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August 27, 2011 7:53 AM   Subscribe

Orthodox Jewish newssite Voz Iz Neias provides some Rulings Regarding Shabbos Observance And The Impending Hurricane. FrumSatire provides a counterpoint.
posted by griphus (96 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
Best to keep in mind that Voz Iz Neias is really what most Jews would call ultra-Orthodox. Kinda sorta equivalent to the sort Baptists who don't believe in dancing, alcohol or shaving their legs (but with better cars!)
posted by Poet_Lariat at 8:05 AM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm not Jewish, but I want a gentile to follow me around doing things for me like shutting of my car and adjusting my radio.
posted by cjorgensen at 8:07 AM on August 27, 2011 [20 favorites]


I can't tell if this is "get the fuck out of danger" in Orthodox code or a recipe for a much smaller Orthodox community post-hurricane.
posted by b1tr0t at 8:11 AM on August 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


The satire is pretty close because the original already reads like satire - I didn't want to like it but it got me on several of the allowances.

(by the way, the rains just started on the upper west side as I write this)
posted by victors at 8:12 AM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Does the category of the hurricane make a difference?

Yes, it's god's volume knob.
posted by the noob at 8:12 AM on August 27, 2011 [13 favorites]


I bet I could make a lot of money this weekend if I wandered through the Hassidic communities during the storm.
posted by hermitosis at 8:13 AM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Metafilter: G-d's volume knob.
posted by lalochezia at 8:16 AM on August 27, 2011 [9 favorites]


I'm not Jewish, but I want a gentile to follow me around doing things for me like shutting of my car and adjusting my radio.
posted by cjorgensen at 11:07 AM on August 27 [+] [!]

I've actually been that Gentile - when I was very young, my family were the only non-Jews on our floor of the apartment building we lived in. My dad and I would go next door to our neighbor's apartment to turn her lights off every Friday evening.
posted by deadmessenger at 8:18 AM on August 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


As a former shabbos goy, let me say that in a hurricane situation, you'd better decide pretty quick how badly you want that emergency flashlight lit.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 8:18 AM on August 27, 2011 [6 favorites]


What's Yiddish for "Poe"?
posted by fredludd at 8:31 AM on August 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


The one commenter who thinks the hurricane is God expressing displeasure at gay marriage has got to be mighty confused by a set of guidelines that boil down to 'God's not going to care if you have to bail on Shabbos to save your life'.
posted by hoyland at 8:37 AM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


hermitosis: "I bet I could make a lot of money this weekend if I wandered through the Hassidic communities during the storm."

Stay out of Kensington. That's my territory.
posted by Splunge at 8:37 AM on August 27, 2011 [6 favorites]


My grandmother came from a very observant European family. They weren't Hasidic, they weren't Orthodox, they were just the kind of Jews you found in turn-of-the-century Poland, and they took their learning seriously. When I was a small boy, my grandmother told me: a Jew who claims to observe the Sabbath, but asks a gentile to do any work for him, has broken the Sabbath. My great-grandfather would not ask his gentile apprentices to work on the Sabbath, nor to light the stove or do anything else. He wouldn't make his mule pull the wagon. To observe the Sabbath means you don't do any work yourself, nor do you cause any work to be done on your behalf. To do otherwise is bullshit.

Now yes, I'm typing this on the Sabbath, because I take a generally more relaxed attitude to these things than my ancestors did. But if my safta were still alive, and saw me ask someone else to type these words for me, she'd slap me on the back of the head. And I'd deserve it.
posted by 1adam12 at 8:44 AM on August 27, 2011 [42 favorites]


fredludd the first link is emesdik. The second is a hochme.
posted by Splunge at 8:45 AM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm confused. Are we still allowed to bowl during Shabbos?
posted by pxe2000 at 8:46 AM on August 27, 2011 [9 favorites]


Only if a goy rolls the ball.
posted by Splunge at 8:48 AM on August 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


A Goy Rolls the Ball actually happens to be a popular franchise of ultra-Orthodox porn.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 8:50 AM on August 27, 2011 [12 favorites]


Saturday, Donny, is Shabbos, the Jewish day of rest. That means that I don't work, I don't drive a car, I don't fucking ride in a car, I don't handle money, I don't turn on the oven, and I sure as shit don't fucking roll!
posted by Fizz at 8:51 AM on August 27, 2011 [14 favorites]


I can't read those guidelines without feeling a sense of disdain toward the people that wrote them.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 8:52 AM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


My father follows the rule of not asking anyone on sabbath, but if a nice person happens to do a little work around the house so much the better. He greatly benefited from the "you're only Jewish if your mom is" thing when we were around.
posted by the young rope-rider at 8:54 AM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


4] In the event that one must evacuate on Shabbos – ideally one should have a gentile drive the car or one should call a cab. When one reached safety one may not shut the car off – one should request a gentile to do so.

And so how to pay the taxi driver? Let a gentile take out your wallet?
posted by three blind mice at 8:55 AM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


I thought FrumSatire would be a parody of David Frum's "I'm not as crazy as them" schtick. It's pretty much impenetrable to this goy, though.
posted by infinitewindow at 8:57 AM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


The word 'goy' always reminds me of Wavy Gravy.

"I was wearing that cowboy hat that used to belong to Tom Mix and it had a yarmulke inside it that Lenny Bruce gave me so I could say 'Howdy, goyim'."
posted by imperium at 9:04 AM on August 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


As dumb as the wording on the guidelines may be, keep in mind the VAST ABYSS between what the rabbis come up with and actual practice. For example, if there's a blackout, thunder and lightning, and your 5-year-old is hysterical, you can bet that flashlight is getting turned on, and not by the non-Jew down the hall.

Keep in mind also that two "regular Orthodox people" in Teaneck (a non-extreme Modern Orthodox community, similar to churchgoing, youth-group-attending Episcopalians in the non-Jewish world) were KILLED by a tree branch that fell on them. They were on their way back from synagogue in a nasty, but not hurricane-caliber, storm. They sure as heck weren't expecting a tree branch. So it's a word to the wise. How many times, during a regular thunderstorm, have you thought, gee, I'll just run to the store, how bad could it be? Basically what they were thinking, one can imagine. So here's a warning not to do that, except in a different lingo.

