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12:25 AM
One of the questions linked to above was closed by an interesting set of people:
.....did Gemini Man delete his account? ....I don't recall hearing anything negative from him (come to think of it, have heard nothing from him recently)
"gemini" in the users search doesn't return any users.....so I guess so. Odd.
@TRiG that's a good point, and I don't know either. Halachic literature on the subject is likely to be written from a generally-western perspective, but (a) there are exceptions and (b) that's still pretty broad.
@Shokhet :-( I'm not aware of anything negative from him either. I wish I knew why he apparently left us. But I guess if he wanted to share he would have. Anyway, I hope all is well with him.
@MonicaCellio Only after I heard the ping from you did I start to wonder whether it was impolite to ask about that publicly, in chat. Deletions are designed to be rather quiet, I think
@MonicaCellio I hope so too.
@Shokhet well, they do leave traces, as you saw, so I don't think it's wrong to ask about that. If I had any secret modly information I wouldn't be able to share it, but in this case I don't anyway.
@MonicaCellio Or so you would have us believe.
dun dun DUN
12:40 AM
@MonicaCellio Got it. It's odd that posts get usernumbers, while close votes (and, presumably, delete votes) have the name left on. I guess that means if you want to leave w/o a trace, you shouldn't CV anything.
@Shokhet some accounts keep their names after deletion. I don't know what the pattern is.
@YeZ I'm pretty sure it's only the 1.0 deleted accounts that do that, but I haven't been around long enough to verify that.
@Shokhet Isaac had a data query with deleted users arranged by rep. A number of them had names. Could be they were all 1.0 accounts but I don't know.
@Scimonster Well done:
user image
....that was pretty quick :)
@Shokhet a further weirdness (that I discovered elsewhere): the name recorded in a close vote is your name at the time you cast the vote. They really do seem to be just storing a string there instead of a user# xref. Seems odd to me.
12:46 AM
@MonicaCellio Really? ...that's odd. So if I were to change my username now, all of those posts that I voted to close would still say "Shokhet" on them?
@Shokhet congrats @Scimonster and well-done!
@MonicaCellio But with a link to the account, assuming the account has not been deleted.
@Shokhet yeah, apparently. Or, at least, with one renamed account this is the behavior I observed.
@MonicaCellio Odd.
@Shokhet oh wait, yeah, this might be different. A live account might do the right thing. An account that was renamed and then later deleted does the wrong thing.
We could probably do Science to test the renamed-live-account case. I think you're right that that might update.
12:48 AM
@MonicaCellio Ah. This is weird.
3 hours later…
3:25 AM
@DoubleAA I would like to rein in the comments on this question. Would replacing "tangible connection" with "direct connection" in the question satisfy you?
Many Reform Jews do make that claim, that torah was written (or compiled) by men and not God. They're wrong (I say that as somebody who affiliates Reform for other reasons), but I think a question about the theology behind that is valid here.
First it's not a question about practice but theology. Second, it's pretty fundamental theology -- the nature of torah. Third, it's not some obscure group. I think it's on-topic.
3:47 AM
@MonicaCellio not authoritative ? URJ links to that site urj.org/about/union/affiliate it seems to be the go to place for reform Judaism — sam 3 mins ago
@MonicaCellio Any reason to not have this chat in a room created on that thread?
@sam they link to the blog. The particular post you linked was clearly attributed to an individual who does not claim to speak for anybody but himself. It's an opinion piece.
@YeZ at the time I directed it here the flag hadn't tripped that would let me easily create the room and move the comments. Now it has, but this wouldn't be the first "is this in scope?" conversation we've had here in Bam, so eh. What do you (and others here) think?
@MonicaCellio I starred your in scope comment. I don't know if the fact that it isn't the same as what AAAA referred to is conclusive that it is on topic, but it isn't that.
For context, here is Sam's link: reformjudaism.org/authentic-reform-judaism
@YeZ thanks for explaining that.
@MonicaCellio I happen to think that this isn't really the place to bring these questions - we are (supposed to be) a community of experts for living life according to Jewish law and tradition.
3:52 AM
@YeZ Oh cmon. It's not easier to write @d, and have chat autocomplete the name? Though it is cute :)
@MonicaCellio I don't see why any of those three are relevant. The only relevant factor seems to be whether or not the group in question has Jewish-tradition-based sources that discuss the question. @YeZ
@DoubleAA the Reform movement has a sizable body of responsa. I haven't looked for one on this topic, but others I've seen are sourced in torah, talmud, and sometimes law codes like SA. They come to different conclusions and we all have opinions about that, but that's different.
(I don't mean to imply that those are the only sources that show up. That's off the top of my head.)
@DoubleAA What if it's something that our sources would discuss? I.e. it seems reasonable to assume that reform ideology might be something that would come up in discussions of entering their sanctuaries etc.
4:11 AM
@YeZ I don't think Jewish-tradition-based sources recording what non-(Jewish-tradition-based) sources say would qualify as having Jewish-tradition-based sources.
והראיה we have sources discussing Christianity and Islam.
@DoubleAA Valid point.
Oct 27 '14 at 19:21, by YEZ
@Daniel I say "AA AA" as if I've just been frightened twice.
@YeZ :D
4:38 AM
@Shokhet I was rather proud of my response to you about knowing YeZ. I hope it at least got a chuckle, perhaps even a chortle.
@YeZ I literally laughed out loud, which I don't do often when I'm on MY :)
(for those who haven't seen it yet) :
@YeZ I believe the stackexchange policy is if you feel an answer could be clearer, write your own, rather than editing someone else's. — Shalom 12 hours ago
Shalom and @YeZ, this is under discussion over here. — Shokhet 34 mins ago
@Shokhet I have reason to believe YeZ is aware of that discussion. — YeZ 31 mins ago
@YeZ Really?? ...do you know YeZ personally? — Shokhet 31 mins ago
@Shokhet I wish I knew him better, but either way he posted that post. — YeZ 30 mins ago
@IsaacMoses My meta initiative is up to a net gain of +4! Woohoo!
4:59 AM
