Monday, June 18, 2007
The Real Budweiser
In the small town of České Budějovice (pronounce: Cheskeh Budyehyovitseh) in Bohemia (now Czech Republic), a small brewery started operating some 800 years ago. If the region’s tumultous history had any effect on it, it could only be the production of a better beer. But good as it is, the small country hidden behind the Carpaths stayed behing the information age, too. And since the accumulation of wealth is not necessariy bound by the laws of honesty and decncy, the name “Budweiser” (“from Budvar”, Budvar being the town’s German name) was trademarked by Aneheuser-Busch (greed aside, no connection to the president), producers of a watered-down, sugary rice-pudding, that in Dixie trailer parks passes for beer. And so, one of the world’s best and most famous beers cannot be marketed in the USA under its own name. Tough luck – but they’re still the real McCoy.
Every so often, certain people start complaining about how nasty the Haredim are, how dare they call themselves this or that name, how inflexible they are, they refuse to accept all kinds of Judaic innovations, such as Torah with Science (no fiction) Torah Umedinah, Torah Uporonographia, and such. Personally, I never understood the reason to whine about this - if the Charedim are right, what’s the claim, and if takeh you are the true Jews, why even notice those nasty fakers, founders of “Haredi Judaism”? Personally, I failed to notice when believing in the Mastodon ZTS”L and the Pterodactyl have become pillars of Jewish faith, but I guess that it makes more common sense than the laws of the Red Cow. Or the restrictions on pork, shellfish and adultery. I also never understood why whine about the evil Mr. Frankel citing Rav Kook and RYBS in his edition of the Rambam only as many times as RYBS or RHS cite the Vayoel Moshe (Satmar Rebbe) or Chidushim Uviurim (Rav Elchonon Wasserman HY”D). Quite ironic that this Shabbos we read in Pirkei Ovos ואל בנתך אל תשען. And it would be worthwhile for those über-rational holy rollers to check out the first Rash”i in our parshe (Poroh). (Unless of course Rash”i is not so relevant.) Oy-vey, those evil Charedim! How dare they reject Torah Ukfirah!
On a more serious note, it would really be worthwhile for the eternal complainers to take a good hard look at themselves, and face up with reality. No one has a problem with someone practicing sciences as a means of earning a living, side by side with Torah, or even at a certain level of knowing the ways of the world, to have a deeper understanding of G-d’s ways, or to refute the heretics/kofrim’s views. But when scientific knowledge, the pursuit of glamorous careers, fame and honor in the secular sector become agendas, ideals and integral parts of Torah-life and then of Torah itself, when the adherents of this ideology parade their feathers looking down on the ‘old’ and ‘obsolete’ “ghetto-dwellers” and “darkness lovers”, selling themselves as the true future of true Judaism, all the while their own backyards aren’t exactly the epitome of pristine cleanliness, I don’t see how they can be offended when those primitive, ignorant, fanatic, throwback black-hatted, white-shirted rigid brutes want to dissociate themselves from Them.
Gimme a quart of Budweiser, fast! – And I mean the real one, the pure one. No rice, no sugar please - just water, barley and hops.