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Sunday, May 21, 2006

oops (X 2)

first I would like to apologize for the Hebrew and the Hebrew sources I will try to translate as much as I can!!

Driving from work to the University today I heard the last 10 minutes of "the Final Word" (המילה האחרונה) on Galatz (גל"צ). On it Uri Orbach was talking about a new program that Microsoft is developing to ... assist in the Learning of Gmara over the computer! (link is in Hebrew to NRG.co.il - ma'ariv online). Microsoft said it is trying to break into the Charedi community by offoring this new great way of learning Gmara.

2 important points to the nice people in Microsoft. Although this is a nice gesture - most charedim do not have a computer in their house, it falls on the same level as TV in most circles. The other thing - more important is the attempt to appeal to a community that considers Steinsaltz to be Toeva (for lack of a better word), because it changes the way a daf is written. Oops number one.

The 2nd oops has to do with the same recipient although the source is slightly different. Thanks to Shlemazl for this one:

DVD promoted Christ to Jews as the Messiah

    ...the DVD, which was recently sent to about 80,0000 households throughout Kiryas Joel and other Orthodox communities in New York and New Jersey, carried an unexpected message for intensely religious Jews awaiting the arrival of the Messiah...

    But theology aside, technology might prove a larger hurdle for Katz's group. However appealing the packaging, most of the thousands of Kiryas Joel households that got the "Days of Moshiach" DVD don't have televisions or computers on which to view it.

It turns out that the Jews for Jesus (or Morons for Jesus as Shlemazl put it) - sent out 80,000 DVDs to Frum houses around the NY/NJ area, but didn't send the courtesy TV and DVD player that should have come with the package. Double Oops.


At 10:13 PM, Blogger shlemazl said...


At 10:29 PM, Blogger menachem said...

maybe the chareidim can use the software at the internet cafe at the bus station- if they can find an open computer not being used by another chareidi for porn.

At 5:02 PM, Blogger Datingmaster, Jerusalem said...

I am asking ladies to come over and leave me some angry abusive comments coz I love it when they do that. Oh yeah!.

At 10:28 PM, Blogger Gert said...

Being agnostic ("weak atheist", as some would describe it), I find the story slightly hilarious. Boy, the squabbling over ancient, unauthenticated texts continues relentlessly. Messiah here, Messiah there... it all sounds a bit, well "messy" to me (LOL).

Disclaimer: No Religious people were hurt in the making of this comment. No offence was intended, purposefully, accidentally, inadvertently or in any way otherwise.

At 12:20 AM, Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

Well, then I guess being agnostic must be very, well "clean".

At 5:34 PM, Blogger Gert said...


Frankly, I'd be the last to associate agnosticism with innocence or blamelessness. But the many conflicts in the world in which religion plays a major part or is "hijacked" for political reasons makes us despair. That counts just as much for Muslim suicide bombers in my view, who's invocation of "Martyrdom" sounds very hollow to me.

As regards the three Monotheisms, having been founded essentially on the same original principles, it's amazing they don't get on better. I gues in a peaceful setting (e.g. Britain) these people are less inclined to be at each others throats.

I respect freedom of religion as much as I do freedom of speech: they're sides of the same coin.

At 9:42 PM, Blogger Soccer Dad said...

I don't know if I agree with your characterization of Chareidim not owning computers. About 10 years ago the Rav of my Shul made aliyah and he sent his children to Cheder. He said that in one of his son's classes 90% of the families had a computer.
Anecdotal true. Small sample size too.
But I'm not sure that that makes it inaccurate.

At 1:02 PM, Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

Britain is a peaceful setting?!? Umm...OK. You must never leave your house. And, I disagree with your assumption that the three faiths are based on the same principles. Islam is not founded on the same principles as those of the Judeo-Christian faiths. But, OK...

At 1:47 PM, Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

But, I did forget to say that I do agree with you, gert, about one thing. I am always disgusted, apalled, and saddened when leaders and followers of any given faith hijack religion for their own political agendas. Whether it be legitimizing terrorism or claiming that certain events or plights are the clear signs of Divine punishment for something they perceive as being a wrong doing or sin. We are seeing that in Israel with members on the religious right using every bad event and saying that's it's clear and obvious that it's G-d's punishment against those who carried out or helped support the Disengagement. It started with Rav Ovadia claiming that Hurricane Katrina hit the US because of its support of the Disengagement. It has gone on to even Rev Jerry Falwell claiming that Sharon's stroke is a direct result of his carrying out the Disengagement. That view is now being supported by many of those on the religious right here who claim that the Disengagement was a grave sin, or that, objectively in their minds (insert disgusted sarcasm here), that the Disengagement was carried out incorrectly. Everybody's a critic, and obviously every Jow Shmoe is now a speaker for G-d. It absolutely disgusts me. They throw out all preceeding mitigating factors for events, and make some grandiose statement from above that G-d is punishing those that they perceive as having done something wrong. They throw out all the other facts, so that it fits into their neat little packaged explanation of events. It wouldn't be surprising for some to come out and say that if Iran gets a nuclear weapon, and attempts or even succeeds in dropping it on Israel, it will be Divine collective punishment against Israel for either supporting or not actively stopping the Disengagement from happening. Bottom line: We Deserve It. There's no such thing as free will. It's all part of Divine punishment. Sick, no?

Listen, I don't believe in coincidences. I believe that everything happens for a reason. I believe that it's a good thing and fine to see signs in events. I think it makes us stop and evalute ourselves, and see that maybe we need to be doing something differently. That's a far cry from seeing or thinking that everything that happens is some kind of punishment. I cut my finger, well it must be G-d punishing me for doing something wrong. Well, I thought He was a little more subtle than that. I was always taught that it was actually not allowed in Judaism to claim, in G-ds's name, that when something "bad" happens, it must be G-d's punishment. Who the hell are we to speak for G-d? It's a growing problem.


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