A natural way of life

Sometimes, when I look back at my life as an observant Jew, I realize that some of the battles I fought then I still fight today.  Here is an excerpt from something I wrote in those days.  It is directed at religious Jews, but the message is just as relevant to non-Jewish society and the challenges just as real:

The Torah was given to us, in part, to free us from the burdens of idolatry (which usually demands unnatural and cruel practices in worship, such as human sacrifices, celibacy, cross-bearing, fire-walking, blood-letting, hours-long monotonous chanting etc. – see Guide to the Perplexed 3:30), and to bring us closer to our creator pleasantly – not through torture or demands which conflict with nature.
“Rather the Torah wants us to be natural, walking in the path of moderation.”  Rambam in Eight Chapters (introduction to Abhoth, chapter 4)
God created us to be in harmony with nature and, in this way, to grow nearer to Him.  Contemplating the commandments of the Torah, one will notice that none of them demand abstinence from any pleasure of this world – only temporary prohibitions of food and cohabitation, and that in order to keep our base instincts in balance so that we do not become like animals.
… with certain exceptions, a man may marry whoever he wishes, and however many he wishes to marry… all this only with the consent of the second party.  Human nature has not changed – but European “Judaism” has become exceedingly puritanical, perhaps under the influence of Christianity.  This situation leads to many hardships and crisis in which the victims – mainly adolescents – are blamed, while the real fault lay with insensitive leaders and evil traditions.

What I was tiptoeing around was the fact that humans start feeling sexual desire a lot earlier than is officially recognized.  In the religious Jewish world, it used to be that people would marry about the same time they needed a sexual outlet.  But now marriage happens a lot later.  The onset of sexuality has not changed in order to adapt to this.  The result is several years when the only sexual outlet is masturbation – and Judaism frowns upon this as a sin.  The Kabbalists take it a step further and consider it tantamount to a mortal sin.  This is an absurd situation.
But is the modern gentile world any better?   Let us examine what Western governments/societies do:
1)  Force all children to attend public schools (unless their parents can afford a private one).
2)  Ensure that boys and girls are together most of the time.
3)  Bombard those same children, through television, billboards and movies, with almost non-stop sexually provocative content.
4)  Tell them to abstain from sex or at least use condoms.
5)  Wonder why they don’t listen.
This is an absurd situation.  What children need is an intact culture that teaches them right from wrong.  They need their parents, their mentors and their peers to all be part of that same culture.  They need a society, and media, that reinforces that culture so that they can pass it on to their own children when the time is right.
It cannot be normal for people to marry in their mid-teens unless this practice is supported by societal institutions and family.  In a “multicultural” society, marriage must wait because we cannot assume the same level of commonality that we can expect in a mono-cultural society.  By definition, a “multicultural” society has no fixed set of mores, morals or rules – except that which is imposed by law (and even that becomes dicey after a while).
There have been societies in the past where different cultures and religions occupied roughly the same territory.  But each group had its own schools, neighborhoods, places of worship etc.  They were thus neighbors but also separate.  This is how the Jews survived as a people.  It is not societies such as these that I am speaking about here.
In the Western world today, even where whites are still a clear majority, various other cultures leave their mark.  Whether through television, friends or the internet, almost all of us are exposed to a variety of cultures.  I was exposed to Malagasy culture for a while – yet my own culture is no more “Malagasy” now than it was before.  This is because my exposure was one of educating myself about other people, not of replacing part of my own culture with a foreign one.  Children can  learn about cannibals all day long from television and there is no harm in this – until millions of cannibals are brought to Smalltown, USA and some of them, sitting in the school cafeteria with Johnnie American, say “here.  Try some of this!”  When foreign peoples are brought to our own nations, and our children are forced to learn, play and eat with them, then we have passed from “education” into something much more sinister.  What we have here is dilution of the home culture and its replacement with a myriad of other cultures.  As the boundaries between “us” and “them” become fuzzy, we end up with a lot of uncertainty.  Is it acceptable to have loud parties at 3:00 A.M.?  That depends; it is perfectly acceptable to many Mexicans, but not to white Americans.  Is it alright to mutilate your daughter?  That depends; it is considered a duty among many Africans and Muslims, but a terrible crime for others.  When those Africans object to our laws and say, “why do you persecute us for our culture?  Do you consider your own culture superior?”  How does the multiculturalist answer that?  In the end, the culture of whoever has the most babies will prevail.
But back to marriage.  I contend that the more uncertainty there is, the more marriage must wait.  Finding “the right guy” or “the right gal” becomes more difficult as the variety of cultural norms expands.  The more hay there is in the stack, the more difficult it will be to find the needle.  There will always be individual differences between people, even people of the same culture.  But two Orthodox Jews are unlikely to disagree on whether to allow their 10 year old girl to get her navel pierced.  The answer will be “no”.
There is nothing natural about “multiculturalism”.  It leads to confusion.  For its youngest victims, this confusion includes either sexual frustration or irresponsible sex and it probably leads to mental health issues as well.

