Come On By

Hey campers. My name’s Crazy Yoseph, aka Yoseph Crack when I post, Yoseph Leib more accurately. But most of my friends call me crazy, which is liberating actually. It means free to actually speak your passions, and I remember longing in elementary school to be able to go crazy, so frustrated because I couldn’t figure out how to do it.
Speaking of figuring, I finally figured out how to post to Jewschool, after years of somehow not be able to work it out. Some of you might know me from Cannabis Chassidis, and if you haven’t looked at it since it’s inception, there’s a nice fresh piece there exploring the mystery of simplicity vs. sophistication, acknowledging that we use truths as drugs to make us able to either do things, or be free to stop doing things. This is the nature of all Guidance, it’s either a sam Maves, a death drug to settle you into a safe zone of relative un-being, cool you off, or a life drug, to give you permission to be, and awake you into experience. All torah is either of these and there’s new insight welcoming y’all on the website there all the time, about the mystery of drugs and how to use them best.
But let me start here by inviting y’all for shabbos. This last few days, some incredible insight and willingness towards presence had open up, and I think good things are comin’ up and out. Click here for more info.
I hope y’all have fun no matter what.

122 thoughts on “Come On By

  1. My yosef yosef,
    where have you run off to so soon. I’ve thought about you and been missing you. I’m writing from Gush Katif. Keep being patuach to the insight.
    Lots of love for you,
    kitra eden

  2. I witnessed one of these shabbat gatherings of yours and what i saw was a total hilul Hashem. I want to warn anyone who is serious about Torah to avoid these “shabbatons”. This past shabbat was parsha Pinchas and the previous week was Balak. In these parshiyot we see Am Yisrael chasing after Midianite women and serious idolatry through Ba’al Peor. It is only through sexual promiscuity that the Jews are damaged. 24,ooo Jews were killed because of this grave situation. Only Pinchas, son of Elazar, son of Aharon the Cohen rose up and stopped the plague that was consuming the Jews. Through this act of violence he was granted a Covenant of Peace with Hashem only because he did it with a pure motive – to protect the Jewish people’s relationship with Hashem.
    Last night I stopped by this shabbaton that was organized and what i saw shocked me. A group of Holy Jews, many “religious” were sitting completely nude in a circle. Other religious jews sat on the side looking on. Sitting naked! on the exact shabbat that the Torah warns us to be sexually pure. i couldn’t believe it. A few of the guys there suddenly became ashamed and got dressed quickly, while others howled at the moon. many of the people who came in my party left immediately and a couple others explained to the naked revelers that they were desecrating the shabbat. mixing kedusha with promiscuity is a cocktail for trouble.
    I earnestly warn anyone who is serious about protecting Am Yisrael to seriously avoid these shabbat experiences. Right now the Jewish people are in a very precarious position….every mitzvah counts. Let’s continue to bring goodness and Light into the world so we may merit Redemption immediately.
    shavuah tov!

  3. sam, have you ever considered the idea that becoming comfortable with one’s own nudity and that of others desexualizes nudity and thereby makes it something normal instead of something lacivious?
    also, it wasn’t sexual promiscuity that was the problem, per se — it was that it was promiscuity with goyishe women who were trying to prevent the israelites from conquering them. that’s very different than having a hot and holy makeout session on shabbos. 😛

  4. pomiscuity is promiscuity….the Zohar explains that a Jew’s vessel can only be perfected through acting modestly….modesty is everything.
    Mobius writes: have you ever considered the idea that becoming comfortable with one’s own nudity and that of others desexualizes nudity and thereby makes it something normal instead of something lacivious?
    So if that’s the case why dont we all walk around nude in society? There is a reason for clothing. There is a reason for being modest about sexuality. How can you possibly think that on shabbat it is okay to sit around nude with a bunch of boys and girls? It is desecrating the shabbat…and I warn anyone that serious about Torah that they should avoid these shabbatons.
    Mobius, i’m not sure why you are sticking up for these hippie Jews who are clearly tampering with dangerous ideas. Because once the clothes come off on shabbat, an orgy is the next step, don’t you see that? That’s how the Yetzer Ha’ra works. “Take off your clothes, it’s fun, it’s liberating, it’s natural….touch each other, massage each other, make each other feel good…” this is the reasoning that will start to happen.
    Especially on this last parsha of Pinchas, you can at least see why I was disturbed. And there definitely were goyishe women there participating in this “shabbat” experience.

  5. promiscuity might be promiscuity, but nudity is not promiscuity, or else the mikva might be a much more awkward place.
    The main social reason for clothes in society, as i can understand it cold weather and fear of rape. You’ll notice, Hashem never tells Adam and Chava to cover themselves, lehefech, he asks them why they’re so embarassed. The etz ha daas makes you asheamed, and shame on you for bringing it, and your strange fantasies to someone else’s gathering.
    On a pure halachic level, Gershom Winkler brings down a response from R Moshe Feinstein saying clearly that the only problem with nudity is community standards. In a place where no one is bothered over it, there’s no need to be bothered by it. Some of the greatest torah scholars and lovers of God I know where there, and none of them had a problem with what was going on… Only the ball tshuvas, who came into it suddenly, thought they were supposed to have a problem. Isn’t that funny?
    Now if we were making brachas, that’d be something else…
    If you have any clear halachic reason why anything you saw was awry, that’d be something else. Your fantasies about what was going to happen, i assure you, were only yours.
    Furthermore, what exactly do you think shabbos is about? All the prohibitions that I know about on shabbos are about Not pointing out the bad, Not picking through and judging the bad, but focusing only what you want. I could have asked the kids who decided to get naked, for whatever reason, maybe the heat, maybe just because they trusted each other, and wanted to know how free they were to just be, not to, and i thought about it, or rather, listened to my heart and felt out what would be truer to shabbos and the god i believe in.
    Isn’t it funny, how, in parshat balak/pinchas, God never tells anyone one to kill any one? He just says to hang out the leaders in the sun whatever that means. It’s translated by moshe, doing the best he can, as an order to kill individuals attached to baal peor. no one mentions the acts of feasted and immodesty as the problem, only the attachment to a flase god.
    why do we sing shalom aliechem before kiddush? If your priority is really torah, and upholding it’s values, please listen.
    who are we welcoming? The artscroll bencher says it’s the two angels who follow you home after shul, one seeing the good you do, and the other the bad. Why do we say to them, leave in peace? Because we don’t want judgements at our shabbos meal. We’re beyond it there, that’s why we use wine for kiddush, zacher lyitsias mitzraim, limaasay breishis. In memory of when we got free, in memory of what we once knew so clearly.
    You seem to be a genuinely well intentioned person, please, open your heart to what these laws and traditions might actually be about, because it’s known that the intentions behind them are the only reason we have any of them. make torah into a death religion, of can and can’t, devoid of understanding of what we and these rituals are trying to do, and you are pushing jews away from torah, including yourself.
    My sense of what the true priorty of shabbos is about is based on the baal shem tov’s torah, dangerous, as you say, only because it so true. have you ever heard this story?
    Brooklyn, New York 5745.

