Sunday, October 22, 2006

The blogosphere responds

Who knew that this pedantic lulav post would inspire such a strong response?


Avi BenJakob from JewDot:

Instead of promoting lazy Jews with a hip new term, we should be celebrating Jews that truly embody what it means to be Jewish. BZ is a great example. He’s a self identified Reform Jew, but instead of saying I do whatever I want because I’m a Reform Jew, he has an ideology and every decision he makes is logically justified in that ideology. When there are more Jews like him across the spectrum we can finally stop worrying about Jewish Continuity and instead celebrate being Jewish.

Anyone want to suggest a hip new term for Jews that actually believe what they practice?


Reb Chaim HaQoton, posting a comment on Recovering Ortho Jew:

It's sad to see that someone as smart as Mah Rabu obviously is uses his mind to write and disseminate such garbage as what he proposed. And then the fact that he went around flaunting his grave sin on his blog.

Rachack, on the same comment thread:

Indeed it is ver ysad that someone would advertise something like that, but then again in a world were gays parade on the street showing of their homosexuality in public, what less can be expected?

I think this is going to be Karl Rove's October surprise. He'll turn out the base by running ads saying if you allow civil unions today, then tomorrow people will be shaking their lulavs on Shabbat!


  1. Hilarious - thanks for the image and the laugh!

  2. Is it just me, or is Rachack a poorly disguised acronym for this Chaim HaQoton guy?

  3. it's sad to see someone like Reb Chaim using his mind to write and disseminate grammatically incorrect sentences.

  4. Since the comments seem to have died on the original post, I will repost my comment here in the hopes of engendering a response, sorry for the repetition:

    I'm not so sure I understand the gist of your rationale, BZ. Do you carry without an eruv on shabbos? If so, then why do you even need this convoluted shakla v'tarya. Just say "I carry without an eruv on shabbos, I could care less about the malacha of carrying and therefore, a rabbinic restriction enacted to protect a malacha that I don't keep is meaningless to me." If you do carry on shabbos without an eruv, this response would be much closer to a straightforward, honest approach than trying to legitimate your clearly non-halachic stance by resorting to amateur heremneutics.

  5. It's not clear to me that the issue of carrying on Shabbat is the only reason for not shaking the lulav on Shabbat. If it were, then just as the rabbis of the Mishnah found ways to bench lulav on Shabbat 1st day of Sukkot without carrying on Shabbat (by bringing the lulavs over before Shabbat, or benching lulav at home), they could have done the same for Shabbat Chol Hamo'ed. But they didn't. To be clear, they didn't say that lulav overrides carrying on Shabbat (the way brit milah does), but found a way around it in some cases but not others. This distinction between yom tov and chol hamo'ed means that there is some other reason for not benching lulav on Shabbat besides carrying. We can speculate about what that reason is, but I won't in this comment, except to say that it's something for which Shabbat trumps Sukkot, but yom tov trumps Shabbat.

    Therefore, if the issue of carrying on Shabbat isn't the only reason for not benching lulav on Shabbat, then if one does carry on Shabbat, that's not sufficient justification for benching lulav on Shabbat. Hence the whole post is necessary.

    Your suggested rationale would draw no distinction between yom tov and chol hamo'ed, and I'm suggesting following the Mishnah's practice, which does draw such a distinction.

    Furthermore, if the original basis for lulav during chol hamo'ed Sukkot is zeicher l'mikdash, then it doesn't make sense to bench lulav on a day when it wouldn't have been done in the mikdash (Shabbat Chol Hamo'ed). (In contrast, they did blow shofar on Shabbat in the mikdash.)

  6. I think what it comes down to is how you (and hazal) see the loss of the temple. That is, if you still mourn the loss of the temple, then that mourning includes two days of yom tov which includes no lulav on yom tov rishon bashabbat.

    If you see the 2000 years of mourning coming to an end with the creation of the state of Israel and a loss of the galut mentality, then you can do away with yom tov sheni and revive using the lulav on yom tov rishon shehal bashabbat.

    in other words, I believe this is part of the haskafa difference in how one views the relevant halakhot.

  7. Do people who keep two days of yom tov really see the second day as mourning? If an extra day of yom tov (on which you're commanded to rejoice) is really that onerous, then maybe it's time to rethink.

  8. it's not that the second day is sad or not rejoiceful, it is that we keep the second day because we no longer have (mourn) the temple to declare for us which is the first day of the month

    i love second night seder, but since I'm pretty sure when the astrological new month is and I don't feel I need to act as a galut (two-day) jew, I only call the first day yom tov.

  9. it's not that the second day is sad or not rejoiceful, it is that we keep the second day because we no longer have (mourn) the temple to declare for us which is the first day of the month

    Shouldn't this be reversed? In the time of the Sanhedrin, a 2nd day was necessary for the Diaspora since they couldn't get the information about when the new month had been declared, but in the absence of the Sanhedrin, Hillel II's mathematical algorithm eliminates the need for the 2nd day except as minhag avoteinu. Therefore, regardless of whether one has a galut mentality, the second day is less necessary in our own time than in the time of the Sanhedrin, not more.