Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The laity speaks


     The prudent thing to do is not to answer emails from people too far gone into zealotry. That's safest, as you never have to regret a reply you didn't make. And they disappear faster if you don't respond. Were I sharing beekeeping tips, I might do that.
     But I write about issues I care about, and when readers offer these harsh opinions, I feel compelled to answer some of them. Call it a hopefulness. People are rational and they will yield to reason, eventually. Or maybe I just get tired of ignoring something vile and feel the need to send up some return fire. 
     I won't bore you with even a selection of the emails I received yesterday replying my column talking about gay marriage with Archbishop Blase Cupich. Processing them is my job, not yours. 
    Well, okay, just one, so you can gauge the tone. This from Mike Feehan, under the subject heading, "You are an Obama lover/liberal so GO FIGURE, YOU AND YOUR TYPE support homo marriage...BOY, WHAT A SHOCKER.....YOU think the fraud in the WH is some kind of Christian as well....WHAT A JOKE YOU ARE...."
     Feehan writes:
     "Why don't you open your O.T. Jewish Bible and see what Holy God has to say about homo marriage?? Let me guess, you also support a woman's right to CHOOSE (CHILD SLAUGHTER/ABORTION, RIGHT??? Obama a Christian??? ARE, ARE, ARE YOU KIDDING ME???"
 
     That actually is one of the more comical, less disturbing emails, in the way that he drags Obama into it, and in that he avoids rolling in the sexual practices that so fascinate/repel these people. I easily ignored it. 
    But two exchanges, I did get drawn into.  I'll warn you, they go on a bit. But future historians might wonder the intellect behind the last ditch efforts to suppress the rights of gays, and this I think is a fairly accurate snapshot of the average revanchist, circa May, 2015.

No. 1 begins: 

Mr Steinberg:
Keep dreaming. As liberal as Cupich may be, there is absolutely no way he will ever endorse so-called homosexual "marriage". And, by the way, yes indeed, you are obsessed with this issue as are many of your Jew friends in the media. It's not your fault. It is just the way your ticket has been punched - to be revolutionary for the sole purpose of being revolutionary. You see things as needing to be wrecked. Two thousand years ago in Jerusalem, you shouted "give us Barabbas" and now you are shouting "let men marry men and women marry women". Same bullshit, same rejection of the Logos - the natural, moral order to the universe. Just different words.
Michael DeCleene

I'm always shocked that these people sign their names. I replied:

Thanks for writing. I won't waste words on such a stone heart.

Which drew:

"Thanks for writing. I won't waste words on such a stone heart. Words fail me in the face of such bold truth".
There. Fixed it for ya.

"Bold truth"? I couldn't resist:

Don't be silly. Hatred is not bold. It's cowardly and lazy and repulsive. "Jew friends in the media"? Really? I have a hard time believing that such people exist. Aren't you embarrassed to say that, Michael?

NS

I used his name at the end because I have a theory that doing so reaches toward whatever
humanity is within a person. It didn't work. He wrote:

Oh, please. Jews dominate the media and you know this to be true. Jews are overwhelmingly liberal and you know this to be true. Jews have dominated revolutionary thought for thousands of years. Just look at the Frankfurt School and its influence on American academia the past 100 years. Whether it be anthropology (Max Boaz), psychology (Freud), human sexuality (Kinsey), philosophy (Marcuse/Fromm), Marxism (Marx), mass execution (Einstein/Oppenheimer/Trotsky) etc., it pretty much came from the Jews and it is all revolutionary. Look at the board members at the ACLU and SPLC. Mostly Jews. Look what they promote: disordered gender theory, homosexuality, pornography, child sexuality, abortion, etc. And again, all revolutionary.
Why would you take issue? I would think you would be proud.

