So we're entering that period of death and rebirth, the mythical religious period where some people find facepaint, headbands, and strange sleep patterns necessary in order to endure the trials and tribulations. It's known as the End-of-The-Semester. So I'm not going to really post for a number of days. But stay with me, because I have a great post coming up right after I'm done with the last of my schoolwork (It's going to be called "The Kuzari Principle, Rationalist Judaism, and My Defense of Being an Atheist Jew") and over the break, I'll have more time available. Anyways, I got this idea from Dovbear: to keep y'all entertained, I'm going to put up some videos I like. Unlike his, mine don't necessarily have to do with Hanukkah.
While I was working on this post, I saw something too serious and important to not comment on. This is insane. Check out this letter from Mordechai Stauber to Rav Wosner's Bais Din which makes clear that the rabbanim, including Stauber, knew of Rabbi Israel Weingarten's abuse as far back as 1997. Weingarten started working for Torah Temimah in 2002, he was reported to the FBI by his abused daughter in 2003, and arrested in 2008). The problem the haredi community is having is that while its denizens may view child abuse as sin, covering up child abuse and refusing to deal with it is still mainstream. (Of course, being true of child abuse, it's true of other sins too, like money laundering.) The only way to keep these abusers away from children is to keep them out of communities, any communities...that means lockdown. Somehow, the haredi world is good at keeping heresies like evolution at a distance, but the philosophy that abusers should just go elsewhere (or that they should be given a command which they can and will abuse, without much in the way of public consequence) hasn't yet been universally repudiated. There's a reason for that. With the above in mind, I think Sam Harris may have a point here:
Now, moving on to better things.
The obligatory Hanukkah video:
For you who haven't seen Dawkins shmooze with a rabbi (he tried to get the Chief Rabbi, but no dice):
And what video collection of a critic of religious groups would be complete without the Hitch?
Okay, and for those of you who want to see my nerdy anime otaku side...yes, I do find these songs to inspire contemplation, strange as that sounds. I am of a younger generation...: