Thursday, July 13, 2006

17 Tammuz

I hate to bury day-old blog pieces, but it's kinda not worth it to write about 17 Tammuz on, like, 23 Tammuz.

The more I hear about the situation in Israel, the more alarmed I become.

I started to think about the meaning in all this, and the message G-d could be sending us. My next thought was,"I gotta blog about this," but- Waaaaait a minute---does that not sound familiar? I could have sworn I wrote this before.

Sure enough, I did some research. Sure enough, I found a piece with this very name from July 2005. It was just about a year ago that the bombings in London occured, and again there was heightened security and all that.

This afternoon, while running some errands, I listened to talk radio. The host said that he felt like World War III is pending. He spoke about the other countries reacting terribly to Israel's self-defense. Russia, France, Iran (of course) and others.

Am I noticing a pattern, or am I overanalyzing the whole thing?

Have we people become so desensitized, so obsessed with our shallow everyday pursuits that G-d needs to send us these messages at this time to remind us of the sigificance of this fast day?

Fast days are so much more than just not eating or drinking. They're about thinking of the day's significance.

May Hashem bring us the Ge'ula B'Karov.

27 Comments:

At 7/13/2006 2:36 PM, Blogger Lost said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 7/13/2006 2:38 PM, Blogger Lost said...

Amen! Oh the happenings in Israel.. the murder of soldiers, the bombing of Lebanon - on a fast day ironically(or not), is hopefully all it takes to wake us up from our self-obsessed gluttonous reality.

Let's hope it works. For our sake.

Hope you're having an easy fast.
- me

 
At 7/13/2006 3:53 PM, Blogger Y.Y. said...

very troubled times

 
At 7/13/2006 3:58 PM, Blogger Orthoprax said...

Michelle,

"...that G-d needs to send us these messages at this time to remind us of the sigificance of this fast day?"

Do you not realize that stuff like this happens basically all year 'round? The world is an unstable place.

 
At 7/13/2006 10:54 PM, Blogger anonym00kie said...

g-d sends us these messages all year round.. and even on a fast day we barely hear them..
so sad :(

 
At 7/14/2006 8:16 AM, Anonymous e said...

I agree with orthoprax - when you think about it, there's always something going on.

To me, what's hit home more than the Israel issue is the sexual abuse/molestation issue. The fact that such horrible acts are being committed, and taking so long to even get addressed, is just very, very disturbing.

 
At 7/14/2006 9:15 AM, Blogger socialworker/frustrated mom said...

Yes I do need the message sent, I am decensitized:(. Thanks for the nice thoughts.

 
At 7/14/2006 3:23 PM, Blogger Lvnsm27 said...

I agree, we deffinatley need to wake up and think more deeply about this time and what we can do. Great message

 
At 7/16/2006 8:17 AM, Blogger Michelle said...

for those shooting me down: Whatever.

For those agreeing with me, and taking the message to heart, Thank you.

 
At 7/16/2006 11:29 AM, Blogger Michelle said...

I forgot to mention, about the whole "things like this happen everyday" --really? People are declaring this a full-on war. This happens everyday?

Hostages taken?

countless bombs between countries and people and everything?

If things like this happened everyday, it wouldn't make frontpage news. This is serious.

 
At 7/16/2006 7:09 PM, Blogger Orthoprax said...

Michelle,

"I forgot to mention, about the whole "things like this happen everyday" --really? People are declaring this a full-on war. This happens everyday?"

You had said that you made the same message based on the bombings in London last year. And you said that you noticed a "pattern" where stuff like "this" kept happening at this time of year.

Stuff like bombings happen all year around. Have you been paying attention to India? Stuff like hostages also are frequent occurrences. Have you been paying any attention to Iraq for the past few years? Rocket attacks on Israel have been going on for years on end.

It's true that we don't have wars every day, but you can't claim that there is a "pattern" focusing around this time of year. In fact, look at all of Israel's past major conflicts and you will _not_ see them all (if any) amazingly breaking out during this period of year.

You have a unique coincidence here and are using it to speak for God Himself. Is it so much for me to want you to back up your amazing insight with some evidence?

 
At 7/17/2006 9:07 AM, Blogger Michelle said...

