The Lada Maintenance Society

 

The following post is intended only for members of the International Jewish Conspiracy. If you’re the average ‘Dick and Harry’ who don’t happen to qualify, don’t bother reading on. If you’re sympathetic to the International Jewish Conspiracy then you are welcome to proceed. But don’t let anybody know what you’ve read – it’s a secret.

Okay, enough with the preliminaries. Let’s get on with the conspiracy stuff….

Let’s start with something basic: what forms a really strong ethno-conspiracy? I could probably ask a sociologist or somebody and get all sorts of fancy answers, but I imagine they’d start with some nice fluffy stuff like shared experiences, shared values and shared goals. Of course, when you really get down to it, the strongest basis of an ethno-conspiracy is something far more powerful: Shared Sacrifice.

There are a few different kinds of shared sacrifice. The first kind of shared sacrifice is essentially voluntary. It involves people willing to fight and/or die for something. Christian martyrs. Ukrainians (whether of Russian or Ukrainian Ethnicity). American revolutionaries. Palestinian terrorists. There is a price paid, willingly, in blood. It is a kind of human sacrifice in the name of… X.

The bonds that are formed through voluntary sacrifice are powerful. This is why the Classic Jaguar Owners Club is so much stronger than the Lexus Owners Association.

Of course, there is another kind of identity-forming sacrifice. That is the involuntary sacrifice: We see it with black slaves in America, assimilated Jews in Nazi Germany and Peace Now activities who lived on the border with Gaza. They don’t want to fight. They don’t want to resist. They don’t (necessarily) “stand up for who they are.” They would much rather fit in and get along.

And yet they are oppressed and killed because of their identity. They have no choice.

This sort of involuntary sacrifice can also form a powerful identity. The thing is: the resulting identity is formed by others. Southern slave masters and their follow-on oppressors defined American blacks as a group. Before, they were people who happened to come from a variety of West African ethnicities who may not have seen each other as forming any sort of group. In the Jewish case, Nazis have had an outsize role in defining Judaism. How many times have you heard: “Of course he’s a Jew (despite the fact he doesn’t identify as one or practice any aspect of the faith) – Hitler would have killed him!”

That Jew they’re talking about is locked in by that involuntary sacrifice.

Can you imagine a Catholic saying: “of course he’s a Catholic (despite the fact he doesn’t identify as one or practice any aspect of the faith)! Emperor Diocletian would have fed him to the lions!”

By and large the Catholic, whether through calling or some other means, chooses to be Catholic.

The Jew doesn’t get a choice. We don’t necessarily die for our beliefs. We die for our being.

This brings us to this week’s Torah reading and the story of Nadav and Avihu.

Nadav and Avihu, Aaron’s sons, made a mistake sufficiently unclear that we argue about what exactly it was, even today. I’ve got my theories and have talked about them in the past. The important thing is: G-d kills them. And then He declares that He has been sanctified through their deaths. The idea of sanctification is simple enough: G-d is timeless and this extreme punishment serves as a vivid reminder that His laws are timeless and unchanging. There are a million varieties and explanations of this theme. Just attend pretty much any speech in a synagogue this Sabbath.

The thing is, as extreme as they are, these deaths don’t stand alone. It seems every major transformation of the people is presaged by an unwilling sacrifice. Avram (and Terach) leave Ur Kasdim because Haran (another of Terach’s sons) dies in front of Terach’s eyes. The Jewish people leave Egypt, but not before an unnumbered generation of children are drowned in the Nile. The Aron Hakodesh (Holy Ark) is moved to Jerusalem, but not before Uzziah is struck down trying to prevent it from falling. An entire generation is exterminated in the desert before the people can come to the land of Israel. The Holocaust occurs before the foundation of the Modern State of Israel.

Again and again, G-d takes an unwilling sacrifice from the people. G-d is sanctified through death. It goes so far that the Jewish people say the Kaddish – literally the ‘Sanctification’ – as a marker of every death. We say it in the lingua franca (at least of the time it was written) of Aramaic so that it is clear what it means. The prayer starts with: “May His great name be exalted and sanctified.” The central phrase is: “May His great name be blessed for ever, and to all eternity!”

Holiness is timelessness and G-d is somehow sanctified with every death.

It isn’t a pleasant thought.

It also sets the Jews apart. We are a nation defined by unwilling sacrifice. But we aren’t really defined by the Hitlers, Ferdinands, Czars, Peasants, Emperors, Hellenists or Pharaohs who we think were persecuting us. The Nazis don’t define who a Jew is. No, we were, and are, defined by G-d.

G-d is behind every persecution. Every loss. Every slaughter.

(Sorry haters, you’re just tools – but you shouldn’t be reading this anyway. And, no, you aren’t tools who are rewarded for your G-dly inspired efforts (see Deut 32:41-42) – you’re just tools.)

Getting back to the main thread. If you ignore the nature of sacrifice and look for the other things that define a people, they just don’t apply. The Jewish people are not a people organically developed. We didn’t live in one location and learn to cooperate and form some sort of society and identity. We were always defined as not belonging. The very name of the people Ivrim (Hebrews) means ‘other siders.’ No, the Jewish people’s culture and freedom and initiative were erased by displacement and slavery and suffering again and again and again. From Germany, to Egypt, to Israel itself – we have never belonged. We are defined by displacement. We are defined by G-d alone. Our identity has been forged by the unwilling sacrifices – taken by our G-d.

If we actually define ourselves as G-d’s people. If we walk in G-d’s path – as a people – as creators and embracers of His holiness… then the cycle of exile and slaughter will have ended. But if not? At the beginning of Chapter 30, the Book of Devarim (Deuteronomy) describes the people being brought back from the edges of the heavens – as if we live off-planet. I believe that it is possible that we will be exiled once again. It is possible that the word ‘Kaddish’ will remain as associated with loss and suffering as it is with joy, peace and blessing.

We aren’t voluntarily sacrificing for a cause – ala the Palestinians (nyuk, nyuk). We aren’t involuntarily sacrificing – like Black slaves in America. No, we are in a third group. We are being sacrificed until we realize and live up to our mission in life. It is almost as if we are condemned to being members of the Lada Maintenance Society – as punishment for not realizing the power of the free market.

The thing is, we don’t have to be a part of the Lada Maintenance Society. The Hondas of Redemption remain at the ready, complete with warm engines, synthetic leather seats and maybe even lane-keeping assistance.

