Friday, August 30, 2013

(Rabbi) Miller Mefaresh Mind-numbing, Mass Murder Massacre

Recently, a posthumous essay written by Rabbi Avigdor Miller ZTL has been published. A Divine Madness, was written circa 1960, but the author for whatever reason, didn't see fit to bring the book to light.

I imagine that the reason might be that the world was still in shock over the Holocaust. Rabbi Miller's strong belief in Hashem, and that the Holocaust was punishment for a nation that the majority had thrown off the yoke of the Torah, was not the kind of talk that Survivors wanted to hear.

Yet time heals many wounds, and now we are in a better position to understand history the further removed we are from the events. The Tochacha clearly says what will happen if we forsake God, and Rabbi Miller is very clear on showing that a Jewish Reformation that originated in Germany, would be put to an end in Europe by the German people. RAM shows how assimilated the Jews had become, and how Hitler's YMSH first laws were promulgated primarily to force a separation between Jew and Gentile.

I understand that for survivors, this book will be a difficult read, but the general thesis, that it was a Divine Madness, is clearly explained in detail. The German people were the most academic, the most cultured, the most refined and modern people of the time. It could have only been a Divine Decree which turned them into killing fiends.

Although I don't really care too much for holocaust literature, (as I have unfortunately had my fill) this book was refreshing in that there are many chapters which detail the history of how the Jewish people from the time of Mendelssohn, moved from following the Rabbis and Roshei Yeshiva to following the Haskalists.

The footnotes are excellent and I recommend this book strongly for anyone interested in an eye-witness (RAM learned in Slobodka from 1932-38)account in what Europe was like prior to WWII. RAM claims that it is a "fairy tale" to think that pre-war Europe was a Gan Eden of learning. Most Jews did not keep Shabbos or attend Yeshiva, but had already migrated to the progressive schools.

A welcome addition to any library.

Update: This is Post #300. Mazel Tov!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Bike4Chai Builds Better Body

Back in May, I posted on the Brooklyn Bicycle phenomenon. Being that the borough was bicycle bereft, with minimal locations for the new CitiBike program.

As an aside, I noted that 100 of this year's Bike4Chai participants hail from Brooklyn. In any event, the recent highlighting of bicycles in the news, in addition to the addition of new bicycle lanes throughout the City, prompted me to dust off the old clunker and see if it is really true that one never forgets how to ride a two-wheeler.

After several local rides, I pushed myself to bigger and better excursions, eventually building up immunity to the aches and pains that usually accompany rigorous activity. Surprisingly, I found that there are others who have found the health benefits of biking.

Many tell me that they have lost between 10 and 50 pounds.

Alas, the summer is drawing to a close as Elul is upon us and Rosh Hashana beckons.

Perhaps next year I can join the three hundred riders who raised almost 3 million dollars for Bike4Chai. If I can start training early enough.

Perhaps that is the true meaning of Bike4Chai. Not that one bikes to earn money for Chai Lifeline, but one bikes for Chai-Life. His own!

May we all be written in the Book of Life.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Olinguito Offers Opposing Outlook/Options

One of the great recent controversies was how to define the word Shafan in the Torah.

Rabbi Slifkin argues for the Hyrax. Dr. Betech argues for the Rabbit. Rabbi Lubin argues for the Llama.

Much of Rabbi Slifkin's view rides on the fact that there are "no alternative candidates". Well, that theory is not air-tight if in the year 2013 we are still finding new species.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Hirhurim Hiatus Heralds Hesped?

Is blogging dead?

The great Gil has ceased publishing. He will hopefully return in a new format.

On The Main Line has been silent for a month.

My Buddy Bray has fallen off the face of the earth.

I suppose we never really appreciate what we have until we lose it.

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