Monday, August 31, 2009

Harry Potter thought on Hirhurim blog - choosing beliefs

Gil Student's fun-to-read Hirhurim blog has an interesting article on the discussion in Deathly Hallows of Harry's choosing what to believe:

Here is the first discussion (pp. 152-153):
"Well, in that interview," Harry went on, "Rita Skeeter hinted that Professor Dumbledore was involved in the Dark Arts when he was young."

"Don't believe a word of it!" said Doge at once. "Not a word, Harry! Let nothing tarnish your memories of Albus Dumbledore!"

Harry looked into Doge's earnest, pained face and felt, not reassured, but frustrated. Did Doge really think it was that easy, that Harry could simply choose not to believe? Didn't Doge understand Harry's need to be sure, to know everything?
And here is the second exchange (p. 185):
[Hermione:] "Harry, do you really think you'll get the truth from a malicious old woman like Muriel, or from Rita Skeeter? How can you believe them? You knew Dumbledore!"

"I thought I did," he muttered.

"But you know how much truth there was in everything Rita wrote about you! Doge is right, how can you let these people tarnish your memories of Dumbledore?"

He looked away, trying not to betray the resentment he felt. There it was again: Choose what to believe. He wanted the truth. Why was everbody so determined that he should not get it?
Gil omits the final example, where after burying Dobby Harry makes the decision to continue with the task that he was given on the basis of belief in Dumbeldore. I this that this has a strong message for us. We can debate belief all we want, but there are also times that we have to act, and need to choose our actions based on their own right-ness even when in principle we're not certain about the beliefs.


Monday, August 24, 2009

Congratulations to Neal Hendel new Israeli surpreme court justice

Mazal tov to Neal Hendel, newly appointed Israeli supreme court justice.

See the Jerusalem Post article here.

I knew Justice Hendel in Beer Sheva (not from in his courtroom). He's a real mentsh and a definite religious scholar in addition to obviously being a legal scholar.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Aish article on Harry Potter and Free Will

I thought everyone would enjoy an article on titled Harry Potter and Free Will:

It's highly related to the chapter in Harry Potter and Torah titled Destiny and Decisions.

Jewish Horcruxes (from a Rabbi in Connecticut)

I came across the following MP3 recording of a sermon by Rabbi Daniel Cohen in Stamford CT, titled Harry Potter and the Jewish Horcrux, that I thought I'd link here:

I've always been sure that there were Jewish sources about soul-splitting. I'm still looking into the sources that Rabbi Cohen quotes - I'll post more if I find more ideas relevant to Harry Potter.

Enjoy! Comments welcome as always.