Monday, October 12, 2009

// // 6 comments

David Is An Atheist … Well, Not A Very Good One

by Reb Gutman Locks at Mystical Paths

David absolutely refused to put on tefillin! He insisted that he was an atheist, and that he was going to raise his children as atheists, and that it will not affect their Jewishness at all!

“You’re right,” I told him.

That surprised him.

I explained, “Belief, or lack of belief, in G-d has nothing to do with being a Jew. Belief has to do with religion. Being Jewish has to do with having a Jewish mother. We are a people, not a religion.”

“But, you are not really an atheist,” I added.

“Yes, I am,” he argued.

“An atheist knows that there is no G-d,” I explained. “You can’t prove that there isn’t a G-d. You mean to say that you are an agnostic. An agnostic says that he doesn’t believe in G-d.”

“That’s right,” he agreed.

“But, you’re not a very good agnostic, either,” I told him.

“What do you mean?”

I asked him where he lives. He said, “Los Angeles.”

I said, “Let’s say that you are driving in L.A. and you make a wrong turn. You end up in Downtown, in the Watts District.” (This is a dangerous neighborhood in L.A.) “Then, your car breaks down! You get out to go look for a gas station, and you see 10 or 15 tough guys walking toward you. A few of them have big clubs in their hands, too. What do you do?” I asked.

“Nothing,” he answered.

“That’s not true. You would start praying real quick. You would say, “G-d help me! You are not really a very good agnostic.”

I asked him if he believed in existence.

“You mean reality?” he asked.

“Yeah, the one reality that is all that exists,” I said.

He said, “Sure.”

“Well, that is G-d,” I explained. “G-d’s most holy Name means Existence (Was, Is, and Will Be). G-d is the one existent Being. He is all.”

I changed the subject, “How come, wherever you go, you always try to learn something new from the people you meet, and when you come to your own homeland, to your own people, you throw out your chest and say, ‘No!’?”

“You should be coming here saying, ‘Show me what you know.’ What did you come here for, anyway, to teach us, or to learn something from us? Don’t you believe in education?”

“You got me, mister,” he said. “You said the word, ‘education.’”

I put tefillin on him–obviously it was his first time. He prayed nicely to Existence, and we took a couple of good pictures. When I took the tefillin off of his arm, he leaned over, and with a smile, said to his friend, “Don’t tell my father.”

6 comments:

lvnsm said...

we each have that knowledge inside us, it's just buried sometimes and we need to uncover it

Anonymous said...

gutman: have you been to l.a.?
watts is not downtown. it's south of downtown. and it's not all a tough area. there are some tough parts. but other parts are quite residential. i've spent alot of time in watts (i am a jew) and have had no problems. you don't have to wrongly denigrage a neighborhood to make your point.

Anonymous said...

Anom, As usual, I was speaking and writing from experience; as one day, years ago, I got lost and ended up in what looked like a burned out, black,tough,depressed, neighbourhood, and was very happy when I made my way back to the freeway. It was Watts. Yes, I have been there.

Anonymous said...

and you were chased by a bunch of guys with clubs?
no, i don't think so. i think you imposed that image on the poor, black, burned out part.
that was your imagination.
i never said it wasn't a tough area.
i said there were tough parts and there were very residential parts (houses with lawns, kids playing etc).
i can understand people's fears about it. black people can feel that way too about such areas.
my point was you don't have to denigrate an entire area to make your point.
i spent way too much time there and know too many people there to accept your blanket inaccurate portrayal.
let's see were you off century blvd? imperial? have you been the watts towers? the watts labor community action committee? the arts center? markets, schools, businesses, library, parks, people's homes???
your mistake is unfortunately a common one. being familiar with the area i had to defend the majority of regular people who live there.

Anonymous said...

First i think jewish atheists are an oximoron in auchwitz were we atheists ? at har sinai were we atheists same people different places . as far as watts some blacks are great ask shlomo carlbach ztzl and his trail through americas cities who wished the holy brother a God Bless with the power of modern day yitros who was black too. Yes therte are problems in the black culture but the white culture of pseudo wisdom , atheism , idolatry is just as bad if not worse . I grew up with many blacks playing basketball I was the only sophmore on my vasity basketball team every other player but 2 others were black we all were friends !

Anonymous said...

I feel blacks are more monotheistic yet more agressive and far more physical then whites in general . There 95 percent of the time better athletes despite there far lesser numbers , but this trate also translates into higher murder and assault / gang rates ie prison rates . The white culture the jews are in is basically completely edom idolatrous at its core of materialism pseudo paganism and xtianity to give excuses for irrtional behaviors . This is the v4th beast of daniels visuion , until mashiach ben yosef is allowed to come by Hashem himself and defeat edom this will sadly to our whole nations regret continue may God quickly send mashiach ben yosef without any more suffering . As it says edom only falls -------- to a dec endent of yosef.

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