I left a comment on a VLQ review; in retrospect, maybe I shouldn't have, in order to let the deletion go quietly (last comment before mine was from December 2013). Thoughts?
1 hour later…
6:19 AM
@Shokhet 8^(
6:34 AM
@Shokhet I voted to delete the whole question. It's closed as totally off-topic, it's not convertable into an on-topic question, and it's an attractor for the wrong kinds of google searches and comments.
6:48 AM
@MonicaCellio @DoubleAA @YeZ Given that the Divine authorship of the Torah is about as central an axiom of Jewish Tradition as can be, it seems to me that delving into the details of a belief system based on denial of that axiom is not consistent with a scope of "those who base their lives on Jewish law and tradition." There are Jews (many, ba'avonoteinu harabim) who believe that the Torah was written by men, but that doesn't make it a Jewish tradition, or any less contrary to Jewish Tradition.
7:01 AM
(Totally not caught up in Bam. Just came here to discuss this MY Q.)
@IsaacMoses I agree and hereby Bam-cast my nonbinding closure vote on that Q.
As someone else linked to already:
> Thus, it cannot be "Can someone explain this practice of Mysect Judaism?" where Mysect Judaism lacks Jewish-tradition-based sources that discuss the question.
@DoubleAA Thank you! Checking....
@MonicaCellio "not practice but theology" is a good point. It's not "explain this random practice of Jews" but "explain this very clearly religion-related practice of Jews" (using "practice" loosely to maintain the parallel). Still, it's not a Judaism-based religion-related practice, so I'm tending toward closure.
@MonicaCellio For example, your 3 points could also be made about the theology of the early Christians, or the modern J for J: they're Jewish, it's theology, and it's not some minor group (well, maybe J for J is). But it's not Jewish theology.
Yeah, consider my nonbinding closure vote cast.
@DoubleAA When I was a freshman in college, I took a law class taught by the then-dean of the university's law school. We read several cases each week and discussed them during class. A student would argue some position, and he'd ask a slightly more extreme position -- would the student still maintain the same position? If not, what distinguishes it? Or, if so, what about this slightly more extreme position? Fun times.
7:46 AM
@YeZ (Finally catching up -- partially, anyway -- here in Bam.) You seem to be saying that (under some circumstances) one needs hasraa to be downvoted. I disagree. Downvoting is for post quality, and does not require hasraa. And it's not a punishment.
I think tagging with the RSRH tag makes sense, as you're asking for the takeaway message assuming it exists, which is according to RSRH. Just MHO (and I haven't yet read the chat transcript). — msh210 ♦ Jan 21 at 19:13
8:06 AM
@Shokhet Wow, i cracked up at that.
8:20 AM
@Shokhet Mazal tov!
@IsaacMoses I don't understand that aphorism. The blog post makes sense to me (and, incidentally, seems very sensible) -- except for that sentence.
8:54 AM
@IsaacMoses Also switching to normal trop from yamim noraim trop when going to maftir on Simchas Tora. (Not that I've ever read maftir on Simchas Tora, but I imagine it's hard.)
@DoubleAA Why not copy from a list of letters (an alphabet) instead of going to multiple pages?
9:10 AM
@ShmuelBrin So it really is the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything!
5 hours later…
1:43 PM
@DoubleAA The contents of the question at hand are sufficient to close it, regardless of whether a particular movement is named. To close other questions based on the fact that they're asking about the Reform movement rather than on their particular content would require us to determine that everything, or at least the practice/belief discussed in those questions, in Reform is disassociated with Jewish Tradition, which is a much stronger claim, and one I think we needn't make.
@msh210 Were there a lot of Gemara-trained people in that class?
... and to reiterate my earlier point using the same language, the claim "The Torah was written by men" and theology based on that is, to my mind, inherently disassociated with Jewish Tradition.
@msh210 @IsaacMoses @DoubleAA (still catching up) The difference is that Reform Jews are widely agreed to be Jews; that's not true of Christians (who don't claim that status anyway) or J4J (who are fraudulent). And DoubleAA's "what about these?" links are exactly the door I was worried about opening. Mi Yodeya isn't a site about Orthodox Judaism, and the consensus on the pluralism meta post seems pretty clear that asking questions about other movements is ok. [cont]
Reform doesn't AFAIK have a definite teaching on this, by the way -- some Reform (and non-Reform) Jews say the torah was written by men, some don't, some wave their hands. There might be something more solid out there to be found, but that doesn't even seem to be the question -- rather, the question at its core is "for Jews who don't believe in torah mi-sinai, what's the source of emunah?". That seems on-topic.
(On a personal note, I too wonder this -- if you don't believe torah is from God, then doesn't everything else fall apart?)
@MonicaCellio What one's left with is the Reconstructionist idea of "Judaism as civilization"
@IsaacMoses yeah, I don't understand them either -- I guess it's mainly tribalism for them?
(I need to relocate; I should be back in half an hour or so.)
2:39 PM
@MonicaCellio @IsaacMoses I think most reconstructionists focus on morality in our story, in how we tell our story, in what we take from it, and in our historiography.
@CharlesKoppelman I hear that from some Reform too -- all the ethical mitzvot apply (and they see them as mitzvot, not just good ideas). I don't know how Reconstructionists understand mitzvot.
@MonicaCellio the slogan is "a vote but not a veto"
.... in practice, just like in Reform, it varies substantially
2:54 PM
So this is where you are all discussing reform. The way it is in the USA no doubt. And anything that isn't the way it is where you are must be wrong so you all gang up on me. Not to mention the stalking that has been going on unnecessarily
@CashCow I suspect that you are taking people's reactions to certain posts of yours unnecessarily personally. Is it possible that what your perceive as "ganging up" or "stalking" is just that more than one person have had specific problems with a few specific posts of yours?
Like a couple of days ago I had 3 answers downvoted within a couple of hours, some of which had received upvotes from others, and were well sourced. And the fact none of you ever seem to get anything downvoted
And it's all silent, no comment or reason
plus I fixed the answer to one and nobody removed their downvote only someone came and added another one
Q: Commentless downvotes

