Thursday, December 2, 2010

From the Israel Water Authority


The Hebrew text reads: "Don't wait for miracles - start saving water!"

(Hat-tip: Gidon Shaviv)

26 comments:

  1. You really shouldn't have put up something so irreverant to the Talmud.

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  2. I was wondering if someone was going to say that.

    I don't think that it's irreverent to the Talmud in the slightest. It's talking about people today being irresponsible and saying "Oh, Hashem will take care of things."

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  3. The big question is whether there are facts which aren't being revealed by the government. Undoubtedly, there is a very big water shortage with negative ramifications for our economy and convenience. What is unclear is whether this can potentially turn into a life or death situation, given the modern nature of food and water transportation and desalinization. Rav Moshe Lichtenstein for one doubts that we are dealing with a life or death situation which is why he did not feel that we should be called upon to fast.

    But, is the situation actually worse than is being admitted to?

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  4. Where else but in the great State of Israel could there be a government issued poster, designed to reach the broad range of citizens, that is based upon a Talmudic teaching! Fantastic!

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  5. "It's talking about people today being irresponsible and saying "Oh, Hashem will take care of things.""

    No. It's saying that Honni hameagel way doesn't work. That is different to saying Hashem will take care of things. Honni was proactive. I think it's just dissing his methods. What if it had a picture of Moses striking a rock. Would you say that's the same message?

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  6. 1. Thanks for the hat tip (though my blog keeps my real name hidden).

    2. To Jason - Does it make a differnce that it was originally posted with the story of Honi as told by Josephus, and not the talmud? (I'm semi kidding myself here).

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  7. That's going up on the bulletin board right now!

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  8. R. Moshe Lichtenstein's arguments:

    http://adderabbi.blogspot.com/2010/11/r-mosheh-lichtenstein-reasons-not-to.html

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  9. I wonder if the water board knew that their poster would be subject to so much analysis...

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  10. This is only indirectly related, but I just learned that the mussar movement "paskened" that an ethical Jew should share his water with his friend in the desert and die together with him rather than drink it all himself and live while watching his friend die. Remarkable (for several reasons).

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  11. "No. It's saying that Honni hameagel way doesn't work."

    The gemara lists many miraculous events that occurred to people of extraordinary spiritual caliber. This does not translate into a recommendation for the average person to adopt their methods. Relying upon miracles, particularly when one's life might be brought into jeopardy, is frowned upon in the Gemara. This poster is in agreement with this principle. The authors may or may not be secular, atheistic, or whatever, but there is nothing here that contradicts this principle.

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  12. At first I was disappointed by the irreverance but on second thought it seems to me that the gemara itself after the story describes Honi as relating to Hashem like a child who cries and stamps his feet until his father relents. Shimon Ben Shetach - the official leader of Israel anrd the Nasi (I think) - by contrast, did not take that approach.
    The government has to take that approach (as does anyone not sure of his kudos with God to get a response ...)
    However portraying Honi as a charlatan that may have sat inside his circle until he expired is certainly irreverent.

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  13. For goodness' sakes, it's not a picture of Choni!!! How could it be a picture of him - he brought rain! It's a picture of someone trying to imitate him.

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  14. Clearly the Israeli Water board paskens like Shimon Ben Shetach, who said he would have put anyone but Honi to death if they did what he did.

    Alternatively They pasken like the jews of Honi's time did..

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  15. As an interesting aside, apparently Honi was killed during the Hashmonean civil war between Hyrcanus and Aristobulus, for refusing to pray for the success in war of one set of Jews against another...

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  16. On the other hand, if the per capita water consumption of Israel was anywhere near what it was during the time of Choni, there would be no crisis.

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  17. Okay, does nobody here have a sense of humor? Come on, people, lighten up a little!

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  18. Agreed with Ben of Tudela.

    Also this is very typical [happily so] of the Israeli style. The buses quote the passuk "mipnei seivah takum." Anti smoking posters say "al tiftach pen lisartan". This is in the same vein. Kind of neat, actually.

    Jason, dont be so humorless!

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  19. When Honi was in his circle, he wasn't watering his yard.

    It is hard to tell if the creator of the poster was mocking those who are publicly praying for rain -- it's very easy for him to say that he's only mocking those who are praying for rain while not conserving water. I prefer to judge favorably.

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  20. My understanding of rambam on taanis is that the reason the maase is brought down is to teach us that this is the wrong approach. Please correct me if I am mistaken.

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  21. Good advice. Prayers are always answered. Sometimes the answer is "No". The idea that G-d must do what you command is placing your power above that of the Almighty.

    I find that ... troubling

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  22. i was washing dishes at a chareidi cousin's house once and turning off the water while soaping, israeli style. my cousin asked what i was doing, and when i said i was conserving water, she said, oh, we don't do those things.
    i hadn't noticed the maagal in the ad, but wonder whether it's sharp message was intentionally directed at the frum's outrageous attitudes. in any case, i wonder whether in light of the situation in our galil this picture should be removed. i know it made me cringe when i saw it.
    yehi ratzon she'nishov mayim be'sasson mi'maayane ha'yeshuah

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  23. I think it's VERY irreverant. Today in shul our Rav stressed the point that it's all in Hashem's hands. He was focusing on this rain situation. He said all the forecasting and other stuff is a bunch of nonsense. The entire idea of what we call "cause and effect" is nonsense. There is only 1 cause, and it is Hashem. If He wants it to rain, it will rain, and all the things you think you can do to bring it, conserve it, or whatever are futile. I don't understand why you have to be such an instigator and troublemaker.

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  24. Poshiter, it's not all in Hashem's hands. We have enough to live on now, it's a matter of conserving. Things were much worse back then.

    "This is only indirectly related, but I just learned that the mussar movement "paskened" that an ethical Jew should share his water with his friend in the desert and die together with him rather than drink it all himself and live while watching his friend die. Remarkable (for several reasons)."

    That's really odd. It is, in fact, a debate in the Gemara between R' Akiva and someone whose name we don't recognize but who may very well have been a Christian. The view you presented is the second, which is, indeed, a Christian view.

    I like how he's fallen out of the circle. And is that a second siddur near him?

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  25. To Poshiter:
    Tell the Rabbi to eat all the carbs he wants, not to brush his teeth, shovel his snow, check his brakes, or go to work…. Since there is no cause and effect he won’t gain weight, get cavities, slip on the ice, get into any car accidents, or …oops I guess I goofed on that last one.

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  26. And how would you respond if he did all that, and lived to a healthy ripe old age of 120 without any health problems at all? Another medical/scientific fluke? Nope. It was God, all along.

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