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The Use of Jewish Pilpul to Cloud and Obscure Issues and Discussions

When one wades through forums and encounters “debate” the way I have, you can’t help but run into the annoying tactic of rhetoric called pilpulering. Usually it manifests itself in the form of constant bickering over every point, whether primary or secondary. The idea also is to distract from rational discussion. The method is so ingrained in the pysche of Jewish commentators that it behooves those in the counter movement to be fully aware of what we are dealing with.

David Shasha, director of the Center for Sephardic Heritage, explains how it works. It evolved from the rabbis, who controlled the discourse around interpretations of the Talmud, or what Shasha called reinterpretations. He writes:

What is thought to be the Jewish “genius” is often a mark of how pilpul is deployed. The rhetorical tricks of pilpul make true rational discussion impossible; any “discussion” is about trying to “prove” a point that has already been established. There is little use trying to argue in this context, because any points being made will be twisted and turned to validate the already-fixed position. …

The contentiousness of the Middle East conflict is intimately informed by pilpul. Whether it is Alan Dershowitz or Noam Chomsky, both of them Ashkenazim who had traditional Jewish educations, the terms of the debate are consistently framed by pilpul. What is most unfortunate about pilpul — and this is something that will be familiar to anyone who has followed the controversies involving Israel and Palestine — is that, since the rational has been removed from the process, all that is left is yelling, irrational emotionalism, and, ultimately, the threat of violence. It is this agitation that continues to mar a political process that has long abandoned the rational understanding of the issues involved in its construction.

In the Jewish Talmudic teachings, the term “pilpul” is basically referring to the art of mastering various bullshit debate tactics, which includes a number of rhetorical tricks allowing the pilpuller to interpret the Talmud in however many ways they want.

This was extended into Jewish thinking and argues/debates the etymology of words, meaning and so on in such a way that you can justify anything out of any context, even if the original context had nothing to with the latter justifications based on manipulative cunning, logical fallacies, ad-hominem attacks and straw-man tactics.

This was called the Lav Davqa Method. In English, we might call it the “not quite” way of reading a text. When a text appeared to be saying one thing, the Tosafot — in order to conform to the already-existing custom — would re-interpret it by saying that what it seemed to mean is not what it really meant.

Pilpul occurs any time the speaker is committed to “prove” his point regardless of the evidence in front of him. This hair-splitting leads to a labyrinthine form of argument where the speaker blows enough rhetorical smoke to make his interlocutor submit. Reason is not an issue when pilpul takes over. What counts is the establishment of a fixed, immutable point that can never truly be disputed.

The key to dealing with this is framing the debate and not allowing the pilpuler the full luxury of doing so. If you use low-hanging fruit in your arguments, say about the behaviors of specific named Judiacs, then you can use the nitpicking as a martial arts move that takes advantage of the pilpuller’s weight. Luckily, most of the time the pilpuller operates by rote and rarely comes up with anything very original.

Here is an example of such a duel pertaining to a Winter Watch article about the fraudulent Milgram and Zimbardo experiments run by dishonest Jews with agendas.

The Fraudulent Stanley Milgram Authority Electric Shock Experiment

The first dead giveaway that you are dealing with a pilpuller is that they operate as if they didn’t read the post. This of course is a manipulation to diminish the value of the post. The pilpuller is also trying to draw you into an emotional tar pit, hoping you might say irrational things. And people on our side of the debate fall for this trick all the time. If you do this, please keep in mind that this is a three-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust ground long game. A pilpuller will not typically give you a home-run pitch, so keep your cards close to the vest. You goal is not to convince the pilpuller but to influence others who are more neutral.

The following is an example drawn from Reddit. The question that “richard golbes” poses is standard and rote.

richard_golbes

Why does it matter that Milgram was Jewish?

clovize [Notice that I am playing it close to vest and sticking to the low-hanging fruit elements of my post.]

Milgram openly claimed his bogus research explained why the Germans mindlessly bowed to authority and carried out the holocaust. As a Jew he was hardly an impartial scientist, and in fact his bias combined with dishonesty led to fake research.

In the case of Milgram and Zimbardo, I have the advantage that others have criticized their “research.” “richard golbes” is no dummy and knows that, so notice how he twists that reality to make my points irrelevant and not pertinent. Also, note how he “out of the blue” inserts the rote and emotionally loaded term “holocaust-denier” into the exchange. This is shifting the goalposts — but I am not going there, as my tactics involve a ground game, which requires framing the conversation the way I want.

richard_golbes

Milgram’s research isn’t taken very seriously in the scientific community.