As for disdain, the establishment already gets plenty of disdain from those of us "on the inside." But thanks for the offer!
posted by skbw at 9:06 AM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


I just love how jews keep hacking their religion so that they can live richer and more comfortable lives. My favorite example is the usage of an eruv:
... an Eruv is seen to enable the carrying of objects out of doors on the Jewish Sabbath that would otherwise be forbidden by Torah law (Halakha). Without an Eruv, Torah-observant Jews would be forbidden from carrying keys or tissues in their pockets or pushing baby carriages on the Jewish Sabbath, thus making it difficult for many to leave their homes.
That's awesome, don't you think? The reasoning behind the justification of an eruv comes of as a clever balancing act between many different biblical sources originating across time, space and culture. It's like jews have long accepted that just because their religious teachings have created a world with constraints and boundaries, doesn't mean they can't re-interpret the teachings to solve worldly problems.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 9:20 AM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


so, all the hasidim are going to be going out when the winds hit 35mph to remove the eruv?
posted by ennui.bz at 9:22 AM on August 27, 2011


That's awesome, don't you think? The reasoning behind the justification of an eruv comes of as a clever balancing act between many different biblical sources originating across time, space and culture. It's like jews have long accepted that just because their religious teachings have created a world with constraints and boundaries, doesn't mean they can't re-interpret the teachings to solve worldly problems.

as is typical of fundamentalists or all stripes, their bizzare beliefs end up defining the religion to others. The expression "torah-observant jew" is, frankly, disgusting.
posted by ennui.bz at 9:28 AM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


You can still go out, you just can't carry stuff.

Although I have money on the fact that rabbinical councils all over the East Coast are trying desperately to figure out how to grant eruv-status to the hurricane itself.
posted by griphus at 9:29 AM on August 27, 2011 [5 favorites]


Something gives me the impression that this Heshy Fried could be a MeFite
posted by PeterMcDermott at 9:33 AM on August 27, 2011


While a lot of them invoked a typical "oh, those crazy ", this one really bothered me.

5. If someone sees a power line fall and it poses a danger can one contact the authorities?
A person should never venture out during or right after a hurricane. Coming in contact with downed power lines could be fatal. Unless the power line could cause a serious danger to the people in the home, one should wait until after Shabbos to report it.


So it's OK, to break the rules to save your own hide, but if the rest of the community is in danger, you don't do a thing about it? That's messed up.

posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 9:34 AM on August 27, 2011 [8 favorites]


I just love how jews keep hacking their religion so that they can live richer and more comfortable lives.

To be fair, I suspect all religions do this. Most of the history of Christianity (the religion with which I am most familiar) involves a lot of selective reading to avoid Christ's central teachings which are hard to follow. "Help the poor." "Love others as much as you love yourself and only somewhat less than you love God." "Live as if the end of the world was right here." "Don't be a hypocrite." Instead, we get a lot of guff about when church services should be held and permissible sexual activity.

Anyway, I don't think Jews are special in this regard. As a matter of fact, that example was not particularly good for your argument. If the choice is a) go to temple and leave your house unlocked, b) someone doesn't go to temple to watch the house, or c) we accept that locking the house is kind of necessary, which do you suggest a sane religious person follow?

Now the hurricane advice is mostly nuts:

So it's OK, to break the rules to save your own hide, but if the rest of the community is in danger, you don't do a thing about it? That's messed up.

Yeah, what CheeseDigestsAll said.
posted by GenjiandProust at 10:00 AM on August 27, 2011 [5 favorites]


Cheese, I hear you, that freaks me out, too, not calling the authorities re: a power line, but as a more-or-less insider, in my experience, that sort of ruling is honored in the breach. HERE's a legitimate example--a downed power line--where an "extremely pious" family runs to the neighbor to ask them to call, and a "regular" household makes the call themselves. Yes, there are batshit extremists in every place, but what you see on paper is not how regular people, including those with beards and long coats, act in emergencies. No, black-hat family X is not going to BRAG about having made a 5-minute call to the police (or whomever) re: a downed power line, but these people aren't freaks or monsters.
posted by skbw at 10:00 AM on August 27, 2011 [6 favorites]


And say that Extremely Pious Family, with a power line down across the street, runs to the neighbor and the neighbor isn't home. Back in the Extremely Pious apartment, a discussion ensues--I've been there, I've seen it--and the least observant member of the household picks up the phone and calls, or maybe they go into their room and do it on a cell phone, to eye-rolling and possibly carping from the fanatic branches of the family.

The notion of a whole family of ultra-Orthodox people calmly eating Sabbath lunch with a sparking power line 30 feet from the door--but not 20 feet, because 20 is danger--is a red herring. That's not the way it goes. I'm at pains to explain how stuff actually goes down behind closed doors because it's VERY different from what you see in the media.
posted by skbw at 10:14 AM on August 27, 2011 [11 favorites]


I'm at pains to explain how stuff actually goes down behind closed doors because it's VERY different from what you see in the media.

As an interested non-Jewish person, I am very curious as to how actual Orthodox (ultra?) practice is carried out.
posted by kurosawa's pal at 10:19 AM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


The same loving god who gave us war, hate, greed, disease, poverty, ignorance, slavery, genocide, and disco is gonna get really mad if you if you don't get a gentile to turn on your flashlight during shabbos.
posted by dr_dank at 10:28 AM on August 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


You can tell that Judaism must have started out somewhere warm, because a religion that said no making fires one day a week would have died out pretty quickly in a cold place.
posted by madcaptenor at 10:30 AM on August 27, 2011 [9 favorites]


goy is so fucking racist and the concept of shabbos goy is fucking offensive.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 10:37 AM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


As a goy who has helped out local families on shabbos, I find your offense way over the top.
posted by Splunge at 10:43 AM on August 27, 2011 [12 favorites]


a Jew who claims to observe the Sabbath, but asks a gentile to do any work for him, has broken the Sabbath

Which is true. The laws of Shabbos goy-ing (amira l'akum, "telling a non-Jew") are incredibly complex, but everyone agreres that except to save a life, outright asking a non-Jew to do something to do is exactly equivalent to doing it yourself. It is a Rabbinic law, not a Torah law, though. Even most hinting is prohibited, because if a non-Jew does something for himself and NOT for the Jew, if the benefit is both significant and new, the Jew cannot benefit. (Seriously, shit be complex, this is the simplest explanation I could find).