TRiGIs there a policy to encourage people to make comments when they give downvotes? Commentless downvotes do very little to improve the site. If something is wrong, you should explain what about it is wrong.

@CashCow If you'd like to discuss what issues people may have had with specific posts of yours, I'd suggest bringing them here, one at a time, for discussion.
3:02 PM
This is the one where I fixed my answer only to attract yet another downvote. The other poster also got one, so I guess whoever came downvooted both answers:
@CashCow The answers to that post explain that while explaining what prompted a downvote is good, it's not required. If you sense, through downvotes, that your post isn't being well-received and can't tell why, asking for help in the comments there or here in Chat is a good next step.
Then someone came and downvoted my answer to this:
whereas the other poster got +10 just because he got in when I was asleep. Very clever asking the question in the early hours of the morning in the UK. And I can't see he raised all the points I did.
I have no idea why anyone downvoted my answer to this one. It clearly answered the question with all the sources.
@CashCow People might not notice when something they've previously voted on has changed. @YeZ is trying to change that. Anyway, even if something has been improved, it's not a guarantee that it has addressed all of the issues that prompted previous votes.
The straight simple answer was that Zadok was from the lineage of Elazar and Aviatar from the lineage of Ithamar so their nearest relative in the paternal line was Aharon but I had to give sources because that's how it works here
@CashCow Your original answer was, as your edit and comments seem to acknowledge, incorrect, as it did not provide a correct translation of the phrase in question. Now that the question has been closed, people are unlikely to pay too much attention to it.
3:07 PM
other than to add another downvote..
@CashCow (If you're on a non-mobile device, please respond to messages in here by hovering over the right edge of the message and clicking on the gray arrow that appears. That will make it clear what you're responding to, and make it easier for people to follow the thread of the discussion.)
@CashCow Your best bet on that one is probably to just delete the answer, as the question has been closed, and the answer has not been well-received.
Is that why many of you appear to have no downvotes to answers? If you got them you usually deleted your answers?
because I have been checking and I'm the only one who appears to be getting any
@CashCow Are you able to see the breakdown of positive and negative votes, or only the net?
not here I can't, I can at SO where I have over 20K rep.
@CashCow Probably not. Most posts don't get deleted.
3:11 PM
but on the profile you can see +10 -2 etc.
@CashCow So how do you know who has received downvotes and who hasn't?
@IsaacMoses looking at user's profile and their rep. You see if there are any -2s in it
@CashCow Are there posts that you can point to that you think deserved downvotes and didn't (by that method of deduction) get them?
@IsaacMoses I don't know what you consider "bad" answer so unless I feel an answer if factually incorrect I wouldn't downvote it myself. Your last -2 was 23 December
@IsaacMoses you gave this question 3 answers and got one downvote on one of them:
@CashCow You are claiming that some people are undeservedly not getting downvoted. To demonstrate that this is the case, you have to show posts that deserve to have been downvoted and were not.
@CashCow It's hard to tell much from or about a single vote. In general, though, posts that contain sources for all of their halachic or hashkafic assertions tend to get more approval than those that don't.
@CashCow It's very unlikely that anyone was thinking about whether you were likely awake or asleep when they asked or answered that or any other question. People post when they post.
@CashCow Again, it's hard to say much from or about a single vote. The original version of this answer did not precisely cite its sources. The question itself didn't get very much voting attention, so it's not too surprising that its answer hasn't either.
@CashCow Are you saying that one or more of these answers should have gotten more downvotes? If so, why?
3:21 PM
I just see all the downvotes I keep getting and no explanations for them. At first it was because I was giving "opinion" answers on bibical issues without sources
so I stopped doing that but it hasn't stopped me getting them
@CashCow Please don't take it personally. If you want to understand the voting, you really have to take it on a post-by-post basis, since that's how people generally make their voting decisions.
Or maybe I'll just find a better site for what I'd be interested in. I really don't get the point of this place. It makes sense for SO when I want to find the solution to a technical problem. It doesn't really make sense here
@CashCow I really appreciate your taking the time to come in here and discuss like this.
I have more questions I'd like to ask about how Judaism justifies mass killing. Something that has always bothered me.
The commandment to kill Amalek forever because of an incident in this weeks sedra. Like we hold a grudge for every generation
That would be like going now kiling Germans because of the Holocaust..
not to mention all the other mass-slaughters that take place, including those of Jewish people in Judges 21, including a whole town just because they didn't turn up at a meeting somewhere
@CashCow the point is to do Judaism Q&A like it's done on SO. Judaism is very technical, with, for many issues, a canon of authoritative sources that can be used to derive demonstrably correct answers.
3:27 PM
We do better as being the victims. We can accept being killed by others. We can't accept doing it.
like Golda Meir said
maybe forgive them for killing us but not for making us into killers
@CashCow Some related posts:
Amalek in this weeks sedra was fair enough. They attacked us, we killed them in self defence. But why the eternal grudge against Amalek?
A not-well-received one that's very related to what you're saying:
Q: How do we explain how God told jews to treat Egyptian, Amalekites, and Nearby Nations that Simply Refuse to do Labors

