Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Rabbinic Judaism Inc.

A Portable God for the World’s First Multinational Business

Paul Johnson, A History of the Jews (Phoenix Grant, 1987)
Israel Shahak, Jewish History, Jewish Religion (Pluto Press, 1994)
Dan Cohn-Sherbok, The Crucified Jew (Harper Collins,1992)
Henry Hart Milman, The History of the Jews (Everyman, 1939)
Josephus, The Jewish War (Penguin, 1959)
Leslie Houlden (Ed.), Judaism & Christianity (Routledge, 1988)
Karen Armstrong, A History of Jerusalem (Harper Collins, 1999))
Jonathan N. Tubb, Canaanites (British Museum Press, 1998)
Norman Cantor, The Sacred Chain - A History of the Jews (Harper Collins, 1994)

Whatever daughter religions might spin off from old Judaism, the parent religion itself had inevitably to refashion itself for the new era. After the disaster of 135 AD, a number of Jews retreated into asceticism, banning meat and wine altogether, since sacrifice in the temple was no longer possible. Others lost themselves in mysticism, attempting to reach the ‘celestial throne’ via their imagination, the forerunners of the later ‘Kabala’.

But for all their suffering, most Jews were not ready to bastardise their traditional creed by infusing it with the dying godman mythology. The vacuum was filled by ‘Rabbinic Judaism’, the inheritor of the Pharisee tradition.

"The rabbis, a smallish group (perhaps a hundred or so in the whole Roman empire) of religious specialists descended from the Pharisees, gradually enhanced their status and developed a specifically Jewish way of arguing, which marked them off quite dramatically from both Christians and Romans." (Keith Hopkins, A World Full of Gods, p234)

In Palestine itself, where the Jews were now a minority, what remained of traditional Judaism turned inward. No longer could its priests use the ‘temple magic’ once used to summon divine favour, no longer could Judaism be proselytised.

The Rabbis became ‘clericalised’ – obsessed with cultic ‘rules’ as a practical substitute for the lost temple. They peopled the air itself with beneficent and malign spirits. A Jewish ‘code to live by’ - the Mitzvoth (the forerunner of ‘monastic rules’) detailed no fewer than 613 rules, governing every pious moment from waking to sleeping, to keep the Jew on the right side of an all-seeing God.

‘His rising from his bed, his manner of putting on the different articles of dress, the disposition of his fringed tallith, his phylacteries on his head and arms, his ablutions, his meals, even the calls of nature were subjected to scrupulous rules – both reminding him that he was of a peculiar race, and perpetually reducing him to ask the advice of the Wise Men, which alone could set at rest the trembling and scrupulous conscience.’ (Milman, History of the Jews, p165)

Within a few generations Judaism would be codified anew, into a portable (albeit confining) religion which could accompany and – fatally – identify this pseudo-race in their wanderings in the centuries ahead. By the close of the fifth century, the total population of Jews would be half of what it was at the beginning of the ‘Christian era’.(See, Cantor, ibid)

The Jewish people – dispersed but bonded by an exclusive faith, uniquely among ‘peoples’ – established enclaves in every major city from India to Spain, from Arabia to Britain. Capitalising upon this network of ‘safe havens’, and with a filial presence in every major resource, from African ivory to Germanic slaves, the Jews threw themselves into the commerce of the ancient world.

Jewish merchants traversed with impunity the hostile frontiers between Rome and Persia, sailed the sea lanes from the chilly rivers of Germany to the balmy seas off the Horn of Africa. The Jews became dealers in amber and fur, gold and silver, slave-traders and money-lenders.

But they were also dealers in superstition as well as produce:

‘The empire swarmed with Jewish wonder-workers, mathematicians, astrologers, or whatever other name or office they assumed or received from their trembling hearers.’
(MiIlman, History of the Jews, p158)

Levies on their new wealth paid for a programme of synagogue building, and in turn, the synagogues strengthened the bonds of the Jewish communities. Rarely assimilating into their host cultures, convinced they were especially favoured by the deity (and thus strengthened in their faith), the heady mix of piety and mercantilism rewarded the Jews with an unparalleled financial success – and an unequalled and universal opprobrium.