I'm a big fan of Frum Satire. Basically, when he does these type of posts, he sprinkles his post with a lot of Hebrew and Yiddish terms he wouldn't otherwise use in order to mock people who 'act frummer' by doing it.

But, hey, a guide:

first off, Frum: religious.

poskim: people who make rulings re: Jewish law. usually rabbis, but these tend to be the big-name rabbis.
rabbonem: rabbis.
klal yisroel: Jewish people
Ruach HaShem: spirit of God, here used in a not-typical way to mean judgment thereof
ir hakodesh: here used INCREDIBLY sarcastically. "ir hakodesh" literally means "the holy city," Jerusalem, but here is sarcastically used to mean "man we are the holiest Jewss that ever were, here in New Jersey and New York."
heterim: leniencies in Jewish law that can be used in certain circumstances. For example, many heavily pregnant women have a heter not to fast on Yom Kippur.
muttar: permitted, allowed. when referring to 'diatribes about moral failings,' usually pronounced 'mussar.'
Hashem Yisborach: HaShem is a euphemism for God, meaning "The Name.""Yisborach" means "may it be blessed" or "it is blessed." Most people only say Hashem.
Ribbono Shel Olam: God (as Creator).
toevah marriage: again, sarcastic. oftentimes, frum people will use 'toevah' (abomination) as a euphemism for 'gay.' Heshy has had Dov Bear (anothr Jewish blogger) on his blog before, railing against this practice.
Leiby Kletsky: a frum kid who was murdered recently.
frume yidden: religious Jews
daven: pray
geulah: "redemption," basically the happy end-times of Judaism.
moshiach: messiah.
tznius: modesty. again, hugely sarcastic. Heshy often makes fun of the fact that, rather than discuss mussar (morals), rabbonim will often rush instead to complain about women's necklines and men in shorts.
long sheitles: long wigs. again, a matter of tznius: Orthodox women cover their hair after marriage. Most groups allow wigs, so long as they are not made of the bride's own hair; some actively encourage wigs (Chabad), but most haredi groups frown on, or ban, wigs as being too close to real hair that it might confuse someone. "Long sheitles" is about the fact that nowadays, sheitles can be extremely luxurious--and extremely expensive, 3-5k a pop.
alter heim: the old ways. again, extremely sarcastic.
Sinai: Mount Sinai, Torah given to Jews, etc. etc. In Jewish thought, the further you are, temporally, from Sinai, the more debased you are, and we have to struggle against it.
daven yechidus: praying alone. this is just set-up for the joke about the hats. "Black-hat" Jews only pray with BOTH a kippah AND a hat, because until the 60s (and President Kennedy), in order to be seen in front of anyone of importance, you had to have a hat on. God is the most important person, so on goes the hat.
Sheitlach and snoods: Yiddish plural of 'sheitel' (above) and snoods are another common type of head-covering for married Jewish women.
ervah: nakedness, any part of the body you can't show. For men and women, it's elbows-torso-legs above knees. For married women, hair.
pants under skirts: women can't wear "beged ish" (clothing of a man), men can't wear "beged isha" (women's clothing). The whole pants-under-a-skirt thing, and pants point blank, is actually pretty damn controversial, because no one can agree if pants are beged ish still, and if pants are otherwise prohibited. The joke here is that they're giving heters for PANTS.
water containing bugs: briefly, Rabbis in New York banned Orthodox Jews from drinking tap water because Orthodox Jews cannot eat bugs (with a couple of exceptions and loopholes--but Orthodox Jews wash their lettuce leaf-by-leaf to detect any bugs, so they're serious). This was subject to wide mockery and confusion.
eruv: legal loophole that makes an entire public area one 'domain' for the purposes of carrying stuff on Shabbos.
wine for kiddush, lechem mishna and a sefer: kiddush is the blessing on wine that opens every Shabbos meal. Lechem mishna is the 2 loaves of bread you eat on Shabbos, representing the double portion of manna received for Shabbos. sefer: book, perhaps in this case a prayer book.
Tefillin/tfillin: juuust wiki this. They aren't used on Shabbos.
machlokes: (pointless) debate.
mesorah: tradition
minhag: custom. here, talking about the fact that different people/communities have different minhagim for when to end/begin Shabbos.
"TV hidden in the closet": a running joke of Heshy's, mocking people so frum that they try to APPEAR like they're too frum for TV, while having one in their bedroom anyways.
internet assur: another joke, given that he's a blogger, at the expense of those who think that the internet is in-and-of-itself forbidden (assur).
"If women need to leave the kitchen": making fun of some of the anti-feminist parts of Orthodoxy, and how men are theoretically supposed to help out but rarely do.
shul with a mechitza for laining: a shul with a divider between men and women, but only if they're going to be reading Torah (laining)
Red Cross joke: making fun of people who would turn down secular help because it was historically religious, even if their own damn lives are at risk.
touching the opposite sex and maris ayin: there's a quote in the Talmud about how someone who is so religious that they refuse to save a drowning woman, on the basis that they can't touch the opposite sex, is a the worst "pious fool" of them all. this joke is making fun of that. "Maris ayin" is doing something that is right but looks wrong.
Seder, beis medrash: learning speech, house of learning.
bittul Torah: wasting time that is better spent learning Torah.

This is like a greatest-hits version of Heshy's jokes.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 10:44 AM on August 27, 2011 [37 favorites]


Also, yes, VIN is ultra-Orthodox. Among Orthodox--not Conservative, not Reform, but Orthodox--blogs, seeing "oh look at the stupid stuff VIN or YeshivaWorldNews posted today" is a pretty common theme.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 10:48 AM on August 27, 2011


Tefillin/tfillin: juuust wiki this.

Ritual leather thongs you wrap around your right arm and place against your forehead.
posted by Nomyte at 11:08 AM on August 27, 2011


I just love how jews keep hacking their religion so that they can live richer and more comfortable lives.

