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Thursday, June 14, 2007

I have no words

Posted by David Bogner on June 14, 2007 | Permalink


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Um, I see.


Gee, David. I have no words, either.

No, I do: I feel really bad for this guy's parents. And for their daughter-in-law's parents.

I wonder what is up with this guy's wife. It's one thing for him to convert suddenly on the internet. But for his wife to do it too, and bring the kids along? Something is off here.

I always say: The Torah provides a framework for a holy, ethical life. It does not promise wisdom to the people. Stupid people will continue to be stupid no matter what religion they follow.

Posted by: Sarah | Jun 14, 2007 6:19:02 PM

This is one of those things that we are always going to see. Some people switch teams. Have to hope that we get more to our side than the reverse.

Posted by: Jack | Jun 14, 2007 6:20:04 PM


'nuff said.

Posted by: dfb1968 | Jun 14, 2007 6:52:04 PM

I have one word: "Publicityhound" or "Attention-seeker".

This guy has been around for years. He became frum through a chabad house in upstate new york, then became satmar, then became an ardent zionist settler, then became a muslim. Now his website spouts a bunch of nation of islam stuff.

He's just somebody who keeps shifting and changing. I feel terrible for his wife and children. Those kids are going to be SO confused when they grow up.

His name comes up every few years - best to just ignore him.

Posted by: AidelMaidel | Jun 14, 2007 7:11:14 PM

I will take AidelMaidel's good advice.

Posted by: chairwoman | Jun 14, 2007 7:27:46 PM

What a sick, self-hating individual. I'm not sorry to lose the likes of him, but I feel for his children. They are like tinokos shenishbeu.

Posted by: psychotoddler | Jun 14, 2007 7:50:51 PM


Here's a word: enemy.

Posted by: Robert J. Avrech | Jun 14, 2007 8:43:58 PM

He is a sick and twisted individual. His family must be horrified.

Posted by: Gail | Jun 14, 2007 9:44:56 PM

Oy vey. G-d help those children and the relatives.

Posted by: tnspr569 | Jun 14, 2007 10:07:01 PM

Oy vey. G-d help those children and the relatives.

Posted by: tnspr569 | Jun 14, 2007 10:07:11 PM


if aidelmaidel is correct, let us hope that his next stop is zen buddhism and in that interview we see him swathed in saffon preaching peace and serenity.

Posted by: nikki | Jun 14, 2007 10:38:44 PM

People like that give conversion a bad name.

If HareKrishnaism were still controversial, guess where he'd crop up next.

Posted by: Back of the Hill | Jun 15, 2007 12:00:24 AM

What a sad, sad man. He has this weak, damaged psyche seeking absolutism. Extremism and fanaticism of any color is destructive. The worst part, as has been stated, is that he's dragged innocent children along with him. A shame.

The line that sticks out for me, though, was "Jews are taught to be cunning..." What?!

Posted by: Yiftach | Jun 15, 2007 2:01:16 AM

Remember that teenage phrase when you dressed or even looked like Elvis, Jamaicans (no offence), MJ, Tin-Tin or He-man/She-ra? Well, Joe might have skipped that stage, give him time and he’ll re-discover himself, hopefully not as Osama.

Posted by: Rami | Jun 15, 2007 9:51:17 AM

How can he go from lovingkindness to such hate? He managed to to state almost every anti-Semitic stereotype.

Robert said it best: he is the enemy.

Posted by: shirah | Jun 15, 2007 2:55:50 PM

You mean you never heard of Jews for Allah? It's one of the jihadi sites managed from the US. It's propaganda.

Posted by: a. | Jun 15, 2007 3:27:16 PM

I couldn't get past YouTube's
buffering, but I got the gist.
The Aybischter created the word 'schmuck' for a reason, and please don't raytz to me about
'respect' - some people just don't rate the stuff.

Posted by: Schvach | Jun 15, 2007 8:38:19 PM

Warning: The following paragraphs articulate a thought structure in the bud, not yet complete, and may be incoherent.

I was struck by the juxtaposition of the two posts "I have no words" and "The other side of a morning ritual." "Morning ritual" warmed me in the glow of Yonah's love. "No words" chilled me with Yussuf's hate.

I have studied and continue to study Man's religions. What I find is that none has a theology worth two cents. What matters is the practice.

Let me repeat that: What matters is the practice.

Any religion can be used to exclude, to hate. Nazism was more a religion than a political ideology. So was the deviant Bushido of Japanese warmongers in the 20th century. Today, Islam is infected with hate. It is not unique. Christendom was infected when it was in its adolescence (as Islam is now) and Jews and Moslems died to feed its hate.

Hate is infectious. And it creates Hell on Earth for those who practice it and for those nearby. "We are not punished for our sins but by them."

