Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Some People Are Just Idiots, Or Are They?

כ"ד לחודש החמישי תשע"ג

I saw this post on Life In Israel, one of the few blogs I read daily:
Some people are just idiots

Some people are just idiots.

Some people just were not raised right....

...The second picture above is of a group of teens (some news sites say families, but I only teens in the picture), also idiots - even bigger idiots than most teenagers - swimming in the memorial established in memory of the 73 victims of the tragic helicopter crash in the village of She'ar Yashuv 16 years ago. The plaques in the water bear the names of the victims.

According to reports, passers-by told the swimmers that the place is a memorial and they should be sensitive to the emotions of the families of the victims and stop swimming there, to which the one of the swimmers responded that they know what the place is and they have no problem swimming. The proper memorial is to light candles and say tehillim, which is what we do, while water does nothing to lift up the neshama of the dead and there is nothing holy about the site. He then told the kids to continue swimming, saying "I pay taxes just like you and will do what I want here"....  (cont.)
Esser Agaroth (2¢)
I'm on the fence, especially if the teen or older individual didn't just say he didn't care, but actually bothered to think up an excuse.

And the one they came up with (highlighted above) is compelling. It seems to me that some people's Western/assimilationist "feelings" are getting in the way of our thinking and our actions.

Just because the "almighty" State decides to make a creative memorial, doesn't make it a Jewish memorial.

I'm surprised someone didn't say that they were honoring the dead by swimming there, by making full use of their "memorial," demonstrating that life goes on.

I think I'll remember that one, if I ever decide to swim in a memorial.

As my friend Ariel Ben-Yochanan at The Torah Revolution might say, "There is 'Jewish' and there is 'Not Jewish.'"

I'll ask him what he thinks.


Shy Guy said...

Where's the Derech Eretz, which is Kadma La'Torah?!

You should be sitting on the fence. One giant Chilul Hashem!

Esser Agaroth said...

That was my exact, initial reaction.

I have to think about it.

I'm just not sure.

Why would a boy take the time to come up with such an elaborate, and somewhat reasonable excuse?

There's something not being reported here.

Shy Guy said...

That was a "reasonable excuse'?

That was a Menavel Birshut HaTorah! An uber chacham of the lowest form!

Rafi G. said...

why does it matter if it is a jewish memorial or not?

for them it is a memorial and any normal human being would show that basic respect for the other persons emotions and sensitivities.

Ariel ben Yochanan said...

B"H - If I Was One Of The Victims Of The Helicopter Crash

Esser Agaroth said...

Shy Guy, I'm still on the fence with this.

You both make very good points, but so does Ariel.

I caught flack for criticizing Aliza Bloch, which is fine.

But, I don't see how her "short comings" are any less than those of these kids, who apparently light candles and say tehillim.

I can't criticize a religious woman, who is running for mayor, and thus automatically under the microscope (I grew up with a politician mother, so I know.). But, I am criticized for NOT coming down on some kids (albeit Haredi), when I believe there is something missing from this story.

I don't mind the criticism, especially when it's constructive, and from people I've come to appreciate.

But, I guess I'm not getting something here? Was it my tone against her?

I have to give her kaf zekhuth, say, blame her hinukh or something, but I can't blame those kids' hinukh? I have to condemn them?

I'm just trying to make sense of this all.

Esser Agaroth said...

From Eliyahu Skoshias (who was unable to post himself):

There's a LOT wrong with this story, including the uncropped photo from the original (?) Y-net article that does show adults, as well, with a man with a short beard and mustache and no hair on the side of his face wearing a colored T-shirt and shorts, and a woman in a skirt with a kerchief and a bicycle helmet. The article claims that the family was wearing black kippoth and payoth, but none are visible anywhere, on any male or near the pool in the photo. In fact, it looks more like an Arab family than anything. The text about tehillim was added, because the Y-net article only quoted lighting candles and water not affecting the Neshama. Nowhere was the learning of mishnayoth mentioned, and that IS the correct response. I know an honorable hareidi Rabbi who refuses to stand for the tsefira on Yom Hazikaron or Yom Hashoah, but who sits and learns mishnayoth for half an hour at that time, instead. I also found the whole "I pay taxes" argument as unlikely. Seems like a "blood libel" to me.

Shy Guy said...

B"H - If I Was One Of The Victims Of The Helicopter Crash

Holier than thou arrogance, at its best.

You are NOT one of the victims, nor are you one of the people who lost a child or spouse or parent in that accident.

It was built as a memorial fountain. It is not a swimming pool. Try respecting other people's feelings.

Esser, who says you can't blame the kid's chinuch? That's exactly the problem here - and that's why there's nothing to sit on the fence for here.

I can't think of anyone I know who, back in our teens and earlier, would have the gall to insult the dead - and the living mourning - in such a manner.

What is with people?!

Esser Agaroth said...

No, no. I said f people blame Aliza Bloch's hinukh, then why can't I blame the kids' hinukh,...instead of them directly.

Many Jews have discussed whether to blame the (18 yr old) soldiers with kippoth themselves, who throw Jews out of their homes and participate in the handing of their lands over to Arabs, and consider them in herem, or to blame their hinukh, and their rabbinical authority figures.

I believe we should be consistent.

I blame the hinukh, but that does mean that we stand idly by, and do nothing about it. So, those kids have been criticized. Likewise, I criticize Bloch and those soldiers.

Aharon Nitkin said...

Even if the monument is a Jewish symbol of morning doesn't give us a right to use it as a pool. If you are in a public place when the siren goes off, not standing gives the impression that you don't care. They secular don't understand that a moment of silence in not Jewish. While it would be nice if everything in this country was done in accordance with Jewish tradition, we still need to have a concept being respectful. Im with shy guy, derech eretz kadma l'torah

Esser Agaroth said...


All I can say is that you're making good points, especially about how the secular see our actions.

Too bad we really don't have an access to a way of changing their understanding.

Ariel ben Yochanan said...

B"H - Aharon, we must not tolerate idol worshiping in any case, but out of good maners? Certainly not! Besides, not as if it is relevant, people all over the world jump into public ponds, in the summer when it's hot. However, my reaction would be different if we talked about Arab kids: That would indeed be a gross violation and a lack of respect. So, it's not so much a question of What but of Who. In fact the news story was set up to pit the seculars against the haredim.

Aharon Nitkin said...

Ariel, I agree, we shouldn't tolerate idol worshiping. However, does anybody believe that the monument is holy? I don't see why it would be different if Arabs used it. If you hold its idol worship, why is i only disrespectful if non-jews use it? You are right about the last point though.

Ariel ben Yochanan said...

B"H - Nono Aharon, I meant it the other way. The "idol worship" is in calling it "desecration", which is attributing sanctity to it, which clearly it does not have.

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