That's pretty judgmental and imho borderline ant-Semitic. Let's replace "jews" with "blacks" and "hacking their religion" with "hacking the welfare system" and, yeah, it's pretty damn racist.
posted by Poet_Lariat at 11:11 AM on August 27, 2011


I'm not in the US now (or it would still be Shabbos, and I wouldn't be online). I can tell you, though, that although it's probably not the calmest Shabbos meal ever at my parents' in New York, and our non–Jewish neighbors are almost certainly keeping them apprised of the latest, there is no way the radio or computer are going on for more information.

Glancing at the actual list, it seems similar to the Halachic leniencies that the Rabbinate in Israel enacted at wartime. All of them are based on the fact that saving one's life is more important than Shabbos, but that it cannot be taken advantage of. The radio may be on in times of danger, but if you know about the potential for danger beforehand, just put it on beforehand!

While the local Rabbis where I live probably put out a milder warning (Crown Heights doesn't appear to be in any immediate danger), I can look at the list and see the Halachic justifications. Remember that the logic of Jewish Law is based on long discussions involving things as small as an extra letter in the Torah, but briefly:

Yes, leave the radio on in a private area on a low volume.

That seems obvious, having a radio on on Shabbos is never against the letter of the law, only the spirit. Certainly not an issue in time of need (שעת הדחק).

One is allowed to drive to a secure place and take along whatever is necessary, even money. Once one is out of harms way, he should stay put until after Shabbos. If a child or elderly person is present and staying in the car would be a danger, one can proceed to a shelter. One may also put gas in the car if needed to arrive at a safe place.

Seems very similar to the accepted Halachic ruling of driving a woman in labor to a hospital on Shabbos – one way is allowed, as childbirth is considered dangerous. However, driving back home (unless it is an ambulance, which may be needed for further emergencies) is not allowed, as there is nothing so pressing that the driver need drive on Shabbos again. The 'secure place,' in the case of a hurricane, would usually be a shelter, and I'm sure that nobody would stay in a car unless it was obviously clear that the danger had passed and driving the further distance would be a non–necessary violation of Shabbos.

Panel shutters need to be installed with each use and may only be placed on the windows if the situation is one where life is in danger-not to protect property.

One is permitted to bring indoors whatever might pose a danger.

Unless the power line could cause a serious danger to the people in the home, one should wait until after Shabbos to report it.

Saving property does not excuse Shabbos, unless there is also potential danger to life. In the case of the downed power line, one would certainly tell a non–Jew.

Even a category one or two hurricane poses enough of a threat to certain areas to demand an evacuation. In such cases, all necessary precautions should be taken.

One is allowed to do what is necessary to protect one’s own life or the life of someone else in danger.

Excusing Shabbos for the sake of saving a life has a relatively low bar… as mentioned above, childbirth, which is in modern times is considered safe even in cases of home birth, is enough of a danger Halachically to allow excusing Shabbos.

Once the winds reach the speed of 35 mph, one should assume the eruv is not kosher and should not carry outside.

The eruv is a rather funny thing in general. A lot of Jewish law is a give and take, where Rabbinical Law was enacted as a safeguard to Biblical Law. However, the rabbis, when adding strong restrictions, were always happy to include loopholes that were/are usually a pain to get through. Laws have give and take; without getting too deeply into the premise of eruv, it kind of works like this:
Torah says watch and keep the Shabbos.
Rabbis interpret that to mean not doing any of the 39 main types of work (and their various offshoots) done in the Tabernacle.
One of which is carrying an item from point A to point B.
Which the rabbis determine is 4 cubits.
Ruling: no carrying (as opposed to wearing) any item for four cubits in the 'Public Domain',
The Tabernacle accompanied the Jews in the desert, when there were 600,000 Jewish men present. A Public Domain is now considered only an enclosed area (small-ish, can't remember the exact size) in which 600,000 people walk daily.
Buuuuuut they get a bit stricter and say that it applies to any public area, as opposed to private property or a shared courtyard (there is finer detail in Talmud tractate Eruvin… it's very detailed).
So along comes the eruv… which, in its full name, means a connecting of courtyards: by means of a wall, a public domain can be made private.
But they don't require a full wall, it can be made with invisible walls consisting of the thinnest string, or already standing wires or fences (most use power lines etc. to supplement the lines purpose-built).
But it's not just set it and forget it, they must be checked before every Shabbos to determine that there is a full standing (invisible) wall.
But once it's checked on Friday, it's assumed valid throughout Shabbos, unless it is visibly down.

So, in short, the rabbis here determined that at reports of 35 MPH winds it can be presumed at least some lines are down, and the eruv is no longer valid.

If the food was fully cooked (or even 1/3 cooked) and is still hot, one may consume the food.

Oh, man, the laws of cooking Shabbos. They're loooooooong and detailed, but the basics are that something is considered cooked at 1/3 cooked, and after that retaining heat is ok.
posted by mhz at 11:14 AM on August 27, 2011 [8 favorites]


Thank you, flibbertigibbet! I read the satire and tried to glean the meaning through context, but your explanations made it so much clearer.

I've always greatly admired the Jewish culture for the emphasis on intellect and learning. It isn't surprising to me that they would be so careful to parse out each of the laws. Given the commandment to help the poor, Christians can just define for themselves as to the meaning of "poor" and "help" but I imagine these are the sort of ideas that are endlessly debated and defined by the Jews.

As to keeping the Sabbath Holy, I understand why there is such a need to define "work" but I am confused about where work begins and ends in relation to "play" and in relation to "existence." For example, does keeping the Sabbath Holy prohibit all leisure activities? Are the Ultra-Orthodox allowed to read anything other than religious books? Are the Ultra-orthodox allowed to play chess or tell amusing stories?

As for existence, I know you are allowed to eat but not to cook, right? I seem to recall some prohibition to turning the oven on, so if you don't have an automatic timer does that mean all food is eaten cold? Do the women still wash the dishes or do they wait? I assume that the women still have to serve the food and lay the table and do any number of tasks left to women, so maybe there isn't a complete ban on women's work?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 11:16 AM on August 27, 2011


That's pretty judgmental and imho borderline ant-Semitic. Let's replace "jews" with "blacks" and "hacking their religion" with "hacking the welfare system" and, yeah, it's pretty damn racist.

