Ben Avuyah

Welcome to the Pardess.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Shave and a haircut......Shampoo !

You know how it is in the morning, you drag yourself out of warm blankets, no wait….you crawl back in till the next snooze cycle.

O.K., now you draaaag yourself out of the warm blankets, pad over to the bathroom, try not to look at yourself in the mirror through swollen, crusty, eyes. Hug your arms to your body from the chill, relieve that full bladder, and then into the shower.

Now, because I hate cold winter mornings, I have adjusted all of my morning grooming to take place in the hot shower.

Toothbrush…check.

Toothpaste…check.

Panasonic “wet and dry” with non-fogging mirror and moisturizing gel…yes and yes and yes.

Everything is more pleasurable when you have warm steam rising around you, and the obligatory morning shave is no exception. I like to set a stream of searing water on my back before I lather up to trim the stubblies.

But this morning, my wife has left a package of shick disposable shavers on the ledge, and my hand hesitates as I reach for my tried and true electric.

Can’t I just try it one morning to see what it is like ??

Now anytime I contemplate breaking orthodox dogma, a well trained, yeshiva inclined, portion of my brain, hailing back to the days of my unflinching religious beliefs, when I swallowed anything quoted from appropriate authority whole; begins to set off alarm bells.

"Something bad will happen to me if I do this…something bad will happen to someone I love and I will regret it forever…."

“Bullshit” ! Says rationality… “ancient superstitions one and all, I’ll pay that as much heed as I do black cats and Friday the 13th.”

I picked up the Razor, fermenting in my mind; that it was way to early to make these decisions, but was there really any decision of consequence here ??? Did I in any way believe in consequences or damages that occurred from shaving with a different implement ??

“Something will go wrong during surgery today….your patients will suffer, your cases will go badly…your hands will shake, you’ll have complications,” insists my leftover Yeshiva personality with all the authority of a yenting bubby, this time with even more vigor than when I go for the lights on Shabbos.

I hesitate and look at the two choices, and, I begin to use the fall back of the overly cautious: Intra religional semi rationality. The practice by which one re-enters religious beliefs long left by the wayside, donning them once again for the purpose of redemonstrating their internal inconsistencies.

Now I know what the posuk says…It says don’t touch a blade to your face. Clearly the meaning was that the Jewish nation had a look to it, a style, and that style was a beard !!

But of course when the clean-shaven look became a necessity for business in the forties and fifties, the chachamim looked at this prohibition hyper literally. Ossuring only the touching of the blade to the face.


But this micro screen film…protects me against an issur dioraisah ??

It seems implausible. A loophole a child would use to get out of homework. How many times had I nicked myself with this razor? Wasn’t that the blade touching my face anyway ??

And who was this God whom would readily deal eternal damnation to the bearer of the razor in my left hand, but blessing to the user of the shaver in my right ?? He begins to sound more and more like a cosmic vending machine. He cannot but deliver based on the button pushed. There is no thought or insight just mechanical response to stimuli. But what warrants heaven and hell ? Weren’t both instruments doing the same thing, accomplishing the same goal, using the same method ??

And how would this fit with the Modern orthodox Ideal that viewed sins as a metaphysical tarnish to a soul in a spiritual world, thus obviating the need to ever explain the reasons for anything. Did this mean that in some other world beyond comprehension, babes were crying and women fainting as the blade made it’s first smooth descent down my cheek, and spiritual calamity befell their universe, the very same realm in which my soul dwelled so happily before metal and plastic cooperated to shear those tiny hairs from my face?

Could I make myself believe that this act, even if there was a spiritual world, could possibly be detrimental??

The answer, you see, is in my smooth face….soft as a baby’s bottom some would say !


But the reason I bring this up is not so you can all marvel at my heresy,(but feel free too) or morning routine (immitation is the sincerest form of flattery); it is because, it seems to me that, orthodoxy has nothing to do with morality, but it has supplanted moralism, and desires to stand in it’s place, to drink it’s wine, sit in it’s chair and sleep with it’s woman. Orthodoxy enforces it’s self under very moral terms. One feels bad when disobeying orthodoxy in very much the same way that one feels bad when betraying a friend, cheating, stealing, or acting innaproprietly in other ways.

Judaism may have started off with very moral concerns, but that has all been legislated away now. To my mind morality involves looking at a situation and applying a mix of logic and compassion, with empathy and sympathy being main ingredients. But there are no such requirements for orthodoxy…only following the law as interpreted. That is the only rule. Even when it doesn’t seem to coincide with one’s innate moral sense !!

I remember, even as a devout believer being irritated by the non-humanistic portions of orthodoxy, be it slave, homosexual, or disenfranchised woman….it didn’t seem to be right. But, I was told, because it came from God, it must be right, and I was therefore encouraged and in fact strongly reprimanded by my yeshiva training to interpret and reconstrue my own opinions as devilish implants from the secular world. They had no right to my mind, and my main efforts should be spent expulsing them.

I think this dichotomy exists in the orthodox world in large scale….There is what we innately feel is right, and there is what we “should feel and do”, because that is what God said, and he is right in and objective way that we can never approach.

