Quoting Walt Whitman is against the Torah

Having so many “friends” on facebook can always make status updates and wall postings interesting. I’m friends with loads of lefties, righties, anarchists, atheists, talmudists, feminists, communists, frummies, baal teshuvas, off the derech peeps and everything in between. Jews are a bickering nation in general, but when you have a Facebook wall like mine it can sometimes get downright violent. Below are some amazing threats of violence based on a simple flirtatious wall post by someone wanting to throw some Whitman at me after having found out I was a big Emerson fan. Someone said it was against the Torah and violent threats ensued. 

“This is what you shall do; Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body.”
? Walt Whitman

  • Chaya Miriam BasAvraham Yes, I’m going to keep posting random literary quotes on your wall.

    Wednesday at 11:38pm ·
  • Heshy Fried maybe you can post literary quotes from me on other people’s walls – I’d love to be like a Thoreau or something like that

    Wednesday at 11:49pm ·
  • Chaya Miriam BasAvraham I’m going to share your thoughts on Chabad women on everybody’s walls. The girls will really love you then.

    Wednesday at 11:54pm ·
  • Batsheva BeSeven This sounds like flirting to me.

    Thursday at 3:26am ·
  • Heshy Fried most definitely is – I’m used to all these fans trying to throw subtle hints at me on my wall – everyone knows that Whitman was all about the sex

    Thursday at 9:56pm · · 1
  • Batsheva BeSeven Nu? When are you going to take some up on it? Never mind. I take that back. I’m sure you have.

    Thursday at 9:59pm ·
  • Irwin Graulich Chaya-Almost everything Walt Whitman said here is against the Torah and Judaism. Pick your quotes more carefully.

    Thursday at 10:01pm ·
  • Kay Pea ????? he is not being literal when he says your flesh shall be a poem. it’s figurative. you can google that if you don’t know what it means.

    Thursday at 10:08pm ·
  • ???? ???? Irwin, I second KP’s “say what?!” Whitman’s quotation is pretty much pure Torah and it would behoove Jews to take heed. Let’s examine:

    1. Love the earth and sun and the animals – Respect what HaShem has created. Not only are we commanded not to harm animals unnecessarily, but you know the stories of Rabbis upbraiding their sons for pulling leaves off of trees, etc. Torah values absolutely demand that we love and respect the natural world.
    2. Despise riches, give alms to every one that asks – Tzedakah, baby. “Your” riches are not your own. They are HaShem’s. Think of it that way and tzedakah becomes a joy as well as a mitzvah.
    3. Stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others – Love Klal Yisroel. Every one of the “four species” of Yidden is important.
    4. Hate tyrants – Be a badass. Don’t let anyone oppress you or your fellow Jews. HaShem is your only ruler . . . at least until that time that the line of David is restored, may it happen speedily in our days.
    5. Argue not concerning God – Of course we will differ in our interpretations (70 faces of Torah and all that), but do so in a respectful way.
    6, Have patience and indulgence toward the people – That which is hateful to you, don’t fucking do it to anyone else, punk. Duh.
    7. Take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men – Do not bow down to any earthly king/ruler. Oh, and keep your freakin’ kippah on, dude.
    8. Go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families – Again, love Klal Yisroel. Everyone is created by and reflects HaShem, so do not favor one person over another (as people, in legal proceedings, etc.).
    9. Read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life – Keep the seasonal holidays which tie us to the earth, HaShem’s creation.
    10 Re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book – Learn, learn, learn. Take it all in. Our tradition is rich and diverse, so find YOUR way within it, which will necessarily differ somewhat from everyone else’s.
    11. Dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body – Pure Shemoneh Esrei.

    Yesterday at 5:16am · · 2
  • ???? ???? As to Heshy’s comment . . . yes, Whitman was all about sex, gay sex. So if this is flirting, it’s VERY interesting post-modern sexually flirting.

    Yesterday at 5:18am · · 1
  • Chaya Miriam BasAvraham Irwin, I’m surprised you didn’t pick up on any of what Mr. Vicious just pointed out, all of which is exceptionally obviously for a Torah scholar such as yourself. Not to mention this post came after a long conversation between Mr. Fried and myself regarding favorite authors and how their messages resonate in their beauty during those “B”H moments” one experiences that often occur in our lives.

    And everyone else, this was not intended to be a flirt. Heshy, tell ’em I don’t flirt with you, you ape.

    Yesterday at 7:10am ·
  • Batsheva BeSeven Yeah, right. That’s what all the flirts say.

    Yesterday at 7:17am · · 1
  • Chaya Miriam BasAvraham Batsheva, I don’t bother flirting, ’cause when it’s on, it’s on.

