Thoughts on Judaism

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Pesach for Commies

This holiday, like many others in our tradition, is based on a vanquishing war. While the Egyptians allowed us a place in their society, secure jobs and 3 squares a day, we repaid them with 10 plagues, the loss of all of their firstborn, the destruction of their armies and the loss of their hired help. They allowed us to build their cities and to go down in history. It is well known that the Jewish leader had a secret summit with Bush on Mt. Sinai before arriving in Egypt, the land of his birth, the land where he was raised in royal fashion. Now we understand! We declared an adventure war. And like all other wars, the big corporate interests were the main benefactors. Companies, led by Reynolds Corporation, soaked us in the blood of innocent Egyptians, and for WHAT? So that they could increase their bottom line of course, and so they did. But this is not the first time that big foil has used our kids as cannon fodder. Passover has become synonymous with rolls and rolls of the sharp silvery menace, something that the forebears of our people would never have tolerated. It is time for us to double our diligence, to stand together and declare with all of our might, NO BLOOD FOR FOIL!!! NO BLOOD FOR FOIL!!!!! NO BLOOD FOR FOIL!!!!


  • LOL!!!

    By Blogger Lubab No More, at 8:54 AM  

  • I stand with you in your mission.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:22 PM  

  • great to see you back posting again

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:14 AM  

  • a great blog--but i have to run to my gemara shiur so i have no time to comment.(i am not kidding)

    By Blogger Avraham , at 4:51 AM  

  • interesting twist about Bush. so, this blog is alive? i'd like to ask some questions about kiruv then.

    By Blogger Kuzma Prutkov, at 6:52 PM  

  • ok, ask away

    By Blogger Rebeljew, at 8:37 PM  

  • i have too many to ask :).
    but here is one to start. from your series about BT's, i can't figure out what is your position about kiruv? are you for it or agains it? i can't see that you are completely against, so you must be for it, but in a sensible manner, right? so, what is proper, sensible kiruv? how can people, who are not observant, become more observant keeping their family and friends? is that possible at all? and i mean jewish friends, just not observant.

    By Blogger Kuzma Prutkov, at 1:08 PM  

  • You can no more be "against kiruv" than you can be against tax accounting. It is a pursuit that is required somewhat by religion. I do object to ends justifying the means though. I hate the false proofs, the kids who get into the "kiruv business" and they treat it like a business, with clients and profit goals, rather than people and their lives. A bad kiruv pro will teach you, a good kiruv is performed by a friend who will learn more and will take you along for the ride. A kiruv guy will convince you, a proper kiruv will involve a friend sharing life stories, fears, worries and how religion helped (and didn't help or hindered) get through it. During good kiruv, you will get a sense that there is a life direction, with all that life implies, not a magic secret path with all the answers.

    As I note there, most of the baalei tshuva that I know who were ultimately successful, came to Judaism with little or no professional kiruv. They hated some of the shtick, liked some, and saw an opportunity to take a life in a direction they felt they could build on. It is that simple. Good kiruv is about facing reality and real life.

    By Blogger Rebeljew, at 10:17 PM  

  • Also good kiruv accepts that half a loaf is terrific. The Chabad Rebbe once commented that it is a miracle that anyone is still frum and that every mitzvah is a huge step and benefit. His campaigns were to light candles and put on tefillin and such. There was no campaign that was negative, about what we don't do and about what terrible things will happen if you don't do something. In fact, he pointed out that this generation's true merit is tzedakah, and that Torah learning, davening and such are all gravy in terms of what we can expect as people become observant. It follows that a truky observant person will be someone that their relatives can be proud of and look up to, not someone who always makes things difficult. No need or mitzvah to rub frumkeit in the faces of others.

    By Blogger Rebeljew, at 10:22 PM  

  • interesting that you mentioned half of loaf. i have some technical questions about that. not sure if i want to ask them publically, but in general, greater observance will start separating you from others that you grew up with, or even your family. for you it is gradual change, for them it is sudden. i didn't do too many changes as of yet, just thinking about them, but to my family it seems like a great leap. how can one find this balance and way of dealing with this kind of cituations, without alienating loved ones and without forcing them into something they don't want or didn't come to accept(yet or not)

    By Blogger Kuzma Prutkov, at 2:32 PM  

  • Think long and hard. Judaism is taxing physically, it is so exorbitantly expensive as to be absurd, and you are never included in any function, from airplane meals (shrink wrapped TV dinners) to free pizza at work, to drinks with friends. When I say expensive, sheitels are $2000 cheap, yeshivas are 10,000 if you can beg it, matzah for passover is 20 a pound (at least 4 per person), an income of 150K or less just will not cut it to raise a Jewish family.

    You must deciede whether you can live better with it or without it. Very few people will help you.

    By Blogger Rebeljew, at 11:40 PM  

  • the problems you describe are not on the horizon ror us yet, like shteytel and yeshiva. mazza is not a big deal, meals-we kind of have work around. the problem is that i am moving towards greater observance like on Shabes, but the rest of the family actually burdened by it. at this point i could go back on some things, since i haven't gone too far anyways, to accomodate them and make time for them to come to this on their own, rather then force it upon them and kill all the joy and desire for it in them. my dilemma-should i go back? even if it's things like watching TV with family or driving for recreation(i drive to shul and friends, but not stores or businesses).

    By Blogger Kuzma Prutkov, at 3:42 PM  

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    By Blogger Rebecca, at 9:10 PM  

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