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  • #1163969

    miamilawyer
    Participant

    Subtitle please: A reform temple has the same halachic status as a church, as a matter of fact one may sooner enter a mosque than a reform temple. Contrary to what you think this has nothing to do with hatred or intolerance.

    Me: Only according to those prone to hyperbole. A church according to many is avoda zara. A reform temple is clearly not. And while at its origin, it was filled with heretics, today it is filled with tinokim shenishba who don’t know anything about halacha etc…

    The only reason I know what I know is because my parents wanted us to go to a private school and the Hebrew Academy fit that bill. I married someone from an MO family, but most of my parents friends know nothing. So to call them heretics is silly.

    #1163970

    Joseph
    Participant

    miamilawyer: It is permissible to enter a mosque as it is not Avoda Zora. It is impermissible to enter a Reform/Conservative house of worship, due to heresy, or enter a church, due to Avoda Zora. That’s what Subtitle stated.

    #1163971

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    In Belief, IT SURE is

    Belief in what?

    In a young earth? In the efficacy of segulos? In the authenticity of the Zohar? In the acceptance or dismissal of Zionism? In the belief that Chazal knew all of science?

    In what way is Judaism, in belief, an all or nothing religion? Because if you define it as so, then there are very, very, very few actual Jews.

    The Wolf

    #1163972

    miamilawyer
    Participant

    @joseph. That is actually not what he stated. Its right above. I quoted what he stated. His words were “A reform temple has the same halachic status as a church,…” This is not accurate.

    A reform synagogue may be just fine if they are considered tinokim shenishba. You want to agree with those who argue that a reform synagogue is heresy, (many of which were penned at a time when it contained rebels as opposed to today’s population of people who do not know) you are entitled, but it still does NOT have the “same halachic status as a church” according to the majority opinion (which I suspect you agree with) that a church is avoda zarah.

    #1163973

    Miami: whether or not the members of a reform temple are heretics is irrelevant.

    Its status is determined by what it stands for.

    Wolf:

    Belief in G-d, belief in the divinity of the Torah etc. These things are all or nothing.

    Jf: Please explain the difference between someone who keeps the Torah because they believe in Yoshke and someone who keeps the Torah but doesn’t believe it comes from Hashem.

    #1163974

    Sparkly
    Member

    subtitleplease – in a church they worship avodah zara in a reform synagogue they pray to Hashem. A person who serves avodah zarah is much worse off than an athiest. at least the athiest doesnt believe in lies he just doesnt believe in truth either.

    #1163975

    Miami: What is the differnce between what I said and what Jospeh said?

    #1163976

    @sparkly.at least the athiest doesnt believe in lies he just doesnt believe in truth either.

    The absence of truth is a lie.

    He doesn’t believes in the lie of az he believes in the lie that there is no G-d, unless he’s not really an athiest but an agnostic which means he’s not yet sure what he belives.

    #1163977

    miamilawyer
    Participant

    @subtitle. The difference is that Joseph said it is not permissible to enter a church or a reform temple, but he concedes there are different reasons.

    You said a church and a reform temple has the same halachic status as a church. I believe Joseph agrees that is not correct, although he agrees you should not go into either and he stated that is what you really meant.

    Ok, no big deal. Moving on.

    #1163978

    Sparkly
    Member

    subtitle please – i was meaning if your not going to use your time wisely believing in the truth than why throw your time away for avodah zara?

    #1163979

    Wolfish Musings,

    Creation

    with the active participation of a Creator

    Revelation

    On Har Sinai, Torah given to us for all times

    Included in this is not to willfully, intentionally violate any aveira that is liable for Capital Punishment and Kares

    And not to scoff at any single Halacha, even the most minuscule details

    Redemption

    This includes the concepts of Schar V’Onesh, Judgements, punishments,rewards and eternal final destination On an individual level, on a national level, and on a global/cosmic level.

