At the back of the hill

Warning: May contain traces of soy, wheat, lecithin and tree nuts. That you are here
strongly suggests that you are either omnivorous, or a glutton.
And that you might like cheese-doodles.
Please form a caseophilic line to the right. Thank you.

Thursday, October 18, 2007


Dovbear, whom I am sure you know I regularly read, has a great post here:

Despite the title I have written above, it is not at all about a bearded gentleman naked except for suds. Not really.
[But if you have already formed a mental picture of a naked bearded gentleman glistening soapily, that's good too. Be proud of your rich inner life.]
Rather, it is a statement of what is not right with Orthodox Judaism. And while the same statement could more or less be made about many other religious traditions, that isn't really germane.

I thoroughly encourage you to click on the link and read his post. And also the hundred-plus comments. I have not commented there myself, because I have little to add, and I do not wish to get into a spitting match with a commenter who arrogantly styles himself 'Vaad Lmaan Kovod Hatorah'.

Mevaseretzion makes several good points, and cogent arguments. I had to smile when I saw this from his pen: "The fact that you call scientists fools would have gotten you thrown out of every beis medrash in the Talmudic period (that is, if you had been able to sneak your way in after Rabban Gamliel died)." Well said. Bravo.

The suggestion by someone else that Dov has a Jesus-complex was amusing too, as were also the snarky comments about shampoo and dummy-bears.

The proper response to "the idea that the yetzer hara is running around trying to trick us is christian BS, you fat freak" is indeed "You skinny runt".

The statement by VLKHT that a woman who doesn't cover her head is, al pi mishna, an overes al daas yehudis is neither amusing nor relevant. Times have changed. So have neuroses.



  • At 3:24 PM, Anonymous graham said…

    early 2006 I met the author of an (easy to read) paperback on sale in Germany - about the World's Religions

    I asked him why it did not include Judaism (it lists & describes Xtianity / Islam / Buddhism / Hinduism & Shinto)

    his answer - poignantly -was that Judaism has not yet emerged from the enforced and accepted Ghetto within which it developed and it remains obscure to anyone outside of that ghetto

    **************** does believing in or not believing in dinosaurs really affect one's spiritual progression?


  • At 12:37 PM, Blogger Lemuel said…

    A lot of times I discussed this with my rebbe. I always ask: why?

    We have been taught that Judaism is not a religion. But the argument is not the one you got, Graham. Judaism is a way of living, a culture for everyday life and all the mitsvot are integrated in everday life. But, you shall ask, what about f.e. Buddism? Jewish way of living, the mitsvot, the land and the people are unseparable. This way of living, the mitsvot are not one man's dream, but a whole nation (in being) could witness the giving of it by HaSyem on Har Sinaï. It was not a creation of man, as are the religions. There is one however: do not think that you are better than the others. They too are creations of HaSyem. Judaism has the 613 mitsvot. The other nations may fulfill the 7 Noachidic rules.
    You know, I am beginning to be afraid to share these things on a public blog. But I want you to know this answer too.

  • At 12:17 PM, Anonymous graham said…

    why afraid?
    dat begrijp ik helemal niet


  • At 10:30 AM, Blogger Lemuel said…

    It is my own shortcoming, Graham.

    Untill a friend of mine drew my attention to this blog I had never heard of this word. I never used internet this way.
    My friends always warned me not to talk in public about Judaism, knowing that I have straightforward ideas, sometimes confronting to others. Others, I especially mean muslims, express themselves. Why may we not do the same? But I always remembered the warnings.
    It is an incident, I know, but a few years ago when I went to the seder in an old, quiet and dark neighbourhood two muslim youngsters tried to get into my car. At my work one told me that if I have the nerve to come in his neighbourhood with my kipa I would have a hard time. They continue to terrorize our chazan. I know I don't sound like a hero, but it worries me. Do not laugh, but I thought that one could be traced. And yet I want to share my views. Yesterday I talked about this with a friend, and he assured me that I need not worry.

    Wellicht begrijp je het niet, maar het was gewoon een -misplaatst- gevoel dat ik had. (Maybe you don't understand, but it was just a silly feeling of mine).

  • At 1:50 PM, Anonymous graham said…

    Lemuel - Fairynuff Ik snap het / uw bedoel? = OK FINE YES
    Now I understand your point. Realworld anti-semitism. I had mistakenly thought that you were afraid to state your opinions on this blog. That is what I did not understand. This blog – nicotine stained and spice flavo(u)red beyond belief is a place where – I suspect – you should never have reservations about ˚US=saying where you are coming from“ (GB = stating what you think)
    Dim-witted Muslim youth are a problem (bugger-all use for neither man nor beast but full of gormless stroppiness) – so until worldwide curfews are imposed – I have adopted the path of least resistance.- I drive a 15 year old Nissan Primera brake.

    LET OP! (let’s dance?)

    15 year old Nissan Primera‘s incorporate prime skunk-free Stealth technology .....

    they go unnoticed...



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