At the back of the hill

Warning: If you stay here long enough you will gain weight! Grazing here strongly suggests that you are either omnivorous, or a glutton. And you might like cheese-doodles.
BTW: I'm presently searching for another person who likes cheese-doodles.
Please form a caseophilic line to the right. Thank you.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

RED HEADED STEPCHILDREN

"It is not nice to poke fun of people who are much more inteligents and respectable than yourself, and you should retract this post. "
---Shlomo, on 12/21/05


--------------------------------

Some of my readers have left notes which deserve a better airing, even though they don't really add up to much. Sincere points of view, differing from my own only in certain details. Comments which I truly value, in fact.

I'm reprinting some of them below.

--------------------------------

PART ONE: LANGUAGE LESSON


"De grootst mogelijke onzin. Hoe krijg je het bij elkaar geschreven.
Het is maar goed dat niemand leest wat je schrijft. "
[The greatest possible nonsense. Just how do you write such stuff. It is a good thing that nobody reads what you write. ]
---Anonymous 01/31/06

"Ach man val toch kapot! Waar bemoei jij je eigenlijk mee? Je woont toch duidelijk niet in nederland en heb dus niet met nederlandse zaken te maken? "
[Oh man drop dead! What are you meddling with? You clearly don't even live in the Netherlands, and thus have naught to do with Dutch affairs? ]
---Anonymous 01/23/06

"Langzaam, langzaam, verovert Dov Bear the back of the hill."[Slowly, slowly, Dov Bear conquers the back of the hill. ]
---Anonymous 11/16/05

--------------------------------

PART TWO: POLEMICS

"I am positive of His existence. You're website is an err in your judgment, and I believe your opinion is blasphemous and you're being used and controlled by evil.
Christians were trying to bring peace and hope into this world, but when you die, you'll find soul is stuck in eternity, without God.
I know that you will be held accountable for leading other away from Christ on judgement day. I can't image how upset God Himself must be about this.
He will be the Righteous Judge to those who do not accept Jesus as Lord and Savior of their lives, it would have been better for you to have never been born because they will spend time and eternity absent from the presence of such a loving God.
FIND JESUS YOU STUPID MOTHERFUCKER "

---Anonymous 12/21/05


"Back of the hill is an absolute heretic and nobody should read his writings.
Anybody that reads this will be reading apikorsish garbage.
This is BITTUL TORAH. "

---Anonymous 01/17/06


"Its precisely becoaue of people like you that we need to fight the secularixation of Christmas!it sabout Jezus, you perverts! Finf Jezus and you will be saved, or aotherwise burn in HELL! "
---Anonymous 12/07/05


"And another thing, youore probably jewish arent you? "
---Anonymous 12/07/05

--------------------------------

PART THREE: BAFFLED

"Greeting - As I was cruising through the internet, I came across your Christian Blog. You have a very well put together Blog here. I have a website http://www.BibleFamilyTree.com that also has information about descendants of Ishmael...
and you might want to check it out as well.
Many Blessings,
descendants of Ishmael"

---Dennis Day 01/23/06

--------------------------------

All of these comments are reproduced with the best and most proper of intentions, in the spirit of WWRSRHD - 'What would Rabbi Samson Rafael Hirsch do?'


[Not that it has any bearing at all on anything, but it's part of my war on 'WWJD']

--------------------------------

THE WAR ON CHRISTMAS - POSTSCRIPT

According to certain nameless dunces (Tom Wildmon, Bill O'Reilly, and Jerry Falwell, et al), some of us "secular liberal Soddom and Gomorrah loving atheists" have been waging a war on Christmas.

So they declared war on us.

Well, we had been nicely sleeping, but we woke up in time to see them lose that war like they're losing Iraq.

Christmas is a weapon of mass destruction.


I'm not quite sure, but I think some of us SLSGLAs spoke out against the nameless dunces (Tom Wildmon, Bill O'Reilly, and Jerry Falwell, et al).
Which was kinda waging war on the war against the war on Christmas.

The reason I'm not sure is 'cause the nameless dunces (Tom Wildmon, Bill O'Reilly, and Jerry Falwell, et al) kept shooting themselves in the foot, so it was hard to see if any of our potshots hit home.


Bless their hearts, as they say in the south. Bless their hearts.

I believe that usually means "don't bring that bitch into mah kitchen if ya wanna live, boy". Or something like that. Equally appropriate.


At this point, Christmas gives me bile. Christians give me bile. G-d mentioned on tv gives me bile. The phrase "happy holidays" gives me bile.

Sacharine sentiments about peace and love and forgiveness give me bile.


Heck, at this point, cute little puppies give me bile. Please kill them with an axe. Or wring their miserable little necks. And furry kittens too.

I'm not filled with hate. I'm filled with bile.

----- ----- -----

Read a shiur a while back that argued that hate was a good thing. It was very convincing. Cannot remember the name of the author.

Moses hated. Abraham hated. If Lot had hated, it would have been better for him.

Labels:

THE FACE OF CHABAD

I believe (that is, I think it not unlikely) that Chabad will eventually split up.

There were rumbles of such a likelihood over the Messiah issue a few years ago, and they've been heading towards critical mass - maybe critical thinking will kick in soon, or leastways a natural tendency towards dissidence and schism.

If they weren't Jewish, they'd probably be called a cult - much like the Jay fer Jay crowd.

There's more to minhag than a monotone sameness. What's the point to being countless as the stars and the grains of sand if everyone is identical?

[They piss off certain groups, and combat Christian outreach, so they do still have a usefulness, but then that whole Messiah thing - oy!
Shades of Shabbesai Zvi. And buckets of utter hubris.]


Chabad gives some of us the shudders, and it might be only a matter of time before we and they have a parting of the ways.

--- --- --- --- ---

Chabadnikim are the more visible face of the orthodoxishe olam as far as the SF Bay Area is concerned (most bearded people here are not orthodox - or even Jewish).

At a protest three years ago, a bearded friend was speaking to the Chabadniks in Russian. It was a great conversation, until they asked him if he had put on tfillin. At which point he indicated that he wasn't Jewish, but an opera singer. And Russian orthodox. The conversation came to a somewhat abrupt and frigid close.
Good thing he didn't put on those tfillin, I guess.

As a matter of perspective, the Jay fer Jay crowd have an office just one block away from Chabad in the Sunset district, with the same three languages out front that Chabad uses for their sign: Russian, English, Ivrit. They're fishing the same waters as Jay fer Jay - marginally Jewish immigrants.

What baffles me is why I hardly ever hear from Chabad until it's donation time - but some iglesia messianica I've never heard of can send me several e-mails a week in Spanish trying to turn me into a hudio por heisus.

THE PROPHET MOHAMMED

A while back, Jyllands-Posten ( a Danish newspaper) published two cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed (Mohammed en-nabi, sallalahu aleihi wa salam).

Which I wouldn't have known about, because I don't read Danish.


But millions of Muslims apparently do.

And my heavens are they upset!


Worse than a bunch of Dixie crackers over the phrase 'happy holidays'. Or Texans over the removal of a statue of the 'nine-to-eleven' commandments from a public park.

About the cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed sallalahu aleihi wa salam, that is.


Showing the Prophet Mohammed,sallalahu aleihi wa salam, in the guise of a mad terrorist with a bomb in his turban is traumatic.
Who knew?


[I'm a bit baffled as to how they even knew it WAS the Prophet Mohammed sallalahu aleihi wa salam - no portraits exist, and for all we know the Prophet Mohammed sallalahu aleihi wa salam may have been pockmarked and leprous, or uglier than mother Clancy's pet pig sallalahu aleihi wa salam. Who knows? But lets assume that he looked like a film-star. To be kind. ]


After a boycot of Danish products in Saudia Arabia (an exemplary nation we should all emulate), the editor of the Danish newspaper (the Jyllands-Posten) apologized to the Danish Muslim group that started the ruckus. Spokesman Kasem Ahmad expressed appreciation for the gesture.

Editor-in-chief Carsten Juste said that he was deeply sorry that two cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed (sallalahu aleihi wa salam) offended the Muslim community.



--- --- ---

AN EYE-OPENER

Shoot, I guess I'll have to put my plans for the drag-show about the Prophet Mohammed (sallalahu aleihi wa salam) on hold now, as I doubt I can get funding.

I was hoping that the government of Saudi Arabia, or one of its ministries, would sponsor the show as a way of spreading awareness of the Islamic faith among San Francisco's drag-queens.

As surely only a sexy, flirty, saucy bit of musical theatre (about the Prophet Mohammed, sallalahu aleihi wa salam) could do!


But there are so many freedom-of-the-press-loving liberal democracies in the middle-east, that even if the Saudi Government can't bankroll the show, I will no doubt still be able to get funding...., once the dust settles.


So, dear readers, perhaps next year you can look forward to the Prophet Mohammed (sallalahu aleihi wa salam) poncing around the stage in a lovely busty purple bikini during the opening number ('I just want your attention!'), followed by the Prophet Mohammed (sallalahu aleihi wa salam) in a wicked! little Islamic green cocktail dress doing a rumba with the 'Companions' ('ooooh they're sexy!'), and several unusually well-built black men in glittery harem pants as the wives of Prophet Mohammed sallalahu aleihi wa salam.