UOJ Comments

Sound familiar?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

i don't get it it. are you against the talmud and the rabbis?say it straight. whats your point?

Tuesday, December 27, 2005 11:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Elul 53 said...

that stuff you posted is a lot of gibberish.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005 11:59:00 PM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

You tell me what the point is.

Two thousand years later, they won't relinquish control over every single aspect of your life.

Today it's the erev...,down to the size of the spot on your wife's underwear.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005 8:11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

how did you know about the spot on my wife's underwear?

Wednesday, December 28, 2005 8:33:00 AM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

Size 18, is that you?

Wednesday, December 28, 2005 8:35:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

who are they? the rabbis.
Its called halacha.I don't agree with all the chumras, but are against the shulchan aruch? Are you advocating the reform movement?
whats your point? it isn't clear.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005 8:40:00 AM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

This has been a BUSINESS for 2600 years, nothing has changed.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005 9:33:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

so you aint gonna change it loudmouth

Wednesday, December 28, 2005 10:29:00 AM  
Anonymous Detective said...

I am not familiar with these writings. I am curious where you discovered it.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005 12:11:00 PM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

Check the sources.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005 12:50:00 PM  
Blogger rodefemes said...

A few kernels of truth there, surrounded by some classical anti-Semitism. Even before I checked, I guessed that the excerpt came from an older book, and it does, Millman, 1939. The thinking behind the writing reflects a very Christian pre-war viewpoint of the Jews and Judaism. I acknowledge your intellectual honesty, UOJ, for giving us this information, because an excerpt like that would not be published nowadays.

I think UOJ's point is that the rabbis of today, particularly the Roshei Yeshiva are exercising far too much control and influence in today's Jewish society, and I agree. We are seeing some cultish behaviours even in mainstream yeshivas. This also includes the way money is raised from baal habaatim. Its disturbing.

Case in point: Every week, Yated, in its centerfold, published dozens of photos of old rabbis with white beards making havdoloh, making brachos under chuppahs, shaking hands with chassonim, dancing in circles. Why? This is cultish. Its the cult of personality, the type of thing that dictatorships do. The yeshiva bochurim soak this stuff up. Its the first thing they go to, looking for their beloved rebbes and Roshei Yeshiva.

I have never seen a photo of a good baal habayis getting up early in the morning going to work, and coming home late at night, supporting his family, paying his taxes, saying Shma with his children at night, buying them small gifts, learning with them a few minutes - what about us, the fathers and mothers of klal Yisroel. Are we nothing? Is Judaism all about rabbis?

At one time, people would prominently put photos of their parents in their homes. Now, more likely, you'll see photos of old, white bearded rabbis in people's homes - rabbis who died years ago, who were never known to them, either personally, or through their seforim.

My son has pictures of four or five old and deceased rabbis on his bedroom wall - but not my photo. Nor his mother's. He knows their names, but is unfamiliar with their writings and words.

At one time, if you asked people who their heroes are, many would say, their parents. Today, from an orthodox Jew, you're more likely to get the answer, HaRav HaGaon, Rav Chaim Pipick, who gave mussar shmueses once a week at my yeshiva. What about Mom and Dad who struggle so hard to pay the yeshiva?

Whatever happened to the Jewish family? As Rosh Yeshiva power ascends, the Jewish family descends - into a vortex of internal machlokos, divorce, abuse, kids at risk, you name it.

There's a great letter from a Chaim Goldman in today's Jewish Press. Buy it. He's a yeshiva bochur complaining that the Jewish Press is about as Jewish as the pope - and is garbage - because last week they published a photo showing the Nobel Prize winner Auman being kissed by his granddaughter! Can you imagine a yingele speaking to such hard working adults, who support their families, and who do a lot for the Jewish world, in such a manner, over such a photo showing a warm, emotional family event! The brazen chutzpah, it is so disgusting! And Auman, what a kiddish Hashem, speaking about him in such a manner, because his granddaughter kissed him!

