Fire - The elements discussion

Discussion in 'Japanese Martial Arts - General' started by circle, Jun 18, 2017.

  1. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    Dear AngryHobbit, you are angry aren't you? I'm not in the least upset and I wasn't defining Judaism in the way that you were. I'm sorry you didn't understand what I was saying and have jumped on things I have posted. I said nothing about 'paths' for a start, and I have over 60 years more experience than you do at being Jewish. I also have vast experience in how we perceive our documents. I am more than confident that in all our diverse communities the one thing that is common to us all is how the Tanakh is 'used' which is how it has always been for centuries, it is what it is. It is a book of Law not a novel.

    However I wish you well on your journey and would just say one thing, approaching life with an empty cup is useful for more than martial arts.
     
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  2. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng Sr. Grandmaster

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    Many Chinese Novels have very interesting and exciting stuff in them. However if you read the entire thing you find they also have sections of painful detail and tedium. If you get a shorter version or just a section it is much easier to read without napping :D
     
  3. AngryHobbit

    AngryHobbit Master Black Belt

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    No big deal. I re-read War and Peace for fun every few years - I think I would survive. ;)
     
  4. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng Sr. Grandmaster

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    Nobody reads war and peace for fun :D
     
  5. AngryHobbit

    AngryHobbit Master Black Belt

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    I do. When I was 12, my dad told me it was one of the books he re-read every 5 years or so. He found he derived more from it every time and came to think of it as a yardstick of his maturity. So, I started doing it too, except I re-read it every 2-3 years. I also re-read Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita, Yefremov's Thais of Athens, and Dumas' Count of Monte Christo with the same mindset.
     
  6. AngryHobbit

    AngryHobbit Master Black Belt

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    I suppose growing up with a Holocaust survivor Jewish grandmother, surrounded by routinely oppressed and mistreated Soviet Jews must have skewed my experience. ...As well as what I saw of how they perceived their documents and interacted with them. I strongly suspect it was something entirely different from the experiences elsewhere in the world.
     
  7. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    My mother was the only survivor of her family who all died in the camps. I also know many Ukrainian Jews as well as Russian. Was your grandmother your mother's mother?
     
  8. AngryHobbit

    AngryHobbit Master Black Belt

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    Yes, she was. Her father worked at the USSR Ministry of Finance under Stalin and was executed in 1937 - along with many other Jewish government official. I'm sure you've read about it - a nasty page in our history. And then, during WWII, she and her brother came home after getting food to discover their house was surrounded by Germans. The two of them hid and watched as the rest of the family got shot execution style.

    You would have liked Grandma - she was a powerhouse and a survivor. Nobody could stand in her way. She taught me how to make latke, and if her horseradish didn't make you run up and down walls with smoke coming out of your ears she didn't consider it a success. :)

    Mom was very cosmopolitan, but she cultivated a tightly-knit group of Jewish friends, and their kids became my friends. Since our family had a reputation for celebrating EVERYTHING, our friends gravitated to our house to sneak in a few traditional holidays under the guise of... just because. Jewish songs were played on bootleg tapes. Kids were fed stories in snippets. Honestly... it's amazing how certain objects, texts, and traditions take on a different quality and meaning when they are forbidden.

    You know what's interesting? So, anything non-Russian was considered bad in the Soviet Union. People actually lied on their documents about being of the Russian nationality. But what my family was - mix-bloods - was considered somehow even worse. It's like there was this prejudice of, "WHAT?! Your perfectly good Russian ancestors and your not-quite-perfect-but-tolerable Ukrainian and Polish ancestors CHOSE to mate with the Jews?!"
     
  9. AngryHobbit

    AngryHobbit Master Black Belt

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    I am so sorry! Entire families wiped out like that... terrible... You know what is really "Twilight Zone"? When I was at the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC, I stumbled over the name of the lady who hid my grandmother and her brother on the engraved wall that honored people who helped the Jews, got them out of camps and away from the front lines, etc.
     
  10. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    You know that makes you totally Jewish don't you as your mother is? You aren't mixed at all, the Jewish line runs through the female line so you are halachically (legally) totally 100% Jewish. It doesn't matter what your religion/faith if any is, you're Jewish. :) Now whether you think that's a good thing or not I don't know but it means you aren't 'mixed' anything, people should consider themselves very lucky to 'mate' with us!
     
  11. AngryHobbit

    AngryHobbit Master Black Belt

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    Yes, I know about the female line - it's funny, when my cousin (my mom's brother's daughter) immigrated to Israel, she told me I should have gone too. She said since my female line was straight from grandma to me, I would have had a much easier time of it. :)

    Our family always considered itself mixed - you know, because of roughly equal contributions of Russian, Ukrainian, Polish, and Jewish blood between all our different grandparents and great-grandparents. I remember I used to take it so hard when Russian kids teased me at school for being a mutt. But my Dad always said, "Don't worry - the mix-bloods are always the smartest and the best-looking." So, I went with that. :) One of these days, I'd like to learn Polish and Hebrew and learn some songs - both have such lovely songs, foods, and traditions. I like all my ancestral lines - they are all interesting and have fascinating (albeit profoundly messed-up) histories.

    Some years ago, a bunch of creative artists, musicians, and animators got together and created a series of cartoons called Lullabies from Around the World. Not surprisingly, my two favorite ones are Ukrainian and Jewish, even though I don't understand a word of the latter. :)


    A friend actually gave me an Ancestry DNA kit for Christmas, and I sent it off to see what else I have in there.
     
  12. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    I would take the ancestry kit with a big pinch of salt, it's fun but not at all accurate. DNA Ancestry Tests Are 'Meaningless' for Your Historical Genealogy Search

    The Poles have a long history of anti Semitism which is raising it's head again, many Jews were killed when they returned after being held in the camps, the story of the Warsaw Ghetto isn't as most think either and is no credit to the Poles I'm afraid. I think the fact that so many of them were on about 'mixed blood' indicates the nationalist thinking.
     
  13. AngryHobbit

    AngryHobbit Master Black Belt

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    The running joke in my family is - all of our various ancestors were at war with each other for some reason at one point or another, which is our excuse for being so messed up. :)

    But yes, anti-Semitism in Poland is nearly as infamous as it is in Russia. The areas that suffered tremendously in that regard were areas that passed from Poland to Russia and back over the course of the centuries. The town of Vilna, or example, which is now the capital of Lithuania Vilnus, has a history rife with such incidents. The area itself had a very mixed population, including, but not limited to Russians, Latvians, Estonians, Poles, Ukrainians, Jews, and even some Turks. When the area was under Poland, while some discrimination existed against Jews and Turks, at least they were allowed to have their own schools and businesses, speak whatever language they wanted, and keep their traditions. When Russian Empire took over, everything was shut down. That's when the Poles had it as bad as everyone else - because all of their schools got closed too, Polish children weren't allowed to speak their language in public, etc. After the Polish uprising of 1863, the new envoy to the area issued a law - if a Polish woman appeared in public in mourning clothes because her husband or son was killed when the insurrection was squashed, she was given a broom and made to sweep the streets.
     
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