Monday, July 09, 2007

Miriam's Well Discovered

Arutz Sheva, Ladaat, NFC, Dreaming, and others, I'm sure, are talking about the well of Miriam, which was recently discovered.

See Shofar, which compiled a list of Midrashic and Talmudic sources on Miriam and the well.

15 Comments:

At Mon Jul 09, 03:59:00 PM 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

כן,כתוב על כך בבלוג של נאווה *פרסומת סמויה*

 
At Tue Jul 10, 04:26:00 PM 2007, Blogger joshwaxman said...

check out my related post here.

I'm such a spoilsport.
:)

 
At Tue Jul 10, 05:50:00 PM 2007, Blogger yaak said...

Josh,

You're only a spoilsport to those who believe your nonsense and hocus-pocus drivel. :)

(P.S. Just kidding)

I actually admire you for taking on the mystical blogs. Not that I agree with you in this regard, but I admire you.
The other rationalistic bloggers just ignore us.

 
At Tue Jul 10, 07:50:00 PM 2007, Blogger joshwaxman said...

thanks.
it's not really these, fairly innocuous things that I find really problematic. it is just that they set the basis in reality for much more iffy stuff, e.g. belief in seances with bloodthirsty neshamot, or belief that not Hashem but rather subjective people judge souls after 120 years, or that there is an ancient Jewish martial art rooted in kabbalah.

 
At Wed Jul 11, 03:04:00 PM 2007, Blogger yaak said...

Seances are definitely Assur.

I've never heard of the idea of subjective people judging souls after 120 years, and if you have, that sounds very fishy to me too.

Regarding the ancient Jewish martial art, do you have proof that it is not ancient and rooted in Kabbalah? I'm not sure why you would doubt this so easily.

 
At Wed Jul 11, 03:35:00 PM 2007, Blogger joshwaxman said...

"Word has it that the tzaddikim run both worlds. Essentially, they run the whole show. The Heavenly Court is governed by tzaddikim who have died recently. They replace other righteous men, tzaddikim who've been in Heaven too long to remember the reality of struggle in this world.
Once Rebbe Michel Zlotchever passed away, he was called to judge on the Heavenly Court. As soon as he took his place, he came down harshly on all those he had to review.
"How could you do such wrong?" he yelled at them.
Finally, one of the tzaddikim on earth realized what was happening and began to complain: "You can't appoint, as a judge, a man who has never sinned! What does the Zlotchever know of the hardships of Moishe the Water Carrier? He comes from a family that for thirteen generations made no mistakes."

 
At Wed Jul 11, 10:16:00 PM 2007, Anonymous Neshama said...

"Regarding the ancient Jewish martial art":

Read about the ABIR on Reb Lazer's blog at http://lazerbrody.typepad.com/lazer_beams/2007/07/abir-in-the-new.html

 
At Thu Jul 12, 07:28:00 AM 2007, Blogger joshwaxman said...

that's where i first saw it.

 
At Thu Jul 12, 07:37:00 AM 2007, Blogger joshwaxman said...

i mean the blog, not that particular post.

 
At Thu Jul 12, 07:42:00 AM 2007, Blogger joshwaxman said...

for one thing, Abir's definition of Chashmal, which should be ancient, is "electricity," the modern Hebrew for the word, chosen for its similarity to *electrum*, which was a mix of metals.

http://www.abirwarriorarts.com/definition_Abir.htm

"( Hashmal = electricity or two opposite equals represented by the actions of filling and emptying characterized as human breath)"

Just as a random nitpick.

There are all sorts of silliness there.

 
At Thu Jul 12, 08:33:00 AM 2007, Blogger joshwaxman said...

from the same page:

"These three organs represent life itself within a physical body as they should appear in proper order. The brain represents authority or control by virtue of it's intellect and reason over the emotions represented by the heart and the liver which is the “motor” that generates force in the lower of the three organs that are all located in the center of one's body.
...
The above example is a typical demonstration of how Jewish tradition and wisdom are intertwined with the esoteric side of ABIR"

meanwhile, Chazal conceive of the HEART as the seat of the intellect. See for example the derasha on lo sasuru acharei levavchem (and it's backed up by other ancient sources as well).

What are modern Western conceptions doing in an ancient esoteric art?

 
At Thu Jul 12, 08:43:00 AM 2007, Blogger joshwaxman said...

also, he has claimed that the fantastic acts of the shevatim and Avot were accomplished via Abir (R).

I wouldn't want to face off with him, because even if he is a lunatic with a sword and no kabbalah, he could still do be serious injury.

But, according to midrash, in the face off between Yosef and his brothers, Yehuda roared and the hair on his chest pierced through his shirt like iron nails. One brother kicked a boulder and reduced it to a pile of pebbles. Another brother shouted and the teeth of all the Egyptians fell out.

If this is able to be accomplished by Abit (TM), then I am willing to witness it. Let him stand a good forty feet away from me and shout to his heart's content. I'll take him to a boulder and let him kick it barefoot. Let us see his hair pierce his shirt.

What, you say? He only knows how to kick and punch and swing a sword, and do fancy dance moves?

The fact is, this is a rip off of the mesh of mysticism and martial arts we see elsewhere, such as Buddist monks who practice Kung Fu. Perhaps a bit of New Age thrown in as well.

The fact that a lunatic or charlatan can make these claims and claim that it is esoteric tradition, and that is why no one has ever heard of it before, AND PEOPLE BELIEVE IT, should be troubling to you. How would *you* cast such a thing as falsifiable? And what impact does it have on other kabbalah, similarly hidden and then revealed, if we so readily believe and adopt this one when it is nonsense?

(And kabbalah itself was hidden and then revealed, so why don't we find references to Abir in kabbalah books, amongst the hidden wisdom?)

 
At Sun Jul 15, 12:09:00 AM 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Josh,

I find it a bit contradictory to your rationalist approach that you seem to take the Midrash literally, as it was obviously not meant to be taken.

 
At Sun Jul 15, 01:11:00 PM 2007, Blogger joshwaxman said...

i am willing to posit that Chazal intended a midrash literally, or figuratively, depending on context. whether i am in agreement with Chazal on truth or lack thereof of the statement I leave undisclosed, since it is irrelevant to the issue of how Chazal intended it.

in this instance, this Abir warrior appears to believe the fantastic midrashim as true, literally, and says that they accomplished this using Abir.

I refer you to this statement by him:
http://www.abirwarriorarts.com/BACKGROUND%20AND%20FAQ.pdf

"If Abir is the general study of a variety of old Hebrew Israelite Jewish fighting systems …how do we know that our people ever had such a warrior tradition?"
...
"At that very moment as written in the Midrash Raba Yosef drove
a mighty kick into a stone pillar he was sitting on pulverizing it."

He also writes
"and the roar of Yehuda killed the Pharaoh and shattered the teeth of those around him far and wide causing miscarriages across Egypt."

Thus, he believes it literally, and he believes that this was accomplished via Abir (TM).

QED.

It is not that I am bringing midrashim from out of left field and arguing that Abir (TM) is not in sync with it. (regardless of whether or not I think they were intended literally and whether I think they are historically true.) Rather, I am bringing midrashim *he himself* brings down as evidence of Abir, and asking whether he can accomplish it.

Hope this helps,
Josh

 
At Mon Jul 16, 07:34:00 AM 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Josh,

Thanks for the clarifcation of your logic.

 

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