Just some thoughts.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005 2:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that last post from Rodef Emes was the best thing I have ever read on this board. Yashar Koach! Well stated!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005 3:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Personally, I wasn't happy about the article - but the posting by rodefemes is great! I've written posts to this site before that I blame Agudah for this "cult of Rabbinic personality". Once upon a time a Rov gained respect by his learning, his kedusha, his love for and mesiras nefesh for yiden - today the "gedolei yisroel" are sponsored by political parties.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005 3:23:00 PM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...


I am trying to get to understand the core issues that are turning so many people off and away from Orthodox Judaism.

One can not suppose for example that there can be TWO conflicting halachos.
Either the Flatbush erev is kosher or it's not. The OU is reliable without the CRC or it's not. Metzizah B'peh is an INTEGRAL part of the milah or it's some ancient procedure practiced by our medically ignorant ancestors.

There is a rebellion taking place by guys like you & me.
We are too intellectually honest with ourselves to buy into most of the dogma that we know is not halacha.

There is also a disdain for the so-called poskim who seemingly are going out of their halachic perview by forbidding practices that more respected and knowledgeable poskim are permitting.

We know the numbers, more people than ever at every age level are opting out of Orthodox Judaism.
I don't count the kids still in the yeshiva under the hypnotic trance of their rebbes.

I'm talking about the ex-yeshiva and bais yaakov girls who plain and simply can't cope.
The numbers are staggering.
No, you can't tell who they are by their clothing, they all start being mechallel Shabbos in secret.

Then throw into the mix the rabbonim caught stealing, molesting and worse, we now have a very combustible pot that can't be adjusted with a "Kosher" Clock.

So I rant on my blog hoping fair-minded people will be able to take steps to induce dialogue.
Discussion is the first step towards inducing change.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005 3:37:00 PM  
Blogger rodefemes said...

I hear you, UOJ.

And thanks for the kind words, Anons.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005 3:52:00 PM  
Anonymous boog said...

Chaim Goldman gets a "pass" for his rant against the J.P. It's not him speaking but his Roshei Yeshivos, much like the ex-baseball pitcher Jeff Reardon holding up his neighborhood jewelry store yesterday for $170.00 while under the severe influence of anti-depressants.

Aumann made a Kiddush Hashem on two counts: 1. Winning the Nobel, and 2. fearlessly stating his political views despite being lambasted by the leftists back home.

Extending your points, Rodef, it's interesting to note that all of the Artscroll English literature "seforim" highlight and showcase Rabbinic "Gedolim". These works as well as the Daf Yomi series are financed by poshete "it's only gelt" baalabatim like Schottenstein, Tisch, et al., the object of derision by the likes of Chaim Goldman.

So, Nu, what will come first? The appearance of Moshiach or an Artscroll biography extolling a Mentsch like Rodefemes?

The unfortunate irony of it all.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005 5:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All you assimalated ignoramuses know nothing about kavod hatorah.I challenge UOJ,rodef,and anyone else to compete in a test to see who knows more Torah in all its aspects, you, or anyone of any of the rabbis,roshei yeshiva,poskim,and gedolim.If you beat any one of them in knowledge of ALL aspects of Torah,I'll give you $1,000.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005 6:04:00 PM  
Anonymous boog said...

anon 6:04 P.M.

Keep your $1000.

I think the point is to try to get back to a true Yissocher-Zevulun partnership as in ages gone by when Zevulun was given due sincere Kovod for providing the kemach so that there could be fruitful Torah.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005 6:14:00 PM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...


No doubt there are greater Torah scholars than myself, so what?
Do I claim to be a scholar, posek, scientist....

I'm just a regular guy who expects better than we have as poskim, rosh yeshivas...

Have I said ANYTHING that is not true?

Wednesday, December 28, 2005 6:15:00 PM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...


Art Scroll did us a great service with the shas...and then they got involved in entertainment for the retarded.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005 6:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Wednesday, December 28, 2005 6:56:00 PM  
Anonymous seeker said...

