28 thoughts on “Israeli Ayatollahs Forbid Erotic Poetry in Classroom – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. Oh, I get it…it is “freedom of speech” when a “progressive” says Judaism is a “lousy religion” (what does he think of Islam?), but to criticize the New Israel Fund is a “smear”, or “slander” and must be censored.
    Richard, do you want your children being taught erotic poetry in school?

    1. You don’t get it. He was INCLUDING Islam in his comment. A little closer reading on yr part would help a great deal.

      Richard, do you want your children being taught erotic poetry in school?

      You addressed that question to the wrong person. I am ABD in Comp Lit & my major was Hebrew lit. So I’d love my children to be taught Yona Wallach and Meir Wieseltier & Yitzhak Laor when they study Israeli lit. Even erotic poetry just as I’d like them to read erotic poetry by good English language poets.

  2. Poetic sex can be quite treif,
    Especially for the kinder ear,
    But then again there’s sex so safe
    It can dissipate each porno fear.
    Just seal each poem in allegory –
    It might then seem a lot less whorey.
    And even old Sol’s Song of Songs
    And all such other libido matter –
    Navels, breasts and even thongs –
    Will not enter our children’s secret chatter.
    All will remain safe and kosher,
    Love potions sent where they belong,
    Right down there in the stinking sewer.

    Oh, well, as has been said, rhyme doesn’t pay!

  3. Although I am now a Muslim, I still object to excessive censorship and I am a bit amused by the moral indignation of people who seem so uncomfortable around sexuality but are completely unaffected by violence. I raised my own two daughters without censoring anything; I realized it was impossible to shield them from adult subjects and sexually oriented materials while living in a “open” society. Kids can handle an amazing amount of stuff, especially when they are able to discuss and ask questions about what they don’t understand.

  4. The parents complained to the school about the poems. Don’t parents have a right to control what their children are taught? I’ll bet even you wouldn’t want just anything taught to your children, simply because someone else claims “freedom of speech”. Who are you or Kaniuk to draw the line for everyone else? It is for the education officials, in consulatation with the parents to decide, not a self-appointed group of “progressives”.

    1. Hardly, A parent complained to the school. But the idea for this clearly comes fr the right wing priggish Israeli gov’t whose education minister wants to be seen to be doing the bidding of the Orthodox & other similary offended parties.

      And no, parents don’t have the right to control what their children are taught unless they wish to home school them. I don’t control what’s taught to my children in public school. Nor would I want to.

      It is for the education officials, in consulatation with the parents to decide

      No, it’s actually for the TEACHER to decide. The same teacher who actually teaches the children. The same one who decided to teach this poem. The same one supported by the majority of the students she teaches. Not the parents who do not teach nor the education ministry lackey who wouldn’t know a poem from a rock apparently.

      1. Realistically, exposing young people to sexually oriented materials is not harmful when it is taught within a context of tolerance, compassion and humanity. So much is made of certain poetry being taught in schools, but so little is made of the trashy music, television and movies young people are exposed to every day, so much of which reduces human sexuality to a vulgar joke. I would much rather have my children explore the beauty of erotic poetry, art and literature.

  5. It is troublesome to me that “Iran” and “ayatollah” are used as modifiers to suggest loathesomeness.

    It’s happening more and more; it is inaccurate, disrespectful, and bigoted.

    Sad to see it on Tikun Olam; I thought this site was better than that.

    1. A good point, Fatemeh, but please don’t pillory Richard for his usage. Like “jihadist” those words have been colored unfairly for a very long time now. But I don’t think Richard meant to speak ill of Iran itself, but only its oppressiveness. I do not think there is anything oppressive in Islam, and I am sorry that there are so many people who use our religion to oppress and control others. Those people deserve to be spoken of in negative terms simply because they are using Islam to justify their political and ideological agendas. Also, please bear in mind that Richard did not use the term “mini-Iran” but was quoting it in his piece.

      1. thank you for a civil response, Mary. I understand your point, and I mean no harm to Richard, who is doing tremendous work with this blog.

        Nonetheless, I will continue to push back against negative stereotypes of Iran, Islam, ayatollahs, etc., lest anyone come to believe that it is completely appropriate to casually disregard that culture.

  6. Gosh I’m terribly sorry Judaism offends you Mr. Goldstein. Jewish bible offends you, Jewish commandments offend you, Jewish religion offends you, Jewish sense of modesty offends you, Jewish self determination bothers you. It all leaves me confused… why call your blog tikkun olam, when you are clearly an atheist who dislikes just about every single aspect of Jewishness. Excluding gay poetry, which isn’t really very Jewish at all. Why not just renounce your blood and leave us (the JEWS) alone?

