Sunday, September 27, 2009

Yom Kippur, Goldstone, the Temple Mount, and a panacea


Jewish date:  9 Tishri 5769.

Today’s holidays:  ‘Erev Yom Kippur (Judaism), Twenty-Sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time (Roman Catholicism), Feast of Cosmus & Damianus (Thelema), Greater Eleusinian Mysteries (Thelema).

Worthy cause of the day:  Give blood.  I cannot say this enough.  Just do not do on a day when you are fasting or the day before, which is just asking for trouble.  Also:  “Sierra Club:  Help Us Reach Our Goal of 100,000 Champions for National Parks by October 4th!”

My apologies to those who have received an earlier version of this post.  Blogger did something really stupid and published prematurely.

Topic 1:  “Israel TV Laughs at Goldstone”.  This is a comic look at the perverse morality of the anti-Semitic Goldstone Report.  Anything I can say pales in comparison with what comedians can get away with.

Topic 2:  Tonight starts Yom Kippur (the Jewish Day of Atonement).  Two articles on practical questions about Yom Kippur:  A) “'Doctor, should I fast?'”, which deals with the medical issue of when someone ill should fast, which is not a trivial question.  B) “Halachic arbiter: No Crocs on Yom Kippur”, which deals with the less-famous issue of what footwear is appropriate for Yom Kippur.  Wearing leather shoes, which are traditionally associated with comfort, is prohibited on Yom Kippur.  Currently, people tend to wear relatively casual shoes on Yom Kippur, such as sneakers, and thus Crocs are a question.  It sounds a bit odd, but in any living religion strange practical questions are bound to be asked.

נוצר על ידי :he:משתמש:אסף.Image via Wikipedia
Topic 3:  A case of religious discrimination in Israel:  “Intolerance on the Temple Mount”.  The discrimination is against Jews, who are prohibited from praying on the Temple Mount.  The point of this is an attempt at appeasing Muslims, who can do pretty much whatever they want up there.  This appeasement, it is correctly noted, has done nothing to curb Islamic intolerance, destruction of Jewish archaeological remains, and terrorism.  (See “Two policemen injured in riots on the Temple Mount”.)  And this has been going on for decades.  Behavioral psychologists should see this as rewarding bad behavior, an extremely bad idea since it only makes further bad behavior more likely.  This is why I believe, if only for the sake of peace, that Israel should take the politically counterintuitive step of knocking down the Muslim structures on the Temple Mount, banning Muslims from setting foot in the 500 × 500 cubit area which has the status of the Temple Mount in Jewish law, and rebuilding the Temple.  If the Muslims actually can see that they have something to lose by failing to behave properly, that there are negative consequences to intolerance and terrorism, they will actually have a reason to learn to get along with other people.

Topic 4:  “Where Tutu (and Gandhi) went wrong”:  More dissection of poorly though-out anti-Semetic thinking on the part of Desmond Tutu and Mohandas Gandhi.  (Actually, is there such a thing as well thought-out anti-Semitic thinking?)  Notable is the idea that nonviolence is always better than violence.  While nonviolence indeed is probably likely to have better results that violence when one’s enemies have no interest in violence, nonviolence is likely to result in pointless slaughter against murderous enemies.

Topic 5:  “Yom Kippur 2009”:  The latest Dry Bones cartoon.

May all of you who are fasting have an easy and meaningful fast, and may you all be sealed in the book of life for a good year.


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