    These are further elaborated through the 13 Ani Ma’amins

    #1163980

    writersoul
    Member

    sparkly, if this isn’t an overly personal question, what prompted you toward MO?

    Have you ever encountered the works of R Soloveitchik (actually, both R Yosef Dov Soloveitchik and R Ahron Soloveitchik), R Lichtenstein, R Lamm, and others, which explain a lot of the hashkafa of Modern Orthodoxy?

    Does your MO rabbi guide you in hashkafa as well as halacha?

    Do you believe that your hashkafa is MO? To what extent has it changed since you stopped being yeshivish?

    I feel terrible saying this, but it really sounds like you think of MO as the quick and dirty version of the “real thing.”

    #1163981

    writersoul
    Member

    It’s just that you keep on saying that MO are “less religious” and “do what they want.” I defy you to read the above books and say that the authors are “less religious” and “do what they want.” I have no idea what kind of yarmulka each wore/wears or what color it was, but if that’s what you think MO is…

    #1163982

    I. M. Shluffin
    Participant

    Wow, this conversation sure got people riled up quickly. It’s interesting that simple titles (MO, OTD, Yeshivish, Chassidish, etc) can carry so much individual meaning – which may mean something else to each person. It’s certainly helpful to have a universal taxonomy of religious viewpoints in Judaism. Unfortunately, this classification, while necessary for basic conversation and relationships, is limiting. As is obvious from this discussion, many people can’t agree on definitions for each phylum. I think that each distinction has a spectrum of shades and differences. People cannot fall directly into one category; rather, they fall somewhere on the span of it. If anyone were interested in this enough, they could create a system which would place everyone into their individual compartment along the scale, much like a personality test. However, I think that would be unintelligent and an utter waste of time. We don’t need to be boxed into a category – even smaller classes with more titles would constrict us. A Jew is a Jew is a Jew. We’re each different and individualized. We’re all trying to climb up the ladder in kedusha and dveykus and ruchnius, but it seems to me that if we give ourselves an ambiguous categorization we may feel that climbing up is so much harder. We don’t need the labels to serve Hashem properly.

    #1163984

    Sparkly
    Member

    writersoul – most mo people wear shorter skirts and pants but i only wear shorter skirts sometimes and most dont keep shomer and all do hang out with guys i do hang out with guys but do keep shomer. so on so forth…. the reason why i chose mo instead of yehshivish is because i wanted a more open lifestyle where i can do stuff and not have to worry about being judged. like if i want to wear a shorter skirt then i can if i want to hang out wit h guys then i can. plus you have a rabbi who gives it an okay so you never have to worry. (the thing that most of you dont know is that this rabbi is respected by the community and a lot of people follow him because otherwise you will be like you dont need to worry and start saying why you do.)

    #1163985

    Sparkly: I know that there are MO people who practice as you describe. My objection was to your assertion that MOST do that: “most mo dont wear a kippah. they dont cover their hair or theyll barely cover their hair.” Do those people exist? Sure. But it’s not “most” MO. I now see that you have added more definitions of what you believe “most” or even “all” MO believe, which is not true in my experience and I have lived in several different MO communities across the country. I’m not sure where you are getting this information from…

    Joseph: Acknowledging that Reform people are practicing a form of Judaism does not mean that you have to grant them legitimacy as a movement.

    Subtitle please: The difference is that Yoshke is a different god from a different religion. Reform people are practicing OUR religion, just with a lot of gaping holes missing. So-called Messianic Jews are practicing Xtianity dressed up as Judaism.

    #1163986

    Sparkly
    Member

    jewish feminist – what do you call mo then if not for that?

    #1163987

    writersoul
    Member

    You seem to have “picked MO” largely based on externals- so you can do certain things, not be judged, and, hopefully I won’t seem too harsh, seeming “better” in comparison with the people you associate with (rosh lashualim rather than zanav haarayos).

    Have you ever been part of the MO educational system?