    Reprinted with permission of Connections Magazine
    It is said of the Holy Baal Shem Tov, when he was still seeking to discover the correct way to serve G-d, he was always in depression.
    He was fearful that maybe he did not perform G-d’s commandments
    in the proper way.
    Perhaps he did not adhere to Sabbath in the required
    Indeed, there are many restrictions in our religion. Who can
    ever adhere to all these legal requirements?
    So, he once asked his rebbe, the prophet Achia, from Shiloh, to show him the place in the Garden of Eden of those people who adhered to the Sabbath best. The prophet led him to such a high place in heaven
    where even angels were not permitted.
    High above, he saw two golden
    thrones, shining brilliantly. The Baal Shem asked his master,
    Hashiloni, for whom are these two thrones prepared?”
    He was told,
    for you, since you will be wise,
    and for someone you must find.
    That Saturday night, after Havdallah, the Baal Shem ordered his servant Alexsi to prepare his horse and wagon at once. After they left mezubush, (the Baal Shem’s home town) Alexsi lost control of the horse and it seemed to ride endlessly, for days, across rivers and mountains. Finally, they arrived in a large foreign city where no Jews resided and the horse pulled over in front of a small house in the outskirts of the city. The Baal Shem was greeted by a German who bore no semblance of being Jewish. The Baal Shem asked him if he could stay with him for a few days. Why not, the German answered him.
    The Baal Shem soon noted that this fellow was a plain townsman with no Jewish values. He never prayed nor ate Kosher food. But, the Baal Shem reasoned, if his horse stopped in front of this house, he must wait here and observe carefully. The Baal Shem spent Shabbos there as well.
    (Needless to say, the Baal Shem passed on fish, chulant or Kreayot Hatorah – reading the weekly portion from a Torah scroll; that Shabbos.)
    All he was able to eat were a few loaves of dry bread that he took along for the trip. During Shabbos, the German hosted a great feast for all his friends. They ate, drank, smoked and danced and really lived it up. What a Shabbos experience for the Baal Shem. He entered in a deep depression, reasoning to himself
    this cowboy
    will be my partner in
    the world to come.
    Saturday night, as the Baal Shem was preparing to
    leave, he could not resist asking his mysterious German Shabbos host for an explanation of the purpose of that great joyous feast he hosted earlier in the day. He responded, “When I was a small child, I was taken away from my Jewish home and brought here. I know absolutely nothing about Judaism. I only remember that my father used to always teach me that
    commanded to rejoice on Shabbos.
    Large numbers
    of people came to our house every Shabbos. That is why I developed my own custom to make a great feast every Shabbos and invite my neighbors over and rejoice together with them.” The Baal Shem then realized that here is a man with a true Jewish heart. What a high soul!
    The Baal Shem wanted to return this great soul to its Jewish root and explain to this man how Jews really keep Shabbos. But,
    not express himself. It was
    as if
    his power of speech
    was denied to him
    from heaven.
    The Baal Shem understood that G-d is more satisfied
    with the way this man currently keeps Shabbos then if he were to change his approach
    and abide by
    all the laws of Shabbos.
    His current
    Shabbos is kept with his heart and with perfect joy which would
    most definitely be lacking if he were to keep a traditional Shabbos.
    This, my dear friends, is the great message of Hasidus. we all need great wisdom to know what methods to employ in our service of G-d.
    Such knowledge, we can receive from our pious leaders. If the irreligious people were to understand this, they would not be irreligious. After this experience, the Baal Shem asked his master, Achiya Hashioni, to show him the place of those who desecrate the Shabbos. He led him through barren desert unto the deep darkness, into the lowest pit in hell where he saw two greatly burned black coal thrones. For whom are these frightening thrones waiting for, the Baal Shern asked? His
    master answered,
    for you,
    G-d forbid,
    if you will not be wise
    and for a friend of yours.
    The Baal Shem travelled to meet his companion from hell. This journey was a short one as the horse and wagon this
    time led him into a densely populated Jewish quarter where you could smell the Shabbos food in its streets. The horse came to halt in front of a house where the sound of Torah study rang loud.
    The house was that of the town’s rabbi,
    a man who strictly adhered to every
    minute detail in his observance to G-d.
    The rabbi hardly noticed his quest as he was so engrossed in Torah study. Nonetheless, the Baal shem remained there for Shabbos. A bitter darkness enveloped the Shabbos atmosphere in the rabbi’s house. This strict rabbi was afraid to touch anything with his hand in the event he might desecrate the Shabbos and violate the restriction of Muktza or to take an unnecessary step with his foot which might result in his killing an ant on Shabbos. He simply sat around all day and wondered which restriction he may have violated. What a poor and low Shabbos. The Baal Shem wanted to inform him that the
    Torah was not given to angels and that Shabbos is a time to enjoy the heavenly bliss. He was, however, unable to express his thoughts.
    One is reminded of the Talmudic teaching, “Just as one is commanded to instruct someone if you are certain he will heed your words, so too, one is commanded not to instruct someone if you are certain that he will not heed your words.”
    This story was told over one hundred years ago during a Shabbos Shalusudis feast in the court of Reb Abraham Yaakov of Sadyager by Reb Liebishel Istricher, a leading Hasid.
    Get it? Check out my website for more clarity about what the torah is actually saying, for that matter, learn Gemara in it’s original language, not just the shulchan aruch, or the speeches your rabbi gives on saturday morning. you might get the wrong idea from those.

  7. p.s. what’s up kitra? I saw you for a minute from a distance at ohr yerushalayim, and them when i turned around again, you were gone. e-mail me, yeah? I should be back in the holy city by august 9th.

  8. and just to clarify, where and how does the Zohar say “modesty is everything”? I do that too, quote things out of context to make points, but i’d love to look it up tommorow, and see how the aramaic is phrased. Because the Zohar is totally anti-etz hadaas. that’s the book that says that the eruv rav killed moshe rabbainu, and buried him in the mishna, and that kinda thing. can we get a source for that idea?
    It’s also the zohar on parshat pinchas that tells us that the other side is basically happy just to control tzaddikim, and pretty much leaves everyone else alone.

  9. I mean, i really resent the chillul hashem designation. There were a bunch of jews there, who hated judaism, until that shabbos, they thought ust like you did: it was all a bad relgion, about keeping people ashamed and repressed, like christianity. Only because of who they met, and what they experienced that shabbos did they start to imagine that torah might be about something else. Isn’t that, like, the opposite, when something you do makes people impressed by your god and his message, in the name of torah? don’t you think? maybe?

  10. I hear what you are saying….but please find me a rabbi who says it is okay to have men and women sitting together naked on shabbat? i want his name and number…by the way …have you ever been inside a mikva where women and men are mixing? Didn’t think so. what great torah scholars were there on friday night at your shabbaton? please find me a great torah scholar to support what you were doing. The Baal Shem Tov would have condoned men and women sitting together naked? Are you confusing him with Shabatai Zvi?
    you are fooling yourself Yosef….the yetzeer ha’ra works on all of us very subtley…it comes to get you to first sin on very small “meaningless” things…once this door is open it starts to get you on bigger averot. What was going on this shabbat was wrong, plain and simple. You were sinning and worst of all you caused other jews to sin along with you…this is very serious!
    The other problem was that not all of us were Ba’al teshuvah….we brought people who were FFB as well (one of the guys with us is very, very pure….he’s never even kissed a girl, let alone seen naked men and women sitting together on shabbat), but so what? It was a pure desecration of shabbat and a hilul hashem for all of us to see. Regardless of what happened after all of us left, i don’t care…what i saw is what i saw and every ounce of me knows that it was for sure wrong. Now I’m not the holiest jew in the world…i face my own battles, but the irony of the Parsha we had just discussed and then the scene that was going on on your rooftop was not lost on any of us who showed up. Pinchas was rewarded for his zealotry! So what if hashem didn’t ask him to kill Zimri, Pinchas saw Jews dying in a plague and he did what he did for kiddush Hashem, he didn’t do it for any other motive.
    Yosef, if what you were doing was so right, how come you immediately became ashamed and put on a pair of pants? How come the Breslov guy immediately jumped up and put all his clothing back on? why were you ashamed? no one had said anything to you…obviously your neshama was slapped back into reality and your higher self felt that something was wrong.
    Listen, i apologize for having this discussion in such a public way, but I truly feel it is my obligation as a Jew to warn other impressionable Jews from attending your free-spirited shabbatons.
    With respect and sincere love for Hashem and his children (including you and your naked friends),

  11. Yosef, have you lost all reason? how does your Baal Shem Tov story have anytihng to do with what you did. If I enjoyed my shabbat experience by raping someone, does that constitute enjoying shabbat? Come on, buddy. You were all in complete desecration of shabbat and there is no other way to look at it. find me a rabbi who says it was okay?
    And by the way how can you say that about the Zohar? are you a bigger sage then Rabbi Shimon? there is an entire section about Sniut (modesty) in the Zohar. I’ll find you the exact quote that talks about how a Jew’s vessel can only be perfected through modesty during sexual relations…are you denying the Zohar?

  12. were there any non-jews present at this shabbat? i was pretty sure that there were….imagine the idea that you gave them!!!! that this is how Jews celebrate shabbat? you are walking a dangerous line, my friend

  13. we felt bad for you, was the only reason anyone put clothes back on. Had you been there earlier, no one would have dared felt comfortable enough to walk around naked anyway. it’s hard to talk to anyone while they’re judging you.
    sit with that baal shem tov story. don’t try to understand it, just let it sink it.

  14. While the condition for receiving G-d’s blessing is stated at the beginning of the portion, namely, adherence to Torah and Mitzvos, the high point and conclusion of the promised blessings alludes to the basic tenets of Kedushah , (sanctity), Taharah (purity), and Tznius (modesty) in Jewish life. For Kedushah, Taharah and Tznius are the foundations of the indwelling of the Sanctuary and Shechinah among Jews in general, and within every Jew, man and woman, in particular.
    The sanctity of the “camp,” the Jewish home, and of Jewish conduct, is clearly emphasized elsewhere in the Torah, namely: “Your camp (at home and outside the home) shall be holy, that He not see in you any immorality, and turn away from you.” Devarim 23:15.
    check the rest of the article:

  15. you felt bad for us? that’s why you put clothes back on? are you for real? how much acid have you been taking lately?

  16. it looks like Yosef is trying to bend the Torah to fit his own needs and views. I agree that what happened was a desecration of shabbos and hashem. And jews need to be warned about this group of characters.

  17. Safra d’Tzniuta (“The Book of Modesty”):
    Safra d’Tzniuta is a section of the Zohar.
    Oh, so maybe you should check it out, Yosef. it exists and it is an entire book of the Zohar.

  18. if you see someone else bending the torah to fit their own needs and views, then the truth is, it’s probably you who’s doing that. How was your shabbos? did you touch the heavens at all?
    It’s true though, what you’re saying. I’m convinced that the Torah is the root of all good and all truth, and that it’s trying to teach us how to live that one command better, you know the one, right?
    Any torah I look at that seems to be teaching me something other than how to love my neighbor and God better, I take for granted that I must be reading it wrong, and I look at it again, and ask about it again, until it says something deep and touches my heart.
    What does it mean don’t bow to elohim achairim? Don’t bow to someone else’s God, what they told you god said. That’s idolotry, bowing to a God that you don’t see, and fearing to be true to that which is clear to you.
    You are the Rabbi, with a right to paskun your own life, and no one elses anymore, unless they ask you for advice. Any religion that tells you that the Torah you personally know so deeply is wrong, and that unless you bow to their pesel, what they recieved carved out for them by Someone Else, is the only avodah zarah you’re going to find left in the world. Don’t delude yourselves into thinking that just because the Torah you give over is prohibitive, that it isn’t self indulgent.
    Better a rabbi who know how to find heterim that one who insists on being machmir, because any ignoramus can be machmir, only a true scholar knows how to be permissive.
    I repeat: just parroting what someone else told you about holiness and sanctity is as much bending the torah to fit your own needs and insecurities as anyone else’s Torah, if not more so. Go make your selves better Rabbis, because your holiness is not real if you’re still seeing so much bad in others. And thanks for bringing it up, I admire your passion and caring for the torah’s message. Keep learning, kids, you too, might one day feel comfortable enough with it to make your own judgements with it.

