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Alan Perlman's Blog (104)

Jewish Sabbath nuttiness hits a new high

I have often said that Judaism is a religion for the obsessive-compulsive, with rule after rule, hundreds of them, interpreted and extrapolated to the finest nuance by generations of rabbis.  It could easily keep you busy most or all of your waking hours.

Nowhere is Jewish OCD on more florid display than in the 24 hours called Shabbat, from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday. (NOTE: The following is about truly observant Jews; practitioners of Judaism Lite, like my family,…

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Added by Alan Perlman on April 22, 2015 at 3:55pm — 9 Comments

Readings from the Quran: infidels beware!

“The Bible.  That is what fools have written, what imbeciles command, what rogues teach, and young children are made to learn by heart.”

Voltaire

 

In my continuing efforts (I’ll be writing letters to the editor on this subject) to confront liberal Westerners, especially PC mealy-mouthed apologists like Obama, with the vile truth of what Muslims are required to believe, I provide a few quotes from Sam Harris’ The End of Faith.

I cringe when I…

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Added by Alan Perlman on March 12, 2015 at 7:30pm — 3 Comments

Suggested Obama speech draft: "The Real Enemy"

My fellow Americans,

Tonight I speak from the heart.  My words are not ghostwritten or focus group tested.  This is what I, as leader of the free world, truly believe.

Let me talk about the real nature of terrorism (the kind that most affects us, since many different terrorist groups wreak havoc around the world).  And let me call the enemy by its real name.

Violent Muslim attacks on Western countries -- and let's face it, they ARE Muslim, and I apologize for my verbal…

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Added by Alan Perlman on February 12, 2015 at 2:30pm — 9 Comments

The meaning of "Groundhog Day"

“Now that I’ve shed my skin completely,

One true reality alone exists.”

Zen saying

 

Amid the twin excitements of Super Bowl and blizzard, we vaguely recall that today is also Groundhog Day, which was nothing more than a rather witless locally-oriented celebration until Harold Ramis’ brilliant movie of the same name.  It was and is my all-time favorite message film.

Groundhog Day explores the everydayness of life with an ingenious premise…

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Added by Alan Perlman on February 2, 2015 at 11:59am — 6 Comments

More nuttiness from chabad.org: why Jews obey rules

I have often observed that Judaism is a high-input, low output religion.  There are countless commandments (over 600) and obeying them is a full-time job...yet there is no well-defined promise of punishments or rewards in the after life.

So why do it?  Why bother with dietary laws, 3x/day prayer, a zillion Sabbath regs, and much more?

Occasionally my wife or I will take a walk on the wild side and visit chabad.org,, a nexus for Modern Orthodox Jews and a platform on which they…

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Added by Alan Perlman on January 1, 2015 at 7:30pm — No Comments

Cheese Sandwich Jesus and Gift Wrap Swastika

Carlos Mencia complained that Mexicans were the only ethnicity that saw religious figures in its food.  He sang something to the effect of  (I'm paraphrasing) "Hindus don't look at their curry and see a swami...Jews don't see Moses in their salami." 

Well, Carlos, it seems that other ethnic groups -- I'm going to assume that the complainer was Jewish -- are prone to pattern-creation, driven by touchiness and political correctness, often around the Holocaust. The discipline of…

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Added by Alan Perlman on December 28, 2014 at 5:30pm — 2 Comments

Reply to Ian’s bar mitzva invitation (not sent)

I recently received an invitation to the bar mitzvah of the son of my first cousin; this ceremony is, as you may know, the induction of the youngster into Jewish adulthood.

Bar/bat mitzvah invitations have been getting cuter, trendier, and ever more adolescent in form and content, as if we needed to be reminded that it’s all in honor of a child whom we pretend has reached some sort of milestone.

I just got a chance to see my own invitation (1956), in a photo album I salvaged…

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Added by Alan Perlman on October 27, 2014 at 3:42pm — 15 Comments

Belle's funeral: epilogue

Thanks to all those who commented on my pre-funeral anxieties and other issues.  Things went quite smoothly in PA,  because the funeral was held in the social hall, where we also ate after the burial. So no religious problems.  I saw another funeral being held in the holy sanctuary but was told that they usually hold funerals in the social room, and the event in the sanctuary followed a sudden death.  So Belle is off to that Great Kosher(-Style) Deli in the sky, where every meal is brunch…

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Added by Alan Perlman on October 25, 2014 at 4:22pm — 5 Comments

Update on life, death, Mom, and the rabbi

Thanks to all who read my previous post.  I found out today that Mom is in hospice and sinking fast, so I launched the letter (previous blog entry) to the Rabbi, slightly edited.  Done and done, right?  Not so fast.  Here's the auto-reply:

Thank [sic] for your email.

I will not be reading my emails during the Jewish Holiday of Shemini Atzeret, Simchat Torah or the Sabbath following them.

I will look forward to reading and responding to my emails…

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Added by Alan Perlman on October 15, 2014 at 3:00pm — 15 Comments

Letter to Rabbi Rosin

FELLOW HERETICS: I AM ACTUALLY GOING TO SEND THIS LETTER (OR SOME VARIATION OF IT) TO THE RABBI IN MY MOTHER’S (AND MY FORMER) HOME TOWN. COMMENTS WELCOME.

Oct. 5, 2014

Dear Rabbi Rosin,

Thanks so much for visiting my Mother today. I know you’re really busy with the High Holidays. As in my youth, it’s still the only time everybody shows up, as if God doesn’t notice their non-observance the rest of the year, so you have to make the most of it. I do appreciate the time you…

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Added by Alan Perlman on October 5, 2014 at 8:30pm — 17 Comments

Can we please call the enemy by its real name?

We now face a new menace in the Mideast: a body of fanatics (armed with weapons we left) who will kill anybody who gets in the way of their turning the clock back to 1500.  They're openly threatening the US.

Once again politicians dance around the real problem.  It's not terrorism.  It's not even Dubya's "evildoers."  

No public figure has the guts to call the enemy by its real name: RELIGION.  A vicious, ineradicable set of shared beliefs that is responsible for 90% of the…

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Added by Alan Perlman on August 28, 2014 at 2:30pm — 36 Comments

The Battle for Zachary's Brain, IX; "Can I show that to Daddy?"

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

Followers of the riveting “Zachary’s Brain” series of posts will know that the narrative is not a Gothic horror tale…but something that is just as disturbing: resisting the religious programming of a child.

His step-mother,…

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Added by Alan Perlman on May 16, 2014 at 1:00pm — 2 Comments

Jesus will never disappoint you” – Church sign boldly states religion’s Big Lie

“All religions are the same.  Religion is basically guilt, with different holidays.”

Cathy Ladman

"Praying is like a rocking chair.  It’ll give you something to do, but it won’t get you anywhere.”

Gypsy Rose Lee

 

Church signs are a never-ending source of wonder and speculation for us humanists: assuming that there is nowadays an endless source of them (the Internet assures an endless supply of…

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Added by Alan Perlman on May 9, 2014 at 8:43pm — 13 Comments

Oy, vey! GM shoots itself in the other foot

“The more you want people to have creative ideas and solve problems, the less you can afford to manage them with terror.”

 

Daniel Greenberg

Chairman, Electro Rent Corp.

Newsweek, 4/25/88

 

“American management, in the two decades after world War II, was universally admired for its strikingly effective performance.  But times change.  An approach shaped and refined during stable decades may be ill suited…

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Added by Alan Perlman on April 29, 2014 at 4:16pm — No Comments

Happy 4/20!

Thousands of years ago — in times we are fond of calling ‘primitive’ (since this renders us ‘modern’ without having to exert ourselves further to earn this qualification) — religion and medicine were united in an undifferentiated enterprise; and both were closely allied with government and politics — all being concerned with maintaining the integrity of the community and of the individuals who were its members. How did ancient societies and their priest-physicians protect people from…

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Added by Alan Perlman on April 20, 2014 at 3:30pm — 1 Comment

Happy Easter, Bloody Easter

“In your Easter bonnet, with all the frills upon it,

You’ll be the grandest lady in the Easter Parade…

On the Avenue, Fifth Avenue, photographers will snap us

And you’ll find that you’re in the rotogravure…”

Irving Berlin

“They tried to nail him down, but he got away.”

Marquee outside church in Massachusetts

Well, it’s that day again, and our Greek Orthodox friends, as well as our Roman…

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Added by Alan Perlman on April 19, 2014 at 7:00pm — 8 Comments

Another Passover, another celebration of non-deliverance; on not being a jerk

Imagine the religious principles which have, in fact, prevailed in the world. You will scarcely be persuaded that they are anything but sick men’s dreams.”



David Hume

Psrt I: The Non-Event

Another Passover is upon us. I’ve said just about all I can say about this holiday when Jews celebrate their founding myth, the…

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Added by Alan Perlman on April 18, 2014 at 7:30pm — 3 Comments

The Battle for Zachary's Brain, VII: Counter-Church/The Absurdity of Jonah

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

Followers of the riveting “Zachary’s Brain” series of posts will know that the narrative is not a Gothic horror tale…but something that is just as disturbing: resisting the religious programming of a child.

His…

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Added by Alan Perlman on April 14, 2014 at 3:00pm — 5 Comments

Say NO to "Noah"

Back in the day, a trip to my grandparents' row home in South Philly, for Passover or the Jewish New Year, was preceded by a family movie in Center City.  The theaters were huge and ornate -- not at all like your bare-bones cineplex; the movies were usually Biblical and always accompanied by chocolate covered cherries.

Of course, we saw Charlton Heston as Moses.  I think Ben-Hur got sneaked in there, as well as Israeli-themed movies like the heart-rending Exodus,…

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Added by Alan Perlman on March 22, 2014 at 2:23pm — 19 Comments

Happy Hanukkah -- sort of

"If we believe absurdities, we shall commit atrocities."

 

Voltaire

“Hanukkah celebrates the triumph of tribal Jewish backwardness.”

Christopher Hitchens

“Hanukkah is…the Feast of Lights. Instead of one day, we got eight CRAZY…

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Added by Alan Perlman on December 1, 2013 at 7:30pm — 5 Comments

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