Friday, October 19, 2007

Ezzie's Blog Roundup: Thoughts

A bunch more really good posts for this morning (um, afternoon, since I am just finally posting it now), from all over the place:
  • 6) Aidel Maidel starts off with a great, great truth. :) Now if only someone would give us some...! (What?! Stop looking at me like that!)
  • 5) SoccerDad has a good post on underestimating President Bush... and quotes possibly the best editorial ever written. :D (What?!!!)
  • 4) Kefirot has an interesting d'var Torah and lesson. Excerpt:
    So Noah went spiritually downwards, while Moshe went upwards. Why? The Rabbi explained that it was because of how they went about trying to perfect themselves. Noah went for isolation. The world was a bad place, and the best way for him to stay right with God was to keep to himself; to work on himself, and his family. Moshe, on the other hand, was always outwardly focused. He focused on helping everyone else, and by so doing, was raised up himself in the process.

    Now I found that fascinating, and immediately related it to a conversation I had, about a year ago, with a young man from a very charedi family. He told me about an article he had read, in Israel, about a group of secular Jews trying to start a Rabbanut Chiloni - a secular rabbinate. He thought it was funny, in an ironic sort of way. What does it mean to have a rabbinate if you're secular?
  • 3) I connected way too closely with this post from Fudge.
  • 2) Freakonomics notes that they did an analysis of IQs among babies, and found almost no difference between races at the age of 1, but that it divided sharply on the way to two years old. It's a fascinating study, and here's what I commented; let me know what you think:
    Very interesting, and to some extent, a cause for optimism. If the difference starts to expand between ages 1 and 2, would that not then mean that perhaps there is a difference in how children are raised and taught while they are just toddlers - how much attention is given to their learning, how people interact with those children, etc.? It would then just be a matter of showing parents techniques or ideas to help their own children.
    [Note: That and the following are both worded terribly. It's a lazy day. Don't over-read into it, please.] Interestingly, as other commenters there have mentioned, blacks from nations in Africa generally score better than African-Americans. I'd wonder if perhaps living under slavery or just being in worse economic shape damaged the black community in terms of parenting, and I think it logical to say that most people learn much of their parenting technique from their own parents.
  • 1) This post by Noyam was excellent, even if I disagree with small portions. Excerpt:
    When the education they’ve received seems illogical to them, it all gets lumped together. In the same way, when they find comfort in ideas that are deemed kefira, they will instead of rejecting such a label, and continuing to practice Judaism in the way they were brought up, they will reject it all. Instead of accepting that Judaism as a practice can be separated from many of the theories, they reject the whole.
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