  19. i’m working on finding an exact quote for you…might take me until tomorrow…but i remember learning that a Jew’s vessel is perfected only through acting modestly when it comes to sexuality…maybe there was no actual sex going on on Friday (although i highly doubt that this was the case), does it really matter? men and women sitting around together naked on shabbat during parsha Pinchas especially…does this sound right to anyone out there?

  20. Yosef, have you read Pirkei Avot? it specifically tells us to attach ourselves to a Rabbi. there are certain situations in life wheere you just know whcih way is the correct Torah way. that’s where your rabbi (one who you totally trust) comes in. There are certain times in life where we need guidance. You, my friend, need a rabbi…you value your own knowledge too much…and that is also avodah zara…valuing your own ego to the point where you cannot accept anyone else’s knowledge (wasn’t this the main problem of Rabbi akivah’s students?) is avodah zara…not just bowing down to elokim achairim…money can be avodah zara, sex can be avodah zara and worship of the body can be too.
    you are trying to bring Torah down to justify your actions.
    what real Torah scholar would condone your actions?

  21. right, it’s true… to someone who’s never seen people sitting around naked and at peace before, it does sound mighty suspicious.
    Now, if you’ve been to a place where people are sitting around naked, and nothing sexual is going on, are you chayuv to be uncomfortable? to make others uncomfortable? To introduce the idea of sexual immorality? It’s good question. I’ve been holding, why bother, y’know? That was the point of the baal shem tov story above, why bother introducing the etz ha daas stuff to a place where it’s not an issue? are we assuming that it secretly is an issue, no matter what? Where do we learn out that nudity is inherently, no matter what, sexual, in every community, and in every place?
    the point of the adam ha rishon thing i brought up above was a mekor that it’s not nessesarily, at least not in the place before the etz ha daas. Do you really believe that moshiach is mamish here, and all we have to do is welcome him? If so, why make the etz ha daas a priority in a place where it’s not being aware of?

  22. you’re going to read all of Safra d’tzniuta? good luck…it is very extensive…i hope you find what you are looking for, but please don’t try and use the Zohar to justify what happened.

  23. I gave you the name of a rabbi saying that such things were ok if no-one around didn’t think they weren’t– moshe feinstein. As mentioned above, it’s brought down, in Gershom Winkler’s “Path of the Boundary Crosser” He might be a questionable source, but the sources he brings down are not.
    He also brings down a long piece from R’ Yaakov Emden from hilchos ya’avetz talking about how premarital sex in the form of mikva going pilagshim should be re-instituted into judaism, because all sexual norms were basically just imposed upon us by the gentile cultures we were conquered by. Fear of nudity, is not a jewish thing, the only examples of which i can think of from the tanach is Noach, and that had nothing to do with boys and girls.

  24. Yosef, you are speaking in abstractions…and making no sense really. Let me ask you a question…did anything sexual happen on Friday night? be honest…no point in lying about it if we are openly discussing this.
    And were there non-jews present?

  25. pirkei avos says make yourself a rabbi, and get yourself a friend. Asie lecha Rav, which means literally both, make yourself into, or make someone else into someone who can be a rav. It doesn’t say indulge and force yourself to believe in someone else just because of their title.

  26. “Path of the Boundary Crossers” that’s where you are bringing your source from? the Torah is all about BOUNDARIES…once we start crossing these boundaries that’s when we wind up in trouble.
    I highly, highly doubt that Moshe Feinstein would have seen your naked shabbat as something being allowed in Torah Law. be careful who you quote…R. Moshe might not be happy with you taking him out of context.

  27. make no mistake, i have rabbaim, who’s eitzahs I am mivatel to. They live in yerushalyim, pardes chana, zichron yaakov, have smicha from the lubavitcher rebbe, moshe feinstein, R soloveitchik and R’ shlomo amongst others… All the more radical things i’m saying, I only ever learned from them. And you know what? I good rav is only one who makes you to be a rav too. A rabbi who doesn’t make you go and find truth for yourself is worthless.

  28. the etz ha daas torah is all about boundaries. the etz ha chaim torah, the torah of moshiach, is deeper than that. It’s about making your heart and your eyes transformed into something that can heal, instead of just looking for who to kill.

  29. i agree that you should eventually become your own rav, but even then you are still attached to a rabbi who is higher than you…all Talmud is based on a hierarchy of rabbis… in most cases, we go according to the rabbi who came first….so you must always mivatel yourself to a rabbi who is above you.
    Shabatai Zvi also spoke about the “New” Torah of Moshiach….where di he lead the Jews of his day? into sexual promiscuity and orgies and eventually conversion to islam. honestly, you don’t sound so far away from this.
    again i ask…was there any sexuality going on during your Friday night shabbat? can you answer me honestly?

  30. One rabbi i hold by, R Micha Odenheimer says, what’s Avodah Zarah? Thinking that my relationship with God depends on things I do. The bracha comes down no matter what, and to think that it only comes down if you do some specific thing, is the basis of avodah zarah. we can’t be jews out of terror, that’s what the zohar calls fallen yirah. One of the more controversial parts of the zohar is where R’ Shimon starts talking about Yirah tatah, fear of getting things wrong, of doing things to anger god, and yirah illah, which is just the desire to do good, only because it’s good. And he say further, until you give up yirah tatuh, yirah illah can never come to you.

  31. Truth is truth, does not depend on who says it. How does it feel when you hear it? Taamu ooh riooh ki tov, does not depend on being approved by a tzaddik.

  32. why are you avoiding the questions being posed to you by quoting things that have nothing to do with the original points that were being made. was there sex going on? and were there non-jews present? answer these please…
    Ever heard that “maaseh zeh ha’ikar”? of course your actions mean something and they do define your relationship with Hashem…eating kosher for instance, keeps the connection between you and Hashem clear and clean. it’s like using your computer…if you use if for schmutz, it can damage the computer and then damage the connection with the internet…if we do mitzvot it helps bring shefa down to us and helps strengthen our connection with Hashem…look at what Pinchas’ actions did? he stoppped a plague!!! how can u say actions don’t affect our relationship with G-d?
    where are you learning this Torah? Come down from your cloud and join the rest of humanity on the ground. sure have your head in shamayim sometimes, but please plant your feet on the ground…where you stand is your makom, your connection to to the earth, it is your malchut.

  33. Yosef, were non-jews present? did sex take place?
    everything you said previously is on the line here, bro, unless you answer these questions.

  34. actions affect the world. And God can never be any closer or any further away. Nothing you do can make him love you more, or less. If eating Kosher makes you feel closer, more aware of god, then great. To think that your ability to relate to him depends on that…

  35. “Nothing you do can make him love you more, or less”…writes Yosef
    this is true…i agree….but the shechina went into exile because of the Jewish people’s actions…what say you to that?
    every action has an equal and opposite reaction….well, where do you think this reaction is coming from?
    Yosef, answer the questions posed of you! were there non-jews present and did sex take place.

  36. what actions caused the shchina to go into exile?
    Sinas chinam doesn’t mean reasonless hatred… If you want to, you can always find a reason, to feel justified attacking someone.

  37. Yosef, why are you avoiding the questions? did this naked shabbat take place in front of non-Jews….did you give these non-jews the impression that this is how Jews celebrate shabbat?
    was there any sex that then took place out of this nakedness?
    come on, answer the questions.

  38. the reason i am adamant about you answering these questions are because A). I am sure non-Jews were there and that you then definitely made a hilul Hashem by defining that it is okay for Jews to celebrate shabbat naked – giving non-Jews the wrong impression about our religion.
    and B). i ask about the sex because someone i know said that they were somewhat certain that an orgy had taken place after we all left.
    Where are your Torah proofs that state that an orgy with non-Jews is okay on shabbat????!!!!!!!

