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The sound of sin - Comments

TeraBrat's Avatar Comment 1 by TeraBrat

I never realized how these people live. Now that I think about it, there was no television, or radio in my grandfathers house. I don't think he ever heard of a computer. And my grandfather was very lenient. He would even wear short sleeved shirts around the house when it was only the family in the summer.

I miss him.

Fri, 20 Apr 2012 22:00:42 UTC | #936126

alaskansee's Avatar Comment 2 by alaskansee

Fascinating and frightening that such behaviour could be happening let alone happening on a civic wide scale. The horror.

I'm not sure how long I would have lasted taping over dials and breaking stuff for my god.

Glad you made it to civilization Shulem!

Fri, 20 Apr 2012 22:02:39 UTC | #936127

78rpm's Avatar Comment 3 by 78rpm

Notice that religion played no part in this. It was all obsessive-compulsive disorder, as is Judaism at all levels.

Fri, 20 Apr 2012 23:17:49 UTC | #936136

Quine's Avatar Comment 4 by Quine

It is just amazing, to me, that this kind of OCD can be conditioned into children.

Fri, 20 Apr 2012 23:36:57 UTC | #936139

AtheistButt's Avatar Comment 5 by AtheistButt

Why has religion 'played no part' in this? If this were some crazy christian or muslim sect I'm sure we would be screaming blue murder about religion's pernicious influence, and how it poisons everything including people's relationships with their partners and children. Why not here?

Sat, 21 Apr 2012 03:54:37 UTC | #936183

Mike Kemp's Avatar Comment 6 by Mike Kemp

The rabbis and the teachers were not right.

It was not the new knowledge that stemmed from the illicit radio that was responsible for the break up of the author's marriage and the family, it was the fact that it was built on a lie from the start.

Ignorance is not a basis for living one's life. Clearly this sect relies on keeping its members ignorant in order to survive. By doing so it does not equip its children to make proper life choices. It is not surprising that lifestyles based on this can't survive knowledge.

This is another version of the Adam and Eve "apple of knowledge" story (as far as I recall it). Live in blissful ignorance or embrace knowledge and take your chances.

Sat, 21 Apr 2012 05:00:15 UTC | #936194

IDLERACER's Avatar Comment 7 by IDLERACER

There is no mention whatsoever of how this guy, or any of these people, earn a living. How did they afford a two-bedroom apartment, a refrigerator, tonka trucks, legos, dolls, a cassette player and a bunch of cassettes with Hebrew children's music on them?

Sat, 21 Apr 2012 07:28:36 UTC | #936207

justinesaracen's Avatar Comment 8 by justinesaracen

This is another version of the Adam and Eve "apple of knowledge" story.... Live in blissful ignorance or embrace knowledge and take your chances.<

Well said, Mike. I think you have hit upon the core of religious isolationism. In some sects, if you get the forbidden knowledge, you are simply gently expelled from the community (as with the Amish), in others, Saudi Arabia, for example, you can be executed.

There must be some deep psychological component here, a sort of Peter Pan syndrome, i.e. the fear of growing up.

(If I were still in academics, I see a possible article here.)

Sat, 21 Apr 2012 08:35:55 UTC | #936215

Zeuglodon's Avatar Comment 9 by Zeuglodon

This story was strangely gripping in parts, probably due to the guilty pleasure aspect of Shulem's using the radio when no one's around. Never thought a simple task of using a radio could have so much import.

Comment 8 by esuther

It looks less like Peter Pan syndrome and more like a cultural version of Zahavi's handicap principle to me. To use Zahavi's words: "Look at me, I can live my life without all those foreigners' new technology; obviously, I must be superior to them". Of course, one could turn it around and suggest the "foreigners" are superior because they can afford all this new technology, but Gitty's talk of outside corrupting forces shows how the tribalistic thinking is the driver, not the technology. The point isn't that new technology is expensive or unnecessary - the point is it's not part of our culture or social ties, and it's bad because it drives you away from our culture and social ties, which have higher priority over your life's improvement or life exploration.

I wonder if tribalistic divisiveness and self-imposed segregation were factors behind the initial Out of Africa migration. People spread not just because they were exploiting new resources, but because the mother tribe became divisive and split and the offspring tribe moved to new ground. There could be plenty of divisive points in a culture relying on oral tradition.

Sat, 21 Apr 2012 11:10:39 UTC | #936236

Mrkimbo's Avatar Comment 10 by Mrkimbo

Holy mackerel, what bizarre rubbish the religious accept as normal.

