January 22, 2006

A New Yorker Cartoon We Would Like To See

Roz_chast_2

More here.

January 01, 2006

Chabad's 13 Principles Of Faith

CHABAD'S THIRTEEN PRINCIPLES OF FAITH:

1. I believe with perfect faith that G-d is the Creator and the Rebbe, shlit'a the Ruler of all things. Together as One, in Unity, they alone have made, do make, and will make all things. Yechi Adonaynu Moraynu v'Rabaynu Melech HaMoshiach L'Olam Vo'ed!

2. I believe with perfect faith that the Rebbe, shlit"a and G-d are One. There is no unity that is in any way like this. They alone are our G-d.  He was, He is, and He will be. Yechi Adonaynu Moraynu v'Rabaynu Melech HaMoshiach L'Olam Vo'ed!

3. I believe with perfect faith that G-d does not have a body except for the Rebbe, Shlit"a. Physical concepts do not apply to Him. There is nothing whatsoever that resembles Him at all, except the Rebbe, shlit"a (and maybe the previous Rebbe). Yechi Adonaynu Moraynu v'Rabaynu Melech HaMoshiach L'Olam Vo'ed!

4. I believe with perfect faith that the Rebbe is the seventh and last. Yechi Adonaynu Moraynu v'Rabaynu Melech HaMoshiach L'Olam Vo'ed!

5. I believe with perfect faith that it is only proper to pray to G-d. One may not pray to anyone or anything else (except the Rebbe, shlit'a). Yechi Adonaynu Moraynu v'Rabaynu Melech HaMoshiach L'Olam Vo'ed!

6. I believe with prefect faith that all the words of the Rebbes and prophets are true. Yechi Adonaynu Moraynu v'Rabaynu Melech HaMoshiach L'Olam Vo'ed!

7. I believe with perfect faith that the prophecy of Moses is absolutely true. He was the chief of all prophets, both before and after him, except for the Rebbe, shlit"a, whose prophecy is higher and who is, Himself, higher than Moses. Yechi Adonaynu Moraynu v'Rabaynu Melech HaMoshiach L'Olam Vo'ed!

8. I believe with perfect faith that the entire Torah that we now have is that which was given to Moses. This includes the Tanya and other works of Chabad chassidus, which were given to Moses but kept hidden because of our sins until our Rebbes revealed them. Yechi Adonaynu Moraynu v'Rabaynu Melech HaMoshiach L'Olam Vo'ed!

9. I believe with perfect faith that this Torah will not be changed, and that there will never be another given by G-d, until the Messianic Era, where G-d and the Rebbe, shlit"a will reveal a new Torah to us. Yechi Adonaynu Moraynu v'Rabaynu Melech HaMoshiach L'Olam Vo'ed!

10. I believe with perfect faith that the Rebbe, shlit"a knows all of man's deeds and thoughts. It is thus written (Psalm 33:15), "He has molded every heart together, He understands what each one does." Yechi Adonaynu Moraynu v'Rabaynu Melech HaMoshiach L'Olam Vo'ed!

11. I believe with perfect faith that the Rebbe, shlit"a rewards those who do His mivtzoyim, and punishes those who do not. Yechi Adonaynu Moraynu v'Rabaynu Melech HaMoshiach L'Olam Vo'ed!

12. I believe with perfect faith in the revelation of the Rebbe, shlit"a, King Messiah. How ever long this takes, I will publicize His coming every day with large signs, billboards and flags. Yechi Adonaynu Moraynu v'Rabaynu Melech HaMoshiach L'Olam Vo'ed!

13. I believe with perfect faith that the dead will be brought back to life when the Rebbe, shlit"a (who is still Himself alive although we do not see Him because of our sins) wills it to happen. Yechi Adonaynu Moraynu v'Rabaynu Melech HaMoshiach L'Olam Vo'ed!

December 29, 2005

Rabbis Dance To Nirvana

Rabbis dance to Nirvana. Is that Rav Shteinman in the front row? Pretty hip for a guy who didn't know how a credit card works.

