" Thou comest to me with a sword and a spear and a shield, but I come to thee in the name of the L-rd of Hosts, the G-d of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast humiliated..." (I Samuel, 17:45-47)

Sunday, January 30, 2011

You Might Be A Jewish Pagan If...

In this past week's portion of the Torah reading (Parshat Mishpatim), we read about the biblical prohibition of engaging in witchcraft."Thou shall not suffer a witch to live." The Torah wasn't merely referring to ancient times when men sacrificed each other to appease the gods. The pagan drive is still strong today, and there are many Jews who seek out the advice of  contemporary Jewish "witches". Naturally, I want to help out these headless chickens. So I've authored a list to aid the reader's self-diagnosis:

You Might Be A Jewish Pagan If.......
  1. You wrap your head in a tallit ball during Birkat Kohanim, (the priestly benediction) out of concern  that if you see the kohen's hands, your eyeballs will explode like grapes. (As an aside, "The Jewish Fist" follows the authentic Jewish approach on the matter, which is to refrain from looking at the kohen during the benediction because it would be distracting.)
  2. a) You believe that the Lubavitcher Rebbe (of blessed memory) is Moshiach. b) you pray to him.
  3. "Nah Nah Nah...." Your holy mantra to keep away lewd thoughts. Or at least elevate them.
  4. At the local tisch, you make it a practice to eat the Rebba's masticated "arbes"(a holy legume) to fulfill the ancient  mitzvah of shrayim.
  5. You enjoy leaping over roaring bonfires at the grave-sites of Rishonim. 
  6. When walking alone at night, you worry about Ashmodai ( the king of the demons).
  7. When you attend a brit, you ask the mohel for the foreskin, as a segulah for parnasah (a livelihood).
  8. You keep a clove of garlic in your pocket to ward off the "evil eye" and "agents of Lilith" aka women.(Some maintain that a piece of stale matzoh smeared with the jelly off a rotten etrog is also effective, but that's plain nonsense.)
  9. Palm reading is important to you. But only if its done by a "holy person" who accepts credit cards for his holy work. Your definition of an apikorus: Someone who denies the merits of palm reading. 
  10. You keep a giant ball of red string in the trunk of your car. 
  11. You deal with "unwanted thoughts" by rolling around naked in the snow. 
  12. You enjoy reading "spiritual books" which speak about "G-d's needs and feelings." As a committed pagan, you understand that tying your shoelace without proper kavanah can destroy entire worlds. 
  13. As a warrior against pritzus, you spend the better part of the day thinking about seminal emissions and self-defilement. And about the army of deformed changelings that are waiting for  you. 
Diagnosis: If even one of these applies, you're a pagan. For starters, you might want to use your intellect for a change and learn some authentic Torah. Try studying the Rambam or Saadyah Gaon's "Emunah V'deot" to get your head right.

One last thing. If you believe that the author of "The Jewish Fist" warrants the ancient curse of pulsa d'nurah for writing this list, you're definitely a pagan. 

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