Wednesday, January 21, 2009

What was so Bohemian about that Blackout?

Today I didn't have some super-duper-top-secret-pompously-important business to take care of in Skokie. Having a license is great and all, but does little good when you don't have anything to drive. Fortunately for me, I don't have a license, so I don't have to worry about securing a vehicle. (Sorry, I'm not hardcore enough to ride my bike in the snow down to Chicago). I'm not either. I mean, imagine riding all the way from Crown Heights to Chicago! That's crazier than being a Cubs fan!

So last night, actually this morning, I went to sleep at 6 am, got up at 11:00 and was in Chabad's Own Professional Shopper's (herein referred to as COPS) van at no point in the day. Impressive, no? Now, I've never seen COPS around, and have never had a conversation with him. Once he realized I wasn't in his van, and therefore didn't have any luggage the conversation became way too deep and intense for never after sleeping a good five hours.

All of a sudden he started on a tangent about all the different pork products he eats and how he drives on Shabbos, about how G-d is cool and all but what's up with 6 million Jews dying, totally not cool naturally speaking, how his kids are so cool, open-minded and good-looking. (I'm not joking). I totally didn't get it. How is he Chabad's Own Professional Shopper if he eats many pork products and drives on Shabbos? And why does he do those things if he thinks G-d is cool? Hey, I agree that the Holocaust was totally not cool, but why does that mean that his kids are cool, open-minded, and good looking? And who would think I was joking?

Started in about how the shluchim's children, since they don't go to public school are being brought up closed minded. I agreed with this point too. I mean, isn't that the point of a Jewish education? To keep our kid's minds pure of the filth and other shtuff they would otherwise be exposed to in public school? This was all before the sun rose. More agreement was reached regarding Milwaukee's beauty, and that Milwaukeeans are lucky to have Lake Michigan and Klode Park. Lance Armstrong was mentioned, and Floyd Landis received much support.

Where I needed to be, which was nowhere, didn't open until 9, but I didn't get there by 6:30, so someone bought some sushi in Jewel. It would have been nice if they had shared, but no, they had to have it all to themselves. (He is the professional shopper after all). What that means I don't know. Does a professional shopper get better rates on sushi than other people? Someone drove around on Touhy looking for somewhere they could hang out in for two hours. They found a bagel shop and sat there for two hours. Confidential sources indicate that the bagel purchased at the shop was delicious.

Eventually the place opened, but things were a bit behind there, so, long story short, I didn't miss my ride back to Milwaukee, because I wasn't in Chicago to begin with. (This is all while I wasn't sporadically blacking out from lack of sleep. At least I was with old Russians). That at least was true. 770 today was filled with old people speaking Russian. And it felt vaguely claustrophobic.

I ended up walking over to Brooklyn Children's Museum, not before which I did some research for a Lubavitch.com article, and hung out there for a few hours. I had Davened way before (right[lame I know, I am a slacker]), wish I ate some sushi, attended Reuven Lakein's birthday party, complete with ice cream cake, pushed my niece home in her carriage (what else?). It appears that slaves at Chabad Houses seem to have much the same job description wherever they are.

Eventually, if someone had been nice enough to buy me some, I would have finished my delicious sushi. Delicious. It would have been. Didn't get on the bus. If I would have then would have slept the whole way home. I probably wouldn't wake up whenever an album ended on my iPod so I could put on some more music. Hello? Ever heard of shuffle? The good life. Got home. Didn't eat any tomato soup. Still, the good life was head by all.

218 comments:

e said...

I only read the first half, but i doubt the second half is any better. So i'm nolt missing much. Is this how you welcome me back to TRS (btw,i'm done with touro)

The Real Shliach said...

Is this how you come back, all grouchy and not appreciating the finer things in life (unlike Nemo)?

e said...

seems to me that nemo's cup also floweth not over with appreciation for TRS these days.

e said...

listen TRS, we love and all that, but just don't post crap.

The Real Shliach said...

Who would've thought it was so lonely being popular?

e said...

I'm sure you know that I was sarcastic. I don't accept sarcasm well, but I can certainly give it.

The Real Shliach said...

So Nemo claims.

Nemo said...

NOT SAID SARCASTICALLY:

What is this shit?

The Real Shliach said...

What's with all the nivel peh people? I don't like that kind of thing. If you click on the top sentence you'll get it.

e said...

nemo: no you won't

Nemo said...

I actually read it earlier. Thought it a bit trite, but then I sometimes also tell the stories of my shitty (sorry) days every once in a while. But why are you reprinting it with more triteness?

The Real Shliach said...

Wheels within wheels.

e said...

I was going to wholeheartedly agree with nemo, but that would be too obnoxious.

then I was going to write about this habit I have of writing what I was going to do.