This entry was posted in pan-nationalism and multi-culturalism. Bookmark the permalink.

36 Responses to A natural way of life

  1. I know this wasn’t really your topic, but when did Jewish law forbid polygamy? Technically I don’t know when Christian custom turned against polygamy either. Hmmph. Why don’t I know that (rhetorical question)….
    Contemplating the commandments of the Torah, one will notice that none of them demand abstinence from any pleasure of this world – only temporary prohibitions of food and cohabitation
    I’d never heard it put this way, but it makes sense reading it put that way. There’s hardly anything completely banned (except for certain activities I saw discussed Trembling Before G_d).
    Getting people to agree on anything moral/cultural is such a precious rarity. We really have no room for multikult. One of the paradoxes of America is the way so many of the religions (esp. Protestant ones) that sprang up in our atmosphere of religious freedom hold as basic tenets that people in other sects are all going to hell.
    And the left wants to introduce Third Worlders into this mix?

    • tommy says:

      Polygamy was subject to rabbinical prohibition early in the Middle Ages. Even before then, it doesn’t appear to have been very common among Jews. Even in Talmudic times it was pretty exceptional. (A few centuries earlier, who knows?) The Talmud limited polygamy to four wives excepting the theoretical case of a king who could have something like a dozen more beyond that. Rabbi Gershom ben Judah ultimately prohibited the practice among the Ashkenazim. Some Mizrachi communities continued to practice polygamy until the modern era.

    • tommy says:

      Polygamy was rare among Christians from the beginnings of the faith. Christian scripture in Timothy has long been interpreted by theologians as prohibiting the practice and the occasional custom of Jewish polygamy didn’t sit well with an officially monogamous Roman audience.

  2. tommy says:

    “But is the modern gentile world any better? Let us examine what Western governments/societies do:”
    Ha! I like you, jewamongyou, but this reminds me of another obnoxious habit of Orthodox Jews–and another with which you apparently battle: when secular Jews are at the forefront of promoting certain negative behaviors in a largely non-Jewish society, the Orthodox rush to apologize for their irreligious brethren by claiming these poor Jews are under the influence of a corrupt gentile culture. Jews are active subjects in everything good they do and passive objects in everything bad they do. Having taken their own off the hook, the Orthodox are then free to disparage the akum, his debased culture, his avodah zarah, and whatnot. It’s a good way of increasing group cohesion in a self-absorbed and fractious community, I suppose.
    I mean, Jews creating and promoting sexually explicit content in the media? Who ever heard of such a thing? It’s that awful gentile world again. And it’s not as though the likes of Eisner and Ovitz took Disney in an unwholesome direction; they were obviously under the influence of dastardly old goy, Walt!
    Well, Jewish narcissism is a hard ghost to exorcise. What can you do?

    • jewamongyou says:

      I guess I could have been more clear about the fact that my attitudes have changed quite a bit over the last several years. Even so, it is not far fetched that gentile culture influenced Jewish culture and vice versa for better or worse. I quoted my earlier self to show a parallel, not to imply that what I wrote then is exactly how I feel today.
      I’ve already written about the negative contributions Jews have made to popular culture elsewhere.

