Thursday, June 21, 2007

Revisiting the Red Heifer

This week's Parasha opens with the law of the Red Heifer and the process of ritual purification from contact with the dead. It is the perfect opportunity to revisit a worthwhile post from earlier this year.

Stay tuned...I hope to complete a post defending the First Cause Proof for God's existence later today.


Daganev said...

Very nice.

It was the very fact that judaism had an aswer for this world, and not just the next world, that really makes me see it as truth.

The parah aduma also, is amazing to me that it is called a chok, since above all other mitzvot, it seems to be the one with the strongest symbolism. As aposed to say, Shatnez, which seems like a greater chok. And I think that just furthers your points.

littlefoxling said...

Good. Good. You should convert your blog to a kiruv site. It would be much more interesting

littlefoxling said...

Actually, now that XGH's truth project has fallen apart, you could finish it over here. You could debate XGH, or if he refuses, there are no end to skeptics on the web.

littlefoxling said...

Or, even better. Debate someone from another religion and prove that Judaism is the best one. I know your beef is primarily with OTD Jews who tend to be secular, not adherents of another religion. But, showing Judaism to be superior over other religions would probably still be worthwhile.

Rabbi Joshua Maroof said...


You might be interested in my post on huqqim,

Rabbi Joshua Maroof said...


I think you misunderstand my objective in these debates.

My sole purpose for taking on XGH was the fact that many of the members of his audience were leaving the derech Hatorah out of a sense that there was no answer to the critiques put forth on the blog. They were seduced by XGH's overconfidence and had reached the conclusion that there was no response to his challenges.

I engaged XGH et al. in an attempt to provide support to those who were being influenced negatively by the discussions in the j-blogosphere. I am not particularly interested in "proving" the truth of Judaism or doing "kiruv".

But I do feel that it is my responsibility to defend Judaism from the attacks of self-declared theologians who are giving it a bad name.

littlefoxling said...

I know. That’s what I meant. Kiruv to people who are going OTD from reading blogs. And, I meant the same thing re: other religions. I think one of the biggest things that drives people away from religion in general is not a problem with religion per se, but an inability to figure out which the right religion is which ultimately leading to the view that all religions are wrong. Establishing Judaism as the superior religion would accomplish much I think in stopping people from going OTD, even if their destination is secularism, not another religion.

But, you can’t do that unless you really debate someone from another faith.

littlefoxling said...

And, I think you are being unfair to XGH. He’s just a guy trying to make heads or tails over his existence. He never claims anywhere in his blog to be an expert on theology. If anything, he often says that he isn’t well versed in these issues. He started his blog from a frum stand point and ended where he is now. It’s his personal odyssey. He didn’t ask anyone to read his blog. He’s not a crusader or anything.

Daganev said...

You are right, I did like it, and I even left a comment.

I can't really think of a better Chok, but I remember last year thinking to myself that The reason the parah aduma is the ultimate Chok, is because it is labeled a chok, even though there is plenty of ways to understand it.

That is to mean, the labeling of the parah aduma as the ultimate chok, challenges a person who thinks "I can figure out anything" and says to them, "no, even if you think you understand, you don't understand."

Daganev said...

"But, you can’t do that unless you really debate someone from another faith."

I did that once on a forum not related to religion.

He came onto the forums and said we are all going to hell, so I engaged in a debate with him.

At the end of the debate, he claimed to be joining a Noahide church. (The debate basically revolved around why Jesus could not fulfill the Torah, and why Jesus could not be G-d incarnate, and why G-d can't be a trinity.)

I was dumbfounded.

littlefoxling said...

Actually, the one time I debated a member of another faith (I was arguing the Jewish position, not the atheist one), I wiped the floor with her and she went from being a devout Protestant to basically believing in Judaism and having huge existential problems trying to reconcile her newfound beliefs with her upbringing.

Daganev said...

Yes, this is why since the Rambam/Ramban(?) Christians have stopped trying to debate Jews in public :P

It is also a reason I don't like to get into debates about the subject too much. I would rather a person be a Christian and have strong faith and values, then to have them start questioning everything they have ever been taught, and spend years trying to figure out how to live, instead of just living.

But thats just me.