Join 3,433 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)

Tags:

My entire life screams that I have a Jewish neshama
November 10, 2010 6:05 PM   Subscribe

"'What are the laws?' he said, explaining his decision to adhere to the Orthodox level of observance. 'I want to know the laws. I don’t want to know the leniencies. I never look for the leniencies because of all of the terrible things I’ve done in my life, all of the mistakes I’ve made.'"
posted by griphus (42 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
“I want to know the laws. I don’t want to know the leniencies. I never look for the leniencies because of all of the terrible things I’ve done in my life, all of the mistakes I’ve made.”

I wish the guy well, but he has completely missed the point of Judaism.
posted by escabeche at 6:13 PM on November 10, 2010 [3 favorites]


Wait… he is the son of the prime minister of Belize? What?
posted by Nomyte at 6:40 PM on November 10, 2010


Wait… he is the son of the prime minister of Belize? What?

I know! I can't belize it!
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 6:47 PM on November 10, 2010 [5 favorites]


The Laws (Abridged):

1) Do good.

2) Be happy.

3) Live consciously.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 6:51 PM on November 10, 2010 [4 favorites]


Today I learned that the J-Lo/Puff Daddy shootout thing was almost ten years ago, and it made me feel really, really old.
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 7:00 PM on November 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, and soul and love your neighbor as yourself.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 7:03 PM on November 10, 2010 [6 favorites]


The Laws (Abridged):

1) Do good*.

2) Be happy*.

3) Live consciously*.


*Concepts of goodness, happiness and conciousness not valid when considering maintaining patriarchal domination, banning homosexuality, outlawing certain food combinations, forbidding marital relations with non-tribe members and blind acceptance of the omnipotence and omnipresence of an ineffable deity that proscribes every small human action, filtered through a blinkered rabbinate that views the ethical codes of an ancient nomadic desert tribe as the pinnacle of human achievement against which all other things may be measured. YMMNV.
posted by lalochezia at 7:13 PM on November 10, 2010 [26 favorites]


Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, and soul and love your neighbor as yourself.

This answer is completely orthogonal to the person discussed in the post and his quest to find out more about halakhah, or Judaic religious law.

In other news of "famous musicians who are related to politicians," Tom Morello is Jomo Kenyatta's nephew.
posted by Sidhedevil at 7:15 PM on November 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


“I dress both ways. But on Shabbat? Absolutely. Mondays and Thursdays? Absolutely. But Tuesdays, Wednesdays? I have some leeway,” Shyne told The Jerusalem Post in a far-ranging interview that took place in a conference room at the capital’s Mamilla Hotel.

Wait, what? Someone clue me in here. I thought it was all about Fridays.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:18 PM on November 10, 2010


The Whole of the Law.
posted by Rangeboy at 7:18 PM on November 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


the next ten years of his life will be the hardest he will ever experience, i have a dear friend that is serving an eight year sentence in a federal prison(for a non-violent white collar crime) I some days feel the loss of ones simple freedoms that friend prisoner will experience in any given period of time in prison. these freedoms are overlooked by some of the entire general population: like going to spent time with family or friends in a public park on a sunday, or attending an event (sports,concert) in person, or better yet a several course home style cooked meal. prison food is carb-loaded and cheap using the lowest cost or grade meat and produce.the fact he is going to prison, standing tall, is a good mark on his life record.
posted by tustinrick at 7:26 PM on November 10, 2010


the next ten years of his life will be the hardest he will ever experience

I was all, aw, man, converting to Orthodox Judaism while collaborating with Diddy on your comeback record can't be THAT bad but then I realized you hadn't actually read the links.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 7:45 PM on November 10, 2010 [5 favorites]


Wait… he is the son of the prime minister of Belize? What?

and his mother was a cleaning lady. and he was shot when he was 15. and there's good reason to suspect that he may have taken the fall for Sean Coombs.

other than that, just a regular guy.
posted by philip-random at 7:55 PM on November 10, 2010


the fact he is going to prison, standing tall, is a good mark on his life record.

Yeah, he's already served his sentence.

The thing that struck me most was that in the NYT, he wonders if his Ethiopian grandmother was Jewish. And in the JP article, it's stated as fact (by the reporter) that she was.

Still, whatever. Interesting choice, interesting life.
posted by rtha at 8:16 PM on November 10, 2010


I wish the guy well, but he has completely missed the point of Judaism.

Which, in case anyone's confused, is bagels and lox.
posted by Tomorrowful at 8:18 PM on November 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm sure this is inside baseball, but he's hanging out with Jeff Seidel!? That guy is...is...creepy.
On the bright side, his alcohol is free and full of alcohol.
posted by atomicstone at 8:22 PM on November 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


I wish the guy well, but he has completely missed the point of Judaism.

Maybe that's because in Judaism we cut off the point?

I'm here all week, folks. Try the brisket.
posted by mosk at 8:30 PM on November 10, 2010 [8 favorites]


And don't forget, folks--mosk takes tips!
posted by Sidhedevil at 8:34 PM on November 10, 2010 [3 favorites]


1) Do good.

2) Be happy.

3) Live consciously.


Wait, I've been living like that most of my life, and I'm not religious. Do I get some kind of voucher or something?
posted by davejay at 8:36 PM on November 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm also converting to Judaism, although not Orthodox but via the Conservative movement (which was intended to be a synthesis of the Orthodox thesis and Reform antithesis, if you want to get Hegelian about it). Now I've never been shot at and have never been to jail, but I have had problems with a lack of structure and enjoy the support that Judaism provides in that respect. My life is better because of it. While it is not "the point of Judaism," it is important that there are particular days when we observe certain holidays and particular times when we do certain things.
posted by autoclavicle at 8:42 PM on November 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wait, I've been living like that most of my life, and I'm not religious. Do I get some kind of voucher or something?
posted by davejay at 10:36 PM



When you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness. So you got that going for you, which is nice.
posted by Sailormom at 8:45 PM on November 10, 2010 [4 favorites]


1) Hummus restaurant! Tell me more about it.

2) On NPR this afternoon, I was listening to a piece about how increasingly, foreign-born Jews moving to Israel aren't recognized as Jews (usually, it seemed, because their moms had converted in the incorrect-according-to-Orthodox-rabbis type of way). Would the conversion he did in Israel have been the Orthodox-approved type? I couldn't tell from the NYT article.
posted by thehmsbeagle at 8:50 PM on November 10, 2010


thehmsbeagle:

From the JPost article:

Since his arrival, Shyne has undergone the symbolic conversion that the Chief Rabbinate provides for all olim from Ethiopia, including a symbolic brit mila and the adoption of the new name – Moshe Levy Ben-David.
posted by Electrius at 8:51 PM on November 10, 2010


Wait, I've been living like that most of my life, and I'm not religious. Do I get some kind of voucher or something?

free Bible. just go to any cheap hotel room.
posted by philip-random at 9:03 PM on November 10, 2010 [3 favorites]


TheHMSBeagle wrote: Would the conversion he did in Israel have been the Orthodox-approved type? I couldn't tell from the NYT article

I think all Jewish conversions in Israel have to be approved by the Chief Rabbinate, which effectively means that they are Orthodox-approved.
posted by Joe in Australia at 9:27 PM on November 10, 2010


Wait, I've been living like that most of my life, and I'm not religious. Do I get some kind of voucher or something?

free Bible. just go to any cheap hotel room.


And if you'd like a free Book of Mormon, stay in a Marriott.
posted by elsietheeel at 9:48 PM on November 10, 2010


including a symbolic brit mila

Unless I miss my guess, this involves taking a drop of blood from the head of the penis, which isn't so much symbolic as is it symBOLICOYMYPENIS.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:01 PM on November 10, 2010


“I dress both ways. But on Shabbat? Absolutely. Mondays and Thursdays? Absolutely. But Tuesdays, Wednesdays? I have some leeway,”

Wait, what? Someone clue me in here. I thought it was all about Fridays.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker


The Torah is read during the morning services on Mondays and Thursday, so they're considered a smidge holier than the other weekdays.
posted by greatgefilte at 10:27 PM on November 10, 2010


philip-random: and there's good reason to suspect that he may have taken the fall for Sean Coombs.

The same way there is a good reason to suspect that water may be wet.
posted by paisley henosis at 10:55 PM on November 10, 2010


He's got to contend with the original Ortho-rap posses. Y-Love has been on the scene for years, and is taken very seriously in the Brooklyn Black Hat circles. And he's not the only Black Jewish singer in payess. For more hasidic leaning rhymes you can check out Lipa...
posted by zaelic at 12:03 AM on November 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, and soul and love your neighbor as yourself.

This answer is completely orthogonal to the person discussed in the post and his quest to find out more about halakhah, or Judaic religious law.


How is Jesus' summary of Judaic religious law orthogonal to someone's quest to find out more about Judaic religious law? Jesus was a rabbi, in spite of the fact that some people named a religion after him later.
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike at 2:08 AM on November 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Zaelic: My mind just got whiplash from your link. He sounds the way Yiddish singers would if Jews sang Gospel.
posted by Joe in Australia at 2:47 AM on November 11, 2010


Not a fan of any of the Yahweh cults, as from all evidence He is a war god.

But one thing I do appreciate about Judaism is the idea that you live a good life because God is God and dammit, you do what God says. Christianity is very focused on death, punishment, and reward. I know less about Islam, but it appears to me to be more of a synthesis of the two ideas.
posted by keratacon at 3:57 AM on November 11, 2010


I am a musician, and I have experienced various spiritual and religious epiphanies in my life as well. You may contact me for an interview via MeMail.
posted by randomkeystrike at 4:44 AM on November 11, 2010


Remember this, and the world will make a lot more sense:

Big sinners need big religion.
posted by Faze at 5:02 AM on November 11, 2010


Philosopher Dirtbike: How is Jesus' summary of Judaic religious law orthogonal to someone's quest to find out more about Judaic religious law?

Leaving aside Jesus, St. Alia's comment is a slight rewording of the first few words of the V'ahavta (third line) and a portion of Leviticus 19:18. So I agree that it's hardly orthogonal, but for different reasons.
posted by Clandestine Outlawry at 5:51 AM on November 11, 2010


Shynes first album is great by the way, everyone should listen to it, including possibly Shyne.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:11 AM on November 11, 2010


Interesting story, thanks. This bit from the Times story is odd:

Mr. Levi speaks in the style of the urban streets but combines his slang with Yiddish-accented Hebrew words and references to the “Chumash” (the bound version of the Torah, pronounced khoo-MASH) and “Halacha” (Jewish law, pronounced ha-la-KHAH).

If those words were "Yiddish-accented" they would be KHOO-mesh and hah-LO-kheh respectively. I have nothing against the Sephardic pronunciation used in Israel (and more and more in the U.S.) today, but Yiddish it ain't.
posted by languagehat at 6:50 AM on November 11, 2010 [4 favorites]


Yo mosk, didja hear the one about the mohel who collected foreskins and made things out of them? Somebody asked him what good it was to have a tiny patchwork foreskin wallet; he replied, "It's a wallet now, yes, but rub it and it turns into a suitcase!"

Sorry. I'll quietly retreat back into the shadows now.
posted by kinnakeet at 7:18 AM on November 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


As far as the lead quote on the post goes, the leniencies often are the laws. Many of the Torah laws are unclear, and it is precisely because of this lack of clarity that there are a range of opinions in the Talmud and later rabbinic responsa when it comes to how best to observe them. It says in the Torah that the laws are not too difficult to observe (Devarim/Deuteronomy 30:11) - so it often becomes the case that where a certain stringent level of observance would make the obligation too difficult, a lenient approach is considered superior.

While I understand how comforting a strict set of boundaries can be to someone who feels that life has left him unmoored, taking the strictest possible approach tends to backfire because human nature needs a certain amount of, well, fun. This reminds me so much of many "ba'alei teshuva" (Jews who have become Orthodox, or Orthodox Jews who have become super-religious) whom I know - they get so buzzed on the 'holiness' of the restrictions that they can't see that the holiness comes from embracing the law itself (including all the different ways it could be observed), not the strictest-possible interpretation of it. Almost as if they get more from the deprivation (or worse, the 'superiority' of stricter observance) than they do from the fact that the Torah itself is supposed to be lived, and has been lived for thousands of years, even in circumstances where people didn't have, say, lightboxes to check lettuce for bugs. And as a result, they inevitably burn out on the strictures and end up less committed to Judaism than they started, because the middle path of comfortable observance was taken away from them -- after all, if eating (X food which is generally considered kosher but their rebbe taught them is not sufficiently scrutinized to eat) is the same as treif, and you can't maintain that level of strictness, why not just eat bacon?

So I'm interested to see how this plays out in another 10 years.
posted by Mchelly at 8:30 AM on November 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


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 kcds at 11:48 AM on November 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


When you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness. So you got that going for you, which is nice.

That is nice! Although I could have used some of that at work today.
posted by davejay at 4:00 PM on November 11, 2010


« Older Dave Niehaus, the longtime play-by-play announcer ...  |  Nov. 24 is National Opt-out Da... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments