summer heat, accepted all the strange laws (and there are a
    lot of those in the Shulchan Aruch and Halacha) without complaining too much. I always asked myself if I would have done the same for her. I have to admit, in all honesty, that I highly doubt I would have been willing to be put through this hell by people who saw me as no better than an animal. I would sit with the rabbi (incidentally, a nice Chabadnik) and flood him with questions which were mainly about the racism and inequality in the Jewish religion. The rabbi's face would pale each time anew when I addressed my questions to him. I felt like I
    was betraying myself, my wife, and my "gentile" son (who was circumcised at eight days old). Everything in which I believe does not exist in this racist and unequal religion. The rabbi even, to bring us closer, was willing to study the Tania (a book which Chabad studies) with my wife. But
    this didn't change a thing about the inequality and racism which was inherent in the entire community. The community (aside from the rabbi) saw my wife as
    something beyond the bounds, to the extent that I was very close to hitting one person who opened his mouth and made a face towards my "gentile" wife on the Seder night -- an uncharacteristic reaction on my part. I reacted by screaming, while the rabbi tried to calm me down by explaining that this person wasn't worth more than spittle. All of this did not convince me about the rabbi, who
    deep within his heart believed in the laws which state that a gentile is no more than an animal but with amazing hypocrisy announced that some of his best
    friends are gentiles. What was sad is that deep within he thought that he was better than them. Before we finished the conversion we decided to return to Israel (part of the reason was that my job there was finished). To finish the conversion we had to continue in Israel. What happened was that in Israel I simply was not willing to continue the hypocrisy, certainly not in front of my friends and family. I tried to explain to my wife, who had suffered with all the degradations of religion for months, that I could find no excuse for continuing on a path in which I do not believe. I told her that it felt to me like betraying myself. Our relationship simply began to fall apart. My wife got upset and rightly so. I had caused her to go through hell for so many months while not believing in my own actions. I had bowed to social and familial pressure. It got to the point that we separated (after a while) and we now live on opposite ends of the earth. She, of course, lives with my son. Even now after
    time has passed, she is not prepared to forgive me for her suffering, the degradation and humiliation she was subjected to by those rabbis. She does not understand why I acted against my conscience. She does not understand my decision to stop the conversion after the suffering she
    had already endured for my sake. (I have to state that my wife is an educated and talented woman.)

    I blame myself for destroying my marriage because I gave in to the Israeli public (religious and secular) and betrayed my principles. But how was I, one
    man alone, supposed to manage against all the social pressure placed upon me by the secular (not religious) public which surrounded me? I barely have any religious people in my surroundings.

    I ask myself why people have to go through this in a democratic country whose declaration of independence proclaims the equality of all men.

    I ask myself why the secular society has given in to it and become subjugated to it to the same extent as the religious society.

    I ask myself whether the average man knows what the process of conversion is and the torture it involves.

    But the story does not end. After the great crisis I underwent following the break up of my family, I continued to devote myself to my work (hi-tech) in
    order to distract myself. After a while the crisis deepened (I won't get into the whole story), and all in the name of "religion."

    Today I'm OK, but of course I'm still without my wife and child. I don't see my son on a steady basis because of the distance, and the relationship between me and my wife is very bad. I have gone out with two other girls since the break up (one is a "kosher" Jew and the other, according to religion, is not Jewish -- her father is Jewish, not that it matters, it just is a fact) but I felt that neither was anything near as good as my wife, both personally and intellectually.
    I'm afraid that I lost an amazing person who loved me very much (of course, I loved her, too) and who grew with me over the most important years of my life (we were married relatively young). My respect for religion was completely wiped out and its influence on the Israeli society worries me a lot. I lost a woman
    who is beautiful, smart, intelligent, gifted, educated, and talented, one who taught me a lot over the course of years. And most important, I lost my precious son because of society's ignorant religiosity which I could not stand up to.

    Thanks in advance,

    Tappuz”

    Here was my response:
    "That's a stupidly made up story. Why would this supposed person's supposed wife
    have to dress and act Jewish if everyone knew she wasn't. Further I'm sure
    Chabad could investigate your story if it wanted to. It has Rabbis organized
    around the world. Also if the Chabad really do not allow women to learn Tanya
    even more than in this story then your story is already proven false. Also
    another suspicious thing is that this person supposedly suddenly keeps
    everything and his wife too and is so learned he is questioning the Rabbi then
    what in the world caused him to have any questions and be so learned so fast.
    Why should he have been learning with the Rabbi then and what was the Rabbi
    bothering to compromise even so far as having that man's wife learn Tanya if
    they are already keeping everything. I will report all his to Chabad."

