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Changing the Immutable – A Review

Orthodox Judaism’s Tortured Relationship with Facts

Orthodox Judaism's mesorah

Orthodox Judaism

Look, we’re not children anymore, let’s not pretend that Orthodoxy’s mesorah which goes back to Moshe Rabbainu is any less crooked than the Tail of the Dragon and let’s not pretend it doesn’t have a proportionately equal number of annual casualties. Those casualties usually come, like those at the Tail, from those who love it most, who take it seriously and who therefore throw their lives into it.

One needn’t go further back in history than the past fifteen years when The Making of a Godol was banned because it told stories about the previous generation of gedolim that were true but which would have either unmade their godol status or it would have shown sincere young bochurim that they can read Anna Karenina during their lunch break between first and second seder and then grow up to be like R’ Yaakov Kamenetzky. Likewise Natan Slifkin’s books were banned, not because anyone could dispute what he wrote but precisely because they couldn’t dispute him, which should be obvious; obviously you don’t need to ban a book you can dismiss.

So the Orthodox Created the Past in Their Image

But what about books we can’t dismiss or ban? What’s to be done about those? [click to continue…]


Matisyahu Salomon Desslers Himself

Matisyahu SalomonRabbonim and askonim need to create fights in divorces, in fact I’d argue that they need to create divorces.

A top rov in a small community once told me that the $300 fee he collects from gittin helps augment his shul salary. Now that should come as no surprise, of course, $300 never hurt, but he didn’t merely say that it helps, he said he relies on it and then complained that “there aren’t always gittin”.

But finances aren’t the only motivation, not by a long shot. Askonim need something to askan about, otherwise they’re not askanim. So they create problems were there are none and then step in to rescue the victims they created. It’s a classic example of the drama triangle (look it up, they don’t teach you this stuff in yeshiva). [click to continue…]


In Other News…

shanedawson2…Shane Dawson, popular youtube star, came out today as bisexual. In his video he said, “I can’t sit here and say I’m gay, I also can’t sit here and say I’m straight. I also can’t sit here and not ride this wave because I’m really getting too old for my 14 year old audience to have any interest in me anymore, even though I have long bangs and shave like a baby every single day. So expect many more non-bombshells in the future. I don’t want to give too much away, but judging from trending stats, get ready to learn I’ve been depressed in my life and was made fun of sometimes in middle school.”

…Also, literally a random lady posted a selfie today in Old Navy and got everybody to like and report it because she’s fat. [click to continue…]


All Zwiebel Wants is to Discriminate

This week’s Mishpacha Magazine prominently featured the new toy’ayvah laws. There was the usual hand wringing, which is to be expected, but then there was a two page feature of an interview with David Zwiebel, president of Agudath Israel, whose main complaint was that LGBT folks might want to rent his upstairs apartment or send their kids to frum schools and he wants to discriminate against them without being sued. Boohoo, poor Zwiebel.

He also laments the fact that “conversion” “therapy” is now illegal (although its delegitimation had nothing to do with the Supreme Court ruling so…whatever) because how are yeshivas going to torture gay bochurim now?

His other big concern is that frum institutions, now that they don’t have the legal backing for their immoral religious stance, will become pariahs, and after years of making others into pariahs he knows all too well the financial consequences of being a social outcast. Boohoo, poor Zwiebel.Zwiebel on gay marriage
Zwiebel on pariah
I suspect he read our post on the consequences of gay marriage and understood that our predictions are likely to come true


Only Simchas is Back!

Only SimchasBack in 2005 a friend of mine called me and told me the good news, he was engaged! “OMG!” I screamed, “I can’t fxxxing believe it! You’re fxxxing kidding me!”

But he wasn’t kidding; he really was engaged and had been so for a few days already. He told me to head over to Only Simchas to see the pictures. I did so and saw that the fools that managed Only Simchas allowed comments, so I promptly left one equally obscene, expressing my excitement. Engagements are exciting, (almost as much as divorces, but as a young bochur eager to get married I didn’t know that yet.)

My friend called me within hours in a panic, he was afraid his new father-in-law would see my mazel tov message and ask him who wrote it, he’d have to admit that I was a friend and the engagement would be over…it hadn’t occurred to me that adults might check this site too! I took my comment down.

I was chastised, but older and wiser. From then on instead of wishing obscene mazel tovs to friends, I became a stalker. I finally had a place to ogle happy-looking kallahs smiling unreservedly, sticking their tongues out at the camera, looking at their suited chossons with deep longing, dreaming of the wedding night…well, at least that’s what I imagined they were longing for, in reality most of them were probably simply dying to get out of their parents’ house where they had to babysit their 10 younger siblings and get into their own apartments where they could clean the dish and fork from breakfast three times, cook for 12 people and complain happily that they don’t know how to cook for two and then take a nap out of blissful exhaustion. [click to continue…]


We are in a different country than we were in a week ago. Obamacare is now Scotuscare, North Carolina doesn’t fly the Confederate flag on their state house anymore and Walmart and Amazon aren’t selling anything bearing that flag anymore and gay marriage is now legal in all states. In other words the whole country is now on the same level as California.

The danger to yidden from such developments is obvious; schvartzes are historic enemies of ours and they are now emboldened by the lifting of their oppression. Yidden who sold Confederate paraphernalia made in China to Walmart and on Amazon are losing lots of business and now that gay marriage is legal, what’s to stop bochurim cooped up in dorms from experimenting? And what’s going to stop Hashem from bringing another mabul? We’re in a terrible position now, we should all move back to Poland and Ukraine, back to the shtetl where gay people didn’t exist.

The other danger to frum yidden from this gay law is that now it’ll become legal for Jews to marry non-Jews and how can our yunchy seminary girls, who are already suffering from a crushing shidduch crisis going to compete with hot shiksas?

On the positive side though, maybe seminary girls will simply start marrying each other and the crisis will abate. The thing is, I think part of the reason frum girls haven’t been marrying each other until now is because of the housing and school discrimination that exists against gay people in communities like Lakewood and Brooklyn. A gay couple couldn’t live on Forest Ave in Lakewood or send their kids to Lakewood Cheder. Until now they’d have to live on Chestnut and send their kids to Yeshiva K’tana, and who wants to do that? Well they won’t have to suffer such indignities any more.

I think we’re on track to eliminating the shidduch crisis. Boruch Hashem.


Bernie SandersSo I’m seeing all these posts on Facebook from my OTD/Liberal friends saying they took this new Buzzfeed-style tests and they seemed to be very proud of their scores and the trophy they won.

The whole thing is very odd – none of them scored higher than 93% and one even got as low as 78% and they seemed to be inordinately proud of their success! Also, they all won the same old kocker, the guy who looks like he never wore a tie, I suspect he went to school with my grandfather in Brownsville before WW2, and he looks like the guy who takes all the schnapps for himself at the kiddush club.

So I went to the test site to see if I could get a better result. My goal was to get the highest score I could and to win the most goyishe goy on the list of trophies. I thought to myself, “what does a nice white goy, a real American with nice hair, a real goy smile, one whose mother never said “sha!” to him and whose rebbi never potched him believe in?” And with that guiding principle I chose my answers. [click to continue…]