Ever hear, "there's no such thing as coincidence"?

What if I want to believe? I want to believe that this Tisha B'Av will not be a morbid fast day. Maybe there is hope in the near future.

AY, you're gonna say that I should believe every day that Moshiach is coming that day or next, but you can't seem to believe it at all.

 
At 7/17/2006 3:41 PM, Blogger Orthoprax said...

Michelle,

"Ever hear, "there's no such thing as coincidence"?"

I have, but I don't buy it. I further contend that it is extremely bad form to jump to the assumption of a pattern based on a record that doesn't suggest it.

"What if I want to believe? I want to believe that this Tisha B'Av will not be a morbid fast day. Maybe there is hope in the near future."

Ok, believe what you want to believe. You may believe it, but don't pretend that the facts support your belief.

 
At 7/18/2006 7:30 PM, Anonymous Allie said...

If you're really a believing Jew, you can't honestly think that there IS such a thing as coincidence. Everything that happens has a reason and is planned by God. Michelle is just speculating and perhaps she's mistaken on the exact "pattern" - but her point is clear - nothing happens by chance and obviously God is trying to send some sort of message. So whatever you come out with that affects your own personal life is ok, but please don't fool yourself into believe that it's just coincidence that it happened the same time last year.

 
At 7/18/2006 9:41 PM, Blogger Orthoprax said...

Allie,

"If you're really a believing Jew, you can't honestly think that there IS such a thing as coincidence."

Well, I don't believe that the spectrum of Jewish belief is so narrow that doubting a supposed doctrine of Judaism necessitates a change of title. Call me what you will.

"Everything that happens has a reason and is planned by God."

Oh? Remember the other day when your fingers slipped and you dropped your pen on the ground? (Happens to everyone.) What was the reason for that?

"Michelle is just speculating and perhaps she's mistaken on the exact "pattern" - but her point is clear - nothing happens by chance and obviously God is trying to send some sort of message."

Obviously, huh? Or maybe you are just reading more into events for which there was no deep meaning. Even if we discount the possibility of chance (which I object to even on Jewish grounds since there is a tradition that God generally allows the world to operate on its own natural way without interference) why must there be a divine message in the events? Is there any event for which there is no such message?

And even if there is such a message, who do you think you are that you can correctly perceive God's reasons? The term chutzpah comes to mind.

"but please don't fool yourself into believe that it's just coincidence that it happened the same time last year."

I have to fool myself of that? That's the basic default approach to the problem. Show me why I should suspect it to be anything more than coincidence.

I'm sorry, but I don't take casual improvisational musings on current events to be worth more than the electrical energy required for them to be seen on my screen. Speak for yourself and let God speak for Himself.

 
At 7/19/2006 5:56 AM, Blogger ADMITNOTHING said...

Check it out !

www.toughjews.blogspot.com

You'll be glad you did !

 
At 7/19/2006 9:45 AM, Blogger Michelle said...

allie-I agree with you. Thanks for coming to my defense.

 
At 7/19/2006 9:53 AM, Blogger Camila Almeida said...

allie-I agree with you. Thanks for coming to my defense.

 
At 7/19/2006 10:39 AM, Anonymous Chani said...

Orthoprax-I was just curious-do you believe that Mashiach is coming & can come today? Or do you need solid facts before you can believe that also?

 
At 7/19/2006 10:39 AM, Anonymous Chani said...

Orthoprax-I was just curious-do you believe that Mashiach is coming & can come today? Or do you need solid facts before you can believe that also?

 
At 7/19/2006 3:35 PM, Blogger Orthoprax said...

Chani,

"I was just curious-do you believe that Mashiach is coming & can come today? Or do you need solid facts before you can believe that also?"

I'm not trying to be difficult, but to clarify, these two types of beliefs have little in common. One is interpretational, that a certain event means something of divine significance. The other is an open-ended eschatological hope which is impossible to prove.

In science, we can look at data points, observe patterns and derive theories from our given information. It is extremely bad form and bad science to make your conclusions before you analyze your data. Sometimes false patterns can arise, that may appear significant in the short term, but over longer terms fall back into chaotic insignificance.

If you are making what is essentially a scientific argument, that the pattern of world events indicates a significant intent, then I'd like to see a demonstration of said pattern. If you don't have the goods then you're just making stuff up.

Basically, if one says that the facts back them up then I'd like to see those facts. But if one "just wants to believe" then the facts are irrelevant and the claimant should have never brought them up in the first place.


Now, onto Moshiach. I do believe in human progress and I do believe that humanity can one day reach a harmonious point where peace and prosperity reigns and needless suffering no longer exists. A veritable utopia as far as one can exist in this world. Do I believe that this will necessarily happen? No. But I sure hope it will.

I don't believe in a magical Moshiach world where all the Jews will literally fly on the wings of eagles to Israel and that the lions will no longer eat meat and other things of that nature. I do not believe in divine deliverance, but I do believe in human ingenuity and perseverance and the noble human spirit (all of which can be seen as God-given)which will hopefully bring us to that day.


Again, to ensure clarity. The first belief is actually a matter of fact and can be checked by looking at the facts. The second is a hope and as unverifiable as any future event can be.

 
At 7/19/2006 11:49 PM, Blogger Orthoprax said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 7/20/2006 1:06 PM, Blogger Orthoprax said...

Censorship. Interesting approach.

Care to share with the class what you found so offensive in my post?

Chani, I had a question for you, but it seems the 'blog administrator' doesn't want me asking it here. If you care to pursue it you can contact me privately via email.

 
At 7/23/2006 9:17 AM, Blogger Michelle said...

It was a duplicate. That's why i deleted it. Feel free to post it again. Either that, or someone signed on as me.

 
At 7/23/2006 4:52 PM, Blogger Orthoprax said...

Michelle,

"It was a duplicate. That's why i deleted it. Feel free to post it again. Either that, or someone signed on as me."

I did post twice but the second post was different from the first. I apologize for assuming it was an intentional malicious act on your part.

Anyway, I don't remember exactly how I worded it the first time, but the post went something like this:


Chani,

"Or do you need solid facts before you can believe that also?"

As a follow up, I have a question for you. Why is it ok to accept things that are not based on evidence or reason?

As a juror, would you come to your decision not based on the evidence presented to you in court? Would you prefer that your doctor not do the medical tests to determine what's wrong with you before prescribing medication?

You don't accept those things blindly, do you? One seeks out evidence every day to justify their actions. You don't act randomly. When you act, I’m sure you want to act with good reason behind it. If one uses evidence and reason as their standards for acting on everyday matters like business exploits, doesn't it make sense, kal v'chomer, to stand even more stringently to those standards when judging issues as important as God? It's as if religious beliefs get some sort of pass from reasoned judgements.

I find it very strange that "facts" are a dirty word when discussing the divine.

 
At 8/10/2006 9:42 AM, Anonymous Chani said...

Orthoprax-
Yes, normally I would want solid facts to support ideas before I can believe them. Except-if the source of these ideas was something that I absolutely trusted-like Hashem, the neviim, the tanaim & geonim, etc. When they say something, I'm willing to believe it because I trust them. It's a known thing that the 3 weeks & the 9 days specifically, are rough times for the Jews. Historically, "bad" things have a habit of happening at this time period throughout the ages-from chait Ha'meraglim, churban bayis rishon & sheini, churban baitar(I'm pretty sure about that one), the plowing of the ruins of the bais hamikdash, the Spanish expulsion, the beginning of WWI...to the disengagement of Gush Katif & the beginning of what is shaping up to be the next Israeli war.
If you still want to believe that this is all a coincidence, go ahead. No one can force belief. But if chazal say "mishenichnas av, miutim b'simcha"(or something like that) & that a person should try not to schedule a court case in Av, I'm willing to believe them.
Also, you objected to the idea of everything planned & coming from G-d. You asked if there was a reason for a person's pen falling on the floor. My answer-YES! Chazal say that a person doesn't even bump their finger without there being a reason & a plan for it in shamayim. We may not always know the reason, but that doesn't mean that there is none. One suggestion-the minimal amount of aggravation experienced when dropping & picking up the pen is kaparas avonos.

 
At 3/16/2007 5:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent, love it! »

 

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