    Sincerely
    Yisrael Asper"
    Yisrael Asper again

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:31 PM  

  • Well what I said about Daat Emet's view on the Jewish State he puts openly below quoting that “letter” that he “received.” Interestingly you see an example of how unhistorical this guy is in that we see sensitivity for the stranger being based on knowing the feelings of a stranger having been in Egypt. Daat Emet as ever uninterested in human thought and emotion isn't interested in Jewish thought except if it is involving anything he feels he can attack. He first separates Jewish belief and Halacha to quickly dispose of anything positive to say brought up outside of halacha. He then as a typical stunt tries to argue against Judaism by arguing that a NonHalachik topic of his choice has something to do with Halacha and so it represents Judaism after all. Of course he has his own versions of both. Any personal stories of the supposed other questioner "Maya" and the supposed replier himself have to be thought highly likely to be made up. History also is not Daat Emet's strong suit to use British understatement. Another striking thing I have noticed is his apparent lack of understanding how a psak halacha is made. I suspect it is because nowadays someone can be a Rabbi for teaching which means you don't need expertise in paskening just hopefully at least in not paskening. He was a Rosh Kollel which means that it appears unlikely he needed to know how to actually pasken, however he feels he can do anything so if he doesn't understand how rulings are made it is just made up somehow. This is definitely how he feels saying for instance that many rabbis still pasken by looking to the Talmud for research. The only ones he considers to be Rabbis are the Orthodox ones. Of course they look to the Talmud for research on the edges. He exhibits his ignorance further by saying what in American law would sound like "Cars didn't exist when the American constitution was made therefore the Constitution doesn't have any rules for their manufacture.” Of course he doesn't exhibit consistency either as he is interested in destroying Judaism and he doesn’t have the head or heart for consistency here.
    Yisrael Asper (again)

    http://www.daatemet.org.il/questions/index.cfm?MESSAGEID=2848
    "Questions and Answers
    Question: Publication date: 02-11-2006
    Title: Why do you battle the Charedi?
    Content: Dear Daat Emet,

    First let me clarify something about my question: I belong to the left side of the political spectrum. I am an atheist since childhood and a feminist.
    I read with great interest your words and your goals on your site, but one question bothered me in the course of my reading.
    It is true that the religious text, the Holy Writ, the Mishnah and the Talmud, are based on the ancient norms of inequality, a lack of empathy for the stranger and the different, but these are only de jure laws and the Charedi (and certainly the religious) do not put them into actual practice. I live in Jerusalem and I do not see them acting like xenophobes. Quite the opposite: always (to be precise, almost always) they are open, smiling, and pleasant. I have read, for example, the halacha which permits pedophilia, but this is only theory. I have not heard of Charedi who marry little girls in our day and age.
    That is why your choice to battle the Charedi specifically bothers me, when there are so many more serious injustices being perpetrated: the murder of men, women, and children in the name of pure hooliganism. (I refer to the "Zionist" capture and occupation of territories which don't belong to them.)
    Why don't you focus your battle on Israeli de facto crimes instead of on theoretical religious crimes?

    Maya



    Answer: Publication date: 02-11-2006
    Title: Why do you battle the Charedi?
    Content: Dear Maya,

    Your question, which is really political, challenges us to clarify our stand on this issue and answer a bit at length. If we express your question in our own words, it would come out as "What is the best method for creating an Israeli nation based on values of equality, freedom, and harmony with no distinction as to sex, race, or religion?"
    In this formulation of the question we have hinted that the occupation and the treatment of Israeli Arabs are the fruit of sick vines.
    Identifying the source of the problem (in the Jewish state) will solve the problem which bothers you (the injustice and crimes against the Palestinian Arabs).

    What is this source of gall and wormwood which increases and augments evil and injustice amongst us? Religion!!!

    Let us begin with a history of the rise of the "Jewish democratic" state and we will continue our answer down to the villainous practical actions (de facto)of the Charedi.