    Just saying, I would recommend books by the above authors if you’d like to know about the hashkafa behind MO, which is held by many people who wear yarmulkes (no matter what the color), cover their hair, dress the same way you dressed when you were yeshivish, don’t do coed mixing, etc, as well as the people with whom you associate. MO isn’t “real Judaism lite.” I’m not sure how many times I can say this without being redundant (and probably rude, for which I really do apologize).

    #1163988

    Joseph
    Participant

    Yoshke is Jewish. And his movement initially, and during his entire lifetime, was an all-Jewish movement. Just like the Saduccees, Karaites and Reform.

    #1163989

    JF: The difference between Messianic Judaism and real Judaism is one fundamental belief.

    #1163990

    Sparkly
    Member

    writer soul – what do you mean part of the mo educational system? as in going to college? yes. i never went to a mo school even tho i almost did. and yes the people from the mo school i almost went to did the stuff i described.

    #1163991

    writersoul
    Member

    No, I meant the educational system. Yeshivish people go to college too. (I go to Stern, BTW, which I would count as the MO educational system.) There you might learn that you can do X or Y, but you’d also learn the MO hashkafa.

    #1163992

    Sparkly
    Member

    writersoul – i meant a not jewish college like brooklyn college.

    #1163993

    Sparkly: What do you mean, what do I call MO? MO is MO, I don’t understand your question.

    Subtitle please: Yes, and?

    Joseph: Xtianity during the life of Yoshke cannot be compared to Xtianity today. Followers of Yoshke during his lifetime probably were practicing a form of Judaism. Followers of Yoshke today, not at all.

    #1163994

    writersoul
    Member

    Right, same, yeshivish people go there as well.

    #1163995

    Joseph
    Participant

    jf02, if you’re describing yoshke and his followers during his lifetime as practicing Judaism, and Reform as practicing Judaism, while we may disagree on the semantics, we agree on putting both those religious practitioners in the same category.

    #1163996

    Sparkly
    Member

    jewish feminist – what is your description of a mo person?

    writer soul – when your there you learn a lot more stuff about the open world rather than whats in the frum world. its all goyim most of my classes im the only jew.

    #1163997

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    You know in Rav Mordechai Gifter’s famous speech regarding a certain MO institution he made the point that all label’s are in fact false.

    Judaisim at it’s core is in based upon one simple fact the Divinity of the Torah.

    In practice we all have a Yetzer Horah.

    However the question is how we define ourselves.

    Are we striving to keep the whole Torah or not? Is that our goal?

    If that is our goal then yes we are jointly in the category of Torah Jews” irrespective of whether we are we are

    Ashkenzic or Sefardic,

    Chassidish or Litvish

    Yeshivish or Yekkish

    Orhtodox or Ultra Orthodox.

    The question simply is do we believe in Torah Shebiksav and Torah Shel Bal Peh and is that the manual we strive to use as a guide for everyday life.

    If anybody rejects that belief, if they are not striving to use the Torah as the guide towards everyday life, then they have chosen to leave the mantle of “Torah” and while they may do “good deeds” as any person may, and they may mistakenly think that what they are practicing is Judaisim in some form or another, it is absolutely false.

    There is no two Judaisims,

    There is one it is centered on Torah the whole Torah and nothing but the Torah.

    And understanding this requires the willingness to understand nuance.

    To recognize that no we do not reject the person if a person is born Jewish they remain Jewish, and yes we extend our compassion towards them.

    That is a fact that we do not just state we practice it by the tens of millions of dollars and the astounding amount of human resources and energy we spend trying to reach out and teach them the heritage that is theirs as much as it is ours.

    However we completely and utterly reject any attempt to place their value systems on any level that is on par with the Torah which is derived not from the editorial boards of the NY Times and Washington Post but from G-d himself.

    We reject any attempt to place there belief system that can change on a whim and evolves based upon contemporary moral values with the timeless and unchanging values of the Torah.

    We reject any attempt to interpret the Torah based upon sources that are derived from anything other then the Torah itself.

