Sunday, January 25, 2009

Do frum people believe in gd?

It seems like a no brainer- do Orthodox Jewish people believe in Gd?

many would answer "duh!"

but do they really? Based on the actions of frum Jews, how many really beleive and fear Gd, and not just fear being ostracized by their community?

I'd say only about 1/2 of today's frummies believe in Gd.

How often is it all over the news that a frummy embezzeled money? Or how often do they lie and cheat the government (Section 8, welfare etc)? How often do they take shul politics and over dramatize them to the extent that literally half the shul gets pissed?

If people beleived in Gd they wouldn't do things that are such chillul hashem. They wouldn't allow themselves to vote for Hillary Clinton just because she promised to pardon four of their criminals. Bogus nonsense. You'd think people in New Square would have morals (as they dress like pious people), but they don't. They allow for criminal behavior.

Do they believe in Gd? Doubt it, they just beleive in the power of the community. If they believed in Gd, they wouldn't vote for bozo's in exchange for their criminals to be released.

Criminals belong in prison, I don't particularly care what religion (or if) they practice.

My friend recently told me a story of something that happened in her school. The school had a tehillim session. The teachers gave out tehillim sheets. When everyone was finished saying tehillim, the teacher went around to collect the sheets. One of the girls (who is very pro-zionist/Israel) was in the middle of saying some extra tehillim for the soldiers, and then the teacher, out of anger grabbed the tehillim out of her hands.

The girl was like "what are you doing? I'm saying tehillim for my sick friend." (she lied)

The teacher was like "Oh, sorry (she returned the tehillim sheet), I thought you were saying it for something else" (Implying the wounded soldiers)

Now, if this teacher beleived in Gd, wouldn't she beleive that Gd loves all his creatures regardless of their political views on Israel? Wouldn't she beleive that Gd (if He were anti-zionist) would atleast want his sons well, regardless of where they live? Wouldn't she believe it were up to Gd to not heal their wounds and take care of their "punishment" in shamayim?

Well, if she believed in Gd, she would. But she doesn't. She believes in the power of community. She fears that if she doesn't stick to it, she'll be shunned. She doesn't care about Gd, she doesn't care if Gd is with her, she only cares that she is with half a million other bozo's who blindly follow a Rav. She just simply doesn't beleive in Gd.

People who believe in Gd don't act like dumbasses. They don't allow themselves to be part of committees who exchange human dignity for scum bags, be it in votes, or not allowing the saying of tehillim due to political differences.


Child Ish Behavior said...

A. I don't buy the story.

B. Give me a break, what lesson will a white collar learn in prison?

C. People vote for who they want to vote for, it is their business.

D. People can believe in God and not always live up to that belief in action.

frumskeptic said...

what story?

I don't think white collar prisons should be so nice and posh, and the point of prison isn't to learn a lesson, its not a rehab center. Its to punish. These guys shoulda been punished for the chillul hashem, by the "beis din" we have today. And voting for HILLARY CLINTON, who btw, no frum Jew would like for the mere fact they are automatically conservatives in voting habits, is not the right way to go, because those men didn't deserve shorter prison sentences.

And no, if they truly believed in Gd, they wouldn't be so lazy stupid in their actions. Because if they believed in Gd, they would fear him just a tad bit enough to realize their actions are wacko.

Yes, there is something called Bechira, but it can't always be an excuse, people grow. There is only so long you can use "i'm not on the level" before its clear you just don't care.

Child Ish Behavior said...


"What story?" The Tehillim story.

"Its to punish." exactly. the chassishe community obviously felt that these people didn't deserve punishment. leave the punishment to Hashem and not some evil government, so if it takes a few votes to get something done, so be it.

And yes, by being frum, the mere act of doing mitzvos everyday, no matter what sins they happen to do, means that they believe in God.

frumskeptic said...

tehillm story was told to me by a very close friend. She wouldn't lie.

And you have one twisted belief in being frum. You can't beleive in something if you don't think about the belief. YOu can't act on a beleif if you don't take certain actions towards it. If you don't think about you actions, you do *not* believe in it, you believe in who told you to do the beleif.

