}

Welcome to the Clown Farm!

Clown FarmAs you may or may not know, our friend barefoot jewess has her own blog. You may remember barefoot jewess’s somewhat uh… passionate comments (“nuclear” by her own definition) on the subject of Conservative conversion and the offense she took to the fact that such conversions are not accepted by anyone affiliated with Orthodox Judaism.

That post, written by our very own TM, discussed the basics of Conservative Judaism. The comments run a bit long – right now standing at 450 and counting, but barefoot jewess and her commenting friends were kind enough to sort of summarize it to its most basic points.

And what are these? That all Orthodox Jews do not have the capacity for individual thought (thanks e-kvetcher!) that we here at Jewlicious are narrow minded and temple destroyers (thanks barbara!) and that Jewlicious itself is a moshav leitzim (a company of scorners/clowns – thanks sechel!). It seems that now it is verbotten to even mention Jewlicious on barefoot jewess’s blog. Because Jewlicious is a Clown Farm …

Jewlicious blogger The Middle posted a response and barefoot jewess has since suspended comments on her latest post. Now The Middle and I do not see eye to eye on certain things but it’s safe to say that our conversation has always been polite and courteous and respectful. I can’t say the same about barefoot jewess’s responses to me. He pretty much pointed that out:

You are a more devout Jew than I, so I won’t insult you by giving a speech about lashon ha’ra. However, with all due respect, at no point did any of the posters at Jewlicious act or treat you as if it’s a moshav leitzim. You don’t want to visit us? That’s a shame, because your contributions were interesting and valuable. But how about at least treating us with the respect with which you were treated?

Thanks TM for pointing out that Jewlicious, like Judaism, is not a monolith and that despite my polite retorts to her often inflamatory and insulting “nuclear” comments, barefoot jewess has chosen to continue going nuclear.

So for the sake of clarity let me once again point out that Jewlicious is not an Orthodox blog. Some people here are in fact of the Orthodox persuasion and some aren’t. As TM pointed out “We don’t have an agenda at Jewlicious other than to have an interesting Judaism and Israel oriented discussion going on. That’s it. We try to have fun, and sometimes we are serious. Sometimes the writing and discussion is of high quality, and sometimes it isn’t.”

If barefoot jewess wants to attack anyone, she ought to attack me and me alone. I’ve made my opinions clear and I’ve tried to do so with the utmost sincerity and tact. And as far as the “moshav leitzim” issue goes, that’s a whole other thing that’s kind of interesting.

We recall Ruth’s famous speech to her Mother-in-Law Naomi where she said “Do not pressure me to leave you, to turn back and not follow you. For wherever you go, I will go; where you lodge, I will lodge; your people are my people and your G-d is my G-d; where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried.” (Ruth 1:16) Rashi noted that at this point, Naomi determined that Ruth was serious about converting and she started teaching her the laws of Judaism. We learn that every phrase alludes to a principle of Judaic belief and practice.

For instance, “wherever you go I will go” is ordinarily interpreted to allude to the laws of Sabbath dictating how far one may travel beyond the city limits on the Sabbath. The Midrash however has another interpretation – that this pasuk alludes to Naomi teaching Ruth that she should avoid theatres and circuses.

Huh? “The Nachalas Yosef suggests an answer based on a Gemara in tractate Avodah Zarah [18b]. The Talmud refers to theaters and circuses as ‘moshav leitzim’ [places where scoffers hang out]. The question then becomes, does scoffing and mocking, in fact, represent the antithesis of Judaism? The answer is most emphatically yes.” You can read more about this here.

Just remember, in all my discourse with barefoot jewess, I was polite, civil and tried to be as respectful as possible. I did not scoff, I did not mock. Scoffing and mocking did however take place. But it wasn’t by anyone associated with Jewlicious.

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ck

Publisher at Jewlicious
Founder of Jewlicious? Publisher? Man I hate titles. I coined the name Jewlicious and I slave over the site. I live in Jerusalem and I need to get some breakfast.
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43 Comments

  1. jsirpicco

    8/9/2005 at 1:38 am

    Aww, c’mon CK – Kick her slimy non-halachic Jewish Ass, dude! Fight the Power! Don’t back down! You Da Man! Jsirp Da Man. Jewlicious Rocks.