I could wrote this carefully, realizing we were straying onto fraught ground:

Don't project your bigotries onto others. Jews tend to be sympathetic with the oppressed, being oppressed themselves. And Jews tend to have to live by their wits, being denied easy access to trades by the prejudice rolling off you in waves. I can see that you are proud.
Let me ask you this? Are you hoping to convince me? Or just abuse me? Because I certainly have no hope of convincing you. I'm just curious, like a doctor confronting a disease of particular interest to him. So if Jews are dominated revolutionary thought, which might have some validity, then which group dominates hidebound, rigid, narrow, ossified thought? Any clue? Take your time.

Thanks for writing.
NS

He ignored this, and went on a tangent.

Tell me, Neil, whats wrong with screwing your sister? Explain this one to me. The progressive LGBTQIA community demands us to believe that gender is an accidental construct of social customs - subjective and flexible - but ones sexuality - either normal or homosexual - is genetic and hard-wired in our brains at conception birth when we are brought home from the hospital.
How does one come to believe such a laughably incoherent argument?

It struck me that now it was truly time to stop. So I sent this as a parting thought,
and it worked, since he didn't reply.

As Louis Armstrong said when somebody asked him to explain jazz, "If you have to ask, you'll never know."
Thanks for writing.

That's plenty for one day. But I'm including a second one because it shows what I'm aiming at. Here's No. 2:


Obsessing is putting it mildly. The gay population is a little over 2%. Out of those about 1% are pushing to change the definition of marriage. How does a group so small keep itself constantly on the front page? Answer.. People like you!                                                     
Bob Gregori


I replied:

So the civil rights of 2 percent of Americans don't concern you? And you mock people who do care? That's just sad. If a toddler fell down a well, the rescue would be on the front page of every newspaper in America for a week, and you'd never stand up and say, "It's just one baby!" (Or maybe you would; I try not to pretend like I can read the minds of people). The U.S. Marines are an even smaller group than gay people, and I care about them too. If you would just ignore our brave American Marines, just because there aren't "enough" of them to matter, in your book,well, then I want nothing to do with you. Thanks for writing.
NS

I thought that would silence him, but he came back.

You don't change what's been a standard in our lifetime and previous lifetimes because of less than 2% of the population marriage is between a man and a woman if they would like to have a civil union God bless them no need to change anything. I am sick and tired of having these kind of issues force down my throat.

I missed the above, in the crush of similar emails, and so he tried another sortie.

And I was not talking about Marines or toddlers! Typical liberal response to confuse the issue and not stay on point. My apologies for being harsh but I am very passionate about what is going on in our world today. You have every right to think and support the issues as you see fit. I just do not want a government/judicial mandate on the definition of marriage.

Bob Gregori
Senior Account Manager

I don't know about you, but I was ready for this to end. Still, one more reply.

So help me to understand the point. "You don't change what has been a standard in our lifetime." Do you use that logic with any other realm of life? With medicine? With cars? With racial justice? Or do you just adopt that when dealing with people you want oppressed? I brought up the Marines because you said there just weren't enough gays to care about what happens to them, and I was trying to point out how flawed and arbitrary that thinking is. The point is you are being harsh—not to me, my interest in your reasoning is purely academic. But to your fellow American citizens whose rights you would trample. The fact that you are passionate in wanting to harm American citizens is not an excuse. So is al Qaeda. So is ISIS. And the government is not mandating these changes, your fellow citizens are, at the ballot box and through the legislature and the courts. It just seems strange to see someone rejecting the outcome of the Democratic system based on ... what? Tradition? Your own personal bias and fear? I have biases and fears too. I just don't expect the country to conform to them. Do you really think that because people were bigoted in the past, that excuses you now? Because times have changed. Don't hate me for telling you.
Thanks for writing.

NS

Then the miracle. He wrote:

Spirited discussion. Thanks for replying.
And I wrote: 

Indeed. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me.

Perhaps this is naive of me, but I consider that last little burst of parting civility a kind of victory. Because that is what is deciding this gay marriage issue. People trot out their fucked-up religious dogma and, in the face of counterargument, yield a little, or at least are polite, and that's a start. Bigotry isn't routed in epic battles, it's nibbled away, like water eating at rock. The Supreme Court won't decide this issue. It was decided already, in a million living rooms and street corners. The Supreme Court either will recognize that, or, like my correspondents today, refuse to recognize it. 



131 comments:

  1. "I'm always shocked that these people sign their names." This is what bothers me when some people insist that a signed letter to the editor is ipso facto more worthwhile than, oh, say, a pseudonymous blog comment. Ahem. Does the fact that these guys signed their names make their opinions any more enlightened or worthy of consideration than if they were shouting them out of a megaphone at Bughouse Square?

    I particularly like the way the second guy added "Senior Account Manager" to one of his replies, perhaps to add a little extra authority. Certainly nobody in his position should be shrugged off! Except that Mike Huckabee was the freaking governor of Arkansas and he doesn't "believe" in evolution. For example. Seems to me that in a discussion like that, the arguments are what matters, not the names attached, nor the credentials.

    That's certainly an optimistic concluding paragraph, though, and here's hoping that you indeed "nibbled away" at the rock, or at least gave your correspondent something to think about.

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    1. Huckabee is a flake.

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    2. Once a Jewish urologist told me that was just a religion, but if he was a student of history, he would have known better.

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    3. My fave commenters here are, Jackash, B.Scribe, Anon not Anon and T. Evans.

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    4. Why, thanks! But Anonymous isn't one of your favorites? He/she is certainly prolific! ; )

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    5. some anons are just windbags

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    6. This blog is though provoking, yet fun.

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  2. As a person who embraces a libertarian philosophy, I also believe the legal recognition of gay marriage should be a part of our society. Consider the following, which can appeal to the Tea Party mind set in particular, to add to your repertoire of arguments in favor of gay marriage. In my opinion, homosexuals as a group, are above average productive members of our community, with an entrepreneurial spirit. Being married allows them to files taxes jointly, reducing there tax burden. They will have more money available to spend, or invest in growing their business, an important part of supply side economic theory. It would also help in estate planning, allowing couples additional options for mitigating the inheritance tax. A frequent argument opponents of gay marriage make is, that it dilutes or impairs the sanctity of heterosexual marriage. Currently, there is a marriage penalty in our tax code, applicable to couples within certain income ranges. This is a government generated incentive for people to divorce, and live together in sin, so they can file two single tax returns. If you believe, as I do, that marriage is good for our society, you should be for lowering taxes, such that married filing separately, should more closely resemble two single returns. You have in the past said taxes should be higher, so this position may compromise your beliefs. Bear in mind you are asking others to compromise their beliefs.

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    1. I know some single moms, white too, another hisp., who don't marry the dad of the baby so they can get govt benefits , not just for the tax deal.

      Good article by Mary Mitchell today saying blacks should be protesting and angry , even more so on the black on black crime.

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    2. What is the SPLC?

      Also, how ridic that guy thinks Jews promote porn. Where does he even get those ideas? he's insane and delusional-he obviously hasn't met the strict Hassidic Jews in Brooklyn.

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    3. Anonymous 8:14 AM:
      This is a complex subject, but what you describe was more true in the past. Things changed when President Clinton signed TANF into law, in 1996. Now an unwed mother's benefits have a time limit, and mothers are required to seek employment. For extended benefits, the mother must name the children's father. The father then becomes liable for the child support payments made by the government. The government bureaucracy can be capricious and cruel, when administrating these programs. e.g. The reason Walter Scott ran from a routine traffic stop, is because, rather then garnishing Walter Scott's wages, the Maryland Court had issued a bench warrant for his arrest.

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    4. yes, good for Clinton, and thanks for the other info, wise Mr. Bernie

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    5. Mr. E., What do you think of the Hassidics of NY? Are they even more extreme?

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    6. Surely you don't mean, Sir Walter Scott, Bernie.

      Bernie, that sounds like a Jewish first name.

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    7. I knew a fellow student with the surname of Roth once. She got bent out of shape cause I asked if she had Jewish ancestors. Clamed to be Catholic, but I think I figured out her background better than she did.

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  3. That's frightening, Neil. Maybe you should have an asst who scans emails and deletes all those. Talk about anti Semitic and warped, racist Obama haters. Yes, you did get me to give a little on the gay argument, but that doesn't work with everyone.

    If anything, lately some Jews are too conservative and obsessed with Israel, not too liberal. It seems some Jews are turning to the Repub.party for this reason, unfort.

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    1. This email writer is prob like one of those nuts from TX, who thinks the Pres. is going to run over the state.

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  4. I like these email peeks, NS. Do that more often.

    Yes, you'd think they'd want to hide their names.

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  5. Yes, we can tell you have biases against Christianity, NS-Catholics in particular and I can understand some of that. But that doesn't mean you expect laws to be made based on your thoughts, like Jews shouldn't marry Christians, or something like that.

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    1. NS, the problem could be that some of these readers don't know your personal family story and might think wrongfully think you are gay and thus have an agenda.

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    2. But I do have an agenda. I think people shouldn't be oppressed for who they are. That comes from being Jewish, and seeing it first hand. Nothing hidden about that.

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    3. Interesting article in the ST yesterday, speaking of that, about a 99 yr old Rabbi that has now become agnostic, due to the Holocaust.

      Am I the only one who reads the whole paper around here?

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    4. I did and thought of commenting on it. Rabbi Schaalman sounds like my kind of guy.

      Tom Evans

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    5. I'd love to hear your thoughts on that, Mr. Evans.

      And where is Mr.Scribe, today? he'll have something interesting to add

      Mrs. Anon

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    6. You are indeed a gentleman, Mr. Evans.

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    7. Mr. S, But since you claim to be an atheist, the 'being Jewish" part as far as feeling like a victim, wouldn't seem to hold up as well as an argument then.

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    8. "Jewish" is not just a religion. Hitler didn't exempt atheistic Jews.

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    9. Coey - I don't think that's true - while there's a "default" within Judaism that makes you Jewish if your mom is Jewish (or dad if you go by the Reform branch), anyone can convert, and anyone can opt-out. It's outsiders like Hitler that imposed a "once your in the race, you're always in" definition. I'd argue that Judaism should get to define itself, not have to live with how others have treated it, though I'd admit it's a bit of a muddle.

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    10. Indeed, Coey, there is something cultural about Judaism, that you couldn't say necessarily about Catholocism for example, quite as much.

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    11. About Rabbi Shaalman, the notion that one can reach 99 and modify, or even abandon, the beliefs of a lifetime refreshingly goes against the view that one's brain calcifies with age. and is refreshing indeed. As is his willingness to face death without grasping desperately to hope of something beyond the grave. On that matter I find myself still bound by the sentiment expressed in Thomas Hardy's lovely little poem "The Oxen." (Look it up.) And, not being Jewish myself, it may be presumptuous to comment on the confusing subject of Jewish identity, but I would think most of his coreligionists would think his comment "A Jew who despairs in no longer a Jew" to be historically sound.

      About race vs. culture, the racial theories that featured so strongly in Twentieth Century persecution of the Jews originated with the 19th Century Frenchman Arthur Le Gobineau, whose works were taken up by the Nazis to provide intellectual cover for their program of military conquest and mass murder. They also carried some credence in academic circles until discredited by anthropologists like Franz (not Max, as one of Neil's illustrious correspondents would have it) Boaz. Race wasn't an issue in Catholic ante-Semitism -- Pius XI once said, "after all, we're all Semites" -- because conversion of the Jews was always a church project. When the 1938 Race Laws were passed by the Fascist government, the Vatican approved of excluding Jews from positions in education, political life and business but wanted converts to be excepted. Mussolini ignored their objection and went along with Hitler's view that "once a Jew always a Jew."

      Tom Evans

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    12. thanks, Tom- I too that that people in that age group wouldn't change their thinking like that

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    13. Tom, I was made to read some Hardy book in college, can't remember which but knew it was dull. Something about a mayor.

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    14. Big mistake Mussolini made in aligning with Hitler. Hitler had no respect for him anyway.

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    15. Being black or Jewish seems so hard. I'm glad I'm not either.

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    16. Tom, Some Italian Jews were even converted from the middle ages. It's safer that way.

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    17. You should have been a history teacher, Tom.

      And where's Tate today?

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    18. Or perhaps a literature teacher.

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    19. "The Mayor of Casterbridge." If you don't have the patience for the novels you should try his very fine poetry.

      TE

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    20. that's it

      they had that novel done on masterpiece theater as well

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    21. Don't worry , Rabbi. I won't nag you for questions every time you come on.

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  6. Would love to know more about your personal biases, bet I'm not the only one.

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  7. I disagree that NS had demonstrated bias against Christians. Certainly he has criticized specific aspects of, say, the Catholic church. So have I, and I'm a practicing Catholic But I don't recall him bashing Christianity or Catholicism as a whole.

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  8. 1% of the population = 3,200,000 people.

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    1. exactly! doesn't seem so small now

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  9. Wonder what that taxidermy pic is about? And is that James Garfield, former Pres?

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    1. I thought the stuffed, fangless ferocity echoed these emails.

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    2. okay but what about the 19th century man in the pic?

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    3. Some Northwestern founding father. I snapped the photo in the NU Archive.

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    4. oh, well he looks like Pres. Garfield.

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  10. I had no idea that Marx was so influential in Marxism. Great to get that sorted out.

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    1. that is funny, tj

      some of these comments remind me of the great Bob Zimmerman song, "Lay , lady lay"

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    2. But which Marx? Groucho? Chico? I put my money on Zeppo; I bet he was the agitator behind it all.

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  11. Neil, I bet the editors get some laughable feedback from some of these nuts, writing them in complaint.

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  12. Call be a worrywart but one of these days some coworker or boss of one of these folks will read it here, or track name, they'll get in trouble at work and you'll be sued. We wouldn't want that.

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    1. meant me, not be

      some of this conversation reminds me of Dylan's great Knocking on Heaven's door

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    2. I guess you can sue for anything, but prevailing seems unlikely. Not much of an expectation of privacy when you write to a newspaper under your own name. Unless, perhaps, you specifically asked that they nor be published. Any libel lawyers around today?

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    3. What kind of husband encourages his wife to prance around half naked? Are you listening Kanye or JayZ?

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  13. The owl statue in the small pic-is that at the Willowbrook Wild Life reserve in Glen Ellyn? looks like it

    these captcha food pics are ruining my diet

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    Replies
    1. Yes, the sandwiches I keep having to click on definitely look tastier than my lunch...

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  14. Many years ago, I was going through back issues of Life magazine from the mid- to late 1960s for a school project. Many of the letters to the editor had to do with the civil-rights struggle that was then going on.

    I'll never forget one letter, which read, in its entirety:

    "I was shocked that you ran the letter from [some bigot published in a previous issue] in its original form. What a way to prejudice people against what the man had to say."

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    Replies
    1. Scribe - you might appreciate this: http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1939/01/i-married-a-jew/306262/

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    2. Anon/not-Anon, that was a good article, didn't know Picasso was Jewish, surprised his parents were as understanding and didn't say or at least not to her-but she's not Jewish.

      Her mom sounded anti sem.

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  15. lol, good one, some people need a course in logic

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  16. NS, can your ever do a guess where from WILL county? make it fair for us far flung suburb readers and subscribers

    we don't all drive pickup trucks out here, ya know

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    Replies
    1. I'm not against that, but it would require me to GO to Will County, wouldn't it?

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    2. Well, let's get out of the rut then. Go to the far southwest suburbs. Take a drive when you can. We don't bite.

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  17. It would be interesting to do a survey of regulars here, to see who is Christian, Jewish, agnostic, other etc Just to see what the reader base is.

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    1. What if you're ethnically Jewish, but your parents converted to Christianity, so you were baptized and raised Catholic, but now consider yourself an atheist, but aren't really too sure about the matter? ; )

      I would be curious though, which box our host would check if given a choice of Jewish, atheist or agnostic. Belief-wise, I feel like I'm kinda like him in having long ago drifted away from the tenets of the faith I was raised in, but still appreciating some of the traditional aspects, though from a Catholic background. I'm never quite sure what to put on forms that ask about religion.

