Thursday, 19 June 2014

Haredi Orthodoxy & Pharassies or we don't have the Magestrium in Judaism

Hi All, 

This is something I posted on my favourite Jewish blog, Dovbear,  but I've added to it. This is in reaction to this ludicrous post, on a site called  'Cross Currents', what is in effect a Haredi (that is strict Ultra Orthodox)  propaganda site. It constantly pisses me off, for a variety of reasons.So I'm having a rant about it. I can't do this all the time as I'd be spending every day on a rant. So I have to be selective here .

OK, well here is my view, won't be popular, but I don't care, 'cause you're gonna bloody well hear it anyways -

I'm not going to accept that a sect of Judaism- because that is exactly what Haredi Judaism is - which was created less that 200 years ago and then claims itself to be the one true Orthodox path, has any right to dictate to the rest of us, what we should and shouldn't believe or follow. I'm a Jew. I love Orthodoxy, but I also love the rest of Judaism in all its rich tapestry.

I try to follow the Mitzvot as best as I can. But I like our faith because it gives a wide breathing space for varying views and schools of thought. There is no way I would follow someone just because they said so. Who do these guys think they are, Jesus -y? Oy, no, no no!The Haredi gedolim & certainly not Rabbis are not a Jewish Magestrium a la the Catholic Church. Judaism does not work like this, we don't have Popes and Cardinals or Apostolic succession; yes we used to have a Sanhedrin, but the Haredi  under their Gadols Rabbis are not a new Sanhedrin, whatever they may think. Judaism requires us to debate, to think, to reason, to do. Otherwise we simply wouldn't study the Torah at all, but leave it to the Priestly caste...No, they are wise men with gandolf like beards, we can listen to them, but what fool - and you are a fool- if U slavishly following a religion whose holy men think that their adherents should just go along to get along , even though they, as is argued in the cross currents  article  " may even be wrong by all reason and logic".

Hello? Who is using the family brain cell here? 

Since when did being an mindless automaton become authentic Judaism?

U know the big, big problem with the likes of Cross Currents is that it is 'exhibit A' of those who argue against Judaism. It reeks of the Christian critique (a view once held by my non Jewish housemates) that Jews follow a bunch of impossible to fulfil rules, that Torah is a burden, not something cool, that we are all heartless 'pharassies', who place the letter of the Torah, above the spirit of the Torah. That we are all like Shammai, not like Hillel or in a Christian context Saul and not Paul . 

I see that the latest post on Cross Currents bemoans how the current Israeli government has 'forced' people to stop studying Torah to get a job(!??). Welcome to the real world guys. Most of us have to go to work to pay a mortgage (in my case me and 4 others), the bills, the taxes and if we are lucky we get a bit left over. So sorry, but you should bloody well work to put bread on the table & to support those who genuinely are unable to work.

That is authentic Judaism. So sorry, but I'll not bend the knee to a 200 year old sect, as if it were the only, real and true traditional or Orthodox Judaism .

Rant over... I feel better (:

31 comments:

  1. Being lazy here, but this was my response (I note Hannah, you cribbed some of my argument into your post above!!) -


    "There will be times when Jewish leadership – the most widely accepted authorities of the times – may seem wrong, may even be wrong by all reason and logic."

    This is the same thing to me as saying if 'The Jewish leadership' told me to jump off a cliff... I've got to? Being a devout Jew, does not entail one to check out the brain at the community door.

    "But that is not our (we non-authorities’) business. Our charge is to accept their guidance, period. Simply because of who they are, and what Judaism requires of us"

    No, no, no no!.The Haredi gedolim & certainly not Rabbis are not a Jewish Magestrium a la the Catholic Church. Judaism does not work like this, we don't have Popes and Cardinals or Apostolic succession. Judaism requires us to debate, to think, to reason, to do. Otherwise we simply wouldn't study the Torah at all, but leave it to the Priestly caste...

    and in any case what would be the point of the Haredi Yeshiva, if all they are going to do is learn parrot fashion what they are spoon fed? Rabbis are gatekeepers, teachers, guides and pastors. They are not infallible, but by the logic of this argument , by decreeing you've got to follow them no-matter what, the Haredi gedolim will end up being laughing stock, like King Canute. Then no-one is going to listen to them.

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  2. Oh and as for the other post about them being forced to get a job & not study Torah, I'll never get why this makes the Israeli government such a whipping boy. The Jewish tradition- at least the real Orthodoxy- dictates that a man such get a job. It also provides for women to work as well, alongside the traditional 'household' work (without wanting to sound sexist of course!).

