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.

Friday, October 29, 2010


Dovbear's blog alerts me to a book out there with an intriguing title: "The Non-Orthodox Jew's Guide to Orthodox Jews - Why We Do What We Do, Wear What We Wear, And Think What We Think" By David Baum.

As I said, the title is intriguing.
Except, of course, that the book in question is probably as close to horse pucky as they come.

I suspect that I could probably write a better guide to orthodox Jews. Even without mentioning the mitzvah-tanzen at groisse Chassidische Chassunos, or frehlichkeit on the male-side of the mechitzah on Simchas Toireh. Tempting though both of those subjects are.

For one thing, the author seeks to portray his unclean obsession with homosexual behaviour as normative.

QUOTE: "...Many people, out of good-heartedness, will defend the right of homosexuals to live their lives according to their own decisions--but will need to hold their nose while doing so. This is because the vast, overwhelming percentage of people not living in New York, Los Angeles, or San Francisco finds homosexuality a deeply nauseating idea."


Nauseating, eh? Really?

If this were actually true, which I strongly doubt, precisely how would it be relevant?

Most people living outside of New York and Los Angeles also find Jews and their beliefs objectionable - heck, most of the third world and almost all of Europe have bought into the Marxist pro-Palestinian narrative lock-stock-and-barrel.
I have met several people who hold their noses at the very idea of Jews, and I have had typical "Jewish" characteristics ascribed to me by people who were under the impression that I was Jewish. They were convinced that they were right.

For the record, I am neither Jewish nor Homosexual.

[I am generations removed from church-attendance, deeply suspicious of priests of any type and all branches of that misguided messianic cult, and not interested in men as sexual objects (well, other than myself, that is - I am a man AND an intensely sexual object, which is not any of your business UNLESS you tickle my fancy).
Yes, my blogroll suggests that I veer toward the Judaic end of the spectrum. That isn't a matter of faith so much as a matter of common sense.]

Read more of fellow-blogger Daniel's critique of David Baum's meshune fantasy world here:

Quite a number of rabbis and scholars from the Orthodox end of Jewry have in fact though much more deeply and sincerely about homosexuality among Jews than the citations from David Baum's nauseating tract suggest:

"The question of whether sexual orientation is primarily genetic, or rather environmentally generated, is irrelevant to our obligation to treat human beings with same-sex attractions and orientations with dignity and respect."
"Jews with homosexual orientations or same sex-attractions should be welcomed as full members of the synagogue and school community. "
[Note in particular that the 'Statement of Principles on the Place of Jews with a Homosexual Orientation in our Community' is mirrored on several worthwhile sites and blogs, as you will see in a comment underneath
that post. It was originally found here: ]

It would probably also be worth your while to head on over to Dovbear's blog
This post:

If you read the comments there, you will discover that David Baum speaks only for himself.

Possibly the only generalization one can make about Orthodox Jews doing what they do, wearing what they wear, and thinking what they think is that they are non-generalizationable entirely. They have as vast a spectrum of quirks of belief, practice, ideology, conviction, and habitus as among any other group.

Oh, and a strong streak of stubborn opinionation. But you probably already knew that.


To paraphrase Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, there are 613 mitzvos - even with one of them missing from your life the other 612 are more than enough to keep you busy.
Besides, you weren't planning on doing ALL of them, were you?

Think of yourself as ongoing work in progress. And stop thinking too much about your neighbors.
Unless, of course, he or she is hot! hot! hot! beyond all reason.

NOTE: If you wish, you may contact me directly:
All correspondence will be kept in confidence.



  • At 12:20 PM, Blogger e-kvetcher said…

    The odd thing about the comments on DovBear is that most of the commenters assume that the author is clueless about the world outside the Yeshivishe circles, yet it is clearly not the case as he grew up Conservative and became a BT as an adult.

  • At 12:23 PM, Blogger The back of the hill said…

    Tayere e-kvetcher,

    That may very well explain his blinkered view. He is, probably, largely unaware of other ‘dialects’ within Orthodoxy.


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