  3. TrueJew says:

    I’m beginning to realize that you have a very warped view of the world around you. When a society is comprised of a mixed multitude of people, (yes, that was a phrase used to describe the israelites), there will be some bending of the dominant culture. This isn’t because liberals cannot bring themselves to condem minority culture, but because it’s the natural evolution of an equal society.
    Blacks and mexicans (e.g.) were in america back when your family was still living in a mud hut somewhere in the middle east. They are part of the package. If you don’t like it you’re free to leave. Are you for eugenics? I’m not sure you have the IQ to survive in such a scenario.

    • jewamongyou says:

      “A mud hut in the middle east”? Wow. Obviously you missed my point. There is a difference between a “bending of the dominant culture” and the forceful eradication of that culture. Witness the war against Christmas, the deference given to Islam (in some places) over Christianity and the lack of respect shown our children in public schools for “dead white men”.
      How many multiculturalists even agree with you that there should be a “dominant culture”?
      You seem to promote an “equal society”. What do you mean by that?
      Also, in the future, please refrain from personal insults. If you disagree with me, address the point.

      • TrueJew says:

        the war on xmas? c’mon now! Once upon a time, practically everyone in the US was christian. Now we have jews, muslims, atheists, scientologists etc. It is only natural that we find a general term to acknowledge the holiday seasons. Non-christians shouldn’t be offended if greeted with “merry christmas”, but state and local gov’t have to be fair, and not favor one religion over the other.
        Let’s get to the crux of the matter. Yes, many european-culture nations are undergoing demographic changes. but honestly, as someone who is extremely smart and couldn’t be more educated, I’m not threatened by this effect in the US. My kids will be able to attend good schools, and have minimal interactions with questionable characters. That’s why it’s not worth it for me to give up my liberal sensibilities. Now, white people who are lower down the food chain may feel alarmed. That’s because they have to compete and live with minorities.

      • Well, the point of a lot of alternative-right assertions is that the extremely smart and educated don’t have either the ethical right or a good reason to abject white trash from their own country. People need the right to live somewhere in safety without any group, elite or rabble, destroying them slowly.

      • tommy says:

        Once upon a time, practically everyone in the US was christian. Now we have jews, muslims, atheists, scientologists etc. It is only natural that we find a general term to acknowledge the holiday seasons. Non-christians shouldn’t be offended if greeted with “merry christmas”, but state and local gov’t have to be fair, and not favor one religion over the other.
        But they are often offended. A woman friend works as a manager at a local restaurant told me the other day that during the last Christmas season a group of Jewish women came to the restaurant. They were greeted with “Merry Christmas!” at the front of the house by one of her employees. The Jewish ladies let it be known (rather stridently) that they would prefer the restaurant use a more generic greeting in the future. This isn’t the first time of I’ve heard of this sort of thing around town and I’m sure thousands upon thousands of these undocumented incidents have occurred in recent years across the country.
        It’s just part of the larger group tendency of Jews to divest non-Jewish society of any semblance of shared culture or identity. Jews seem driven toward demanding that either their cultural identity be accorded equal stature with that of the majority population or that everyone adopt an empty and uninspiring propositionalism to make them feel at home. It makes you long for the days when, indeed, “practically everyone in the US was Christian.”
        What non-Jews should realize is that surrendering to Jewish demands never satisfies Jews; it simply encourages them to become more demanding. I’ve sometimes wondered if creating this denuded cultural environment doesn’t ultimately make many secular Jews (along with everyone else) feel more anonymous and isolated and if this in turn doesn’t cause many of them to drift back into their own ethno-religious fold. In other words, the more you nullify gentile life, the more a self-consciously Jewish existence appeals to many Jews looking for an outlet. I cannot say for sure. In any event, with Jews it really is “give an inch, take a mile.”

    • destructure says:

      What exactly do you mean by “TrueJew”?

