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G-d hates (smoking of) fags
July 7, 2006 1:42 PM   Subscribe

Jewsfilter: Rabbinic Council of America bans smoking for all Orthodox Jews "Jewish law is fully able to incorporate new realities, recognize new and reliable scientific findings, and embrace the need to change heretofore acceptable behavior." Read the full technical legal opinion here. [pdf] Now if only the Orthodox Union would stand up for the LBGT community in same the way that it has for Darfur, stem cell research, heck, even global warming...
posted by ericbop (44 comments total)

 
Man, if you're going to go for the "God hates fags" line, don't pussy-foot around it. You gotta own that shit.
posted by team lowkey at 1:54 PM on July 7, 2006


So is this actually meaningful? Like do people listen to this group?
posted by smackfu at 1:56 PM on July 7, 2006


...however, this is still okay.
posted by deusdiabolus at 1:57 PM on July 7, 2006 [1 favorite]


Couldn't resist, could you?
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:01 PM on July 7, 2006


Jewish law is fully able to incorporate new realities, conveniently administrate enterprise-wide solutions, synergistically leverage other's interdependent beliefs, catalyze new paradigms, and seamlessly infrastructure exciting new meta-doctrines.
posted by Gator at 2:02 PM on July 7, 2006


In short, if only they would stand ujp for all the things you believe in they would be ok?

Fact: the right-wing, or fundies, of any and all relgiions disown most of the values or ideas that liberals accept.
The orthodox, the ultras, do not even accept a secular nation called Israel. Example: they do not accept secular state (Israel) and those there do not approve of gays, yet gays are acdepted though punished among Muslims; bir control is not accepted by any of the fundies and that is why so many births among the orthodox but not others in Israel; and so many births among Muslims etc etc

Jews in science, and those Jews in Israel have made major contributions to science, stem cell research, environmental concerns etc, , but the orthodox are so --pardon --pig headed, that after the Nazi holocaust they claimed god was punishing Jews for having strayed from The True Path.

BNest advice:p if ortodox of any religion do not harm you or others, allow them their beliefs as you would want those opposing your views to allow you to believe and to put into practise if you can that which you believe.

ps: if you want to learn more about why the orthodox dislike homosexuality, then learn about what tribal life was all about way back then when these issues were formulated. These strange beliefs (for uys) are merely what the tradition long ago asserted and that which is still carried on among true believers today.
posted by Postroad at 2:02 PM on July 7, 2006


Gator writes "seamlessly infrastructure exciting new meta-doctrines."

Your forgot proactively restructuring universal paradigms, synthetically achieve synergy by catalyzing the belief of opposed controversial beliefs, but most importantly it really is for you. Oy vey !
posted by elpapacito at 2:14 PM on July 7, 2006


What has the LBGT community got to do with this? Is that the science bit?
posted by econous at 2:22 PM on July 7, 2006


Postroad, is your keyboard okay?
posted by Zozo at 2:30 PM on July 7, 2006


Another article about Jews adapting to scientific advances.
posted by thirteenkiller at 2:34 PM on July 7, 2006


Did Gator just use 'infrastructure' as a verb? I think that should be under fatwa as well.
posted by greatgefilte at 2:35 PM on July 7, 2006


Rabbinic Council of America bans smoking for all Orthodox Jews

"God hates fags"


Pun intended?
posted by ZenMasterThis at 2:36 PM on July 7, 2006


[reads title bar]

Oh, nevermind.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 2:37 PM on July 7, 2006


I'm proactively solutioning alternate forms of textual content, greatgefilte. Like the Orthodox.
posted by Gator at 2:40 PM on July 7, 2006


If you want to learn more about why the orthodox dislike homosexuality, then learn about what tribal life was all about way back then when these issues were formulated. These strange beliefs (for uys) are merely what the tradition long ago asserted and that which is still carried on among true believers today.

Homosexual behavior and identity is not incompatible with tribal life. The proscription against homosexuality primarily comes from the Abrahamic religions, I think.
posted by me & my monkey at 2:45 PM on July 7, 2006


-advice well-taken, lowkey.
-smackfu, yes (at least the roughly half-million American orthodox Jews, plus all their impressionable young kids who may not start smoking as a result of this ruling).
-gator, thanks for the laugh.
-postroad and econus, you're correct, the lgbt connection is tangential at best - I was merely pointing out that even the most ultra-conservative Jewish group is (functionally, if not philosophically) in line with my liberal beliefs; while wistfully imagining how great it would be (for liberal Jews like me, admittedly), if the orthos jumped on the whole tolerance bandwagon as well. But, heck, even the much more liberal Conservative movement is not there yet when it comes to LGBT issues.
posted by ericbop at 2:45 PM on July 7, 2006


effectively mapping abrahamic and tribal heuristics
posted by ericbop at 2:47 PM on July 7, 2006


won't keep 'em from smoking weed. trust me, the religious kids love it.
posted by Kifer85 at 2:55 PM on July 7, 2006


this is ridiculous and wholly unimportant---another reason i'm glad i'm not orthodox. Are they banning junk food? drinking? everything made with transfats?
posted by amberglow at 2:57 PM on July 7, 2006