Jim ThioEgyptians were pretty bad. They killed Jewish boys. It's as bad as the Chinese one child policy. But God told Jews not to abhor the Egyptian. The Amalekites are evil too. But they did not have non aggression pact with Jews. They didn't back-stab the Jews. They attacked other wandering tribes li...

A couple more that are related:
Q: How to reconcile? I must eradicate the memory of Amalek but I must help the ass of the one who hates me.

Avrohom YitzchokIt’s Parshas Zochor (Dvarim 25) this Shabbos. “There is a mitzvah in the Torah to remember Amalek and his descendants and to orally recall their iniquity. We are to tell our children in each generation what the people of Amalek did to us during our departure from Egypt. This mitzvah will be fulfi...

Q: Killing all of 'Amalek - Mitzvah or Reshuth?

Seth JThis may be two questions that are closely related. Would engaging in war with 'Amalek without a specific command (a la Shaul) be a Milhemeth Mitzvah or Milhemeth Reshuth? Is killing all of 'Amalek (as opposed to assimilating them, perhaps) a Mitzvah, or a Reshuth? If you had a choice, is total...

First one is a good question. Don't know why it was -4. -3 now as I upvoted it
@CashCow There were even more misconceptions in the original version of it than there are now. I'll take off my DV.
3:36 PM
@CashCow I was the one who downvoted your answer to judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/53123/…, i own up. I don't exactly remember the post now, but i think the dv was for applying Rambam to Reform theology. The two just don't seem to work together.
If i am misremembering, feel free to repost some of it here.
well perhaps I didn't really answer the question but I think it was a poor question anyway as I don't think there's a single Reform authority by which everyone holds and I was really trying to suggest that many of them were denying principle 9 (that it is forever and immutable) than principle 8
and that anyone who was like that would probably come under the umbrella of "reform"
that was how I attempted to answer the question but perhaps should have just shown the relevant principles of faith rather than all 13 of them
although the question did mention Jewish principles of faith
or maybe comments did
anyway I deleted my answer having got 4 downvotes on it
I can understand the downvotes in the question about G-d and Egyptions / Amalekites etc because he goes into a bit of a rant
@CashCow Reform (capital 'R') is a movement with its own body of doctrine, not an ill-defined theoretical umbrella. I'm not sure if there's a single authority or not, but there is certainly a body of source material to point to. Your (now deleted) answer asserted things about Reform doctrine in a way that made it obvious (to me at least) that you were treating it as a theoretical construct rather than a movement whose doctrine one could actually read, and which one would have to read to ...
... answer the (now closed) question
@CashCow Yeah, rants like that do tend to attract negative attention to even otherwise-valid posts
> well perhaps I didn't really answer the question
Reform as such began in Germany in about the 17th or 18th century, not sure exactly, but I'm not sure if "modern" reform is based on an ideology or a single "authority"
and that is exactly why downvotes show up
3:52 PM
Where I grew up there was a Reform shul nearby where the Rabbi was actually pretty much orthodox, frummer than his community
his son went to my orthodox Jewish school, he often went to orthodox shuls himself.
You'll sometimes even find in a Reform centre / synagogue that their food all has orthodox hechsheirim or is on the kosher list
@CashCow What are you getting at?
that there isn't only one version of Reform
A lot of them call themselves Reform but is really designed to just make non-observant people come and feel more comfortable. And I don't mind that, as long as they don't attack the basic routes by openly permitting what the Torah says is forbidden, saying it doesn't apply anymore (or never did)
@CashCow I'm sure that's true, but if you're going to answer questions about Reform doctrine, you have to point to actual doctrine from least one version of it
That would mean having to read it and I'm not sure it wouldn't be Apikores-material to do so
heresy as it might be called in English
@CashCow Writing about it would have equal or more stringent status as reading about it, I expect.
4:01 PM
I would critique it though, say it is all incorreect, that it is made up by man to suit himself
@CashCow Hard to critique something if you don't know what it is.
maybe it's why some modern movements call themselves "progressive" not "reform"
because "reform" is a fixed doctrine and "progressive" can mean anything?
"progressive" means they believe the law was right at the time and circumstances have changed and it should be adjusted.
@CashCow There are all kinds of movements and groups out there, some more clearly-defined than others
yeah like a lot of gay rights ones. And that isn't something new. Homosexuality was around at the time the Torah was given just like it is now..
and the Torah gives its statement on the subject. very clearly
@CashCow Just trying to clear something up here, do you see Mi Yodeya as a site for (Orthodox) Jews, or about Judaism?
4:08 PM
I see it as a site about Judaism but that means orthodox Judaism. Non-orthodox or non-observant Jews or even non-Jews might come and ask questions about Judaism
but our authority for the answers is the Torah, Oral Law, Ge-onim, Rishonim, etc up to modern day Rabbis
Q: Is there not room for non-orthodox opinions?

citelaoShould Mi.Yodeya/J.SE maintain its solely orthodox standing? I love StackExchange and when I found the Judaism group I thought that it would be interesting to participate. However, I am neither an Orthodox Jew nor an orthodox Jew and have found it difficult to find applicable questions on which ...