Aren't y'all glad that I didn't?

Dovid said...

Sorry TRS, honestly its like you made a really bad remake of a really bad movie (sorry LE7).

the grouch said...

e, shut up.

e said...

apparently we are unanimous.

The Real Shliach said...

e: eternally grateful
Dovid: Whatever.
Grouch: That would be the day.

Dovid said...

But I am curious, what is up with bohemia and blackouts, I'm missing the connection btw the story and and the title.
LE7 made a post only she could make sense of, then comes along TRS and convolutes the whole thing even more.

e said...

I just shut up for like two weeks. When finals roll around again, I think I'll shut up again.

The Real Shliach said...

Dovid: Life is strange, isn't it?
e: Sounds like a plan.

Crawling Axe said...

I hate those people. I never give them anything.

Wait, maybe not those? Different ones?

Where did they come from?

The Real Shliach said...

What are you going on about?

Crawling Axe said...

Nu-nu, the Russians. Who were the Russians?

I hate the Russian beggars. But thes were probably different Russians — so where did they come from?

visceral said...

Russians are g-d gift to mankind.

The Real Shliach said...

Axe Crawler: Not Russian Beggars these. Though of course they were there. I mean old Chassidism type people who were yabbering away in Russian.

Visceral: What kind of G-d is that?

Crawling Axe said...

Ch 26 of Tanya.

Old Chassidim speak in Yiddish, don’t they?

Crawling Axe said...

Visceral, actually vodka was invented by Italians.

The Real Shliach said...

I never said these were chassidim, i said they were "old Chassidism type people".

Vodka was invented by the Italians? Really? There goes the last reason for Russia's existence.

Crawling Axe said...

Oh, those. They have me in Chabad of Sheepshead Bay (eww). And in Chabad of a town nearby. Tell me, how can a Lubavitcher minyan start at 6:30 am?

No, no. Russians carried the mesoira. And the whole reasons vodka was invented by Italians (Genoese sailors) was for travelling to Russia (during Ivan the Terrible’s times).

Before “Genoese grain wine”, Russians drank mead. How boring, huh?

Crawling Axe said...

I mean, them.

The Real Shliach said...

It's takeh a shailah. I'm not even asleep by then a lot of times!

Wow. You truly are a fountain of information.

I've never had mead. Is it good?

Crawling Axe said...

I have to say, I have no idea. My last gilgul that I know about lived in late 12th – early 13th century.

But it probably tastes like Scottish bear.

Crawling Axe said...

I mean, beer.

The Real Shliach said...

I was going to say...who knew they had beers in Sotland?

Crawling Axe said...

I remember during the whole shaila of why honey is kosher mentioned in… umm… Bechorois?.. that honey of “milk and honey” came from dates. (Or did it?)

So, Dovid HaMelech probably drank Scottish beer. I mean, mead. No Genoese sailors.

The Real Shliach said...

Yes, that honey is date honey. And the milk is from goats, not cows.

Crawling Axe said...

Here’s a better question.

Bees don’t eat leaves. And they are actually good for plants (in fact, this is how beekeepers make additional money — they land bees to pollinate fields).

So, why does Gemara in Bava Basra say that in response to a beekeeper saying to an owner of horseradish plantation to move the plantation away, since it makes honey bitter (btw, I remember mentioning to my chavrusa that maybe that’s how beer was invented), the latter can answer: “You move your bees away — they eat my leaves.”

And the rabbis dispute it by saying that leaves fall by themselves or something.

Point being: bees don’t eat leaves!

Crawling Axe said...

lend*

The Real Shliach said...

What was the worse question?

Crawling Axe said...

Why is bee honey kosher?

The Real Shliach said...

Ahh.

Crawling Axe said...

Btw, mustard.

Horseradish peroxidase is used in Neuroscience as a retrograde tracer. (If you inject it in area A, it is transported backward along the axons and thus labels neurons that project to area A.)

The Real Shliach said...

What about mustard?

Crawling Axe said...

Mustard plants need to be kept away from beehives. Bava Basra, Ch. 2.

The Real Shliach said...

Ahh. I'll keep that in mind next time I have what to do with bees.

Crawling Axe said...

Well, it’s actually your obligation as a mustard plantation owner not to embitter ypur neighbor’s honey.

The Real Shliach said...

The real question is, how did they ever think up honey-dijon mustard?

LE7 said...

Okay. Isn't that like plagiarism or something? Taking my cryptic post and making it worse? Are you trying to create public pressure on more than one blog for me to sit down and write something better and more applicable to the greater blogger audience?

I have many questions. Are you really that bored? Insider information? What is so confusing about a professional shopper?

LE7 said...

Also, reading this, I feel like I'm in some tenth grade English nightmare.

Crawling Axe said...

I feel like a deeper point has been missed in all this.

Who is Reuven Lakein?

The Real Shliach said...

LE7: It's not plagiarism, it's 1st Amendment-protected satire.
1. Am I this bored? Evidently.
2. Mysterious, eh?
3. Lot and lots of shtuff.
4. Why is this a tenth grade English nightmare? Explain yourself.

Axe who Crawleth: My brother in law's brother.

LE7 said...

It seems like something we would have to do in 10th grade English.

Actually in creative writing such as taking a great piece of literature and re-writing it.

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

Are you sure the bees are in Bava Basra chapter 2? Because I learnt the bees last year but I didn't learn chapter 2 as evidenced by the fact that I'm calling it chapter 2 not loi yochpoir.

Crawling Axe: I want you to give hasqama on the location of my next mustard farm. I would send you the real estate survey so you could look over the list of neighbors for halakhic issues but canus maeus id commedit. (sorry about the spelling but I'm writing latin not quoting it)

Crawling Axe said...

http://images.e-daf.com/DafImg.asp?ID=3295&size=1 (last four lines from ”R’ Yosei matir”; see also next omud).

Sorry, I am not a Rav. Consult you LCR.

Nemo said...

hasqama

Sorry, just had to comment on this (it's my job).

People who transliterate Hebrew words with q's and kh's are pretentious.

Crawling Axe said...

That’s why you shouldn’t have pets, by the way. Have children instead (although they also eat stuff sometimes — but one is more careful about children, so, as TRS says, we are less careful about things we are more careful about).

Nemo said...

As are people who write "therefor" without the 'e.' But you didn't do that, thank goodness.

LE7 said...

I thought only British people transliterated with 'q's and 'kh's - hence the annoying Israeli signs.

LE7 said...

Also Nemo, it may have been trite, but at least my version was shorter.

Dovid said...

LE7: "a great piece of literature"? really?

LE7 said...

I was joking Dovid. Goodness.

Crawling Axe said...

It annoys me when I see Chabad spelled as “Habad”. I mean, it took me only five years to learn the difference between sound — or lack of thereof — “h” (which doesn’t exist in Russian) and sound “ch” (which is natural to Russian and doesn’t exist in English)…

The Real Shliach said...

People who write like that are doing it the way YIVO wants them to.

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

LCR? Oh. I can't think of anything I would ask my local conservative rabbi (if I even have one) since I probably know more than she does on any Jewish and most quasi-jewish topics. I might deign to consult a reform rabbi on Martin Buber if I ever got interested.

Nemo: yeah, I like being pretentious sometimes, it makes up for the lack of real dignity. I assume everyone understood my semiliterate latin?

The Real Shliach said...

My grandmother wrote her master's (or was it PHD?) thesis on Martin Buber.

No, I didn't. Please explain.

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

It means "my dog ate it"

The Real Shliach said...

Recap please: What did your dog eat?

Crawling Axe said...

That’s why I said you shouldn’t have pets (have children instead).

LCR is local Chabad rabbi.

Martin Buber, sadly enough, was my first exposure to Chassidishkeit. When I talked about him with my rabbi’s father, he told me that in a stable, you can find food in the feeder. But sometimes some of the food also gets mixed in with the horse’s “business”. So, nu, the horse doesn’t try to figure out what’s food and what’s… not. It just goes to the feeder.

The Real Shliach said...

So your children will eat instead of the dog?

That's a nice moshol.

Crawling Axe said...

Why would my children eat my mustard farm’s survey? They can eat mustard farm’s mustard instead.

Crawling Axe said...

(Come to think of it, do dogs really eat people’s homeworks and stuff? The most advanced mammal I ever owned was a hamster. Well, actually 20 hamsters. Anyway…)

The Real Shliach said...

But what if the survey tastes better?

The farthest we ever got was goldfish. And gefilte fish. But those were prededed.

Crawling Axe said...

That would be a poor commentary on the mustard. We had gold fish too. (Actually, when I was young, I bred guppies.) And a turtle. And a big toad in our bathroom that scared the guests. But because my mother is a herpetologist, she didn’t like mammals — so I never got to have a dog or a cat. Which, in retrospect, is probably a good thing (what if they ate my homework?).

The Real Shliach said...

At least you would have had a good excuse.

LE7 said...

My family had our own personal zoo. Pet hair drives me bonkers so I have no desire to recreate the experience although it was pretty fun as a child.

The Real Shliach said...

So when your kids have kids...

LE7 said...

They can have pets? More power to them.

The Real Shliach said...

Exactly. Just NIMBY.

Crawling Axe said...

You can always have hairless pets. For example, rhododendrons.

The Real Shliach said...

Obviously we have different definitions of what a pet is.

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

A family friend had a brother whose dog actually did eat his homework. He brought the chewed up workbook to school in a plastic bag just to show the teacher that "Yes!! It can happen. Don't laugh at the excuse ever again!"

LE7 said...

My friend's dog Shlomo only eats Jewish books.

Crawling Axe said...

Would Shlomo eat Martin Buber? (The books.)

LE7 said...

Possibly. He ate my old Hebrew school primer.

The Real Shliach said...

Was the primer Zionist or Jewish?

LE7 said...

This one was actually Jewish, for learning how to read the basic davening. Not sure how I ended up with a Jewish book from a Zionist Hebrew school... a mystery that shall forever be unsolved.

The Real Shliach said...

Presumably because it was far superior to anything the zionistim could make.

So it seems like the dog probably wouldn't eat Buber.

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

Well, if it was a trade-paperback edition of buber with a bunch of Hebrew nonsense syllables and a picture of a peroches, maybe the dog would be fooled. After all they aren't quite as intelligent as pigs.

Now we get the sectarian warfare started:

Would the dog eat Halkhic Man?
Would the dog eat Pachad Yitzchak?
Would the dog eat Der Yid?
Would the dog eat sfas emes?

Everyone keep going with as many sects as you can think of. Out of kvod achsanya Chabad is off limits.

Cheerio said...

to all the haters: this post and ensuing conversation was FREAKIN HYSTERICAL. i laughed - out loud. thank G-d i'm alone in my apt reading this or everyone who doesn't think i'm nuts for blogging would begin to think so.

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

Nu, CA, what about your sectarian books

Crawling Axe said...

My sectarian books?

I plead the Fifth.

The Real Shliach said...

Modeh: The possibilities are endless. However, I think this can be solved with one simple question:
Would the dog eat dogs?

Cheerio: I knew I could count on you to stand up for life, liberty, and the pursuit happiness.

CA: That answer is not acceptable on TRS.

Crawling Axe said...

On the other hand, now that Guantanamo Bay is closed, perhaps I can list all the sectarian books I wrote.

The Real Shliach said...

Guantanamo Bay may be closed, but it lives on in our hearts.
Yes, please, describe them all in excruciating detail

Crawling Axe said...

What do you have against Constitution? If it wasn’t for it, each liberal would eat his neighbor alive.

Crawling Axe said...

Be careful what you wish for. It may indeed be excruciating.

The Real Shliach said...

You know how to ruin a liberal's day? Work hard and smile.

The Real Shliach said...

I can take it. I'm man. Anyone who spends this amount of time on TRS commenting obsessively can't have written that much.

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

If you were worried about Guantanamo I can imagine the reading list.
1)on the difference between sheitlach and burkhas
2)Minhagei bnei Avrohom: Why Mohammed used weed and Jews use Vodka
3)Hisnagdus vs. the rebbistaveh: A closer look at the Shia-Sunni schism
4)They're the ones with the hats: How to tell your shaggy-bearded targets from your shaggy-bearded partner.

Crawling Axe said...

Well, to write something, you have first to collect data, which is what I am doing. (Not here.)

Of course, it’s not much of a deterrent to people who write about things they have absolutely no idea about...

Crawling Axe said...

Modeh, you want some autographs?

Cheerio said...

i think modeh should write a book. that was worthy of frum satire.

The Real Shliach said...

Modeh: I agree with Cheerio, excellent list.
CA: I thought you were secretly collecting data on bored Lubav twenty-somethings who blog.

Crawling Axe said...

I could just record myself then. (Well, except that I am a pseudo-Lubab.)

Cheerio said...

pseudo lubab - that's a new one. what does that mean?

Crawling Axe said...

Actually, my specimen don’t have blogs at all.

But they do have neurons glowing in dark. Way cooler.

Crawling Axe said...

You’ve never been to CH? Or any BT yeshiva?

The sort of guy who puts a napkin under his kippah before benching (since he is too lazy to go get his hat) and wears jeans during the week.

Not that I am saying I wear jeans.

Or that I don’t wear jeans.

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

When I shmooze with lubavs I'm a snag. WHen I shmooze with snags I'm a lubav. A real wandering jew.

I actually wrote #2 during a shmooze about how we have to stay sober on Purim. Obviously it's been quite a while and I'll need to dig it up or just write it over. It came to like five pages hand scribbled in lashon haqeidish

The Real Shliach said...

CA: Ahh. I know your type.
Modeh: What you're looking for, is right there at your door, believe me friend, you couldn't ask for more.

Crawling Axe said...

There is one thing that snags and Lubavitchers have in common.

Proper LK pronunciation.

