Friday, October 12, 2018

He is risen.

LubabNoMore blows the dust off his blog.

A dust cloud forms.

LubabNoMore tries to pull head back but it's too late. He inhales some of the dust. Too much dust.

OK. Now he's coughing.

Like, a lot.

He's still coughing.

"You OK buddy?"

He's not OK.

Looks like he's curled up on the floor.

It's like he's very subtly rocking himself back and forth. Really, almost indiscernible.

There's drool.

Now he's just wheezing.

Poor guy.

He's acting like it's no big deal.

"Hey dude. You want a hit from my inhaler? It's Albuterol." (Standard narrator issue).

He's waving me off.

"I thought you believed in SCIENCE."

Lubab has regained his composure. Like a phoenix he rises to his feet.

"Nicely done!"

He's leaning.

Too much leaning.

He's clutching his head.

Head rush. He looks like he's about to pass out... aaaand.... now he's sitting down.

"Got up a little too fast there pal. Your twenties were a long time ago. Quit acting like you're still young."

"TF does 'young at heart' mean?"

"Uh huh."

"Let me put this in perspective... You have a BLOG."

Oh. Now he's taking the keyboard from me.

"You don't have to shove. Jeez. You act like a nice guy but you're really not very nice at all."

"Yeah, yeah. I know my job."

Ladies and gentleman... LubabNoMore.


Hi ho, LubabNoMore here.

Going through some stuff and thought of this old thing. It was great to have this outlet and your feedback in the past. You all really helped me.

As of now I may or may not post (set expectations!) but I have republished all our old posts. There were also some drafts that it turns out were never previously published. I've noted that in the title. They show up as recent since they have no previous publish date. Just know that those are all 8-10 years old.

Drop me an email. Be sure to watch my InstaStory at-

Just kidding. I'm old. Email and AIM messages only please.

Be true to yourself.


[PULLED FROM THE ARCHIVES] Orthoprax Ethics in the Workplace: Shabbos & Yom Tov

[Hulu media not found - Oct 12, 2018]
(15 second clip)

As evidenced by the clip C. Montgomery Burns has some sort of religious comp time plan. (Or at least some sensitivity to the issue of taking off for Shabbos). My office is pretty cool about taking Shabbos & Yom Tov off too. But, what are the ethics of asking for (demanding, really) special treatment when you don't necessarily believe it is required?

When I ask for religious days off (I try to avoid using the word "holidays" because I think "holiday" implies fun/partying) sometimes I'm not asking for anything unreasonable but at some point I'm basically asking for special treatment. For example:
LNM: Hey boss, can I take time off for Rosh HaShana?

Boss: Sure.

LNM: Yom Kippur?

Boss: No problem.

LNM: Sukkot?

Boss: Huh?

LNM: Shmini Atzeret?

Boss: You're kidding, right?
Like the Jewish guy in the clip there is also the issue of leaving-early-on-Friday-in-the-Winter. Arranging to leave early every. single. Friday. for months is requesting special treatment.

My basic question is: Is it wrong to ask for something you don't believe you need?

Certainly, if your job gives you vacation days you have the right to use them. Also, when you take a job it is reasonable to make an agreement with your boss to whatever terms you can agree on.

But, when you ask for religious time off every Friday for an entire season (Winter), or ask to take two days of vacation every week for the entire month of October, you begin to push the bounds of what's reasonable.

Asking for religious days off is not just a matter of scheduling. When the requests become special requests I'm not just asking for the time, I am also asking my boss to be sympathetic to my practices. Chances are I'm probably playing into his/her own connection to god and religion. If I don't believe I am required to observe Shabbos & Yom Tov, but I ask my boss for the time off as if I do, does this constitute genavas daas (deception/obtaining a favor falsely)?

Is it ethical for an atheist, or orthopraxer, to ask for special treatment when taking religious days off?

[PULLED FROM THE DRAFT ARCHIVE] Lubab No More's Jewish-English Glossary

I often use Jewish words (Hebrew, Yiddish, Yinglish) or abbreviations that may not be understood or recognized by readers of this blog. I have also been inconsistent about including a translation for these words when I use them. Sometimes this is deliberate. I often find adding a translation in parentheses after a poetic Jewish term can kill a joke. So, to remedy this problem I have added this glossary which I will link to from my posts. I hope you find this useful.

Lubab No More

P.S. Feel free to link to this post from your blog. To link to a specific letter simply add a pound sign and then the letter you want to link to after the url for this post. For example:
To link to the letter M use the URL:


Avodah Zarah
Idol worship. Hebrew for "other worship."


Baal Teshuva
A person who has repented. Often used to refer to Jews who adopt Orthodoxy later in life.
Bais Medrash
"House of Learning"
a) study hall at a yeshiva
b) the highest level of study for a yeshiva student
abbreviation for: Baal Teshuva

a) acronym for Chochma, Bina and Daat, meaning “wisdom, understanding and knowledge” denoting the three intellectual faculties spoken of in Jewish mystical thought;
(b) the Chassidic movement, synonymous with Lubavitch and founded by Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, which focuses on incorporating Godliness into our lives through intellectual study of God (utilizing the Chabad faculties to govern the midot), joy, love of God, and love of fellow man (
Chabad messianism
A spectrum of beliefs within the Chabad movement regarding their late leader Menachem Mendel Schneerson and his purported position as the Messiah. While some believe that he died but will return as the messiah, others believe that he is merely "hidden." Most negate the idea that he is the messiah. The prevalence of these views within the movement is disputed. (Source: Wikipedia)
Chasidic, Hasidic
Adjective used to describe something related to Chasidim.

, Hasidim
Haredi Jewish religious movement originated in Eastern Europe (what is now Belarus and Ukraine) in the 18th century. The Hasidic movement grew out of the perception that European Jews had turned inward to Talmud study; many felt that most expressions of Jewish life had become too "academic", and that they no longer had any emphasis on spirituality or joy. Hasidim palced an emphasis on joyful observance. (
Religious grade school. Hebrew for "Room."
(I've thought that the name may originate from "one-room school" but that's just my theory.)


Devar Torah, Divrei Torah (plural)
literally: Words of Torah. A sermon on the Torah.


Term used to refer to the habit of eating food at restaurants that are less kosher (or not kosher) even though one keeps kosher at home.


a) Orthodox Jew
b) Observant
Slangy variation of the word frum (see above). Has a somewhat negative connotation


Goyim (plural)
Literally "Nations", refers to non-Jews, has a somewhat negative connotation.
"God chose the Jewish people over all other nations."

Jewish religious law
"The most theologically conservative form of Orthodox Judaism." (Wikipedia)

Hasidic (See: Chasidic)

Hasidim (See: Chasidim)


The Havdalah service marks the end of Shabbat. It should be performed no earlier than nightfall on Saturday night. Nightfall is the time when three stars can be seen in the sky. It is normally about 45 minutes to an hour after sundown, depending on your latitude. (Source: Judaism 101)



"Orthodox Jewish outreach commonly referred to as Kiruv or Keruv ([bring/ing] close in Hebrew), is the collective work or movement of Orthodox Judaism that reaches out to non-Orthodox Jews to believe in God, Torah study, practice the Mitzvot in the hope that they will live according to normative Jewish law." (From Wikipedia)
The Western Wall, The Wailing Wall


Slightly derogatory nickname for members of the Hasidic Lubavitch movement
Lubavitch (see: Chabad-Lubavitch)


anti-Meshichist (see also: Chabad messianism)
Generally, members of the Chabad movement who reject the belief that The Rebbe did not die or that he may one day rise again. Often anti-Meshichist are literally against Meshichists (people who believe The Rebbe did not die).
Meshichist (see also: Chabad messianism)

Generally, Chabad messianists who believe The Rebbe did not die and that he will one day become the messiah of the Jewish people.
Religiously observed tradition
A Hebrew word meaning "opponents". Plural of Misnaged. The term misnagdim is loosely used by Chasidim to refer to European religious Orthodox Jews who are not Hasidic, although they are not necessarily opposed to Hasidic Judaism, such as the Yeshiva movement. (
abbreviation for: Modern Orthodox
Jewish messiah



abbreviation for: Orthodox Judaism
Someone who practices as Jewish orthodox but doesn't believe in it. See: Othopraxis
abbreviation for: Off The Derech. Derech is Hebrew for "Path" or "Way." The phrase translates to mean "leaving the path of faith."
Oy vey!
Yiddish. "Oh, no" or "Oh, woe."


simple, easy


"Rabbi Solomon ben Isaac, better known by the acronym Rashi, (February 22, 1040 – July 13, 1105), was a rabbi from France, famed as the author of the first comprehensive commentaries on the Talmud, Torah and Tanakh (Hebrew Bible)." (Wikipedia)
His commentaries have had a significant impact on the Jewish interpretation of religious works. Many of Rashi's explanations of the Torah are taught to children as if it were the actual text.
a) A Rabbi
b) One's personal Rabbi
c) An authority on Jewish religious law
Rebbe, Rebbim (plural)
a) Teacher. A Rabbi who teaches at a Jewish school
b) Leader of a Chasidic movement
c) A Rabbi

The Rebbe

Menachem Mendel Schneerson (1902-1994), deceased leader of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement. Despite his death he is still considered by many of his followers to be the Messiah.