1 hour ago, by Isaac Moses
@CashCow (If you're on a non-mobile device, please respond to messages in here by hovering over the right edge of the message and clicking on the gray arrow that appears. That will make it clear what you're responding to, and make it easier for people to follow the thread of the discussion.)
@Scimonster yes I know it's easier to just type
@msh210 The one time I did it I didn't find it difficult as there is a whole Hagba and stuff in between.
4:23 PM
Sefaria Tanach, Talmud, and UI updates. Cool stuff. The Tanach one is by bachrach44 (ascribed in the Sefaria email I got the link from); I suspect the Talmud one is too.
@IsaacMoses I do hope they don't just stick with the Leningrad Codex. As they said, they can handle multiple translations. They should also handle multiple Hebrew texts as well. Potentially very useful.
@DoubleAA I'm sure they'd be interested to hear from you.
1 hour later…
5:32 PM
to chime in on the discussion from yesterday, I don't understand why that question is closed
@CharlesKoppelman Context???
@IsaacMoses sorry! I lost my "reply arrows" on comments that far back
@CharlesKoppelman Well, which question?
Q: What is the Reform view of the origin of the Torah?

DrorI recently attended a community Torah study hosted by a Reform rabbi. As we were discussing the weekly Torah portion, many of those in attendance (Reform Jews) kept referring to "the men" who wrote the Torah. As someone who believes in the concept of Torah mi-Sinai, I am at a loss as to how Ref...

@IsaacMoses was getting the link...
This is clearly a group of people who base their lives in Jewish learning - it was a Torah study group
I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because, given that the Divine authorship of the Torah is about as central an axiom of Jewish Tradition as can be, it seems to me that delving into the details of a belief system based on denial of that axiom is not consistent with a scope of "those who base their lives on Jewish law and tradition." — Isaac Moses 11 hours ago
5:38 PM
@IsaacMoses I would argue G-d as Creator is more fundamental
I assume that sentiments similar to this are at least partially responsible for the closure, since the comment has (as of now) 5 upvotes, and the question received 5 close votes.
@CharlesKoppelman OK
@IsaacMoses i understand that. I don't, however, think this site ought be telling people what is "proper" Judaism
And I'm pretty upset that this community has decided to take that tack
@CharlesKoppelman not "proper Judaism." "Jewish Tradition," which is pretty much entirely based on the Divinity of the Torah
TZT. Back in a little while.
Q: Change "Jewish life and learning" to "Judaism" in the list of on-topic reasons

msh210The Help Center now says:If you have a question about...Jewish law or practice (what to do or why)Jewish philosophya Jewish text (explaining a passage)history of Jewish law or of Jewish lifelanguage used in Jewish life and learninggeneral knowledge (science, etc.) as it relates directly to Jewish...

I can't help but hear that the community is saying, "Reform Judaism is so far out of bounds that it is not Judaism and therefore not appropriate for this site"
I'm not a Reform Jew by any means, but I'm a staunch pluralist
and I'm actually hurt that a community I consider myself a member of would hold by that
6:07 PM
"Better" in what way? Is green better than Friday? — Double AA ♦ 2 hours ago
@CashCow, please understand that nobody is targetting you, specifically, for anything. I don't remember; I may have downvoted a post or two of yours, but then again I've downvoted plenty of posts. I've gotten downvotes, and while I haven't kept track of all of them, I don't believe that any of them were personal.
Even this one, which I originally thought was a targetted DV, but really wasn't
Q: Should a Jew who doesn't believe in G-d observe the commandments?

AdamRedwineIn an earlier question, I asked if it was a commandment to believe in G-d. As with so many areas, there were differing opinions. Some of the respondents claimed that there would be no point in being Jewish if one did not believe. While I disagree with that view, surely we all recognize that there...

That said, @CashCow, I would strongly recommend that you read through the posts I linked to in the comments to this question. They are all relevant, and I think they will assuage most of your doubt about being specifically targetted for anything.
@IsaacMoses Makes sense. (and it's deleted already)
@msh210 Thanks! :)
@Scimonster :) ....blame @YeZ for that
(I'm catching up in chat; please forgive the random, non-sequitor statements. Follow the arrows back if you care if chat makes sense :P)
@CharlesKoppelman If you're looking at a chat message in the transcript, you can respond to it (providing you're logged in to chat), by clicking the down arrow to the left of the message, and selecting "reply to this message"
6:24 PM
@Shokhet I have some strange issues regarding logging in and old transcripts... but yes, i had forgotten about that and had too many windows open.... and was rather lazy
but thank you for the suggestion!
6:38 PM
@CharlesKoppelman Independent of what you are hearing, they aren't saying that. They are saying this 'version' of Judaism is not based in Jewish tradition and therefore is out of bounds for this site which is for types of Judaism that are based in traditional sources such that authoritative Jewish-tradition-based sourced answers are possible. After all, questions here need to be answer-able.
No one said what is or is not Judaism. No one ruled whether one should or should not follow this form of Judaism.
@DoubleAA I'd go so far as to day that the Reform movement and the teachings thereof are not necessarily automatically outside that scope. Denial of the basis of the tradition, IMO, certainly is.
@CharlesKoppelman See http://meta.judaism.stackexchange.com/a/1307/759:

...we need a question to be answerable and (as the FAQ list says) "for those who base their lives on Jewish law and tradition and anyone interested in learning more".