All we need to do is acknowledge G-d as a people, and our reality will forever be altered.

We can escape our cycle of sacrifice.

How, though?

Thankfully, some people are making realistic efforts to move our people forward. If you’ve read this far, I’d love to highlight the work of Tenuat Aseret https://aseret.org.il. They aren’t trying to make everybody Datiim (religious), they are trying to ground all Jews – from Haredim (black hatters) to Chilunim (secular Jews) in the common footing of the Aseret Hadibrot (Ten Commandments). They are reinforcing a touchstone at the core of our national purpose.

Rav Shalom Shwartz, who founded the organization, is a friend and a fellow reader of my work. He and his team successfully bring together Jews from all walks of life. His goal isn’t ‘pluralism’ or the building of bridges; those concepts are based on compromise and not growth. Instead, he wants to raise everybody up by exposing them all to the beauty they can all shed on the Aseret Hadibrot.

He told me about a seminar he was leading once. A Chiluni woman from Tel Aviv was sitting next to a Haredi man from Bnei Brak. She had an insight on some part of the Ten Commandments and the Haredi man turned to her and said, “That is the most insightful thing I’ve ever heard on this subject.”

She was shocked, “Don’t you study this your whole life?”

The answer, of course, is ‘no’.

Shalom and his organization are bringing them all, no matter their background, to a new level of involvement and awareness.

Tenuat Aseret is leading a fundraising drive right now. I attended a pump-it-up session led by Jews from all walks of life – not just Israeli and not just Dati. Heck, one of the highlight speakers was a woman born in Syria (father a Sunni) who was raised in Lebanon (mother a Shia) who grew up hating Jews so completely that she had a panic attack in a Strasbourg grocery store the first time she saw a Jew. Now, she’s converting (see Arabs Ask on Instagram).

I guess she wants to be a part of our conspiracy.

Anyway, whether or not you are Jewish, if you want to keep the Jewish people together and connected to our mission – and allow our people to be defined by a greater goal and not by our enemies’ hatred – then few are doing more critical work than Tenuat Aseret.

I personally would be chuffed by your support. I committed to trying to raise 5,000 NIS ($1340).

Let me know if you decide to do it. The page is here. 😊

Published in Religion & Philosophy
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  1. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    Thank you for this article. It taught me something new about our Creator.

    I can’t explain what follows, so I don’t know why I am writing it.

     * * *

    I tried to apply this lesson to our family’s present case, of a recent involuntary sacrifice.  We already have believed that it had a divine purpose. But now I am considering something more specific about that purpose. That He was sanctified by it as part of a recurring act that will  be completed by a miracle that fulfills a promise.

    And that it was only possible as a direct result of an earlier generation of the same recurring sequence. The product of a miracle being used to produce another miracle.

    • #1
  2. Globalitarian Misanthropist Coolidge
    Globalitarian Misanthropist
    @Flicker

    I never thought of Jews as being being sacrificed.  But it sounds about right.  Something to think about.

    Thanks for the link to Ask Arabs.

    • #2
  3. JosephCox Coolidge
    JosephCox
    @JosephCox

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    Thank you for this article. It taught me something new about our Creator.

    I can’t explain what follows, so I don’t know why I am writing it.

    * * *

    I tried to apply this lesson to our family’s present case, of a recent involuntary sacrifice. We already have believed that it had a divine purpose. But now I am considering something more specific about that purpose. That He was sanctified by it as part of a recurring act that will be completed by a miracle that fulfills a promise.

    And that it was only possible as a direct result of an earlier generation of the same recurring sequence. The product of a miracle being used to produce another miracle.

    I obviously have no details… but I hope you find a way out as well.

    • #3
  4. JosephCox Coolidge
    JosephCox
    @JosephCox

    Globalitarian Misanthropist (View Comment):

    I never thought of Jews as being being sacrificed. But it sounds about right. Something to think about.

    Thanks for the link to Ask Arabs.

    Some link to the idea of a burning bush – we are constantly burned, but we are never consumed.

    • #4
  5. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    JosephCox: Again and again, G-d takes an unwilling sacrifice from the people. G-d is sanctified through death.

    Joseph, I don’t understand why G-d is sanctified through death. Maybe I’m missing something?

    • #5
  6. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    JosephCox: Again and again, G-d takes an unwilling sacrifice from the people. G-d is sanctified through death.

    Joseph, I don’t understand why G-d is sanctified through death. Maybe I’m missing something?

    I decided not to mention it, but I had the exact same question, and it has predominated my thoughts.

    How can one who is already holy be “sanctified”? That is, “be made holy.”

    If the Hebrews were promised lands of milk and honey and innumerable descendants, but were in bondage in Egypt, was it not they who were in need of sanctification, not G-d? Where in the Torah is a Law that G-d could be in a state where he could be sanctified? How could G-d’s sanctification be transferred to some of those whom he created? Where in the Torah is the Law that says that G_d’s sanctification can  be transferred to mere men?

    When I spoke of things I can’t explain, it had to do not just with recent events in our lives but with the question you raise and the thoughts that follow it.

     

     

    • #6
  7. JosephCox Coolidge
    JosephCox
    @JosephCox

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    JosephCox: Again and again, G-d takes an unwilling sacrifice from the people. G-d is sanctified through death.

    Joseph, I don’t understand why G-d is sanctified through death. Maybe I’m missing something?

    It is not easy to understand why, but it happens – explicitly – again and again. It is why the speeches on this Shabbat are so difficult and so pained.

    My own explanation is that the divine is timeless. The laws of the divine are immutable. The closer you get to the divine, the less flexible the reality. So you can approach holiness, but it invariably comes at a cost. We aren’t meant to be perfect.

    The sins of Nadav and Avihu could be:

    • drinking – as in not being entirely in their own minds when approaching the Holy
    • offering incense – Kohanim don’t offer their own incense, only that of others. They offered only incense, confusing their role as intermediaries with the role of being especially close for their own sake
    • Offering an uncommanded offering – making it up as they go along, which isn’t a good idea when approaching G-d on His terrain

    It could be all the above, or something else. But what you end up with is a common theme. They did it their way and when we approach G-d we should do it His way.

