While it is true that it is quite reminiscent of the idea of Jesus suffering and dying for the sins of present and future Christians, it does have precedent in Jewish belief.
- As an update to my discussion of breaking the glass under the chuppah, it appears that this condemnation of the degradation of the minhag into a contest of strength, in which wedding participants exclaim 'Mazal Tov',
המנהג נהפך למין התהדרות גבורה, שהחתן דורך בכח על הכוס ומשברו לרסיסים וכל הקרואים (מוזמנים) ממלאים פיהם שחוק ואומרים 'סימן טוב' והוא ההיפך מכוונת התקנהis not original to Rav Ovadiah Yosef. From a book:
How unfortunate it is, therefore, that the phrase of Jerusalem’s destruction is rarely recited and, instead, a chorus of tov’s greets the breaking of the glass. If the reason for the glass breaking is to temper joy, this is surely inappropriate; if the reason is to recall a national tragedy, it is vulgar. Often not only is a joyous sounded, but a licentious sneer that it is a "good sign" if the glass is smashed at the first try. This elicits gross comments regarding the groom’s prowess. The late Sephardic Chief Rabbi of , Ben Zion Ouziel, wished that he could have abolished the custom for this very reason. In fairness, however, it should be noted that the mazal tov is not so much in response to the breaking of the glass, as it is to the end of the ceremony. In any case, it would be less than responsible to eliminate a millennial tradition because of some people’s untutored reaction to it. Perhaps we should reinstitute the reference to Jerusalem and move the glass breaking back to the middle of the wedding ceremony.
- Matzav rants about Vos Iz Neias getting an exclusive interview with the meshuggena who runs a Baal Teshuva yeshiva and who smashes computers. Is it sour grapes, about not getting the interview? Is it part of general attacks between competitors? Or is it genuine belief that one should not have given this crazy a forum for his views? From my perspective, sunlight is the best disinfectant.
- Revach promotes other segulos from Rabbi Menachem Mendel MiRimanov.
But here is a lesser know segula for parnasa by the same Tzaddik. He says to say V'Yiten Licha together with another person on Motza'ei Shabbos.We have enough segulos, thank you very much. And minhagim used to grow organically, and were specific to their groups. Nowadays they spread via email forwards, like chain mail. I don't think this is a good thing.
The Minhag Yisroel Torah (295:1) brings from the Igra D'Tzvi a reason for this. He says that it is brought down that when the Ba'al Korei reads the curses of the Tochacha no one should stand near him, since we don't want the curses to go on anyone. Since "Middah Tova Miruba", good things have a far more powerful reach and effect than bad things, standing near someone saying the Brachos of V'Yiten Licha will surely bestow blessing upon you.
- Wolfish Musings with a tznius lunacy roundup.
- Regarding drinking on Purim, we have Rabbi Yakov Horowitz posting at Beyond BT, on parenting and drinking responsibly. Emes veEmunah with Drunk as a Skunk. And the Rebbetzin's Husband reposts about drinking on Purim.
- Lion of Zion on how to write the ten sons of Haman.
- What makes a godol? Not Brisker Yeshivish. Emes veEmunah. Yachdus. And see this parshablog post on the making of a gadol.
- The latest ban appears to be Rabbi Karp trying to ban all sorts of fish, just for the halibut. With a quote from Rabbi Sholom Fishbane. Also, Rav Kanievsky on whether you can use Coca Cola instead of wine for Shalach Manos.
Poe's Law: "Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humour, it is impossible to create a parody of fundamentalism that someone won't mistake for the real thing."
I myself am not so certain about some of these, whether they are Purim humor or for real. They both smell like spoofs. But that may well be because the reality is already just so ridiculous.
- At My Ober Dicta, this photo, along with the question, "Did Someone Say Idolizing Rabbis?"
Yeranen Yaakov with the original story -- an excerpt:
"I asked him, 'Maybe all this suffering is because of me, maybe because of the children or the grandchildren or daughters-in-law - one of us did something [wrong]?! Master of the universe!' He said, 'No, no, because of Kelal Yisrael'. I asked him, 'At least you could tell me what this process will bring?' He wrote, 'Mashiah'.and in a separate post, ample justification and demonstration that the belief has Jewish origins. For example:
Bava Metzia 84b-85a: Ribbi Elazar BeRibbi Shimon had terrible suffering. Kohelet Rabba 11:7 quotes his wife, who quotes him as saying "All the suffering of Israel should come upon me," and it did. (והוה אמר דכל יסוריהון דישראל ייתון עלי והיינון אתיין)
Still, Chazal maintained many beliefs, some of which are arcane (and which have fallen out of favor), and some not. It is what Christianity did with it, what prominence was granted to this belief, and how it fit in with the rest of the belief system. And it is perhaps for us to be cognizant of how we might be straying in the same direction. Rabbi Eliyahu must be extremely knowledgeable, or confident, in his tzidkus and importance in the greater scheme of things. And given other prominent beliefs idolizing rabbis, dead and alive, and given the messianic tie-in (that his suffering is to bring mashiach), it still gives me pause.