But it seems to me now that this attitude is even worlds apart from the great leaders that orthodoxy lauds as it’s own.

When society had progressed enough that an “eye for an eye” had become anathema, our greats listened to their hearts and vigorously reinterpreted the text.

Sure some will insist that this was halacha misinai and always meant to be this way, but I think they will be shown false upon insisting that religion never changes…it does… just very slowly, and voicing great nostalgia and regret. We learned to live without a temple…we created a service outside the rules of sacrifice and blood. Some even believe that at the coming of the messiah sacrifice will not be reinstituted, because humanity has changed so much that we no longer recognize this as a just way to connect with God. Surely, this shows that advancing human morality should influence religion, at least according to some of our great ancients.


I think it is time for the serious religious thinkers of our times to treat the serious issues of our times.

1 ) Human morality no longer coincides with Orthodox declarations. We barely recognize the world we are being taught represents something so much higher than our own flimsy moral standards. Most educated moderns cringe at the idea of returning to anyting close to biblical justice, even when it is watered down by the rabbinate. I think our former greats would have sensed the schism that exists. How else did Rabeinu gershom know it was time to stop polygamy. I think our former greats would of acted.

2) Modernity does not require people to believe in anything without support, let alone sky Gods. Modernity has shown a method for attaining data about the world around us that has Predictive power. No other model for attaining data has demonstrated any predictive power….ever. In most cases where the Bible has assertions about the world they are revealed through science to be little more than fables. Are we to believe that God could not create a fable to satisfy a more primitive audience that was also factually correct?…..then let him fall from his throne of omnipotence. Does he place these errors to test us?…then let us agree we cannot know how to serve a trickster God, for where does the trick end and the instructions begin?

Modernity has brought us to a place of intellectual honesty, where we believe things to a degree. That degree is mandated by the level of support and evidence. When something losses evidence and support we believe it to a lesser degree. No honest person can watch the confrontation of Judaism and modernity and not see Orthodoxy slipping down the wrungs of believability. To do so would require a dishonest mandate. Swearing fealty to absolute belief in the face of diminishing evidence may be the pinnacle of faith, but it is the dung heap of reason.


Do I think any Rabbi will look into these problems honestly….no, because the honest conclusions leave religion in the same state as a hope or a dream.

No one bases life and death decisions on diyukim from pisukim that are most likely just ancient fables. Why would you run to the dreamer for a psak, why would his fantasy be more important than what you felt in your heart was right for your loved one.

No one looks for morality out of what is most likely recordings of archaic governance. No one looks back to ancient ideals of slavery and misogyny to draw conclusions in a modern world.

No one except those who are afraid to confront their own systems of beliefs and see it for what it is.

59 Comments:

At 1:05 PM, Anonymous J said...

amazing...it's like you're reading my thoughts.

 
At 1:21 PM, Anonymous Chaim G. said...

just commenting here because maybe youve stopped reading the thread over @ DB

So why all the outrage ?? Would an “Armani day parade” that included wool and linen produce the same response ?? Even if said people flaunted their robes with no regard for the holy city?

As you've acknowledged Ben Avuyah, not all sins are created equal. Might it have something to do with kol mokom sheh-atta motsay geder erva shum atta motsay kedusha?

Could it be that as a preamble to the Torah's sex-morality we have admonitions not to behave as the "Egyptians whose land you left and the Canaanites whom you are about to dispossess" the subliminal message is that the primary purpose of the exodus from Egypt and fulfilling the promise land hinge upon this? The Jerusalem Charedim are their own brand of Zionists. After their fashion they are manifesting a principled struggle for retaining the land of Israel and Jewish Autonomy just as the orange-t-shirt crowd did after their fashion.

V’Akheirim Omrim?
Magically cogitated by
Chaim G. @ 4:07 EST

If you plan on responding would you kindly do so there as I peek here only very infrequently.

 
At 1:42 PM, Blogger XGH said...

Oh boy. Well, that pretty much wraps it up for Modern Orthodoxy. What more is there to say? Unless, wait a minute, could it be? maybe, ...meh, I guess not.

By the way, I have a spare Norelco. It's quite good. You can borrow it if you like :^)

(Excellent post as always.)

 
At 1:51 PM, Blogger XGH said...

OK, so here's my reaction.

> And how would this fit with the Modern orthodox Ideal that viewed sins as a metaphysical tarnish to a soul in a spiritual world

I don't know if thats the MO ideal. On the contrary, I would say all commandments have very rational reason - shaving is an odd one, like shaatnex. And maybe it is just a holdover from another time - but once you start messing with the system, where does it end? In the local reconstructionist temple of course. And that, I think, would be a shame, but I can't explain exactly why just right now.

 
At 2:15 PM, Blogger Ben Avuyah said...

Hi j, thanks, it could be ESP :-)

Chaim, I answered you...ayin sham.

XGH, don't worry, I was chozer betishuvah....razor burn :-)

>>>I don't know if thats the MO ideal. On the contrary, I would say all commandments have very rational reason - shaving is an odd one, like shaatnex.