It's like these people are wearing a kind of mental burkha.

Sat, 21 Apr 2012 11:11:17 UTC | #936237

78rpm's Avatar Comment 11 by 78rpm

Reply to comment 5:

Religion played no part in this because if it were a Christian or Moslem sect, the reasons for following crazy patterns of life would be given that God hath commanded it, that God is watching you and knows what you do and don't do. Following the pattern brings eternal bliss, numerous virgins, whatever; not following it will plunge you into the Fiery Abyss, whatever. Judaism, as practiced by my maternal grandmother and by my teachers in Hebrew school, with unsuccessful attempts to embed it in me, is a constant "Shut up and do it! That's the way Our People do it and have always done it! Don't you know how we have always suffered?" These things aren't done because God is watching you and you want to curry favor with him. They are done because that's the way they're done, period.

You had to be there.

Sat, 21 Apr 2012 12:47:46 UTC | #936254

QuestioningKat's Avatar Comment 12 by QuestioningKat

This was a wonderful story; it played like a movie in my head. Access to technology is access to knowledge. I found that the internet was crucial in my deconversion. Although I was able to sort many views on my own, having access to atheist sites, people, and information moved me off the fence.

Sat, 21 Apr 2012 13:35:06 UTC | #936264

strangebrew's Avatar Comment 13 by strangebrew

Comment 11 by 78rpm

Religion played no part in this

Maybe so in the day to interminable day context but can it not be said that all of the culturally imposed stricture and ruling is enacted and based on the culturally perceived concept of an old testament version of a divine sky fairy?

I take the point that it is not the immediate reason why, the forbidden listening to a radio for instance, but is that not the echo of of the traditional tactics of depriving the sheeple from true worldly knowledge, Because true worldly knowledge is the enemy of imposed insular religious doctrine...it seems it is a symptom of the the fear of mass realization, a fear which is culturally imposed and subsequently repressed by the elders, rather then a direct result of the religion per se, but religion is the underlying reason all the same.

I think anyone that can break those cloying bonds of irrational religious and cultural affiliations are indeed brave and resilient folk, it cannot be easy, and it cannot be comfortable at the time.

Deep respect seems somewhat supercilious and inadequate considering , none the less Shulem, you and many others have it.

Sat, 21 Apr 2012 13:38:06 UTC | #936265

prettygoodformonkeys's Avatar Comment 14 by prettygoodformonkeys

So poignant. Somehow, to me at least, it echoes all our stories.

Sat, 21 Apr 2012 14:02:22 UTC | #936272

78rpm's Avatar Comment 15 by 78rpm

Comment on Comment 13 by Strangebrew

Maybe so in the day to interminable day context but can it not be said that all of the culturally imposed stricture and ruling is enacted and based on the culturally perceived concept of an old testament version of a divine sky fairy?

I take the point that it is not the immediate reason why, the forbidden listening to a radio for instance, but is that not the echo of of the traditional tactics of depriving the sheeple from true worldly knowledge, Because true worldly knowledge is the enemy of imposed insular religious doctrine...it seems it is a symptom of the the fear of mass realization, a fear which is culturally imposed and subsequently repressed by the elders, rather then a direct result of the religion per se, but religion is the underlying reason all the same.

Yes, you are quite correct in perceiving that. The whole thing has deteriorated from religion to OCD, if anything can be said to be deterioratable from religion.

Sat, 21 Apr 2012 14:13:20 UTC | #936275

Metamag's Avatar Comment 16 by Metamag

“We’ll do what everyone does,” I said, slightly annoyed at the suggestion of impiety. Many of my friends had cassette players, and when the device came with a built-in radio tuner, there was a standard procedure for it: Krazy Glue the switch into the tape-playing position, paste a strip of masking tape over the channel indicators, and put the antenna out with the next day’s trash. As Talmud students, we were nothing if not resourceful; loopholes and work-arounds were our forte.

Wow, that's some insane superstition right there. And people say ridiculing religion is bad manners? There is nothing more insulting to the human mind than the very existence of such garbage that cripples the minds of children. If that is not child abuse there is no such thing at all.

Sat, 21 Apr 2012 15:31:36 UTC | #936287

IDLERACER's Avatar Comment 17 by IDLERACER

Here's a riddle: What do the following 20th century notables all have in common? Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, Harold Arlen, George Gershwin, Richard Rogers, Leiber & Stoller, Pomus & Shuman, Bacharach & David, Goffin & King, Mann & Weil, Sedaka & Greenfield, Barry & Greenwich, Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, Janis Ian, Laura Nyro and Lou Reed?

