Thursday, July 9, 2009
In today’s post I would like to share a dvaar torah. Who would have thought? Ironically it’s not directly related to what I’m assuming is this weeks parsha (Pinchos?) but it has to do with protesting, something this parsha begins with when it tells us of Pinchos’ reaction to the sexual revolution that was a prototype for the summer of love that was taking place at the time. To give credit where it is due, I originally heard this from Karma Dude an occasional commenter and a staunch behind the scenes supporter of this blog. – in one of the parshas close to the beginning (it would have been nice if I would know which one) we read about Rivka being told she was expecting twins after noticing the incongruity of the baby kicking when she passed both a house of worship to God and a house of worship to idolatry. One could wonder why her internal ruckus couldn’t be more simply explained as a single fetus who kicks to be let out by the house of God and kicks in protest when passing idolatry? The Kotzker Rebbe, the Yogi Berra of Judaism (not so much for his ball playing but much like Yogi all quips, quotes and sayings of unknown origin are attributed to him) allegedly explains, someone who is really learning torah and trying to serve God in the ultimate way is not the same guy who is busy protesting everything he believes to be an affront to his, Judaism, or Gods, honor. Like I said I’m not sure whether this was really said by the Kotzker Rebbe or some bitter soul with a bone to pick, regardless I think it’s something worth thinking about especially in contrast with Pinchos. He felt there was an affront to God going on so he picked up his spear and lynched the guy, he didn’t have meetings, he didn’t burn dumpsters, he didn’t throw bottles or rocks he saw something that needed to be done and did it. I believe that is the correct way to protest for someone who is truly concerned with God’s “feelings” not to kick when you walk by a place of idolatry but if it bothers you to actually do something. Furthermore I believe that not only is protesting the wrong way to go about getting your point across I do not believe that this is better in the eyes of God. I know Jerusalem is holy and we want to avoid chillul shabbos but do people really think God is happier if instead of a parking lot being open on shabbos there is a weekly massive public chillul hashem? (and what’s up with those pics of burning dumpsters, seriously you’re protesting chillul shabbos with chilul shabbos?) I don’t know if people recall but a few years ago during the first gay pride parade in Israel there was a young kollel guy there who stabbed a few marchers, at the time most people said he was insane but I think he acted correctly, much like Pinchos, if you really believe something to be wrong do something rather than make a pointless chaotic protest that eventually leads to a much larger affront to God’s honor than the thing you are protesting. I suspect that I am wrong though and all the protests the Jewish nation has ever taken part in have nothing to do with the defense of God rather they are merely an outlet for excess energy, boredom and the anarchism that lay buried deep inside all of us.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
The theory that misery loves company is just that-a theory. I don’t believe it’s a proven fact. Yet I wonder if that’s the idea that gave birth to support groups. If misery loves company, let’s get all the miserable people together and…. what? What is supposed to happen now? Are they less miserable because they found a fellow crack baby with a speech impediment who survives by prostituting themselves and was recently diagnosed with cancer, to drink coffee and chat with? I would like to believe it’s a bit more than that but I have no idea. The reason this topic is presently foremost in my brain is because someone recently tried drafting me into a support group or more accurately a support friendship since it would have been only the two of us. Those few people who are kind enough to occasionally read my blog know I have/had a brain tumor and was in Boston undergoing Proton Beam Radiation in February/March, while we were looking in to the different treatment options available a friend of a friend spoke to their cousin about a different type of radiation that he had undergone, thus introducing to this guy I don’t know and if I randomly met him wouldn’t necessarily want to know, the notion that we are comrades of sorts. Of course as my luck would have it six months later he followed up on our imaginary ‘been there done that’ friendship. After delaying and pushing him off as long as possible without a restraining order, I agreed to meet him, not knowing exactly what the hell he wanted. Turns out he only wanted to talk. Maybe it’s because I’m not in touch with my emotions (is depression an emotion? Because I’m definitely in touch with that most of the time)maybe it’s because it takes me a long time to feel comfortable with new people, maybe it’s just because talking is not my forte, but those couple of hours were of no physiological benefit to me though I did have a short moment of feeling all warm and fuzzy inside that comes from being helpful on account of he seemed to really benefit, which makes me wonder if there really is some benefit that much like all other good things in life, just seem to pass me by. Maybe that’s what I’m missing in life. Does anybody have any positive experiences with the numerous support groups available for the various real and imagined ailments and mental conditions? Or negative? This could be what is holding back that feeling of happiness that has been eluding me all my life, maybe I should start my own online support group, any one care to join?
