Friday, December 30, 2005

Un-Inspired- A Response to Aish's Abuse of the Word "Truth."

I don't think the rabbis at Aish ("Dangerous Fire") as Un-orthodox Jew calls it, got the memo about lying. That is, the memo in the Torah that admonishes: "Distance yourself from sheker [a false matter]" (Exodus 23:7).

I've made it abundantly clear just what some of the sheker is at places like Aish, Ohr Someyach and McClone Shlomo in this post from November.

So, it's pretty clear that BT yeshivas and especially the kiruv monolith Aish/ Discovery, have no problem with lying. Perhaps they've consulted a rav and it's mutter to lie?

Apparently so, since many sources in the gemara hold the halachas pertaining to lying in the torah really only pertain to a judicial context (such as the primitive judicial system of the biblical times was with male witnesses only, and no circumstantial evidence, and the tremendous weight given to sworn testimony).

Something tells me that the Rabbis at Aish are holding by the following gemara which I quote from the "LyingPermissible" post on the site:

"The following involves a deception over a remedy (Babylonian Talmud, Avodah Zarah 28a) and deals with a considerably more complex ethical situation.

Rabbi Yochanan suffered from tzafdina [a dangerous disease of the gums or teeth] and went to a certain heathen lady who made a remedy for him to use on Thursday and Friday. He said to her: "What should I do tomorrow [the Sabbath]"? She replied: "You will not need the treatment." Rabbi Yochanan said: "But what if I do need it?" She replied: "Swear to me that you will not reveal the remedy to anyone." Rabbi Yochanan swore to her: "To the God of Israel I will not reveal it." She then disclosed the remedy to him and the next day he taught it in his public lecture.

"The Talmud asks: But did he not swear to her not to reveal it? The Talmud answers: He swore that he would not reveal it to the God of Israel, but to His people, Israel, he would reveal it. The Talmud asks: But is this not a profanation of the name of God? [when a Jew commits a misdeed, especially something as serious as swearing falsely, it causes people to denigrate Judaism and the Torah]. The Talmud answers: That from the beginning he revealed to her that his oath was not binding [and that he wanted to help the public]."

So, there you have it- when Aish Discovery lies about the existence of Bible Codes, makes fantastic claims about kabbala, presents Schroeder's lies that genesis works with the theory of relativity- all in the name of "kiruv"- it's fine! After all, they didn't take an oath that the claims were true and they're helping the public ("saving souls," except of course for the thousands they permanently innoculate against any jewish observance with their distastefully dishonest methods).

Note: This post was "inspired" by this post by an Aish Rabbi promoting Aish's latest movie, "In Spores" on the Beyond BT blog.