This strikes me as an inapt comment. An eruv is a structure, otherwise completely without purpose, that enables certain individuals to consider obviously outdoor areas as being indoors for the purposes of limiting where a religious law has to be followed. I see it as equivalent to circumventing regulations about public alcohol consumption by carrying a cardboard box to stand in. What is that, if not hacking?
posted by Nomyte at 11:18 AM on August 27, 2011


so, all the hasidim are going to be going out when the winds hit 35mph to remove the eruv?

"The eruv isn't kosher" doesn't mean "Immediately run outside and tear it down!"

It just means "don't rely on it." So basically, don't go carrying things around outside your house unless there's a higher moral obligation — like saving someone's life — that requires it.
posted by nebulawindphone at 11:19 AM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


mhz: Thank you for your thoughtful response. You had me re-read VIN, and the article is damn reasonable, although Heshy is mainly mocking the style and not the content. (Also, I feel you on cooking. Dear god cooking.)

Secret Life of Gravy: and mhz explains, there are 39 prohibited activities. Most of them are easy to avoid (lighting fires, although you are required to have light/fire and hot food throughout Shabbos, because otherwise it would not be enjoyable). However, there is actually a commandment to ENJOY Shabbos as much as possible, without doing any of the 39 melachot.

So you dress up in your nice clothes. You cook your favourite foods.* You try to spend the time with your family. You try not to get angry. You play certain boardgames.** You are actually COMMANDED, for the enjoyment and sanctification of the Sabbath, to eat hot food, to eat meat (vegetarians are a complex subject!), to take naps, to do anything necessary to make the day a happy one. It's called "oneg Shabbat."

The purpose of the melachot, is, in Jewish thought, to remind you that God is the creator and you can go one day without performing any 'creative' or destructive activities without the world going to pot. You can relax for an entire day.

*That can be kept warm overnight on a blech (a covering over the stovetop to allow you to safely keep the stove on), or in an oven, or in a crockpot.
**Some boardgames involve sorting or other problematic activities. For keeping points, you just keep a book open next to you. 79 points? Page 79 of the book.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 11:25 AM on August 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


Whoops, there were supposed to be blockquotes in there to make it readable.

Secret Life, you can start here, or just Google '39 Melachot.' Everything derives from them, and lots of modern things are found in the weirdest way.

To you direct questions:

Chess and stories are fine. We played board games as kids. Learning is, of course, highly encouraged. All forms of reading are popular. Ball playing is generally considered not in the spirit of Shabbos in ultra–Orthodox communities.
Cooking is out, but keeping a heating apparatus on is ok. There's a good chance your oven already has a Shabbos mode. This is also the origin of Cholent, which is traditionally eaten hot every Shabbos.
Some work for the sake of Shabbos is ok… washing dishes that are needed for Shabbos is ok, although you would wash them beforehand ideally. I washed the dishes this morning, because we used them last night and needed them again. Setting the table, preparing food for immediate use, etc, are all ok. And it isn't 'women's work,' although my wife did do the dishes last week.
posted by mhz at 11:26 AM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


I am always amused by people who think they can out-lawyer God.
posted by Aquaman at 11:35 AM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


There are a number of instances in the Old Testament where men haggled/made deals/bargained with God. It's not novel.
posted by griphus at 11:38 AM on August 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


CheeseDigestsAll: "While a lot of them invoked a typical "oh, those crazy ", this one really bothered me.

5. If someone sees a power line fall and it poses a danger can one contact the authorities?
A person should never venture out during or right after a hurricane. Coming in contact with downed power lines could be fatal. Unless the power line could cause a serious danger to the people in the home, one should wait until after Shabbos to report it.


So it's OK, to break the rules to save your own hide, but if the rest of the community is in danger, you don't do a thing about it? That's messed up.
"

Um, that's the exact opposite of what it says. First, it says you shouldn't be wandering around in a hurricane looking for downed power lines -- which, unless you've been watching a different emergency service than I, is completely standard. So if you see a downed power line, it's because it's near your house. If it's still connected and not sparking, wait until after Shabbos to report it. If it's causing danger, report it right away because on Shabbos, you're more than allowed to do work if it's to save a life. Jeez.
posted by lesli212 at 11:46 AM on August 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


I am always amused by people who think they can out-lawyer God.

Every religion has them. A recent amusing example I heard concerns a Muslim community in Yellowknife. During Ramadam, you must fast from sunrise to sunset. Since Yellowknife is above the Arctic Circle, this poses quite a challenge when summer nights may be only an hour long. The solution: decree that the official Yellowknife mosque is located in Winnipeg, so you can fast on Winnipeg time.
posted by binturong at 11:48 AM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


(Which reminds me, my favorite thing about my Orthodox (but not ultraorthodox!) Jewish roommate is that she would always say, "Jeez" when annoyed.
posted by lesli212 at 11:48 AM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Um, no, it's says "Unless the power line could cause a serious danger to the people in the home, one should wait". Every downed power line is potentially dangerous to someone.

I can see homes up to 200 yards from my window, most things at that distance aren't a danger to me, but could well be to others in the neighborhood.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 11:56 AM on August 27, 2011


binturong: pretty standard policy. To quote one Muslim poster, "Ramadan stands for sacrifice not suicide." If your day/night cycles are essentially non-existent during Ramadan, I have never heard of a single Muslim who just bucks up and takes it, or who never fasts. I've never ever heard of making the 'official mosque' further south, but following the time of the next-closest mosque (or by an important Muslim city, like Mecca) with a regular cycle is pretty common, but not absolute. (I mean, if you have bad luck to be somewhere where the sun won't set for the entire month, what the hell else are you supposed to do?!)

This usually also counts if your day/night cycle would make fasting unusually short: 6 hours of fasting is no sacrifice.

Jewish law usually goes by the position of the sun in the arctic, if you live there. (If you are a visitor, things become complicated.) This is partially because there are no month-long fasts in Judaism, so the worst-case scenario is that the long Yom Kippur fast is slightly longer.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 12:00 PM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


That's pretty judgmental and imho borderline ant-Semitic. Let's replace "jews" with "blacks" and "hacking their religion" with "hacking the welfare system" and, yeah, it's pretty damn racist.