    The consequences of that – the need to be almost otherwordly when approaching direct holiness – reinforce just how timeless and all powerful and self-defining G-d is. G-d’s timelessness, G-d’s reality, is reinforced by those who try to make it up or decide they know better facing the consequences of their actions.

    From a human perspective the cost is total. From a divine perspective, it is a corrective blip on the course of forever.

    • #7
  8. JosephCox Coolidge
    JosephCox
    @JosephCox

    Mark Camp (View Comment):
    How can one who is already holy be “sanctified”? That is, “be made holy.”

    Ah! this is a slightly different question than Susan asked, which I gave an answer to above. How can G-d who is perfectly Holy be sanctified? It is closely related to the question of how can G-d who has everything be blessed?

    Let’s start with Blessing, because it is more straight-forward. The word ‘blessing’ is used in its most unusual form for the camel at the well, when Eliezer is looking for Yitzchak (Isaac’s) wife. It says: וַיַּבְרֵךְ הַגְּמַלִּים – “He made the Camels to Bless.”

    It is such a weird phrase that we routinely translate it as kneel. The modern Hebrew word for ‘knee’ actually comes from that verse. ‘Blessing’ was made into ‘knee.’ It is so dominant a translation that if you look at a Jewish study site (Sefaria) it has 11 English translations and every one says kneel. If you look at a Christian translation comparison tool (biblestudytools.com) 32 translation use ‘kneel.’ The other four say either ‘lay down’ or ‘made to rest’.

    But the word is the same word as bless.

    I think it makes sense if you think about what the camels were doing. Eliezer was just about to ask G-d to reveal Yitzchak’s wife by having one of the maidens water the camels. His reasoning: do kindness with my master Avraham.

    As result of that watering, the future of the Avraham’s legacy would be established. So Eliezer made the camels to bless. The camels were made to bless Avraham. So what is blessing? Blessing is opportunity. Lots of money isn’t a blessing in and of itself – it is an opportunity to do good and holy things and to keep going (and doing good things). Jews bless G-d numerous times a day. We bless G-d every time we go to the bathroom! Blessed are You,  who formed man with wisdom and created within him many openings and many hollow spaces. It is obvious and known before Your Seat of Honor that if even one of them would be opened, or if even one of them would be sealed, it would be impossible to survive and to stand before You even for one hour.

    What are we doing? We’re increasing G-d’s potential in this world by invoking His name. We are blessing that which already has everything.

    So let’s extend this to Holiness.

    Holiness comes with a twist. Holiness is relative. In the reading of Vayikra, which reviews the offerings from a human perspective, only one of the offerings is called Holy. That offering is the grain which is eaten by the Kohen. It is the only thing that doesn’t ‘go to waste.’ From the human perspective, forever means not being physically destroyed.

    But in the next reading, from the priest’s perspective, almost every offering is called Holy or Holy of Holies. Humans have a hard time understanding this perspective and the Torah accepts that.

    So how can G-d be made Holy? How can G-d be sanctified? The verse says: בִּקְרֹבַי אֶקָּדֵשׁ

    As with my answer to Susan, the closer you get the closer the tolerances. But when you are close to G-d and you fail to act on G-d’s terms – but instead act on your own terms, then you commit a Chilul Hashem. We translate it as a “desecration of G-d’s name.” But the literal meaning is to “change or form”. You are desanctifing G-d by bringing Him down to the human.

    So how do we sanctify G-d? That relative, subjective, awareness of holiness is raised up by the realization that G-d defines the Holy, not us. Those who draw close, but can not stay precisely on G-d’s track, demonstrate that they are not the actors and thus G-d’s holiness – G-d’s permanence and presence –  is reinforced.

    We, mere humans, have the responsibility both to Bless G-d and to Sanctify G-d. G-d left us space both to enhance His capabilities in this world (blessing) and to spread awareness, appreciation and internalization of His timeless holiness. 

    • #8
  9. iWe Coolidge
    iWe
    @iWe

    JosephCox: The bonds that are formed through voluntary sacrifice are powerful. This is why the Classic Jaguar Owners Club is so much stronger than the Lexus Owners Association.

    Genius.

    • #9
  10. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    JosephCox (View Comment):

    Mark Camp (View Comment):
    How can one who is already holy be “sanctified”? That is, “be made holy.”

    Ah! this is a slightly different question than Susan asked, which I gave an answer to above. How can G-d who is perfectly Holy be sanctified? It is closely related to the question of how can G-d who has everything be blessed?

    Let’s start with Blessing, because it is more straight-forward. The word ‘blessing’ is used in its most unusual form for the camel at the well, when Eliezer is looking for Yitzchak (Isaac’s) wife. It says: וַיַּבְרֵךְ הַגְּמַלִּים – “He made the Camels to Bless.”

    It is such a weird phrase that we routinely translate it as kneel. The modern Hebrew word for ‘knee’ actually comes from that verse. ‘Blessing’ was made into ‘knee.’ It is so dominant a translation that if you look at a Jewish study site (Sefaria) it has 11 English translations and every one says kneel. If you look at a Christian translation comparison tool (biblestudytools.com) 32 translation use ‘kneel.’ The other four say either ‘lay down’ or ‘made to rest’.

    But the word is the same word as bless.

    I think it makes sense if you think about what the camels were doing. Eliezer was just about to ask G-d to reveal Yitzchak’s wife by having one of the maidens water the camels. His reasoning: do kindness with my master Avraham.

    As result of that watering, the future of the Avraham’s legacy would be established. So Eliezer made the camels to bless. The camels were made to bless Avraham. So what is blessing? Blessing is opportunity. Lots of money isn’t a blessing in and of itself – it is an opportunity to do good and holy things and to keep going (and doing good things). Jews bless G-d numerous times a day. We bless G-d every time we go to the bathroom! Blessed are You, who formed man with wisdom and created within him many openings and many hollow spaces. It is obvious and known before Your Seat of Honor that if even one of them would be opened, or if even one of them would be sealed, it would be impossible to survive and to stand before You even for one hour.

    What are we doing? We’re increasing G-d’s potential in this world by invoking His name. We are blessing that which already has everything.

    So let’s extend this to Holiness.

    Holiness comes with a twist. Holiness is relative. In the reading of Vayikra, which reviews the offerings from a human perspective, only one of the offerings is called Holy. That offering is the grain which is eaten by the Kohen. It is the only thing that doesn’t ‘go to waste.’ From the human perspective, forever means not being physically destroyed.