The Real Shliach said...

LK? Ma zeh?

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

Compared to other chasidim maybe. How many snags or lubabs pronounce the ahyin?

e said...

As I always say, one should never quote oneself.

I'm going to post a chunk of a letter I once wrote:



You probably know the story how the Rebbe Maharash wanted to buy seforim, and his father asked him if he was familiar with the seforim he already had. The Rebbe Maharash asked the Tzemach Tzedek if *he* was familiar with all of *his* seforim. The Tzemach Tzedek then recited by heart chunks of several seforim which the Rebbe Maharash picked off the shelf at random. The first few books that the Rebbe Maharash tested his father with were dikduk seforim. The Rebbe Maharash was surprised how well his father knew dikduk. Here's how Sefer Hatoldos Admur Maharash describes their conversation:

ויתפלא הוד כ"ק אאזמו"ר על זה במאד, וביותר הפליא אותו בבקיאותו בספרי הדקדוק. ויאמר לאביו הלא החסידים אינם מתפללים או קוראים בתורה בדקדוק? ויאמר לו הוד כ"ק אביו: תפלה לחוד וקריאה בתורה לחוד, תפלה עיקרה כוונה ועקימת שפתיו הוי מעשה ואינו נוגע כ"כ הדקדוק, מלבד בק"ש. אבל קריאה בתורה צריכה דקדוק, וכ"ק אאזמו"ר אדמו"ר הגדול [אלטער רבי] אומר הצ"צ, הי' מדקדק גם בטעמי הקריאה, ועל הרוב הי' קורא בעצמו ואם הזדמן פעם שהיי אחר קורא הנה אם טעה בטעמי הנגינה הי' מצוה לחזור ולקרוא עוד הפעם הפסוק כולו

The Real Shliach said...

What are you guys talking about?

Crawling Axe said...

Nu, we also don’t wear streimels or white on Shabbos. So what? There is a reason for everything.

The Real Shliach said...

What is LK?

LE7 said...

Loshon kodesh?

Cheerio said...

bring bring bring!!! 45 points to the girl with great hair!

The Real Shliach said...

Excellent. And in which case, you're wrong CA.

LE7 said...

Give me another acronym, I'm on a roll! (Well I want to be at least).

The Real Shliach said...

You're being served with pastrami, smoked turkey, pickle, lettuce, and lots of sharp mustard?

Crawling Axe said...

I am wrong? In general or regarding LK?

Crawling Axe said...

Enough with the mustard!

The Real Shliach said...

Regarding similarities of pronunciation thereof.

What else would you put on a sandwich?

LE7 said...

Mustard is the ONLY condiment. I only dress my sandwiches with mustard.

e said...

LE7, If you're on a roll, what's this:
"YAMVMHL"V"

Somebody sent to me in an e-mail in response to me writing "iy"h."

LE7 said...

YAMVMHL"V = Your ambivilant, moronic vision may help Lubavitchers vote.

Crawling Axe said...

Enough with the politics! I got enough of that on DixieYid’s blog.

Let’s have mustard instead. If you so insist.

Crawling Axe said...

(Although there was a cute story regarding this song.)

Crawling Axe said...

Actually, last time I’ve been to CH, I’ve had the same experience as Hesh. I had the song stuck in my head for a week.

EndOfWorld said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Real Shliach said...

Nu, what's the cute story?

Crawling Axe said...

I actually don't know if it's cute anymore.

How do you deal with the whole thing? On the one hand, one can say, "Nu, shtus. Stop waisting time on narishkeit." But on the other hand, one should be able to explain these ideas to people. Even on the outside (especially on the outside). And the greater outside is perhaps not frei Yidden...

Crawling Axe said...

I mean, obviously nothing new.

The easiest approach is to listen to kriya through a window opening and daven outside.

But is this what the Rebbe wants from us?

The Real Shliach said...

I don't get your solution exactly.

Crawling Axe said...

During M"R's times, right after the war with the French, Chassidim were ordered not to enter in machloikes with misnagdim, not to answer any accusations, explain anything, have any discussions, etc.

Some Chassidim would listen to kriya through a shull's window and then daven outside to avoid any confrontation (I assume the mechitza was still kosher).

We can do the same today. Or we can engage in lengthy discussions and explanations.

The Real Shliach said...

Ahh. Yeah, it's a dumb debate. Solves nothing.

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

CA, the rebbes were exceptions by definition.

What's a dumb debate?

The Real Shliach said...

Messianism vs: non-messianism vis a vis Lubavitch.

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

I think so too. You people reach out to college campus wiccans. If you can handle what they believe, even the craziest of the boreinuniks are not a problem.

Crawling Axe said...

That wasn't the debate.