Huh? In addition to the laziness of this device ("if [offensive stereotype] was said against Black people, everyone would be up in arms!") the above implies that the welfare system serves a type of religion/necessity for all Blacks, which is pretty offensive itself.
posted by wondrous strange snow at 12:00 PM on August 27, 2011 [12 favorites]


I am always amused by people who think they can out-lawyer God

Right now I'm reading book 16 in Susanna Gregory's medieval Cambridge books. The Killer of Pilgrims revolves about the badges that pilgrims could buy from sacred shrines throughout Christendom. These tokens, or signacula, were said to have various properties-- from pardoning sins to automatic entry into heaven. There is one scene which has a widow demanding her dead husband's token because it brings early release from purgatory but the question is can the properties be transferred to the new owner and does that mean the previous owner no longer gains the benefit? These badges were not the same as the indulgences sold by the church, however some of their properties overlap. Medieval fellows at both Cambridge and Oxford spent a great deal of their time debating these subjects.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 12:01 PM on August 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


But flibbertigibbet, why did you leave out the explanation of Heshy's joke about "ladies should take a tehillim and one bedikah cloth", and then also didn't mention the other nice thing we're supposed to be doing on Shabbos?

Sorrr-eee. I have the maturity level of a twelve-year-old boy.
posted by Asparagirl at 12:04 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also, observant Jews who fly in space have to deal with the "no sundown" issue too -- I mean, what do you do when a "day" in orbit is only ninety minutes long? Much like the Arctic Circle Muslims, observant astronauts are told they should keep time by another location. In Columbia astronaut Ilan Ramon's case, he kept time by the shuttle's liftoff point, in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
posted by Asparagirl at 12:12 PM on August 27, 2011


so the worst-case scenario is that the long Yom Kippur fast is slightly longer.

A friend of mine claims that Yom Kippur is when it is -- around the autumnal equinox -- because that's when the sunset gets earlier the fastest, so the fast is always a couple minutes shorter than it would be if the rules where the same but Yom Kippur were at the vernal equinox.

(Yes, this is northern-hemisphere-ist.)
posted by madcaptenor at 12:13 PM on August 27, 2011


Asapargirl: thanks for finding that. I believe I heard (but can't find a source) that that's what Muslims In Space do for prayer times.
posted by madcaptenor at 12:14 PM on August 27, 2011


But flibbertigibbet, why did you leave out the explanation of Heshy's joke about "ladies should take a tehillim and one bedikah cloth", and then also didn't mention the other nice thing we're supposed to be doing on Shabbos?

Aw jeez, I totally missed the bedikah cloth thing and I forgot about the "Shabbos mitzvah."

Shabbos mitzvah: a euphemism. if you can have sex on Shabbos, have sex on Shabbos. TWICE. Because it's a happy thing to do on a happy day.

Bedikah cloth and tehillim: let's go with Tehillim first, because it's easier. Saying Psalms (Tehillim) is seen as an especially good way for a woman to pray, since their prayer obligations are much lighter and they probably don't need a prayer book. Saying Tehillim in an emergency is especially good, since Tehillim are often said for emergencies (illness, childbirth, danger).

Bedikah cloth: Orthodox women can't have sex when they're on their periods. Bedikah cloths are small strips of cotton that they put up their vagina to look for blood so they can start counting the days until they go to a mikvah (ritual bath), so that they can have sex.

It is not uncommon to see the mikvah room VERY BUSY on a Friday afternoon as women rush to go to the mikvah so they can have Shabbos sex.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 12:18 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Jews are weird.
posted by cjorgensen at 12:58 PM on August 27, 2011


Jews are Everyone is weird.
posted by drezdn at 12:59 PM on August 27, 2011 [5 favorites]


CheeseDigestsAll: "Um, no, it's says "Unless the power line could cause a serious danger to the people in the home, one should wait". Every downed power line is potentially dangerous to someone.

I can see homes up to 200 yards from my window, most things at that distance aren't a danger to me, but could well be to others in the neighborhood
"


Yes, because if my neighbor's home 200 yards away goes up because of a power line, it won't affect my home at all.
posted by lesli212 at 1:09 PM on August 27, 2011


Not to mention "in the home" is ambiguous -- it doesn't necessarily mean my home or your home. It could mean the home nearest to the power line.
posted by lesli212 at 1:11 PM on August 27, 2011


I can't read those guidelines without feeling a sense of disdain toward the people that wrote them.

Really?
Even the part about a situation of something called pikuach Nefesh?

I had to look it up - It is the principle in Jewish law that the preservation of human life overrides virtually any other religious consideration [practically verbatim from Wikipedia].

You know, that brought a tear to my eye.
posted by entropone at 1:22 PM on August 27, 2011 [6 favorites]


Just remember, during the "Jews are weird" discussion, that FrumSatire and other sites like it exist precisely because real, live, strictly Orthodox people condemn the Vos iz Neias approach. Condemn! Not endorse! The second link is an insiders' critique of the first. That may not be one hundred percent clear. OK. As you were.
posted by skbw at 1:32 PM on August 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


It is the principle in Jewish law that the preservation of human life overrides virtually any other religious consideration... You know, that brought a tear to my eye.

You say this as if you think Jewish law deserves a cookie for this stance. The alternative - to not preserve human life for the sake of religious law - is inhumane and idiotic.
posted by amorphatist at 1:38 PM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Moreover. No matter how individual rabbis may present themselves, there is not a Pope in Judaism. Even titles like "Chief Rabbi of Israel" do not have the monolithic jurisdiction that they imply. Even the most extreme practitioners--especially the extremists--consult their personal rabbi in situations like this. (This is not a shabbos-breaking cynic talking; this is common knowledge even on the far right.) Just because one guy on Long Island, Rabbi A, says X about power lines does not mean that that's what some other family who doesn't follow that rabbi would do.

When they go to their rabbi, Rabbi B, he is not going to say, "Oh, I went to yeshiva with that A, pay not a whit of attention to him, what a publicity whore." But he will very likely say something like:

a) ALL downed power lines are dangerous and merit a phone call or

b) If the family is WORRIED about the power line or worried about their neighbors, make a phone call so there is no freaking out or

c) There is room in rabbinic sources to err on the side of caution in a hurricane, though the situation is complex, etc.

For every Rabbi A, there is more than one Rabbi B. I'm not saying that everything is fantastic on the inside (I am writing this on shabbat, after all). I'm just saying that the lifestyle as actually lived is a different story.
posted by skbw at 1:50 PM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


From the Wikipedia article "39 categories of activity prohibited on Shabbat."

Non-satirical. I swear.


Demolition
Hebrew: סותר
Definition: Demolishing for any constructive purpose. This includes bowling, as the pins are knocked down, hopefully, during play. However, even if only gutterballs are thrown, the mere intention of knocking down pins is a violation of the prohibition against demolition. It is a matter of rabbinic debate as to whether intentionally throwing gutterballs during Shobbos is subject to the prohibition, as no demolition occurs. Commentary tends towards making this a violation as well, since the very act of bowling involves causing a machine to reconstruct the pin matrix upon each round, which action is initiated by the participating player.

posted by Gordion Knott at 1:53 PM on August 27, 2011 [9 favorites]


⸮​ƎTIЯIMA MƧIAᗡUႱ ⅃O⅃
posted by tzikeh at 2:02 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


the fact that such a stupefying level of legal convolution can result from belief in something that most probably doesn’t exist only strengthens my conviction that orthodox religion is a severe mental disorder.
posted by jmegawarne at 2:24 PM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Aren't most mental disorders are measured in terms of whether or not an individual is capable of functioning comfortably in society? What do you see about this behavior that leads you to believe the individuals are dysfunctional?
posted by hermitosis at 2:45 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


amorphatist: I really recommend the wiki link entropone linked to. While I knew of the general injunction that saving life trumps most considerations, I hadn't realized some of the nuances. Also many religions don't actually such specific injunctions around human life - or only enjoin you to save the life of a co-religionist.

I also found this link from the wiki article about a Jewish recue mission to Haiti which was very touching.
posted by R343L at 2:46 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


As a member of an online community notorious for overthinking every single possible aspect of a given rule/idea/comment, I don't see anything out of the ordinary about the quoted material.
posted by hermitosis at 2:47 PM on August 27, 2011 [7 favorites]


hermitosis: I guess I think that it is pretty dysfunctional if you have to be explicitly authorised by a religious authority to turn up the radio during hurricane season, attempting to use an implement other than your hands first, even though the information on the radio might save your and your family’s lives.

I can’t imagine describing that as “functioning comfortably.”
posted by jmegawarne at 3:03 PM on August 27, 2011


jmegawarne: Take a look at my remarks above where I talk about actual practice. Turning up the radio is not an issue taken seriously in a true emergency.

Declarations like the one in VIN say much, much more about the megalomania of certain arms of the rabbinic establishment than about the mental states of actual orthodox people.

It's like the "do you KNOW any black people? do you KNOW any gay people?" discussion. Once you do, a lot of this is not worth mentioning.
posted by skbw at 3:09 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


I can’t imagine describing that as “functioning comfortably.”

If they are satisfied doing it that way, and are operating comfortably within the social expectations of their community, and are suffering no symptoms of neurosis, then it is pretty squarely functional by psychological standards.
posted by hermitosis at 3:12 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


While much of this is painfully detailed, the bottom line I'm getting is SPEND TIME WITH YOUR FAMILY AND LOVED ONES AND HAVE FUN, on me, Love God!

The parts that seem over the top to Goyim, like me, read to me like, "No, I'm serious, spend time with your family, NO EXCUSES!"

I love it!
posted by snsranch at 3:13 PM on August 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


I think the more interesting question is, how does this particular society deal with individuals who aren't able to functionally accept these sort of heavily-enforced standards. In the Orthodox community in particular, this is an important issue.
posted by hermitosis at 3:16 PM on August 27, 2011


skbw: understood. for me, that observation serves to further condemn the psychotic nature of the rabbinic establishment, as you put it.

hermitosis: if someone fears the retribution of a non-existent being because they turned the radio up, I would describe that as neurotic behaviour.
posted by jmegawarne at 3:24 PM on August 27, 2011


I believe a psychologist (I am not one) would strongly argue against that description, and would have a lot of questions for you about the conditions upon which a being or meaningful influence could be said to "exist."
posted by hermitosis at 4:43 PM on August 27, 2011


hermitosis: I guess I think that it is pretty dysfunctional if you have to be explicitly authorised by a religious authority to turn up the radio during hurricane season, attempting to use an implement other than your hands first, even though the information on the radio might save your and your family’s lives.

So, I was raised Catholic. [As an aside, I don't consider myself Catholic, or even Christian, for a lot of reasons. However, I do sort of consider myself culturally Catholic, which means that there's a chunk of language and meaning and ritual and symbols that I understand because of my upbringing and experience.]

Catholic Authorities say a lot of ridiculous things.

I'm not sure I'd really want to be considered dysfunctional on the basis of the things that they say to me.
posted by entropone at 4:46 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Analyzing religious institutions as if they were people is a pretty amazing pursuit, and there is fortunately some excellent literary precedent for it. The best example I can think of offhand is Jack Miles' God: A Biography, which analyzes the Old Testament god as if he were simply the book's protagonist.
posted by hermitosis at 4:50 PM on August 27, 2011


Just because one guy on Long Island, Rabbi A, says X about power lines does not mean that that's what some other family who doesn't follow that rabbi would do.

A couple of years ago I read a book on how to keep kosher (it might have been this one, called "How to Keep Kosher"), because I am a very curious person. It was worth reading if only for the line about "you will find it helpful to locate a rabbi with experience in kashering with a blowtorch." But one thing that really stood out was how many times various things that were unclear or controversial were mentioned (I particularly remember a conversation about kosher marshmallows that was surprisingly lengthy and deep), and the final word was always, "ask your rabbi."
posted by not that girl at 4:59 PM on August 27, 2011


An eruv is a structure, otherwise completely without purpose, that enables certain individuals to consider obviously outdoor areas as being indoors... What is that, if not hacking?

It's not hacking; it's 2,000+ years of rules-lawyering. The argument - which took place well over two thousand years ago - went like this:

Q: You say that we can't take anything out of our houses on the Sabbath. Can we take stuff into our courtyards?
A: Yes, an enclosed courtyard is still your property.

Q:What if two families share a house? Can they still carry within the house?
A: Yes, as long as it's one house.

Q: What if two families share a courtyard?
A: Hmm. Well, I guess they can each carry to the courtyard ... which implies that they can carry between the houses. OK, sure.

Q: What if it's a whole bunch of families?
A: I see where you're going with this. OK, any number of families sharing a courtyard can carry objects between their houses. Are we done?

Q: Just one thing. What do you mean by an "enclosed" courtyard?
A: What do I mean? You know, enclosed. With a wall.

Q: But a wall can have a door in it, right?
A: Sure, you'd expect it to.

Q: Lots of doors?
A: Yeah, I guess so.

Q: What if it had two adjacent doors?
A: I guess.

Q: In fact, what if you made a wall out of doors?
A: You're not going to do this, are you? Because it's silly. But yeah, in theory you could make a whole wall out of doors.

Q: OK, and a doorway is basically just two posts and a lintel, right? So I could surround a bunch of houses with posts-and-lintels and they're effectively a single domain?
A: Yes, but ... Oh, very well.

Q: Now, you were talking about walls yesterday and you said a steep slope is a wall. Have you heard of continental shelves?
A: Go away.
posted by Joe in Australia at 5:29 PM on August 27, 2011 [19 favorites]


If I may chime in here. I was raised Catholic. As some of you may know, I am an atheist. I live in a community of Jews that range from the ultra-Orthodox, to my right hand neighbor who is Orthodox but less ultra than most. One thing that I have found, living here for many years, is that I have gotten over my "LOLJEWS" phase. A lot of that is because they are no longer "the other". They are friends of my family. Friends of mine. Recently I got into a discussion with teenage kids two houses from me on the left, because they were being loud and obnoxious. Setting off fireworks for no reason.

I went over to yell at them. Instead I ended up spending much of the night on their porch discussing just the thing that this thread is about.

They were in, for a better phrase, their rebellious stage. Some wore clothing that shocked and dismayed their parents. One young lady was wearing a halter top and shorts.

But each and every one knew that eventually they would stop what they were doing and become good Orthodox Jews.

And BTW even the youngest, maybe 12/13 years old could argue and discuss the meaning of god better than 90% of the people here. From the start I said, i did not believe in a god. And they didn't think I was crazy. They did, though, discuss it in a calm and rational manner. A manner befitting people twice or maybe three times their age.

I was amazed. We had a wonderful few hours. And they gave me some fireworks. They stopped setting theirs off. And We parted friends.

Sure, anecdata. but so it was.
posted by Splunge at 5:36 PM on August 27, 2011 [7 favorites]


P.S. I still don't believe in god.
posted by Splunge at 5:38 PM on August 27, 2011


Aquaman: "I am always amused by people who think they can out-lawyer God."

There is a firm Biblical foundation for this. First, Abraham was invited to "out-lawyer God." Next, Moses "out-lawyers" God. Then, the prophet Hannah "out-lawyered" God, resulting in the birth of her son, the prophet Samuel.

Further, all of Jewish law is built on the premise that God has given the law to the Jewish people and thereby relinquished control of its development and application.

The Talmud relates the story of Rabbi Eliezer's disagreement with the rest of the sages about the purity status of a particular oven. After the sages rejected every conceivable legal argument, Rabbi Eliezer brought a series of supernatural proofs. At his behest, a carob tree jumped 100 cubits, a river began to flow backwards, and the walls of the house of study began leaning. The other sages that in a legal argument one can bring a proof neither from a carob tree nor from a river nor from the walls of a house of study.

Finally, an exasperated Rabbi Eliezer tells the sages that the heavens will prove that his is the correct opinion. Indeed, a divine voice rebukes the other sages for disagreeing with Rabbi Eliezer and declares that the law follows Rabbi Eliezer's opinion in all cases. Rabbi Joshua stood up and said that the law is not in heaven. Jewish legal argument takes no heed of divine voices, for God himself wrote in his Torah that we follow the majority.

With Rabbi Eliezer's explicitly God-endorsed supernatural proofs soundly defeated by majority rule, the Talmud takes a moment to record the conversation between Rabbi Natan and Elijah the Prophet about how God reacted to this strange scene: He laughed with joy, saying, "My children have defeated Me! My children have defeated Me!"
posted by -->NMN.80.418 at 10:20 PM on August 27, 2011 [11 favorites]


Aw jeez, I totally missed the bedikah cloth thing and I forgot about the "Shabbos mitzvah."

I was totally sure I was going to finally get the full story about the hole in the bedsheet here.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 4:05 AM on August 28, 2011


In case anyone here actually believes the story about the hole in the bedsheet: the common explanation is that people saw a tallis katan, which men wear under their clothing, and thought it was a sheet instead of a garment.

Ain't no hole in the sheet, only a hole in a tallis. I mean, heck, men are required in Jewish law to bring their wife to orgasm, or at least fulfill their needs for sexual pleasure (I am not kidding), and that's hard to do if you're so scared of sex you're doing it through a sheet.

If you still don't believe me, Jew in the City has a nice video explaining it.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 8:16 AM on August 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


I live near a neighborhood with a fairly large Orthodox Jewish population (multiple shuls, a pretty big yeshiva, etc). Yesterday, Shabbos, I was walking to work and saw an orthodox guy I've seen at my workplace a few times with his family. I wished him and the other guy walking with him to shul a good Shabbos and said something about the coming storm and being worries; he asked me what I'd heard lately, and I realized that he wouldn't have listened to the radio/watched tv/been online since the night before. It was nice to be able to update him.

I found the linked articles interesting - I find these sort of discussions kind of fascinating: how different religions deal with practicalities. Most of the religions I've interacted with were created hundreds if not thousands of years ago and have had to adapt. I've learned about Moslem inheritance laws (wiki link) (really complex and exquisitely detailed), and some of the rules of Shabbos mentioned in other commenter's links. All these systems for forming a functional society. I don't always agree with them (downed powerlines are definitely something that should be reported whether or not you're going to go outside and get zapped).
posted by sciencegeek at 2:10 PM on August 28, 2011


Kind of amazed at how much totally inexplicable regressive shit is being apologized for in this thread.
posted by tehloki at 5:15 PM on August 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


At least Torah observant Jews are encouraged to think and to argue cogently about their beliefs. I, for one, think that kind of attitude should spread.
posted by QIbHom at 11:29 AM on August 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


I apologize for tehloki.
posted by Splunge at 12:51 PM on August 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


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