    • Reactionary_Konkvistador says:

      “Let’s get to the crux of the matter. Yes, many european-culture nations are undergoing demographic changes. but honestly, as someone who is extremely smart and couldn’t be more educated, I’m not threatened by this effect in the US. My kids will be able to attend good schools, and have minimal interactions with questionable characters. That’s why it’s not worth it for me to give up my liberal sensibilities. Now, white people who are lower down the food chain may feel alarmed. That’s because they have to compete and live with minorities.”
      See the thing is that you don’t care about poor White people that much compared to offending my your “liberal sensibilities” That makes you “classist”.
      I don’t really care about Black people living in Africa compared to them coming to my Central European country and offending my “pro-civilized sensibilities”. That makes me “racist”.
      What makes my position a terrible sin and yours a virtue?
      I suspect the primary reason is status signalling. You could never be mistaken for a underclass black. But you might be mistaken for a White who has relatives who can’t afford to live away from diversity. Thus you need a marker that you and everyone you care about are well enough to afford to live away from dysfunctional diversity.
      BTW Regression to the mean is a bitch, and assortative mating has been shown recently to be mostly about picking people who are available. High IQ and good personality hunting practically dosen’t really happen. It happens non-intentionally due to class segregation – finding a husband among your elite uni’s students (which is partially intentional). Your grandchildren and great-grandchildren probably won’t be as lucky as you when it comes to cognitive ability and in any case highly educated people practically don’t breed at all so its questionable if you will have any above IQ 105 descendants in three or four generations.
      Also in the long run high IQ ethnically foreign elites get killed off (see the book “World on Fire”). Even Blacks can do it when the elites don’t have outside support. Ask the Arabs of Zanzibar or the French or the later Mulatto over class of Haiti. Also technological progress won’t happen by itself. No reasonable group of people on this planet with a mean IQ over 100 currently have replacement fertility.
      But somehow I think Fundi Christians and Jews would be offensive to your “liberal” sensibilities. Is that the kind of world you want? Why can people get upset over littering or driving an SUV because it hurts the environment but cant get upset over a picture of a world divided between Africa spread across 4 continents of failed states “diversified” only by North Korea-like totalitarian isolated regimes and Theocratic enclaves?

    • Reactionary_Konkvistador says:

      But here I am yapping. Surely being highly educated and intelligent you already know all of this.
      You probably also know that Askenazi Jews weren’t living in Middle Eastern huts but in Eastern European houses for long before there where Mexicans or Blacks in America. Also unlike Blacks and Mexicans, Askenazi Jews they’ve contributed immensely to the progress of science and won a quarter of all Nobel prizes. Ever.
      But you probably just don’t want that to get in the way of your moral posturing.

  4. FrankBD says:

    Modern conditions about women’s educational needs, long life expectancies and what we know today about mental maturation, suggests that people shouldn’t marry before about 25.

  5. FrankBD says:

    Sorry, hit “Post” early. Continuing…
    This is an important problem that conservatism needs to face, because we can’t just repeat the celibacy before marriage mantra, when there are a dozen years between puberty and matrimony.
    Nothing causes poverty (in America) like single parenthood, and which is caused primarily by unintended pregnancy, which in turn is caused by a disconnect between sexual practices and birth control use. Which is largely caused by religion, like among African-Americans and poor Southern Whites.
    Just like age 60 is the “new 40,” I think 25 should be the “new” 18. Until that age, most Americans should be doing life-exploration activities like volunteer work or backpacking Europe. Adolescence is when kids should be making life’s errors while the stakes are small — break up with a brunch of girl/boy-friends, so you don’t get divorced later; get fired from McDonald’s, so you don’t lose your actual career. The consequences of pregnancy can’t rest on the eloquence of sermons.

    • jewamongyou says:

      It’s true that in today’s world, people shouldn’t get married too early. But were it not for multiculturalism, it would be a viable option and a healthy one at that. Also, too many people, especially whites, put off marriage (and kids) until the “right” time. They end up waiting until it’s too late and this is a big part of the demographic crisis whites face today.