Thus, it cannot be "Can someone explain this practice of Mysect Judaism?" where Mysect Judaism lacks Jewish-tradition-based sources that discuss the question.

But if Mysect Judaism has Jewish-tradition-based sources (as, e.g., Conservative Judaism does AFAIK) then I see nothing wrong with the question. (It should specify that it seeks answers based in J
@CharlesKoppelman No problem :)
6:56 PM
@DoubleAA actually, I've heard them say that tradition is important, and one gave that as a reason for torah being important even if he personally thought it was written by men. It appears to be more complicated than any of the participants in this conversation, including me, have described.
@MonicaCellio You should ping @them not me.
@DoubleAA and a question of the form "how does $movement justify $position", when there is reason to believe such justification does exist in responsa literature and the like, is answerable.
@CharlesKoppelman I am sorry to hear that, and I hope you'll reconsider in light of @DoubleAA's explanation‌​, which is pretty much what I would have said. I think that participation here is perfectly compatible with a personal philosophy of pluralism, as it is with a personal philosophy of fundamentalist Chassidism or, lehavdil, Christianity, since we have a common basis for discussion.
@DoubleAA you are the one making the claim that they're not based in tradition. Frankly, the way this conversation is going I'd be very reluctant to invite a Reform Jew onto this site right now, which makes me very sad as I think we should be spreading knowledge broadly.
@MonicaCellio that is only true if said responsa literature is based in "Jewish-tradition-based sources". Answerable from other sources is irrelevant.
@MonicaCellio I did not make that claim! I described the presumed claims of the close-voters.
7:00 PM
@DoubleAA as I said yesterday, they cite halachic sources.
@DoubleAA I didn't realize your attribution.
@MonicaCellio I cannot confirm of deny that. I only pointed out an essential caveat to your previous claim which you had overlooked.
@DoubleAA ^^^ (me neither, FWIW)
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@IsaacMoses @Daniel (others aren't pingable via regular means) @DoubleAA: this question does not violate our pluralism policy. "We need a question to be answerable" -- check. ""for those who base their lives on Jewish law and tradition" -- check -- they're wrong in many of their interpretations, according to most of us, but they claim that basis and use it in their responsa.
My problem with the question is that it seems to be asking two separate things. The title says "What is the Reform view of the origin of the Torah?" The body seems to be more about "What then is the Reform concept of emunah based upon?" [cont]
Now, either of those two questions should be on topic. We already allow allow questions about . We even have a tag for . There are even several questions there that ask according to a [Karaite] perspective. How is this different?
7:07 PM
@Scimonster i agree that they need to be split.
@MonicaCellio I claim that "The Torah was written by men" is not only not based in Jewish Tradition, but inherently contrary to it.
@Scimonster that's a fair point.
@IsaacMoses But this question doesn't have that as a complete prerequisite. It asks, "was the Torah written by men?"
@IsaacMoses and the question arises from one rabbi who said that.
@MonicaCellio Do they claim Jewish law and tradition as the basis for their belief in the origin of the Torah?
7:08 PM
"If they say X how do they justify Y" seems ok to me; it's not agreeing with X, and "they don't say X" is a valid response. It seems to me we've had that pattern a lot.
@Scimonster I don't see that as the explicit question here, but I agree that that could be posed as a valid question, just as "Do Jews believe in God?" was.
Q: I know A, and based on A, I'm asking B

JakeOne example of this is here, but I have seen several. If the questioner is asking B, presuming A, could a valid answer be that A is incorrect?

@DoubleAA this statement of principles seems relevant. Unlike an individual rabbi or a responsum, this was actually collectively enacted. Here are some quotes (please give me a moment with cut/paste):
@MonicaCellio There are also rabbis who say that there is no God.
> We affirm that Torah is the foundation of Jewish life.
> Throughout our history, we Jews have remained firmly rooted in Jewish tradition,
> We affirm that the Jewish people is bound to God by an eternal (b'rit), covenant, as reflected in our varied understandings of Creation, Revelation and Redemption.
7:12 PM
@Scimonster Karaites may actually be more suitable for Mi Yodeya in that they have ancient binding traditions/codes/laws etc. (Again this is not about what is legitimate or valid. It's about having Jewish-tradition-based sources that discuss the question and being answerable thereby.)
> We cherish the truths revealed in Torah, God's ongoing revelation to our people and the record of our people's ongoing relationship with God.
@IsaacMoses right. Neither speaks for his entire movement.
@DoubleAA As @Monica is bringing us, the Reform movement also has tradition and sources.
@IsaacMoses hence
Q: How do we know that God exists?

shooshSimple enough question, and very much related to the topic. According to traditional Jewish sources, on what basis should people believe that there's a God?

> We are committed to the ongoing study of the whole array of (mitzvot) and to the fulfillment of those that address us as individuals and as a community. Some of these (mitzvot), sacred obligations, have long been observed by Reform Jews; others, both ancient and modern, demand renewed attention as the result of the unique context of our own times.
@msh210 As the author of our "pluralism policy" I encourage you to join the recent discussion
@Scimonster I don't see this question asking "was the Torah written by men?", but if you see that please make an edit or ask the OP for clarification.
7:15 PM
@Scimonster They do have traditions and they do have sources. Do they have Jewish-tradition-based sources that discuss the question?
@MonicaCellio I, personally, am not interested in stamping entire movements as on-topic or -off. All I'm trying to maintain, today, is that certain claims, even if adopted by certain Jews or Jewish movements, are out-of-scope for MY.
I keep repeating that because people keep changing the requirements over the course of this discussion.
@DoubleAA how many times do I have to tell you so?
@IsaacMoses I don't know that you have any MY precedent for that.
@MonicaCellio As many times as I have to repeat the relevant question to whoever misrepresented it most recently.
@DoubleAA I think the phrase "Jewish Tradition" is sufficient MY precedent, but let me go look.
7:18 PM
Incidentally, @MonicaCellio, sourcing that in some way would be invaluable.
@IsaacMoses questions that presume un-Jewish ideas should be shut down. We've shut down a number of those. Questions that report an un-Jewish idea they've heard and ask about it are different.
@MonicaCellio Indeed, "Do Jews believe in Jesus as God? I heard someone say so." is on topic AFAICT.
@DoubleAA and if I link to some responsa that cite sources will you accept that, or will you just change the demands again?
@DoubleAA yeah, we've had that question.
@MonicaCellio I don't believe I have changed my representation of MY policy once.
@MonicaCellio Interesting distinction. Which of these does the question at hand fit with, and what would a related formulation in the other category sound like?
7:19 PM
@DoubleAA Exactly. So how is that different from this?
@Scimonster It doesn't seek answers from a specific denomination whereas this does. Accordingly, the only relevant question that I know of is whether that denomination has "Jewish-tradition-based sources that discuss the question".
@DoubleAA responsa site, here's the very first one linked, which in the very first paragraph cites mishna and SA and goes on from there. Is this sufficient proof?
@IsaacMoses the question at hand is the latter; it reports a claim and asks "if so then what is the source of emunah according to them?". A formulation that would be problematic, on the other hand, would be "because the torah was written by men, (insert anything here)".
Even though we have that "if A and A is wrong" post, I think we would still shut that down, same as we'd shut down "because Jesus is God...".
@msh210 8^P
@MonicaCellio I started poking around some of those responsa out of curiosity; this one also starts with relevant, universally-revered sources, but also comes to an interesting conclusion, seemingly without sources.
7:28 PM
@Shokhet It seems you are questioning whether those responsa are actually based in the Jewish-tradition sources they cite.
@Shokhet I have not read the vast majority of Reform responsa, and I know some of the conclusions are ones I disagree with (being more traditionally-minded than many of them). Differences in how you get from sources to conclusions are nothing new, though, else we wouldn't have some of the other divisions in klal yisrael. The question was whether they claim a basis; I assert that they do.
@MonicaCellio Is this a correct restatement of your point? Would you make it more or less strong? "'According to Jews who believe X, how should one relate to Y?' where X is any claim belonging to a community of Jews with a body of literature, and Y is an aspect of Judaism, is on-topic."
@DoubleAA Something like that; maybe. It's hard to tell.
@MonicaCellio Okay. Fair enough.
I don't actually have a position in the current Bam argument. I'm just following along.
I further suspect @IsaacMoses will note that while there may be Reform responsa which fit as "Jewish-tradition-based sources that discuss the question", our particular question by definition cannot have such a responsum due to the impossibility of its containing "Jewish-tradition-based sources that discuss the question." @MonicaCellio
The q question asks, given the Torah was written by man (a position I, the OP disagree with), what is the source for emunah?
7:30 PM
@IsaacMoses "...with a body of literature rooted in Jewish sources...". J4Js have a "body of literature" that is way out of scope, after all.
@Daniel Yes, indeed. (in the body of the question that is)
It doesn't matter that the OP disagrees with the pov, he's still asking from that pov
@DoubleAA I wasn't aware that we had to answer the question before deciding if the question should be welcome here.
@MonicaCellio We don't. But it has to be answer-able.
@Daniel would simply asking "what is emunah based on according to them" satisfy everybody? I personally think that showing motivation for a question is a good thing and doesn't automatically validate the claims that come in that way, but if that's what's hanging everybody up, then somebody edit the question please!
7:34 PM
@MonicaCellio Is J4J literature not rooted in Jewish sources? I think its rooting therein is more or less its raison d'etre.
For instance: "What does Orthodox Judaism think of holding the Lulav bundle in between one's teeth instead of in one's hands? I seek only personal opinions, not citations to authoritative sources." would be off topic.
@IsaacMoses I thought most of their body of literature came from gospels and the like. Certainly one of their key points of doctrine does.
This question explicitly asked for an answer from a Conservative pov, and got one. Why is that different from the one we're discussing?
@DoubleAA we're not much on personal opinions no matter what the question is (except maybe for a subset of how-to).
@MonicaCellio So, do you mean "rooted only/primarily in Jewish sources"?
7:37 PM
@Daniel Yes, indeed. So what? Whatever pov you choose, it has to be such that the pov has "Jewish-tradition-based sources that discuss the question."
@IsaacMoses good point. Primarily. I suspect that "only" would rule out things many people want in (no specific examples in mind, but a suspicion that there'd be casualties in the mysticism questions).
7:54 PM