So, in the case of many frum people, they do *not* believe in Gd, they believe in the Rabbi's.

Child Ish Behavior said...

if i keep shabbos every week, and keep kosher, and give tzeddaka, and... But I also steal sometimes that doesn't mean that I don't believe in Hashem. It means that I have an evil inclination. perhaps they don't believe in gd, perhaps they believe in Hashem.

frum single female said...

i agree with child ish , people can believe in hashem and not always live up to that belief in action.

frumskeptic said...

Human's aren't perfect. No matter what we will inevitably succumb to the "evil inclination" but its one thing to steal a dollar or two we were accidently given while shopping (something I happen to usually return, but I see why some people wouldn't), its totally another to do money laundering for millions of dollars.

Its like, where's the good inclination? Clearly there isn't much fear in Gd.

frum single female said...

on the other hand, i do agree with you that alot of people are socially frum and dont really believe in hashem.

Child Ish Behavior said...

your right perhaps there isn't much fear in God. Chassidim are more into the loving Hashem part and less into the fear. and as for the level of sin, $1 or $1000000 it's all seems like sin to me.

frumskeptic said...

fsf- :-)

childish- stop being an idiot. The point isn't $1 or $1,000,000 the point is, if its $1 its a crime that took place ONE time. Something that if you did intentionally is still one time. When someone does a $1,000,000 crime he usually doesn't accomplish it in one step. He does it through a thought out process, its not just an "evil inclination" its out-right evil. If it weren't they would've stopped after the first thousand.

There's a story I learned about in HS, 2 guys in a yeshiva had girlfriends (they modernized the story for us). Both guys slept with their girlfriends. The Rabi found out. Only one got kicked out of yeshiva. Why? The first couple just did it, they were in the moment of passion,and they just went for it.

The second couple, the entire thing was thought out. The guy sent the girl to the mikvah at her specific time. And only then did they sleep together.

The second guy got kicked out.


Because its natural for people to be stupid once in a while. But the second guy wasn't just accidently wrong, he literally went out of his way to do something wrong.

Same with those bozo's up in News Square. To commit the scam they commited, it was thought thru. To not return a $1 at a store, you didn't think about, it happened, the bozo behind the counter couldn't count. Plus sometimes you only realize after you're home anyway. Totally NOT justifying stealing money from the store, just saying its two totally different levels.

Child Ish Behavior said...

"The second guy got kicked out."

now your judging right and wrong based on what a frummy school decided to do. Who is judging based on the Rabbis now?

frumskeptic said...

its common sense

The story was just an example.

Theres a difference between a crime out of passion and intentional crime.

Eli Federman said...

You argue:
"People who believe in Gd don't act like dumbasses. They don't allow themselves to be part of committees who exchange human dignity for scum bags..."

I'm not clear on the connection you are making between belief in G-d and acting morally? I believe in G-d but I'm still able to recognize that there are immoral people who believe in G-d, and moral people who don't believe in G-d. One does not necessitate the other.

Anonymous said...

I accidently kept an extra dime that ok?

Moshe said...

The second guy did less of a sin if a sin at all. Would he even get malkos?

There is a law of redeeming prisoners. However, you can argue that her political stances would cause more Jews harm and in that case, "the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or the one".

All those people consider everyone else, including other Jews who aren't exactly like them, animals. According to them, they're not stealing/cheating people.

EsPes said...

i sort of have a post similar to this:

Mikeinmidwood said...

"Its like, where's the good inclination? Clearly there isn't much fear in Gd."

There isnt enough fear in gd, they still belive in him, they just dont want him there all the time. going to have to agree with Child Ish.

frumskeptic said...

eli federman- We're only human. We will occassionally act inappropriately no matter how much we fear Gd. But there is *no* way someone who launders millions of dollars *does* believe Gd. If he did, he'd understand that Gd would punish him.

Clearly, if there is no fear, there is no beelife. I mean, its not like us Jews beleive in gods like the greeks did. OUr Gd is some all-powerful being that can beat us with one breath...or w/e. I wouldn't continously do s/t wrong after beleiving something like that. But I beleive in Gd, I question whether they do.

