All Blog Posts Tagged 'Judaism' (35)

Happy New Year!

[Note: The following was written when I was an adherent of Humanistic Judaism.  I have since left the movement and revised the post, but the basic ideas still apply.]

 

“Soon silence will have passed into legend.  Man has turned his back on silence.  Day after day he invents machines and devices that increased noise and distract humanity from the essence of life, contemplation, meditation.  Tooting, howling, screeching, booming, crashing, whistling, grinding, and…

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Added by Alan Perlman on September 19, 2012 at 10:37pm — No Comments

When Should Atheists Keep Their Mouths Shut? (And When Not?)

“God is the immemorial refuge of the incompetent, the helpless, the miserable.  They find not only sanctuary in His arms, but also a kind of superiority, soothing to their macerated egos: He will set them above their betters.”

H.L. Mencken

 

“I find it necessary to wash my hands after I have come   into contact with religious people.”

Friedrich Nietzsche

 

Recent A/N threads have generated much thoughtful…

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Added by Alan Perlman on August 25, 2012 at 5:02pm — 10 Comments

"An Atheist Reads the Torah" -- Why I Wrote It and Why You Might Want to Read It

(Several years ago, I undertook to read the Torah.  For specific reasons, see below.  But basically I wanted to find out, to my own satisfaction, just what it said, to the extent possible, given that it's such an ancient text that's been repeatedly copied and edited. 

To rabbis, thus to most Jews, it is a repository of priceless wisdom.   I set out to find it. 

What I found was both enlightening and disappointing. …

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Added by Alan Perlman on July 30, 2012 at 3:30pm — 11 Comments

Tisha B'Av and the Jewish History of Tragedy

“CLERGYMAN.,  n. A man who undertakes the management of our spiritual affairs  as a method of bettering his temporal ones.”

Ambrose Bierce



We're just on the verge of a little known but very sad Jewish holiday, Tisha B'Av [the ninth day of the month of Av; July 27-8 this year], which commemorates the many tragedies that have befallen the Jewish people, including, but not limited to, the destruction of the First and Second…

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Added by Alan Perlman on July 25, 2012 at 1:00pm — No Comments

Desperately Seeking Approval: Overt and Covert Reasons for the Adult Bar Mitzvah

"As a beautiful flower that is full of hue but lacks fragrance, even so fruitless is the well-spoken word of one who does not practice it."

The Dhammapada

 

Informed of a former colleague’s decision to have a bar mitzvah in middle age, I can’t help but look for reasons, since the ceremony is completely optional at this point in life.

For a complex variety of reasons, many of them personal, some Jewish adults genuinely want to reconnect with their…

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Added by Alan Perlman on July 18, 2012 at 10:00am — 2 Comments

Religious Conversion: Who Goes Where? And Why?

Infidel, n. In New York, one who does not believe in the Christian religion; in Constantinople, one who does.”

Ambrose Bierce

It would be great to have reliable numbers on religious migration: how many people change religions each year, how many become new adherents, how many drift away, never to return?

Increasing the ranks

Different religions have different ways of increasing their ranks: birth rate (e.g., all…

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Added by Alan Perlman on July 5, 2012 at 7:00pm — 6 Comments

RSVP to Carly's Bat Mitzvah Invitation (Not Sent)

The mailed invitation to the presumed induction of the daughter of my first cousin to Jewish adulthood read “We cordially invite you to celebrate with us on the occasion of the bat mitzvah of our daughter Carly Sarah on Saturday morning, the Twelfth of November, Two Thousand and Eleven at Nine Thirty in the morning. Congregation Adath Jeshrun…Elkins Park, Pennsylvania.” 

Apparently it’s more dignified to use no numbers and capitalize everything, as if it were 18th…

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Added by Alan Perlman on June 21, 2012 at 12:02pm — 4 Comments

On Jewish bigotry

“Society attacks early, when the child is defenseless.”

B.F. Skinner

“Civilization will not attain to its perfection, until the last stone from the lst church falls on the last priest!”

Emile Zola

“…Jews are taught that the belief in one’s own religion or way of life does not in any way require the corollary that others are wrong. . . We do not seek to convince, convert, or oppress others,…

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Added by Alan Perlman on June 11, 2012 at 1:00pm — 7 Comments

The Ignorance of Religion

"Mystery [the divinity of Jesus Christ] is made a convenient Cover for absurdity."

John Adams

 

"Every other sect suppos[es] itself in possession of all truth, and that those who differ are so far in the wrong: like a man traveling in foggy weather, those at some distance before him he sees wrapped up in the fog, as well as those behind him, and also the people in the fields on each side, but near him all appears clear, tho' in…

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Added by Alan Perlman on June 10, 2012 at 11:30am — 5 Comments

Jewish Atheist takes on sacred cow -- forgiveness

The latest eruption of forgiveness worship almost made my breakfast erupt from my stomach.  Dear Abby (Keene NH Sentinel, 3/7/12) printed DECIDE TO FORGIVE in its entirety, and to give the enemy his due, I will do the same:

Decide to forgive, for resentment is negative. Resentment diminishes and devours the self. Be the first to forgive, to smile, and take the first step And you will see the happiness bloom on the face of your human brother or sister. Be always the…

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Added by Alan Perlman on June 8, 2012 at 2:11pm — No Comments

Bible's undeserved respect goes on and on

“Imagine the Creator as a low comedian, and at once the world becomes explicable.”

H.L. Mencken

Infidel, n.  In New York, one who does not believe in the Christian religion; in Constantinople, one who does.”

Ambrose Bierce

“Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived.’

Isaac Asimov

“Our Bible reveals to us the character of our God with minute and remorseless…

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Added by Alan Perlman on June 7, 2012 at 8:29pm — 7 Comments

On Death and Christopher Hitchens

“If religious instruction were not allowed until the child had attained the age of reason, we would be living in a quite different world.”

Christopher Hitchens, God Is Not Great

“There is nothing that is too obvious of an absurdity to be firmly planted in the human head as long as you begin to instill before the age of five by constantly repeating it with an air of great seriousness.”

Arthur Schopenhauer

“Hardest of deaths…

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Added by Alan Perlman on June 7, 2012 at 10:40am — 6 Comments

The God(s) of Abraham?

So, who is the god of Abraham? Is it Yahweh, God, or Allah? Or, are they all simply one in the same?



It depends on how you define things. The Christian god is supposed to be the same god as Allah, but obviously you can’t actively believe they are all one in the same. Why? Because of the differences of laws, beliefs, and the judgments those gods are involved in. A Christian is not going to look at the things attributed to Allah, such as the prophet Muhammad and the insistence that… Continue

Added by Saint on September 8, 2009 at 10:02pm — 1 Comment

Hard-line Israelis have secularism under siege

Another example of why atheists should care so much about the religious. It is because they have a tendency to do things like this:



An ultra-Orthodox Jew burns garbage in Jerusalem's Mea Shearim neighbourhood on July 16, during a protest against the arrest of an Orthodox woman on suspicion of starving her three-year-old child. Patrick Martin examines how the growth of ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities has led to violent clashes and the encroachment of religion on…
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Added by Rooker on July 22, 2009 at 5:45am — No Comments

Pagan's Retake Parthenon-Briefly



When I was a young student in school studying ancient mythology, I always loved the fanciful tales and colorful characters, but couldn’t help but wonder why we call ancient Roman and Greek religious practices mythology and ancient Christian practices religion. If Christianity had not had such a powerful or successful PR machine behind it, we might all still be praying to Athena and worshiping Zeus, and the world’s few remaining pagans might not… Continue

Added by Terry Osburn-Sharff on September 12, 2008 at 6:36pm — No Comments

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