A movement of Haredi Jews who initially adhered to the late Grand Rebbe Yoel Teitelbaum (1887-1979), Satmar Rebbe in the town of Szatmárnémeti (now Satu Mare, Romania), at that time in the Kingdom of Hungary. The largest part of the community lives in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Also has a notable community in Kiryas Joel, NY. (
Jewish Sabbath, Saturday
Morning prayers
Shalom Bias
Peace at home. Usually refers to marital happiness.
Shema and shmona esrei
The essential elements of shacharis. Often used as a short version of morning prayers.


A ritual shawl worn during certain Jewish religious services and ceremonies. (Wikipedia)
Phylacteries, are two black leather boxes containing scrolls of parchment inscribed with biblical verses. Worn during morning prayers. (Wikipedia)



Vey iz mir
Yiddish. "Woe is me." (See: Oy Vey)





"... a Jewish institution for Torah study and the study of Talmud. Yeshivot are usually Orthodox Jewish institutions, and generally cater to boys or men." (Wikipedia)

Yiddishe Velt
Yiddish: Jewish World
Jewish slang made from mixing Yiddish and English words.


If you have any comments or suggestions about these definitions or abbreviations please email me at:


Orthoprax responded to my post I'm Finding New Perspectives with an entry on his blog. Go check it out!

Tomorrow: Koheles

UPDATE: Two days from now: Koheles

[PULLED FROM THE DRAFT ARCHIVE] But you don't have to take my word for it

I stopped by the library the other day and picked up some skeptic books. I've never read any overtly heretical books before with the possible exception of the The Stranger by Albert Camus. I say possible exception because Camus seemed to have bigger issues than god on his mind.

Here's what I got:
Thus Spoke Zarathustra by Friedrich Nietzsche (I love classics in general) and,
god is not Great by Christopher Hitchens (saw him on CNN the other day and read about him in an article).

I'd read Thus Spoke first but, god is not Great is a new book so the library only lent it for 7 days.

Stoopid library. :(

Thanks to ALA for letting me "borrow" their Yoda poster.
Go buy "READ" posters from the ALA website! There, I'm covered. :)

[PULLED FROM THE DRAFT ARCHIVE] RESULTS SHOW - Religious Background Poll for Skeptics

In the tradition of American Idol, which goes on TV a second night each week it airs to tally the viewer's call in votes, I will use the Religious Background Poll for Skeptics I put up last week as an excuse to stretch two posts out of one. :)

Quick review:
In response to GoingGoingGone's question "[W]hether it's more likely for Modern Orthodox, Charedi, of Chassidish individuals to go off the derech[?]" I created a poll asking the following:

"Before I went off the derech (or became orthoprax) I identified as..."

The poll offered seven preset responses and the option for a write-in response.

Here are the results:

Response Percentage Total votes (37 total votes)
Modern Orthodox54%20 votes*
Charedi (non-chassidish)13.5%5 votes
Chassidish13.5%5 votes
Chareidi Light (Works/black hat/kids in Kollel)8.1%3 votes
Yeshivish5.4%2 votes
I haven't gone off the derech2.7%1 vote
Other [Write In]2.7%1 vote ["before I became Orthoprax I was non-observant"]
I'm not Jewish0%0 votes

* 3 people wrote in and identified as a form of modern orthodox ("mainstream mod ortho", "Rightt Wing MO" [sic], and "Heimish MO"). I added these votes to the modern orthodox tally. I also subtracted two votes after Abandoning Eden indicated that she accidentally voted for MO three times using different computers.

This poll is not scientific and far from a representative sample of all Jewish skeptics. Here are some of the confounding variables in my methods.

Atheist blogger and demographer Abandoning Eden noted that the poll is biased because one's background can also have an influence on the likelihood they will read my blog. As she put it "someone from the chassidish community is probably a lot less likely to know how to use the internet and blogging in general than someone from the modern orthodox community." A good point. I think the way the question was asked also presents an issue. Modern orthodoxy might be a natural stopping point for Charedi on their way to going OTD. So the question "Before I went off the derech I identified as" might skew the results toward MO. At best I think the poll gives us a general idea about: people in this blogging community, who also click online polls, and who visited my blog.

That said, over half the responders to the poll "Identified as Modern Orthodox before they went off the derech (or became orthoprax)."Do you think this result accurately represents the Jewish skeptic blogging community?

Tuesday, February 23, 2016


Go watch Rick & Morty. That show speaks to my nihilistic optimism.

To quote Morty:

Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody's gonna die. Come watch TV.