Well, jewish philosophy is a hodgepodge, it extends from super magical and mystical to rational, or pretend rational.

>>>And maybe it is just a holdover from another time - but once you start messing with the system, where does it end? In the local reconstructionist temple of course. And that, I think, would be a shame, but I can't explain exactly why just right now.

I hear you, but that doesn't carry alot of wieght in the privacy of one's own shower.

It's when you write about it on your blog that you really get damned to hell :-)> (my unshaven smiley face)

 
At 3:00 PM, Anonymous Temprarily Anonymous said...

Hi Ben,

Regular reader here, temporarily anonymizing myself for obvious reasons.

I consider myself a frum guy (though with all the hirhurim that bring me to blogs like this one and the others).. I have been shaving with a blade for ten years. Like you, I just started doing it one day after tiring of my face looking like pizza and spending 30 minutes each morning digging out ingrown hairs with a pin that the Norelco wouldn't reach. The blade gives such a better shave in a fraction of the time, and I do it in the shower.

First, though, I started just doing it under the neck, the mid-cheek and the mustache-- the hardest areas to shave with the electric-- avoiding the "corners", and finishing up the rest with the electric.

Years later, a friend told me that he heard from a noted YU scholar (who refused to go on record because he knew he'd be vilified) that today's safety razors did not fit the definition of the prohibition against shaving with a razor. This scholar/rabbi maintained that the shaving referred to by the Torah was with a straight razor,and a form of destructive shaving where a straight blade would be dug into the flesh, destroying the superficial skin and precluding hair from ever growing there again-- probably a form of avodah zarah. He said, again, off the record, that in his opinion, there was nothing prohibited with shaving with a safety razor that prevents the degree of cutting of the flesh that a straight blade could cause.

I'd probably be doing it anyway, but knowing that it has (minority) support lets me sleep a bit better at night.

 
At 3:08 PM, Blogger Ben Avuyah said...

>>>He said, again, off the record, that in his opinion, there was nothing prohibited with shaving with a safety razor that prevents the degree of cutting of the flesh that a straight blade could cause.

Cool, back to the blade I go...maybe.

thanks for interesting aside ! And good luck with those ingrown hairs...I hate those things.

 
At 3:41 PM, Blogger Hai Anav VTzaddik said...

So did your hand slip dirong surgery that day?

 
At 4:42 PM, Blogger Ben Avuyah said...

>>>So did your hand slip dirong surgery that day?


Steady as a rock !!

Don't worry, the first thing that goes wrong in any aspect of my life I will be quick to blame on my transgression.

It's all part of the joys of an indoctrination you can't get rid of...

 
At 7:50 PM, Anonymous Sam said...

Hi

What is it that makes you grapple with the liftstyle you were born into? I have and always have had similiar issues. I am basically traditional/ non observant. I strive for a comfort level that I will never reach because I am not religious but have chosen to live in their world

 
At 8:00 PM, Blogger Ben Avuyah said...

Hi Sam, that's a really good question and all I can answer you with is a guess.

I think that many of the philosophies of orhtodoxy have become ingrained in primitive parts of my mind. I think in fact the default mode of my brain is orthodoxy. Probably becuause this was drilled into my head from chilhood and onwards. Thus even with the advent of rationality that replaced religion later in life I am still stuck with some very visceral "gut reactions". I am guessing I am not alone.

As far as continuing to live amongst the orthodox in our post-heresy state. That is complex and multifactorial. Belief is only one element of the society. There are many cultural advantages here. And, although I sometimes contemplate it, completely severing my ties to start over in secular soceity seems an awful big price to pay for something that is not my fault.

 
At 8:10 PM, Anonymous Chaim G. said...

Please go back to the "Pride Parade" post over @ DBs place. I answered you there, at length...ayin sham. Pretty please

 
At 6:20 AM, Blogger Ben Avuyah said...

ONce again, ayin sham

 
At 7:37 AM, Blogger jewish philosopher said...

The Torah has tremendous Predictive power. Science actually doesn't. Can scientists really predict anything which ancient men could not? Maybe the weekend weather?

And believe me, you will look awesome with a beard. Try it for a few months.

 
At 8:19 AM, Blogger Ben Avuyah said...

Oy, JP, please don't advertise that post...it is horrible.

 
At 9:47 AM, Blogger jewish philosopher said...

It's a great post. Memorize it.

 
At 10:06 AM, Anonymous Sam said...

You are very artful with the way you conveyed your sentiments. I am going to verbally plagerize you with my hall buddies as we wait for kiddush this shabbos. We do enjoy the culteral/social advantages the O-World has to offer and it has very little to do with faith.BTW I use the self cleaning Braun electric razor which not only gives me a smooth shave but cleans itself new after each use. I have tried a a few occassions to use lather and a safety razor with disaterous results-meaning I cut myself up

 
At 11:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ben Avuyah, I'd love for you to list some of those benefits of the Jewish lifestyle. I would imagine going to shul to socialize is one of them. What else?

 
At 11:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ben, I'd love for you to list some of the advantages of living a Jewish lifestyle.

 
At 1:02 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

BA,

>Now anytime I contemplate breaking orthodox dogma, a well trained, yeshiva inclined, portion of my brain, hailing back to the days of my unflinching religious beliefs, when I swallowed anything quoted from appropriate authority whole; begins to set off alarm bells.

"Something bad will happen to me if I do this…something bad will happen to someone I love and I will regret it forever…."


Awesome description. It took me years just to feel comfortable with something as trivial as closing my eyes for a drimmle on Rosh Hashona after lunch; and not be afraid that I would shluff my Mazel away.

I've had great years since - knock on wood ;)

 
At 1:14 PM, Blogger rebelmo said...

great post,

i am so there, many years ago, i stopped using a norelco which was deemed assur, i cannot believe i stopped using it b/c of some hairy rabbi

 
At 2:27 PM, Anonymous Sam said...

These days when shabbat starts so early- me and the rebitzen take a stroll to our neighborhood reform temple. Friday night services begin at 8pm this time of year. The musical service is really beautiful. My favorite part is when the chazan recites Kiddush at the end with the ark open (oroin koidesh). See if you could find us tomorrorw night @ Temple Sinai

 
At 3:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just Thought I'd Say Hi!!!!
I made an extra $2000 a Month Using this site!!

 
At 5:20 PM, Blogger Ben Avuyah said...

Hey, Sam, feel free to qoute...I am jealous you actually get to talk about this stuff during kidush club...my kiddush club is sports and politics...but at least there is booz !!

Hi anonymous, there are tons of things I like about my community. Unfortunatly my blog is a vehicle to vent about those things I don't like, so people only see one side of me. I really like my friends they are intelligent thoughtful human beings who I care about, I like the low key social aspects of kiddush and after davening. I like the inbuilt network of social functions, I like the basketball leagues, I like the sunday morning mountain biking when I have to wait for my friend the rabbi to finish davening before we go (it's true), the list goes on....

Hi Baal Habos, I hope you get around to posting again soon...

Funny that we still feel the need to knock on wood, old habits die hard, I suppose.

Hi rebelmo, Yeah it is kind of painful to look back and think of the things we did while "under the influence"

Sam..thanks for the invite, but I doubt I even live in the same part of the country that you do.

 
At 8:07 PM, Blogger e-kvetcher said...

"Something bad will happen to me if I do this…something bad will happen to someone I love and I will regret it forever…."

“Bullshit” ! Says rationality… “ancient superstitions one and all, I’ll pay that as much heed as I do black cats and Friday the 13th.”


Wasn't this the reason the original Ben Avuyah went off the derech?

 
At 5:12 AM, Blogger Ben Avuyah said...

yes, e-kvetcher, I think so, at least there is one story about him seeing punishment when "long life" was garaunteed. But those gemaras are so cryptic it's hard to really know what was going on his life. I think the most telling fact was his title...achair...they didn't really have a catagory for what he was.

 
At 6:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So Ben, when you're in shul "davening" what goes through your mind?

Also, you call your friends intelligent, but do you think they're dumb because they're frum?

 
At 7:24 AM, Blogger Ben Avuyah said...

>>So Ben, when you're in shul "davening" what goes through your mind?


Well I am prototypically embarressingly late. When I can make it for leining I love going through the parsha, especially if I bring Freidmans multicolored bible with me. And from leining I enjoy the tunes if musaf, and then it is a hop skip and a jump to kiddush club.

>>Also, you call your friends intelligent, but do you think they're dumb because they're frum?

Of course not, why would you suggest that. Most frum people have never even thought about most of the issues that torment me.

 
At 11:46 AM, Blogger musical revelation said...

Awesome post.
I still have to rush to pick up an upside-down sefer. Did I wash my hands enough times after going to the bathroom? Oh yeah, I don't believe in that...
There should definitely be rehab centers for people like us.
(In Israel, there's the Hilel organization.)

 
At 5:01 PM, Blogger dbs said...

Another fantastic - and fantasticaly written - post.

"Do not round the corner of your head, and do not destroy the corner of your beard." lev 19:27

See Makot 20-22 to see how we get from there to here.

I think that you are right on point; orthodoxy is an innoculation against our internal moral instincts. It is also an innoculation against real critical thinking, which is replaced by rabinical sudoku.

My reconmendation: Gillett Fusion, Edge, and shaving only with the grain until your skin acclimates. (Or, if that fails, laser hair removal - I wonder if that counts as 'tashchis'.)

 
At 5:03 PM, Blogger dbs said...

But brushing your teeth in the shower...that's where I draw the line.

 
At 5:04 PM, Anonymous Sam said...

I didn't mean Temple Sinai per se. Every city has its TEMPLE AVODAH, OH ZARUAH OR SONS OF ISRAEL. Whether your in NY, Seattle. Miami or LA you'll find someone like me on friday night

 
At 8:02 PM, Blogger Big-S Skeptic said...

Hmmm, I was always kind of scared of razors. (And electric shavers are more cool, anyway.) But what I'm most afraid of is actually having to shave every day. Thus, beard. QED.

 
At 8:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"But of course when the clean-shaven look became a necessity for business in the forties and fifties, the chachamim looked at this prohibition hyper literally. Ossuring only the touching of the blade to the face."

the heter has nothing to do with business and was widespread long before the forties and fifties. The yeshiva bochrim in lite were clean shaven.

 
At 10:43 AM, Blogger Ben Avuyah said...

Hi MR, Ya, we could all probably use some rehab... then again who knows, perhaps the little guitometer in my head is what makes braking the rules so much fun !!!

HI DBS...RAbbinic soduko, I love that and I think I may steal it for a new post!!

P.s. don't knock brushing in the shower till you try it :-)

Big S I figured you needed an electric for whatever type of beard grows out of the face on your picture....

Anonymous, that interesting, I had a Rebbi who once told me about using a chemical to be clean shaven in his younger years...do you have any details as to the origins of shaving in Orthodoxy?

 
At 10:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just Thought I'd Say Hi!!!!


I made an extra $2000 a Month Using this site!!

 
At 12:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just Thought I'd Say Hi!!!!


I made an extra $2000 a Month Using this site!!

 
At 1:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just Thought I'd Say Hi!!!!


I made an extra $2000 a Month Using this site!!

 
At 1:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just Thought I'd Say Hi!!!!


I made an extra $2000 a Month Using this site!!

 
At 8:09 PM, Blogger The Hedyot said...

Most eloquent and enjoyable. Your points about morality are spot on, IMHO.

> Now anytime I contemplate breaking orthodox dogma, a well trained, yeshiva inclined, portion of my brain, hailing back to the days of my unflinching religious beliefs, when I swallowed anything quoted from appropriate authority whole; begins to set off alarm bells.

Oy! So true! It doesn’t really happen to me anymore, but for the longest time I suffered from this. And the follow-up too: When something bad did happen I immediately attributed it to some sin I had knowingly committed earlier.

> Intra religional semi rationality. The practice by which one re-enters religious beliefs long left by the wayside, donning them once again for the purpose of redemonstrating their internal inconsistencies.

A brilliant description of this common malady. It makes me laugh every time I find myself doing it, yet... I can’t help myself.

 
At 12:52 AM, Blogger Tobie said...

Eloquent post, but I think you're off the mark. You see, Judaism isn't meant to be a moral code. It is a legal code, and thus is subject to all of the traits that every legal code has. Loopholes, for example, no more negate its legitimacy than they would negate the logic of the US tax code. Paraphrasing from various law classes now, but a legal code necessarily must be concerned with the means and not only the ends. This is why crimes of omission are not the same as crimes of commission, etc. It's not a question of G-d being stupid or like "a cosmic vending machine"- it's a question of legal norms evolving over time in such a way that specific practices are permitted while others with the same results are not.

Similarly, every legal code is conservative. The fact that Judaism can and does respond to contemporary pressures, while simultaneously being bound to a set of original laws and precedents makes it in no way different from American or any other system of law.

Now, the additional question is whether this system of law should be associated with morality. In my mind, acceptance of this legal code as morally binding relies on two basic points: 1) believing that the original set of laws contain and/or reflect some set of divinely mandated good and 2)believing that the process of interpretation and evolution is also divinely mandated or sanctioned. If you accept both of these premises, then the fact that the law happens to refer to minutiae is irrelevent. I have no particular reason to assume that minutiae do not have moral value, nor do I find it illogical to argue that there is a moral value to obedience qua obedience, to accepting the legal system as a whole. Similarly, I think that there are many people who would feel that finding a loophole to avoid taxes is less immoral than simply not paying them.

 
At 10:41 PM, Blogger Ben Avuyah said...

Hedyot, it seems we suffer from the same disease.

Tobie, interesting critique. The diffrence, IMHO, lies in the fact that all man made rules have human morality as their base.

We have no idea what lies at the base of the torah....higher morality...different morality...godly morality....non-morality that realy is better than morality.

Perhaps the trick to divine morality and why good things happen to bad people and vice versa, is that pain and suffering are inconsequential to god, and human life is expendable and easily reproduced...not higher morality, just different, and hard to call morality at all.

No one knows, and this is admitted by out torah greats, especially with rules that even the best talmudic authorities insist have no meaning to human beings.


In human rule of law we understand that there are arbitrary cut offs related to moral imperatives. In divine law we often understand nothing, and as such reward and punishment are passed on to their mystified recipients who see no meaning in thier transgression other than not following orders.

Is it immoral to not follow orders??

Depends where they come from...

Can we know anyting about the morality or motivations of God?

Admitedly not....

Is it moral for God to punish people for an act which conveys no sense of right or wrong to them, when it comes from a ruler who's motivations are at best inscrutable, and kept inscrutable my his own design??


No...No one would find themselves feeling it necessary to hop on one foot all day wednesday even if it was rumored that a great man who did great kidness asked them to, and indeed they would be dissapointed if someome mightily smote them from on high for disobeying.

Hence I dub god forever more the "cosmic vending machine of justice".

I just hope he's not out of Mountain dew !!!

 
At 9:24 PM, Blogger kaenahora said...

Last time I looked in the mirror, I had no facial hair--phew(...although, I was warned, if I drink havdalah wine, not only would I get a beard, but chest hair. And havdala wine is something that this gal still avoids like the plague :)

sans beard on my part-- your blog continues to resonate! great post. I totally identify

 
At 8:58 AM, Blogger Ben Avuyah said...

thanks kaenahora !!

 
At 12:51 PM, Blogger melloman said...

Hi all
It is a good idea to start using enviromentally safe and animal friendly (non-toxic) substitutes when grooming your dog. You must groom your dog's whole body including the legs, tail and underbody if you want to do it right. You must groom certain dogs from the skin outward to truly be effective in taking care of their coat of hair and keeping it healthy. Comb through the unseen healthy hair and remove the shedding hair; this is what most groomers do first before cutting your pet's coat. You must groom some animals all at once, while some other animals have so much hair that it is easier to do a little at a time each day.
http://www.pet-grooming-boarding.info/

 
At 4:25 PM, Blogger Tobie said...

Ben Avuyah: As I said, the system only makes sense if you accept the premise that the original law is reflective of morality. For those who believe that it is G-d given- which is not the only possible opinion, but it's the one I'm going to work under for the moment- the conclusion seems to me to naturally follow. In my mind, the existence of an absolute G-d who has any set of morality at all automatically implies that His morality is the absolute one. If G-d has His own morality, then it seems to me that that is The Morality. I just don't understand the idea that your morality is somehow going to be the more moral one. I mean, there's you and there's G-d. And you don't understand something that He thinks is a good idea. So obvious the flaw is in His standards?

So, speaking for myself, if I were informed that an absolute and infinite Being, so a priori that He necessarily defines rather than reflects any concept of Good or Morality, such that Good has no meaning except in His terms, asked me to hop on one foot all Wednesday, I'd start hopping.

 
At 11:15 AM, Blogger Ben Avuyah said...

Tobie, thanks for comming back to comment, I was just reading your blog entry about my post, but I will respond to you here about your last comment.

>>>So, speaking for myself, if I were informed that an absolute and infinite Being, so a priori that He necessarily defines rather than reflects any concept of Good or Morality, such that Good has no meaning except in His terms, asked me to hop on one foot all Wednesday, I'd start hopping.

Well said, but here we differ, I would not hop, well....I guess it would depend on how terified I was....

But let me give you an example to help you understad some of the difficulties inherent with abdicating your morality to a higher power...

When I went on a residency interview I was interviewed by a very imposing chairman. And, in the midst of interview questions, he told me of all his surgery and how important it was to him, etc, and in the process, offhandedly mentioned a situatin in which he was about to perform a surgery in a situation that most medical students would realize was unethical...

Of course, it was the typical test of "telling truth to power".

When I pointed it out, (passing the test) he became very angry at me. Asking me to please leave, and how dare I make a suggestion about his character, after all he was the freakin chairman of the department, and not to bother with a follow up call.

This was all pretense, I was accepted (though ended up somewhere else)but the reason I mention it is this...

In secular law we know the intent of the law...it is devised by fellow humans to govern fellow humans.

In religious law we know no such thing and even *proudly* state that we cannot know God's mind.

you desire everything to follow from the axiom that the "test" of life is simplistic. You follow to the letter and do what you are told.

This is not much of a test...maybe it is a test of patience and obedience but that is all.



Our heritage is replete with different types of tests... challenges to the divine. Abraham and Sodom- where he challenges God and fails. Abraham and the akeidah - where he fails to challenge God. Jonah and his whale etc....

The point is we have no clear answers from our tradition save for a shadowy recognition of the problem.

When you believe yourself created by a superior being. And you believe this being to have imbued you with a sense of moral rightousenss. And you further believe this being to have acted or given you laws asking you to act in ways that are cruel and immoral by your own judgment...what do you do ???

Perhaps following orthodox dogma is failing the test. We know we have a God who loves tests...Find me one orthodox Rabbi who doesn't think life is God testing you....but in an imagined reality (of orthodoxy) where God's intentionality is beyond us...who can claim to know the answer???


Perhaps hopping on one foot is exactly what this prime mover *doesn't* want you to do. Perhaps he wants you to have the courage of your convictions (famous story about this in the talmud) and tell him whats what. Maybe he wants you to yell at the top of your lungs that you know the difference between good and evil and the hell with what he told you to think. Maybe if there is a God he wants us to grow up, and stop following a rule book written for ancient man...


Tobie, I sense from your argument that you want halachah to function in much the same manner as secular law, but I have to tell you I don't see how that is possible.


One key difference between secular and religious law is ...motivation. We believe we can never know gods motivation and that changes *everything* Theology, tests, and interpritation of divine will is hopelessly intertwined in the law, and it is there that most of the difficulty lies !!!

 
At 1:41 AM, Blogger Tobie said...

I'm sorry to be pursuing this discussion here- it seems like it ought to be in the comments to your newer post, but I prefer to keep everything in one place.

I think that one basic point of difference in our thought patterns is what it means to be obedient to G-d. In my view, if one believes that G-d is the author of morality, then you don't obey Him because He's big and scary and will zap you. You obey Him because you feel safe to assume that His morality is the absolute standard of morality by which it is most moral to operate.

But you raise an excellent point that internal human morality impulses are also, in my opinion, based on the Divine, such that contradictions must be dealt with.

I think that there are two distinct questions in the whole thing: Firstly, what to do when G-d's morality is at odds with your own and the second-entire distinct- question, what to do when G-d's morality seems stupid, nit-picking, or irrelevant.

My theory of law as a legal system relates mainly to the second question- that one should not dismiss law a stupid simply because it focuses on details or allows loopholes. And, as you agree, we cannot hope to fully understand Divine morality, so it seems just a bit dumb to jump to the conclusion that a law is stupid just because its reasoning is not readily apparent to the eye. Particularly in the cases when the law is not immoral per human standards, I cannot understand why one should jump to the conclusion that it's stupid. Obedience is not inherently immoral, even when the law may not make sense. In my "legal system" view, obedience, even to the vagaries of an evolving law, is precisely what allows there to be a legal system as a whole. It may be simplistic and it may be naive, but you have yet to raise any real argument why it should be immoral.

Your examples and more serious questions are raised when Divine morality and human morality expressly conflict. I agree that, in such cases, there is a problem. Does one say that my human morality must be clouded and influenced by external sources, while the torah morality is pure? Does one say that the torah morality has been modified to immorality, interpreted immorally, or simply no longer be in touch with the modern world and the realities and norms that determine our morality? Does one dare to defy, scramble to reconcile, plot to change, or bow submissively and obey? Excellent, troubling questions, but not at all the same ones as are raised by your shaving story.

 
At 8:51 AM, Blogger Ben Avuyah said...

Thanks for answering Toby, I think we agree on much. I wouldn't argue with the fact that all legal systems have loopholes and arbitraty cutoffs.

The area where I differ with you is seeing halacha as a functional legal system due to the fact that it always has at it's base...theology. And a more amorphous field of study, with greater lack of conclusions, there has never been. To my mind this colors the relevace of halacha as a legal system, down to each last clal uprat.

I won't sum up here, becuase I think it is worth a post as to how halachah differs from typical law. The problem I sighted regarding "not knowing the intent" of the law giver is only one of a myriad of theological difficulties that really make the law untenable in my eyes.

In any case, I look forward to a lively debate once I put it in a post !!!

 
At 9:31 AM, Anonymous golfing equipment said...

The article is chalk full of negative comments by TaylorMade about the square design. Titleist The sponsor exemptions have been going great. If anything, I would think the Match Play tourney is more of a crapshoot than a stroke play event, so Tiger would have increased his chances of extending the streak by playing the Nissan. This season on the PGA Tour, TaylorMade's staff players have used a mixture of the two drivers.

 
At 4:48 PM, Blogger oakleyses said...

nike air max, true religion, longchamp handbags, tiffany jewelry, polo ralph lauren outlet, coach outlet, coach outlet store online, ray ban sunglasses, nike air max, nike shoes, michael kors outlet store, red bottom shoes, michael kors outlet online, christian louboutin, jordan shoes, longchamp outlet online, louis vuitton outlet, christian louboutin shoes, prada handbags, longchamp outlet, michael kors outlet online, prada outlet, michael kors outlet online, oakley vault, louis vuitton outlet, cheap oakley sunglasses, louis vuitton handbags, ray ban outlet, coach purses, christian louboutin outlet, polo ralph lauren, louis vuitton outlet online, kate spade handbags, true religion outlet, burberry outlet online, burberry outlet online, tiffany and co jewelry, tory burch outlet, oakley sunglasses, louis vuitton, coach outlet, nike free, michael kors outlet online, michael kors outlet, kate spade outlet online, chanel handbags, gucci handbags

 
At 4:49 PM, Blogger oakleyses said...

nike air max, ralph lauren pas cher, louis vuitton pas cher, sac louis vuitton, nike blazer pas cher, ray ban uk, ralph lauren, tn pas cher, hollister, nike free pas cher, vans pas cher, new balance pas cher, louis vuitton, lululemon, lacoste pas cher, sac vanessa bruno, nike air force, nike roshe, scarpe hogan, north face, nike roshe run, nike air max, longchamp pas cher, michael kors canada, abercrombie and fitch, north face pas cher, true religion jeans, air max pas cher, timberland, barbour, converse pas cher, air max, michael kors uk, louis vuitton uk, chaussure louboutin, longchamp, sac michael kors, burberry pas cher, hermes pas cher, guess pas cher, nike free, mulberry, ray ban pas cher, true religion outlet, hollister, oakley pas cher, air jordan

 
At 4:49 PM, Blogger oakleyses said...

new balance outlet, canada goose, ugg boots, mcm handbags, ugg soldes, herve leger, canada goose outlet, babyliss pro, uggs on sale, birkin bag, reebok shoes, vans outlet, instyler ionic styler, p90x workout, soccer shoes, mont blanc pens, abercrombie and fitch, uggs outlet, north face outlet, canada goose outlet, jimmy choo shoes, hollister, bottega veneta, lululemon outlet, asics shoes, chi flat iron, insanity workout, nike trainers, canada goose outlet, marc jacobs outlet, ugg, ugg outlet, wedding dresses, longchamp, valentino shoes, north face jackets, rolex watches, soccer jerseys, nike huarache, nfl jerseys, roshe run, giuseppe zanotti, beats headphones, mac cosmetics, ferragamo shoes, ghd, celine handbags

 
At 4:51 PM, Blogger oakleyses said...

karen millen, hollister, moncler, louis vuitton canada, toms outlet, converse, air max, moncler outlet, pandora charms, gucci, pandora uk, uggs canada, pandora jewelry, parajumpers outlet, nike air max, converse shoes, vans, coach outlet, ray ban, ugg, moncler, thomas sabo uk, hollister canada, baseball bats, canada goose pas cher, moncler, swarovski uk, moncler, canada goose uk, oakley, juicy couture outlet, timberland shoes, lancel, replica watches, supra shoes, links of london uk, juicy couture outlet, swarovski jewelry, iphone 6 case, canada goose, louboutin, ralph lauren, wedding dress, canada goose, montre femme, hollister clothing, moncler, moncler

 
At 7:07 PM, Blogger ninest123 said...

ugg boots, longchamp outlet, louboutin outlet, prada handbags, tiffany jewelry, longchamp, sac longchamp, air max, ralph lauren pas cher, tiffany and co, longchamp pas cher, nike outlet, kate spade outlet, nike air max, oakley sunglasses, uggs on sale, replica watches, gucci outlet, louis vuitton outlet, louboutin, air jordan pas cher, nike roshe run, nike free, chanel handbags, oakley sunglasses, christian louboutin outlet, prada outlet, louis vuitton, nike air max, tory burch outlet, nike free, oakley sunglasses, polo ralph lauren outlet, jordan shoes, polo ralph lauren outlet, cheap oakley sunglasses, ray ban sunglasses, louboutin shoes, oakley sunglasses, louis vuitton, burberry, louboutin pas cher, ray ban sunglasses, louis vuitton, ray ban sunglasses, ugg boots, michael kors, replica watches, louis vuitton outlet, longchamp outlet

 
At 7:15 PM, Blogger ninest123 said...

lacoste pas cher, hogan, ugg boots, hollister pas cher, ray ban uk, new balance pas cher, ugg boots, michael kors, oakley pas cher, true religion jeans, coach purses, sac guess, mulberry, michael kors outlet, ralph lauren uk, burberry, hermes, coach outlet, replica handbags, north face, vans pas cher, nike air max, true religion jeans, nike air max, true religion outlet, converse pas cher, nike air max, timberland, michael kors, nike free run uk, michael kors outlet, coach outlet, michael kors, north face, michael kors outlet, michael kors, ray ban pas cher, abercrombie and fitch, hollister, lululemon, nike trainers, michael kors outlet, air force, vanessa bruno, burberry outlet online, nike roshe, tn pas cher, michael kors outlet, nike blazer, true religion jeans

 
At 7:22 PM, Blogger ninest123 said...

insanity workout, jimmy choo shoes, hollister, soccer jerseys, nfl jerseys, ghd, herve leger, s5 cases, iphone cases, mcm handbags, iphone 5s cases, ferragamo shoes, iphone 6 cases, beats by dre, vans shoes, hollister, babyliss, valentino shoes, lululemon, wedding dresses, ralph lauren, instyler, abercrombie and fitch, nike huarache, bottega veneta, oakley, new balance, mont blanc, nike roshe, birkin bag, iphone 6s cases, chi flat iron, p90x workout, mac cosmetics, north face outlet, ipad cases, soccer shoes, celine handbags, iphone 6s plus cases, nike air max, timberland boots, reebok shoes, giuseppe zanotti, asics running shoes, iphone 6 plus cases, north face outlet, louboutin, hollister, longchamp, baseball bats

 
At 7:29 PM, Blogger ninest123 said...

converse outlet, pandora jewelry, ugg boots uk, bottes ugg, moncler, lancel, links of london, canada goose, canada goose outlet, pandora charms, canada goose outlet, moncler, gucci, moncler, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, canada goose uk, montre pas cher, louis vuitton, moncler, replica watches, converse, doudoune canada goose, hollister, wedding dresses, coach outlet, moncler, louis vuitton, moncler outlet, karen millen, barbour jackets, canada goose, sac louis vuitton pas cher, supra shoes, canada goose, pandora charms, swarovski crystal, swarovski, moncler, moncler, ray ban, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, juicy couture outlet, louis vuitton, ugg pas cher, juicy couture outlet, canada goose, thomas sabo, marc jacobs, pandora jewelry, barbour, louis vuitton, toms shoes

 
At 3:01 AM, Blogger Mie Helal said...


Finally I've found something which helped me
https://decor-ksa.com/
http://mchaabaty.com/dawadmi/
http://mchaabaty.com/templates/
http://mchaabaty.com/riyadh/
http://mchaabaty.com/stone/

 

Post a Comment

<< Home