Yeah, I'm glad I'm not Orthodox either. I'd slip into heresy in no time flat.
posted by Astro Zombie at 3:00 PM on July 7, 2006


they'd disown me ; >

Orthodox Jews don't listen to this stuff anyway, by and large--none of us believe in a pope-like figure or council. Where it does have impact is on ceremonies and temples--no smoking anywhere on the grounds, and maybe they'll try to force employees to stop.
posted by amberglow at 3:02 PM on July 7, 2006


(oh, is today religion day here? so many religious posts...)
posted by amberglow at 3:04 PM on July 7, 2006


Postroad: if they change with the times for other things (like with smoking, driving, etc), they shouldn't hold on to something from tribal days that hurts others--the anti-gay stuff. It makes no sense, and it drives people away from the Orthodox--the vast majority of American Jews are not Orthodox--haven't been since my grandparent's generation or before.
posted by amberglow at 3:23 PM on July 7, 2006


(oh, is today religion day here? so many religious posts...)

Well it is Erev Shabbat.
posted by joseph_elmhurst at 3:28 PM on July 7, 2006


Amberglow, part of the answer I think is related to the type of law in question. For example, the prohibition on driving has been interpreted as relating to Exodus 35:3, which prohibits kindling a fire during Shabbat. The theory is that, since starting a car requires a spark, one is kindling a fire. A standard example of Orthodox Judaism making an interpretation of a modern activity with no precedent in the Bible.

The anti-gay stuff, on the other hand, comes from two separate mentions of homosexual acts being an "abomination" (Lev 18:22 & Lev 20:13). The Halakah doesn't have a lot of repetition, which is why Orthodox rabbis treat this particular issue so stringently.

Fortunately for us "progressive" Jews, the trend is towards enfranchisement of homosexuals in all movements of Judasim, bar the smallest (but most vocal, natch).
posted by joseph_elmhurst at 3:45 PM on July 7, 2006


the prohibition on fabric mixing is mentioned more than once too--many things are repeated in there that are no longer held on to.
posted by amberglow at 4:02 PM on July 7, 2006


Now if only people would stop editorializing on the front page...
posted by grouse at 4:03 PM on July 7, 2006


Amberglow - Good point. I think the heart of the matter is that something like the mixing of wool and linen is an example of a chukim (laws with no rational explanation) whereas the prohibition on homosexual acts is an example of mishpatim (laws which can be explained and understood).

Caveat - I'm not condoning religious intolerance of homosexuality, but rather attempting to offer my outsider's perspective on this particular aspect of the Orthodox worldview.
posted by joseph_elmhurst at 4:23 PM on July 7, 2006


this is like the catholic church telling it's members not to use birth control. not very meaningful.
posted by brandz at 4:37 PM on July 7, 2006


Eh, everything can be explained and understood if you work at it long enough--that doesn't make it right. The only biblical prohibitions that truly count are the 10 Commandments, and they're not observed or reinforced at all, really, while hateful ones are reinforced continually by some--it's sad. Let them spend more time condemning adultery and coveting and killing and graven images and stuff--there's way way too much of that going around.
posted by amberglow at 4:55 PM on July 7, 2006


amberglow - you're wrong on several counts:

-while you may find this bit of news unimportant, to call it "wholly unimportant" implies that if it's not relevant/interesting to you, then the rest of the metafilter community must certainly agree.

-the mixing of wool and linen (shatnez) is indeed still strictly enforced within the orthodox community. just try buying a suit at a tailor that serves the ortho community, and ask for the "shatnez test."

-the ten commandments are not the only important ones in the Torah - they're not even all "prohibitions," as you incorrectly state. The most important one, in fact, is numero uno, which is simply a declaration (the true meaning of "aseret hadibrot - the Ten Declarations": "I am the Eternal your G-d." Why? Because if people used their noggins it would clearly help justify the most important commandment in the Torah (again, not part of the Big Ten): "Love your neighbor as yourself." - Lev. 19:18. If you truly believe that every face you see is the face of G-d, you'll be far less likely to spit in any of them.
posted by ericbop at 5:36 PM on July 7, 2006


"Love your neighbor as yourself." --if that truly was the important commandment in the Torah, there wouldn't be any denying of marriage to same sex couples, statements to the courts against the fight for equal rights, nor prohibition on female rabbis, etc, etc, etc. Nor would there be shunning and ostracizing of those who break the rules. It would be easier to get Gets too. There are endless examples of that not being followed at all. Funny how the Orthodox insert themselves into politics not about love--EVER, but when it comes to gays, huh?
posted by amberglow at 6:51 PM on July 7, 2006


They don't mean love in that sense.
posted by Krrrlson at 7:29 PM on July 7, 2006


yep - you've made my point for me, amberglow. not enough noggin-using in the Orthodox movement.