Answer: They all worked on Saturdays and ate pork. Innovations in songwriting, (and many other aspects of 20th century entertainment) were completely dominated by thoroughly assimilated, non-religious Jews. No orthodox Jew has ever written, composed or invented anything of any significance.

Sat, 21 Apr 2012 17:29:16 UTC | #936305

strangebrew's Avatar Comment 18 by strangebrew

Comment 17 by IDLERACER

Indeed and the simile can be extended...present day theologians...from any strand of delusional drooling!

We are told that Benny baby and 'Catweazle' are men of letters the greatest intellectuals in their field in this day and age, intelligent and perceptive....

And their seminal works are....' desolation, tumble-weed, rusty flakes and grating groans from a defunct and rotting water mill, dust eddies and a low moaning of the intermittent wind in the eves'

And their main argument after 2000 years is still defended by one factor and one factor only...subjective ignorance! The rest is self invented 'fistikated feelology' which depends on their metaphysical logically impossible Mobius Band of philosophical transcendent musings with liberal lashings of abusive rationaal and obtuse hypotheticals.

In other words...gobbly gook...and not so veiled threats to believe it or else!

Sat, 21 Apr 2012 17:59:39 UTC | #936315

Jonathan Dore's Avatar Comment 19 by Jonathan Dore

A deeply sad story. One wonders what has become of the author's five children. Without him in the household, have the fences trapping them in this absurd lifestyle been built even higher around them?

Sat, 21 Apr 2012 22:04:09 UTC | #936365

xmaseveeve's Avatar Comment 20 by xmaseveeve

This has really made me appreciate my radio. How could any god not want us to know about world affairs? What a staggering waste of humanity.

Sat, 21 Apr 2012 23:50:14 UTC | #936382

ShesTheBeth's Avatar Comment 21 by ShesTheBeth

Jonathan Dore's Avatar Comment 19 by Jonathan Dore

A deeply sad story. One wonders what has become of the author's five children. Without him in the household, have the fences trapping them in this absurd lifestyle been built even higher around them?

Exactly what I was thinking. I read the entire article, and, while the author did seem very concerned with the stifling nature of the lifestyle for his own sake, he never once mentioned the well-being of his children. I actually wondered as I read it if this wasn't an exaggeration or a completely made-up story. It seems to me so unlikely that these cult lifestyles are able to continue to exist while immersed in the 'modern' world.

Sun, 22 Apr 2012 13:21:28 UTC | #936456

Peter Grant's Avatar Comment 22 by Peter Grant

I love all my secular Jewish friends, but these frummies are ridiculous.

Sun, 22 Apr 2012 13:49:34 UTC | #936458

Tony d's Avatar Comment 23 by Tony d

This was a good story.

Gitty confronted me the next morning. She wouldn’t tell me how she knew.

Did anyone else think that he had moved the dial from the channel she always listened to while he was at work?

Sun, 22 Apr 2012 15:04:18 UTC | #936466

Border Collie's Avatar Comment 24 by Border Collie

If I wasn't neurotic before reading this article, I am now. I thought there must've been a Woody Allen gene, but it appears unnecessary.

Sun, 22 Apr 2012 19:13:51 UTC | #936492

ZenDruid's Avatar Comment 25 by ZenDruid

Did anyone mention "the radio of knowledge of good and evil"?.

Sun, 22 Apr 2012 19:45:18 UTC | #936501

S. Gudmundsson's Avatar Comment 26 by S. Gudmundsson

It is telling that their faith is so fragile as to necessitate blocking any communications from the outside world.

Mon, 23 Apr 2012 01:11:38 UTC | #936573

njwong's Avatar Comment 27 by njwong

This reminds me of a story I heard recently:

The King of Saudi Arabia asked the leading clerics of his country to come to his palace to declare a fatwa on the use of satellite TVs. After much deliberation, the clerics told the king that satellite TVs should be haram because the prophet did not use satellite TVs.

Later, as the clerics left the King and made their way to the palace car park, they found to their astonishment that all their cars were missing and had been replaced with camels. An attendant was waiting there for them with a message from the King, saying that as the prophet did not use cars, the clerics should likewise be forbidden to use them too.

Today, satellite TV broadcasting is one of the primary channels Saudi Arabia uses to propagate its brand of Islam (Wahhabism) throughout the world.

Tue, 24 Apr 2012 04:55:44 UTC | #936914