  39. Dear Samo.
    First of all nobody cares for your weekend shabbos-blockbusting review. And unless you passed pitchfork-media’s taste test, your opinion on art counts as much as your pseudonym counts for your birthright. At best your rant can be summed up as discriminatory. If you would like to put up a fight, and think you’ve got the skills for it, remember first of all for the month of Tammuz and Av, you should lay of the Jews. But if your angst is flaring up your cross-posting message board twitch, pick on some Jews for Jesus missionary freaks for your kicks.
    Bob Dylan once said, “Don’t criticize what you can’t understand”. He was paraphrasing what Hillel once said; “Don’t judge a person till you reach his place.” Interesting to note he does not use the words “in his shoes”, (which is the norm when we compare and evaluate others situations), rather ‘place’, to mean…even if they are not wearing any shoes, or eh’hm, clothing. So don’t be a judge of Yoseph’s crew.
    And if you are still judging that is OK, you are just naïve. Obviously you do not understand your issues within yourself and within Halacha. Halacha was set up to replace the pragmatic western lifestyle’s reaction to; “oh no, look mom, they are naked hippies over there, shame on them”, and instill in Jews a higher, loftier practice of conduct.
    Halacha is the art or revealing the divine dimension through the medium of human acts.
    You should allow yourself to be amazed with what you can-not, as a human comprehend.
    (hot and sweaty bodies are pure, clothing sexualizes the body), while they transcended from this fashion statement bonding their souls toward heaven. Instead of only seeing the hot naked bodies, you could have been reaching high levels of prayer, along with the rest of the congregation. Don’t get ashamed and guilty Samo, you are exempt since previously, you did not know the Halacha.
    love, ahron

  40. I cannot believe that you, Ahron, can possibly see halacha as something that would support the kind of behavior that sam witnessed this past shabbat.
    You seem like a knowledgable jew, but do you really think that we are menat to celebrate shabbat naked with men and women intermingling? look at all of the precautions and lengths Judaism goes to in order to preserve modesty.
    Balak and Bilaam were unable to curse the Jewish people…until…they influenced the Jewish men to behave IMMODESTLY…are you guys delusional? how is this not obvious to you. You are so clouded by the yezter ha’ra that you cannot see that your actions are harming you and because they are harming you they are harming the entire nation of Israel. Israel is in a very tough situation…Jews are being expelled from Gaza, terro continues to reign, in-fighting among Jews….and what do you do this past shabbat? you sit naked on a rooftop in brooklyn and howl at the moon….what kind of tikkun is that? where are your heads? do you realize how much your actions affect the entire nation of Israel?

  41. If you can sit by women naked and not feel sexual then I feel sorry for you. To become desensitized to the feel and the look of the female body is something that hashem has given us as a gift to experience with our wife. Obviously I can see that you and probably everyone there wasn’t married. I’m sure you felt that it was a holly shabbos and as you say touched the heavens. But brother come down to Earth “Torah lo b’shamayim hie”.
    You say from MF and I quote “that the only problem with nudity is community standards. In a place where no one is bothered over it, there’s no need to be bothered by it.” Bro community standards is not defined by a bunch of wanna be hippies. Halachakly if you look in the talmud it is defined by the rov.
    You can give me an email and I will give you my number and we can talk more about it. foodchain at gmail . com
    I”m sure you had good intentions, and felt it was inspirational, and such, but you can’t walk in this world with the lights off don’t depend on your own torah to justify your own ideas. Asay l’cha rav. Asay as in make, it takes work it isn’t easy, because it is very comfortable to follow your own heart.

  42. Yosef Crack: “learn Gemara in it’s original language, not just the shulchan aruch, or the speeches your rabbi gives on saturday morning. you might get the wrong idea from those”
    Gemara Yevamot 63b reads:
    ‘The naval says in his heart, there is no Elokim’ (Tehilim 14:1). It was taught in a baraitha: These are the men of Barbaria and Martania, who go naked in the shuk, there being nothing more revolting and despicable to Hakadosh Baruch Hu than going naked in the shuk.

  43. well said Yosef from Amherst!!! you are exactly right. it is not easy to have a rov…to put your life in someone else’s hands.

  44. ok sam, first of all, i resent ur use of the word ‘schmutz’ negatively, above (schmutzfest is not, atleast historically, an orgy- see http://www.schmutzfest.com).
    Anyways, not that anyone asked me, but…
    1. its beautiful to see u all discussing this issue so passionately. the heated deliberation playing out is truly a kiddush hashem, reminiscent of those between hillel and shammai (if not the same subject matter).
    2. in support of sam and gang: the oft quoted pirkei avot says that everyone should serve hashem in there own fashion. this has been explained to mean that everyone has their strengths and weaknesses, talents and non-talents, and that everyone should serve g-d using what they were given to their best ability using those strengths and appreciate their lot. there is however a certain basic premise that must be held to and then built-upon with those talents specific to each of us . that premise is the torah, w/mitzvot and the gates (the preventive gates around the isurim, also noted in the very beginning of pirkei avot). is chilling out naked as described an acceptable activity? hmmm, based upon pirkei avot, doesn’t sound like it. but back then, they didn’t hav baal shem tov folklore or chassidut.
    on the flip, to lend some support yoseph’s way, everyone is different with different needs and on different levels. that must be recognized. they r trying to grow.
    U’ll always attract more ppl with honey than with a punch in the gut. Do we accept deviants and their ways, encouraging them to grow with us? Or do we punch ‘em in the gut and push them afar, to be exiled from the community? Which option is more likely to see positive results?
    the main issue i see is having naked parties and institutionalizing them or saying they r correct, because that is how bad things happen- shabtai zvi, the reform movement, etc.
    to conclude. on one hand i really wish i could hav been there. not to stone the nudies or get stoned. but because it sounds exciting. it sounds fleshy. it sounds like something my yetzer harah would love. it sounds like a fantasy or dream i’ve had for many years. but, i realize its not a healthy situation for my neshama and where i’m going. thats not judgemental (dirty dirty word. ok, please, we’re all judgemental), its about me recognizing what is right for me, and not saying what is not right for others. at one time, i might hav attended a nudist paradise, but i’ve moved on to a different place, where such gatherings are no longer a necessity and making up excuses for them is laughable. i still make up excuses to myself for all of my sins, but i’ve gotten more creative, and in the end, i know and admit i’m wrong.

  45. Dear Yosef,
    Where you really sitting in a circle naked? without your kippah? I’m shocked. Please send photos.
    Love, Esther
    p.s.keep me on your invite list!

  46. Dear Yosef,
    Were you really sitting in a circle naked? without your kippah? I’m shocked. Please send photos.
    Love, Esther
    p.s.keep me on your invite list!

  47. Mishna Kiddushin 80b. A man may not be secluded with two women. , but one woman may be secluded with two men.
    This is all about modesty and tznius. This means a man may not even be alone with one woman, and why is it Ok for a woman to be with two men? Because each of the men will be ashamed to give in to his desire in the presence of the other.
    If this is wrong for one on one, kal vachomer, how much more so for a group of twelve or more.
    Kiddushin 81a: Rav Amram the pious saw a woman in the upper story of his house and a light shone on her face. Rav Amram was so enthralled by her beauty that he took a ladder that 10 people could not lift and proceed to climb the ladder to proposition her. When he reached the middle of the ladder he spread his feet apart to steady himself and shouted “fire in the house of Amram.” The Rabbis came running and saw there was no fire in the house . They said to him “ you have shamed us all by what you were about to do.” Rav Amram replied , “ better that you be shamed in the house of Amram in this world, and you not be ashamed of him in the world to come.” (i.e. Had I not called out to you and committed the sin, you would have been ashamed of me in the world to come( were all is revealed) of having been associated with such a sinner as me.. Better that you suffer a transient embarrassment in this world than an everlasting embarrassment in the world to come. )
    Avodah Zarah 101(sic) : “twelve naked people sitting in a circle howling at the moon”.
    I am an older BT who grew up in the 60’s, so I understand your base taiva, but as I was drawn to yiddishkeit, one of the first things I learned about was the modesty of the Jewish woman, all our matriarchs were extremely modest woman, and are an example to all other women, that is what separates and makes the Jewish woman so beautiful, you do not want to debase this.
    I also noticed most of the posts appear to be from men, (most men fantasize about an orgy, so these opinions are driven from a very low place of klipah). I would like to know how some Jewish women feel about celebrating shabbos this way.
    I notice esther wants to join the circle, THE Real Esther was willing to give up her life to save the Jewish people from Haman to be with Achasverosh, I hope you esther are wanting to do it for the same reasons.

  48. for gods sake!
    loshan harah lamed hey, you know what the rabbis say! you’re so certain that there was an orgy?? you’re pretty sure that something sexual took place. sure but it was in YOUR pants because you were in a highly sexualized headspace, whereas the happy naked people were just that, comfortable, naked, and happy.
    there was no orgy, and by the way, in this world of rooftop parties in brooklyn, someone as quick to freak out and judge as you is the hillul hashem.
    i can assure you 100 percent there was no orgy, how do i know? i WAS THERE.
    it’s judging peeps that is the problem, not the wild orgies of your dreams buddy, and don’t call what we do a shabbaton either!

  49. emilia ……ur a refreshing response to read ;).someone who was there and actually knows the vibe..ya who the hell calls our shabbos’ a ‘shabbaton’ …give me a break

  50. I never said an orgy took place….it DOES NOT MATTER….Hello people!!! the fact that jewish men and women were sitting together naked on shabbat is the problem. This is against halacha, plain and simple. So don’t try and defend it and distort Judaism to fit with your shameful actions.

  51. im concerned for ur health. i mean really, ‘anger eats the bones and joy feeds the flesh.” u said what u said and u gave over what u could , if u have any emunah at alll u would just let go now and be quiet.

  52. the whole poiint was that men and women sitting together on a rooftop is not a modest situation at any time and especially during shabbat! whether or not an orgy happened has no bearing on the fact that you all desecrated shabbat in front of Jews celebrating shabbat for the first time and non-jews who have no idea what Jews do on shabbos.
    there is no justification for your actions.

  53. ya so stop harassing us on jahfilte. u said it and zeh hu. “warn people” when they do something wrong? listen there are people who know and those who dont most of us have heard it, learned and bla bla bla. there is an inyan of tinok shenishba which the majority of pppl today a are considered. i havent voiced my opinion on this whole discussion but i dont need to the sides have been presented and frankly im damn sick of it already. stop talking and be and let be

  54. sam– earlier you seemed to say that it mattered very much whether or not there had been an orgy.
    Yes, it’s asur for men to see naked women, but it’s not the end of the world– there are certainly worse things one could do. There is a tendency sometimes to make tzniut the center of a woman’s avodat hashem, which is out of porportion, and often unhealthy. Yes, some women learn from tzniut that they should be valued for more than their breasts. But some learn that their bodies are shameful. A problem in chinuch? certainly. But my point is that getting neurotic about tzniut is not the proper response to a lack thereof.
    I personally find the idea of such comfort with ones body rather appealing. Due to halacha (helped by my own hangups, perhaps), I have never actually tried it.
    ( For the record, I did NOT just advocate nudity, I advocated tzniut, on the basis that it is halacha. But chill out, and keep a snse of proportion)

  55. I actually agree to a certain extent that it can be self liberating to be naked and feel comfortable, and in fact were we not to have eaten from the etz hadas we would be still naked. I do think that one can attain a level beyond eitz hadas where there are no hang ups on sexuality. I’m however sceptiacal that you all acheived that level. (Maybe you did and it was very strong kool-aid).
    I was on the beaches in Hawaii after a sweat lodge after drinking some peyote tea and I sat there naked around alot of other naked people. We all felt comfortable just being, and it was a very healing feeling after previously having some hang ups about my body and its skinny frame.
    We do however have something called halacha. It is not ok to play guitar on shabbos even though I think it would be very spirtiual and uplifting. The same thing can be said with being naked. I did mention earlier that it isn’t a good thing to not feel any sexuality around beatuiful Jewish women. But I do recognize that it can be very liberating. However G-d said “no” just like he said no to the guitar on Shabbos. Yes it was the Rabbis but G-d gave them this power to create his word.
    I think someone mentioned earlier that it is the three weeks and we should be concentrating our efforts to bring Jews closer.

  56. It really frustrates me how misunderstood halacha is and has been, and for that matter, is encouraged to be by some people.
    Halacha has always been more about testimony than truth. two witnesses are what make something a problem, and so on.
    respected rabbis, much like respected priest, ministers and imams, are whores, who can only say what they’re congregations will let them say. if they start to say anything that doesn’t want to be heard, they are usually replaced. This is what happened to any too-honest/to learned torah thinker in the last generation, Like R’ Gershom Winkler, R’ Zalman Schechter Shalomi, R David Woolf, R Shlomo, Meir Kahane to a large degree, all came to big breakings with the respected rabbinical authorities, not because they were wrong, but because their truths were too threatening to consider dealing with.
    Shabbos, unlike halacha, is a mitzva, possibly the one that all others revolve around. The main thing of shabbos is not any of the rules and/or prohibitions. did you know, that the halacha says to be less strict about most of the things we’re usually super-miduyik about, like making sure the dishes are properly toveled and pretty much anything else that would disrupt WHAT SHABBOS REALLY IS, a stopping to worry about what’s wrong and what needs to be fixed and made better, and instead just sitting and appreciating? Did you know that?
    My dear departed teacher Dovid Hertzberg Z”l, a better scholar of chassidus, rishnim and achronim, and the true message and purpose yiddishkite than any respected rabbi i’ve ever heard used to say:
    “Don’t let Your shulchan aruch get in the way of my Shabbos.”
    Do you understand? If you didn’t feel comfortable, if you don’t feel comfortable anywhere on shabbos, you are always free to leave the room, and, if you really want to be true to shabbos and accept the challenges to your assumptions about how things are supposed to be that Hashem is setting before you at the moment, you can change your mind and see the holiness in what’s going on instead of just Your fears and Your insecurities, which may not have been yours originally, but which you have accepted from the wounded Rabbis from whom you take counsel.
    If the approval of who your Rabbi has been is worth the dirt in your eyes and the blindness to God’s true presence, and the learning about what else he is trying to show you, fine. But don’t demand us to be as blind to.
    The shulchan Aruch, since it’s inception, was designed to be used differently by every community. THAT WHY THERE’S ALL THOSE LITTLE COMENTARIES ON THE SIDE, SAYING “WELL, HERE’S WHAT WE DO DIFFERENTLY”
    For that matter, I don’t think the rabbis in the gemara generally wanted to be as obnoxious about The Law as they had to be, because the Am Haartzim had enough trouble understanding what they were talking about, what could it meant the the law in in our hands and not the King’s or the Temple’s? The a cute exchange in the gemara in Avodah Zarah where one rabbi tells another, hey man
    I missed shiur yesterday
    what happened?
    Oh, dude! They permitted gentile bread and salted fish
    Huh. If they did that, why didn’t they just permit gentile wine too?
    If we did that, they would have called us a permissive court, and the dude then lists previous generation where more than one law was adjusted, and the generation blew them off as being as permissive court.
    I care about God’s true Torah, not your Rabbi’s wounded halacha.
    I listen to the shulchan aruch, not obey it. When you love some one, and they love you, they much rather you listen to them and who they are rather than just obey them, except in those moments when you have work right away to be able to pay the bills. Shabbos is not about paying the bills.
    Further more, the reference in Nedarim made above, says clearly IN THE SHUK, that is to say, selling your nudity, trying to market yourself. Shabbos is not in the shuk. The laws of what to keep covered, doesn’t apply in your own house, where you set the standard of decency.
    R Zalman Shechter Shalomi writes about the Naked Shabbos, a.k.a., the Gan Eden Shabbos, as a nice excercize for coming close to the original shabbos experience. You can only do it with people you trust, and if it’s too exciting for you, stop. But don’t impose your limitations on freer people.
    Of course, whenever you bring up Pinchas, I get scared that you’re gonna come to my house and kill me for disagreeing with you, and feel justified. The reason Chazal stop using prophesy, and dismissed the voice of god as having any halachic validity, was that they were sick of all the killing we were doing in the same way. You’l recall, Judaism as we know it, with a written oral law, ha ha ha, is forbidden d’uraisa. We were not allowed to write down the oral law, and then we did anyway.
    Not everyone held by R’ Yehuda Hanasi, only those who wanted to
    be a part of his party. Remember how he justified his breaking of the one Cardinal law of pre-rabbinic Judaism? By taking a pasuk out of context, and re-interpreting it, to fit what he wanted it to mean. This is always how living Torah is brought down.
    When did he stop giving us this power? never. You are the rabbis of generation, and you are responsible for everything you hold. Let someone else make decisions for you, if you trust them more than yourself, and don’t expect anyone else to do the same.
    Sam, i’m particularly annoyed because you didn’t come in a spirit of Torah, asking what my self justification was, trying to find what my heter could of been for doing something you couldn’t understand. You pulled out your sword right away, and did nothing but accuse and stab. did that feel good? It invited all this torah to come out, and I appreciate that from you, I can only wonder if you’re able to hear any of it. I’m not asking you to believe or obey me, only to try to maybe understand why i’m holding how i’m holding.
    Would you please? I don’t know who you are, you didn’t come to me on shabbos and say anythoing, you didn’t e-mail me privately, you made no effort to understand or engage me on an idea basis. I don’t know who you are, how you found Jahfiltefish, who you Rav is, and i invite you please: keep your mind open to Torah. It’s about questions, to invite each other into beng and expressing what Hashem is telling them, not commands to shut them off. If it ever was about that, Chazal came and made it better, because the secret of Judaism and Torah is that it’s being made better all the time, only by us listening to each other, and the voice of God speaking from in between us.

  57. All of you right-wing fanatics are stupid and lame and need to take off your clothes more often, or hang out with people who do. Great story by the way Yoseph, it’s my new favorite. Also ahron your post was brilliant and masterful, and saved me from really having to write anything.
    lovin you

  58. hey, wow, does ester now own the rights to a website called nakedyosef.com? Is that the jewlicious ester, or a different one? Lord, we all have such common jewish names.
    You’re definitely invited next time, i’d have called if i knew your number. Think we can make some side money from the website?
    Ah but then i could never be naked on shabbos again, it would be like working. Might not be worth it.

  59. be careful who you are calling a right-wing fanatic…don’t you realize that we wear clothes for a reason? we live in a state of consciousness that requires men and women above the age of 5 to cover themselves….it is the way of the world. there is nothing uptight about wearing clothing.
    i wish all of you would stop trying justify that men and women hanging out naked on shabbat is such an elevated thing to do….you’re all so free and liberal that you have completely no repsect for tthe authority of rabbis. don’t you understand that the community needs rabbis to guide us? it’s not my fault if Yosef has had some bad experiences with the rabbinute so that now he decries all of them as charlatans….you all need to grow up and realize that you live in a world with certain boundaries….can a human being live and breath underwater? hashem set up our existence with certain boundaries, rules, and limitations.
    stop trying to believe that your own wisdom supercedes that of Hashem’s.

  60. In response to Yosef again, you can find a rabbi to tell you anything is okay. the point is that in halacha majority rules…and i know for sure (and u can’t really argue with this one) that the majority of Torah observant Jews will say that men and women naked together on shabbat is not right.

