Monday, December 6, 2010

Not funny

Which of the following two videos is a bigger Chilul Hashem?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Blame Canada

In today's Chumash the verse (42:28) speaks of the tribe's misfortunes, and they say, "What is this that G-d has done to us?" As far as I can tell, this is the first time in the Torah that people actively invoke Hashgocha Pratis in a negative manner. Before this, who ever blamed G-d when something went wrong? In fact, how many narratives went wrong in the first place? Sure, there are stories of G-d punishing people, but does anyone in those stories actively say, "Hey, this is G-d's fault, why is he doing this to me?" If I'm wrong, tell me.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


One of the issues attendant with non-attendance at your average university level philosophy course is the inability to articulate the buzzwords necessary to appear as if you know what you're talking about. For example, today I had a long conversation with a customer about the Cowon J3. Frankly, I don't know much about it (and I can't see why anyone would want to know much about it), but the thing was that I knew slightly more about it than he did. More importantly, I know all the buzzwords of mp3ology, and thus I was able to appear much more knowledgeable than I really am, and I was able to give learned opinions regarding his future purchasing habits. After all, my goal is to help people self-actualize, if not hyphenate themselves.

My point in the above lengthy example is that I really don't know how to express myself well when it comes to the comment which I want to make on today's Parsha. Basically, Rashi asks a simple question, "Why is Yaakov so worried about Binyamin going on a journey?" I mean, I get that he'd be worried about his youngest son (who by the by already had ten of his own children, but that's neither here nor there) going off to Egyptland, but why did he specifically mention the journey? You think that by staying at home you'll escape disaster? Rashi answers that we see from here that the accuser prosecutes at a time of peril. So yeah, logically there's no difference, but when it's more dangerous, it's more dangerous.

The philosophical point that I think is important here is that life just is. There's no way to know what's going on, what's going to happen, or whatever. I'm sure there's some fancy philosophical term for all this, but it seems to be very fatalist. Like, whatever is going to happen is going to happen, and there's nothing you or your redundancies can do about it. And just as you're about to go eat that cheeseburger and jump off the Empire State Building and dedicate your next six lives to reading Bill Bryson, something happens. And that something is G-d. In this case, he's making sure that climbing the Empire State Building is more dangerous than you might think at first blush, but be that as it may, there's shtuff happening that you can change. Sort of like "Don't go into the desert and you won't get thirsty," but not so cause and effective. Or maybe it is.