Dr auman made a kiddush Hashem because here is a man with a beard and a yarmuka and showed the world that a frum jew can be an intellect and shomar torah and mitzvath.Hes a good role model.However,anybody ranting and raving against him is a fool and a
robot. Who ever gave that kid the permission to rant about anything?
What has he done to make a kiddush Hashem?Its very sad indeed.Someone told me that he really doesn't like the middle section of gedolim
photos because it makes him feel that since he doesn't have that type of "yichus" he doesn't feel as if he belongs to nation of Israel. What a sad feeling?The rabbanim should be modest and humble, and not show off their weddings.Its a private moment. And who said that if you made it to those pages your special.Rabbi abadi is a true posek and talmud chacham.Chumras are for Tzadikim in the privacy of their homes,otherwise its conceit.
And conceit smells a mile away.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005 7:59:00 PM  
Blogger rodefemes said...

Exactly, Boog, and Yissocher is mentioned first. And we all know what the Rambam says on this topic. Working and learning is the desired norm.

To: Anon. 6:04 p.m. Its because we have so much kavod haTorah that we protest the way that Torah has been denigrated today.

OK, all of those rabbis know more Torah than I do. So what's your point? They count and I don't? Or, they count and you don't? I have self worth. I count, and you count. We each donate a shekel. I am a Jew, I have a neshama from Hakadosh Baruch Hu. I daven to G-d, not rabbis. And G-d answers me, not rabbis. I fear G-d, and I love G-d. Rabbis don't scare me. I can argue with rabbis. And I hold my own, believe me. I am a Jew.

Rav Moshe Feinstein used to stand when approached even by the most "ordinary" Jew. He was once asked, Why? He said, This Jew may be fulfilling more of his G-d-given potential than I am. He may be greater than I am. So I stand up.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005 8:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

uoj admits he's a regular guy.

so is his reading.

is anything i said not true?!!!

Thursday, December 29, 2005 11:55:00 PM  
Anonymous anonymous123 said...

Rodefemes' comment is really on the mark.
On another point, though, I'm really tired of hearing people kvetch about taking niddah shailos to a Rav. There is no reason why anyone who is married for more than a few months shouldn't be able to deal with all such questions himself. The Shulchan Aruch says that anything reddish is tamei, anything else is OK. This itself is a chumra which was instituted so that every ordinary person (man or woman) could decide their shailos without bothering a Rav. If you want to go to a Rav, that's your business, but don't complain about it.

Friday, December 30, 2005 6:28:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anonymous123:have you studied in detail masechta Nidda and hilchot Nidda?There are different shades of both red and blood.Ask a number of hematologists and rebbeim.It makes no difference if they're modern orthodox or haredi.

Friday, December 30, 2005 9:16:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous123 said...

Actually, I have studied Hilchos Nidda in detail, and though I can't say I have it all in my head, I do know that the halachas about colors take up a very small part of the Shulchan Aruch, and practically speaking, the things that come up in real life are simple (and repetitive) enough for anyone to posken for himself. Any reasonably healthy woman shouldn't be having any discharges which are even slightly reddish for more than 6 or 7 days after her period starts.
The 'shailas' could be with regard to a difference of maybe a day or two in starting to count 7 days.
In any case, as I said before, anyone who has been married for a while and has taken some questions to a Rav should be able to remember the colors which he said were OK. No one can claim that Rabbanim are using this as a way of controlling people.
Again, I say that I basically agree with Rodefemes that contemporary Judaism is overemphasizing Rabbanim to a great degree, but it only harms your case when you use silly examples.

Sunday, January 01, 2006 3:23:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sometimes red is brown is black.Also,can you really tell the difference between a wound and a nida?And what about the other shades?What accounts for that?Who did you study hilchos nidda with?Who gave you your smicha?The fact that you call any part of Torah "silly examples" makes you suspect that in reality you know little at best and you're an apikorus and/or kofer at worst.

Sunday, January 01, 2006 9:06:00 AM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

Anon, 9:06,

You're getting carried away with nonsense.
Your Rov F*** you up real good.

