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1 Mad Prophet Ludwig  Wed, Oct 20, 2010 3:51:39pm

Yitzhak Shapira is a total nut and widely regarded as such. He has a long history of legal problems as well. To call him a leading rabbi is a grotesque lie on the part of Ha'aretz. To hold him up as an example of Torah Judaism or what Torah law is, is a grotesque lie on your part.

The extreme lengths the IDF goes to in order to avoid civilian casualties are much more in line with Torah law.

You clearly have some Torah education. What compels you to write with such venom against something that you must know does not say what you claim it does, and large groups of people who do not hold the views you claim they do?

As to the grim necessities of warfare, Torah law is quite cognizant of the unfortunate need to kill. It was revolutionary though by making laws about preserving the land when you do so (the law about trees for instance), not murdering and not raping.

You know this to be true.

Why do you pretend it is otherwise?

Also, do not give me some beef about Amalek or Midian. Those are moot arguments because they were one time situations and they could not possibly come up today or even 2,800 years ago as a practical question or objection.

2 Michael McBacon  Wed, Oct 20, 2010 5:09:20pm

This article is on the Max Blumenthal level of low.

3 Bob Levin  Wed, Oct 20, 2010 8:39:07pm

re: #1 LudwigVanQuixote

My mistake. I made every mistake that I criticize others for making. Totally my fault.

I have the bookmarklet, and I use it, but I try not to make many adjustments, since I'm gathering what is said in other places. I'm usually more careful when I read an article, and it wasn't the case with this. I didn't know that this rabbi is tilted, and upon rereading the article, that should have been clear to me. I shouldn't have linked to this article.

What I did write as a comment--was that people create their own universe of knowledge, and then call that the universe. They create the lenses from which they view the world, and then say that they see the world fully. I do believe there is a narrowness in contemporary Jewish thought--and I could apply the same paradigm to many academic and secular fields.

So I waffled, do I point this out in the field of psychology, or literature or philosophy, or medicine, and not point this out in the field of Jewish scholarship, as if Jewish scholarship is fine? I still don't know the answer, what to point out, but I do know that we are not just fine.

Nevertheless, this link was clearly a bad choice, and I do apologize. If it would be the best thing to do, I'll delete it. But the best thing might be for me to leave it up, along with the comments, along with this apology. Evidently, this is a part of my own lens that needs some more grinding.

4 Bob Levin  Thu, Oct 21, 2010 12:02:57am

re: #1 LudwigVanQuixote

re: #2 UNIXon

I think I'll delete the post, but I want to make sure we all agree on the basic meaning--and if we agree about the basic content, I'll delete.

1. Here's an article that appeared in Ha'aretz.

2. In this article, a rabbi made a halachic ruling on warfare, making this ruling with the intent of solving a very difficult double-bind of conflict.

3. The rabbi should not have made this ruling, because it does not solve the double-bind of conflict.

4. Since it will not solve the problem, why did the rabbi make the ruling? The rabbi made the ruling because his complete universe of knowledge is limited to halacha, that he is not a well-rounded scholar. Since his universe is narrow, his concept of problems is narrow, and his ideas for solutions will not work. In fact, his ideas for solutions will sound coarse and cruel, because of his narrowness.

5. Can this problem be solved? Yes, and it seems as though engineers may have done so. One of the main reasons that human shields might be used is when going around corners. But now we have a rifle that will shoot around corners, sense danger, call for help--in other words, a possible solution that even eliminates the temptation of using human shields.

6. This problem was not in the domain of a rabbinic problem, and the rabbi should have left this problem to the engineers.

7. And this raises a most difficult question in Judaism, whether rabbis are above criticism by lay people. We do it, but it is walking a thin line because it is necessary to maintain respect for our institutions. However, our history is filled with the consequences of moments when we did not question or criticize institutional authority.

Anyway, that's the meaning of the post. I realize it didn't look that way from the Ha'aretz headline, but I don't like to edit headlines. I'm sorry for what I think is the resulting confusion. From now on, I won't simply link to the source, and inadvertently spread anything inflammatory that might have been written.

Let me know when you've read this, then I'll delete the whole thing.

5 freetoken  Thu, Oct 21, 2010 12:23:01am

re: #3 Bob Levin

Well....

My mistake. .... but I try not to make many adjustments, since I'm gathering what is said in other places. .... If it would be the best thing to do, I'll delete it.

"Adjustments" probably aren't needed here, but if you're quoting somebody else that you want to separate from your own voice, use quotes around the title.

