From the Ridiculous*, to the. . .

For the past couple of weeks I have been reading some serious blogs which question Judaism, the divinity of the Torah, halacha, the TSBP (Torah she'be'al peh=oral Torah), and other minor questions such as whether or not G-d exists, not to mention creationism versus evolution, etc.

As they started saying in the 70s, this is some heavy stuff (well, that sure dates me).
All of these questions are important. I myself have questioned many aspects of my religion, and still have questions while I continue to be "Orthodox" (whatever that is). I've made the decision that the benefits outweigh the negatives, and the fact that I still have some doubts is ok.

I had a fairly strong Jewish and secular education, and no, it didn't solve all the problems nor did it answer all my religious and existential questions.
So what?

I judge my religion as a whole by the behavior and actions of its adherents, not only by what it professes.

On the whole, I would ask you:

1) Do Jews provoke attacks on other peoples or religions?

2) Do Jews generally treat their neighbors of other religions badly?

3) If you saw three Chassids together in long black kapotas coming towards you down the street, would you run away screaming in fear that they might attack you?

I think the answers to these questions are no, no and no.

From the time, at least, of the Babylonian exile, Jews have been a relatively tolerant and peaceful people; all that Talmud learning with chevrusas (studying partners-my concession to Ashkenazic pronunciation here), sitting there from dawn till dusk arguing fine points of halacha and how Resh Lakish (not the blogger) and Rav Yochanan and Rava and Abaye differed in opinion has kept Jewish men dealing with dialectics, off the streets and out of trouble for centuries.
To the point where it's almost working against us today: think Israel, surrounded by enemies who want only to destroy her, giving them concession after concession in the [futile] hope that they will turn into a "partner for peace," instead of standing up for itself and--you fill in the blanks.

Oy, my head is splitting. I've decided after all this polemic to sum up our wonderful, rich and varied religion and culture in several short paragraphs below:

Nine year old Joey, was asked by his mother what he had learned in Sunday school."Well, Mom, our teacher told us how God sent Moses behind enemy lines on a rescue mission to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. When he got to the Red Sea, he had his engineers build a pontoon bridge and all the people walked across safely. Then he used his walkie-talkie to radio headquarters for reinforcements. They sent bombers to blow up the bridge and all the Israelites were saved.""Now, Joey, is that really what your teacher taught you?" his mother asked."Well, no, Mom. But if I told it the way the teacher did, you'd never believe it!"

Summary of Most Jewish Holidays:
1. They tried to kill us.
2. We won.
3. Let's eat.

Jewish Haiku:

Is one Nobel Prize
so much to ask from a child
after all I've done?

Five thousand years a
wandering people--then we
found the cabanas.

In the ice sculpture
reflected bar-mitzvah guests
nosh on chopped liver.

Beyond Valium,
the peace of knowing one's child
is an internist.

The same kimono
the top geishas are wearing--
got it at Loehmann's.

In a stage whisper
a yenta confides the name
of her friend's disease.

Jewish triathlon--
gin rummy, then contract bridge,
followed by a nap.

Scrabble anarchy
after 'putzhead' is placed on
a triple-word score.

The sparkling blue sea
beckons me to wait one hour
after my sandwich.

Hava nagila,
hava nagila, hava--
enough already.

Would-be convert lost--
thawed Lender's Bagels made a
bad first impression.

Today, mild shvitzing.
Tomorrow, so hot you'll plotz.
Five-day forecast--feh

Left the door open.
for the Prophet Elijah.
Now our cat is gone.

The shivah visit-
So sorry for your loss. Now
back to my problems.

Now that Koreans
are "the New Jews," the old Jews
can leave for Boca.

Yom Kippur-forgive
me, God, for the Mercedes
and all the lobsters.

Hard to tell under
the lights--white Yarmulke or
male-pattern baldness?

Lonely mantra of
the Buddhist monk--"They never
call, they never write."

No fins, no flippers
the gefilte fish swims with
some difficulty.

Yenta. Shmeer. Gevalt.
Shlemiel. Shlimazl. Tochis.
Oy! To be fluent!

Hey! Get back indoors!
Whatever you were doing
could put an eye out.

Firefly steals into
the night just like my former
partner, that gonif.

Look, Beryl! I've found
the most splendid tchochke for
our Chanukah bush.

Testing the warm milk
on her wrist, she beams - nice, but
her son is forty.

Lovely nose ring -
excuse me while I put my
head in the oven.

After the warm rain,
the sweet scent of camellias.
Did you wipe your feet?

The long pilgrimage
to the venerable shrine -
Leonard's of Great Neck.

Quietly murmured
at Saturday services,
Yanks 5, Red Sox 3.

Today I am a
man. On Monday I return
to the seventh grade.

(*jokes & cartoon blatently borrowed from


Great haikus.
Batya said…
Then I think you'll like this:
Lady-Light said…
backofthehill: Yes, I wish I had written them.
batya: Went there & commented.
Your post prompted me to go to a shiur on the Pele Yoetz!

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