      • Charles says:

        I think young marriage ought to be encouraged among whites. One of the reasons that people today are not “ready” for marriage at 18, 25 or sometimes even 30 is because they have been dumbed down all their lives. Young people are treated like children well into midlife and they never develop much self control or a sense of responsiblity for themselves. People used to marry earlier and they were fully prepared for the responsiblities entailed. We are going backwards as a society socially speaking.
        Conditions have a way of making us ready to assume responsiblities we did not realize we were capable of. I vote for promoting young marriage and large families. As far as I am concerned college should be discouraged. Women should stay home and raise their children. Men should go out and work.
        In my experience college and school have very little to do with education. Once you know how to read and write you can learn virtually anything you need outside of a formal school structure. Four years of college and the associated massive expense is unecessary and burdensome. John Taylor Gatto has written astutely on this.
        We live in a sick and corrupt society. Delaying child birth until 40 and having 1 or 2 children simply is not natural nor healthy. Marry young and have many children I say. There is nothing greater than family. Unless we reject feminism and return to a traditional family structure our race is finished.

    • destructure says:

      The US was a lot more religious in 1950 than it is now and the teen pregnancy rate was negligible. So obviously there’s a lot more to the story than your saying “Religion is bad mmkay.” Of course, people are waiting longer to get married. But even in the 50’s the average marriage age was 20 & 23 for women and men, respectively. Which is to say most people weren’t getting married at 15. So the fact that many people are now waiting another 5 years to marry shouldn’t in itself have any effect on the rate of teens getting knocked up.
      Indeed, since society is less religious today one could just as easily blame the situation on society being less religious. And I say that being aware of the statistics that more religious states have higher teen pregnancy rates. It may well be that being less religious results in a slightly lower teen pregnancy rate because of increased emphasis on prophylactics but that being more religious results in a greatly decreased teen pregnancy rate because of increased emphasis on abstinence. At any rate, religion has definite benefits for both individual and society apart from anything to do with belief in the supernatural.
      But I would like to float another idea for the teen pregnancy rate. By looking at the curves for both teen pregnancy and divorce it’s obvious that the teen pregnancy rate started climbing about 15 years after the divorce rate did. Hmmm… 15 years. And many of the teen pregnancies are from single/divorced mothers. What a coincidence.
      If you want to understand the teen pregnancy rate you have to look at divorce, not religion.

      • destructure, I’m not saying you’re wrong, but if I were to understand the teen pregnancy rate I’d look at the same topic that solves every other US sociological mystery – race. Sociological data of all types is out there, and only a few types of sociological data are actively suppressed.

      • destructure says:

        I appreciate your response. I don’t discount race. The enormous racial disparity in teen pregnancy can’t be ignored.
        Still, the racial angle must be balanced against other factors. In 1940, the illegitimacy rate among blacks was 19 percent, in 1960, 22 percent, and today, it’s 70 percent. That suggests the issue can’t be dismissed as simply “race”.
        Indeed, over the past generation, the white illegitimacy rate has exploded from 7.1 percent in 1975 to 28.5 percent in 2002. That’s higher than it was for black mothers (23.6 percent) when the Moynihan report sounded its alarm.
        So what’s going on? Children from single parent / broken homes have higher rates of teen pregnancy. For blacks this is largely a result of welfare mothers giving birth to children who grow up to be welfare mothers. For whites this is largely a result of divorce. But its harder for single mothers to stay out of poverty. So whites are increasingly falling into the welfare mother cycle as well. And there is a cascading effect from generation to generation. It’s just that blacks had lower incomes and fell into the welfare mother trap first.
        The illegitimacy rate for blacks appears to have peaked at around 70 percent. But for whites and others is still climbing. I don’t know where it will be peak but I doubt it’s peaked yet. I believe the only way to reduce the illegitimacy rate for blacks and whites is to tackle welfare and divorce, not blame religion.