    1. First, my name isn’t “Goldstein.” You’re done as well at getting my name right as getting my views right. That is, you’ve got nothing right. NOTHING. I can see I don’t need to ask you to renounce reason because you’ve already done so.

      1. I don’t think there are any more modest people in the world than Muslims, but I am not offended by erotic poetry. As a Muslim, I am offended by trashiness, immodesty, hypocrisy, degradation of women and ignorance. I don’t think one’s Jewishness has anything to do with erotic poetry, either. Matters of faith often mix with culture to the point where it seems impossible to differentiate them.

        1. yeah Mary, gay poetry and kids mixing is obviously good stuff. Ignoramuses apparently don’t know the Torah OR the Quran… why not teach the kiddies idolatry too, you don’t want to keep their OPTIONS LIMITED do you? That wouldn’t be progress…. towards annihilation.

          1. Binyamin, what kind of a comment is that? I can practically see the spittle flying from your lips. If you don’t like my point of view, that’s fine with me, but the inference that I am an ignoramus is not, and I am offended by your remark about annihilation.

            Poetry never hurt anybody. Have you ever read Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales? They’re taught in high schools all over the western world. And they are quite sexually explicit.

            You’re so worried about kids being exposed to sexual themes, yet the world is overrun with them, and with even more explicit themes of violence, torture and cruelty. Censoring does not educate, or enable a young person to find a proper context within which to place sexual and violent issues. Open discussion does. Proper instruction does. Ignorance is much more dangerous than knowledge. If you can manage to raise your kids in a hermetically sealed cage, you are welcome to do so. Otherwise, parents have the job of raising children to become adults who can function with good reasoning, tolerance and intelligence.

        2. Ah you must think I’m some neo-consevative who thinks the West>Islam for some reason. I don’t care about either, I care solely about G-d and His Commandments. Good Muslims are great, they just have to be shown that their empire (that’s what it is be honest) DOESN’T extend over the Temple Mount. All signs of foreign conquest must go. I’m not for censorship either, I’m for Jewish purity. Goyim can read all the gay poetry they want, it has no place in Eretz Yisrael. Why is tolerance of evil good? I’m a Jew, not a Christian. Nowhere does the Torah say “turn the other cheek”, but it clearly states that judgment for sin is NIGH and it is absolute.

      2. Lets make a deal. You don’t get stoned to death in Seattle, and you stay out of Jewish business. Lest you dwell with Amalek, and share his fate…..

          1. For relating Torah? Yeah you’re right, I should be banned. G-d’s word has no place in the world you progressives are going to build right? Too bad you’ve never managed to actually build anything though… I guess the Torah is better than your myriad blasphemies.

      3. AND BTW: “reason” isn’t a euphemism for “my opinion!!!”, so I’d suggest you try honesty for once and just declare that you are hostile to Judaism, instead of pretending that Judaism is some unnatural aberration, an infringement on the world, when in fact it’s vice versa (Torah before progressivism). The same with the funny word, peace. Is peace a lack of armed conflict (truce, hudna), or is peace a euphemism for victory, which victory depending on who is speaking? Either Israel is righteous, the work of G-d, or it is entirely wrong, since Arabs were the majority just as much behind the green line as beyond it. If you really just want peace, as in lack of armed conflict, than be honest for just ONCE in your miserable life and state openly that there should be no Jews, no Judaism (the Torah that condemns gays to death), no Zionism (really just an integral part of Judaism anyway), and no Redemption. That is the logical (oh look lefty reflexive term) conclusion of the though process that dictates that Jews who live in Chevron and Schem are “interlopers” (you’d know better than G-d right?). This path will lead to the least gunfire, so why don’t you just say it openly.

        1. You are raving, sir. I have no intentions of getting into theological debate with you, especially when you seem to think I have something against Judaism, your opinion coming straight from your imagination and not from anything I have said either here or anywhere else. You have the right to believe whatever you wish, but you do not have the right to insult me or accuse me of having beliefs I do not possess. Your remarks are way out of line.

          1. Well if you think Jews settling the Land Of Israel and expelling the inhabitants of the Land is wrong, then you think Judaism is wrong. And that’s perfectly reasonable, but what isn’t is expecting the heirs of Auschwitz and Sinai to care even the slightest about what the Goyim think. I don’t hate any gentile for disliking Judaism, that’s silly. And I don’t hate you, you don’t try (as far as I can tell) to annihilate the Jewish people. But Mr. Bronzestein does, and that has really quite severe consequences…. I wouldn’t be so arrogant to say that Choseness is unconditional, some merit of DNA. As we are held aloft, we are judged harshly for our iniquities. In fact only 70 years ago, our ranks were laid to waste by the Germans, for we failed to inherit the Land…

