Writing publicly exposes one to all kinds of people, with all kinds of backgrounds and all sorts of interpretations. And, yes, I was aware of this when I started this blog a few years back.
This platform wasn’t the first I’ve used. Way back when, there was this service called Yahoo! 360 and I was writing there almost daily, for about 3 years, but due to the fact that my main audience was Jewish readers I wasn’t that exposed to the ‘creativity’ some minds display when commenting or posing what they deem ‘hard questions’ meant to make me tremble in awe and contemplate my lack of an answer.
Thanks to this beautiful feature that Blogger came up with, I am able to moderate the comments I get and decide if it’s worth publishing or not. Now, I do get quite a fair amount of insults or corrections from people that fancy themselves scholars or people that just simply don’t like my face, or my name, or my claims, and that’s their right as readers. I appreciate all of you that take time to read my thoughts.
To those complaining why their comments don’t get published, the answer if threefold. Number one: I am vain enough to not want people that read my blog (family and friends included) to see me insulted for what I believe. Number two: Because said family or friends would end up defending me in comments of their own, and people would answer back, and you get the point. Plus I am biased enough to side with the ones I love. Number three: Because regardless of how amazing you think your questions are, they’re plain ridiculous to me and I don’t have the time or the energy to sit and answer every single thought that chances suicide when crossing your mind.
You might think me unkind, bordering on proud for the way I handle things, and I could spend my life trying to convince you otherwise, but like I said, I don’t have the energy.
I don’t discourage comments on my posts, on the contrary, please feel free to share your opinion with me or the readers of this blog, but do try to remember this is not Barnyard and you don’t have to call me by every animal name that pops into your mind. Oh, and for the love of all that is pure and holy, even though it is a struggle, do try to make sense, and by that I mean don’t ask me stupid questions.
What, you might wonder, makes a question stupid? Well my dear reader, in true Jewish fashion I will give you a moshel (parable) to help you understand.
Once, a young Jewish man approached a famous New York rabbi and said that he wanted to study the Talmud.— ’Do you speak Aramaic’? The rabbi asked.— ’No, I don’t.’— ’How about Hebrew’?— ’No’.— ’Did you, at least, study the Torah as a child’?— ’No, rabbi, I didn’t. You have nothing to worry about. I graduated from UC Berkeley and recently defended a thesis on the philosophy of Socrates. Now, I decided to fill in some blank spots, and for that purpose, I want to study the Talmud.’— ’You are not ready to study the Talmud’, the rabbi said. ’I will give you a test first, if you insist. If you pass the test, I will teach you more.’The young man agreed, and the rabbi continued:— ’Two men are climbing out of a chimney. One’s face is clean, the other’s is dirty. Which man will wash his face?’The young man was absolutely confused by the question, and asked:— ’Is this question supposed to test my logic’?The rabbi nodded.— ’Clearly, the first one to wash his face will be the man with a dirty face.’— ’Wrong! Think logically. The “dirty man“ will look at his companion with a clean face and will assume that his face is also clean. The ”clean man" will look at the man with a dirty face and assume that his face is also dirty. In other words, the man with a clean face will wash his face.’— ’What a tricky question!’ the young man noted. ’Alright, rabbi, give me another one.’— ’As you say, young man. Two men are coming out of a chimney. One’s face is clean, the other’s is dirty. Which man will wash his face?’— ’Wait, we already found out that the man with a clean face will wash his face.’— ’That is not correct. Both men will wash their faces. The “clean man“ will look at the man with a dirty face. He will assume that his face is also dirty. So, the man with a clean face will wash his face first. Then, the ”dirty man" will notice that the man with a clean face washed his face, and will also wash his.’— ’Oh...I didn’t even think about that. I can’t believe I made another mistake! Rabbi, please give me another question.’— ’Alright. Two men are coming out of a chimney. One’s face is clean, the other’s is dirty. Which man will wash his face?’— ’Well... We just talked about it; both men will wash their faces.’— ’You’re wrong yet again! Neither of the two men will wash his face. Think logically. The “dirty man“ will look at the man with a clean face. He will assume that his face is clean and won’t wash it. The ”clean man " will see that the “dirty man” is not washing his face and won’t wash it either.’That answer upset the young man.— ’Please rabbi, have some faith in me! I know that I’m clever enough to study the Talmud. Ask me something else’!— ’Alright. Two men are coming out of a chimney...’— ’Neither of them will wash his face’!— ’You’re wrong, again. Have you realized that understanding Socrates is not enough for you to study the Talmud? Explain to me how two people are coming out of the chimney, and one man is dirty and another one is not? Don’t you see? This question is nonsense! If you spend you whole life asking the wrong questions, your answers will lead you nowhere.’
I understand that you have questions, clever ones at that, but I can assure you I am not the one you need to ask because I am learning just like everybody else. My understanding of things is constantly shifting and I like to think I’ve grown a bit since I have first began. I no longer agree with some of the things I have written in my beginnings but I don’t delete them because people should know that if it’s hard to agree even with your younger self how much harder it is to agree with someone else?
This is part of my journey with Adonai. The fact that some of my thoughts end up in a blog is both a blessing and a pain, but I have known this all along and made my peace with it. I don’t expect sympathy or understanding, it is what it is.
I like to write and I will continue to write for as long as Adonai allows me to and I am really grateful for each and every one of you that follows my posts. I don’t know if it helps anyone in any way, because most days I feel like I just incite people’s anger or snickering with my writing. I have days when I wish to stop. I’ve had them since I started this and I imagine I’ll question myself all the way to the end and that’s alright. I’m weird like that.
There is a good news though and that is if anything I say offends you, or angers you or makes you feel so much better about yourself because you’re not as bad as me, then lo and behold, the big X in the far right corner of the page, click on it and you shall be free.
May Adonai bless you all!
Bat Melech בת מלך