    But in the next reading, from the priest’s perspective, almost every offering is called Holy or Holy of Holies. Humans have a hard time understanding this perspective and the Torah accepts that.

    So how can G-d be made Holy? How can G-d be sanctified? The verse says: בִּקְרֹבַי אֶקָּדֵשׁ

    As with my answer to Susan, the closer you get the closer the tolerances. But when you are close to G-d and you fail to act on G-d’s terms – but instead act on your own terms, then you commit a Chilul Hashem. We translate it as a “desecration of G-d’s name.” But the literal meaning is to “change or form”. You are desanctifing G-d by bringing Him down to the human.

    So how do we sanctify G-d? That relative, subjective, awareness of holiness is raised up by the realization that G-d defines the Holy, not us. Those who draw close, but can not stay precisely on G-d’s track, demonstrate that they are not the actors and thus G-d’s holiness – G-d’s permanence and presence – is reinforced.

    We, mere humans, have the responsibility both to Bless G-d and to Sanctify G-d. G-d left us space both to enhance His capabilities in this world (blessing) and to spread awareness, appreciation and internalization of His timeless holiness.

    Which definition for sanctification are you using? I am using #2 from Merriam Webster:

    1: to set apart to a sacred purpose or to religious use : CONSECRATE 2: to free from sin : PURIFY 3a: to impart or impute sacredness, inviolability, or respect tob: to give moral or social sanction to 4: to make productive of holiness or pietyobserve the day of the sabbath, to sanctify it

    • #10
  11. iWe Coolidge
    iWe
    @iWe

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    Which definition for sanctification are you using? I am using #2 from Merriam Webster:

    1: to set apart to a sacred purpose or to religious use : CONSECRATE 2: to free from sin : PURIFY 3a: to impart or impute sacredness, inviolability, or respect tob: to give moral or social sanction to 4: to make productive of holiness or pietyobserve the day of the sabbath, to sanctify it

    I cannot speak for the author, but holiness, as used in the Torah, has multiple related meanings, all embodied in the Tabernacle. To wit:

    Incense (reminder of our creation and connection with G-d; realizing the importance of the insubstantial), Menorah (light/knowledge/influence), Altar (elevation of the physical toward the spiritual), Table/showbread (partnership with G-d), Ark (growth relationships).

    • #11
  12. JosephCox Coolidge
    JosephCox
    @JosephCox

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    Which definition for sanctification are you using? I am using #2 from Merriam Webster:

    1: to set apart to a sacred purpose or to religious use : CONSECRATE 2: to free from sin : PURIFY 3a: to impart or impute sacredness, inviolability, or respect tob: to give moral or social sanction to 4: to make productive of holiness or pietyobserve the day of the sabbath, to sanctify it

    None of the above!

    For 6 days, G-d creates the world. As He creates things he judges them to be ‘Tov.’ We translate this as ‘good.’ Good is a judgement of creation – it is a result of creation.

    There are four things not judged to be good: night, Sabbath, Heavens and Man.

    Man is not good because we are judged not as creations but as Creators. Night is not good because G-d does not create during the ‘night’ (which isn’t really night as we understand it because it predates the sun.

    But Sabbath and Heavens are different. Sabbath is defined as Holy. And nowhere in the entire text are Goodness and Holiness conflated. They are mutually incompatible concepts – except in the being of G-d. The closest they get is the Mamlechet Kedusha (Holy work) of building the Mishkan (Tabernacle).

    So what is Holiness? It is the mirror of Good. Goodness is creation, Holiness is the intentional absence of creation. It is the celebration and connection to forever. The Sabbath is Holy because G-d rests from his acts of creation.

    Holiness is forever. It is the timeless. It is this way for religions across the world. Monks (which don’t exist in Judaism) step outside of the regular world to touch forever. They are provided for by those intentionally enabling the absence of creation. It is the same mirror of goodness and holiness.

    This concept is deeply baked in Judaism. We wish people, in Hebrew, Shavuah Tov – Good Week – and Shabbat Shalom – a Peaceful Shabbat. Some don’t say Shabbat Shalom because Shalom implies a name of G-d. This just reinforces the concept. (in Yiddish, people will say Geet Shabbos – but again, English ‘good’ and Hebrew ‘tov’ aren’t the same thing).

    Why none of the standard definitions? Let’s take a look:

    1. to set apart to a sacred purpose or to religious use

    Problem? When G-d says the Kohanim have to sanctify themselves, Moshe uses this definition. He responds (Ex. 19:23)  ‘The people cannot come up to mount Sinai; for thou didst charge us, saying: Set bounds about the mount, and sanctify it.’ What is G-d’s response? The Kohanim can’t come up. Why? Because separation is not the definition of sanctity. It isn’t about making things (e.g. priests) special, it is about preparing them to encounter the eternal.

    2. To free from sin/purify.

    Problem? There’s another concept around this – Tahor. Holiness is incompatible with Tamei (roughly ‘impurity’) but it is not its opposite. Instead, Tahor is the opposite. What is Tahor? It is separation and distance from loss of potential – including things as dramatic as death and as minor as spilled seed. Tahor is a pre-condition to holiness, to being able to touch forever. But it is not the same thing.

    3. to impart or impute sacredness, inviolability, or respect to

    Closer. But kind of circular. Something isn’t sacred because it is defined as sacred. There are ideas that go into it.

    4. to give moral or social sanction to

    Same idea. Plus, goodness gets moral and social sanction – but isn’t holy.

    5. to make productive of holiness or piety

    Not really sure what this one is even about. I know it is a dictionary and highly respected, but this doesn’t feel like English :)

    • #12
  13. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    JosephCox (View Comment):

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    Which definition for sanctification are you using? I am using #2 from Merriam Webster:

    1: to set apart to a sacred purpose or to religious use : CONSECRATE 2: to free from sin : PURIFY 3a: to impart or impute sacredness, inviolability, or respect tob: to give moral or social sanction to 4: to make productive of holiness or pietyobserve the day of the sabbath, to sanctify it

    None of the above!

    For 6 days, G-d creates the world. As He creates things he judges them to be ‘Tov.’ We translate this as ‘good.’ Good is a judgement of creation – it is a result of creation.

    There are four things not judged to be good: night, Sabbath, Heavens and Man.