@MonicaCellio (Not a great test case, but) "How does JUFJ, which believes in fundamental rights of workers, relate to slavery being allowed in the Torah?" <-- on or off, and if off, based on what weakness[es]?
@IsaacMoses do they claim that their view of workers rights derives somehow from Jewish sources or tradition?
@MonicaCellio yes
(Never heard of them before, which is why I asked.)
@IsaacMoses And I'd say it's off-topic because it has to do with an organization's philosophy
Another: "How does Jewish Task Force, which believes in Jews arming themselves to the teeth, relate to Mishnayot Shabbat 6:4?"
8:02 PM
It's a worse question than its on-topic brother, which is "How do Jews who believe in the fundamental rights of workers relate to slavery being allowed in the Torah?"
@CharlesKoppelman How could that be answerable?
@IsaacMoses What do you mean?
@IsaacMoses You're right - better is "how does Judaism deal with conflicting notions of workers' rights and allowing slavery?"
@Scimonster How can anyone answer authoritatively what "Jews who believe in X" would say?
I think if you're talking about "Jews as political humans", the question is not answerable
however, this question is dealing with "Jews as students of Torah within the framework of Judaism"
which is completely on topic
8:05 PM
@CharlesKoppelman Close as unclear. What is worker's rights? Slaves have the right to not be gored by oxen, for instance, and they go free if you blind them.
@IsaacMoses given Charle's answer, and assuming that they are believed to have some sort of Jewish philosophy or something (they're not just a social club), then on. It seems similar to questions I think we've had of the form "how does {Rashi, the mishna, the Rav, etc} reconcile X and Y". Note that the JUFJ question should spell out their important claims about workers' rights.
@DoubleAA yes - not a good question but still on-topic
@DoubleAA .... I'm not really interested in that question per se. It was contrived to rework @IsaacMoses's original question about JUFJ
@IsaacMoses I see no evidence that they have "Jewish-tradition-based sources that discuss the question".
@IsaacMoses They presumably do have "Jewish-tradition-based sources that discuss the question"
@DoubleAA ah, we may have different assumptions about burden of proof. I tend to let things in unless we know they're out; it sounds like you'd prefer to require proof on the way in.
8:10 PM
@CharlesKoppelman only skimmed briefly but seems to confirm my suspicion. Showing judaism opposes murder doesn't show that judaism opposed abortion, for example.
@MonicaCellio I don't know why you concluded that about me. I made no conclusion about them.
@DoubleAA I'm not sure exactly what your point is regarding the specifics
I can certainly connect you with someone there who can talk with you about that question (though probably not until after Passover)
@DoubleAA ok.
@DoubleAA If you're interested, go ahead and ask, but if you're actually interested in that organization's POV, you should ask them
@CharlesKoppelman It's an enthymeme. an example from that link is they bring something about judaism supporting happy workers and then say see you must support minimum wage increase accd to judaism.
@DoubleAA I'm happy to discuss this later, but what's the point with regards to the actual conversation we're having?
8:14 PM
Hence they don't have "Jewish-tradition-based sources that discuss the question".
They bring some sorta related Jewish-tradition-based sources and then give their own answer.
@DoubleAA Based on...?
@CharlesKoppelman Their own theories of economics? I dont' know where they made it up from.
what is your lashon hara based on?
@CharlesKoppelman What lashon hara?
I just summarized a piece in that link.
Here (page 5):
The way to address a danger that threatens the entire community, HaLevi concludes, is for
everyone to contribute so that everyone benefits. That, he tells us, is the law. Repairing our
minimum wage system is one way we can begin contributing collectively to “repairing the city
walls” and doing just that.
Oh, dear. I didn't mean to start arguments about particular groups, but I guess I should have known that these examples would be potentially provocative. Sorry.
8:17 PM
Their answers are not based in Judaism.
Such an argument form is only valid on its own authority (so if that authority is a recognized expert in Judaism then we have what to talk about, ie responsa)
@msh210 I was not saying that. I was saying that if someone was warned and ignored the warning then there is a greater responsibility to downvote. Downvoting is for improving post quality, and if a certain type of poor quality post is coming from one user, and it continues despite polite attempts to correct it, then downvoting those types of posts from that user should be used as a tool to improve question quality.
8:33 PM
The frontpage said that "Scimonster" edited this answer, but I don't see no @Scimonster; all I see is hatz. — Shokhet 6 secs ago
@Shokhet Scimonster is feeling hatty.
> Currently wearing several WB14 hats.
TZT. Will reflect and rejoin the conversation later.
@IsaacMoses TZT!
@Shokhet You can see a little of my normal icon down there. :P
8:36 PM
@Scimonster Hm. I couldn't see it until I looked at your profile page.
@Shokhet Yes, it is quite small to fit all those big hats.
In fact, there are some hats in there that are totally invisble.
@Scimonster ....so then, what's the point? What purpose do invisible hats serve?
(that was the base; it has 3 hats on top after this)
Dec 24 '14 at 6:48, by msh210
@TRiG You must also imagine invisible pink unicorns.
@Shokhet They weren't supposed to be invisible, they just got covered up.
8:38 PM
@Scimonster I see. Are they also pink? ^^^^
@Scimonster Only a complete weirdo would continue wearing hats after WinterBash has ended. Pfft.
@Shokhet You tell me. Do they look pink to you?
@Scimonster I can't tell. They're invisible, remember?
@Shokhet Not in the image i posted. Those are the hats that became invisible under the big ones.
@Scimonster They could have turned pink upon becoming invisible.
8:40 PM
@Scimonster In that case; no, they don't look pink :P
@YeZ Also true.
@Scimonster Or perhaps Scimonster is feeling like a mad hatter. :D
@Shokhet I was looking at the review page a few minutes ago, and i thought, where did i go? :P
I just stumbled across this answer. It's a great theory, but I have a feeling the answerer made it up. Just maybe.
@Scimonster :D
@Shokhet et al.: flag as NAA, or just leave it alone?
@Shokhet I think it is an answer, if not a very good one.
@Scimonster I thought so too, but it's really based on nothing. At all. Not even a possible משמעות in פסוק anywhere.
Although honestly, the other answer is not all that much better.
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