The debate was whether Chabad feels its derech is superior to all the others. And whether Chabad thereby separates itself from the rest of communities.

And (in the last few posts), if somebody is not a Lubavitcher, is it because he doesn't get it (ilu yadativ hayisiv)?

The Real Shliach said...

Modeh: Difference is, the messianics know we secretly agree with them.

CA: Now it is.

Yes, Lubavitch feels it's better than anyone else.

Navi haBaal said...

Close enough to the wiccans. We know that the goddess and the tie to nature is in all of us and we'll eventually all realize it and start worshipping asheirahs through increased chumrahs in recycling.


MbM

The Real Shliach said...

Call me when it happens. I can't wait.

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

Six months into bloomy's third term you will post this exchange and I will print it out and use it as a grounds for the first amendment suit against his wacked recycling laws.

The Real Shliach said...

How did that happen?

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

How did? You're taking it as a given that I'm right?

The Real Shliach said...

No, I meant how did it happen that one person makes one little comment about recycling, and BOOM!! there you go, insulting Mayor Mike and his plans to save us from ourselves.

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

Me and insulting Mayor Mike go way, way back. Plans for saving us from ourselves are even worse.

The Real Shliach said...

I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

Laugh until kishke becomes a controlled substance. Then cry.

The Real Shliach said...

They'll have to pry my kishke from my cold, dead hands.

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

This is major hype but I'm so outraged by his transfat police. They have the kinds of power even real cops don't.

The Real Shliach said...

they're trying to help. You should be grateful.

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

That had better be sarcastic or I'm going to be horribly offended for as long as can manage it.

Crawling Axe said...

Somebody who is angry at the transfat police is like an idolater.

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

Somebody who is angry is like an idolater period. Hardly a ringing endorsement of the calorie counters.

Crawling Axe said...

You can be angry at things and not be an idolater. RLYoB was angry at his yetzer ho’rah.

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

Acronym?

Crawling Axe said...

Reb Leivi Yitzchok of Berditchev.

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

That's a high level, being able to get angry at your one excuse for getting drunk, running wild all night and waking up noon the next day for shacharis. THen again he was a chossid so he didn't need a yetzer hara for that. Then again, he was a rebbe not a bochur so he couldn't, excuse or not.

The Real Shliach said...

Modeh: Sorry, that wasn't sarcastic. Do you get mad at the surgeon general for trying to get you to stop smoking?

Crawling Axe said...

TRS — I am with Moideh in this.

It’s not government’s business to tell us what to eat, what to smoke, etc.

In fact, NOTHING is government’s business except national defense and police. And courts.

Because: “and to secure these rights governments are formed”. Or something like that. And the surgeon general actually violates people’s rights.

The Real Shliach said...

I wish the world was as black and white as you make it out to be.

Crawling Axe said...

I don’t. Only tzitzis is black and white.

But it’s not government’s job to paint my house. Or tell me what to eat, what (and whether) to smoke, etc., etc. The only thing that the government’s job is is to protect our rights.

The Real Shliach said...

Yes, El Rushbo!

Crawling Axe said...

Too much excitement over Shabbos. Started FR’s ma’amor and fell asleep.

The Real Shliach said...

Which?

Crawling Axe said...

The.

(Not a commentary on FR’s ma’amor, obviously, but on my state of alertness.)

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

COnsider me suitably offended.

The problem with the entire city department of health and mental hygeine is that it is a misguided attempt to legislate common sense on the part of people who are not overburdened with it themselves. (Quote me. Please.)

As for the surgeon general: It is none of her business what I smoke (answer, nothing) or drink or paint my house with. The surgeon general's sole duty under the constitution is to be the president's private physician and to determine whether or not he is clinically insane as opposed to the normal insanity that comes with the job.

Crawling Axe said...

The only case when it’s government’s job to determine what one paints one’s house with is when other people’s health is in danger (i.e., there is a good chance of their rights being violated).

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

IOW lead paint v'zehu.

Dovid said...

CA and MB'M: I think your right to a certain degree, but government is needed otherwise things get chaotic. You know that saying from pirkei avos- pray for the government, because if it wasn't for the fear of the government people would eat each other alive.
Also part of the sheva mitzvos would entail government telling you to do with yourself.

So what are your opinions on goverment saying you can't kill yourself or marry someone of the same gender? Or on government food stamps or on goverment involvement in road building?

LE7 said...

I actually I have a big problem with both of those bits of legislation.

I like to say, I may be extremely conservative in my own life, but what gives me or the government the right to dictate that others should live that way.

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

Dovid:
The pirkei avos quote is exactly what we are talking about; providing for the common defense.