The grand finale, with camels, slaves, and savage ghazees, mad mullahs, houris, and hairy hajees, AND the Prophet Mohammed sallalahu aleihi wa salam and his naughty companions, in a quick-stepping kicky chorus line ('show us your faith!') with feather fans and pompoms, and miles and miles of shapely Levantine thighs, will knock your socks off, I promise!


It will be great!
Why, it will be spectacular, stupendous, an Arabesque extravaganza!



--- --- ---

During the world tour of "The Prophet's All Boy Burlesque Review", I should probably run advertisements in the following papers:

AL-DUSTUR (Jordan)

AL-JAZIRAH (Saudi Arabia)

Al-WATAN (Qatar)

All three of these newspapers bravely pandered to the repressive dictats of the various tyrants running their countries, who surely would've had them violated by camels or harem-guards if they had been so tasteless as to write anything praising freedom of the press.

In other words, they're the perfect feuilletons for tit-show advertisements.

Friday, January 27, 2006

AHMED ABOUTALEB

Two recent postings of mine indicate jaundice in my view of Europe.

But, as usual, there are also positive things; things that must in fairness be noted.


One of them is Mr. Ahmed Aboutaleb, labour party (PvdA) member of the city council in Amsterdam.
[And yes, as can be guessed from the name, he is of Moroccan extraction. Let me also mention that he has received death threats because of his politics, and has been under police protection for a few years. It isn't easy being a Dutchman. ]

Website: http://www.amsterdam.nl/gemeente/college/ahmed_aboutaleb



Wethouder Ahmed Aboutaleb warns of growing anti-Semitism, as mentioned in an article in today's Volkskrant online: http://www.volkskrant.nl/binnenland/1138255731885.html


Some lovely quotes:
"In het publieke domein heb je respect voor elkaar. Je dient met je poten van elkaar af te blijven. Punt uit."
[In the public domain, you respect one and other. You keep your paws off each other. End of discussion]

"Het kan niet zo zijn dat je zegt: ‘‘ik ben moslim en dit moet je wel doen en dat niet’’. De straat is van iedereen."
[It cannot be that you say 'I am Muslim and you have to do this and not that'. The street belongs to everybody.]

"In Nederland is er geen religie die dominant is, dat zullen we ook nooit aanvaarden."
[In the Netherlands there is no religion that is dominant, nor would we ever accept it.]

"Hoe kun je respect voorop stellen, als je weinig bereid bent anderen te respecteren?"
[How can you demand respect, if you aren't prepared to respect others?]


Recently, in a discussion with youths of Moroccan ethnicity, he asked "Je wilt niet dat je vader wordt bespuugd als hij in djellaba naar de moskee loopt, maar je mag dus wel een keppeltje van het hoofd van een joodse meneer trekken?"
[You don't want your father to be spat on when he goes to the mosque wearing a djellaba, but somehow it's okay to yank the kippah off the head of a Jewish gentleman?]
Apparently there was no answer to this.


He thinks that anti-Semitism is extraordinarily dangerous, and said:
"Die ideeën heersen onder de bevolking en zijn veel gevaarlijker dan we denken. Het wordt nu weggepoetst onder het mom dat antisemitisme alleen leeft onder de allochtone onderontwikkelden. Maar let op: het gevoel heerst ook onder hoog opgeleide autochtone Nederlanders. Laat je niet in slaap sussen."
[Those ideas are out there and they are far more dangerous than we think. Now we pooh-pooh them by pretending that anti-Semitism only has currency among the uneducated immigrants; but beware - those beliefs are also current among well-educated Netherlanders. Don't let yourself be fooled.]


--- --- --- --- ---

Please note that these quotes do not give a full sense of the pungency and point that they have in Dutch. Certain idiomatic ways of speaking cannot be translated, and much eloquence is consequently lost in translation. You may have noticed the same problem in some of my previous posts.


--- --- --- --- ---
There aren't many living Dutchmen I admire, but I just added one more to the list.

Labels: , ,

ISRAELI UNILATERALISM

[Note: I originally wrote this piece several years ago. It is still relevant. And somewhat prescient.]

ARGUMENT FOR ISRAELI UNILATERALISM

The benefit of Oslo has never been more doubtful than at present. The second intifada has effectively destroyed the premise upon which concessions were made, violence has increased, and the promise of peace is further from realization than it was when the accords were signed; discussions with the Arabs will not yield either a just resolution or a sustainable peace.


Opinions regarding Israel have often tended towards one-sidedness, and are often based on a lack of adequate knowledge. But there is also a swelling anti-Israel bias - whether this comes from the typical emotionalized support for the perceived underdog, anti-Americanism, anti-Semitism, or a conflation of all three, is largely moot. Condemnatory views already influence in the world's relations with Israel, and have had disastrous effects.
Until and unless the situation is resolved, this bias will continue, will grow, will fester, and will cause ever greater damage.

Talks have failed; there is no partner on the other side. The resolution of issues must be decided upon unilaterally, and now is the time to do so.



There are four areas of concern: Yesha, the border, Jerusalem, and Europe.


YESHA

There is scant justification for holding Gaza. It is already economically unviable and overpopulated beyond any hope of a functional future - a cesspool. Withdraw, and give it back to the Mitzrayim. They'll ruin it further. Let them. It is of little value, but if kept it will be a liability.


As for the "West Bank"... It is the wishy-washy 'yes it's ours no it's theirs' that grates.

Many passionately believe that Shomron is eternally part of the land of Israel, irrespective of international opinion or internationally acknowledged frontiers. In many cases, the "settlers" are reclaiming what was lost to the Hashemite interlopers in 1948 (a land seizure which the Arabs did not condemn, though it contravened international law).

But leaving it in limbo, neither Israeli nor independently Arab, represents a practical mistake and a moral failure.

It is now no longer a matter of right or wrong, but instead a matter of strategic objectives. Holding on to all of Shomron has become indefensible.

The issue is this: It is quite impossible to live among Arabs, and extending citizenship to the Arabs who live in Shomron would be disastrous. Turning all of Shomron into Israeli territory, without dealing with the problem presented by the resident Arabs, would threaten the very existence of Israel by creating an Arab majority in Israel.

Israel must remain a Jewish state.

There must never be a bi-national state.



So either seize and expel (very problematic), or give up some Arab occupied parts of Shomron as a bitterly yielded concession - diplomatic and strategic expedience must in this case outweigh other dimensions.

[---Those of us who believe it is right to hold onto ALL of Shomron will make it a very bitterly yielded concession indeed - an indisputably, very evident to everybody, agonizing amputation.---]

The Israeli government (and military) must establish the parameters of such a retreat, but deciding what to give up must involve the Israeli people, including especially the settlers themselves.

Deciding which settlements to abandon and which to strengthen in this process can only be done by those who are fully vested in the nation of Israel; necessarily this must exclude the Americans and Europeans, and ignore the Arab world.

Retreating will not bring peace with the Arabs, and it will most certainly be necessary to engage them again militarily in Shomron in the future.

The majority of Arabs will not concede that Jews have a right to exist in the land given to Abraham, nor will the Arab world ever relinquish its hopes for the utter destruction of Jews and the state of Israel. Once Israeli control is relaxed in yielded territories, Arab powerholders will encourage both the gravitation of pan-Arab and Islamist extremists and terrorists to the territories and infiltration across the frontier.

Furthermore, an Israeli withdrawal followed by a closed border will very likely lead to economic disaster for the resident Arabs in Shomron, which will not contribute to stability.

But what a partial divestment of territory will most definitely do is maintain a Jewish majority in a safer Israel.


THE BORDER

Objection to the fence is founded on the Arab nationalist and Islamic extremist claim to all of 'Palestine' from the river to the sea; a fence would serve to legitimize the border - to Arab Nationalists and Islamists, no border can ever be legitimate, irrespective of where that fence is.

It follows that negotiation will neither determine a just border, nor a defensible one. Wherefore the decision about the border must be unilateral.

Demands by the outside world (including the U.S.) that negotiations should determine the border should be resisted; any negotiation about the border would be a grievous error.

There are many precedents for imposed borders, even comparatively recently. European borders have been determined primarily by wars and imperialistic heavy-handedness - the Russian, Polish, and German borders were drawn by the victors after WWII, for instance. Going back just a few years more, there are the borders of most Asian countries, and all of Africa and the Arab Middle East - NONE decided upon through bipartite negotiation.

There is no point (and much danger) in permitting the other side to determine the boundaries. They already did that in 1948, and it took nineteen years to regain Jerusalem and Kfar Etzion. There are several such areas that can not be conceded, yet any "equal" negotiation will inevitably touch upon them.
Ergo diplomacy has to be irrelevant in determining the final line of the frontier.

[---By the same logic, the Golan has to be kept, irrespective of any future negotiations.---]

The fence is also part of the issue of the border; shrill rhetoric has only emphasized what was already a verity; the anti-terror fence has prevented attacks, and gaps in the fence have been liabilities.

The fence is both the first step towards a secure border and one of the most important components thereof.


JERUSALEM

The main point from which should not be deviated is Israeli control over Jerusalem and a broad defensive perimeter around the city. This is absolutely non-negotiable - what happened to Jerusalem in 1948 must not happen again.

Jerusalem divided will be Jerusalem destroyed.
Israel without Jerusalem (all of Jerusalem!) is not Israel.