As for the Nazis: did they not mindlessly bow to authority? Or did they wholeheartedly believe in what they were doing? Probably a combination of both. Unless you are a Holocaust-denier, in which case the Milgram thing is just a red herring.

As my whole article is there to be read by anybody observing (my goal), I simply use “richard golbes'” own weight and agree about the lack of credibility of the Milgram research. But I also point out the obvious observable fact: that this wasn’t always the case.

And I also answered his assumptive question directly and tried to stretch it to a double by effectively agreeing the research was not just lacking in credibility, but was evil. At this point, there isn’t much here for a pilpuller except for repetition, or another goal post shift, which at this point would largely reinforce my low-hanging fruit points. All this was done compactly and without getting bogged down into the long-winded rhetoric and razzle dazzle of the pilpurer. Try to keep it short and sweet. And oh, keep an English dictionary handy to deal with doublespeak and newspeak.

Truth Bombs, Metafavoritism, Newspeak and Social Trust

clovize

I am glad to hear his research not longer is given much cred. But at the time his (and others like it) were widely publicized and in turn implanted into the public consciousness.

To broad brush with fake research a whole people as carrying out crimes because they “bow to authority” is just out right dishonest and evil. In reality criminals are specifically selected for dirty deeds, then and now.

In our recent post Only the Beginning: Heinous Side Effects and Death from Covid Trans-Human Injections we witnessed the appearance of what I believe is an experienced organized troll, one Jack Antonio. You might not get it if you just read snippets, but read his comments and Winter Watch and Torchy Blaine responses in totality.

He is trying to stick to the wall every fallacious argument in the book including origin or genetic fallacy (defined in the exchange), shifting the goal post, straw man, appeals to authority and ad homenium attack. He also inserts phony not-so friendly advice under the pretense of helping out. We pursue him so as to demonstrate a chalk talk of the tricks and methods used.

Of late we are starting to see more of this and other form of trolling in the commentariat. Our commentariat itself has improved as well. Still everybody should be trained in the logical fallacies and in pilpuring.

Incidentally if you comment for the first time, you are cued until the comment is cleared and you can be whitelisted. Sometimes this can take a few hours as we don’t constantly check comments especially at night in Europe (EST plus 6 hours), so be patient. If you comment as anonymous you can’t be whitelisted and will be cued.

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22 Comments on The Use of Jewish Pilpul to Cloud and Obscure Issues and Discussions

  1. Nonlinear warfare appears to me to be a form pilpul. If it is not, it still sure as hell describes what is going on in America at the present time.

    • JWR,

      If I recall correctly, nonlinear was one of those things that the RAND Corporation focused on heavily. Personally, I read about it and thought is had a bit of “chaos theory” built in or we “blow sh-t up and have no f–kin idea what we are doing). Yet, in hindsight, I would guess that I was wrong.

      Best,
      Simple Citizen

      • Sorry for the atrocious writing JWR. I was rushing that one out before viewing something with the misses.

        Best…

  2. This is a fantastic article and addresses a subject very rarely touched on. Philosophical jew jitsu is very important to the Jews and many of our people NEED to learn how to deal with it. I have learned from so many religious debates. I remember one scenario in particular I was evangelizing Christian values to the lost and this guy comes over who overheard me and interjects “you know there is no word ‘hell’ in the Old Testament? It’s only Sheol, and so Hell doesn’t exist.” I wasn’t even preaching on hell at the time but mentioned it in passing and so I can only conclude that this Talmudic method was deployed to derail the train of thought I was on.

    These people follow their worldly passions and in so doing are following their father Satan.

  3. Jewish psychiatrists assure me that disagreeing with Jews is a form of mental illness. I believe they informally call it “chutzpah” in that doggerel language Yiddish.

    Anti-Semitism, A Disease of the Mind: A Psychiatrist Explores the Psychodynamics of a Symbol Sickness (review)
    Werner Israel Halpern
    Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies
    Purdue University Press
    Volume 9, Number 1, Fall 1990

    https://muse.jhu.edu/article/470734/pdf

  4. Thanks, Russ! Pilpul, eh? Well now I know what it is called, and I also think it isn’t just a tactic Jews use (and don’t get it much out here in far west Texas…hardly any Jews out here for one thing). Many years ago on an old blog I had, now deceased, Talmudic Jews would “pilpul” me all the time, calling me “naughty” (a very Talmudic thing to do…I’m not the only “shiksa” they’ve done it to). I also notice one or two that “gaslighted” my comments here on WW no longer post….I wonder why…Bwaahahahahahah! Again, thanks.