On same-sex marriages: marriage licenses bichlal were instituted when the government wanted to test for STDs before letting people get married and spreading them. That was questionable but made limited sense from a public safety POV. Now they stopped doing that (in most states) and it exists through inertia and is an outright violation of the establishment clause. I think the piece of paper should be called a "civil union" for everybody. I know because I'm frum you assumed you had the perfect argument, but there is no reason a secular state should have to conform to the torah today. If you want to forbid every to'evah in chumash start with lobster.

Dovid said...

I agree with you, I feel the same way, why should I care if this depressed guy decides he wants to end his life?
Nevertheless, the Torah has given the sheva mitzvos, and one of the sheva mitzvos is that the government must make courts to uphold all of the sheva mitzvos.

Dovid said...

MB'M- goyim have no issurei achilah, lobster is not in the sheva mitzvos, the goyishe courts don't have to uphold that.
But they have to uphold the prohibitions of murder (even of one's self) as well as issurei biah.

Crawling Axe said...

Dude, I already gave you the answer.

The government is needed to protect our rights. By “right” I mean “that which is mine and nobody else’s”. Something I own. My body, my clothes, my house (if I actually own it), my sandwitch, all my property, my money, my kids, my wife... OK, maybe not the last two.

I have a right to protect what’s mine. I can hire someone to protect what’s mine — delegating that someone my rights. I can’t hire someone to break somebody else’s rights — since I didn’t have that right to begin with.

So, the government is an organization we, as society, hired to protect our rights. To protect our lives, our property, our bodies. Both within the country from other members of our society (through police) and from members of other societies, countries, alien civilizations (through national defense). Plus, in cases when one party says another party violated its rights, we need courts.

That’s it. This is the part that Mishna is talking about. Not “I wouldn’t know how to raise my kids, spend my money, brush my teeth if the Wise Central Committee didn’t tell me.”

Government is not needed to push forward civilization. People have been doing it very well privately for millenia. In fact, when people decides that’s what you need government for, you get Soviet Union (just look at the pictures) or North Korea(click on КНДР links). When people decide government is needed for that not 100%, but, say, 60%, you get current situation on the market.

Dovid said...

And neither LE7 nor moideh addressed food stamps or road building. They don't have to do with "common defense", but I definetely want the government to do both.

Crawling Axe said...

If we are talking here about government that protects Sheva Brochos, than that’s a theocracy which would make religions like X-ity and Islam illegal.

I have no problem with that. But until we are able to institute that, we need to support a government which makes sense for golus. And that’s the government whose only function is to protect people’s rights.

Crawling Axe said...

They don't have to do with "common defense", but I definetely want the government to do both.

Do you want the government to fix your car too?

Crawling Axe said...

Or better yet — take your money to fix my car?

How about decide which mp3 player is best for us?

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

I'll address both.

Road building: In a democracy or republic (which one if either America is is still debatable) a government will evolve beyond the real duties of a government and be used as the project fund for what the People Who Elected Them want done. The People decided they want a central authority in charge of highways. They pay the bills and hire the schmucks so they get highways. I disagree with putting it in government hands in theory but as of now it's not quite so bad as any other choice I can see happening in practice.

Foodstamps came about in a similar way. The People (given the theological capital because as any elected official will tell you vox populi vox dei) decided they would like it better if their individual charity responsibilities would devolve to the government which would take money for that purpose. Today something like 45% of the federal wellfare budget goes to giving people money.

Dovid said...

I am arguing that government may need to intervene in our lives even if it causes no harm to others. You are arguing that government can never intervene unless it is to prevent harm to others.
I am not however arguing that government needs to micromanage our lives.

Dovid said...

That last comment was for CA.

Dovid said...

Response to CA's earlier comment-

"government that protects Sheva Brochos"- I assume you mean sheva mitzvos.
You are a Jew, all that should matter to you is that the Torah says the mitzius should be azoy.

Dovid said...

MB'M- My point exactly: "a government will evolve beyond the real duties of a government" and "be used for what the People Who Elected Them want done."

Here is California, the People Who Elected Them said they don't want suicide and they don't want gay marriage. And even if they didn't say that, the Torah did, and when I vote I must voice the Torah opinon.

Crawling Axe said...

Roads: would be better off if they were owned and built privately.

Charity: would be better, more efficient, in greater amounts if it was managed privately.

I am arguing that government may need to intervene in our lives even if it causes no harm to others.

Where does the government get this right? The only right that a secular democratic government can have is the right that was delegated to it by its people, collectively. Do I have a right to intervene in your life? Does anyone else in the society? In that case, how can we delegate to the government a right which we never had to begin with?

"government that protects Sheva Brochos"- I assume you mean sheva mitzvos.

