Another Reason to Hate Judaism

I just remembered that last night, a woman from the Deaf club near campus (I had a small typing gig there after class) intervened during a legal lecture and said that the local Rabbinate refused to acknowledge her as witness for the writing of a will by one of her own family members.

The reason for said refusal: “You’re deaf, you cannot be a witness”.

Disgusting.

16 Comments »

  1. galia Said:

    you mean another reason to hate the rabbinate. or is there some kind of a law in judaism which does not allow deaf people to be witnesses? it might be so (old stupid laws), but still, judaism is so wide and diverse, there are many reasons to hate it as well as to appriciate it just as any other religion..

  2. freidenker85 Said:

    Oh, that’s a tough one. You see, distinguishing between the Rabbinate and Judaism as a whole is a bit problematic, since the Rabbinate supposedly represents Judaism. I don’t want to go into the various sects in Judaism, and the title of the post was a simple way of saying “This is disgusting religious bigotry”. I’m sorry if it harmed any “Judaisms” that aren’t against deaf people as witnesses.

    I don’t know if there’s a law in Judaism that prevents deaf people from being witnesses, maybe it’s not even a Rabbinical decree, and this was just some particular Rabbi who was out of line, but I doubt it.

    Oh, and about the last thing you said, I’m perfectly okay with writing a different post entitled “another reason to love Judaism” should it deal with a benign trait of Judaism. It’s just that I don’t tend to come across them too often. Judaism usually just gives me the creeps or, in the best of cases, is a harmlessly quirky set of beliefs.

  3. galia Said:

    do you consider yourself jewish? and if yes, would you choose not to be jewish?

  4. freidenker85 Said:

    Well, it’s a tricky question. I was raised as a non-orthodox Jew. Like millions of Israelis. But I’ve been an atheist for 3 years and I consider it to be a decision I made with a full heart that’s not going anywhere. In a way, I’ve always been what I am now, I just didn’t have all the information I do now, and now that I do, I don’t think it’s amenable.

    I do consider myself to be ethnically Jewish. I have some love for this country, although I’m seriously beginning to lose that love due to my disillusionment with the Jewish state (it’s thugs, bullies, theocrats and corruption), but I still consider myself to be Jewish. You could say I’m an atheist Jew, and I can’t really choose not to be ethnically Jewish๐Ÿ™‚

  5. galia Said:

    any religion is a set of moral and community rules. i think the base of Judaism, as is any other religion, is good (although i have always been an atheist) in giving people a sense of community and of something bigger than themself. i dont have feelings of hate or love towords it. i can feel attracted or discusted with what people do with it and how they interpret it. i still think being Jewish is a choise more than it is an ethnicity. you and an ethiopian Jew are not ethnically the same, (unless you are ethiopian.)
    the jewish state is another whole big topic…

  6. freidenker85 Said:

    Well, obviously I’m not Jewish in the same way that Ethiopian Jews are, but that’s because of the convoluted history of the Jewish people. To be more precise, I’m ethnically an Ashkenazi Jew, which is indeed, at least nowadays, a defined ethnic entity.

    About Judaism. Listen, obviously different people can choose to interpret religion in different ways, but you can’t argue with the fact that a lot of precepts of Judaism are independent of the people practicing the religion. If all people commit to the same laws and thus are defined Jewish, they can’t avoid the fact that some of the laws are evil. It is impossible to say that parts of Judaism are not evil because some of them preach violence and brutality. Listen, I’m assuming you know what’s it like to be raised as a Jewish Israeli, and so we both know that Jewish theology, the modern version of it, anyway, attends to both the good and the bad in Judaism. There’s moral codes I respect, and there’s moral codes I abhor. I think that humanity’s moved on, and clinging into Rabbinical law is a reversion, and a bad one, at that.

  7. galia Said:

    i agree, i could not live my life according to rabbinical laws. or under islamic, christian, hindu, what ever other religious laws, unless they totally fit my own set of moral ideas. as a secular jew i choose a few (very few) things which are considered jewish, such as celebrating holidays in some way. that is, i guess, in order to feel i belong to some group which has a long history, and which i don’t want to totally loose contact with. (hope i am clear with all my spelling and syntactic mistakes).

  8. freidenker85 Said:

    I thought you said you’re an atheist? Do you mean that you’re a secular Jew by custom?

    You know, I was unable to discern any spelling or syntactic mistakes.

    Anyhow, I’m glad we see eye-to-eye on the moral issues, but bear in mind that this allows us to criticize the corrupt morals that some religious laws have. That they have good principles as well does not absolve them of the ghastly edicts that exist in holy books.

  9. galia Said:

    secular meaning non-religious and atheist meaning non-beliver. is there a contrast? i choose to be jewish, i feel i belong to this group of people historically and culturally.

  10. freidenker85 Said:

    Non religious just means you’re not orthodox, you don’t follow the halacha to the letter and you allow yourself to be lax with the religious law. This has no direct bearing on you believing or not in God. In fact, a person can be a non-believing religious Jew, although it’s much more likely. Anyway, most secular Jews I know of believe in God, atheism is quite rare in my whereabouts. Then again, I come from Holon, which is a conservative city where religion peppers the town.

  11. galia Said:

    ok, most people i know are atheists, or at least question the existance of a god, the way it is presented in the bible. i guess i am a non-religious atheist jew, who feels she belongs to the jewish people historically, culturally, and respects/finds interest in parts of judaism…

  12. freidenker85 Said:

    Galia, you and I are exactly alike. I often ask myself how “Jewish” I am when faced with the bad things associated with this nationality (the occupation, the thuggish politics, the utter non-existence of manners and etiquette), but I’m still, nevertheless, Jewish.

  13. galia Said:

    the israeli natioanallity and being jewish are two different things which have some things in common , as most israelies are jewish… the occupation has nothing to do with judaism (i think). the agressiveness of israelies may have some relation to some parts of the jewish culture. i’m not sure.

  14. freidenker85 Said:

    The occupation has nothing to do with Judaism? Huh? The only reason we have malign idiots in the occupied territories is due to religious (hence and read Jewish) pretext!

    I don’t know if there’s a connection between Judaism and the vulgar Israeli culture. I tend to think that Israelis are what they are because we’re a bunch of semi- or non-literate citizen warriors used to getting everything by force. We’re brutes with a high GNP, really.

  15. galia Said:

    but then the only reason the state of israel, and not only the occupied territories, as a jewish state, exists is due to religious reasons..

  16. freidenker85 Said:

    Also true. I can be all uppity and say that I wouldn’t mind it being anywhere else, but I’d be lying. It’s too late now because this is already my home. But frankly, I think we could have settled anywhere else. I think anywhere else would have been better, too. Well, maybe not Africa, but yeah, colonizing the most belligerent area of the world was probably a bad idea, sponsored by religion.


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