    All else – self – important yaaawwwwnnnnn!

  2. Rabbi Yonah

    8/9/2005 at 1:58 am

    Dear CK while I have not kept up with the conversation, I very much like reading your torah thoughts and encourage more. The Meam Loez, wrote…

    “Your people” was her acceptance of laws between people.

    “Your Gd” was her acceptance of laws between us and Gd.

    But also…that she expressed hre belief in reward and punishment.

    “Where you lodge” this covers the laws of morality and against yichud.

  3. ybocher

    8/9/2005 at 1:58 am

    I might said something that reassembles leytzanus and I am sorry for that, bJ and anybody else who could get offended.
    On the other hand I got to say that I get irritated myself hearing all the time how ortos are non-accepting. Like, the Conservite are accepting everybody or the Reform are? If you want to chahnge your believes so that they work with your personal religion – fine! But why do you want make me change my believes? If you do not want to go where I go or you dont want to live where I live – fine! You can go wherever you wish but if you go to far then it s not like we live in the same household, right?

  4. Jason (new url)

    8/9/2005 at 2:12 am

    CK, please don’t pull a mobius over this. We know, we understand, blah blah blah.

    That being said, if you want to really want to sink your teeth into something, sink your teeth into the dogma of the Conservative Rabbi surrounding conversion. And I quote, “I made them.” This was our Rabbi referring to the 25 new converts in the shul. This is not the first time he has said that, either.

    And it is not just the one. Constantly and consistantly, I have heard Conservative Jews welcome converts, but with a clause attached that they remain holders of their respective souls. “Look what I dragged in, ma!”

    Don’t let me get off on a rant here. This may just be local to Calgary, Edmonton, and Winnipeg (Sask. is either reform or orthodox, from my experience).

    And with regards to the Clown Farm comment. Yes. Absolutely. I 100% agree with BFJ. Wokka Wokka. Now then, who’s for going out to tend the clowns? They need banana cream pies to grow, you know.

  5. D

    8/9/2005 at 2:14 am

    I personally have nothing against anyone. But…

    It is wrong to say conservative Judaism is illegitimate. It is also wrong to assume that just because someone is conservaite that means they aren’t really Jewish.

    However, the orthodox community does have the right to “not accept” anyone conservative. I know its a bit narrow minded, but religion is a purely objective thing. When it comes down to brass tacks thats what religion is….an opinion.

  6. grandmuffti

    8/9/2005 at 2:26 am

    Didn’t your sister tell us that it’s pronounced ‘Nuke-you-lahr’???

    Anyhow, will this take us any steps towards solving the problems of shrimp encrusted fish sticks or not?

  7. laya

    8/9/2005 at 2:31 am

    D, the orthodox community accepts anyone born of a jewish mother is a Jew, regardless of being conservative, reform, buddhist or athiest. (except for a minority of ultra-harif-heredim, who would most likely also consider me an illegit jew, but i dont live my life by what they think of me, so it never bothered me much, but i digress) It was the issue of conservative conversions that was being battled in the end.
    Nonetheless, it was clear that judaism needs to start stressing the importance of bein adam lehavero (between people) mitzvot a bit more, no matter what your affiliation.

  8. ck

    8/9/2005 at 2:32 am

    Shutup muffti. I fucking hate you and I don’t care how many temples I destroy in the process you pontificating philosopher logic atheist dude. You’re a stupid head. But that quote from Ralph? That was a sublime choice! Now bugger off. This is a serious topic.

  9. esther

    8/9/2005 at 2:32 am

    Shalom, shalom, v’ein shalom. I know we don’t censor comments here, but I have to say that I never would have approved jsirpicco’s comment on this. It’s not constructive, and makes no point except to deride someone for her beliefs, and IMHO that’s more leitzanut in one comment than in anything ck’s said.

    We all have our beliefs. And we all express them differently. In my online postings here and “abroad,” I’m constantly hoping that I will possess the ability to discern between snark and derision, between clowning and barbs. I’m unspeakably sad that one of our discussions has prompted anything resembling a flame war, or sin’at chinam.

    For me, Jewlicious has been a wonderful place to come when I want a variety of opinions by people who are all committed to Judaism in their own way. Even our resident non-Jews are dedicated to discussion about religion, Israel, etc in a mostly respectful if sometimes snarky environment. We may not (and indeed often do not) agree, but to paraphrase the fine parodists at Spaceballs, Basketball Jewlicious is a peaceful planet. Or at least it is in my mind.