    Man is not good because we are judged not as creations but as Creators. Night is not good because G-d does not create during the ‘night’ (which isn’t really night as we understand it because it predates the sun.

    But Sabbath and Heavens are different. Sabbath is defined as Holy. And nowhere in the entire text are Goodness and Holiness conflated. They are mutually incompatible concepts – except in the being of G-d. The closest they get is the Mamlechet Kedusha (Holy work) of building the Mishkan (Tabernacle).

    So what is Holiness? It is the mirror of Good. Goodness is creation, Holiness is the intentional absence of creation. It is the celebration and connection to forever. The Sabbath is Holy because G-d rests from his acts of creation.

    Holiness is forever. It is the timeless. It is this way for religions across the world. Monks (which don’t exist in Judaism) step outside of the regular world to touch forever. They are provided for by those intentionally enabling the absence of creation. It is the same mirror of goodness and holiness.

    This concept is deeply baked in Judaism. We wish people, in Hebrew, Shavuah Tov – Good Week – and Shabbat Shalom – a Peaceful Shabbat. Some don’t say Shabbat Shalom because Shalom implies a name of G-d. This just reinforces the concept. (in Yiddish, people will say Geet Shabbos – but again, English ‘good’ and Hebrew ‘tov’ aren’t the same thing).

    Why none of the standard definitions? Let’s take a look:

    1. to set apart to a sacred purpose or to religious use

     

    Problem? When G-d says the Kohanim have to sanctify themselves, Moshe uses this definition. He responds (Ex. 19:23) ‘The people cannot come up to mount Sinai; for thou didst charge us, saying: Set bounds about the mount, and sanctify it.’ What is G-d’s response? The Kohanim can’t come up. Why? Because separation is not the definition of sanctity. It isn’t about making things (e.g. priests) special, it is about preparing them to encounter the eternal.

     

    2. To free from sin/purify.

     

    Problem? There’s another concept around this – Tahor. Holiness is incompatible with Tamei (roughly ‘impurity’) but it is not its opposite. Instead, Tahor is the opposite. What is Tahor? It is separation and distance from loss of potential – including things as dramatic as death and as minor as spilled seed. Tahor is a pre-condition to holiness, to being able to touch forever. But it is not the same thing.

     

    3. to impart or impute sacredness, inviolability, or respect to

     

    Closer. But kind of circular. Something isn’t sacred because it is defined as sacred. There are ideas that go into it.

     

    4. to give moral or social sanction to

     

    Same idea. Plus, goodness gets moral and social sanction – but isn’t holy.

     

    5. to make productive of holiness or piety

     

    Not really sure what this one is even about. I know it is a dictionary and highly respected, but this doesn’t feel like English :)

     

    Thanks, Joseph. Lots of good info!

    But could you please give the definition of “sanctification” that you are using?

    • #13
  14. JosephCox Coolidge
    JosephCox
    @JosephCox

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

     

    But could you please give the definition of “sanctification” that you are using?

    It is from the same root word. It is the Hebrew verb form of holy. So it is ‘to Holy’.

    How do you holy? You do it by connect to the holy, often through the act of dedication or investment.

    So we invest or dedicate the time of Sabbath to the Holy and thus make it Holy. The same applies to charitable gifts – they enable people who might struggle to stay around day to day to be able to experience a world in which they aren’t afraid of what’s coming next. So the gifts are holy. Offerings (literally ‘closers’) dedicate the physical to the eternal spiritual connection so they can be holy – but not so much for lay people who can’t appreciate the conversion of the physical to the timeless so just experience the feeling of loss. etc…

    In Nadav and Avihu’s case, ‘those close to me will holy me.’ The investment/dedication of the lives of Nadav and Avihu enables the people to better understand the holiness of G-d. Although, as mentioned, it ain’t easy. 

    • #14
  15. JosephCox Coolidge
    JosephCox
    @JosephCox

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    JosephCox: Again and again, G-d takes an unwilling sacrifice from the people. G-d is sanctified through death.

    Joseph, I don’t understand why G-d is sanctified through death. Maybe I’m missing something?

    Susan, there is a second answer – that occurred to me as I prepared to deliver a version of this in shul.

    The animal which is offered up is a temporary thing, a physical thing. It lives and dies and is gone. When it is offered, it is connected to the timeless. It reinforces the divine and becomes a part of it. Rather than there being an erasure, there is an uplifting – from the physical world to the timeless and spiritual world. This is why killing an animal in sight of the Mishkan, but not offering it, is akin to murder. It is why we are commanded to eat meat only when our physical souls demand it and only within our gates – it is not the Jewish law, but burgers on the road are, to me, a pretty big problem.

    On a basic level, the person who lives is an animal. A temporary, physical, thing.

    When that person sanctifies G-d, they are connected to the timeless. They reinforce the divine and become a part of it. So long as they are connected to G-d – through the Kaddish, for example – they can be a sanctification of G-d and they can dwell in Holy eternity.

    • #15
  16. TomRoberts57 Coolidge
    TomRoberts57
    @TomRoberts57

    JosephCox (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    JosephCox: Again and again, G-d takes an unwilling sacrifice from the people. G-d is sanctified through death.

    Joseph, I don’t understand why G-d is sanctified through death. Maybe I’m missing something?

    Susan, there is a second answer – that occurred to me as I prepared to deliver a version of this in shul.

    The animal which is offered up is a temporary thing, a physical thing. It lives and dies and is gone. When it is offered, it is connected to the timeless. It reinforces the divine and becomes a part of it. Rather than there being an erasure, there is an uplifting – from the physical world to the timeless and spiritual world. This is why killing an animal in sight of the Mishkan, but not offering it, is akin to murder. It is why we are commanded to eat meat only when our physical souls demand it and only within our gates – it is not the Jewish law, but burgers on the road are, to me, a pretty big problem.

    On a basic level, the person who lives is an animal. A temporary, physical, thing.

    When that person sanctifies G-d, they are connected to the timeless. They reinforce the divine and become a part of it. So long as they are connected to G-d – through the Kaddish, for example – they can be a sanctification of G-d and they can dwell in Holy eternity.

    Hmm, interesting. As opposed, for example, to World Central Kitchen chaps splattered across the road ?

    I read a book recently called “Jewish History, Jewish Religion – The Weight of Three Thousand Years” by Israel Shahak. If you’re familiar with it,  could you tell me whether he has any of his basic facts wrong, or is it generally accurate ? 