    Yet again, while we utterly and completely reject the value, dogma, and false traditions, of such belief systems we completely accept the human beings who are part of our family.

    We daven for them and we try to teach them the Torah as G-d gave it to us, something which as I have stated before, is something we prove on ad aily basis.

    #1163998

    writersoul
    Member

    Sparkly- yeah, I know (I’ve also taken classes at non-Jewish colleges)- I was saying that some yeshivish people go to secular colleges as well.

    Just want to say for the record that I’m with jfem here.

    Can I recommend Leaves of Faith by R Aharon Lichtenstein, by the way? (Two volumes- I’ve only read one so far.) I started it recently and it had some great stuff in it about ideals of Modern Orthodoxy. Having met the families of several of his top talmidim, I can say that they exemplify a Modern Orthodoxy which bears no resemblance to what you describe, in which Modern Orthodoxy is a derech to an unapologetically halachic life combined with engagement with the world at large.

    #1163999

    Joseph
    Participant

    ws, why do you assume that your version of MO is a majority rather than the type of MO that Sparkly if describing as perhaps being more prevelant?

    #1164000

    Sparkly
    Member

    writer soul – i think i realized what you keep on saying and that is NOT considered modern. your saying these are people who take the secular world and put it into the jewish world without changing anything not the way they dress, not the way they talk to the other gender, etc….

    #1164001

    writersoul
    Member

    Joe- My point is that I don’t think it’s versions of MO. I think that there is a hashkafa of MO and that there are people who will try to “tone it down” from other streams of Judaism and say it’s MO. But one who does this should at least realize that there’s a wealth of amazing hashkafa out there that, at the very least, can add meaning to this life on its own terms.

    Sparkly, why do you say that? Why is that necessary? Ask your rabbi whether R Lichtenstein is MO. (At the very most, I believe he may have referred to it as Centrist.) Why is it a problem to still be serious about covering knees while having a hashkafa of Modern Orthodoxy, engagement with the world, etc? What makes that not “modern”?

    I think we’re talking at cross purposes, so maybe I’ll withdraw here. But I still do recommend the books 🙂

    #1164002

    Joseph
    Participant

    ws, you seem to be assuming that LWMO is less a legitimate part of MO than RWMO is.

    #1164003

    brisker26
    Participant

    ‘Judaism’, defined in halacha, can be said to consist of the accepted 13 ikkarim of the rambam. The gemara says that one who denies one word of the torah, is the same as if he denied the entire torah – the torah is one, single unit. While in practice, every mitzvah is independent, the acceptance of the torah is not. These are very clear halachos in the rambam in hilchos yesodei torah – people should learn them before defining Judaism.

    What the reform believe in has absolutely no bearing on Judaism. They do not believe in a g-d who commanded us to do anything(besides maybe secular social justice). Whatever they are doing, therefore, is not a ‘mitzvah’, or commandment at all, but rather a gesture of their spiritual fancies. Meaning, if a goy puts on a pair of tefilin because he likes the way they look or make him feel, that is the same reward a reform jew gets for doing it because it’s ‘spiritual’ or whatever. A mitzvah means there is a commander.

    A jew who subscribes to reform Judaism believes in fewer core beliefs of Judaism than CHRISTIANS.

    Christians believe in the Bible as being 100% true, without one word being untrue. They believe that G-d created and runs the world. They believe that he rewards and punishes people who do bad. They believe in the coming of(the wrong) messiah.

    Lutheran Christianity’s ideas of Jesus just being a prophet, are not even forbidden for non-jews to believe. Non-jews though, are commanded to believe in the Bible(rambam, ben noach must do mitzvos because they were commanded by G-d to the Jews and them, and not because he decides that they are the will of G-d alone).

    Reform and Conservative Judaism, as per their mainstream statements, do not believe in the divinity of the Torah at all, nor do they believe in the coming of Moshiach, divine punishment, olam haba, g-d running the world(see harold kushner’s ‘why bad things happen to good people’, a mainstay of Conservatism, to see this) nor do they accept the events of the Torah occurred.