  5. Pilpul for kids

    https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Die_Katze_des_Rabbiners
    (the english wiki does not have the story description, use a translate if not able to read german)

    “A Sephardic rabbi lives with his daughter Zlabya ​​in Algiers at the beginning of the 20th century. One day, the daughter’s cat eats a parrot and thereby gains the ability to speak. The rabbi therefore wants the cat to study the Torah in order to become a good Jewish cat. This then insists on a bar mitzvah. The rabbi’s rabbi forbids this after the cat engaged him in a theological argument….”

    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1355638/

  6. Russ, confronting troll minutia and their sophistry is the price you pay for your success and increasing audience. There are fewer and fewer sites left available for your type of discussion. ZH, and larger sites have regressed into food fights, I suspect a future model may be to aggregate small bloggers on a single curated platform and to qualify participation via some form of threshold. No, that does not mean censorship, maybe offer a troll cellar for everyone else to vent or sell their schtick.

    Our solution to this battle is to fight the “Scaled Up” entities with our own form of scale. Curation will be the key, or gatekeeper if you will.

  7. All WW friends,

    Okay, this post may or may not help out; however, I thought it would be important to mention. There are a lot of odd things happening in and around DC (Maryland / Northern Virginia). There seems to be unusual security movements and odd activity for a Saturday under “lockdown or house arrest”.

    Now, I do not wish to alarm anyone. This could just be a lot of bustle related to the transition of power since a normal transition has a longer timeline. Yet, I do wonder.

    What I would like to suggest is that any WW folks in the U.S. consider getting a little extra food, water, cash and whatever supplies that make you (individually or your family) comfortable. Just a little extra to put aside in case the week ahead is rocky.

    I will also post this message on today’s thread, and I will shortly get back to writing only on topics or replies.

    Now I hope I am completely wrong and there is absolutely nothing to have concerns about. Yet, if I am wrong, you just have a little extra of the stuff that makes your lives happy and will need to purchase less later in the month. If I am reading the situation as heightened, then should next week be a bit off, you will all not need to worry about finding the stuff that makes your life “tick”.

    Again, I am not trying to worry anyone on WW; however, since I am here and see some oddities, it seemed a good idea to let our friends know what I am seeing. Hopefully it is nothing and I am simply misreading or reading too much into it all.

    Please be well and may God bless all of you.

    All my best,
    Simple Citizen

      • First — Good morning! Great to see you happy Sunday.

        As I was telling Mr. Winter on another thread, it is much quieter today. There are some choppers (which normally there is not much of that on Sunday) along the Potomac, but all else seems to have settled down. As I stated before, even the choppers could be about transition (meets and greets in the Capitol and the local bases).

        Yesterday, you have more movement of larger, heavily armed, entourages. Lots of choppers and a ton of activity as we drove past Langley (went to a market in VA) at an odd evening hour for a Saturday. It all just seemed like government on steroids for a Saturday in January.

        So hopefully it will just be a quiet and normal week. Thank you for asking.

        Please be well.

        Best…

  8. “When one wades through forums and encounters “debate” the way I have, you can’t help but run into the annoying tactic of rhetoric called pilpulering.”

    Honestly, until today, I had never heard of the term. Since I like learning new words and ideas, I am appreciative for the information.

    Also, since I know very little about the Talmud, this information was news to me as well. Somewhere in my memory there is a joke told by Jewish folks about a boy arguing with his Rabbi about the Talmud, before his Bar Mitzvah; however, I cannot not recall it.

    The person who told it to me was a young Hasidim (hey in NYC we all run into one another eventually), and I did not understand the joke, which is probably why I cannot recall it. Yet, the idea kind of ties into this thread. Wish I could recall the joke now.

    Either way, I will need to do some more reading in order to understand this thread in better detail, but I am appreciative for the idea and a place to begin.

    Best…

  9. This was really a good article. Tragic that many sites shut down their comments sections as a form of sensorship. I try to engage friends and family on Christian apologetics and find few takers. Few people want to engage and learn techniques to debate in a substantive and peaceable manner.

  10. Hi Russ,

    I’m no troll. You just can’t stand the fact that I called you out for giving oxygen to distracting and dangerous nonsense on your site.

    It is very revealing that you had no problems with the recent very, very long posts by someone who is at the very least mentally disordered. (You know who I mean.) You even suggested he made some good points in his unhinged rant. And your suggestion that he post shorter bursts of paranoia won’t help matters.