The world takes for granted that Jerusalem is a legitimate bone of contention - and would happily divide the city, as if both sides are equally right and equally wrong, and as if compromise is always morally right and can satisfy both sides.

One cannot compromise if it creates a worse situation; compromise is permissible only if both sides are just and compromise presents a better solution to a problem. Which, in this case, is not possible.

Some things cannot be divided. When two women both claimed a child as theirs, Solomon's decision demonstrated that compromise was impossible, division would be unjust, and only one side was right.

Just so, Jerusalem cannot be divided.
There can be no compromise.

Jerusalem must remain whole, Jerusalem must remain Israeli.


EUROPE

Regarding the European situation, there is cause for pessimism.

JEWS:
Europeans historically tend to blame Jews for the flaws and failures of societies, pestilence, external threats, national rivalries, wars, and friabilities in the traditional (Christian) dominance. During turbulent times that tendency increases to a certainty.
It is anomalous that Europe has been so quiescent for forty years. Lately that quiescence has lifted, and Europe is becoming more tense, even if not (yet) more turbulent.

In the current climate, even long established communities are again perceived as outsiders, whose otherness is held against them, and whose dissonance invites discrimination. But while substantial Jewish communities remain in Europe, Europeans will continue to assert that they aren't anti-Semitic (after all, why else would 'those people' stay?).

MINORITIES:
There are more minorities in European countries now than there were a generation ago, and the more recently arrived minority groups illustrate, for many 'native' Europeans, that minorities are by definition 'outsiders', who should be grateful for any tolerance, and neither disagree with nor contradict the majority.

Even though many of Europe's modern minorities are Muslims or third-worlders, their presence is seen as either somehow Jewish (the Jew is the eternal outsider, ergo the outsider is quintessentially a Jew), or the result of an entirely unreasonable tolerance forced upon Europe in expatiation for past inhumanity.

Because Jews are considered as being in opposition to Muslims, who are 'clearly not European'(!), and Jews and Muslims together appear to represent a balanced set or matched pair, Jews are perceived as being just as much outsiders as Muslims; hence many Europeans believe that the conflict exemplifies the non-Europeanness of the respective parties and their imperfect grasp of civilization, equitability, fairplay, and compromise.

ANTI-SEMITES:
Anti-Semitism is back and European 'tolerance' has lessened significantly in the past few years. European antisemitism is no longer limited to one class or group, but has diversified and now pervades all educational and economic classes. There is a deeply rooted tendency in Europe to blame the Jews for their own victimization, and to judge Jews by a different set of standards than any other group, including other Europeans and even Muslims.

The present generation's rejection of continued guilt over the holocaust also fuels further antisemitism, the sense being, on the one hand, that Europeans have been so tolerant for fifty years that they're virtually blameless (and now have a huge credit balance of virtue), and on the other hand, that since they're going to be blamed anyway there is scant point in trying to repress it - it must, somehow, be both natural and inevitable, a perfectly normal and acceptable point of view.

EUROPEANS:
In all of Western Europe, Muslims already vastly outnumber Jews; due to migration patterns and differing birthrates that situation will only get worse.

[---For example: Netherlands: 44,000 Jews and part-Jews (settlement of several centuries) versus 920,000 Muslims (immigration over four decades). France: 750,000 Jews, 5 million Muslims. Germany: 200,000 Jews, 3.5 million Muslims.---]


Many Europeans deny that their 'nuanced criticism of Israel' is anti-Semitic, and standardly whitewash other manifestations of anti-Semitism as either fringe utterances or the regrettable cultural expressions of the 'as-yet-imperfectly-assimilated', blaming Muslims for the majority of actual anti-Semitic incidents (while nevertheless maintaining that Jews are themselves to blame).

Holding Muslims responsible, however, does not erase the problem and does not exculpate; and in that it is used as an excuse to discriminate against Muslims, exacerbates the problem.

[---To put it differently: Europeans no longer have to dirty their own hands by beating up the Jews, they can now safely leave that to the Muslim immigrants - and there are indications that this is already current. Additionally, Greta Duisenberg and her fellow travelers on the political left in the Netherlands are perhaps an example of a hardening of attitudes. Would anti-Israel action be so frequent, brazen, and well supported if it did not seem that there was tacit societal approval? And how else should one interpret the support for Greta Duisenberg from so many public figures than as tacit societal approval? Traditional Dutch tolerance is lending itself to the intolerant.---]

BIGOTS:
Actual discrimination at present is somewhat minor and casual, but will not remain so, especially if the European view of Israel remains unfavourable.

Anti-Semitic acts have increased steadily for half a decade; if, as seems likely, the Muslim minorities are absorbed into mainstream society without their anti-Semitism being addressed, their biases will also be part of the picture - they will become Europeans, and they will remain anti-Semites. Their intolerances and hatreds will become even more part of the European picture than they already are at present.

[---The perception among many Europeans that Jews are a minority that has reached parity with the host population (rather than being a part of the host population) also complicates matters, both as regards their position within society in general, and as a minority compared to other minorities. Surely they have much reason to be grateful? Their dissent seems ungracious, un-European even, and disagreeably wrong.---]

Advertising a Jewish identity in modern-day Europe is an invitation to be insulted, spat on, or beaten up. There have been numerous incidents (in 'tolerant' Holland, nota bene) where Jews have had to move due to abuse and vandalism from neighborhood youths. The approach of local authorities to the problem has largely been to bagatellize the situation and to request that kippot and 'Jewish' garb not be worn, and mezzuzot be taken down.

And, at this point, surely no-one is ignorant of the increase of neo-Nazis in Europe? Or the presence of extremists in politics?


A SOLUTION TO THE EUROPEAN PROBLEM

Immigration of Jewish Europeans to the US and Israel would remove them from danger while simultaneously weakening assertions that there is no real problem.

I realize that proposing mass emigration is tantamount to putting all of one's eggs in one basket. But the European basket is damaged, and now may be the time to abandon it.


Can the U.S. and Israel absorb a million Jews?

The vast majority of European Jews are as literate and as educated as other west-European urbanites, and will therefore be more acceptable than many other recent arrivals. Unlike many European immigrants in recent years, however, they will not be mere economic migrants, but will come precisely because of the nature of our societies.

One immediate benefit will be that, unlike many other Europeans, they will not be viewing us with so jaundiced an eye, nor will they be so stridently critical.

Many are already mentally prepared for such a move, being already familiar with much of our societies, and, more than most Europeans, having friends and relatives in our countries. They are, perhaps more than any other group, primed to adapt.

They will be absorbed. And our societies will be the better for it.

--- --- --- --- ---

Afterthought: Please note that I have not used the terms ‘Palestine’ and ‘Palestinian’ in referring to Israel's problems with the Arabs. The reason is that Palestine is a Roman political term, designating an imprecise geographic area for which other names are more appropriate, and the term 'Palestinian' correctly used must refer to all residents of the holy land PRIOR to the reestablishment of the state of Israel, and the rejection by the Arabs of United Nations General Assembly Resolution 181.

Many Palestinian Arabs, and most Palestinian Jews, became citizens of Israel. It is correct to refer to these people as Israelis – they have ceased to be Palestinian.

Since the Arabs did not create a state called ‘Palestine’ after the United Nations called for partition of the British ruled Palestine Mandate territory in 1947, there can in fact be no such thing as a ‘Palestinian’ in the political sense. More to the point, these alleged Arab Palestinians are Syrians, Jordanians, Bedouin, and Egyptians.


Also, while several decades ago some arguably may have been refugees, it is patently ridiculous to call them that now. They are Arabs, native speakers of Arabic, living in Arab lands, where they have relatives, where the majority of them were born, and where they have lived all their lives. How then are they refugees?

The condition of these people is due to a refusal by the Arab aggressors of 1948 to acknowledge that is was their actions that caused these people to flee, and their continued opposition to any resolution other than the complete destruction of Israel which has prevented any addressing of the situation.

The apartheid of the Arab world, which enforces separate status and inferior opportunities on these "Palestinians", if it existed in the civilized world, would be roundly condemned.

It is time that the Arabs cease discriminating against their kin. It is also time that the United Nations stop playing along with politically motivated social engineering.

--- --- --- --- ---

One last point: The holy land is of concern to more than just the Jews, allegedly having great importance also to Christians and Muslims.

The views of the Christian world regarding the holy land have to be disregarded; the Christian countries are not the front line, they have their own agenda, and their input in 1948 proved ill considered and inept. Jerusalem was divided because of Christians; that alone argues for rejecting their involvement a second time. Their subsequent contributions have added considerable dis-clarity all round.

As for the Muslim world, the less said the better.

--- --- --- --- ---

Thursday, January 26, 2006

HAMAS VICTORY

BILE, SPLEEN, AND PETTY SARCASM, OH BOY!


Hamas won the election, which means that the peace process is over.


Well, actually, no – that’s not what it means.
It means that we can stop pretending that there was a peace process.
There was no peace process.


Fatah, while talking peace and partnership, spent the last several years creating ever newer and more bizarre terror structures, while pocketing the money which the Europeans threw at them. Hamas, on the other hand, actually did something about education and welfare. So it isn’t surprising that Fatah lost big-time.

Perhaps the money we gave Fatah to boost their electoral chances went into pockets instead.


What is surprising is that there were no alternatives to Fatah except Hamas.