      4. And more, what have I gotten wrong about you? Oh yeah Gold vs Silver, MY BAD. But seriously, are you NOT an Atheist who thinks the Torah is evil incarnate? Are you NOT a socialist who thinks children should be taught YOUR values against their parents’ wills so the uber-permissive one world government can come into power? And before you blithely dismiss everything I relate as “evil nationalism”, think about your own response. You are obviously hostile to religion (demonstrate you aren’t please), hostile to nationalism (or at least Jewish nationalism), hostile to others dictating how they live (those Ayatollahs!). Unlike you, I actually believe in some of the classic liberal values. I would never come crusading to Seattle trying to dictate how you live, but wicked enemies of G-d like yourselves just CAN’T HELP trying to subjugate other peoples and enslaving them under the yoke of your progressivism. You can live in your own village, but our villages in Eretz Yisroel are beyond you. We’ve accepted Arab hatred, who can blame them? I’ll drop in on the next International Socialist Progressive Workers’ Party meeting, and you can rebut….

      5. Celebrate Hanukkah Richie? Ever thought real hard about the Maccabees killing the traitorous Hellenists? See any parallels? Or maybe it’s hard to think about? Makes Yigal Amir look a little different doesn’t it? Instead of bowing to the Goyim, he gave all for the One G-d of Israel. If that isn’t the pinnacle of Jewishness, what is? Remember, anyone can be a tyrannical socialist, it’s a little harder to be a Jew. G-d didn’t tell the Israelites to kindly ask the Canaanites for peace, to forgive Amalek, he told us to WIN.

  7. What have I got wrong except for your name? You don’t want to Jews to settle Eretz Yisrael (opposition to Jewish religion and purpose, in fact this one thing illustrates your anti-jewishness perfectly), you don’t want children taught Torah values, in fact you state plainly “it isn’t up to the parents”. Children should be force fed accounts of sodomy and blasphemy right? It’ll lead them away from Judaism, so it’s A-ok…

    What is so unreasonable about Jewish children being taught JEWISH values, JEWISH Torah, JEWISH destiny. Please Goldstein, elucidate as to exactly IS reasonable in your atheist universe. Why should Jewish children be taught sodomy is great when the very same savior of the Jewish people plainly states it isn’t? The Torah is very reasonable you’ll find, assuming you ever even read it. Your religion is clearly leftism, so why try to destroy the Jews? There is no Jewish “culture”. No gefilte fish for Jews from Iraq, only common destiny in Eretz Yisrael (palestine, ALL of it). And the very same Torah, the ONLY mortar which holds together the Chosen of the L-RD, which dictates that…. “If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.” OOPS!

    You proclaim I have no reason, care to demonstrate exactly where I am lacking? Or maybe reason (and logic, and reality, and racist, and colonialism, and bigot) for you (like all leftists) is just a reflexive word you spit out whenever someone resists your imperial atheist desires. You can have Seattle, the Jewish Maccabees don’t want you in Jerusalem.

    1. You don’t want to Jews to settle Eretz Yisrael

      I don’t consider the Occupied Territories part of the State of Israel. But I do want Jews & Palestinian Israelis to settle within the borders of the State of Israel.

      opposition to Jewish religion and purpose

      You mean opposition to settler Judaism don’t you? I plead guilty. But I am a member of a Conservative shul and have a degree fr. a Conservative Rabbinic seminary. But as far as this am ha’aretz is concerned I’m as good as an apikoros (heretic).

      you don’t want children taught Torah values

      Actually, my children attend Hebrew school where they aren’t taught settler Judaism, but rather normative Judaism. And they’re taught by their teachers who decide on the curriculum together w. the educational director–& not by a government hack or settler rabbi.

      You also seem to forget that Israel is not (yet) a theocracy like Iran. It’s actually a secular state believe it or not. I understand though that you’d prefer to overthrow this state & replace it w. a Torah true state perhaps led by an ancestor of King David with a Third Temple. What a nice thought for you. It must make you all warm & fuzzy inside.

      Please Goldstein

      What a silly infantile jerk you are & banned too I might add.

      in your atheist universe.

      Wrong on that too. Are you ever right about anything? I think you’re even less right than a broken clock, which is right at least twice a day.

      No gefilte fish for Jews from Iraq

      Spoken like the idiot Ashkenazi you are. Do you know a single thing about Jews from Iraq??

      the Jewish Maccabees don’t want you in Jerusalem.

      LIke I said, this am ha’aretz doesn’t realize that Jewish history points out that the Maccabees after their brilliant initial victory over the Syrians ruled for a mere 150 yrs or so & then collapsed in nepostism and corruption just like this guy’s Judean settler kingdom will if we are so unfortunate as to ever see it come into existence.

  8. “You can have Seattle, the Jewish Maccabees don’t want you in Jerusalem.”

    The Rabbanim of old loathed the Maccabees. The modern worship of them would have given them heart attacks. You lose.

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