  61. When will all these judgmental people (that I judge to be judgmental) realize that Judaism is only about becoming closer to G-d, not rules, and that everyone should come closer to G-d in their own way, and not be bound by the Shulchan Aruch, Talmud, or Torah?
    I don’t think Yoseph Crack goes far enough. I’d like to recommend my own ways of approaching G-d, in the name of Judaism, of course.
    1) Many cultures have worshipped their gods through sex, be it public sex or with temple prostitutes. What better way to approximate intimacy with G-d? And if married women were involved, it would show community spirit as opposed to narrow selfishness.
    2) Since G-d is so abstract, many people prefer to approach him through an intermediary, be it a person or an object made of stone or wood, which is more graspable and immediate. Time to bring this old practice back.
    3) The Aztecs, among others, used to appease their gods through human sacrifice. This may seem drastic, but only through such sacrifice can we show our love for our creator.
    I have lots of other great ideas, but these three are my favorites (“On three things the world depends…”)
    It’s time to abandon all those cold hard rules and get some real religion. Judaism for everyone! Right-wing fanatics will never get it!

  62. nice. Temple prostitutes? We’d have to build a temple first. Human sacrifice, we’re already yotzei, with ourselves usually, and with others when we conquer them into serving our God. And an intermediary made of Stone or Wood? The kotzker says that’s our leaders, so, it might not be real, but we’re probably yotzei on all the ikkarim.

  63. Do all of you see where this liberal-minded thinking of yours leads….it leads to people like “J” above.
    J-you are so full of crap, i’m not sure you’re entirely serious. but, if you are, i suggest you turn to jesus immediately.

  64. i heard someone say: why did we prohibit tree-worshipping, sacral whores, and human sacrifice? Because until we prohibitted them, we thought they were the only way to be holy.

  65. Crack- can you tell me why my ideas are any less valid under Judaism than are yours?
    Moshe- I am entirely serious. But not everything should be taken literally. Did you notice any pattern in my three items?

  66. what pattern are you refering to? that these are the only 3 things that one is allowed to give up his life for?
    otherwsie, it missed me. but, you’re clearly off the derech to be saying such things.

  67. “but, you’re clearly off the derech to be saying such things.”
    If you think that I’m seriously advocating human sacrifice, isn’t “off the derech” a gross understatement?

  68. under judaism? Only because I cite sources… sometimes.
    Juaism as i understand it is and has been very afraid of two main things, more than anything else:
    1) dying, culturally, either from assimilation, or, y’know, amalekites. This fear is what kept us from becoming buddists on mount Sinai, instead wanting a Law that would let us have passion, life, fun, drama, and family experiences, of all the animalest pleasures, like love, pride, sympathy and all those things we do.
    All living things fear dying, and will do most anything to avoid it. Cultures and religions are the same way, when not threatend, they are nto afraid, but will try to prove their nessesity to you in order to be sustained. Israel has done this effectively enough for us the last long while, giving a culture worth giving up… usually. Everytime the outside culture has been better than ours, we either changed ours to be EVEN cooler, or assimilated, because who needs it?
    If nobody cared about Israel, at all, God might not too.
    Most of the biblical prohibitions that don’t have to do with justice, feeding the poor, keeping the wealth from becoming centralized in the hands of individuals for too long have to do with not imitating the ways of the nations, because, as soon as we give up on the game, what do we play? And what if they don’t love us as much as our mother does? Who will care for us when we’re hurt, or alone, but the tribe?
    So we keep the tribe going, because it cares for us, and loves us, when no one else will.
    2)The main fear in halacha, more than dying or assimilatingi, is that we’re goin to become insensitive to someone else, something you have to do in order to be sometimes, and also is the most natural thing in the world to be. That seems to be the main function of Israel, to be an empire that sets us free from the abuses of Empires, a job that feels good to work for.
    2) regressing, stagnancy. As much as there’s all the talk of going back to Jerusalem, it’s not allowed to be the same Jerusalem it was, it has to be so new. We can re build the old temples, only build a new one, one that would not be hurt by anything, not because it was so hard and impenetrable, just one so beautiful and accesible that everyone would appreciate it.
    That’s all. The main problem with the practices you listed were that they were forbidden, because they were threatening at some point. The Zohar hints pretty strongly that two of the three aren’t a problem in the right messianic context, calling the Ashera, the earth godess celebrated through tree devotion, the Shchina straight out, saying why can’t we have trees by the temple mount? Because when you have a tree, you don’t need a temple anymore.
    There’s a great book called the mystery of love by Marc Gafni, that goes into what the idolotrous practices that were prohibited meant to us, what they meant on the level of kedusha, and messianic ideas about how they’ll be re-incorporated.
    I don’t think less valid is a problem… To do any of those things would have MEANING. What would they be trying to say?
    If the lubavitcher rebbe said Tree service was the highest, anyone who wanted to hate him would say Aha! he’s a heretic like we said all along, and anyone who trusted him would listen to hear what he means.
    I remember noticing once that, maybe for the first time in history, the official law of the majority of the Rabbis and poskim in Israel was that these are the Messianic times, right now.
    Jesus tried to say that, and that was the problem. Shabtai Tzvi, the only problem was how unsustainable it was, giving everything away and spitting in the face of the sultan, expecting a heavenly fist to come and take care of us… If it had worked out better, like the Baal Shem Tov’s revolt, we wouldn’t remember it so badly.
    We’re very afraid of being led somewhere dangerous. Good. We’ll know when it’s safe to feel safe, and even if we can’t, our kids will.

  69. ok, listen boys, i just wrote out this whole thing about what a crock you all are for dissing on these nice shabbat observant jews and supposing that raining on our parade instead of being a better person yourself would bring peace on earth. but my computer conked out. so in short, i agree with rivka well said. in addition i think that you religious men are a bunch of jerks for holding on so tight to the religion for so long. and for continuing to use women as property.. you are all self righteous and puff chested and have a blast. J. you’re a real laugh riot, and i see what you’re saying, maybe we will start eating children and *gasp, mixed dancing. only if yosef tells us to we will because we are his children and we will follow him into the light. ha! to put it lightly, grow up, stop letting other people think for you. stop thinking that moshiac will come if people drink chalav yisroel and avoid conversation with women.
    did you notice that the world has changed, it’s not so bad, you can come to our party, we like you, just don’t be such a dork and act like you’re on a mission from god, cause we are too! do you want to be a part of our community? if no, then fine but do us a favor and stop short of standing on the street corner banging metal pots together saying that we’re doomed.
    avraham avinu started this religion by thinking outside of the box, way outside of the box. and now… well, everyone somehow got stuck in a thimble.
    moshiac will unite all jews. reformed jews, secular jews, reconstructionist, even some religious ones. the ones who are somehow able to let go of the idea that they are the only ones who are right. take the blinders off, and the fear of the new. the torah is evolving. we are not enemies, things are due for a change, and it will be good.
    all i’m saying is you shouldn’t be talking smack, you’re not god and furthermore yosef made some good points in that last post.
    read it again.
    oh, and moshe, J and you should be friends, he likes you…

  70. Crack-
    How have you answered my question?
    Your first three numbered points have nothing to do with my argument. Then, you say
    “The main problem with the practices you listed were that they were forbidden, because they were threatening at some point.”
    Main problem?! You think that the main problem with attribution of G-dliness to objects or people, random sex, and human sacrifice (!) is that they were threatening at some point? Not intrinsically wrong?
    “The Zohar hints pretty strongly that two of the three aren’t a problem in the right messianic context, calling the Ashera, the earth godess celebrated through tree devotion, the Shchina straight out, saying why can’t we have trees by the temple mount?”
    Even if the Zohar actually says that (where?), who says these are Messianic times? And is the Zohar saying that Avoda Zara is not a problem, or that what some may consider Avoda Zara is actually not?
    “I remember noticing once that, maybe for the first time in history, the official law of the majority of the Rabbis and poskim in Israel was that these are the Messianic times, right now.”
    You’ll have to provide some source for that. The most I’ve seen is some Rabbis saying that the last 50 years are an “Aschalta De’Geula”, the beginning of redemption, a far cry from actual Messianic times.
    “Jesus tried to say that, and that was the problem. Shabtai Tzvi, the only problem was how unsustainable it was, giving everything away and spitting in the face of the sultan, expecting a heavenly fist to come and take care of us… If it had worked out better, like the Baal Shem Tov’s revolt, we wouldn’t remember it so badly. ”
    The only problem was unsustainability? You mean, as in reality? Kind of like saying that the only reason I can’t fly and have bullets bounce off my chest is because I’m not a fictional character. Well, yes. We might also want to mention that Shabtai Tzvi was a lunatic and a fraud (but aside from that, what a guy…)
    “We’re very afraid of being led somewhere dangerous. ”
    That’s right. Something that should concern you, especially since you are influencing other people.
    “in addition i think that you religious men are a bunch of jerks for holding on so tight to the religion for so long. and for continuing to use women as property.. you are all self righteous and puff chested and have a blast. ”
    Looks like someone has an easier time taking her clothes off in public than unloading her baggage. And for the record, I treat all the women I own as well as all my other property.
    “to put it lightly, grow up, stop letting other people think for you.”
    This from a post filled end-to-end with cliches.
    “do you want to be a part of our community? if no, then fine but do us a favor and stop short of standing on the street corner banging metal pots together saying that we’re doomed. ”
    The problem is that you publicly conduct your nonsense as Shabbat observance and as Judaism. Think of these as brand names owned by the entire Jewish community. When you lower the quality of the brand, or pass off cheap knockoffs of the real thing, it becomes the business of the rest of us to preserve the integrity of our brand.
    “the ones who are somehow able to let go of the idea that they are the only ones who are right.”
    Present company…included?
    “take the blinders off, and the fear of the new. the torah is evolving.”
    Yeah, time for a new testament…D’oh!