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  3. Yes that website is quite self serving. I never get why they moderate comments so heavily. It is as if they know they are self-serving and will get others (i.e. most of us) calling them on their assertions. What they like to describe as Judaism, let alone Orthodox Judaism, is nothing of the sort. They day that we turn Rabbis into Popes or cult leaders, then it is the day Judaism isn't worth the candle.

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  4. Dave,


    They don't go to Yeshiva simply to become scholars. It is a form of worship to them. That's why they are so defensive about joining the IDF etc. True it is about control and the fact they are a sect/cult, but you've got to see it from their angle as well.

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  5. Can you give a shout out to the unrestricted comments site so more people start using it? http://cross-currents-comments.blogspot.com/2014/06/re-for-now-final-post-about-jewish.html

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  6. OK, this is how it feels reading that site -

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MIaORknS1Dk

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  7. Isn't using the word sect/cult a bit strong?

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  8. Yes. We'll put something up for you.

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  9. ROFL. Better be careful, I know a few people who find the life of brian to be the most blasphemous film ever made, apparently. I try and see this is as schoolboy humour, though.

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  10. Depends on how you define cult. But let's put it this way if you are calling for blind adherence to leadership, even if as they admit it is foolish, then isn't that verging on cultish behaviour. To be fair to Catholics, I understand that they are obliged as Catholics to dissent from heresy, even if Popes tell them otherwise. I'm sure our friend Happy Jack has said this in the past.

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  11. Maybe, but I'll take my chances.

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  12. I still think cult is too strong a word. I prefer denomination. OK, that is not how Haredi see it, but it is probably a fairer description than cult. Whatever the strange proclamations of the Haredi leadership. Besides which, I do find, that criticising fellow Jews, is an extremely painful thing to do. Although debate and discussion is a part of our culture, I don't think we should be Faux Pas about how we do the debate.

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  13. Yeah. This has already been pointed out to me. Why can't I just be left alone to have a good olde rant, with no-one around to challenge it , even if it is utter crap?? Sometimes I guy just needs to rant or say ridiculous things... to well, let off steam. Do I see things from the Haredi angle. I don't have sympathy for the Haredi leadership BUT I do care deeply for the kind and generous Haredi people I know. They are being let down big time by their infallible leaders and their actions will eventually lead more people away from Hashem, than the secular world ever will. That's why this is such an important issue.

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  14. If Jack was a Jew he would probably be Haredi, From what he's read, there is a rational, internal consistency to their position.

    Yes, yes, Jack knows Judaism isn't simple and he has little grasp of it,

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  15. *chuckle*
    He has - many times. So does Mundabor too.

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  16. Ow! I 'm glad I got it right!

    "Mundador"... just not my cup of tea.

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  17. Hi HJ


    "there is a rational internal consistency"


    Yes, most religions do have that though. I'm not surprised you'd like Haredi, as they are the most 'hard core', uncompromising or 'fundamentalist' brand of Judaism. I've got to admit I do like the big, black hats. My bro wears one, but that was because his first wife was a Chabad 'rebel' (which isn't Haredi, but Hasidic/mystical, but still Orthodox).

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  18. Dominique Vasilkovsky20 June 2014 at 13:43

    I'm just glad there is more to Judaism than Haredi! Thanks for pointing out this BS, Hannah, much appreciated .

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  19. Haredi are an extreme fringe in Israel. Their neigbourhoods are 'no go' for non Haredi. Which is why I have little time for them claiming they are the only type of Judaism. Most respect them, but they are the ones hostile to the rest of us. If my children have to serve in the IDF, why not theirs ?

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  20. If this was real Judaism, I'd be another faith. Preferably one, like the faith I follow, meant using your brain once in a while.

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  21. Dude, I know the feeling, but this is a public forum. Therefore anything you say can be subject to reply. Even if it is just a let of steam rant !

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  22. Dude,


    You've already got a black hat. We are talking about the real fringe here- no education for women (who go out to work, btw, so that the men can study Torah all day). This is ludicrous and is no more authentic a Judaism that the other polar of Reform. It is the claim of what it is that pisses people off .At least you Catholics have got the 'Thou art my rock' bit to justify your claims to being the only real Church. Haredi don't even have that. But they do have a great set of Fedora's. I wear one over Shabbat, my ecumenical concession, well if Boris Johnson can , so can I :

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  23. Yet it suits you and Bojo!

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  24. Yes. I see you're point. But making a rant public is what makes it come satisfactory!

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  25. Very good Where do you find these gems??

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  26. Heh, back that up with something more than a no and I'll let you off !

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  27. Another time, perhaps, if the issue comes up.

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