Waiting For Judgement....

I hope the Webmaster won't mind posting this. I just want to let everyone know that I am about to pay what is called in Judaism a "shiva call". This is like going to a wake for lack of a better explanation, although as is befitting the damn morose religion of Judaism it gets dressed up some. I have old ex-friends there some of home are wannabe Zionists (a lot of American Jews are wannabe Zionists, because they don't understand Zionism, they don't understand that right wingers and nationalist Jews in Israel will cheerfully break your arms for you if you go to the wrong neighborhood and say the wrong things. It's like American Irish folks giving money to the IRA without really understanding the full nature of what they are doing and what it means and where that money goes).

On the one hand, I want to do this. The person who died was someone I always had good memories of (a friends father) and the friend is someone I want to touch base with and check in with, because it's important that people do that from time to time.

But I guarantee, as sure as god made green grass, that one or two people there, people with no sense of social appropriateness (after all, this is a shiva call, not a debate. Somebody has died here.) are going to try to start an argument and call me a "self-loathing Jew" (whatever that means). If it were me, I would just be polite to whoever showed up, and put politics and religion and all that aside out of respect.

But religionists don't do that. Who was it, who, in response to a comment some stupid fundy made to Ian's anger post, he said, "Dear God, Ian, they're *relentless*!" You think Christian fundys are relentless. Jewish fundamentalists are the worst. After all, we are the chosen people.

Anyway. Just had to get that off my chest. Because I don't mind the service at all. It's what this persons son, my friend wants, and it's what this person would have wanted, and it's what I'll do for my Father and Mother when they are gone. It just doesn't have much intrinsic or spiritual meaning for me. What does have intrinsic, spiritual meaning for me is sitting and talking about this man, and how he affected my life, and how he never had a bad word for anyone, and how he struggled with tremendous pain and diffiiculty and never took it out on anyone and never held a grudge. He was a good man, an honest man, and talking about that and going over it, that is spiritual for me. And it's going to piss me off when the religionists of the bunch get on me about the quality of my nonexistent Judaism.


Dave Berlin
Hard Atheist, learning about science and logic etc.

At some point a man makes certain logical leaps: God never answers my prayers, I never see him, he doesn't help with anything and the kicker, it doesn't seem to matter whether there is religion or not. It's extraneous to life.


Anonymous said...

Dear Dave,

Just signing in to show you my sympathy. (gives virtual hug)
Isn't it amazing that some people will use funerals (or, as in this case, shivas) to get their little "I'm right and your wrong and I'm going to publicly beat you around the ears with my right" kicks? Relentless indeed
The best thing to do, imo, is to keep your dignity, refuse to be drawn in their 'discussion' and simply and openly say (for all to hear) "I'm here to remember and honor a dear friends life, I'm not here to argue about your insecurities. If it makes you feel good to call me a 'self-loathing Jew', fine, I'm a self-loathing Jew. Now, can I go back to talking about this dear friend of mine who died? Thank you."
Bullies tend to find a word, a slur to cow people. If the people who they try to bully loudly and unashamedly say "yeah, so what?" they will be gobsmacked. Won't stall them for long (they'll try again and maybe again) but they won't win from you.
Remember: never explain yourself.

Never explain - your friends do not need it and your
enemies will not believe you anyway.
- Elbert Hubbard

Anonymous said...

Hi, me again.
I actually wanted to quote Disraeli (British PrimeMinister to Queen Victoria) but I couldn't find the quote. It's this: "Never apologize, never explain".
He should know. He was of Jewish parents, got himself baptized in the Church of England and was hugely succesful as a politician and a writer. He even became the Earl of Beaconsfield.
For a 'self-loathing Jew' he was pretty happy and succesful (most powerful man in the world, in fact)
Go on Dave, let those idiots behind. They and their opinions are unworthy.
Your mother.. Well, she might love you and respect your ideas or she might love her image and the opinion of others more... Harsh, I know.. But people might surprise you, you know. Here's a link to an online excerpt of Dan Barker's Loosing Faith in Faith (a few years after telling his religious family he was an atheist, they nearly all became atheists themselves! There's hoping for you :-)

Strength, Dave. And good luck.

Anonymous said...

Off the subject. It is funny how European jews considered themselves the CHOSEN ones when actually it is only the true jews. Which are middle eastern. Anyone can be a jew as far as religion goes.For example you can change to hindu, catholism, christianity ( jeseus was a jew ). But you cannot change your race. If that is so then the black africans jews can claim ancestory to to the jews in the bible.

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