Religion Vs Spirituality

All videos here:

Joe emails:

All of your silly videos with Gafni were worth watching for his brilliant analysis of religion v. spirituality.  Religion is all about code, it is like the Marines. 
The Marines fight a certain way, and they do not play well with others.  The Jews are not like all the other peoples of the world and any other type of service to a god or other form of lifestyle is somewhat less.  It is presumed a priori the spirit is lifted by the code.  To the extent there is a disconnect between the code and the spirit, the code prevails. There is very little concern for the condition of the spirit in many forms of Judaism – the prayer by rote is a major issue for me – i just do not get much out of praying the same thing every day, some days my spirit does not feel like thanking god and i would rather do something else to take my mind off my problems.  It is one of the reasons that chasisidism is so popular as the spirit is nourished by singing, having odd rituals, being in a clan that supports you. 
Spirituality is the kabbalah centre saying fix the world, heal yourself, project positive energy but observe none of the commandments that do not touch the spirit.  Shabbat – we do not care if you drive, but you have to come to services to learn about meditation because it is spirituality.  Spirituality is Jeremiah Wright preaching that Jesus saves and spewing hatred of whites, but all the while with a gospel choir in the background.  For blacks listening to his lectures, the hatred feeds their spirit and it is part of their religion.  It would be asinine for a black church to be officiated by Rabbi Muskin lecturing on the finer points of the talmud.  It is the truth and it is what obama said, blacks hate whites and whites hate blacks, but that is what we have, and we work to fix it.  
The perfect application of Gafni’s distiction is environmentalism.  There is no Rabbi in Orthodox Judaism who would approve of breaking the Sabbath to clean the bay.  But many would argue that there is no more spiritual act than improving nature.  And it does not matter that in doing so you depart from the code because you are being spiritual and good.  There is no judgment made. 
The problem is, what happens when muslims who feel they are oppressed kill a husband and wife in the view of their two year old child.  A person who is spiritual and does not make judgments might tolerate that stuff and not frown upon it as it does not feed his spirit to hate.  But the fact is, the code demands you hate certain people. 
In my mind, the code is objective and must prevail.  Spirituality is not written up in a book that artscroll can translate and it too dangerous for the human mind.  The third reich was a spiritual experience.  That is the problem with spirituality, not everything that feeds the spirit is right. 

Gafni is a total no-op. Smart but he lives in some type of alternate universe. It is a word I made up a long time ago, someone who is non-operational. Gafni is a perfect no-op. The guy studies talmud and is an ilui (prodigy) and has a gift for religion – you can listen to him and he can spellbind you into being a jew or a rhinoceros. He then walks just walks away from it. A no-op. You are a bit of a no-op. You have a gift for writing, for talking, for investigating, but you cannot control your immaturity to use those things to satisfy your puerile needs. I am a no-op too.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
This entry was posted in Marc Gafni, Orthodoxy, Spirituality and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.