49 comments posted · 4 followers · following 0

9 years ago @ Jewish Daily Forward - America\'s Not \'1984\... · 0 replies · +1 points

Aroldanf, I completely agree with your comments and the comments of other law-abiding people. I was dumbstruck by the Rabbi’s statements, including this one: “As an Orthodox Jew, I believe that things like elective abortion, homosexual acts and marriages between Jews and non-Jews are against God’s will. I make no apologies for those convictions, and nothing can change them.”

Did God reveal his will directly to the Rabbi?

The Rabbi’s statement reminds me of the comment made by Susan B. Anthony a long time ago: “I distrust people who claim to know what God wants, because it always seems to line up really well with their own wishes.”

As an attorney, I will tell you that God is not mentioned anywhere in the U.S. Constitution, and although the Constitution protects what its citizens believe, it does not protect all of their acts in furtherance of those beliefs.

Opening a business to the public and then refusing to accommodate members of the public based upon suspect classifications is patently illegal. So when this orthodox “baker” refuses to sell his goods or products to all members of the public, he won’t be in business for much longer.

The Rabbi is merely using his religious beliefs as a fig leaf for discrimination, bigotry and intolerance. For me, this is not only illegal, but morally reprehensible.

9 years ago @ Jewish Daily Forward - Give Up Pizza? No Way ... · 0 replies · +3 points

This is the problem with religion: it divides people--even those within the same religion and within the same family. For example, Scott Graham said that his wife follows the customs of "kitniyot," but he finds them silly; so, he's eats Sephardic food outside the home during Pesach. And, what is all this handwringing about? Food! Eat this! Don't eat that! It is all completely ridiculous.

By an accident of birth, I am one hundred percent Jewish (at least according to my parents and grandparents). That's what they told me. And, yet, I have the ability to remember the story of the Exodus without following the nitpicking legalistic rules about what foods to eat or not to eat. My spouse follows it much more closely than I, but doesn't interfere with what I do. She doesn't try to foist her observance on me; and, I don't force my lack of observance on her. We love each other. We don't have to do everything in the same way.

It's time for everyone to take a deep breath and grow up. With all of the trouble in the world we have, if God is going to punish you for eating a piece of bread during Passover, then he/she/it has way too much time on his/her/it's hands.

9 years ago @ Jewish Daily Forward - When Papa\'s Seder is ... · 1 reply · -1 points

Epikoros: I really enjoyed your answer!

9 years ago @ Jewish Daily Forward - Sure, He Was the The S... · 3 replies · +13 points

I too was never taught to hate the writings of Christians. In fact, the more you read about other religious faiths, the more you see the similarities with your own. In addition, believing that any one view of God happens to be the correct one, and that it happens to have been the one you were born into is the height of naïveté, gullibility and elitism. It shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone that Jesus' parables could reveal a lot about Judaism, because he was a Jew living during Temple times. That is a fact that no one can deny.

9 years ago @ Jewish Daily Forward - What Do You Call a Jew... · 0 replies · 0 points

I agree with Scott Perlow's comment that "you are Jewish if you want to be," but take exception to his comment about "Jews for Jesus, or their ilk." Does Scott know that some Israelis are members of the Jews for Jesus group? Although I don't believe as they do, they work, they pay their taxes, and they do their military service. What more can one ask of them? In contributing to and defending the one and only Jewish State, they are more authentically Jewish than the Haredi Jews who don't do any of these things. And, let's not turn a blind eye to history: Jesus was Jewish, as were Mary and Joseph, his siblings, his apostles, and his followers during his lifetime. They were all Jews.

9 years ago @ Jewish Daily Forward - What Does a 21st Centu... · 1 reply · +2 points

I wasn't "barking" up a tree. Although I find the word "pagan" to be a negative one, I do stand corrected. I didn't recall seeing the woman's description of her fiancé's beliefs.

Nonetheless, this woman and her children can still be contributing and participating members of the Jewish People. As I said in a prior post in this thread, we are a nation with a long, rich and remarkable history, filled with customs, traditions and practices--including religious beliefs. But, these religious beliefs do not constitute the entirety of Judaism. One doesn't have to become a fundamentalist or perform every ritual in order to be a member of the group. And, since we have so few people (13.5 million out of 7 billion) identifying with us, we should accept those wishing to remain and those wishing to join.

9 years ago @ Jewish Daily Forward - What Does a 21st Centu... · 3 replies · -1 points

"Pagan" fiance? Pagan (or Paganism) is an inappropriate word applied by monotheists to polytheists or animists and generally refers to the religions of ancient Greece and Rome. It has negative connotations and its synonyms are heathen, infidel, idolater etc. It obviously doesn't apply to Christians or Christian beliefs, and quite frankly should no longer be applied to any religious beliefs, just because those beliefs may be outside of the main accepted faiths. Was your use of quotation marks an attempt at sarcasm? Jews don't consider or call people of other faiths, "pagans."

9 years ago @ Jewish Daily Forward - What Does a 21st Centu... · 0 replies · +3 points

I believe that all three-panel members gave good and valuable advice. As I have said before: even if God does not exist (and there is zero proof that he/she/it does), the Jewish People are quite real. We are a nation with a long, rich and remarkable history, filled with customs, traditions and practices—including religious belief. However, religious belief does not constitute the entirety of Judaism. Judaism is much more than that. And, one does not have to become a strict constructionist or religious fundamentalist in order to be a member of the group.

In fact, you can be an atheist and still be a contributing and participating member of our people. You can identify with and support Jewish causes, including the right of the Jewish People to a nation-state of their own. For far too long, the Jewish People have been subjected to discrimination, persecution and genocide; and, unfortunately, quite a bit of it continues to this day. Therefore, learn about us, teach your children about us, identify with us, join us and contribute what you can to make us even better. Many of us are waiting for you with open arms.

9 years ago @ Jewish Daily Forward - I Find Your Obsession ... · 0 replies · +1 points

Are we Jews attempting to survive by being unaccepting of others or is our lack of acceptance of others damaging our attempt to survive? I think it’s the latter.

Our lack of acceptance of others has doomed us to minority status and made us weak and vulnerable. The other monotheistic faiths had unlimited capacity to grow through conversion and otherwise, because national origin, ethnicity, race, or kinship didn't have significance to them or limitations on those wishing to join.

As a historical example, go to 458 BCE, when Ezra returned to Jerusalem, with another large group of Jewish exiles, where he nullified the marriages of Jewish men to non-Jewish women, including those marriages that produced children. Instead of converting and incorporating these women and children into the Jewish faith, they were exiled. Was Ezra preserving Judaism or was he destroying it?

We make it difficult, if not impossible, for others to join us. And, when a person does convert, the conversion is often times questioned and not accepted as legitimate by other group members. And, then we want to know why the children and grandchildren of these unions don't identify with Judaism. Would anyone identify with someone that doesn't completely accept you?

Our refusal to readily accept others becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy of danger to our survival.

9 years ago @ Jewish Daily Forward - Is Circumcision Ritual... · 1 reply · +6 points

The fundamentalists are at it again! Don't you think that 17 recently reported herpes cases, including the death of 2 infants and brain damage to 2 other infants, is enough?

It's disgraceful that mohels-- along with the parents of these infants--would expose these precious newborns to infections, death and/or brain damage! The mohels and the parents should be criminally prosecuted for child abuse and child neglect. Freedom of religion does not permit physical injury to others.