    The Ran writes that the entire mitzvah of emunah is to believe that G-d took us out of mitzrayim. Christians believe that, reform do not.

    The fact that our feminist(itself a form of heresy and denial of the authority of rabbis{not ‘Rabbits’}) sees some sort of Judaism in reform or conservative, is very revealing of how far from Judaism the movement of ‘orthodox feminism’ is from the Torah.

    #1164004

    miamilawyer
    Participant

    @brisker: What you write does not conform with what Reform Judaism writes about themselves. As I was told many years ago, yesterday’s reshaim are todays tinokim shenishba.

    From the reformjudaism.org website:

    In addition to our belief that Judaism must change and adapt to the needs of the day to survive and our firm commitment to tikkun olam, the following principles distinguish Reform Jews from other streams of Judaism in North America.

    #1164005

    Sparkly
    Member

    writer soul – A good example of mo is ivanka trump, someone who only keeps shabbos and kosher and thats pretty much it.

    brisker – there are many reform and conservative people who keep the holidays. they should continue to keep it.

    #1164006

    brisker26
    Participant

    A messianic Jew who keeps some mitzvos should also keep them; that does not mean he s practicing Judaism at all – even though as stated above, he believed in much more of judaism than a reform jew does.

    Whatever they say on their website does not change the fact that they do not believe in the divinity of the torah as a binding, completely divine document. This ‘affirmation’ means nothing if they believe it has changed(which they do) that it is not historically accurate, or that it maybe changed to fit society – divine laws are immutable and cannot be changed.

    They used to say the only thing that mattered was that yo believe in one g-d; they got rid of every aspect of halacha, then about 10 years ago, they announced that in order to be jewish, they need to do some jewish things, so they started telling people to do(not as an obligation) things like davening, bentching – a reform siddur has a lot of ‘meditations’, but almost no tefilos.

    I think everyone knows what reform used to be, and what they are now, confused and tinokos shenishbu as they might be, does not at all represent judaism. They used to be anti-zionist and say that germany is the new yerushalayim; now they say israel is their core – these people change more than donald trump, but what remains is their lack of emunah in hashem as understood by judaism, or in the torah.

    One of the ikarim is also that the torah cannot be changed, and that moshe rabbeinu’s nevuah was the most direct – they simply believe the torah to be ‘inspired’ by g-d, which can just as easily be said about the constitution(they say this too) or any other thing they like. How is torah central, if they do not keep any of the laws, or if they say you can pick which ones you like?

    The reform idea of ‘keeping holidays’, might mean eating some matzah on pesach, fasting for half a day on yom kipur while exiting often to check their email…the only advantage is that they might maintain some sort of identity in doing these things

    although…reform even encourage intermarriage!!! so whats the point of doing these mitzvos at all? They’re not done at all according to halacha(i.e., matzah – do you think they will eat a kazayis in kdei achilas pras? this is not just a brisker chumra, this is crucial to the mitzvah, if it is not done, the mitzah has not been acomplished)

    please, this forum should not be a place for the justification of a heretical movement that has abandoned judaism since its inception. we all know the fight that people like rav hirsch had against the reform – he said to have a complete secession from them in every way shape and form; he often would emphasize the distinction and the need to understand that Judaism is not a combination of different ‘movements’.

    #1164007

    Sparkly
    Member

    brisker 26 – their all mixed up.

    #1164008

    Lovelyme
    Member

    Expressing the relationship between a part and a whole, example: the sleeve of the coat

    #1164009

    writersoul
    Member

    I was going to walk away, but I do feel like I want to clear up one misconception. (After this I actually am going to leave this conversation.)