  71. crazy yosef sounds real. ahron and especially emilia are scathing to poor sam. she sounds like a jap with a big nasty attitude, not at all a happy naked person. cracking the whip at the innocent uninitiate. hiding anger behind a righteous sister pose. maybe if there WAS an orgy, she’d be a lot nicer now. organizers, take note of that for next time.
    i apologize for being harsh, but such blatant bs pisses me off to no end. i’m not loving enough of person either, but at least i dont pretend to be.

  72. okay, this has turned into some self-righteous debate about what judaism really is and who are the real jews….you’re all full of it. i started this thread b/c of the unbelievable travesty i witnessed on shabbat. let’s try stick to the subject.
    “selectively” – you nailed it right on the head! you can continue to be harsh….b/c you’re right.
    “emilia” – many people have tried throughout the ages to create a “New” form of Judaism….it doesn’t work! Go learn some real Torah and stop trying to create some bs backyard revolution. Torah is adaptable to any time period…it’s you who aren’t.

  73. i think theres nothing wrong with being naked or banging or playing music on shabbat. it’s all god. i’m just saying she doesn’t sound like she represents her words. i wish she did, and i think she owes an apology to a few people here.

  74. uh… chazal created a new judaism, it’s kinda working.
    Riight. the thing is, our tradition is in the public domain, has been for a while. Now it’s just a matter of quality, which can usually be tasted or felt.
    Sam, if you’re going to point fingers at an unbelieveably travesty, the torah tradition lo these past two thousand years is not to just bow our heads and take it, but to engage the accusation. Can you understand that not only is there a real sheeta about what we were thinking, but maybe, it was closer to the true message and purpose of Torah?
    Again, not demanding that you believe me, just that you understand. do you? This has been a fundamental theme in torah since the very beginning of it. what you hold is what holds the structure together, and what I hold is what gives it life. I’m convinced that my Torah is the true tradition, passed on from Shlomo Hamelech, about what the real purpose of the things we’re doing is, and it’s also what split his kingdom.
    Historically, I couldn’t say things like this in public, nor write them down usually, or it would be burned, like the ramchal’s more interesting stuff was, by the jews who were threatened by it.
    I really appreciate the commitment not to try to kill me except through words. Hashem, look what big steps we’ve made!

  75. i’m not looking to do anything to you with my words accept hold you culpable for what i saw as something anti-Torah.
    I just can’t understand that what you did was right….okay, i understand that you are really searching, really trying to connect to Hashem, but come on yosef, there is no way that your actions are condoned by Torah. You are living in some sort of non-Torah, mythological world, my friend.
    get a real rabbi for yourself. you need one.

  76. “respected rabbis, much like respected priest, ministers and imams, are whores”
    Yoseph it is really sad what you have been writing in the name of some holy sages, Besht, R Moshe Feinstein and all the chachamim, and then trying to pass it of as halachakily right to justify your position. I don’t think these sages in shamayim are very happy. Whatever you think about any current Rabbis is your choice, but to revile all respected Rabbi’s as whores is clearly not coming from a good place within you. Please be careful what you say and think twice, I can see you are extremely bright and at heart probably have a very high level neshama, otherwise the other side wouldn’t be dragging you in this direction.

  77. obviously, i don’t mean whores in the bad sense. Everybody’s got to feed their kids somehow, And I totally understand why someone would want to be a religious leader rather than sell pickles in the market.

  78. Yoseph-I am making a big assumption, but if/when you daven tomorrow morning, I am not sure which nusach you use but when you are saying your morning Brochas After you have said “Blessed are you Hashem… who clothes the naked”. Pause…. and ask Hashem to give you deep understanding on this whole matter.
    And when you are wrapped in your teffilin (hopefully this is the case) saying the shmona esray with deep kavanah ask HKBH, after you have finished the paragraph v’lamalshinim, to give you true wisdom so that you can get back on the derech, where I truly know you belong.
    You have so much going for you so I beg you, please use it for emes.

  79. Yoseph:
    You still haven’t offered any explanation as to why your ideas couldn’t be used to justify even the most abhorrent acts.
    “I’m convinced that my Torah is the true tradition, passed on from Shlomo Hamelech, about what the real purpose of the things we’re doing is, and it’s also what split his kingdom. ”
    I believe that you are convinced, but why should anyone else believe that you are the custodian of a 3,000 year old tradition that millions of others have somehow failed to comprehend? Is it your superior intellect? Greater sincerity? Unique spiritual powers? Were you somehow chosen to receive and transmit this knowledge? Please explain why you are so uniquely gifted.
    “I really appreciate the commitment not to try to kill me except through words. Hashem, look what big steps we’ve made!”
    Well, you know how primitive the rest of us human race can be, not being privy to the secrets and all. Yes, we’ve come a long way.

  80. Someone have a problem with accusatory and sexist? Might wanna go after the author of this:
    “in addition i think that you religious men are a bunch of jerks for holding on so tight to the religion for so long.”

  81. it’s people like you that cause assimilation, j. why don’t you go ask some non religious jews what they think… because of liberated women, or because of a holier than thou standard that most people are repelled from like a heaping pile of whatever comes out of your mouth.
    you call me cliche ridden!?
    all you do is espouse the word of this dead rabbi or that dead rabbi. or this rabbi from yeshiva or that rabbi from yeshiva…
    human beings are capable of original thought, that’s a large part of the work this world is about. good luck!

  82. “it’s people like you that cause assimilation, j. ”
    In this case that might be a good thing.
    “why don’t you go ask some non religious jews what they think… ”
    I do all the time, including members of my family. They don’t think people like me cause assimilation.
    “or because of a holier than thou standard that most people are repelled from like a heaping pile of whatever comes out of your mouth. ”
    Sweet. That statement in itself conveys a holier-than-thou attitude. You may want to be aware that the ages-old knock on women is that they tend to get emotional and are incapable of rational argument. Since you haven’t offered any defense of your actions (at least Yoseph tried) and instead resorted to name-calling, aren’t you proving that view right?
    “all you do is espouse the word of this dead rabbi or that dead rabbi. or this rabbi from yeshiva or that rabbi from yeshiva…”
    You must have me confused with someone else, though I do occassionally quote dead (and live) rabbis.
    “human beings are capable of original thought, that’s a large part of the work this world is about. ”
    Yes, but in order to intelligently discuss any topic and produce original thought, you must have some knowledge of that topic. You couldn’t discuss, in any meaningful way, the new Supreme Court nominee if you were ignorant of jurisprudence, current controversies or what the Supreme Court does. Likewise, if you want to discuss Judaism, you need some command of its subject matter, and that involves the words of…lots of dead rabbis. True original thought arises following the study of a subject. You and Yoseph are confusing original thought with childish rebelliousness.
    By the way, where is that original thought anyway? Nudity’s been done before. So has feminism.

  83. no, my comment didn’t suggest that i think i’m holier than thou. it was a real important point.
    but you don’t read things that i write with open eyes do you?
    that’s fine, i have given up the naive thought that you would learn something about tolerance. you’ve got time, but don’t go on any holy wars in my name.
    your point about women getting emotional was coming from a really sad low place. women are who we are, that’s part of the make up of the world, we are lovers and nurturers, but we also have a power that has been suppressed and it makes men uncomfortable when it comes out. you don’t understand how my ideas can be relevant to judaism because they are new ideas in judaism… don’t call shabbat a brand. that’s the worst description you could have made. i’m sure you have some original thoughts now and then. but your attitude towards women is old and needs updating or you’re going to be in for a wild time if you ever pin one of em down.. good luck with that too.
    and please, learning torah is more than memorizing different conversations in the gemarah, that’s a really naive way to look at it. we all received the torah. it was given to the women first. let’s see how you contort that one.

  84. No, you aren’t holier than thou. You’re just full of respect for others.
    “but you don’t read things that i write with open eyes do you?”
    Yeah, it’s just impossible that I could read your brilliant (and original!) thoughts with open eyes and still not agree. After all, you’ve been so careful to give good reasons and arguments for your positions (like “my Torah is bigger than yours!”).
    “that’s fine, i have given up the naive thought that you would learn something about tolerance. ”
    You must be the expert. No self-righteousness here.
    “your point about women getting emotional was coming from a really sad low place. ”
    Sad or low is irrelevant. True or false (or whatever in between) is the issue. I find it ironic that you behave in such a way as to perpetuate old stereotypes.
    “you don’t understand how my ideas can be relevant to judaism because they are new ideas in judaism… ”
    You haven’t presented any ideas. And Yoseph’s ideas are nothing new.
    “… don’t call shabbat a brand. that’s the worst description you could have made.”
    I guess the idea of metaphor is lost on you.
    “i’m sure you have some original thoughts now and then. ”
    Oh, thank you, thank you.
    “but your attitude towards women is old and needs updating”
    I don’t think anything I’ve written has conveyed my attitude toward women, only my attitude toward you. But you offer no reason why my attitude needs updating, and the fact that that’s what you want is irrelevant to me. In general, what you want means nothing to the world (maybe to daddy). If you want people to listen to you, you’ve got to give reasons.
    “or you’re going to be in for a wild time if you ever pin one of em down.. ”
    If I pin one down, a wild time is GUARANTEED, baby!
    “and please, learning torah is more than memorizing different conversations in the gemarah, that’s a really naive way to look at it.”
    Well, since I’m so naive, maybe you could tell me what learning Torah is. I’m sure you’re quite the expert.
    “it was given to the women first.”
    Are we taking obscure Midrashim literally? And if you rely on such writings, do you also accept the ones that are less complimentary toward women? And are you quoting…dead rabbis??
    You need to grow up. Not you, and not anyone else, has a G-d given right to be right about anything. To even have a chance, you need to study, think, and have reasons and arguments to support your positions. Everything else is just attitude and petulance.