6 Bob Levin  Thu, Oct 21, 2010 12:58:11am

re: #5 freetoken

Okay, I'll try that right now and see if that helps. Thanks. I really feel terribly about this.

7 Bob Levin  Thu, Oct 21, 2010 12:59:08am

re: #5 freetoken

I don't think that's enough. What do you think?

8 CuriousLurker  Thu, Oct 21, 2010 12:59:20am

I wish you would leave it since you've apologized, corrected and clarified, but I understand if you don't want to.

I can't speak for the other lizards, but this is the ONLY place where I'm able to see Jewish people discuss religious matters in a way I can understand AND feel comfortable asking questions about. It's is doubly true when the subject is something as distasteful as what this rabbi has written and/or said (or like the page Alouette posted a few days back).

9 freetoken  Thu, Oct 21, 2010 1:29:17am

re: #7 Bob Levin

I don't think that's enough. What do you think?

1. Use double quotes, not single.
2. This link isn't really an issue for me - I just see it as another report about some hyper-religious old guy, in a world that is full of such.

10 Bob Levin  Thu, Oct 21, 2010 2:43:42am

re: #8 CuriousLurker

But she just changed the headline right away--which is evidently clearer than what I've done. That might be the way to go.

11 CuriousLurker  Thu, Oct 21, 2010 7:07:52am

re: #10 Bob Levin

True, she did. I usually prefer that headlines be left alone, but in a case like this it's probably wiser to change it to make your opinion of it clear.

12 CuriousLurker  Thu, Oct 21, 2010 7:09:22am

re: #9 freetoken

The system won't let you use double quotes—it replaces them with single quotes.

13 Mad Prophet Ludwig  Thu, Oct 21, 2010 2:40:55pm

re: #8 CuriousLurker

I wish you would leave it since you've apologized, corrected and clarified, but I understand if you don't want to.

I can't speak for the other lizards, but this is the ONLY place where I'm able to see Jewish people discuss religious matters in a way I can understand AND feel comfortable asking questions about. It's is doubly true when the subject is something as distasteful as what this rabbi has written and/or said (or like the page Alouette posted a few days back).

The thing for you to take away from this, that I think is most important, is the secular/religious split in Israel.

Ha'aretez is the left wing paper. It is left wing in the same sense that the Guardian is. As such they love to inflate stories about "crazy religious Jews." They feel they have evolved past their own culture and traditions while knowing little about it, and write against observant Jews with a fervent earnestness.

On the other side, there are creeps like Shapira, who should have been imprisoned long ago IMHO.

They represent the worst of religious Judaism in much teh same way that Fred Phelps is the worst of Christianity.

In the reality, most Israelis are somewhere in the middle on religious grounds. They are observant to whatever extent observance appeals to them. The joke they have is that the synagogue they don't go to is Orthodox. Amongst the truly secular, most can at least respect the Tradition and amongst the observant, most are pretty well educated.

However, both sides have their utterly obnoxious extremes. Both sides are very good at presenting a false stereotype to the other that each abhors. Both extremes on either side are equally abhorrent - though for different reasons.

14 Mad Prophet Ludwig  Thu, Oct 21, 2010 2:42:32pm

re: #3 Bob Levin

Thank you for the clarification.

15 CuriousLurker  Fri, Oct 22, 2010 11:02:09am

re: #13 LudwigVanQuixote

Thanks so much for the explanation. It helps a lot, especially when you reference things I'm familiar with.

The joke they have is that the synagogue they don't go to is Orthodox.

LOL—good one!

Amongst the truly secular, most can at least respect the Tradition and amongst the observant, most are pretty well educated.

That's great. It seems to me that, just as with our politics, Americans can be very sharply divided on the issue of secularism vs. religiosity. Perhaps that's due to our diversity and our contentious religious history (I'm referring here to the ideal of freedom of religion as set out in the Constitution vs. the ongoing reality of conflict between various immigrant groups of different religions, sects, or no religion at all).

However, both sides have their utterly obnoxious extremes. Both sides are very good at presenting a false stereotype to the other that each abhors. Both extremes on either side are equally abhorrent - though for different reasons.

I think this is true of most people the world over. We seriously need to evolve past that nonsense. We have the ability to do so, but I don't know if we have the will. It doesn't help that politicians use religion as a wedge, and that some religious leaders use their influence to manipulate & dominate (for personal gain) instead of to guide & uplift (for the benefit of all).


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