    When I describe MO, I am describing it as a hashkafa. I believe that if you are going to take on the identity of a group, you may as well take on the hashkafa, or to be honest you’re being robbed (unless you have a different hashkafa, I suppose). Anyone can be lax, anyone can be chilled, anyone can pick and choose- I know chassidish, yeshivish, MO, Chabad, etc people who do all of these things. It is only when I see MO DEFINED by its laxity that I speak up. When there is no reference to the fact that it is an actual hashkafa and not just a get-out-of-jail-free card. After all, even if you were to define MO by a spectrum of mitzvos kept (which I would think is a mistake, to be honest, as there are other factors), the unifying factor would be the hashkafa. And that’s what I’m trying to emphasize here- that MO doesn’t MEAN laxity, that there is more to it. It can include those who are lax in the name of MO- I’m aware that this is a large sociological category in MO- but it is not only this (and, of course, many of these people do subscribe to the hashkafa as well). It can also include those who have different standards than yeshivish and chassidish people based on the advice of their rabbanim, it can also include people who from the outside look identical to your average yeshivish person, and it can include people in between.

    But as what I’m saying doesn’t seem to be helping matters much, I’ll leave this here and withdraw.

    #1164010

    Joseph
    Participant

    writersoul, at least you’re clear in your opinion, similar to Sam2, that you think LWMO is not real MO and only RWMO fits that category.

    That being expressed, allow me to interject that I think as a matter of demographic reality the LWMO outnumber the RWMO. A notable number of those who previously identified as RWMO now identify as Chareidi (whereas there hasn’t been nearly as much going from Chareidi to RWMO.)

    #1164011

    miamilawyer
    Participant

    @brisker. As you concede in your statement, the reform of the past (which was notably anti-torah and anti Israel) is dead. This should be celebrated.

    The current movement has quite a nuanced view, which can be summarized (very loosely) as follows: kol hakavod if you keep torah, and you should keep the most you can, but its your personal interpretation, you are not bound by the past mesorah, and we interpret around the passages we find problematic.

    I am not defending this view, its way outside even my pale, but it is not the view that was fought against so vigorously. No doubt it is not orthodoxy by any means, but it is not the anti-orthodoxy of the past. It has completely changed. It is like when coke changed its formula, you may not like either, but they are different. I also don’t think most know that nuance, so I wanted to clarify. (Heck, I suspect most reform jews don’t even know what the platform is).

    I also (but more importantly the entire chabad movement and others) also think your statement is outrageous that it is meaningless for a reform jew to perform a mitzvah. Its this all or nothing that has pushed people away. I know there are sources for it. There are also sources for the value of someone performing even one mitzvah.

    And they don’t believe that torah changes, what they believe is that similar to how liberals interpret the US constitution, the meaning changes over time, which is what makes it a timeless document. Again, this is much better than the view of the original reform, and is a step in the right direction.

    Anyway, we are to some degree arguing nuance, but the larger point is that the absolute world view you have certainly is not productive to kiruv and that there are many middle ground positions between the two extreme positions (reform is correct) and your position that when they do mitzvoth, it is worthless.

    Also, they do not encourage intermarriage. That is just not correct. They accept it bedieved. And in any case, I don’t think its helpful or correct to hold that their doing of mitvos because of a torah they respect is worthless.

    #1164013

    I believe writersoul is on point here. MO is not just Orthodoxy in lazy form. It’s not just “Shabbos and kosher and that’s it”. It can’t be reduced to what people do or don’t typically wear, or which mitzvos they do or don’t keep. It’s a hashkafa. An ideology. It means that on the one hand, you engage fully with the secular world, that you aren’t afraid of interacting with the secular world and with non-Jews, that you believe that non-Jews and secular Jews can make positive contributions to society, that you respect them for those contributions and acknowledge them as real people with real rights, not lesser forms of humanity. That you believe that your children can grow up to be strong, independent adults, and that you can send them off into the secular world without being fearful of what it will do to them. And it means on the other hand that you acknowledge the existence of an all-powerful Creator, of a Torah and mesorah passed down through generations, representing absolute truth, that Jews are bound by halacha, that men and women have (on the whole) different roles in life, that sometimes you will encounter parts of Torah that make you feel highly uncomfortable, that you will struggle to accept, and that that struggle is itself something holy, insofar as it pushes you to get to the heart of the text and to really internalize it in a deeper way. And that as much as rabbis and talmidei chochomim are to be revered, they are not in any way to be put on a pedestal (similarly, women should not be put on a pedestal) and deemed all but infallible, that it is far from assur and even encouraged to “argue with” a Rishon, without insisting that the Rishon was exponentially greater than you in learning and therefore how dare you challenge him.