    Yesterday at 7:20am · · 2
  • Chaya Miriam BasAvraham I think I have to friend Batsheva so she’ll stop beating up on me. Maybe. 😉

    Yesterday at 7:30am · · 1
  • Batsheva BeSeven I’d accept. As long as you don’t start flirting with me. 😉

    Yesterday at 7:34am ·
  • Chaya Miriam BasAvraham Well, I DO like Whitman, so I can’t promise anything…

    Yesterday at 7:39am · · 2
  • Irwin Graulich Oy vay Chayala, Yid Vicious (a rather disgusting name), and some of you other so called Torah scholars–I suggest you go back to yeshiva and study the Torah because much of what you wrote, especially about Whitman, is ignorant. That is because most Boro Park and Flatbush yiddim are Jews by rote, and rarely question anything. How sad.

    I don’t have the time or koach to show you all the places where you are wrong with such narishkeit, but I will name a few:

    1) First of all your wrote that the Torah says to “love” the earth, sun and the animals. Nothing could be further from the truth. Do you know what happens when you LOVE the sun and moon? They become false gods like in ancient times where people worshipped the sun and moon. When Hashem created the sun and moon, He did not even name them. All Hashem did was call them “lights,” which is a putdown on them. They are only lights and they are not to be loved and worshipped like they were in ancient times. They are to be used by us for various purposes–but not to love.

    Same with animals. We are supposed to love our neighbor, but not animals. We should be compassionate to animals, but love is reserved for humans. We humans are created in God’s image, not your dog Fido!!! I cannot believe I have to teach you that important idea.

    2) Of course we are supposed to give tzdakah–the Torah teaches us the concept of tithing. That is one tenth. If we want to give more, that is up to us. Hashem wants us to use our wealth to also enjoy ourselves on His earth. Of course–maya achuz. One of the questions that the Talmud teaches us that Hashem will ask each of us after we die is, “What are the permitted pleasures that you did not partake in?” God will say, “I gave you cruise ships, did you go on a cruise? I gave you Bloomingdale’s, did you buy nice things for your wife and children?” etc. etc.

    3) “Stand up for the stupid and crazy?” I guess YOU think that we Jews should stand up for the crazy Charles Manson and Adolf Hitler. Where is that written?

    4) “Argue not concerning God.” The name of the Jewish people is Yisrael, from when Yaakov fought with the angel and his name was changed. Do you know what Yisrael means? It means “to fight with God.” The name of the Jewish people is “to fight with God” you shlemazel!!!

    5) “That which is hateful to you, do not do to ANYONE else. ANYONE including Adolf Eichmann and the Nazis? This, Yid Vicious, shows that you are a total ignoramus and using the F word–boy, what kind of mother raised you? If you are such a tough guy, why don’t you come to my office and use that language to my face. Bloch Graulich Whelan Inc, 333 Park Avenue South, NY, 212 473-7033–third floor. Before you come, make sure to schedule an appointment with your dentist and a good plastic surgeon afterward.

    Gotta go now.

    Have a Gutten Shabbos!!!

    23 hours ago ·
  • Chaya Miriam BasAvraham I’d like to point out to everyone that this last comment was made DURING shabbos. I’d LIKE TO point that out, but I actually believe in ahavas yisroel, so I’ll hold back.

    7 hours ago · · 1
  • Irwin Graulich Chaya–that comment shows that you are a chaya!!! I think you are going to have a problem getting married.

    5 hours ago ·
  • Chaya Miriam BasAvraham Yay! If that keeps me from marrying little douchebags that make threats of violence to unknown people from the privacy of their offices, then HUZZAH!

    5 hours ago · · 1
  • Batsheva BeSeven Oh, Chaya, if I weren’t already married, I’d marry you in a heartbeat!

    4 hours ago · · 1
  • Batsheva BeSeven It’s legal in NY now, you know.

    3 hours ago ·
  • Chaya Miriam BasAvraham That’s why I moved here, to share our love.

    3 hours ago · · 1
  • ???? ???? Irwin, you are hypocritical and charmingly free of logic and mental acuity, but because I, in the words of Walt Whitman, “have patience and indulgence toward the people” and “stand up for the stupid and crazy,” I don’t really have a problem with that as long as you stop insulting people. I don’t think it seemly to hit women, children, or old men (you must be close to retirement age, no?), so I’m going to respectfully decline your invitation to throw down. Of course, if you keep up the vitriol, I am open to making an exception in your case.

    about an hour ago · · 2

9 comments for “Quoting Walt Whitman is against the Torah

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