Yeah, a Freudian slip. Wishful thinking on my part. :)

You are a Jew, all that should matter to you is that the Torah says the mitzius should be azoy.

Metzius of what? Vos redstu? You should look pragmatically at things. The government that Torah believes US should have is not attainable before Mashiach comes. Therefore, until then, we should have a government that makes logical sense to have.

And we — as Jews — should do the most the speed up the coming of Mashiach. Since the US is not our land anyway (including NY, WI, MN, MA, NH or whatever state you may like).

But — if someone asks me a question about what makes sense, I can answer.

Crawling Axe said...

MB'M- My point exactly: "a government will evolve beyond the real duties of a government" and "be used for what the People Who Elected Them want done."

That’s what happened in Germany in 1930s.

Are you saying killing Jews was moral? The government evolved beyond its normal duties and did what people (who elected it) apparently wanted it to do (since they elected it, while it was making no secret of its plans, then did not protest and for the most part cooperated).

Crawling Axe said...

Sorry, I meant to say there:

“Since the US is not our land anyway (including NY, WI, MN, MA, NH or whatever state you may like) we shouldn’t care what’s going on here, as long as we are free to keep mitzvos (which will happen most likely, if the government supports freedom, as opposed to slavery, as liberals and moderates would have it).”

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

No. Torah says "thou shalt do azoy." Would I be thrilled if we had our theocracy back kimay olam u'khshanim kadmonios? definitely.
The problem is America is not it. The safest place for a Jew is where religion is not an issue. Even if you disagree with me on Political philosophy look at it this way:
If gay marriage were to be outlawed in the US it would be because frumme Christians want it that way. While I'm not suggesting conversion by the sword would be next, blue laws are a very distinct possibility.

Dovid said...

"we shouldn’t care what’s going on here, as long as we are free to keep mitzvos"

That's so not the Rebbe's worldview.
Would you say it would be attainable to have a secular government that runs schools which mentions G-d? Nevertheless the Rebbe still pushed for that.

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

I was explaining how government owned highways happened. Not what should be done. Roads would be better off privately owned. CA can you check up my wellfare statistic? I think it might be too high.

On prop. 8, I can't see myself getting too worked up because gay people with domestic partnerships still have the same civil rights granted by a marriage license. The term 'marriage' is of propaganda value only.

Crawling Axe said...

Would you say it would be attainable to have a secular government that runs schools which mentions G-d? Nevertheless the Rebbe still pushed for that.

Public schools. Of course. I bet the Rebbe wouldn’t push schools that mention Yoshka. If we have public schools (i.e., schools in which public at large decides what will go on), we might as well have schools mentioning G-d. Or society not (at large) supporting gay marriages.

But you’re missing the greater point: we shouldn’t have public schools or marriage license lehatchilo. At all. Marriage and education are not responsibilities of the government but private affairs — to be handled privately.

You can’t pick and chose. If you want to live under government that is most similar to Sheva-Mitzvos–type society, go to Saudi Arabia.

That’s what Alter Rebbe meant, by the way, when he supported Alexander over Napoleon. But, from the times of Rebbe Rashab, reality changed. We need to go back to rachamim, away from din. So, have a commonsensical government according to libertarian design — and influence it from cultural, not totalitarian point of view (because the latter hurts us to begin with — just look at Europe with countries thinking of forbidding wearing kippah, doing bris or kosher shchita).

Crawling Axe said...

By the way, as I’d said, I am a pseudo-chossid. So, don’t think “the Rebbe said” argument will work every time. Only when I am arguing with snags…

Dovid said...

CA- In high school I would consider myself libertarian, however my perspectives changed gradually. Actually it was percisely to "go back to rachamim" like you say. Its too strict to say no government interference, survival of the fitest. If he's poor well heck that's because he didn't study in school, he's too lazy to get a job, he should have thought before he had those kids. Don't get me wrong, I'm not suddenly a liberal or anything, it's just that there's a middle way- I like food stamps, lots of Jewish people benefit from them. Welfare system is messed up, but lots of Jews benefit from that too.
You say private charities will handle it, I'm not so sure.

Dovid said...

I agree with you on education- government is really bad at raising kids. However I would like to see goverment pay for people to send their kids to any private school they want.

LE7 said...

How about instead of paying taxes for public schools, we just, uh, keep our money and use that to send kids to private schools.

Dovid said...

I didn't get your pseudo-chossid comment. If you are saying that since your just a pseudo-chossid you don't necessarily subscribe to the Rebbe's viewpoint, then that may be why we have different outlooks.

Dovid said...

LE7- thats fine as well, but I'd like to see poor Jews also be able to send their kids to Jewish school. My two siblings and I went through Jewish school and my family is not by any means poor, however it was still difficult. Imagine a family that does not have the means.