    I hope that everyone else will see it that way again soon. Shalom al kol yisrael.

  10. grandmuffti

    8/9/2005 at 3:10 am

    3 words; sen-si-tive. Glad you liked the Ralph quote. However, you now officially can’t say to Muffti the analogue of what you are saying to BJ:

    ust remember, in all my discourse with Muffti, I was polite, civil and tried to be as respectful as possible. I did not scoff, I did not mock. Scoffing and mocking did however take place. But it wasn’t by anyone associated with Jewlicious.

    Muffti detected both scoffing and mocking. But since, despite the clowns, this is a serious topic (speaking of which, what the fuck exactly IS the topic?), Muffti will happily bugger off and let the grown ups speak before CK goes nucular.

  11. grandmuffti

    8/9/2005 at 3:11 am

    3 words; sen-si-tive. Glad you liked the Ralph quote. However, you now officially can’t say to Muffti the analogue of what you are saying to BJ:

    ust remember, in all my discourse with Muffti, I was polite, civil and tried to be as respectful as possible. I did not scoff, I did not mock. Scoffing and mocking did however take place. But it wasn’t by anyone associated with Jewlicious.

    Muffti detected both scoffing and mocking in comment #8. But since, despite the clowns, this is a serious topic (speaking of which, what the fuck exactly IS the topic?), Muffti will happily bugger off and let the grown ups speak before CK goes nucular.

  12. jsirpicco

    8/9/2005 at 7:33 am

    Jsirpicco– you’ve missed the point entirely.
    Even if BFJ wrote something inflammatory (and I have no idea if she did) why insult her?
    You have:
    1.created more anger and sinat chinat in the world,
    2. accomplished NOTHING positive (note: you seem to have a preference for orthodoxy. well I suspect you’ve only made her (and others) even gladder not to be orthodox. well done.

    The point of the post was the importance of respectfully voicing one’s opinions. It’s quite ironic that you responded so disrespectfully.

  13. Ben-David

    8/9/2005 at 8:04 am

    Uh-uh. No way.

    I am not going NEAR another thread about Conservative Judaism… certainly not this week…

  14. Chutzpah

    8/9/2005 at 8:21 am

    Fear of Clowns is one of the most common non-treated psychiatric disorders among the American population. Even my shrink said he was amazed to learn that. Please refrain from the disturbing and frightening images in the future. Now I have to go watch the free porn clip of the day to get over that pic…

  15. litui

    8/9/2005 at 10:51 am

    NUKULEAR!!!

  16. jsirpicco

    8/9/2005 at 12:46 pm

    Sissy boys! When did everyone suddenly go Alan Alda on me!!! CK – have some balls dude! Jsirpicco hates Sheker (lies) not people, duh!

    Esther – you’re such a girl! Yeah, right..other streams of Judaism…oh yuck. Please. Do you KNOW how lame the “other streams of Judaism are?” Hi- 65 and over, step this way while we BORE YOU TO TEARS!!!!

    You can’t change the halacha (I mean, well, you can try, but it don’t work!) I’ve seen Converts from the “other streams.” Yes, sincere, etc. etc. But you know what??????

    IT DOESN”T WORK! They’re still goyim. They didn’t acquire a Jewish soul. And if you can’t tell by looking, smelling, talking, feeling out a person whether or not they have a Jewish soul (in most cases, okay dummies, most cases), then YOUR’E NOT JEWLICIOUS!

    Yes, my friends…there is a difference between Jews and non-Jews. I could go into (and have) but there is a difference.

    I have seen people who convert Orthodox, sincerely, – you know what? Their whole being changes! They acquire an “adelkeit” that was not there before and which is NOT THERE in people who do not convert that way….

    I know, I know…you’ll all start CRAPPING ON JSIRPICCO FOR ONCE AGAIN, SPEAKING THE TRUTH!!! with all your liberal stuff: Oh, now he thinks he can see through people…oh, it’s NOT true that goyim have different soulds…and don’t use the term goyim…

    and Jsirpicco go “f” yourself…YOU CAN”T SAY THAT and YOU CANT say THIS>>> But people…do you think I’m just typing to type? (Well, maybe…but still)

    Bottom line: Not only are other conversions not halachic – any person with any sensitivity to human beings can TELL it doesn’t “take!”