KT- as I've mentioned before, we're only human. No matter how much we fear Him, we'll still do wrong.

MIM- Its one thing to not want Gd around all the time, its another to allow millions of dollars in money laundering. Somewhere between the first and second hundred thousand these people (who are supposedly gd fearing) shoulda stopped and been like "Hey, Gd is gonna be pissed off, I think we should call it quits."

Atleast thats what I would do, but then, I believe in Gd.

Off the Derech said...

>Do they believe in Gd?

Why should they? It's not like anybody ever gave them a choice.
You say 50%? I'd say more like 90%.

Anonymous said...

"There is a law of redeeming prisoners."

Does this apply to prisoners who have been convicted of violating the law after a jury trial? What kind of justice would we have if that were the law?

FS, I think you're asking the wrong question about whether they believe in God and then pointing to their wrong actions. What you're really giving examples of is how a belief in God doesn't always make people do the right thing.

Ichabod Chrain

Mikeinmidwood said...

Frum Skeptic

There is a point were they do the act enough, that they dont care anymore. From stealing many little things to stealing a lot. Sometimes they even think "well Im giving the money to tzedakah or giving more maaser so its okay to steal" and then it becomes a mitzvah to them. Its not like they dont believe in gd its just that they are distorting what he wants.

Of course their are those that are following because its what everyone does, and dont really believe, but not because they do an aveirah do they dont believe.

karma dude said...

Your average "frumi" does not believe in God, simply because your average "frumi" has never been trained in the art of individual thinking. As such, by default, any thinking they do is "community thinking".
In addition, the word "emunah", contrary to popular belief, translates as "faithful" as opposed to "faith". That would mean that a repeat offender in any particular area lacking in Emunah-faithfulness, one of the cornerstones of Judaism, regardless of how much faith he claims to have.

David said...

"How often is it all over the news that a frummy embezzeled money? Or how often do they lie and cheat the government (Section 8, welfare etc)? How often do they take shul politics and over dramatize them to the extent that literally half the shul gets pissed?"

The defining characteristic of a human is the ability (and, indeed, the need) to rationalize what he's going to do anyway. Cheat the government? God already gave you two sets of rules-- one for dealing with Jews and one for dealing with non-Jews (like the government). All that Section 8 money could be used l'shaym shamayim, (blah, blah, blah)!

God is the ultimate tool for rationalizing what you want to do anyhow.

-suitepotato- said...

The law of reciprocity put several ways covers this. Remember "do not do unto others what is distasteful to you"?

Would the embezzlement be okay for a gentile to do and not be prosecuted for? No? Then why a Jew?

It's not a lack of fear in G-d. Fear is transitory. When the inevitability finally hits home, humans resort to fatalism. Absent G-d actually making good on the threat to punish, the worry of the people numbs and lessens. They figure ever more in a binary sense. Either G-d isn't going to punish and may not even exist, OR, whatever G-d is going to do, He's going to do, and there's no point in sitting around waiting. Since you're going to be damned, might as well go out having fun.

Fear is not a proper motivator, but empathy. Feeling for G-d. What would G-d want? What would help G-d? What does G-d need you for? What does G-d need with the world?

Fear not of punishment, but the pain inside that comes with conscientious knowledge of letting down someone whose good will towards you that you value, whose love you cannot be without, that is the fear you're looking for.

But after that fear, when you are on the track to making that loss a non-issue and consistently doing right by that person, then it becomes a daily part of your life. It just becomes the default way.

As a man who does not cheat on his wife for fear of losing her, and then because it is learned and felt innately to be wrong in the course of what he wants, and then because the idea never anymore occurs, so too must doing the right thing for the sake of G-d be.

Orthodoxy will heal when love overcomes fear. It is a maturation process and I promise you, love is a better thing, a happier thing, a more warming thing to drive you to do well by G-d. You never tire of it and only ever more want to keep that feeling in you.

frumskeptic said...

MIM- Are you implying that the frummies beleive in the ends justifying the means? Because if so, that still doesn't justify their actions...afterall, Torah doesn't exactly approve of that.

karma dude- I kinda agree with you. I thought about that as well, the frummies are so routinely acting frum, that they don't actually have any foundation to their actions, only that thats what they're used too. No higher being involvment.