You’d think, after all those years of European love, education abroad, expats working and doing business in the wider world, and international recognition, that Palestinians would want to stay engaged with the only folks who actually supported them: Europeans.

[Europe is where all the love came from baby, and the money. See, the Europeans were getting a little tired of Israel and the Jews and their own 1940-1945 collaborator-guilt, and maybe, just maybe, resented a pissy little country that actually won wars - Something Europeans haven’t been very good at these past few decades.]

Nope. Sorry.

Palestinians would rather remain firmly in the Arab world and destroy Israel.


They’ll have to rely on Iran for funds in the short-term, because most European governments will initially be somewhat averse to financing a radical Islamic terror organization (other than Saudi Arabia, that is).
And the Arab governments will of course maintain their usual level of generous funding (meaning next to minus nothing, cheap bastards).

So once the petty cash under the bed of each warlord in the Palestinian territories runs out, violent desperation will set in, unless brother Ahmedinejad puts his money where his mouth is (boy, talk about filthy lucre!).

--- --- ---

THE FUTURE

In the long term, it is certain that the European countries will one by one put their blinkers back on, and decide to deal with Hamas, because “there is no one else, really”, and “one must face reality”, and the election was the “legitimate voice of the Palestinian people”, and “the Israelis should at least TRY TO GET ALONG with their neighbors”.


Oh, and most Western European countries have opposition parties which will do well in elections now that the current governments have been compromised by their association with the United States (real, perceived, or imagined), and most Western European countries have substantial Moslem minorities who must be appeased lest they become destructive - we wouldn't want a repeat of the Paris riots, would we? Especially because Amsterdam and Berlin look so nice in summer!

[Perspective: Holland has nearly a million Moslems, and less than fifty thousand Jews. France has over five million Moslems, and about 800 thousand Jews. Germany has millions of Moslems, and a few hundred thousand Jews. The situation is the opposite in Russia and the Ukraine, where Jews outnumber Maghrebis by a staggering proportion. But Russia and the Ukraine are not exactly your most philo-Semite countries to begin with........]


Besides, doing business with the Palestinian territories is a form of “engagement” (and very profitable, as well as ‘progressive’).


Also, as I may have hinted earlier, Europeans love Palestinians while being a little "frustrated" with Jews, Israel, Americans, and MacDonalds.


So I’m taking bets on which European country will be the first to break.

My guess is Norway, though the Netherlands and France are close seconds.

Belgium is also likely - remember that wave of anti-Semitism two years ago?
Or how about that violence in Antwerp last year? Or the molotov cocktails?
Or that stupid law-suit against Sharon?

If Berlusconi gets voted out of office, the Italians will probably have a love-fest with Hamas.

The Scandinavians of course will do what is politically correct, meaning they’ll be among the first to throw money at Hamas.
[It's a queer take on neutrality, which often means making money off of all sides no matter how unappetizing some of one's business partners. All justified with impeccable double-speak.]

The Spaniards will transparently play both sides, the Germans will talk seriously and humourlessly about ‘ze oppression of a people’, and the Brits will pull the usual smarm-meets-opportunism bull-pucky.

The Eastern European wing of the EU will funnel arms and ammo - that seems to be their forte, and it provides employment for their gangsters and mistress-funds for their politicians. They're rather an immoral lot, I'm afraid.


ON THE OTHER HAND...

But heck, I may be wrong.
The Dutch may be the first.
Way ahead of everybody else.

Reading the reader-comments posted underneath articles in Dutch newspapers on the internet today depressed me beyond measure (the Dutch are, by and large, self-satisfied arrogant know-it-all opportunists and bigots, with strong anti-American and anti-Israel leftist tendencies fuelled by resentment and "sociaal bewogendheid"). Buncha pissant Calvinists.

I am farklempt, and hence may be misreading the situation.

I am keen to hear your thoughts.

Please, comment. Vent. And spew.

Discuss among yourselves.
--- --- ---

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

PRU URVU

On his wedding night, the eminent Victorian writer, watercolourist, and critic John Ruskin (1819 - 1900) saw the nude female body for the first time.

It was traumatic.

It seems that he was appalled to discover that his wife had, oh horrors, hair in a private place!

The marriage was never consummated, and was annulled six years later.

Like many Victorian upper class gentlemen, he was somewhat innocent.


I suspect that, deep in the bowels of New York, there are many yeshiva-bocherim who are somewhat similar, and can certainly sympathize with Mr. Ruskin. Their Chassaneh will be an eye-opener, to say the least, but most of them will probably bite the bullet and plow manfully into the breach, suppressing their bafflement with good cheer and intelligence, intent upon prooing the oorvew, so to speak.

But a few, a minute fraction of the total, may be traumatized beyond repair by the event, and even years and years of therapy will not get them over the experience.

Unlike the rest of us, they did not dwell deliciously over the lascivious and naughty bits of Torah and Nach, nor did they become fascinated by such matters as nidah, zivah, zavah, and a wealth of other interesting terms. Their years in Yeshiva were a constant struggle to keep from being whacked by a sadist with a wooden ruler, or chewed out by some old schijtlijster with bad teeth and a sanctimonious attitude as large as Long Island.

Alas, they never even saw the juicy bits that we gloated over, and never found out just how earthy Chazal can be. Why, there are some parts of meseches Sotah that I still reread with considerable enthusiasm, and also that part in Kiddushin where......

But enough about me.


IF YOU THINK SEX IS NASTY, HERE IS A BLOG FOR YOU:
http://absolutecelibacy.blogspot.com/


The Blogger, who goes by the name 'Absolute Celibacy', has a bug up his chamor about sex, and advocates, based on quotes from the Rambam (Rabbi Moses Ben Maimon, 1135 – 1204), that one abstain from all sexual activity of any kind, with either gender.

[I don't think he mentioned animals yet. But he may in a future posting.]


'RAMBAMATIC' PROCREATION

One would suggest that Mr. Absolute Celibacy carefully reread as much Rambamatic material as he can, because even the Rambam did not abstain, and many of his commentaries suggest either a more than passing familiarity with sex, or an endoresement of same if done properly (Levirate marriage, for instance, which the Rambam explains as being compulsory - it serves no other purpose than procreation on behalf of a deceased brother, that his name should not die).

Neither have many of the Talmudic scholars through the ages abstained from sex. Some of them have in fact enthusiastically not-abstained -- it is fascinating to read the genealogies of many of the famous rabbinic families, seeing who is related to whom, and which chochemerd married which posseik's daughter, and how many children they had (and guess what they had to do for that to happen, Mr. AbsoCelibate!).

Who says Talmudic scholars aren't zesty?

The term 'droog-kloot' in no way applies.

The Shir Ha Shirim on qelaf makes me.....


SEX IN TANACH

Even further back, the sex-lives of biblical persons are sometimes given with far too much detail in Nach, and even in the Torah there seems, at times, to be an obsession, if not with sexuality, then certainly with procreation (and Rashi tells us more about Rivkah in that regard than we needed to know – not even gonna mention what Sarah Immaeinu was rumoured to have been doing).

The imperative to procreate is a constant throughout the holy books, and people will do some pretty strange things to obey that imperative.
Lot's daughters, for instance.


400 VIRGINS

Or then there’s my favourite story in the entire Tanach, the tale of the Levite, his pillegesh, and the man from the tribe of Benjamin, as detailed in Judges (Mishpatim), chapter 19, psook 1 through chapter 21 psook 25. Which ends on a mass-procreative note of monumental proportions.


In short: A Levite and his concubine were staying at a house in Gibeah in the land of the tribe of Benjamin. Middle of the night, the neighborhood hoodlums come banging on the door, demanding that the Levite come out and let them do all kindsa nasty to him. The man whose house it is suggests that instead they take his own young virgin daughter and the Levite's concubine, and do with them whatever they want. While they're all arguing over who gets to do what unto whom, the Levite pushes his concubine out into the street, slams the door, and goes up to bed.

Next morning, the concubine returns near death, and collapses on the doorstep. The Levite throws her over the back of his donkey and takes off. When he gets home, she's dead; he then cuts up her corpse, and sends a part to each of the tribes. This is pretty much the nastiest thing the recipients have ever seen, but the Levite explains it as a complaint about how the men of Benjamin insulted him (no mention that he shoved the girl out to protect his own achter-end!). Next thing you know, everybody agrees that that was horrible, yep, sho'nuff, lets demand that them Benjies hand over the miscreants, or if they don't, lets kick them muthas!

Horrible war ensues. When it’s all over, only 600 men of Benjamin are left alive, and all together there are about a hundred thousand cadavers all over the place.

Now the rest of the tribes are feeling a wee bit embarrassed... The tribe of Benjamin is nearly extinct.
And everybody has sworn to not ever give any of their women in marriage to this bunch of degenerates, but Benjamin is part of the nation, so what to do now? Can't let them die out...

Well, at that point, some idiot gets the bright idea to attack Jabesh-Gilead, kill all the men and put-near everybody else except for 400 virgins, which they then hand over to the Benjaminites for breeding purposes.

After which, pru urvu.

Labels:

Monday, January 23, 2006

RAT-CRACK

A friend draws my attention to a pressing health problem: crack-cocaine is being cut with rat-poison.

http://forums.fark.com/cgi/fark/comments.pl?IDLink=41766


What's to discuss?

