Thursday, March 03, 2005

Israel is going meshuganner!

Check out this post by the Barefoot Jewess.

With pictures, yet.

A mechitza now bisects Rambam's grave in Tiberias, Israel.

I can't believe it, in my mind it's a chillul hashem, and I'm an apikoris and shouldn't even care about chillul hashem, rather I should be laughing at the fools. But all I can do is shake my head in amazement and sadness.

I was there, with my wife, in 1989. We visited one warm evening, it was very peaceful at the time, the grave was softly lit, with benches around the perimeter of the little plaza. While we were contemplating the scene, a young Orthodox couple, obviously Mizrachi, entered. The wife then knelt over Rambam's grave and started praying with great feeling. Just listening to her prayers strongly affected both my wife and me. And now, from the look of the photos, all of that sprituality is gone. But we don't have to worry about men and women mingling.

It gives a whole new meaning to the old expression, "over my dead body!"

Rambam, on behalf of the Jewish people, I apologize for this.

6 Comments:

Blogger Mis-nagid said...

How do you know the Rambam would have disapproved? I know he was a vicious bigot and racist, but I'm less familiar with his take on the XX set.

1:11 PM  
Blogger Conservative Apikoris said...

Yes, but did he also have a low tolerance for bullshit? That may be speculative on my part, but he was an accomplished intellectual, and from my experience they're the types that take no truck with nonsense.

Jews have been making graves for thousands of years without seeing the need for installing a mechitza over each one. This seems like some kind of ultra-pietistic mystical approach that I hypothesize would leave a rational guy like Rambam cold.

3:21 PM  
Blogger qui said...

Rambam would have been disgusted by the whole spectacle of playing a role of a "saint" whose relics SAVE.

More to the point - there is a difference between regular Jewish graves visited by relatives only and graves of Rambam and the like visited by multitudes (of tourists and, le-havdil', fools seeking some "elevated" experience). If you accept that visiting Rambam's grave is an authentic religious "experience", then why see anything wrong with having the place divided by a mehitza? It is a popular place where many men and women may find themselves stumbled into one another, which is, by Jewish law, not good, so mehitza is quite appropriate.

2:33 PM  
Blogger Conservative Apikoris said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10:29 PM  
Blogger Conservative Apikoris said...

Qui Said:

If you accept that visiting Rambam's grave is an authentic religious "experience", then why see anything wrong with having the place divided by a mehitza?Since when does a "religious experience" require a mechitza? Even the Orthodox only require it for public prayer, and most Jews aren;rt Orthodox, anyway.

It is a popular place where many men and women may find themselves stumbled into one another, which is, by Jewish law, not good, so mehitza is quite appropriate.The mingling of men and women isn't good by the "Jewish law" promulgated by the ultra-orthodox rabbis who represent a small portion of the Jewish People. Most Jews have no problem with it.

What really nmakes this offensve is that it's essentially an act of agression by the Ultra-Orthodox so-called "rabbis" who impose their religious views on a site that has significance for the entire Jewish people. Rambam has been buried there for 1,000 years, and everybody has been fine with no mechitza. Now, all of a sudden, there's something worng with emn and women being togther?

10:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If there was no need for a mechitza in 1996 when I was there I can't imagine there would be a need in 2004, when I was there again.

9:52 AM  

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