    There is no debate amongst historians of Zionism that the glue which unified (be it true or imagined) the Jews until the establishment of the Zionist movement had been religion, without entering the issue of whether Judaism is a religion only or a nation. From this position -- a religion which unified a group of people -- arose a movement which wished to retain the unity without the glue (religion).
    How does one implement this painful paradox? One replaces the unifying element. In place of religion one puts territory. This territory, the innocents thought, would lead both to unity and to the implementation of the values of the enlightened world (the rejection of religion). But in practice the Zionist movement did not want to cut the umbilical cord of religion nor of the religious culture and remained with a diaspora/religious outlook here in Israel. Israeli Jews are still subjugated to the diaspora/religious outlook which posits that "in every generation they rise up against us to destroy us" (anti-Semitism) and we need the help of the powerful gentile nations (the US). We have remained the same people in different clothes. We switched the scattered Jewish ghettos for a single ghetto (the land of Israel) and the Czar and the Kaiser who safeguarded the welfare of the Jews has been replaced by America.
    I mean to say that the Jews still believe that they are the center of the world, and because of their past suffering all have to be considerate of them and help them. Therefore any who stand in their way are traitors and any who block them are back-stabbers. This basic outlook, which is seen as an obvious background by most Jews, is based on religion. Therefore the Jews' reaction to external critique, be it justified or not, will always begin with dismayed cries that the critic is an anti-Semite. The problem of Israeli and Palestinian Arabs is not viewed from a place of equality and freedom but from the point of preserving the Jewish tribe.
    To illustrate the Jewish egocentricity, even amongst those who call themselves secular, we will bring an example from a letter we have received.
    A few years ago I met a pretty young lady, who was about a month younger than I, during a trip abroad. She and I quickly came to speak the same language and sparks started to fly. But wonder of wonders, the girl wasn't Jewish at all. But I come from a secular household, value freedom, and accept each person as he is. I don't believe in the ignorances of religion, so I did not feel my love was something wrong or a crime. Over the course of time this woman and I spoke of a wedding and a marriage ceremony (civil, of course). After we married my family began to fear that the woman would not be accepted in Israeli society because she is not Jewish. My father (an atheist) and my mother (a secular person who believes in G-d) pressured me to have a religious marriage ceremony. After my son was born my parents, worried that my son would grow up a gentile in the Jewish state and feel out of place, increased the pressure. My parents feared society would scheme against my wife and son. I let the matter lie and did not let it disturb me. But the issue kept coming up, even from my best friends who worried about my son. My best friend knew my thought processes, but claimed that they are not realistic in today's society. That which I did not allow to bother those around me (secular people) started to bother me about… My wife, who had to walk around completely covered during the height of summer heat, accepted all the strange laws (and there are a lot of those in the Shulchan Aruch and Halacha) without complaining too much. I always asked myself if I would have done the same for her? I have to admit, in all honesty, that I highly doubt I would have been willing to be put through this hell by people who saw me as no better than an animal.

    See how far matters go. So easily, as though it were obvious, they ask others to convert, but if a gentile met a Jewish girl and asked her to convert, they would shake and tremble and cry out against his daring to ask her to change her identity.

    If we summarize our opening remarks we could say that the source of the problem is a self-evident view. People tend to judge, to discuss, and at the end of the day to stick by their original views, because nothing touched their moral axioms. Most of the Jewish public which discusses the issues of Arabs and Palestinians does so from a self-evident view that preserving the Jewish tribe is more important than human rights and liberalism. They do not discuss the Arab/Israeli conflict as a conflict between human beings, but as one between Jews and Arabs. This axiom stems from a historical past rooted in the Jewish religion. So you can see that the political dispute between what we call right and left is a debate between the deaf and will not be productive until we completely uproot Jewish egocentrism from within ourselves. We can begin this by uprooting religion and thus turning ourselves into people and not merely Jews, lambs amongst the wolves.
    In other words, were people's moral outlook like that of infants who still cannot be categorized as belonging to any specific culture, then the emotional and experiential base and background would be people as people only, with culture only external dressing. This is in contrast with religion which sets its stamp, literally in the flesh, only eight days after birth, before the infant has learned language, seen colors, smelled scents…
    This answer would have been enough to explain why we present religion (note that we focus more on religion than on the Charedi) in all its nakedness -- its racism, discrimination, and its emphasis on itself as a "chosen nation." This outlook is still well rooted within even the sector which does not observe the commandments -- they place their identity as Jews before their identity as human beings. Even the liberals amongst us are not ashamed to admit that the border of their liberalism extends until harm is caused to the Jewish tribe, and no farther.
    But to strengthen our battle, a fight which seems to us necessary if we wish to continue to exist, we will explain why the Charedi and even the religious sector actively cause a retreat and distance from the values of the enlightened world and advance us, with giant steps, to an existential disaster.