December 11, 2005

Berel Lazar In His Youth

Lazar_putin_stalin_spoof

[How Chabad sold out democracy to win control of Russia.]

December 04, 2005

Gedolim Color War, The Threequel – Barney Must Die!

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New Lakewood Rap

Rap For Gil Student
(Heard just this week around Lakewood and Boro Park.)

What you gonna' do
when Rabbi Belsky flips?
When Rabbi Willig hides
and Rabbi Schachter schvites?

You gonna' tear your coat?
You gonna' wear sackcloth and ashes?
You gonna' take Slifkin's books
and dump 'em in the trashes?

You gonna say you're sorry?
You gonna' crawl in da' snow?
You gonna' close your blog?
You gonna' say you don't know?

We spit you out
We step on your glory
No matter how black the hat
you're still an M.O. whore-y.

Gedolim Color War – The Sequel!

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Gedolim Color War

Gedolim_color_war_1a

November 27, 2005

Haredi Compass

An e-mail from TES trumpets a new invention – a compass that always points toward Jerusalem. Here is GodolHador's take on this new invention. Mine is immediately below:

Haredi_compass

November 25, 2005

Blog No Evil

Chofetz_chaim_blog_3

November 10, 2005

Abraham Was Wrong: The Logic Of Aish.com

After reading this article on Aish.com, I thought it important to reprint a more accurate version here:

ABRAHAM WAS WRONG
by Rabbi Nechemia Foofersmith

A CHILLING EXPERIMENT

Do you think basically good, mentally healthy people could murder innocent human beings?

The film "Obedience" documents a chilling experiment done at Yale University some years ago by Dr. Stanley Milgram. It paints a sobering picture about human nature.

Volunteers are told they're participating in an experiment on how punishment affects one's ability to learn. They are introduced to a man who will attempt to memorize a list of words. In an adjacent room where he can be heard but not seen, this man is strapped to a chair, his arm hooked up to electrical wires. Every time he makes a mistake in memorization, the volunteer is asked to push a button that will give increasingly strong electric shocks. Just before they begin, the man warns the volunteer of his heart condition.

(Unbeknownst to the volunteers, this man is in fact Milgram's collaborator in the experiment. No actual shock will be given.)

The experiment begins. A few mistakes in memorization -- and the volunteer administers some shocks. The volunteer nervously laughs as he hears grunts of pain. The experiment's administrator, a man in a white lab-coat, encourages him to continue with intensifying shocks.

As the dosage increases, screams come from the adjacent room, accompanied by desperate pleas to stop the experiment. He cries this is hazardous to his heart.

Yet this volunteer -- and the majority of other volunteers -- continue to give electric shocks to the point where they believe they've severely harmed the man. In many cases the volunteers continue to give deadly shocks even after the screams fall silent. When the laboratory administrator instructs the volunteers to continue giving shocks, they submit to the authority figure rather than defy him.

The experiment demonstrates that you don't have to be sadistic or deranged follow irrational or corrupt leaders. You can be completely normal and just not be independent enough to question the morality of what you are doing. Why, you can even be a haredi, just like me!

CONDITIONING AND MORAL RESPONSIBILITY

No one is born and raised in a vacuum.

Why should a 17-year-old haredi youth be criticized for blindly following our gedolim? After all, he has been socially conditioned right from the start to act like a sheep. He has never been exposed to any other belief system. All his friends are sheep!

Yet the world does criticize us haredim for this. But why? If everyone is affected by social conditioning, how can anyone be morally responsible for his or her actions?

ABRAHAM: THE FALSE PARADIGM OF INDEPENDENCE

Abraham, the father of the Jewish people, confronted these issues head-on.

A young Abraham examined the physical world and, relying on his best scientific judgement, reasoned there must be a single Creator of the universe, rejecting his upbringing. He discovered monotheism for himself and embarked on his mission to educate mankind, risking his life in the process.