Sunday, July 5, 2009
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Happy almost July 4th to all those who think this date still holds any significance. Taxes , that’s all this Godforsaken country boils down to. That’s the basis upon which this alleged democracy was started on. And that is what is destroying it today. My original intention was to write about the journey of a hundred dollars. How they cut a chunk right off the bat for income tax, if you’re in the habit of occasionally eating and are not an exhibitionist or even if you want a new DVD, cell phone or digital camera to document the flight patterns of UFOs you shop for it and as rumor has it some people even go so far as to pay for it. Sales tax, another large chunk of your measly paycheck down the drain. Of course the vendor now pays income tax on this money and sales tax again since he obviously believes in capitalism and will spend it, when the next vendor will….. I think I see a pattern emerging. At the end of the life of a hundred dollars there is really not much left for a healthy economy to survive never mind to be stimulated. This is what I will not be writing about because as luck would have it I was pretty busy most of the day which is very unlike me and I cannot recall that ever happening before, and therefore didn’t have the time to do the proper exploratory research with which I would impress everyone with numbers, graphs and dancing smiley faces. Instead I will write about taxes. Who would have thought? Taxation without representation, that was the concept that promoted the desire for independence (I would have thought it was the British accent). We now have more taxation than your average hardworking individual can afford to part with. Has anyone noticed an improvement in our representation? The government does not represent us. They represent themselves, their friends, relatives and cronies. Nothing they do benefits the average middle income family. Sure if you’re wealthy they consider you a potential contributor and therefore a friend or crony and are now in the position to reap the rewards that come with knowing someone who has his hands in the public coffers. If you are a lower income family enjoying the free ride sponsored by the majority of the middle class who are afraid to cheat on their taxes you couldn’t be happier with the system mostly because the lack of such a system would force you to get off your butt and get a job. But the middle class, those who don’t own big corporations or businesses, those who never had wealthy ancestors, those who are to straight and honest to con and swindle,those who get up early every morning and work their butts off a whole day for just enough over the minimum wage that they are disqualified from government programs, where does that leave us? Screwed, that’s where. Nobody is here to help you. All the money you ever paid in tax was as beneficial to you as cancer. The first opposing argument one hears regarding this “What about the police? Without them there would be anarchy” Bring it on! I don’t think anybody is still fooled that the police help. They are just as corrupt and harmful as the government. The difference is that besides taxes most people thankfully have no contact with elected government officials, the police department is involved in everybody’s day to day life, wielding their corrupt power and taking advantage of those weaker than them. I for one would rather anarchy. The highway system is another popular argument, is anybody happy with the highway system? Never mind the fact that we pay outrages amounts in tolls which go up every few weeks that are supposedly to support the highways. The point I am trying to make in case it hasn’t yet been made clear is that the whole basis of this country’s existence is to avoid taxation without representation, which we still have. Has everyone who died in the struggle for independence died in vain? It sure seems so. Maybe it’s time we had our own Boston Tea Party, only instead of throwing tea overboard I think we should throw the politicians. Maybe into the toxic waste dump known as the East River where they can sleep with the fish along with likeminded crooks and abusers of mafia lore.This country was shoved deep enough in the crapper by our government it really shouldn’t be a hard sell to any sane individual who works hard for his money.