Smoking rat-crack is counter-intuitive.

Heroin has in recent times been cut with draino, and shooting that also seems counter-intuitive. Somewhat. One would think.

I am sheerly baffled at anyone who uses illicit substances - there is no recourse if the merchandise is impure or defective, there is no standardized strength or quality, and the results are unpredictable (and the Better Business Bureau won't pursue the matter).


It's like mystery meat in school lunches - I'm not touching it. One has to have certainty about what one consumes.

In the weeks leading up to Peysach (starting this year on the evening of April 12), one should finish-off the gin and whiskey (grain-based alcoholica), and restock the liquor cabinet with high-quality tequila. Why is this? Because with high-quality tequila, one is certain that no chometzdikke bronfen was used to cut it.



[Note: Purim is when we traditionally deplete the chomtzdikke liquor supply. Bedikas chometz demands rigour. It's a minhag. And there is certainty. ]

Labels:

Friday, January 20, 2006

RETURN OF THE HERETIC!

Absolute Celibacy ( http://absolutecelibacy.blogspot.com/), whose perverse take on reality I'm starting to appreciate more and more, has graciously poison-penned in my direction, in a posting entitled "Refutation of the Heretic" (which may be found here: http://absolutecelibacy.blogspot.com/2006/01/refutation-of-heretic.html ) .




His blogposting deserves to be reproduced in its entirety. I do so below (italic). With some commentary interpolated ...[bold]...


The heretic scum ...[That's me, by the way]... who calls himself "Back of the Hill" has written a post ...[http://atthebackofthehill.blogspot.com/2006/01/feisty-i-absolute-celibacy.html]... sharply criticizing this one ...[See second link given above].... What's worst of all is that he can't even criticise me seriously, in a way worthy of a Ben Torah. Rather, he mocks me snidely, turning my Torah into a joke!

In many places, Mr. "Back of the Hill" falls into the same pattern of argument that all heretics do: quoting out of context.

For example, he takes issue with my quoting of the Rambam to show how diabolical s*x is:
"Need I point out that the Rambam was married? And had offspring?Perhaps the Rambam was being ironic - certainly not an unusual concept. There's plenty of evidence in the Talmud that scholars knew irony.Or could it be, chosveshalom, that the Rambam may have quarreled with his aishes chayil that day? "

I don't even know where to begin pointing out how wrongheaded this is-- but let me start.

First of all, there's no authentic Torah source that tells us that the Rambam was married. Only the historians, who were all either goyim, or non-religious, s*x-practicing Jews,
...[Unlike frummy bonk-jobs who advocate absolute celibacy]... state that Rambam had a wife. And we yeshiva-educated ...[Which Yeshiva?]... people all know that it's impossible to trust the historians on any matter, especially if they contradict true Torah sources. After all, the historians all contradict each other, and they change their views every few years. A man named Heinrich (Tzvee) Gratz is considered by historical-minded people to be the greatest historian of Judaism, and it is a dovor yadua that he shook hands with women. And you know what shaking hands with women leads to? S*x. ...[And kissing causes pregnancy, begorah. How does his sex-life negate his scholarship?
I am (relatively) sure he did not write while pre-occupied with shapely female hands or other shapely body parts (chosveshalom).
His sex-life is perhaps the fit subject of another meshune post, but is alas not relevant here.]....

But since there's no Torah source that explicitly says that Rambam wasn't married, let's admit to Mr. "Back of the Hill" that he was, indeed, married to a woman or girl.

I'm not even sure that Back of the Hill has been educated at any yeshiva; on his website, he gives a link to something that calls itself "Yeshiva Chipas Emess", but the link leads to a site that is clearly a joke-- a joke in very poor taste.
...[You dare denigrate my alma mater? Apikoros!]...

Now, even if the historians are right (which occasionally happens), there's still no evidence that Rambam actually had s*x with the girl or woman who he married.
...[He had a son. Spontaneous generation?]...
To do so would have been to violate the clear halocho of Leviticus 18:22.
...["ve'et zachar lo tishkav mishkevei isha to'eva hiv" - this means that you should not lie with a man LIKE with a woman, NOT that you should not lie with man NOR woman. If you have any doubts about this interpretation, I strongly suggest that you reread the commentaries - Rashi would be a good choice.
You might also want to re-read psook 18:19 ("ve'el isha benidat tumata lo tikrav legalot ervata"), which makes clear that the limitation on hanky panky with a woman is strictly AT THE TIME of impurity (seven days of regular flow, up to eleven days of spottiness). What a man and his aishes chayil do thereafter is not any of your business - not even if you're a bahble-thumping baptist.]...

Back of the Hill mentions "offspring" of the Rambam. The only child that the Rambam is ever claimed to have had was the reputed "Avrohom ben HaRambam". Now, Reb Avrohom, if he even existed, is irrelevant to the issue at hand, because he's clearly not part of our holy Mesoyra, as transmitted to us through the years of poskim. Rambam himself is clearly part of the Mesoyra-- he is one of the three streams that the Mechabeir used to paskin halocho for us in the Shulchan Oruch. So certainly, the Mishne Torah (the work which I quoted in my earlier post) is an authentic part of the Mesoyra. The supposed "Avrohom ben Harambam" never wrote anything so important, and he's nowhere quoted by the authoritative Beis Yoseif.
...[The Beis Yosef is a history text? That comes as a complete surprise! I had NO idea that the Mechaber was a historian - let me quote: ".....the historians, who were all either goyim, or non-religious, s*x-practicing Jews (cut) yeshiva-educated people all know that it's impossible to trust the historians on any matter....."]...
To claim that the Rambam was being ironic in a work so serious as the Mishne Torah is downright offensive. It's astounding that anyone would have such gall to impute such a thing to the Rambam. Makes me want to puke. Doesn't Back of the Hill realize that Rambam's Mishne Torah was used by Sfardim for many years as their primary seifer of halocho, and that Teimanim still use it that way?
...[Maybe those Yemenis don't get out much?]...
Or does he not care, because he's a koifer, who doesn't even care about halocho? Remember, as the Gaon of Vilna has written, the Rambam wrote every word of the Mishne Torah through ruach hakoydesh.
...[I'd suggest that such a statement either also be taken as irony, OR as evidence that the Vilner was smoking crack - though the data of our historians shows that crack was not invented until our own more fortunate era.]...

To suggest that he would use irony in a work that he knew (through the ruach hakoydesh) would be used as a halocho seifer by hundreds of millions of people is really impossible. And offensive.

Back of the Hill writes: "Which many of the Tosafists and Chassidei Ashkenaz also believed. Which would explain their objection to his philosophy. It's hard to keep warm in Northern Europe in winter. "


I'm not sure what this has to do with anything, but it's making fun of Rishonim. If the Rishonim are mocked, then the whole Mesoyra falls appart....[To quote a former Christian seminary student whom I know (Hi JT in Seattle!), "if you cannot laugh at your own religion, you don't deserve to have one".
Mocking Rishonim is a well-established custom - where would we be if we could not dispute with them, disagree with them, even poke fun at some of their more insane ideas? Who died and made them king? Mesora comes from a mountain, not from a mole-hill.]...

Back of the Hill criticizes my knowledge of other religions:

"Do ANY religions think this? Has any one actually met someone like this? Other than the Heaven's Gate cult, that is. Until that unfortunate event with the fliegende tegele they may have been all over the place, even though I never saw them here, but still, they qualify more as erev rav than 'many other'. "


Now, I admit that I have not dirtied my hands in the direct study of other religions. However, I have read books and pamphlets by Rabbonim explaining various other religions, and even read the descriptions of the other religions in the Beis Yosef and the Bayis Chodosh on Hilchos Avoda Zora. Lest anyone criticize me of wasting my time with this, note that this, too, counts as a kiyum of the mitzva of Talmud Tora. As the Gemoro states in Maseches Sanhedrin: לא תלמד לעשות, אבל אתה למד להבין ולהורות מה מגונה עבודה זרה זו. "You can't learn foreign religions in order to practice them, but you can learn them in order to understand them and teach others how disgusting they are."...[From which we shper that narrow-mindedness is minhag?]...Now, in terms of castration. It is well known that there are many different sects of Christianity. Heaven's Gate is a large one, with about 75 million members.
...[75 million!?!?! You smokin' crack there, boy? Zeit azoy git, provide a web-link, and prove your numbers.]...
However, they are not the only Christian sect that practices ritual castration or penectomy. Why, the founder of Christianity himself (sheim resho'im yirkav) is claimed to have said: "If your eye offend you, cut it out." It seems pretty clear to me that "eye" here is merely a euphemism for test*cle.
...[No no my blinkered friend! Beitzim and einim are NOT the same! If I cast my eye on a pretty young thing, I am by no means throwing my scr_tum at her!]...

Thus, all through the ages, from the founding of Christianity until the Heaven's Gate group of today, many forms of Christianity have practiced widespread castration and other genital mutilation.
...[Which explains why there are SO MANY of the buggers! Like shrotzim, they have gone forth and multiplied! Lively! Vigorous, indeed. Which is commendable, and enviable.]...

Another snide comment of his:"This would lead to a total absence of Jews in one generation. Which might please some people immensely. "

Oh, this would please you immensely, you little Nazi? I can't believe you just wrote that! Just horrifying. Hashem is crying out for all the Jews of this generation that you want to kill in gas chambers.
...[How, precisely, would the Yiddishe oilam regenerate itself without sex? Or the reform oilam? Families of ten or more kinderlech, unlike mold, dew, and mushroom circles, do not happen overnight - they happen over MANY nights (takkah, at least ten or more). And where do you see any indication of gas-chambers in my scrivening? You can read, yes? I presume this because you quote Maimonides ad nauseum. But can you read critically? My guess would be not.]...
--- --- --- --- ------ --- --- --- ---


In conclusion, having now both entertained myself, and exposed the remarkable talents of Desolate Celibate to the wider world, I wish all of my readers, and all of his readers, a gitte und gebentshte shabbes.
.
.
.
Neener, neener, neener.

[Did I already mention that I really dig his whacked-out take on reality? ]

Labels:

XENOPHOBIC CHEESE: ROTTERDAM

Rotterdam, a city neither known for beauty or civilization, has recently decided that foreigners need to speak Dutch, dammit.

Let me clarify. According to the 'Rotterdamse Burgerschapscode' (Rotterdam Citizenscode), all people need to use the Dutch language exclusively in public. This per article in the Algemeen Dagblad: http://www.ad.nl/rotterdam/article108789.ece

Quote: "Zo dient iedereen volgens de nieuwe gedragscode in de openbare ruimte Nederlands te spreken. 'Op school, op het werk, op straat en in het buurthuis.' " (hence, everyone should, according to the new behavioural rules, speak Dutch in public. At school, at work, on the street, and in the neighborhood centre).

According to some bozo (meaning 'bureaucrat'), "Veel autochtone Rotterdammers voelen zich ’unheimisch’ als op straat buitenlands wordt gesproken." (many native Rotterdammers feel ill at ease when foreignese is spoken in public).

Okay.
Major international port-city decides to act like a bunch of blinkered provincials.
I can dig that.
I'll boycott Rotterdam and I really hope the entire world does the same.
Buncha stoopid primitives!



When I'm in the Netherlands, I speak Dutch, Yiddish, and a dialect identified on language maps as "Noord Limburgisch" (North Limburgian). Plus, when needed, Indonesian and Cantonese.

In high school while over there (Hertog Jan College in Valkenswaard, plus another school in Eindhoven), I was taught German and French. Oh, and English, but I already spoke that - both at home and on the street.

The Netherlands has twenty five or so dialect groups, plus in the northeast of the country the Frisians are holding on to their own tongue. Many of the Dutch and Frisian dialects are unintelligible to any but native speakers of same. Plus of course there's also Flemish.

Portuguese and Ashkenazic Jews have spoken their respective tongues, and the language of the dominant group, in the cities of the Netherlands since the sixteenth century.
A quarter of a million people "repatriated" from Indonesia since world war II, and brought Indonesian and a host of other languages with them.
Germans, Frenchmen, and English speakers have been doing business in the Netherlands for centuries - without needing to learn the language.

And the Dutch pride themselves on their 'tolerance' and 'linguistic ability', among other things.


Monolingualist chauvinism is NOT a Dutch tradition.

It is, however, a sign of the times. The Dutch are losing their civilized edge, and becoming spiteful narrow-minded hicks - or is it that they are finally letting all their repressed intolerance come bubbling to the surface?
Pim Fortuin exemplified that tendency, and his death seems to have justified it for many people. They never did like those nasty foreigners, and now thank heavens it's okay to say so.
--
--
Any Rotterdammer who interrupts my speaking English to Savage Kitten, when we are transiting through his poxy garbage pit of a city, and dares to insist that I speak like a native, will get an earful in the most fluent Dutch and North Limburgian.......
--
.....With eloquent Bargoens expressions that will blister the skin on his face........
--
.....Followed by a sudden, vicious, and probably crippling kick to his xenophobic private parts.
--
May both he and they rot, and the parts of him that the fleas and lice overlook be gnawed by rats.

----- ----------- -----

I should also point out, at this juncture, that a port-city whose innumerable whorehouses are deeply involved in sexual-slavery and victimize women from all over the world (particularly Eastern Europe, Africa, and Asia), should be less arrogant. Were it not for all of those people speaking "foreignese", you uptight cheese-vending gits might never get your rocks off. I've seen your women; they tend towards pig-like after their teenage years, and your newspapers have regularly published articles stating that the Dutch are getting fatter and lazier.

[And many of you still only bathe once a week; you might learn something about cleanliness from those of us who speak 'foreignese' -- most of us bathe on a daily basis, and cannot understand how y'all can stand your own rich aromas. Just a suggestion, though. Feel free to smell funky (the expression 'muf-ruikende hobbezakken' comes to mind).]


Oh, one last thing - this linguistic chauvinism is aimed at brown folks: Moroccans, Surinamers, and others who spoil the lily-white complexion of the city.
I'm fairly certain y'all would bend over backwards for a Frenchman or German.
But you despise North-Africans, Turks, and the melanin-enriched.


----- ----------- -----


Tussen haakjes, beste Nederlands-lezers, dit schrijven gaat alleen over Rotterdam en hare zotte 'burgerschaps code'. Ik vertrouw dat andere steden in Nederland en Vlaandren niet ook blijk zullen geven van deze taal-idiocie.

Amsterdam, bijvoorbeeld, is een stad waar zo iets de toeristen industrie ontzettend zou schaden. Niet dat de doorsnee Amsterdammer ooit zo bezopen zou kunnen wezen.

Antwerpen is bijna ondenkbaar zonder Asjkenazim die de schone Vlaamsche taal met hun eigen locutionele meesterwerken verrijken.

En gossie - op straat in Eindhoven kan men zowiezo konstateren dat de doorsnee autochtoon het Algemeen Beschaafd Nederlands volstrekt onmachtig blijkt te zijn.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

FEISTY II - SPLEEN

I am baffled at how some people discover this blog, and flabbergasted by what happens when they do. For the life of me I cannot figure out what search criteria they use.

[Perhaps Find all: "fried brain" plus "Kansas" plus "Kitten"]


If I think back, it probably all started after I got mentioned on a site run by a fellow Dutchman. I suspect that several of my fellow Dutch-Americans are on the Christian fundy bandwagon, big-time (as examples, just think of Jim Baker and Everett Koop). If you really want a venomous argument, nothing beats a Dutchman talking religion, politics, or the evils of larger countries.

I know this, because we moved to the Netherlands when I was two years old (I returned to the States when I was eighteen), and because there's tons of Cheese in the family tree. I speak from a position of familiarity with the subject.

I also went to grammar and high school over there -- a public grammar school (and hence the smallest of grammar schools in that town, the other grammar schools being strictly sectarian), and a "neutral" academic high school.


If I had to go back to grammar and high school again, I would want a flame-thrower.


The hard-core Calvinists usually left our grammar school after less than one term, being thereafter placed in frumme (vrome) Calvinistische schools by their parents (yes, even the owners of a local porno store did so - selling smut to the natives was one thing, but heaven forefend that their little angels be polluted by our morals!).

They came back in high-school. With a vengeance. There's nothing more twisted than a cretin getting top grades in biology while reserving the right to consider his biology teacher a heretic, an idolater, a moron, and a representative of Satan plus the antichrist and the soviets rolled into one.

The local Protestant minister, by the way, hated our family in particular, because we were worse than the local Catholic majority - not being 'poor dumb Brabantine peasants' (more or less his words, nota bene), we clearly should've known better!

The parish priest was a damn site more civilized. A mensh. Occasionally he came over after mass to have a drink in our garden and practise his English.

Unfortunately the nuns at the local Catholic childcare centres and the monks at the local Catholic grammar schools filled their little charges' heads with verkrampte crap twixt patronizing and hateful. In consequence of which, on an almost daily basis, for over a decade, one or other slope-browed monster would sadly inform me that I was damned and going to hell.

No wonder Holland is going through a major hangover from religion.

Huzza.


One of my classmates had actually been told by his mother that the onset of the menses was entirely due to horrible sins - such nastiness as would make a girl unfit to associate with. As soon as a girl turned into an woman, she was to be considered pure evil, the horror of the pit personified.
I'm assuming that he has since then not contributed significantly to the gene-pool. And he wasn't the only one who believed that garbage.


So once in a while, I have a hatchet mentality towards religious authorities...
And can thoroughly understand when someone else has as much ""ambivalence"" about same.


But back to the subject of this post.

Many of us who blog clearly have a surfeit of spleen. Which is good, because it creates some absolutely spleendid (mis-spelling intentional!) posts.

Unfortunately, some of our readers take life far too seriously to get this, the poor dears, and don't play well with others in any case.

As a result, they leave stupid comments all over the place. Kinda like a crippled pet dawg dragging his kacky arse over your clean kitchen floor.


I'm kinda pissed at the nimrod who added the bittul Torah comment to many of my postings - he (she) wouldn't know bittul Torah if it came up and bit him in the chammor, with a badge saying 'Hi, my name is Bittul Torah' on his shatnezzy blazer.
Unfortunately, like many commentors who object to things I write, he apparently cannot remember his own name, and goes by the catch-all moniker of 'anonymous'.

Dude, once you've figgered out your name, let me know. I'll gladly call you by it.


But he's better than some of the "iggerunt" Christians who have ventured here. Some of them can't spell worth a tinker's damn, which tells me they're not Dutch.