    • #16
  17. JosephCox Coolidge
    JosephCox
    @JosephCox

    TomRoberts57 (View Comment):

     

    I read a book recently called “Jewish History, Jewish Religion – The Weight of Three Thousand Years” by Israel Shahak. If you’re familiar with it,  could you tell me whether he has any of his basic facts wrong, or is it generally accurate ? 

    Look look! I made up stories (the phone story is ridiculous, the idea of washing your hands to worship Satan is ridiculous) and found whackjob extremists who said whackjob things! Oh my, the entire culture is evil!

    Then again, you might just be able to find Black, White, Christian, Muslim, Chinese, Japanese, Native American…. every culture extremists who say stupid things. Just elevate them to prominence and your set!

    This black guy said, “All Whites gotta die.” Blacks must be all evil.

    This white guy said, “Blacks are sub-humans, meant for slavery.” Whites must be evil.

    This Japanese guy said “Americans are barbarians.” Japanese must be evil.

    etc….

    The Talmud is a document of discussion (not law), largely written in a time of extreme Jewish suppression. Arguments and counter-arguments are presented. Kind of like Ricochet. Just because some extremists on Ricochet say exorable and ridiculous things doesn’t suggest that the entire community is poisoned. Others on Ricochet might say things like “Islam is dangerous and religious Muslims shouldn’t be trusted.” I disagree vehemently with that statement – but the fact that it is uttered and considered, in light of Islamic terrorism, does not make the community evil.

    Yes, certainly there are opinions in the Talmud which regard the majority as deserving a little of what was their own medicine – but as I’ve written about Islam and Christianity, the texts matter far less than what people do with them.

    With, again, the exception of some real extremes, these quotes just aren’t relevant.

    The fact that he picked that stupid phone story as his lifting off point shows that his motivation was to attack Jews, not to find truth. As Shmuley Boteach (a man I rarely agree with) said: “What prohibition could there possibly be in allowing someone else to use one’s phone on the Sabbath?”

    As Eli Beer, a founder of the largest private Ambulance service in Israel with 1,100 medical personnel of whom 60 per cent Orthodox said: “If someone would say we won’t save a non-Jewish life on the Sabbath, he is a liar. If he is Jewish, Christian, or Muslim we save everyone’s life on any day of the year, including the Sabbath and Yom Kippur, and I have done so myself. Indeed, as an Orthodox Jew it is my greatest honor to save the life of a non-Jew, and I would violate any of the Jewish holy days to do so.”

    So, in summary, shtus.

    • #17
  18. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    JosephCox (View Comment):
    So, in summary, shtus.

    That’s a keeper.

    • #18
  19. TomRoberts57 Coolidge
    TomRoberts57
    @TomRoberts57

    JosephCox (View Comment):

    TomRoberts57 (View Comment):

     

    I read a book recently called “Jewish History, Jewish Religion – The Weight of Three Thousand Years” by Israel Shahak. If you’re familiar with it, could you tell me whether he has any of his basic facts wrong, or is it generally accurate ?

    Look look! I made up stories (the phone story is ridiculous, the idea of washing your hands to worship Satan is ridiculous) and found whackjob extremists who said whackjob things! Oh my, the entire culture is evil!

    Then again, you might just be able to find Black, White, Christian, Muslim, Chinese, Japanese, Native American…. every culture extremists who say stupid things. Just elevate them to prominence and your set!

    This black guy said, “All Whites gotta die.” Blacks must be all evil.

    This white guy said, “Blacks are sub-humans, meant for slavery.” Whites must be evil.

    This Japanese guy said “Americans are barbarians.” Japanese must be evil.

    etc….

    The Talmud is a document of discussion (not law), largely written in a time of extreme Jewish suppression. Arguments and counter-arguments are presented. Kind of like Ricochet. Just because some extremists on Ricochet say exorable and ridiculous things doesn’t suggest that the entire community is poisoned. Others on Ricochet might say things like “Islam is dangerous and religious Muslims shouldn’t be trusted.” I disagree vehemently with that statement – but the fact that it is uttered and considered, in light of Islamic terrorism, does not make the community evil.

    Yes, certainly there are opinions in the Talmud which regard the majority as deserving a little of what was their own medicine – but as I’ve written about Islam and Christianity, the texts matter far less than what people do with them.

    With, again, the exception of some real extremes, these quotes just aren’t relevant.

    The fact that he picked that stupid phone story as his lifting off point shows that his motivation was to attack Jews, not to find truth. As Shmuley Boteach (a man I rarely agree with) said: “What prohibition could there possibly be in allowing someone else to use one’s phone on the Sabbath?”

    As Eli Beer, a founder of the largest private Ambulance service in Israel with 1,100 medical personnel of whom 60 per cent Orthodox said: “If someone would say we won’t save a non-Jewish life on the Sabbath, he is a liar. If he is Jewish, Christian, or Muslim we save everyone’s life on any day of the year, including the Sabbath and Yom Kippur, and I have done so myself. Indeed, as an Orthodox Jew it is my greatest honor to save the life of a non-Jew, and I would violate any of the Jewish holy days to do so.”

    So, in summary, shtus.

    Ok, well the phone story was from nearly 60 years ago so I’ll let that one go.

    What I had more in mind is a letter from a rabbi he quotes, which basically says the laws of war don’t apply to Jews, and that they are not only allowed, but required to kill gentiles more or less on sight. 

    There are plenty of recent examples of the IDF shooting people while they are trying to surrender, using 2,000lb bombs to supposedly kill one guy, killing large numbers of journalists, aid workers, medical personnel etc. I can’t help thinking that they believe there is a religious justification for their behaviour.  

     

    • #19
  20. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    TomRoberts57 (View Comment):
    There are plenty of recent examples of the IDF shooting people while they are trying to surrender,

    There is no inherent right to surrender. You drop your weapon, hold up your hands, and hope. If taking you prisoner presents any danger to those to whom you are surrendering, that is known as “bad luck.”

    using 2,000lb bombs to supposedly kill one guy, killing large numbers of journalists, aid workers, medical personnel etc.

    And the knowledge of those who dropped that bomb was perfect. They knew all about the “noncombatants,” a concept with which Hamas seems to have difficulty, since they’ve been known to target pizza restaurants where birthday parties for children were being held. 