    But before we bring practical examples we should draw a distinction which many do not recognize, the distinction between the individual and the collective, between the lone person separated from the masses and the lone person in the midst of the masses. It is an interesting behavioral phenomenon: when a person is part of and feels himself to be part of a mob he renounces personal responsibility and becomes part of the collective. It is very possible, and is very common, that a Charedi who meets a homosexual will be nice and pleasant and will wish him al the best, but as soon as he participates in a demonstration against the Pride Parade (and he feels part of a collective) he will immediately change his pleasant behavior (renounce personal responsibility) and will act as he is expected to and is required to as part of that society and that collective (hit, scream, and get excited). Therefore, when we discuss Charedi society, we are discussing it as a society and as a collective. We are looking at the ideology of the group, its goals and wishes, not the behavior of this or that private individual when he is alone and not part of the collective. I suppose that every person knows and has experienced this distinction through personal experience, yet I will give an example from my own experience. I knew a pleasant Charedi man who had even shared with me his lack of satisfaction about the violent Charedi reaction to Daat Emet, but once, when Daat Emet activists were handing out material in Haifa and he was present with a large group of Charedi, he was vocally and physically violent to the activists. I went over to him, in my innocence, to ask why he was acting that way. He answered, in a loud and angry voice, "You're a heretic and I am forbidden to look at you or to speak to you. Go to Germany."

    After this introduction. Let us discuss the collective views of the Charedi:

    Let us take Jerusalem as a details showing the overall picture. Today in Jerusalem (5767-2006) 71% of children learn in Charedi kindergartens and only 15% in state-run kindergartens (secular) and 14% in state-run religious schools (from the Jerusalem municipality website). These 71% will go on to learn in, for boys, cheider, and for girls, Beis Yaakov. The common feature is that they will learn to hate the stranger, to discriminate against women, and to mock enlightenment, all in the name of G-d as an absolute truth which may not be questioned.
    On Independence Day they teach the tender young that the secular state is a misstep and an act of the devil on the way to the complete redemption. In yeshivot they discuss the ox of a Jew who gores the ox of a gentile and whose owner is exempt from paying reparations, while the gentile owner of an ox which gores the ox of a Jew is liable. It is a "good deed" to rob the national coffers, and in their gall they call it "return of stolen goods."
    They do not recognize (de jure) the State of Israel, only de facto -- only to "save" the world of yeshivot, to take the money of the laborers and give it to those who study Torah. As Rabbi Shaul Karelitz said, "Our representatives in the Knesset are our lobbyists [and despite being Members of Knesset] this does not imply any recognition of the existence of an institution such as a legislature" (Yated Neeman, May 31, 2000). The electorate is taught to obey their leaders absolutely; they vote for parties with no female representatives, parties which oppose pluralism, oppose other streams of Judaism (Reform and Conservative), take lightly the lives of those who are not Jewish, and many more well-known examples. Anyone looking at this depressing reality --- the demographic growth of a sector which opposes the state and enlightenment -- becomes dejected and disheartened. As a Daat Emet reader put it, "In short, it's a lost case. We are like a train rushing to the end of the line." Political parties are not theories; they are practical applications of religious ideology.

    The very existence of an institution like a Chief Rabbinate in the State of Israel with legal authority to pass rulings on personal law based on religious law serves as testimony to the acceptance, by "the Jews," of Jewish law in a legal, actual, and practical sense.
    Let us recall some of the rulings which have revolting practical implications:
    1. The ceremonies of halitza and yibum.
    2. A deaf widow must marry her brother-in-law.
    3. Delays in organ transplants and autopsies.
    4. Agunot and mamzerim…etc., etc.

    Another practical implication which should concern you, given your concern over the injustices and crimes committed against our neighbors, is the influence of Charedi and religious education on the political stands of those communities. According to statistical findings, 100% of the Charedi community and over 90% of the National Religious community champions the policies of occupation, the crimes against those occupied. This influence leads directly to action.
    It is clear that to end the influence of this education we must, in practice, stop the budgets which are given to religious education. To stop them, the secular public must understand and internalize what this religion, to which they give such huge budgets, is.

    We have shown you how the issue of the Arabs is one of the diseased branches of a view so deep-seated, emotional, and self-evident that people tend to ignore it and refrain from analyzing it: their religious Judaism, to which they give the same status as their humanism.

    It is this view which we, Daat Emet, seek to uproot and destroy completely, so that we may emotionally and experientially internalize that we were created first as humans, as infants and children who only later took on culture as dressing for our humanity.

    Sincerely,

    Daat Emet"

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:26 AM  

  • I have visited this site and got lots of information than other site visited before a month.


    earn and learn

    By Blogger evision, at 1:05 AM  

  • For a response to Naftali Zeligman and some of Daat Emet's attacks on Torah, you may be interested in truetorah.blogspot.com

    By Anonymous MG, at 12:12 AM  

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