    If you let your site become a haven for the lunatic fringe you will have wasted what could be a wonderful source of information and debate.

    • Troll or no troll it should now be abundantly clear that I have no interest in your “friendly advice” or in your fallacy of origin method, or your notions about what is “wacko” or fringe. Save it.

  11. “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” said the jewish-controlled MLK.

    When it comes to bigotry and prejudice against jews, I’ve heard the above sentiment supported many times by David Duke as well as by Don Black and his co-host Jay. While there’s plenty of jew-haters posting at stormfront, gameruprising, dailystormer, etc. the smarter folk among WNs understand it’s bad PR to broad-brush smear people just because they have a jewish-sounding last name or one of their parents was jewish. Membership in the tribe is strictly matrilineal so it can’t possibly be a racial group and membership can’t be assumed from a person’s patrilineal last name, especially among American jews who very commonly marry gentiles. Are you a bigot, Russ?

    I was born into it but at age 12 decided I’d have nothing to do with it, and all the jewish people I became acquainted with never became close friends with me. Last year I started a thread at gameruprising titled The Man Who Never Lies Has No Friends, but haven’t been back there since, because the proprietor has gained so much attention by saying things he says he knows to be untrue, and that it’s all just satire and commentary, nothing to be taken literally.

    It’s only very recently that I’ve come to understand how extremely rare it is to find a person who doesn’t lie as a sort of personal religion, but that’s what I came up with at the age of 11 or 12 attending Hillel Academy in Perth Amboy, NJ in the 60s. And then 50 years later I sought and received the gift of Christian baptism.

    The New American website of the John Birch Society has regular columns written by Charles Moscowitz, https://thenewamerican.com/satanic-conspiracy-yes-says-author-charles-moscowitz/ :
    [i]There is a “satanic conspiracy” that has been operating since the beginning of time, warned author and longtime radio host Charles Moscowitz in this interview with The New American Senior Editor Alex Newman. The new book by Moscowitz, headlined “The Satanic Conspiracy: The Specter Haunting Mankind,” begins his work by proving God exists and then goes on to explain why there is evil in the world. Moscowitz, a Jew who writes from a Jewish perspective, also shares his views on secret societies. Finally, he explains what he thinks everyone can do to combat the evil that has been permeating society.[/i]

    I don’t have any kind of blog on the internet, preferring to express my views in public in my front yard doing a sort of environmental performance art with hand-painted signs hanging from a loyal long-suffering tree. Besides the signs, lit 24/7 by solar-powered red warning lights is a collection of found objectss of computer, communication, TV, audio, every one of them labeled with the word LIES in red paint.

    The centerpiece is a huge 32″ Sony WEGA flat screen Trinitron TV with the back cover removed and attached above it and hanging to its side are two 20″ cheap window fans with the words LIES written on all the vanes and every flat surface and they spin with the wind. The newest addition is the broken glass covering face of numerous Barbie dolls and a grotto-type installation of ornamental figures and sculptures of religious figures, every one with broken glass covering their faces symbolizing the public mask wearing,

    Would you put the triple brackets around my name? My reason for posting this is your use of the 6-paren smear of Bob Dylan, who became a Christian. Would you put the brackets around the name of Bobby Fischer?; he was buried at a Catholic cemetary in Iceland after a Roman Catholic ceremony.

    A jew who renounces and denounces that birthright is punisheed by death, usually meaning the civil death of being “unpersoned,” but if any of them cared to do so and could get away with it without Hillul Hashem they’re all free to do so, and they could escape from any murder chargees by fleeing to Israel.

    https://web.archive.org/web/20180118192347/https://www.kob.com/albuquerque-news/provocative-signs-spotted-at-home-near-unm/4748054/

    MP4 capture of above 3 minutes of fame: https://yadi.sk/i/UXVUrR0dIBaKsg

    https://imgur.com/a/RroLNis

    • Much of your comment is a prime example of pilpuling. Your implied characterization of me looks superficial and not based on much real knowledge of this site.

      For the record I have done a half dozen podcasts with Moscowitz, a good man. You can find them in the podcast section. Henry Makow is perhaps my strongest supporter.

      I use the triple bracket very selectively and for if the shoe fits (agendas) purpose only. For Fischer (and others) the answer is no. You? Not sure based on the superficiality of this exchange. Did you ever watch Dylan on 60 Minutes admit to an occultic, magic compact?

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