Gay UncleToday is Super Gay Uncle Tuesday, the day my friend Brett Berk’s book, The Gay Uncle’s Guide to Parenting: Candid Counsel from the Depths of the Daycare Trenches, goes on sale and the perfect excuse to announce a book reading in L.A. next week. If you are in LA and want to be thoroughly entertained, I’ll see you there. Maybe we’ll go out for drinks or something after.

Thursday, March 13, 7:30 p.m.
A Different Light Bookstore
8853 Santa Monica Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90069

There is a website and a blog for the book, As Brett writes, “Of course, no one cares about this in the least…Feel free to take a peek yourself as well. You can read my press clips and my dorky third-person postings, as well as find out about all the glamorous local morning radio shows I’ll be appearing on over the next couple weeks, talking to the likes of “Colleen and the Boys” and “Tommy and Rumble” during a.m. drive time.

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Rabbi Yonah


  • Don’t know what this has to do with Judaism.

    Here’s a question for the Rabbi: 500,000 simultaneously logged onto the Internet to watch Oprah live last night. That’s only 100,000 short of the number of people at Har Sinai?

    What is will be the role of interactive Internet broadcasting in the heralding in of Mashiach?


  • Actually 3 million were at Sinai including women, children and elderly men.

  • According to (some) Jewish tradition, Steve. 😉

    Science (not those, ahemm, rather suspicious sites on population growth since Adam & Eve) suggests a smaller total world population (given the then “known” world) for that period of time. Besides, I’m not sure whether people back then even had a concept of such high numbers.

    More on Mount Sinai…

  • Take it easy, Chutzpah. Yonah is one of the most open and open-minded individuals I’ve met and this can be seen in his work, projects and life.

  • Chutzpah – I don’t spend much time worrying about the age of Moshiach, logins, or internet broadcasting. Sorry, I can’t be of much help on that one.

  • Just saying that if Moshiach comes on Shabbos in the form of an internet broadcast, alot of Orthodox Jews won’t know about it until they rush through Havdalah to get to their computers.

  • Just as they invented the hot plate and the shabbat elevator, they will invent a shabbat mashiach alert.

  • Froylein:
    Besides, I’m not sure whether people back then even had a concept of such high numbers.
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    … estimates of the workforce needed to build the pyramids and other ancient structures – masons, ship and transport crews, and assembly crews – easily reach these numbers. Trade and shipping records from Babylon, Phoenicia, and Egypt – and the writing/symbol systems used to record them – easily reach these numbers.

    Modern Jews love to trumpet Jewish smarts… then in order to justify their “revisions” of the tradition, conveniently act as if those smarts just happened to kick in in recently.

    The ancients were just as clever as we are. If anything, their world was larger and deeper than that of most MTV viewers.

  • Ben-David, I don’t own a TV set – by choice. More recent archaeological findings show that the people working on the pyramids had not been slaves – it was considered an honour to contribute to their construction, so people took years of leave from work (and often were “paid” with food for their contributions). Also, it could be proven that the pyramids, in contrast to earlier assumptions, were not made of stones carved somewhere far off, but that they already mastered the art of making “stones” just as bricks are made, so building the pyramids took considerably less workforce than used to be assumed. A funny side note, men and women were emancipated in Ancient Egypt.
    Babylonians and Egyptians indeed invented writing for the sake of keeping track of production and storage in agriculture, but we definitely do not know if everybody was alphabetised or if the art of writing and reading was confined to certain groups.
    Problem with Egyptian histography is that Egyptians generally did not document unfavourable events, so the only account of the Israelite “slaves” are biblical ones*, and the clashes within the reports clearly show that it’s not a document tracking actual history we’ve got at hand but religiously inspired writings that – in full oriental narrative tradition – would provide a story to back the intention of the narrative. Trying to approach oriental scriptures by Western standards, i.e. taking everything for face value, definitely ignores the cultural background such scriptures stem from. Numbers have got symbolic value.

    *An exegesis professor of mine, a deeply religious man, used to say that in a time of likely economic shortages, the Egyptians probably cared as much about the Israelites’ leaving as most US Americans would care if 1,000 Mexican illegal immigrants returned to Mexico.

  • My thoughts on posting my original comment was that Kiruv organizations always assert that the Revelation at Sinai was the only religious event that was witnesses by so many at the same time; whereas, revelations by the Divine in other religions occured with only a handful of actual witnesses, for example any “miracles” that happened to Mohammed, Jesus, Budda.

    If 500,000 women tell their children that they witnessed a “revelation” on the internet live in 2008 and their children tell their children, it’s possible that in as little as one hundred years from now Jewish Orthodox groups will not be able make the claim to being the only group that had so many live witnesses to a relgious event…