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    2. that is an interesting combo there, Mr. Jakash

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    3. Just to be clear, the combo in that first paragraph was hypothetical -- it doesn't apply to me...

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    4. "I'm never quite sure what to put on forms that ask about religion."

      For me, that's easy. Answer: none.

      My previous family history, education and experiences with religion helped me to come to this end, though I don't regret any knowledge gained.

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  18. There are many ways to define Jewish. The rabbis, the Nazis, the Israeli government, each has their own definition. But Kinsey was not Jewish by any definition. He was a gentile. I'm not saying your correspondent was wrong, as you yourself responded to him, it's hard to deny the Jewish presence in the great political and scientific revolutions ever since Napoleon liberated the Jews.

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    1. Right, some of the earlier Marxists were atheistic Jews, in Germany and Russia. They scorned the overly religious Jews or any religion, for that matter.

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    2. Elizier, I can't quite make out your surname roots? Might that be Italian?

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    3. Mr. E, I opened up your handle name and saw you were dressed as an orthodox Jew. Why are they so hard and sexist on women????

      Thank goodness for the Reformed movement.

      Jan Goldenstein-former NOW member

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    4. My last name, Eisenberg, is Lithuanian/German/Jewish. My first name, Eliezer, is Biblical, both the name of a son of Moses and Abraham's servant.
      Jan, I am an Orthodox Jew. You say that we're hard and sexist on women. That's true. We're also hard and sexist on men. We are equal opportunity hard and sexist, in the sense that we assign disparate gender specific roles, duties, and expectations. But I know that this has driven many good women away from Orthodox Judaism. I've had this conversation with Letty Pogrebin, and I came away from it limping and bruised.

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    5. Sir, with all due respect, these don't work in the modern world. And your treatment of men, isn't as limiting.

      Of course no one seems as sexist as Muslims. Some evangelicals are as well but some groups are worse than others.

      And it is wrong to think Reformed Jews aren't the real thing, or perhaps Conservatives and Reconstructionist for that matter. If it wasn't for the Reformed especially, you would have few practicing your religion.

      Shalom

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    6. You are probably Ashkenazic then and not Sephardic, judging from your original locale.

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    7. Don't be mad at Jesus, Mr. E., be mad at Nazi's and Muslims instead.

      Now to others, here's what I don't get, for those Born agains that go overboard, why would they support any religion that doesn't see Jesus as Savior. True the Israelis aren't terrorists like Muslims but still, why pick?

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    8. It must hurt you to see so many Jews become agnostic or atheists, dear Mr. E. Shall we call you Rabbi? thanks for sharing

      Some that I know were Hungarian Jews.

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    9. 3 cheers for L. Progrebin. If she left you bruised perhaps you should enter another sect of Judaism besides orthodox then.

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    10. My so. Euro, Christian family had a cousin who married into the family. Her last name and been changed to Elia, but was prob Elijah. She looked a bit Semitic.

      She recalls stories of her ancestors turning statues to the wall after visitors left and having special celebrations Fri. night but not knowing why.

      UIC has some great courses on early immigration that are fascinating and pointed out Jews stressing education, early on. Good.

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    11. Mr. Eisenberg, do orthodox Jewish men ever help with housework? And why can't you touch a lady that is menstruating? Remember the old testament/ Torah is not scientific?

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  19. How historically true that is indeed, Mr. Eisenberg.

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  20. I remember reading a book called Dreamers or something like that. It was set at the turn of the last century. The rabbi dad did nothing all day and his doormat wife and kids had to work long hours and then the doormat wife, would give him the best piece of meat. He didn't even care that the kids or wife were worn out from working at the factory. The daughter later eluded that Triangle shirtwaist factory fire and started rebelling against her selish dad. good for her-It was semi fiction but based on reality.

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    1. All he did was study.