    #1164015

    that sometimes you will encounter parts of Torah that make you feel highly uncomfortable

    If someone feels “highly uncomfortable” with parts of the Torah, it obviously means that his or her values are not consistent with the Torah.

    #1164017

    No, it doesn’t. Parts of the Torah are shocking by design. The feeling of discomfort itself is not a failure. It’s how you handle it that matters.

    If you immediately try to reconcile the conflict by re-interpreting the Torah to fit your pre-established narrative, sure, that’s a big problem. But you could respond in a number of different ways.

    You could say, Clearly I didn’t understand this properly, let me keep working through it until I do understand (without any agenda at hand, just reading through all the commentaries and going over it multiple times). Or you could ask yourself, Why is it that I have this discomfort? Where is that stemming from, and how can I deal with it? Or you can say, I see that I am uncomfortable, I accept that I am uncomfortable, I choose to embrace the Torah despite my discomfort, to acknowledge the discomfort and then to set it aside.

    Etc, etc.

    #1164018

    Shocking by design? Whose design? Why would you assume that Hashem designed the Torah to be shocking?

    Sure, if you start with a secular, especially a liberal, set of values, the Torah’s values are shocking. Our values are supposed to be shaped by the Torah, and if they are native to us, there should be nothing which shocks us or makes us uncomfortable.

    To the degree we have absorbed foreign values, the Torah’s values will cause us discomfort.

    #1164019

    I’m not “starting with” any “foreign values” at all. Please explain why you believe that a) nothing in the Torah is shocking, and b) if you feel a sense of discomfort while learning Torah, it must be because of “foreign values”.

    Can you really read narratives like the rape of Tamar, the sale of Yosef, the incident of Pilegesh B’Giv’ah, and not find them shocking?

    Let me be clear: “Shocking” does not mean “This teaching is wrong and I reject it”. “Uncomfortable” does not mean “Let’s just disregard this and get on to the good parts”.

    Yes, the Torah should and does shape our values. But sometimes, the process of internalizing Torah requires a bit of discomfort along the way.

    Have you ever had a procedure done in a doctor’s office or a hospital and experienced pain or discomfort? Did you then tell yourself, The doctor knows much more than I do, what he is doing is good for me, if I am experiencing pain it is only because something is wrong with me and if I really trusted the doctor completely and accepted that this procedure is necessary and important, I wouldn’t be feeling any pain….?

    #1164020

    You changed topics. We were talking about values, now you are talking about incidents.

    Sure, there are ma’asim in the Torah which are emotional (I wouldn’t call them shocking), but the values and hashkafos shouldn’t make us uncomfortable, unless you are influenced by foreign values.

    #1164021

    What? I didn’t change topics. This was my original comment:

    “…sometimes you will encounter parts of Torah that make you feel highly uncomfortable, that you will struggle to accept, and that that struggle is itself something holy, insofar as it pushes you to get to the heart of the text and to really internalize it in a deeper way.”

    If you can read the story of the Pilegesh B’Giv’ah and find it merely “emotional” but not at all shocking or disturbing, good for you, I guess? I can’t do that. But it doesn’t mean that I have “foreign values”.

    I just don’t understand why you think it’s so important to police emotional reactions. I will reiterate that I don’t believe there is a wrong way to react to a Torah passage. It’s what you do with that reaction that matters most.

    #1164022

    Sparkly
    Member

    jewish feminist – ivanka trump is mo. i am mo but much more strict on stuff like tznius.

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