Evenso, English not their first language either is, dacht zich.

Their comments really make me wish I had taken "Sudden Bahpteez" as a foreign language.

Or whatever it is they speak in the interior.

That class would've been a makkie - no literature to speak of, hardly any grammar, and no advanced concepts to discuss. Just Chayzus and football.

FEISTY I - ABSOLUTE CELIBACY

I have recently discovered quite the most fascinating site in the Judeo-bloggosphere: Absolute Celibacy (http://absolutecelibacy.blogspot.com/).
[Riezig, mamesh, and positively moiredik.]

Absolute Celibacy promotes an Essene point of view. Sex is evil.
[Takeh, this point of view is so exciting I'm starting to shvitz.]


Of course, chances are that his blog (I'm assuming that it's a 'him', even though it could very well be my great-aunt Ruthie whose been peculiar ever since she won the title of 'Miss Pre-stressed Supporting Beams 1972') is actually a lure for people to disagree - a trolling operation, geared specifically towards folks such as myself.

So, should I say nothing, and just hope he goes away? Or should I give in to temptation, and react?
Do I rip him, do I sympathize? Do I go off the deep end? Do I give in to my worst instincts?

Of course I do!


Absolute Celibacy quotes the Rambam as saying, more or less, that sexual activity ages one, makes one weak, causes hair-loss, weak eye-sight, tooth-decay, and kills more people by far than disease.
[Death by buchakon. How perfect, how fitting.]

Need I point out that the Rambam was married? And had offspring?
Perhaps the Rambam was being ironic - certainly not an unusual concept. There's plenty of evidence in the Talmud that scholars knew irony.
Or could it be, chosveshalom, that the Rambam may have quarreled with his aishes chayil that day?


What I'm saying is that I'm not going to bother looking up the quote AbsoCelibator cited on his blog (http://absolutecelibacy.blogspot.com/), I'll "take his word for it" (yes...., that's it. Take his word. Yes.....).
And I'll assume that even the Rambam might've occasionally blown it out of his ear. Which many of the Tosafists and Chassidei Ashkenaz also believed. Which would explain their objection to his philosophy. It's hard to keep warm in Northern Europe in winter.

"In many other, goyish religions (which should not be compared to Judaism, lehavdil), even though they recognize the danger of sexuality, they think that the solution is castration."

Do ANY religions think this? Has any one actually met someone like this? Other than the Heaven's Gate cult, that is. Until that unfortunate event with the fliegende tegele they may have been all over the place, even though I never saw them here, but still, they qualify more as erev rav than 'many other'.
Now probably maggoty, alas. They could've served as shining examples.


"...so must the good Jew (or even goy) suffer with the presence of the genitalia, which God created in order to tempt you, but you can receive great reward if you don't give in. The difference, however, between the dieter and the frum Yid, is that the dieter must swear off some food, but still eat a little, whereas the frum Jew must swear off all s*xual satisfaction, whether from a man, a woman, or himself, forever! Always."

Two things:
1. This would lead to a total absence of Jews in one generation. Which might please some people immensely.
No, far better to outbreed the competition. Families with over a dozen kinderlech should absolutely become the norm in the five towns, even though I suspect this is what turned you off of sexuality in the first place. Move to Kansas, and may I suggest that you read the Shir Ha Shirim, asher li Shlomo?

2. What's with apostrophizing the e in sexuality? Is this like underline or hyphen instead of o in the name of the D*ity? Or is it because you feel such h_rr_r that you cannot *v*n write it out in full? This, sadly, indicat*s a hang-up, a pr-blem, perhaps *v*n a childh_-d trauma.
Schoolteacher with rambling hands? A priest? A crazy uncle?
See a therapist, you'll feel better. And work on developing normal sexual responses -- might I suggest that you read the Shir Ha Shirim, asher li Shlomo?


One of the more interesting statements on AbsoCelibator's site is "it is forbidden for any Jew or gentile to ever have sex with anyone. This prohibition is one of the gravest prohibitions in the Torah, and can bring destruction to the world, just as it brought destruction to the world at the time of the great flood at the time of Noach", and "according to the Holy Torah, all sexual activity is absolutely forbidden."


But I just love his final statement: "Most Rabbis (emissaries of Satan, some of who are no more than Christians with beards) will tell you that marital sex is permitted, or even encouraged, in Judaism. I have nothing but rage against such sinners!"

They must've really loved him back when he was in Yeshiva.

"But Rabbi, I was just helping the pig over the fence!"

Labels:

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

MIRACLE COMPASS, Part 2

-----------------------------

A while back I vented about advertisements I had received, which told of a wonderful magic compass that would change my life.
http://atthebackofthehill.blogspot.com/2005/12/incredible-compass.html


And indeed, the way the compass was advertised seemed too good to be true.


See here for a representative advert:
http://www.jewishsoftware.com/products/The_Incredible_Jerusalem_Compass_813.asp?bhcd2=1137628369
Or:
http://jerusalemcompass.com/catalog/
Or:
http://www.jr.com/JRProductPage.process?Product=4073243


What the ads say is that it seems miraculous, defies nature, and is incredible.
Quote: "this non-electric device spins and stops in the direction of Jerusalem from any place you are in the world."
Another quote: "AN AMAZING COMPASS NEEDLE THAT SPINS AND STOPS IN THE DIRECTION OF OUR DREAMS".

[And you'll be able to flabbergast and impress friends and relatives - which is quite a tempting proposition. ]


Well, there were several subsequent comments by readers of my blog, and I also looked at what other's had said about it (the compass) pro and con. It became clear that what was missing from the discourse was an actual explanation of how this sainted thing works. A description of the guts of the device, if you will.


THE ITEM ITSELF

So I bought one. And am looking at it right now.


The ad exaggerated. But the beast is valid.

What put-near everybody left out (though I think I saw it actually described on Steg's blog http://boroparkpyro.blogspot.com/ , or on the blog of someone who left a comment there or here) was that the darn thing needs to be recalibrated.


THE GUTS

It works by means of a regular compass inside the base and a second (adjustable) arrow on the same axle between the base and the glass. The second arrow has to be adjusted according to your location.

There are numbers surrounding the perimeter of the face-plate above which the second arrow is positioned, like the degrees of a circle. On the inside of the cover, cities with a major Jewish population are given a number, corresponding to the degree marking.


Having aligned the "black colored flower petal" "directly with, and opposite the number "0" on the compass face", one locks it in place. Now refer to either the inside of the cover, or to a log book (MPR system™ log book) which will display the number of your city zone in alphabetic order, and rotate the compass glass clockwise until the Kosher Compass™ needle is directly opposite the correct number. You will hear a clicking sound while doing this. And note that each line on the compass face equals five degrees.



Okay, I understand how it works. The compass actually always points north, but the position of the visible arrow is adjustable, and can be made to point in the direction of Jerusalem.
And then you lock it into place on the axle, so that whenever the magnetized arrow in the base points north, your arrow points at Bint Al Jebusi.

If I don't go too far outside of San Francisco, the visible needle will stay pointing in the direction of Jerusalem. If I visit Amsterdam, I shall have to adjust it.


It is not miraculous.
[Unless geography and magnetism are a mystery to you.]
It doesn't defy nature.
[It actually does quite the opposite.]
It isn't incredible.
[Unless you don't go out much, and are easily entertained.]


All in all, it works in a very logical fashion, and relies on the user for its accuracy.


IS IT WORTH IT?

I can actually see a use for this item, and it seems well-made. And because it still points north (remember the black colored flower petal mentioned earlier?), and because it is a handsome product, I'm keeping it.

You'll have to decide for yourself whether you need one, though. Unless you're hopeless when it comes to directions, and live in the middle of Los Angeles and cannot see any landmarks because of the haze, you might just be better off occassionally consulting a regular compass, and figguring out which way to Yerushalayim by yourself.


It has the added advantage that you can also show your Muslim friends which way to turn. From this distance its the same direction to Mecca. Hotdog.


--- --- --- --- ---

ANTWERP?!?!?!

Minor kvetch: San Francisco is NOT marked on the inside cover, despite there being nearly half a million Jews in the greater Bay area. But Antwerp is, with only thirty thousand. Antwerp is more important than we are? Hmmph!


Amsterdam, known for so long in the yiddishe olam as mokum alef or mokum gedol isn't marked either. But Antwerp? Antwerp!?!!? I ask you!

Amsterdam was the Jerusalem of the north. Antwerp, while undoubtedly a fine city in its own right, is not nearly as important. Trust me on this. Antwerp!!!! I mean really!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Missing MIS-Nagid

Recently I received a communication from the Rabam to the effect that he cannot find mis-nagid's blog anywhere.

I too cannot find it.

Clues will be welcomed. Inquiring minds want to know.

------ATBOTH

Monday, January 16, 2006

DUTCH CON-RABBI

Sometimes you run across a news item which just tugs at your heart-strings.


A young Dutchman, of Jewish background, traveling through Northern California, got robbed of his money and his passport, and needed a little help to tide him over and get him to Los Angeles, where lodging has (had) been arranged until his flight back home.

Fortunately, his Rabbi back in the Netherlands stuck his neck out for him, and called the Rabbi of the Jewish community nearest to this young man's place of peril, and asked that the local Rabbi be so kind as to come to the aid of a fellow Jew.