    I could tell you a story – a non-Jewish friend of mine recently met a non-halachic converted Jewish relative of mine for the first time….he whisered to me…”Is she Jewish? She doesn’t strike me as Jewish”

    I said…she’s a convert (NO I DID NOT GO INTO INTERNAL ARGUMENTS WITH HIM)…and then I said…how could you tell?

    And he just gave me a look that said, What, you think I’m just another stupid Goy?!!!

    Okay – I’m done. I’ve said the truth. Bring it on, dudes. I just wonder – is there anyone out there who will stand up and say: Ok, Jsirp is a bit, well, “inspired,” (okay weird, whatever) but you know…HE’S RIGGGGGGHHHHHTTTTT!!!!!! ?

    (P.S. and to keep the Jewish gene pool growing…might I recommend http://www.jpetition.com prayer circle…closing in on 1200!)

  17. lynn

    8/9/2005 at 1:30 pm

    Heh, Jewdar. I think the moshiac is the only one who can claim to actually have it.

  18. E-Kvetcher

    8/9/2005 at 2:31 pm

    Actually what E-Kvetcher said in context was:
    It is impossible to argue points of halacha with Orthodox jews because they are not able to break out of what they are told by their rabbis. There is no capacity for individual thought. That is the entire point of the shayla/posek structure.

    To me that sounds a lot less inflammatory than the way it was portrayed in ck’s post. I admit I am no expert on how halacha is made, but isn’t that the whole point of Orthodox Judaism? An individual doesn’t get to decide what is right or wrong – they are bound by someone else’s decision.

    As far as ck being civil and BJ not answering in kind, that may be true, but…
    I once had a very civil conversation with a guy that basically said German soldiers in WWII were himan beings and they didn’t want to be in Russia and they wrote letters home about how badly they felt, etc… He was very civil, and as someone whose family got decimated by those “poor guys who didn’t want to be at the front”, I got pretty emotional about it. Non-Orthodox conversions are a very touchy subject for a lot of people and so I can see it getting emotional.

  19. ck

    8/9/2005 at 3:11 pm

    E-Kvetcher: I wasn’t trying to take your words out of context, which is why Iprovided multiple links back to the blog. I hope no offense was taken.

    I also hope you weren’t trying to compare perpetrators of the holocaust to Orthodox Jews. I’ll assume that wasn’t the point.

    But as far as it being a touchy subject? Yes I understand. That’s why I went to great lengths to be civil and respectful. Of course the same courtesy was not given to me. Yes, my position is that BFJ is not Jewish by Orthodox standards and that’s got to be painful for someone as sincere as BFJ is. But her position is that everything I believe in and aspire to, as well as everyone in my community and my family that came before me, we all ought to give up everything that defines who we are and made u what we are today. Give it up and throw it out because its obviously a bunch of crap suitable only for the simple minded, the reactionaries and the bigots.

    Now you didn’t see me go all nuclear didja? Talk about touchy. I think BFJ ought to take a lesson in a proper Jewish way of responding to something you disagree with – with patience, kindness and understanding. With that ahavat chinam thing everyone’s always talking about.

  20. E-Kvetcher

    8/9/2005 at 3:43 pm

    ck sez:
    E-Kvetcher: I wasn’t trying to take your words out of context, which is why Iprovided multiple links back to the blog. I hope no offense was taken.
    No offense taken.

    I also hope you weren’t trying to compare perpetrators of the holocaust to Orthodox Jews. I’ll assume that wasn’t the point.
    Chas v’sholom.

    Yes, my position is that BFJ is not Jewish by Orthodox standards and that’s got to be painful for someone as sincere as BFJ is.
    Is it just me or do I recall that up to about 20 years ago, Orthodox rabbis would accept Conservative conversions as long as the prospective convert studied with an Orthodox rabbi as part of the process and as long as the convert could show a determination to at least procede along the path to a more Orthodox Judaism even if they were not fully observant?

    As far as the bad blood between ck and BFJ, it looks like a case of each side assuming the worst about the other, which seems to be a consistent pattern among the responders in most of these threads. Would we talk to each other the same way if we’re having this discussion face to face over a few brews?