  85. J – you are hillarious! you continually put emilia in her place with your wit…thank you, you’ve made me smile more than once today.

  86. Over 100 posts? On something as irrelevant as “come on Bye”
    Read; cum on bi? Hmm. Is Sam homophobic?
    Surely this is a fight. Any fight that is over halacha does not and should not get personal. If it’s for the sake of heaven, we don’t point fingers, rather point our prayers or petitions to the one source of all controversy, our congressmen or maybe-god. This is borderline Avoda Zara, a strange worship of the self, ego, and the insistence of a last word.
    Well Sam, it seems you wanted to command the attention of a few innocent good-timers getting together to serve g-d. Who are you to tell them anything? Your ruined their party, and now you ruin the blog. Next time Sam, stay home, and continue to a be an anonymous lurker. Stick to what you are good at Sam, drop your pants, whip your kitzur and start stroking.
    Oh, and J, “come on bye’ for the action.

  87. Just out of curiousity, if this thing is really supposed to be spiritual what do you guys do if you get hard in front of everybody? Does it ever happen.
    Oh and when you say ‘liberating’ what are you trying to liberate yourself from? The torah and it’s laws? God? Surely you don’t think that only stuffy old republicans where clothes.

  88. a really pathetic display in which texts and torah are warped and misquoted in pursuit of an unoriginal agenda that predates shabbtai tzvi and the frankists, even if they are undoubtedly Mr. Crack’s mekubolim
    the moral relativism that attempts to overturn the Torah by erasing distinctions and tearing down boundaries so you can replace them with a directionless anarchy that those who ‘provide the ideas’ control
    that is quite typical of cults and avodah zara whose members think they are clever and courageous for rebelling against conservative practices and the status quo when they are nothing more than gullible fools being led around by their noses

  89. a word to the wise, when someone comes in claiming that good is evil and evil is good and holiness is filth and filth is holiness and that standards are arbitrary and what he’s really after is helping you find your own connection with God
    any cult deprogrammer today can tell you what the tannaim knew, what that person’s agenda is

  90. LAST CALL! seriously folks, this was lots of fun and all but, i think everyone proved how “right” they are.
    aren’t there more mattim places for your outbursts?
    shoo! shoo!

  91. “have smicha from the lubavitcher rebbe”
    Sure. And I have smicha from Reb Levi Yitzchok of Berditchev himself. The Rebbe ZYA never granted smicha. He was not a practicing rov or a posek.

  92. huh. tagged again. the previous lubavitcher rebbe? I should ask the guy… how does smicha work in chabad?

  93. Oh and when you say ‘liberating’ what are you trying to liberate yourself from? The torah and it’s laws? God?
    It’s pretty gosh darn hard to liberate yourself from god. Where ever you go, there he is… I was thinking more like fear? Of each other, of being vulnerable or threatening? If someone gets hard, the nicest thing you can do for them is just let it go, without judging them or pushing them into discomfort. If they’re waving it around menacingly, that’s something else, but there’s no need to either embarrass or helplessly indulge anyone.
    Not something I do every shabbos, the naked thing. Initiated by someone who mamish had no sense of any problem with people being naked, I have yet to be convinced that it’s more shabbosdik to make others feel uncomfortable with that which they had no idea they were supposed to be ashamed of than it is to go with it. I don’t feel like any halacha as I relate to it or experience it was violated, and no one who I don’t know or is part of my community has a right to tell me what my halacha is, anymore than a sefardi has the right to go to an ashkenazi shul and complain that people’s legs are crossed.
    You do have a right to pass on ideas, or ask questions. Using brutality, embarassment, and invoking the name of god in vain, even if it was effective, would still be toxic, and is the main reason religion and religious law keeps people away from God rather than bring him closer.
    This is what Emilia was talking about above. There’s what traditionally called a masculine approach, to force things into being the way you need them to through pushing, poking, and being stronger. And there’s a feminine approach, which involves listening, sensitivity, and warmth, not pushing anyone around as much as soothing them into calmness, and quieting them through warmth. Internally, this is the relationship between the mind and the heart. The mind is stronger, and can dominate the heart, usually in the name of protecting it, and in doing such, and silence the heart’s council entirely.
    One of the problems with the world, is that we do things maculinely, for the sake of expedience, and out of fear. The faster and more violently something is done, the more it wounds and reduces appreciation. Cooking at high temperatures destroys most of the nutrients, and while there might be time for it, it’s not as good for you.
    This is a little bit what kiddush levana is about, hamyvin ya-avin.

  94. actually the rebbe did grant smicha. if a person recieved a letter from the rebbe and it said rav or rabbi ZEH HU! u are granted smicha, it was no mistake. the same goes for yechidus or any meeting in which one is addressed as a rav or rabbi the words of the tzadikim stand for ever

  95. i completely agree with what j has written, the only thing i find slightly offensive is when he said that all women get irrational and emotional. just because emilia feels the need to create a whole new Torah and not make any real points, doesnt mean we’re all like that. what happened that shabbos was wrong, plain and simple.

  96. i think emelia is right, not overall, but she stated some good thoughts and ideas that should be recognized. btw men are the ones creating the assimilation. a woman no matter who she marries will still have jewish children if she is a jew. i thinkm the men on this forum have posted more emotional comments than emelia, definitely. calling ppl names and getting worked up equals emotional. even if the claims have been “halachic” the guys ripping this apart are really overlooking the key in it all: everything is a mirror, we see things ffor a reasoon and our first response should not be Oh let me teach them a lesson, tell them what gd really wants, that is really yeshus , even if u think it is holy it is not. why? bec the sider of kedusha doesnt speak to a person this way. how does it speak? it says, why am i seeing this,what is my connection with this? do i have some remez of this act por taava within me, do i act on it, have i acted on it. did i overcome it? and how? ok now that i CAN IDNTIFY with the person and their place i will speak with Them. this is true tochacha. this is a friend this is the way we should behave with eachother.emelia called ppl names but she really doesnt give a #$%@, thats the truth.

  97. Regarding the “nude Shabbaton”: Nudists may be has v’shalom guilty of desicration of the Shabat by means of carrying.

  98. Smicha is given through the laying on of hands. Mitzvot amplify the light transmitted through the sephirot. Averot conceal the light. It is a beyond human spiritual capacity to understand even a single mitzva. The shem ha meforash is concealed within every Jewish soul. The angel of Eisav is the Satan. Do not accept light from this source, it is Avoda Zara.

  99. wait. so only light from the angel of eisav is called Avodah Zara?
    Is this the root of it, before the seven nations, that had to be swept out of the land? Is not any light from Israel ever called Avodah Zarah? That’d be interesting if not.
    Matat, the living voice of Hashem, and all the partzufim all the way down could all be treated as avodah zara, if we really believed that the distinction between the Father and The Son was real. That was what Elisha ben Abuya saw, Matat sitting on the heavenly throne.
    And he thought to himself, wait, he’s not supposed to be sitting on the heavenly throne, only standing. So what if there’s a higher power in heaven? Or two wills?
    Matat is equated in the zohar with the mishna, in some chassidis with halacha, and the worship of it vs. the true god as being a reccuring struggle within Israel. Implying that even the voice of the torah could be utterly false if we understood it too harshly. Which we all do.
    Anyone have any sense of what Avodah Zara is rooted in? Because I’ve heard argued that we can only say that it exists only in Am Yisrael, and all it’s dependants, paraphrasing that shlomo torah of, y’know, I can only smash my own Idol, I can’t smash anyone else’s anymore, it just doesn’t work.

  100. or is whatever is wrong defined as eisav’s, independant of national or politcal boundaries? Or is it just avodah zara for us?
    Because there is something we’re are learning and digesting into new torah, from the whole world, in the aspect of binyamin, the tarof yitarayf, tearing the best from every nation and culture to itself, right? There is vital knew information about what torah is really talking about that may never have been available, in the aspect of light, which is allowed to be stolen. right?

  101. and don’t forget— Eisav broke his halacha to love yaakov, possibly forever… Aren’t we chayuv to live our laws to love him?

  102. yoseph i think avoda zara is in fallen daas bec daas is seeing the source of everything, seeing Hashem as mimalei kol almin v’sovev kol almin. the way i understood is that elisha ben abuya saw this and got cauht in it, didnt see or recognize the source (daas), it was shaky, he was off. the baal shem tov says someone who has daas never suffers. someone who sees its all G-d sees its all good always.

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