Rabbi Thinks Downs is Caused By Past Sins, People Care For Some Reason

When to be offended, and when to laugh it off? Here’s my take.

Came across an article on Jpost, which I only went to today to see if there are any updates about the people trapped in the rubble in that collapsed parking lot in Tel Aviv, right across from where I used to work.

Anyway, there is this article about some idiot Rabbi who says that Downs Syndrome is caused by past sins. A bunch of people are offended, understandably.

Here’s why they should not be offended. Because the statement is meaningless. It has no theoretical evidence that could possibly prove or disprove it beyond a direct Divine revelation, which is not happening. It’s equivalent to someone saying gravity is caused by a bunch of invisible elephants blowing gravitons at us from space that are entirely undetectable in every way.

It’s like claiming everything in the world was suddenly replaced by exact duplicates yesterday and the originals destroyed by God’s court jester for fun. This is an unprovable statement. Maybe it’s true. But it doesn’t matter. Maybe Downs Syndrome is actually caused by past sins. There is no way for us to ever know, and therefore it’s not a statement that means anything.

So who cares?

When someone says something that cannot, by its very nature, be proven or disproven by any conceivable evidence, then he may as well be saying nothing at all. We may as well just consider him as someone with Downs Syndrome and leave the guy alone. Maybe he has Downs Syndrome and all the evidence to the contrary is fake.

What should offend us is if he says something like “Parents of kids with Downs Syndrome should be stoned to death because they are sinners, otherwise they wouldn’t have had kids with Downs Syndrome.” At that point it’s OK to be offended because he would be advocating murder. But as long as he’s just babbling incoherent nonsense, just laugh at him and leave him alone.

Thinking about Running on the Zehut Ticket

I just got a text from one of the Zehut Party activists that primaries for the party will be soon. I’m not very active on the ground at the moment as I have zero patience for grunt work and politicking. However, I am vaguely familiar with the Zehut crowd as I’ve been to a few key events, and they generally strike me as thoughtful people, not libertarian theorists by any stretch but they do have a better sense of what liberty is than most people.

That’s pretty good.

An internal poll commissioned by Zehut and done by Ma’agar Mochot saw Zehut getting up to 15 seats. That means if I can get a slot up to 15-20 I may actually get in.

If I do run, my campaign will be extremely simple and cheap. My platform will simply be this:

  1. I will not be running to be a Knesset Member, or חבר כנסת, literally “Friend of the Knesset”. I will be running to be a Knesset Enemy, or אויב כנסת. I will be a Member of Am Yisrael, not The Knesset.
  2. As an Enemy of Knesset and Member of Am Yisrael , I will vote against any law that decreases liberty for Am Yisrael and/or increases the power of the State.
  3. As an enemy of Knesset, I will vote for any law that increases liberty and/or decreases the power of the State.
  4. Any law that both increases and decreases liberty, or both increases and decreases the power of the State in certain respects, I will have to judge on a case-by-case basis as to whether State power or liberty is increased on net, and I will explain each decision I have made, and I will be open to discussion about it before voting with whoever wants to speak with me about it.
  5. I will not be subject to any coalition discipline from anybody, not even Moshe Feiglin. I am not his chassid, though I will listen to his opinions and take them into account.
  6. I will not accept a single shekel in State salary or subsidies for any purpose whatsoever. I will not drive a state car or use any of its money for any reason. If I am elected an Enemy of Knesset, I will do it for free. I will be accepting voluntary donations for my time however, for defending the liberty of everyone. Any money forced into my bank account by thugs will either be burned and inflation returned to the People or donated back to Zehut for the purpose of shrinking the State.
  7. I promise to make my opening Knesset speech a thing for the books. I will drag that place through the dirt and I will not hide my contempt and hatred for all politicians in that building.

If you want me to run, comment here and let me know.