    If the IDF were to conduct itself with only 10% of the contempt for which Hamas has habitually shown for such niceties, Hamas would be room temperature months ago.

    • #20
  21. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    TomRoberts57 (View Comment):
    What I had more in mind is a letter from a rabbi he quotes, which basically says the laws of war don’t apply to Jews, and that they are not only allowed, but required to kill gentiles more or less on sight. 

    I’ve never heard of a Jew who acted on that supposed requirement.  Does that mean they are bad people?   

    • #21
  22. TomRoberts57 Coolidge
    TomRoberts57
    @TomRoberts57

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    TomRoberts57 (View Comment):
    What I had more in mind is a letter from a rabbi he quotes, which basically says the laws of war don’t apply to Jews, and that they are not only allowed, but required to kill gentiles more or less on sight.

    I’ve never heard of a Jew who acted on that supposed requirement. Does that mean they are bad people?

    Are you asking sarcastically whether they are bad people for not following Jewish religious law when they fail to kill gentiles ?

    Or are you asking if Jews are just bad people ?

    You don’t write very well, and since I’m not a mind reader I don’t know what you’re asking.

    If you’ve never heard of a Jew acting on that supposed requirement, I don’t know where to start. Look up Baruch Goldstein perhaps – he’s apparently a hero to at least one current member of the Israeli cabinet.

    Then you could have a look on any number of websites or social media and see footage of Israeli “soldiers” gunning down civilians, or celebrating blowing up buildings, or telling their fellow “soldiers” how they just killed an old Palestinian man by shooting him four times after he’d put his hands up.

    • #22
  23. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    TomRoberts57 (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    TomRoberts57 (View Comment):
    What I had more in mind is a letter from a rabbi he quotes, which basically says the laws of war don’t apply to Jews, and that they are not only allowed, but required to kill gentiles more or less on sight.

    I’ve never heard of a Jew who acted on that supposed requirement. Does that mean they are bad people?

    Are you asking sarcastically whether they are bad people for not following Jewish religious law when they fail to kill gentiles ?

    Or are you asking if Jews are just bad people ?

    You don’t write very well, and since I’m not a mind reader I don’t know what you’re asking.

    If you’ve never heard of a Jew acting on that supposed requirement, I don’t know where to start. Look up Baruch Goldstein perhaps – he’s apparently a hero to at least one current member of the Israeli cabinet.

    Then you could have a look on any number of websites or social media and see footage of Israeli “soldiers” gunning down civilians, or celebrating blowing up buildings, or telling their fellow “soldiers” how they just killed an old Palestinian man by shooting him four times after he’d put his hands up.

    What does that have to do with killing gentiles more or less on sight?  

    • #23
  24. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    JosephCox (View Comment):

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

     

    But could you please give the definition of “sanctification” that you are using?

    It is from the same root word. It is the Hebrew verb form of holy. So it is ‘to Holy’.

    How do you holy? You do it by connect to the holy, often through the act of dedication or investment.

    So we invest or dedicate the time of Sabbath to the Holy and thus make it Holy. The same applies to charitable gifts – they enable people who might struggle to stay around day to day to be able to experience a world in which they aren’t afraid of what’s coming next. So the gifts are holy. Offerings (literally ‘closers’) dedicate the physical to the eternal spiritual connection so they can be holy – but not so much for lay people who can’t appreciate the conversion of the physical to the timeless so just experience the feeling of loss. etc…

    In Nadav and Avihu’s case, ‘those close to me will holy me.’ The investment/dedication of the lives of Nadav and Avihu enables the people to better understand the holiness of G-d. Although, as mentioned, it ain’t easy.

    Thanks for your continued efforts to respond to my question. But there is no verb “to holy” in English, so this definition is meaningless.

    Fortunately I resolved my own confusion, by reading the NIV translation. I was expecting to see the same term used, with some explanation of what it meant for G_d to be sanctified, which seems impossible or at least profoundly mysterious, assuming the definition that Protestant literature uses for this very common Biblical term in our translations. (The doctrine of sanctification, by our common definition, is fundamental in Christian theology).

    The NIV doesn’t use the term! So there is no mystery to solve.

     

    • #24
  25. TomRoberts57 Coolidge
    TomRoberts57
    @TomRoberts57

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    TomRoberts57 (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    TomRoberts57 (View Comment):

    What I had more in mind is a letter from a rabbi he quotes, which basically says the laws of war don’t apply to Jews, and that they are not only allowed, but required to kill gentiles more or less on sight.

    …..If you’ve never heard of a Jew acting on that supposed requirement, I don’t know where to start. Look up Baruch Goldstein perhaps – he’s apparently a hero to at least one current member of the Israeli cabinet.

    Then you could have a look on any number of websites or social media and see footage of Israeli “soldiers” gunning down civilians, or celebrating blowing up buildings, or telling their fellow “soldiers” how they just killed an old Palestinian man by shooting him four times after he’d put his hands up.

    What does that have to do with killing gentiles more or less on sight?

    Er, I just gave you several examples of Jews killing people basically at random and evidently being pretty pleased with themselves. That’s roughly similar to killing gentiles on sight. You could describe it as “killing gentiles more or less on sight”, which is what I said.

    Do you struggle with English comprehension ?   

    • #25
  26. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    TomRoberts57 (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    TomRoberts57 (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    TomRoberts57 (View Comment):

    What I had more in mind is a letter from a rabbi he quotes, which basically says the laws of war don’t apply to Jews, and that they are not only allowed, but required to kill gentiles more or less on sight.

    …..If you’ve never heard of a Jew acting on that supposed requirement, I don’t know where to start. Look up Baruch Goldstein perhaps – he’s apparently a hero to at least one current member of the Israeli cabinet.

    Then you could have a look on any number of websites or social media and see footage of Israeli “soldiers” gunning down civilians, or celebrating blowing up buildings, or telling their fellow “soldiers” how they just killed an old Palestinian man by shooting him four times after he’d put his hands up.

    What does that have to do with killing gentiles more or less on sight?

    Er, I just gave you several examples of Jews killing people basically at random and evidently being pretty pleased with themselves. That’s roughly similar to killing gentiles on sight. You could describe it as “killing gentiles more or less on sight”, which is what I said.

    Do you struggle with English comprehension ?

