Friday, December 24, 2021

UnOrthodox Jews and Flying Kangaroos

As 2021 draws to a close, I hope that you appreciated the hundred or so diverse posts this year, usefully indexed below. If you did, then presumably you value helping society move to a greater understanding of the world around us,  showing that Judaism can be a sensible source of wisdom, and advocating for our connection with our homeland. And if you value these things, it would be a great idea to support the Biblical Museum of Natural History! This year, despite the restrictions of Covid, we inspired and educated over twenty thousand people from all sectors of society, from secular to chassidic. You can donate online at this link. Thank you for your involvement with our mission!


  1. "showing that Judaism can be a sensible source of wisdom"

    How exactly can wisdom be nonsensical? If it was, it wouldn't be wisdom. So, what you mean to say is "showing that Judaism can be a source of wisdom" sans "sensical".

    But what does "can" mean? Can physics be a source of wisdom? Well, it IS a source of wisdom. So what you mean is, "showing that Judaism is a source of wisdom" sans "can".

    But Judaism is the religion. The wisdom lies in the body of law and tradition that results in religion.

    If one practices Torah faithfully, he demonstrates that the people who adhere to the mesorah are wise, and that the mesorah is a source of endless wisdom.

    Thus, having stripped away the nonsensical parts of that phrase, we are left with something like this:

    "showing that the Jewish nation possesses an endless source of wisdom".

    That would be accurate. Having said that, I don't believe that this blog accomplished that purpose. I think many posts have the opposite effect because they are meant to stir up animosity either overtly or covertly.

    1. I really hate to point out the obvious (which even you, Moshe, know and it's why you wrote what you wrote...)

      But what is often propagated as Judaism, by it's most ardent proponents and advocates, is often very far from being wise, sensible or even close to what the religion used to be a few hundred years ago.

      Thus, the sad state of affairs, is that thanks to the acts of devout Jews, other devout Jews are forced to defend Judaism and claim that it can be (even if it often isn't in practice) sensible.

      The blog does a pretty good job of advocating for sensible Judaism. Thank the good L-rd. Otherwise the public sphere would be left to those who... do a less good job.

  2. TL,DR

    Please can someone summarise...


  3. ...How exactly can wisdom be nonsensical? If it was, it wouldn't be wisdom...

    Well, Wisdom may be nonsensical, depending if you apply Wisdom to obvious falsehoods. Talmud is chock-full of nonsense to which you would apply the facade of Wisdom, no doubt.
    And how exactly is this blog the cause animosity? And how would that be fostered using covert means? Is Rav Slifkin an agent of a clandestine band of agitators, intent on undermining halachic Judaism?

    1. Just think of it as "free gift."

    2. You must be a very wicked Jew indeed (if you are Jewish) if you could write that the Talmud - which is the treasure of our nation for over a thousand years and which embodies the law and spirit of our nation, and which the Rambam and all Rishonim lived by and breathed, - is chock-full of nonsense. G-d forbid!

      Considering that you view Judaism as a joke and with such distain (yes you do, and please don't say I value, say, the bible, and not the Talmud - that means you reject Torah because a half-built house is no house at all) ...I would waste my time answering your questions. It isn't hard to understand what I wrote and why.

  4. Chaim Walder dead in suspected suicide following rape allegations

    For 25 years WHERE were the guardians of Torah and modesty?

    If they only pursued this man.... this author... with but 1/60th of the energy they pursued R Slifkin 2 decades ago....

    Who endorsed the leading pages of these books?

    And Haaretz had to bring this forth? Good for them. Even the most anti religious still does the bidding of Master of the Universe. How deaf and blind are the rest of us as we simultaneously pat ourselves on the back for our wonderful families and communities?

    The true judge of the world knows what our communities did and did not many children were many kept quiet so not to ruin their chance of Shiduchim....or that of another family member.

    If Lag B Omer in Meron deserves investigation, how much more so this tragedy.

    Don't let his self inflicted "single bullet" put an end to the voice of those victims. 25 years! And the suffering of the innocent does not stop with his cowardly escape.

    My heart breaks for the victims.

  5. Moshe,

    Talmud may be a Jewish treasure, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t chock full of nonsense. I treasure a few things , but not for the same reason that you do. After all Alice in Wonderland is something we all treasure too, but not something to take seriously.
    Here’s some Talmud Wisdom for you. Let’s treasure it together.

    “...Buried in a discussion of paternity, the Talmud states that the mechanism of the development of twin brothers is as follows: "דטפה אחת היה ונחלקה לשתים" - "there was one drop of semen that split into two"...” — Patently false.

    1. From the link:
      "In monozygotic or identical twins (though they are not always literally identical), one sperm fertilizes one egg, and the resulting zygote then divides into two. "

      pretty close mashal for 900 years ago.... the sperm, the step away. I'm impressed.

  6. The Museum is an accomplishment of which you should be justly proud. What a shame that only a tiny fraction of people its intended for have seen, and as it stands now, will ever actually see it in person. But, you got the megalomaniac in office that you wanted, and Israel adopted policies you wanted, so I guess you can't complain.

    1. So you'd rather have Bibi as prime minister? Let's see, what did he say yesterday...ah, yes: "The Minister of Education is a serial corona denier."


    2. Sadly, Nachum, you are correct. Bibi laid the foundation for the mess Israel currently is in, and it was his govt that "negotiated" for the privilege of being Pfizer's lab rats. He may indeed have turned out to be no better than Bennet.


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