A Pious Jewish Prick (updated)

“I find it necessary to wash my hands after I have come into contact with religious people.”

Friedrich Nietzsche

True story:

A Jewish American young man, baby boomer generation, grows up and gets married in the New York area. His wife is a nice Jewish girl. They live on Long Island. They apparently believed themselves unable to have children, because they adopted a child, sort of through a gray market, but they got a Caucasian child, a daughter, whom they proceeded to raise Jewish.

This might have worked out, except for two things: the daughter was headstrong, articulate, thoughtful, and rebellious, none of which was consonant with the second factor, the father’s increasing orthodoxy and observance of traditional Judaism. Dad’s increasing rigidity about the Sabbath prohibited his daughter from having a normal teenage life, constantly confining her to quarters at times when kids want to congregate and have fun.

Three miracles, three obedient Jews!

Miraculously, the couple then had three daughters, whom they proceeded to raise — and who agreed to be raised — Jewish to the max. Two of them married rabbis. They teach in yeshivas and live in a closed, pious, Jewish world, in which the toilet paper is pre-torn on Friday night, lest one of the 39 varieties of prohibited work be committed on the Sabbath (prescribed Torah penalty: death).

The adopted daughter was forever estranged from her family because of her father’s increasing orthodoxy. His wife, tragically, died a horrible death from cancer at age 58, and he quickly remarried and moved to Israel, leaving his daughters in a state of shock as they undertook the cruel task of disposing of their mother’s possessions and effects.

Trying to get with the program

Meanwhile, the adopted daughter had been having a very rough time of it, even though she got with the parents’ Jewish program to the extent possible, played along for as long as she could, all the while clashing with her (increasingly orthodox) father.

Dad actually left the congregation of which he was president, simply because of the issue of a female rabbi.

Now, in Israel, he lives a Jewish wet dream, immerses himself in Jew stuff day and night, celebrating every holiday, standing on a rooftop at sunrise with thousands of other Jews to commemorate the day on which the Sun was supposedly created, the whole nine yards, surrounded with people just like himself, indoctrinated daily with the specialness of the Jewish people, the inferiority of everyone else.

Torah ABCs

I say, more power to him. Everybody has the freedom to live out his few days as he likes. I would just like to point out one hypocrisy. This man who immerses himself in Torah and the Torah lore, in midrash and spinning, in Biblical disputations and all manner of nonsense and cockamamie bullshit, this man does not know his Torah ABCs.

This is a man who relentlessly punished his daughter because she was different. Leviticus 19:15 – “judge your kinsman fairly.” That doesn’t apply to Judaism itself, apparently. The man’s religion allowed no room for question, much less resistance.

This is a man who (I’m not making this up) incarcerated his unmanageable daughter in a mental institution under false pretenses — told her they were going to a new school — then paid for it when the insurance wouldn’t — with her bat mitzvah money. You shall not steal (Leviticus 19:13). You shall not bear false witness (Deuteronomy 5:11).

This is a wealthy man (owner of several properties in the New York area and Israel), with a six-figure pension (from his accounting firm employer, because he wasn’t allowed to invest in the stock market) — but he won’t offer any but the most meager and niggardly help to his non-conforming atheist daughter.

This is a man who has lavished houses, educations, and much more on the obedient Jewish siblings but won’t respect the commitment he made to his adopted daughter (Numbers 30:3 — honor your commitments).

Morality is optional

This is a pious Jewish prick. There are pious Christian pricks (child-molesting priests), pious Muslim pricks (hate-preaching imams) , pious pricks in every faith, simply because religious observance does not insure, does not consistently motivate ethical behavior. Oh, sure, they make a big deal out of morality – but if you’re pious, morality is OPTIONAL!

Thus it is possible for a man, a very intelligent professional man, to consider himself thoroughly Jewish, to immerse himself in all things Jewish, but not to heed the primitive morality of the Torah that he is supposed to revere.

If religion were unfailingly to deliver a better class of people, a more moral and humane individual, and if in fact it made for the gradual and palpable improvement in the human race and the human condition, then I might see some justification for all the fantasy and ritual.

But when people cling to that fantasy and ritual and use it as a cover for immoral, inhumane behavior, then there is no excusing religion; there is only wishing for its disappearance and demise.

UPDATE: PJP (Pious Jewish Prick) is in the US so his new wife can have surgery. For unexplained reasons he has a narrow window in which he can see his daughter and grandkids. He’s having stomach pains, so no one can know until the last moment whether they will both feel ok. This suspense is not necessary, but for the fact that the intervening day, during which no information can be relayed, is their damned Sabbath. Once again his inflexibility inficlts inconvenience on others. I mentioned above how for years it raised hell with his daughter’s social life.

Sundown today is at 5:56, but for some reason he can’t call till 8:00. Gotta say prayers after Sabbath? I think they have to be sure it’s dark. Gimme a break. Even worse, daughter and kids cannot even VISIT him on Sabbath, no work required on his part. They’re willing to drive 2 1/2 hours each way. I have no idea why no visitation. Because the visitees are condoning driving? It would have been much better to see them on Saturday, so the 7-year-old would not have been subjected to a tough travel day before school the next day. But the fucking Sabbath is more imporant that a young kid’s comfort, rest, and stamina. Couldn’t you once bend the f’ing rules? WHAT KIND OF GOD PROHIBITS A MAN FROM SEEING HIS FAMILY ON THE SABBATH?

Don’t get me started on the the Jews’ anal attchment to their Sabbath. All manner of devices (e.g., non-dialing telephone; elevator that automatically stops at every floor), have been invented to fool God, who is supposed to have to put all the loopholes there so we can find them. Oy, vey. If there’s any other religion so tailored to the obsessive and compulsive, I’d like to know about it.

5 Responses to “A Pious Jewish Prick (updated)”

  1. on 23 Apr 2010 at 5:03 pmHarry

    What’s the point of all that piety, in the absence of love, fairness, and humanity? Sobering account from the dark side of faith.

  2. on 23 Apr 2010 at 5:08 pmHarry

    There’s an anthologized essay that recounts attempts by early Christians in America to convince Native Americans that they should become Christian (oh, and turn over ownership of their land). The Native Americans consult together for awhile, then decline the offer. One of the reasons is that the “good book” the Europeans have been extolling has not, in the opinion of the Native Americans, kept the Europeans from lying, cheating, stealing, or murdering, and therefore has nothing in particular to recommend it.

  3. on 23 Apr 2010 at 6:14 pmAlan

    Thanks for the comments. The disconnect between doctrine and behavior is so old that one might conclude that a primary purpose of belief is actually to cover/excuse immorality.

    Then there’s the pernicious Christian doctrine of “you’re forgiven because Jesus died for your sins.” Oh boy, now I can do anything!

  4. on 11 Mar 2013 at 1:11 amRick Levy

    In short, all form and no content.

  5. on 16 Mar 2013 at 12:35 amAlan

    Rick…right — outward piety excuses bad behavior, from bigotry to child abuse. Ever since I first noticed this, the evidence has been piling up.

    Also noted that religious leaders have not always adhered to any vow of poverty but have often seen religion as a way to enrich themselves (”won’t you contribute to God’s mission, brother?”).

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