I've been at the feet of major poskim in this area, 99% of the shailos on ksamim are out of pure ignorance on the basic halacha.

Get a life, learn your colors, and grow up.
Your wife's underwear is your business and stop sharing it with every shmuck on this planet.

Sunday, January 01, 2006 11:39:00 AM  
Anonymous anonymous123 said...

Who called any part of Torah a silly example? I said that this is a silly example of something to complain about.
As far as telling the difference between a wound and dam niddah, no Rav today does that based on colors, and the idea of doing this today isn't mentioned in the poskim as far as I remember.
To get back to the point, people are overdoing this, and it's their own fault.

Sunday, January 01, 2006 5:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's obvious UOJ and anonymous123 are not aware of even one of the sefarim printed in Israel on the topic. Time for a little story.One day my wife took a bedika cloth to a certain rav.The stain was less than the size of a brogeret and was red.Now you two say it's no shaila since the stain was red and less than the size of a brogeret.The rav, however,said that my wife needed to make an immediate appointment with a doctor because the SHADE of red showed that she had a tumor. To make a long story short,blood tests and a MRI did indeed indicate that she did indeed have a tumor.A hysteroscopy was performed and they did find a myoma,which showed signs of becoming malignant,a very rare occurence.B"H,my wife made a full recovery.Furthermore,the doctor,a nonreligious Jew,said it was a good thing that we keep tahara and that we took that cloth to a rav,otherwise she would have lost the uteruous.So much for your venom that one should NEVER take a bedika cloth to a rav.Just think,if we would have listened my wife would not be pregnant with our first child. By the way,UOJ,I don't believe you that you've studied anything with any major poskim, since you have such blind hatred for the poskim.Maybe you're jealous that you're not one of them?

Sunday, January 01, 2006 7:19:00 PM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

Anon, 7:19

A beautiful story, I'm real glad for the happy ending.

I never said never, what I said was there's a shiur with the amount of shailos that poskim should be asked.
Repeat, 99% of the shailos are a waste of time to the poskim. This figure is coming from a well known posek.
"Deep red blood" is a warning sign to any person in Hatzoloh, any person familiar with CPR, any fireman, cop or Medic or any EMT worker.

Contact Art Scroll maybe they'll do a series of books on the blood maven you consulted.

Sunday, January 01, 2006 9:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous123 said...

I think Anonymous has sufficiently demonstrated that he is functionally illiterate; he has missed the point of everything that was said here, and it's a waste of time to continue talking to him.
BTW, the shiur of a kesem is a k'gris; there is no such thing as a brogeret (maybe you meant grogeret?).

Monday, January 02, 2006 3:11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Considering that anonymous123 is part of the eruv rav and a mamzer and a ben zona it is a waste of time talking to him.The only language he understands is that of the fist.You afraid to rumble faggot?

Monday, January 02, 2006 7:56:00 AM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

Anon, 123,

Anonymous 7:19 got confused, "brogeret" he said...what he meant was Bo Derek!

Monday, January 02, 2006 10:47:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

UOJ sounds jealous.Besides,what's a nice Jewish boy like you having anything to do with secular entertainment?Don't you know that the Mishna Brura says that we are not allowed to go the circuses of the gentiles?That means it's usser to have anything to do with this blog,since boog himself admits for all purposes withstanding he's a shagetz.I would love to beat him to a bloody pulp.You or any other lowlife scum game?

Monday, January 02, 2006 12:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm game you little boy. You talk big you sonofabitch. Name a time and place and I'll teach you a little lesson about talking big.

Monday, January 02, 2006 11:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

With pleasure,anonymous11:12PM.First tell me what you want to duelin.Fencing?Boxing?You name it,you've got it.You have to know what I look like before we meet though.I'm 6'7",384lbs.,I'm a bodybuilder with a 62"chest and 19"biceps.I have a third degree black belt in judo,and I tried out for special teams for a proffessional football team.You need any more details?

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 10:13:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you guys serious? What the heck? Chill out

Monday, June 12, 2006 10:58:00 PM  

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