  21. encino yeled

    8/9/2005 at 4:35 pm

    I want whatever Jsirpicco is on.

  22. Jobber

    8/9/2005 at 4:56 pm

    Bunch of garbage serpico. It takes. I know of many cases. I have Rabbis in my family, out in the sticks. Many times, the convert has asked the Jew, is that all there is to this Judaism. and from their they are frummies, living in Israel. So you really post crap serpico, bec. you do not know the full story.
    Best way for Orthodox people to look at non Ortho. conversions, be welcoming, look at it as a step in the right direction. Say Mazal tov.

  23. ck

    8/9/2005 at 5:38 pm

    e-kvetcher: I have no bad blood with BFJ. I have nothing against her at all and wish her only well.

    Jobber: Yes I agree. Conservative conversion is definitely a step in the right direction. However – until the journey is complete to your satisfaction, can an Orthodox Jew count a Conservative convert as part of a minyan? Can a Conservative convert hve an aliyah at an Orthodox synagogue? Can an Orthodox Rabbi perform a marriage ceremony involving a Conservative convert? Can a Conservative convert be buried in an Orthodox cemetary?

    The honest answer to all those questions is no.

    So yes, definitely mazel tov for your step in the right direction. The conservative convert can go on a birthright israel trip, attend and participate in services at most synagogues, volunteer at a Federation super sunday event,be subject to anti-semitism, have shabbat dinner at my table, study torah etc. etc. But all tht other stuff vis-a-vis the Orthodox still applies.

    BFJ took great pleasure in letting me know that her Orthodox friends are supportive etc. But when I asked her if they would marry her, she didn’t reply. I don’t see why I should be the subject of such animosity when I am simply being honest.

    It has nothing to do with the difference between onlne vs Real Life.

    And also, never EVER take anything jsirpicco says seriously. EVER. That would just be dumb.

  24. jsirpicco

    8/9/2005 at 6:36 pm

    One Second here!CK- hey man, I may say in jest, but I speak the truth. As for you ‘Jobber’ – you’re such a know it all, and there’s only room for one know it all, and that’s Jsirpicco. And that’s Jsirpicco to you, dude.

    I was not talking about whether we should welcome or be “nice” to Conservative converts, etc. And your post proves my point – if they went further, it means that yes, they were driven for something, and then, when they finish the conversion, they are fully Jewish and they get the neshoma, the aidelkiet (which, by the way YOU COULD — USE

  25. jsirpicco

    8/9/2005 at 6:39 pm

    Hey- you cut me off, man!) Ugh! Genius truncated!

  26. E-Kvetcher

    8/9/2005 at 11:39 pm

    Jewlicious: moshav leitzim or erev rav?

  27. sechel

    8/10/2005 at 1:03 am

    Dear Everyone
    I heard about the uproar going on over here so I came to apologize for my statement about this being a moshav leitzim. Not being a regular reader of Jewlicious, I think I may have formed an incorrect opinion of this site after seeing certain offensive postings and comments. I understand from the above discussion, however, that many Jewlicious contributors are quite serious and sensitive souls, and I am very sorry to have offended them. Addressing those individuals, I ask them to please accept my sincere apologies.
    BTW I greatly respect Orthodoxy, Conservative, and Reform Judaism, and don’t hold with the criticisms of O Judaism that were stated above.

  28. sechel

    8/10/2005 at 1:17 am

    PS To those contributors who are not serious or sensitive souls, and who are expressing their views in ways that are not constructive or tactful, I would ask them to consider the possibility that their remarks may be doing more damage than they think.

  29. encino yeled

    8/10/2005 at 3:35 am

    And just who are you refering to? I’m gonna go get some more wood.

  30. themiddle

    8/10/2005 at 4:06 am

    The only thing I came away with is that I have no need to visit her website anymore. After all, I get to comment once, she gets to post a response, and the discussion is closed. I guess if you don’t allow people to post openly, the odds of people posting stupid comments and having the site called a moshav leitzim are greatly diminished.

  31. E-Kvetcher

    8/11/2005 at 1:42 am

  32. E-Kvetcher

    8/11/2005 at 1:43 am

    Modern Orthodox perspective:

  33. E-Kvetcher

    8/11/2005 at 1:45 am

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