Off the Derech said...

It's funny you mention the ends justifying the means. I think it's very common for frum people to believe that, although they'll rarely admit it. Think: Imagine I were to sell promote a Bible class where i would promote kefira. How many frum people wouldn't be outraged by that? Now how about a kiruv organization promoting a class and saying it's to foster "Jewish identity" or something like that, while their agenda is really to make people frum. Do you think frum people would look down on that?

Here's a great post on this:

Mikeinmidwood said...

Frum Skeptic

Did I say G-d approves that, no, and they still do it because its seems less of a sin to do so for that reason.

Anonymous said...

"People who believe in Gd don't act like dumbasses. They don't allow themselves to be part of committees who exchange human dignity for scum bags, be it in votes, or not allowing the saying of tehillim due to political differences."

Um, people who beleive in God do a lot of awful things in his name. There have been huge wars fought over religious points, there ARE wars being fought over religion. You imply that a beleif in God nesceitates agreeing with your moral principles. If the teacher is anti-Zionist (speculation here), she may view saying tehillim for Israeli soldiers as sacriligous.


lvnsm said...

There are those who just go along with others without really thinking about it and then realize that they don't know what to believe.
And there are those who really put in the effort to search for information inorder to strengthen their emunah. Of course, even if we gather info, we still need to be willing to accept it.

mlevin said...

G*3 - The wars fought over religion are started by those who don't believe in gd, but twist it in such a manner as to get the masses to follow and be willing to die for it. In the meantime, the initiator profits the most from it. That initiator does not believe in gd.

Anonymous said...

melvin, I'm sorry, but that's simply not so. Wars have typically been fought over either land or religion, and often both. The Christians fought the Muslims in Iberia, the Balkans, and the Middle East in the name of God. The Muslims swept through Arabia and tried to conquer India in the name of God. The Hundred Years war was fought between Protestants and Catholics for their respective versions of God's will. The Aztecs terrorized other South American countries in the name of their gods. We Jews havn't had a good holy war in quite a while, but Dovid Hamelech fought plenty in the name of God. And on, and on...

Certainly, sometimes religion has been a tool to manipulate the masses. But only recently. In monarchical Europe or the Ottaman sultanate, the will of the masses was irrelevant. If a Catholic King and Queen, after having rid thier country of a centuries-old Muslim presence, chose to celebrate by expelling all non-Catholics, no one was in a position to protest.

To claim that in every case the people in power were cynicaly using religion as a tool is seriously underestimating the sincerity of most people's beleifs.


shoshi said...

I agree 100% with frum skeptik:

The best way to see if someone believes in G-d is this: Will he do evil things in secret?

Because if he does, this means that he does not believe that he is watched constantely.

So a frum person cannot be a hypocrite. So obviously "levush" or affiliation with a community is no criterion of "frumkeit".

David Carl said...

Shoshi by your logic people who fart when they are alone have bad manners. Do I believe in Gd? Do I frt in private? Who the hll crs wht hpns in prvt.

frumskeptic said...

david- what does doing evil things in secret have to do with farting?

Are you seriously making that comparison?

David Carl said...

what you do in private is not evil if it doesn't hurt anybody. you thing gd is so petty that he cares about what you do that doesn't hurt anybody... cmon.

frumskeptic said...

David- Well if the guy is all holier than thou about eating a specific type of meat and only eating cholov yisroal, and looks down on peole who are linient, and then keeps shrimp in his tiny fridge in the basement, I wouldn't say the person is authentically frum.

That is something done in private.

Moshe said...

Obviously it's in the basement. If it would be in the attic, G-d would see it. It's just common sense.

frumskeptic said...

hehe...the basement is closer to the Satan, and the Satan prevents him from every really taking a long hard look at himself and questioning if he should really have the shrimp.


Moshe said...

Or, maybe he's eating it as a sacrificial offering to Satan so that Satan will protect him from G-d.
It could work...

frumskeptic said...

good point, good point.

Id definitly want evil protecting me. especially in this screwed up, upside down world.