    It’s a little bit much for one who struggles with the identification of sarcasm to question the comprehension of others. Ret has been writing here for over a decade. There ain’t no flies on him. For example, he’s not a 9/11 conspiracist.

    • #26
  27. JosephCox Coolidge
    JosephCox
    @JosephCox

    Shabbat came and posting here doesn’t cross the line of lifesaving.

    But the evidence of how stupid this is should be pretty clear by the existence of religious Jewish emergency room doctors in Jerusalem and many other places. Of course, they work Shabbat. Of course, they see and treat patients of every background. So do religious Jewish emergency room nurses. I bring up Jerusalem because it probably has the highest concentration of Orthodox ER doctors and nurses in the world and the highest concentration of Arab Muslims who come into a Jewish hospital.

    There is no separate queue for non-Jews. Everybody is triaged and treated together. For a day or two after Oct 7th, some doctors didn’t want to treat terrorists who had been involved in the attack – but those aren’t just ‘non-Jews’, those are terrorists who just engaged in an orgy of rape and murder. In normal circumstances, even Muslim terrorists are treated in these hospitals, by Jewish doctors (although there are also Arab Muslim doctors), and even on Shabbat.

    This Shakah fellow sounds like somebody who suffered terribly under the Nazis and could only make sense of it by trying to justify it.

    • #27
  28. JosephCox Coolidge
    JosephCox
    @JosephCox

    The clarity of armchair soldiers about who and who is not a ‘civilian’ is weak. Quite simply, as I posted in another article, Israel is engaged in a war between peoples. The goal of the Arab people – up until the historic Abraham Accords – was to follow up the largest geographic ethnic cleansing in history with genocide by any means necessary, including using children and disabled people as attackers. It remains the dream of the Palestinian people in Gaza and much of the West Bank as evidenced by the 70% support for Oct 7th, even considering the cost borne.

    For them, every Jew is a legitimate target. It doesn’t matter if they are children or elderly. Sick or able-bodied.

    Despite the terribly toll this takes on people, despite Israelis seeing day in and day out that the Palestinians want them all dead, Israel still handles itself with remarkable restraint. Mistakes are made in war (as with that neighborhood that unexpectantly sunk into a tunnel network when that network was collapsed). But the very fact that Israel has dropped the amount of explosive they’ve dropped without killing or millions should be evidence enough that they aren’t trying to, even roughly, kill every gentile on sight. The very fact that they evacuated the patients from al Shifa before the latest assault – and moved them to other facilities without a single one being killed – makes clear they aren’t trying to kill every gentile on sight.

    Of course you have hotheads, they exist in any culture. But they are not the norm, but the exception. And our hotheads, who act in ways incompatible with our ways of war, don’t even begin to behave like the fully sanctioned members of Hamas or PIJ.

    If you actually want to understand our laws of war, read a book meant to engage and understand and reinforce them – not spread vitriol. I can recommend one. It was written by my neighbor from across the street. He didn’t write it for you, it is a legal review for those who care about Jewish law. It is called Ethics of Our Fighters by Shlomo Brody.

    By the way, I haven’t read it and yet I’m sure that while it might reference some of the extremists and engage with difficult ideas, the conclusions it reaches contain none of the nonsense you seem to believe is mainstream.

    Oh, and this book wasn’t written by a leftist. It was written by an Orthodox Rabbi highly respected in the Zionist Jewish community of Israel.

    Having read the table of contents, I think I’ll buy a copy!

    I’ll learn a lot.

    • #28
  29. iWe Coolidge
    iWe
    @iWe

    JosephCox (View Comment):

    Joseph, I don’t understand why G-d is sanctified through death. Maybe I’m missing something?

    Here is a more radical explanation: I think Moshe was trying to make Aharon feel better – the Torah does NOT tell us that G-d told Moshe the deaths of Nadav and Avihu were santifications. Moshe just tells Aharon that G-d said this.

    We know the Torah justifies lying for the sake of someone’s feelings, as well as to preserve and support relationships. 

    Which suggests that the deaths of Nadav and Avihu were perhaps NOT a santification of anything at all. Removing the need to pretzelate ourselves to make sense of it.

    • #29
  30. TomRoberts57 Coolidge
    TomRoberts57
    @TomRoberts57

    JosephCox (View Comment):

    The clarity of armchair soldiers about who and who is not a ‘civilian’ is weak. Quite simply, as I posted in another article, Israel is engaged in a war between peoples. The goal of the Arab people – up until the historic Abraham Accords – was to follow up the largest geographic ethnic cleansing in history with genocide by any means necessary, including using children and disabled people as attackers. It remains the dream of the Palestinian people in Gaza and much of the West Bank as evidenced by the 70% support for Oct 7th, even considering the cost borne.

    For them, every Jew is a legitimate target. It doesn’t matter if they are children or elderly. Sick or able-bodied.

    Despite the terribly toll this takes on people, despite Israelis seeing day in and day out that the Palestinians want them all dead, Israel still handles itself with remarkable restraint. Mistakes are made in war (as with that neighborhood that unexpectantly sunk into a tunnel network when that network was collapsed). But the very fact that Israel has dropped the amount of explosive they’ve dropped without killing or millions should be evidence enough that they aren’t trying to, even roughly, kill every gentile on sight. The very fact that they evacuated the patients from al Shifa before the latest assault – and moved them to other facilities without a single one being killed – makes clear they aren’t trying to kill every gentile on sight.

    Of course you have hotheads, they exist in any culture. But they are not the norm, but the exception. And our hotheads, who act in ways incompatible with our ways of war, don’t even begin to behave like the fully sanctioned members of Hamas or PIJ.

    If you actually want to understand our laws of war, read a book meant to engage and understand and reinforce them – not spread vitriol. I can recommend one. It was written by my neighbor from across the street. He didn’t write it for you, it is a legal review for those who care about Jewish law. It is called Ethics of Our Fighters by Shlomo Brody.

    By the way, I haven’t read it and yet I’m sure that while it might reference some of the extremists and engage with difficult ideas, the conclusions it reaches contain none of the nonsense you seem to believe is mainstream.

    Oh, and this book wasn’t written by a leftist. It was written by an Orthodox Rabbi highly respected in the Zionist Jewish community of Israel.

    Having read the table of contents, I think I’ll buy a copy!

    I’ll learn a lot.

    It’s interesting to see how you people think. You’re quite informative, although probably not in the way you intend.

    • #30
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