And just because the smallest major movement in America isn't following this principal as well as they should be doesn't undermine the importance of this commandment, amberglow.

If rules' importance were truly dependant on their observance, we'd all be in a heap of trouble.
posted by ericbop at 7:31 PM on July 7, 2006


Amberglow, amberglow. You're a great, chap, really. But, you know, if every religion followed their own "Love your neighbour" rules the world would be a completely fucking different place.
posted by Jimbob at 7:33 PM on July 7, 2006


"this is ridiculous and wholly unimportant." -amberglow

"this is like the catholic church telling it's members not to use birth control. not very meaningful." -brandz

With all due respect, you're both wrong. I suspect if y'all sat down and thought about it you'd get it better than I do.

Then too, to me it's clear that a lot of people happily do obviously stupid and/or vicious shit unless some "higher authority" tells them not to; e.g., one of the first things the Amish bigwigs decided as they were setting up in the "New World" was that slavery is wrong (especially when Amish do it), and that they never did compromise on that point (unlike damn near every other Xian denomination hereabouts, e.g. there was never an "Amish Church, South").
posted by davy at 8:12 PM on July 7, 2006


So is brisket, swiss, cole slaw, and russian dressing on a kaiser roll still ok? What if you replace the kaiser w/ 2 latkes?
posted by well_balanced at 8:47 PM on July 7, 2006


Amberglow, amberglow. You're a great, chap, really. But, you know, if every religion followed their own "Love your neighbour" rules the world would be a completely fucking different place.
Yup. A better one, which is one of our responsibilities here--to try to leave the world better than we found it.

A ban without consequences or actions associated with it is just a feel-good, paternalistic, and empty statement. It's absurd and signals a micromanagement of people's health at a time when there are actually vital issues in the world to speak out on and deal with. War, genocide, poverty, climate, prejudice, violence, corruption, ... it's mindboggling that this is what they start with--is it really a major issue? really?
...It has been granted a mandate to tackle some of the major issues currently confronting the Orthodox community, including organ transplantation, time of death matters, and others. It will also address issues put to it by the Orthodox Union, in the RCA’s invigorated role as halachic authority to the Orthodox Union. ...
posted by amberglow at 11:23 PM on July 7, 2006


Smoking - from the Catholic side:

I grew up strongly Catholic, going to a small parochial school in Minnesota. In it, we were lectured about smoking - in particular the priest noted that since...

- We know smoking kills you
- If you choose to smoke, you're killing yourself.
- Suicide is a grievous sin, therefore smoking is a horrible sin.

Made lots of sense to this sixth grader.

Fast forward five or so years. We've moved to a different parish and I go walking on down to the rectory to volunteer to help the priest out. (Still a very good Catholic boy) I get down there only to discover the priest smoking in his office as he welcomes me. I immediately launch into my 'smoking is a sin' speech which is angrily rebuked by the priest and I wind up leaving hurt, confused, and rejected.

I wound up not doing a damn thing for that parish.
posted by unixrat at 7:17 AM on July 8, 2006


yeah, i know a few catholic priests who smoke, but most of them are alcoholics.
posted by brandz at 7:56 AM on July 8, 2006


Does anybody know of Catholic priests in the USA who don't smoke, drink or do drugs (including abusing prescription drugs) or engage in sexual hijinks of some kind? I'm sure there are a few, we just don't hear about them in the news.

And why don't we hear more about fucked-up rabbis? Besides Catholic priests I've read of many "indiscretions" among the Protestant clergy (like Jim Bakker), and we've all been force-fed reports of Muslim religious leaders inclined to blowing people up etc., whereas Jewish clergypeople would seem singularly pure (with some exceptions, such as Meir Kahane zatza"l). Is it just that there are so few rabbis in the US compared to the hordes of other Abrahamic clergy so we're less likely to hear anything good or bad about any of them, or are American Jews just pickier about who they give such authority, or (probably unlikeliest) are American Jewish congregations and/or communities just more adept at hushing stuff up?
posted by davy at 10:46 AM on July 8, 2006


There are far fewer in total, and they don't have the power that priests and figures in other religions do (except for sects like the Hasidics). They're also most often not in a position to really do terrible things to the members-- or their kids--in many temples, it's not them who are teaching hebrew school or training for Bar Mitzvahs but someone else.

I sure things are hushed up--rabbis are just people after all.
posted by amberglow at 1:10 PM on July 8, 2006


>>>>And why don't we hear more about fucked-up rabbis? Besides Catholic priests

Actually, in May 2006 New York magazine did a cover story/feature on molestation by Orthodox Jewish rabbis. But there should be more information out there. http://newyorkmetro.com/news/features/17010/index1.html
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 1:14 PM on July 8, 2006


Thanks for the post. I am always fascinated to hear such discussion, goy that I am. But now I think I'll go have a ham-and-matzo sandwich. It's helluva good taste!
posted by Goofyy at 6:52 AM on July 9, 2006


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