      I think the holocaust made more Jews turn atheist then anyone else turn atheist for other reasons, understandably so. It shows that they were wrong when they said Jesus wasn't the Messiah,cause if he wasn't, then why didn't the so called Messiah Jews are waiting for show up then? It would be a great time for it.

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    2. You are thinking of "Bread Givers" by Anzia Yezkierska. Horrible book, I pity her for her miserable early youth, but believe me, if most Talmudists were like that, the current renaissance would never have happened. The ones that did had children like Anzia and Henry Roth.

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    3. Eliezer, I have a Reformed Jewish, lady pharmacist pal who would detest you probably more than any skinhead might . She might have a point. Look how you would have limited her.

      Ever discuss the Talmud or Torah with a lady, or is that beneath you? I love that Yentl Streisand movie, picture books indeed. This isn't 2500 B. C. anymore.

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    4. What current renaissance, Rabbi? And who are the Roths. Not related to the Rosenbergs I hope. And why can't you blame the dad?

      Are women allowed on your blog, Rabbi?

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    5. Oh and that reformed lady pal chose to only have one child. And boys are not more valueable than girls.

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    6. Is anyone else here a Dylan fan?

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  21. Jesus was a revolutionary who rocked the boat and so the local Jewish priests didn't like him-after all he said shouldn't stone women-so they griped to the Roman leaders to do him in. Don't let Hollywood twist things acting like it was just a Roman thing, no cause Pilate didn't really care0 but does that mean Jews should be persecuted over time as they were ? of course NOT,


    Some are very anti gentile too though. The ultra ortho ones, that is.

    And all those kosher rules or don't mix the plates stuff or touch that will cause neurosis.

    Best wishes to the Reformed.

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  22. A/N/A poster might be the cleverest of all, but certainly the most arrogant though or hairsplitting.

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  23. Mr. Eisenberg, It is safer for a doctor to do a circumcision then a special rabbi. They have an anesthetic crème too. Some these days aren't even automatically letting Dr's do that.

    Have you ever read the writing called, Jews of Calabria?

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  24. That "prolific" anon has to be a lady. No dude could talk that much. (runs for cover)

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  25. We seem to have gotten off track a bit...

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  26. I wonder what Mrs. Steinberg thinks about your blog.

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  27. It's even more interesting when we stray on topics.

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  28. I like your sense of humor, Jackash.

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  29. Good thing I only work part time and don't have young kids so I can spend more time on here.

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  30. Oh go make dinner already.

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  31. Mr. S, You told that guy thanks for writing? I thought you only wrote that to me in emails. Guess I'm not special.

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  32. Ms. Pogrebin would be pleased to see the beating I am taking here.
    I was a rabbi, but never pastoral, only teaching at a rabbinical seminary. Pastoral, for me, would be a disaster, as you might be able to tell.
    People, I know this is not where this discussion belongs, but allow me a few points. Rabbinical circumcision has been conclusively demonstrated to have one tenth the complications of physician circumcision. We don't touch menstruating women not because they have the cooties, but because sexual relations are forbidden at that point, and forbidding touch is just a precaution. No, losing so many does not bother me, because it is the fate of the Jews to loose 80% of their population in recurring cataclysms. We've gotten used to it. We limit Jewish women? My wife, her mother, my daughter, her mother in law (Elisheva Carlbach), her mother in law's mother (Jean Jofen), all have doctorates. And they managed to do it despite suffering their troglodyte spouses that must certainly treat them like cows. Ahh, prejudice, so much simpler than actual investigation.

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    1. What would you do if you had no sons? Remarry?

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  33. Perhaps I was thinking of the Hassidics then. I didn't say to have relations with women in their period time but why not even touch on a wrist? That's not going to excite things. But thanks for explaining. Believe me, I've done a lot of investigation on the matter. Obv. one can't know every detail from outside the faith. Well you are teaching us things so thus you are some type of Rabbi.

    Does your particular sect insist women cover their heads or wear a wig.? I think it's fine to bring this up here.

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    1. You aren't taking a beating here, Reb, but enlightening us.