After many years of faithful commitment, God finally speaks to Abraham for the very first time:

And God said to Abram, Lech-Lecha ... Go for yourself -- away from your land, from your birthplace, and from the home of your father, to the land which I will show you. I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you and make you famous... (Genesis, 12:1,2)

God's initial command to Abraham is riddled with difficulties. Obviously one cannot leave his land without leaving his father's house and birthplace. Let the text simply say, "Leave your land and go to the land which I will show you."

Furthermore, one first leaves his father house, then his birthplace and then his country. Why list these in reverse order?

The Torah's primary message here is not Abraham's physical departure from his country. Otherwise it would have sufficed to say, "Leave your country." Abraham's challenge was to make a spiritual departure, to leave behind the influences, practices, and emotional support of his family and society in order to become truly independent.

These three boundaries (country, birthplace, and father's house) represent three different spheres of influence upon each individual, in ascending order of intensity.

Abraham is first commanded to leave his country -- to break away from the idolatrous influence of his land. Then his birthplace -- to abandon the customs and mores that are instinctive. Finally, he is challenged to shake loose from the most intense bond of all -- his father's house -- his primal source of identity and self-esteem.

Surmounting this challenge is Abraham's first step in the development of spiritual independence. This is the meaning of the Hebrew term lech lecha -- to go to yourself. God is telling Abraham to strip away the outside influences in order to emerge as a true individual.

Of course, both God and Abraham were wrong.

ABRAHAM WAS WRONG

Rabbi Yehuda says: The entire world stood on one side, and Abraham stood on the other side. (Midrash Rabba, Genesis 42:8)

This fierce independence labels Abraham the first Hebrew, a term derived from the word "side." Abraham stood alone on the other side.

The key to independence? Break out of the confines of society and re-examine the foundations of your convictions. This is the primary challenge for anyone on the road to becoming a true thinking individual. Because without verifying the validity of ingrained values, one can never know if his positions are correct.

If we follow Abraham's incorrect example, we haredim who follow gedolim like sheep are responsible for our actions, despite our social conditioning. But, instead of recognizing the necessity to question our society, we chose to remain passive.

God's first command to Abraham, and to every human being, is to become independent. So it may appear as if we need to develop the intellectual and moral courage to live by what is true. Without it, it would seem, we are nothing more than a submissive product of society.

But, again, Abraham was wrong.

Author Biography: Rabbi Nechemia Foofersmith is the co-editor of Raishut.com and director of Research and Development for Raishut In The Name Of Torah in Jerusalem. He is the author of Follow Like Sheep: The Purpose Of Jewish Existence and Sheeple: An Autobiography. He lives in Jerusalem with his ewe and his small flock of lambs.

October 21, 2005

Revenge Of The Chickens

Revenge of the Chickens (via GodolHador).

October 09, 2005

Gedolim And Intelligent Design

Creation_spoof

An open letter to a Kansas school board.

September 24, 2005

Are You Chabad?

Are you Chabad?

September 20, 2005

Dr. Suess Goes To Lakewood

Dr. Suess goes to Lakewood

August 10, 2005

Satire?

An occasional reader has sent in this cartoon. He points out that it is a satire of Haredim and Modern Orthodox Jewish leaders as much if not more than it is a satire of Chabad.

Minim

July 03, 2005

Gedolim World

Gedolim_world

And, Gedolim Color War returns! (Funny, you can find it here, too!)

June 27, 2005

Russia Moves To Ban Kitzur Shulkhan Arukh

Russia_shulkhan_arukh

Related news story here. Miriam Shaviv's take here.

March 29, 2005

Noticed While Surfing The Web: Gedolim Color War Returns

Continue reading "Noticed While Surfing The Web: Gedolim Color War Returns" »

March 09, 2005

God Reported "Upset" At Gedolim – Latest Outrage Thought To Spur Divine Wrath

Continue reading "God Reported "Upset" At Gedolim – Latest Outrage Thought To Spur Divine Wrath" »

March 02, 2005

Rabbi Elyashiv Authorizes Metzitzah B'Straw – Seen As A Slap In The Face To The RCA – 7-11 Stock Up .08%

Read it all here.