Which is very much in the Jewish tradition - certainly traveling Jews have had to rely on the assistance of a local kehilla before, and of course help can be drummed up one way or other.


Except that in this particular case, it's a load of codswallop.

Utter balderdash.

A congame.


See:
http://www.jewishsf.com/content/2-0-/module/displaystory/story_id/5059/edition_id/93/format/html/displaystory.htm


The purported Dutch Rabbi goes by the name 'Rabbi Mikhail Slovik ', of Temple Beth Israel in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

I cannot find a Temple Beth Israel in Amsterdam listed anywhere on the net, and I'm fairly certain that there isn't any such critter. Same goes for Rabbi Slovik.

Besides, the article makes pretty clear it's a scam.



What's remarkable is that it's a variation on an old one.

Years ago, crossing over the hill at night after working at the restaurant, a gentleman approached me, and in the most believable and heart-rending way related how he was up in the Bay Area visiting his brother, a serviceman who had been on leave, and how after parting he had gone back to where his pick-up was parked, only to be jumped, robbed, and have his money and his pick-up stolen. And how he needed thirty-two dollars for a hotel-room - someone had already taken care of his ticket back to Los Angeles the next day.

I wasn't too well-funded that evening, so I gave him twenty dollars, and wished him the best of luck.

Four months later I ran into him again.
Same story, no differences whatsoever, and same place.
I listened with admiration - it was still heartbraking. But I declined the opportunity, as regretfully I was somewhat short of the ready green. Really.

A year later I ran into him again - and this time, I explained that I had already heard him out twice before (and once passed him telling someone else his tale of woe), this time I would not give him any money, but if he wanted, we'd go to a late-nite coffee shop, have a warm beverage and perhaps a bite to eat, and he would tell me how he became such a convincing con-artist.

He muttered "sorry, I'm working!"

I never saw again him after that.

Darn good act, though.


Recently, there's the soldier on leave from Iraq, who has spent all his money but needs to get to Moffet Field or Alameda or wherever by a certain time, or else he's gonna be listed as awol.
His is also a good act.

He's in danger of being awol at least two or three times a month, on California Street, throughout the dry season - about seven or eight months. I fully expect to see him being in danger of being awol again this year once the rainy season is over.


Regarding that alleged Dutch Rabbi: All rebbeiim in the Netherlands are listed on the internet by their branch of Judaism, on many different sites.

Credentials and antecedents of both "rabbi" and "victim" can be checked, and a long distance call to a synagogue office in the Netherlands does not cost that much. For that matter, to the best of my knowledge all yeshivos in the Netherlands have been defunct since the war...... so where did this rabbi get his smicha? It's worth asking. One would think that his classmates would be all over the place, whether in the US or in Israel. The Rabbinate is truly trans-national.

The chief rabbi of Amsterdam is actually in New York: Rabbi Aryeh Ralbag (Young Israel of Avenue K, plus Beis Din of Agudas Ha Rabbonim (tel.: 718-258-5596 fax: 718-252-8418), plus posseik of Triangle K). Note that I am not sure how current this information is, but it's a good place to start.


So anybody who gets taken got taken because they suspended their cynicism, like I did crossing the hill.
Sometimes it is good to do so, though. I do not feel duped, I feel ennobled by the experience (and am full of admiration for the acting skill and bravado of the con-artist).


By the way, the young man who turns up after the alleged Dutch rabbi has gotten the okay from the local rabbi claims to only know the Shema Yisroel in Dutch, and claims the same for the blessing for the Torah.

How..... odd.


Just to satisfy your curisity, here's the Shema Israel in Dutch:

Sjma Jisrael Adonai Elohenoe, Adonai echad!
Hoor, Israel; de Eeuwige is onze God; de Eeuwige is één!

Baroech Sjem kvod malchoeto le'olam va'ed.
Geprezen de Naam van Zijn koninklijke Majesteit, voor alle eeuwigheid.

Ve-ahavta et Adonai Eloheiga, begol levaveiga oevegol nafsjeiga oevegol me-odeiga.
Gij zult de Eeuwige, uw God, liefhebben met geheel uw hart en met geheel uw ziel en met geheel uw kracht.

Vehajoe hadevariem ha eele, asjer anogie metsaveiga hayom al levaveiga; vesjinantam levaneiga vedibarta bam, besjivteiga beveeteiga, oevelegteiga vaderech oevesjogbeiga oevekoemeiga.
Wat ik u heden gebied, zal in uw hart zijn, gij zult het uw kinderen inprenten en daarover spreken, wanneer gij in uw huis zit, wanneer gij onderweg zijt, wanneer gij nederligt en wanneer gij opstaat.

Oekesjartam le-ot al jadeiga vehajoe letotafot been eeneiga.
Gij zult het ook tot een teken op uw hand binden en het zal u een voorhoofdsband tussen uw ogen zijn.

Oegetavtam al mezoezot beeteiga oevisjareiga.
En gij zult ze schrijven op de deurposten van uw huis en aan uw poorten.

Labels:

Friday, January 13, 2006

HASHKAFIC MISCELLANY: TORAH AS NARRATIVE FRAMEWORK

--------
MYTH

Creation myths and how-so stories are part of our intellectual heritage.....

But surely calling them 'intellectual heritage' is overblowing it?


Not at all. To paraphrase Robert Kirk (in Relativism and Reality, Routledge 1999 - kindly brought to my attention by Mar Gavriel (1)), 'they give the background against which religious rituals become intelligible and provide a framework in terms of which people can think about themselves and their world'.


Much the same like the tales of Avraham, Yakov, and Yosef - we have no proof that anything like that ever happened, but we frame our thought-systems in terms of the questions the tales raise, and the points made in the narrative.
The tales define our response; they are probably the result of response.

Does it matter whether any of it actually happened in the way that it is described?

No. What matters is the way that it is described.


MOSES

Was there ever a man such as Moses?

The answer to that is also unknowable. But the Mosaic narrative expresses the Sinaiitic covenant. And, in the sense that the covenant is the record of a contractual relationship with an entity who can neither be known nor described, the narrative is the perfect expression of the covenant. We know our side of the deal, we cannot be certain of the other side - and subsequent history abundantly demonstrates that uncertainty.


This is precisely what happened..... but it could not possibly have happened exactly this way.


If we take all of it for the unvarnished truth, we will scarcely think about it. Were that the case, what point would there be? We have to think about it. We have to search for what the tales tell us, not merely hear what they say.

The texts are the first part of an argument, a discussion, a debate. And that's how they need to be.


[When Indonesian Muslims talk about the Mahabharata, they speak of the heroes as gods. They know that they aren't, but in the tales they are. Even though the gods are, essentially, merely the ancestors of the kings, and never were the gods. Within the context of the tales, a different reality holds.]


PRECISELY vs EXACTLY

What follows is prolix, and somewhat blathering - for which I apologize.
But here goes:


'This is precisely what happened': Describes the event, states the occurrence.

But this is not exactly what happened - from a factual point of view, there is no actual data. It is like describing the eruption of a volcano, by saying what happened, but not giving measurables and quantifiables, nor statistics, lists, and data - 'big mountain blew up, top gone'.
Yes, it happened precisely as stated, by there is nothing exact to sink one's teeth into. The statement, in it's 'in-exactitude', is not a report of events.


The idea I'm working with is that the Chumash is not a dry police blotter, or scientific report, but a text whose purpose is to give the reader a framework or basis for thought.

The Torah gives us a narrative of events - but because it isn't geared towards data but the conveying of ideas and questions, what it gives is not exact (quantifiable data), but precise (the basis for the ideas and the questions).



If you'll forgive the analogy, it's like the set-up to a long joke, which gives the listener enough data to understand the punch line - does it matter that there were no actual three men and a speedboat? No, because the punch line has its own truth, and speaks to something that is already within the listener - it reverberates, because the listener already knows that truth. But the listener needed the three men and the speedboat to understand the punch line, and to bring up the situation in which that truth reverberated.

In the same way, one needs the Torah to understand the ideas it offers.

[Editorial note Sunday 01/15/06 at 3:37PM: "In the same way...": By which I mean that without the Torah, one cannot understand the very ideas of which the Torah is the vehicle - and I'm operating from the point of view that it IS necessary to understand, or try to understand, those ideas.]


----- -- ----- -- ----- -- ----- -- -----

This reminds me of a comment I left a while back under a posting (2) by Steg dindš (3):

"Parshas Bereishis is 100% percent true - but that isn't how it happened.
Yerushalayim is the centre of the universe - even though it's located on the edge of a rather minor galaxy.
There is absolutely no evidence that there is a deity - and that by itself may be evidence that there is a deity."

To which Lipman (4) responded: "free yourself from the illusion that two contradictory statements are both true! Either at least one is wrong, or they're not actually contradicting each other. "

Which is also true.


----- -- ----- -- ----- -- ----- -- -----

1. Mar Gavriel's blog is here: http://margavriel.blogspot.com/
2. Šteg (dos iz nit der šteg)'s post is here: http://boroparkpyro.blogspot.com/2006/01/old-new-age-judaism.html
3. Šteg's blog is here: http://boroparkpyro.blogspot.com/ ) .
4. Lipman's blog is here: http://lipmans.blogspot.com/


----- -- ----- -- ----- -- ----- -- -----

Labels:

 
Newer›  ‹Older