Love, too, is infectious. Yonah's story infected us all and gave us all a taste of Paradise on Earth.

I know not what path you will take, but for me and my house, we will follow Yonah.

"I love you, Abba!"

Posted by: antares | Jun 15, 2007 10:13:49 PM

As Antares above, one wonders just how one can respond in a structured coherent fashion shortly after watching this video.

First, it strikes me as gist for a psychologist's mill.

Secondly, in my own case, it once again re-affirms my own faith (or lack of if you want to see it that way) as an agnostic (whose background is Protestant). I believe when individual thought and sense of responsibility/behavior and restraint is repressed as a result of overwhelmingly religious dogma, ethical approaches to those "outside the group" suffer as a result. (Um, "inside" too to be truthful...).

The sense of "right and wrong" becomes "because something says so" and not as a result of direct experience, be it observation of parental acts/teachings and/or societal integration.

So for me, it is not that hard to understand this seemingly 180-degree "conversion." Because it is in actuality a 360-degree "conversion."

In politics, the phrase might be "he/she went so far to the left wing, they became right wing..."

Growing up in an atmosphere of near-complete control, this guy was more susceptible than most to seeking an atmosphere of utterly complete control. Where all sense of individual thought, action, and responsibility is -to him- comfortingly erased...

It's sad...

I do find Antares' observation that it's not the theology, but the practice that counts to be dead on target.

Apologies if I've offended any readers who are deeply committed to religious beliefs. But.... I was somewhat offended by Joe Lieberman's comment in 2000 that those with religious beliefs were somehow more "moral" than those of us without...

Be well all, best wishes to David, and thanks again to him for a well-run continually thoughtful (and thought-provoking) blogsite...

Mike Spengler

Posted by: Michael Spengler | Jun 16, 2007 8:46:31 PM

Sarah... Or as Forest Gump's mom was fond of saying: "Stupid is as stupid does". :-)

Jack... If you listen to the interview you'll realize that the deterrent to apostasy in Islam is pretty compelling.

dfb1968... Yup.

AidelMaidel... Well, that explains a lot. The film made it seem that he grew up a Satmar. Oh, BTW, both of your 'one word' answers were actually two words. :-)

chairwoman... Usually a good idea.

psychotoddler... I think that is exactly their status.

Robert J. Avrech... Yes, that one works for me.

Gail... But he is following his heart! Isn't' that what we teach our children to do? ;-)

tnspr569... Yeah.

nikki... Something tells me he isn't going in that direction.

Back of the Hill... I'm guessing this guy needs to try to punish his parents on a regular basis to feel good about himself.

Yiftach... You must have missed that one at the last meeting of 'the elders'. :-)

Rami... With each comment I get a better look at your colorful up-bringing. You're like an onion with lots and lots of layers. :-)

shirah... I don't think he started his religious journey looking for loving-kindness. I think it has always been about punishing his parents for something.

a. ... I must have missed that one. :-)

Schvach... I'm not sure if 'the abeshter can be properly credited with the entire potty-mouth lexicon... but I get your point. :-)

antares... You seem to think pretty will on your feet. Remind me to ask you to guest post the next time a take a couple of weeks off. :-)

Michael Spengler... None taken. You are one of the few people (religious or agnostic) I know that can usually discuss this topic without being offensive. Thanks for weighing in.

Posted by: treppenwitz | Jun 17, 2007 12:54:22 PM

Oh my life.

Didn't know about him- Read about the Russian Oleh in Jenin who took a similar path: Maybe they should form a club.

Posted by: PP | Jun 17, 2007 6:51:25 PM

Once more into the breach, dear friends:

"Those [who live] in goodness worship the divine; those in passion worship the demonic; those in ignorance worship ghosts and the spirits of the dead."
--Bhagavad-gita 17.4

Posted by: antares | Jun 18, 2007 5:27:59 AM


I suddenly have the need to take a long shower.

Posted by: psachya | Jun 18, 2007 9:07:07 AM

Ooooooh! Antares! Good quote! :-)

On a slightly less intellectual path, it reminds me of the BEST fortune I ever fished out of a fortune cookie: "To err is human. To blame others is more human."

Posted by: zahava | Jun 18, 2007 1:33:03 PM

PP... I'm sure he is far from unique. This kind of thing always takes my breath away, though.

antares... You are just a wealth of wisdom. :-)

psachya... Yeah, ditto.

Zahava... Thanks, I just lost my entire Hindu readership because you compared the Bhagavad-Gita to a fortune cookie. :-)

Posted by: treppenwitz | Jun 19, 2007 3:11:29 PM

maybe he's from the mossad

Posted by: miss Worldwide | Jun 19, 2007 5:17:59 PM

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