      • Thanks for your reply. Since I have no time to do any armchair sociological research, I have little to add. I think divorce is way too MENTALLY easy. It is too much like an eject button. People who have been taught by the institutions that they are all Numero Uno are expected to somehow resolve marital difficulties with maturity and a measure of self-sacrifice?
        The disciplines and habits (thought patterns, really) that once supported marriage are in a much worse shape than marriage itself, and that is scary.

  6. “..which usually demands unnatural and cruel practices in worship, such as human sacrifices, celibacy, cross-bearing, fire-walking, blood-letting, hours-long monotonous chanting etc.”
    Do any rabbinic scholars condemn these practices specifically? I checked guide for the perplexed part 3 chapter 30 and it was informative but it didnt mention those things specifically

  7. jewamongyou says:

    No, he does not mention them. Looking back, I’m not sure why I cited that chapter specifically; it has been well over 20 years.

    • Well I know condemnations of moloch in the old testament are tantamount to condemning human sacrifice, and I know that in general cross-bearing is frowned in judaism as well as it being frowned upon by a significant portion of christians, fire-walking is something alien to judaism associated with I’m not sure what, chanting is hindu, and blood letting is a medieval medical practice, and as far as celibacy goes…. from what I understand judaism is big on propagating ones seed and so celibacy would be frowned upon but all traditional jewish authorities do agree that masturbation is a sin.

      • jewamongyou says:

        Exactly. Traditional Judaism is not the exception here. Since I was an observant Jew at the time, I was arguing for a change in attitudes among Jews. I disagree, of course, with the “authorities” and that would make me a “heretic”. Oh well.

  8. bob sykes says:

    As a lapsed Catholic, I may understand your comments on cruel practices better than you, having suffered through some of them. However, you cannot tell me that the 600 or more laws recognized by Orthodox Jews liberate people. More likely, as Paul says, they enslave and misdirect people. Jesus rejected almost all of the Law, especially the food laws, but he was a heretical Jew, and he introduced a new law against divorce. But his general drift would be liberating. You don’t have to swallow the whole Platonic philosophy about the Trinity etc to buy into at least some of Jesus taught.
    Otherwise, I enjoy your blog. Keep it up.

    • Are you still christian and if so what denomination?

    • jewamongyou says:

      Good point. Let’s not forget that Christianity used to be far more restrictive. So I think it’s all relative.
      But yes, I agree with you – and that was really the main point of the treatise I wrote back then. I wanted a return to a more moderate, accommodating Judaism. Over the generations, Judaism had become more and more strict and yes, it is now very much like slavery.

    • bob sykes says:

      I am an agnostic with deistic tendencies and a Catholic sensibility.
      In particular, I am attracted to Catholic philosophy, the attempt to synthesize orthodox Christian faith with Aristotelian and Platonic philosophy. But, the day-to-day rituals and doctrines of the Faith do not move me. In some cases, like social justice, I am ideologically opposed to the Church.
      I taught environmental engineering and biological processes for 37 years, and Dennett is correct, Darwinian thought dissolves everything, especially faith. I also grew up in a mixed Catholic/Jewish neighborhood in Dorchester (Boston, MA), and my exposure to Judaism, both secular and orthodox. was another strong influence on my own maturation.
      Jewamonyou’s next post is a reflection on a quote from Sufiism. In my retirement, the almost Buddhist view of the Sufi regarding my own irrelevance sometimes presses into my awareness. Much of the motivation in academic life is the struggle for fame. I see it still in my former colleagues. The fact that nearly all papers go unread, even in high impact journals, is lost on them. The fact that the papers deserve to be unread in incomprehensible.
      If I were to seek solace later in life, I might return to the Catholic Church (with many reservations) because it would be the path of least resistance. But, I sometimes think that a somewhat relaxed form of Judaism might be better. At least it would have less baggage.

      • Reform judaism is very relaxed, they don’t really have any dogmas they force on anyone. As for catholicism I’m sure there are organizations for lapsed catholics. I recommend you look into hinduism too and also mormonism.

  9. Pingback: What liberals really think. | destructure

  10. a random user name says:

    Brilliant essay.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *