Monday, October 31, 2011

Progressive revelation

Is progressive revelation biblical?

If so, then why it is so destructive?

If new revelation come by way of progression, are then earlier revelation anulled?

What do you think?

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Modern Sicarii?

From Wikipedia:

"Sicarii is a term applied, in the decades immediately preceding the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD, (probably) to an extremist splinter group of the Jewish Zealots, who attempted to expel the Romans and their partisans from Judea using concealed daggers (sicae, in Latin). the Sicarii used stealth tactics to obtain their objective....At popular assemblies, particularly during the pilgrimage to the Temple Mount, they stabbed their enemies (Romans or Roman sympathizers, Herodians, and wealthy Jews comfortable with Roma rule), lamenting ostentatiously after the deeds to blend into the crowed to escape detection."

A new unknown group titled "sicariikim" is throwing havoc in Jerusalem, scaring the secular, and Haredi communities alike. This small group of a few dozens Haredi youth, is defined today as the most radical and violent collection of thugs who operate in Jerusalem today. The Haredi community is expressing reservation about their activities, and the ultra-Orthodox newspapers and websites who usually refrain from criticizing any activities of the "Haredi community," are going out of their way to be clear how infuriating they are when it concern the Sicariikim. Stories about their deeds are transferred in a whisper, and accompanied by "it did not come from me."

The Sicariiki group began to take shape ten years ago. Synagogue "Ohel Sara" in Jerusalem is considered the stronghold of the group, and sometimes they are called "the chavurah of Ohel Sara." They were named "Sicariikim" by some of their rivals.

It is a most violent gang, Some of their rivals have already tasted their blows and were severely beaten. Shopkeepers in Meah-Shearim and other Haredi areas, were marked by them and are regularly disturbed. Lately they held several demonstrations in front of "Or Hachaim"-Light of life bookstore located in Meah Shearim, because they were opposed to the store "being full of shady people, and especially women prostitutes" as was printed in adds they published. The sicariikim also do not hesitate to attack Haredi Kenesset members. The last time was about two months ago. Then they attacked the Kenesset Finance Committee chairman and MK (Member Kenesset) Moshe Gafni, and MK Uri Maklev, during their visit to Meah Shearim. The two were forced to flee to a nearby synagogue, and were rescued with the assistance of the Police.

Like other members of the Haredi community, the Sicariikim are also espousing anti-zionism. But unlike them, the Sicariikim will not spare any means in their fights, violence reigns. Funding for their activities comes from contribution abroad, mainly from the US and England. In both countries there exists flourishing communities of anti-zionists, which the Sicarrikim visit to do their "Shcnor" (begging for money), mostly by distorting their real activities.

The Sicariikim are a sect that espouses violence to further their cause. like the Islamic Jihad, they have no ideology or any religion motive. Like the Mafia they are interested in control, they want to control the area. The Police prefer to stay away and not handle them, every time a police car enters Meah Shearim it is being attacked. Lately, though, the police began to take some action. Two months ago they arrested One of their members, Chaim Minzberg on suspicion he harassed some of the managers of the Israeli Antiquities authority. The sicariikim oppose any digging that might damage Jewish graves). The IAA refused to address the issue, and indicated that they rather let the police handle the case. It is alleged that the Sicariikim used to puncture the tires of members of the IAA, to break the locks in their houses and throw stink bombs near their homes.

The sicariikim legal Representative is Yair Nehorai, who represent them almost exclusively. Nehorai who is not Haredi nor Orthodox, claims that "within the Haredi community there is a large group with very extreme religious outlook, who essentially will not recognize Israel. This group will do its out most to avoid contact with any body who represent the state of Israel, whether it be Hospitals, Social workers and so on. For them any connection with the state is out of bounds. the group has great power which comes from the moral imperative in whose name it operates."

One of the leaders of the gang who was confronted by Journalists refused to be interviewed initially, saying "I do not speak with journalists." Later on he claimed " Who said that there exist a grope? There is no such group, it is all just fantasy and invention." Nehorai claims the opposite, "there is a group like that in existence, but it is very limited. There is a combination of real elements and myth in the way this group is dealt with."

So, what do you think? A new phenomenon, or just a newer more dangerous model of the Yad leachim gang?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Musing on the aftermath of Yom Kippur.

Yom Kippur is past us for this year. We dwell on the meaning, the practice, the rituals. We inject spirituality where spirituality is needed. But we need to open our eyes and look at reality all around us.

Take Israel for example, and welcome to the theater of the absurd. Murderers, rapist, and common thieves wear a Kippa a minute before they enter the court to go in front of the judge. They think that to demonstrate how frum they are maybe will trick the judge to lessen the verdict.

This "show" of the scum of the earth is not working for a long time, but they still try.

Enter Yom Kippur and the millions of "klal Israel" in the Land and the diaspora, who don't have any connction to Judaism but one day a Year, on Yom Kippur, they take out from the glove compartment the Kippa they received in the last funeral they attended, bring the Talit that they did not touch since last year and is a bit smelly. They take the Tefilin they bought the kid ten years ago, clean the dust off the old Siddur, put the whole disguise, and they are off to the Synagogue that they haven't seen since last year. In one day they want to Iron up the suspect credit they carry, and receive a new clean and pure one. Isn't it special?....

How are these people different from the criminal who wears a Kippa a second before he meets the judge? What is the different between criminals "Show" and the "Good Jews" "Show?"

If the judge in court is not impressed with the criminal's trick of wearing a Kippa, why should the Judge of all the earth, who in my opinion is quite busy see it differently? He is probably in stitches when He sees the a majority of Am Israel that in 364 days carried out every imagine sin in the book, now within 24 hours wanting a total Kaparah in the form of a light fasting, and chanting in the freezing Synagogue (air conditioning). Is the Holy One Be He really thinks that just like that without any effort a person can "cleanse" himself with a few hours of Shokeldink (Bending back and forth)?

Yom Kippur for this majority is akin to Catholics who go to the priest for confession and think they come out white as snow. Either one is a believer and keeps the Mitzvot, or they are not. There is no such thing as being "Masorti" (traditions)and keep only the Mitzvot that are easy for them to keep. If one is an apikors (non-believer), then let him have the courage to stay that way and not making a show of the whole thing. I don't think God approves of this.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Like Turkey---Like Rooster

Every year as Thanksgiving comes close the turkeys in the US are starting to shake. Here comes the men with the knifes...As far as I know only one gets pardon by the White House.

Every year Yom Kippur arrives in Israel, it is the turn of the roosters, being the victims of the kapparot. A Minhag-custom that as far as we know was a familiar and a known practice of Slashing the rooster's throat to make a blood atonement.

Please note that even though this custom is noted in the written Jewish tradition, as early as the 6Th century many Rabbis tried to stop it. In the 11Th century Rabbi Hai Gaon, who lived in Babylon, stated that this custom is "the ways of the Amorites," ie, originated in an act of idolatry, but the public ignored the Rabbis who opposed and continued the Minhag.

In recent years, following the growing awareness of the suffering experienced by most of the chickens that are used for making atonement, animal rights activists in Israel began to call on the religious public to replace the roosters with money, pointing to the halacha.

The activist in Israel are putting up posters that read: "saving life, not life for life," and "Judaism--a religion of compassion rather than cruelty." The posters, and leaflets are citing many prominent religious scholars of all times who were strongly opposed to the practice because the cruelty to animals that involved in it. The adds also state the abuse that these animals are suffering along the way as they are being transferred without food or water.

Dr. Yael Shemesh, a professor of Bible study in Bar-Illan University and an activist says: " The suffering of the kapparot roosters starts with the way they are raised, continues with them transferred to the markets in small cages for a long time, and ends with them being circled around someones head followed by the slaughter itself. Opposite the slaughter of the roosters, there is a custom of using money given as tzdaka to the poor. We believe that the day of atonement, a day when a person does some soul searching and asks forgiveness should not be marked with an act that contains cruelty to animals."

According to Dr. Shemesh some of the major Poskinm of all time like the RASHBA and the RAMBAN saw this custom as faulty. Joseph Karo, who wrote the "Shulchan Aruch," wrote in this regard: " The Minhag of Kapparot at the eve of Yom Kippur, where they slaughter a rooster for every male child, should be avoided."

Some within the Orthodox community in Israel are having reservations regarding the ritual: " It is inconceivable for God-fearing Jews to participate in an act like this."

If they only knew that their atonement was made already...