      Delete
    2. Hope that special Rabbi at a bris has anesthetic crème then. Don't some of the men, in Hassidism not work and the ladies have to work or go to school and do all the housework too? Read up on that and not just from bad sources.

      Why can't your women be on the same side in the synagogue, if they are so liberated? Why is their face all covered right before the wedding? So many questions. I wish there was an email I could write you at.

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    3. Why do they have to take that special bath at another locale?

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    4. Are contraceptives allowed among the orthodox? probably not

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    5. How is Hassidism different from Orthodoxy? Just a different sect?

      It's great to get the answers from an actual Rabbi.

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    6. The answer to the last two questions is the same. Are contraceptives allowed among the Orth, and how is Hassidism different from Orth. Answer- the Orthodox accept that the Bible can be interpreted in thousands of ways. No two Orthodox rabbis will agree on anything, but, within limits, will usually accept the right of the other to his opinion. Some allow contraception in all circumstances, some severely limit it. Some focus on mysticism and joy (Hassids), some are allergic to both (me.) Do rabbis slam the door in prospective converts' faces? Only demented rabbis. Almost all rabbis will try to discourage the prospect, because we believe that non-Jews can earn eternal reward without converting, and being Jewish is dangerous and risky, and requires absolute determination. So part of the process is making it easy to drop out.
      Mr. Steinberg, it was presumptuous of me to talk so much on your podium. Even though I know that in the history of the internet, nobody ever changed their minds because of a conversation on a blog, it's still hard to ignore someone that is sincerely curious.

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    7. thanks, Rebbe-I'm truly curious

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    8. Rabbi, or Mr. Eisenberg, (I don't know which is appropriate...)

      I can't imagine that Mr. Steinberg begrudges you answering any questions that you care to on his blog. Given the amount of off-topic chatter that goes on here, your participation has been restrained, if anything. : ) I'm among those who are grateful and impressed that you bothered to respond to the Anonymous interrogation which your original comment seems to have elicited. Perhaps "nobody ever changed their minds because of a conversation on a blog", but plenty of people have learned things, as we did today.

      Delete
    9. I think it is possible to change ones mind somewhat or partially at least, based on blog info.

      It's an honor to talk to a Rabbi and a rare treat, especially for a Gentile.

      Delete
  34. Is it true that when a Gentile comes there to a rabbi's home to want to convert ,she gets the door slammed in her face?

    Thanks for replying before, Reb.

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  35. Rabbi, What do you think of Jesus?

    yesterday they showed a good program on one of the smaller pbs stations on the old testament, saying the early Israelites may have actually been, according to archeology, not the original group it was thought to be , but a mix

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  36. Anonymous- I think mohel is the word you are looking for.

    JG

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  37. Mr . E, Why do you call Anzia miserable? She is right to resent her selfish dad. But anyway, that can't be the book, since the one I'm thinking of was based even earlier, in the earlier 1900's, not the 20's.

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  38. The host of this blog wouldn't agree with some Ortho. Jewish practices either.

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  39. If that breaking bread book is autobiog. why would the character take her dad in at the end? She's being a sap and didn't teach him a lesson. So the man needs the woman.

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  40. Hollywood often is hard on religious Jews.

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  41. Who are those monsters in the pic above? Not more puppets I hope.

    Isn't Bernie Madoff a nasty and greedy guy? Glad he got his just desserts.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. From the Field Museum's Haitian voodoo show, last year.

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  42. I've been to the Fiels Museum many times, but luckily missed this exhibit. Yikes. But I read about how you had to visit one of these places, in one of your books.

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  43. Field, not Fiel

    I still like the old Egyptian display in the basement best.

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  44. Rabbi,

    Would G-d really be angry if one ate lobster?????? It's doubtful.

    Why do some Israelis refuse to help their own army?

    Why is black always worn?

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  45. shiksas can be interested in these matters too

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  46. Ch. 696 Comcast has some Jewish programs as does on Demand, Shalom tv.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for commenting. As soon as I vet your remarks, they'll be posted, assuming they aren't, you know, mean and crazy.