Wednesday, May 30, 2007


mass rabbinic arrest
mass rabbinic a.c.d.
mass rabbinic impact

or:  יֵשׁ שָׂכָר לִפְעֻלָּתֵך
or:  Just Me And 1010WINS
or:  Why Do They Get To Stand In The Shade?

It was bright and sunny this morning at New York City's City Hall near the southern tip of Manhattan, when Councilmember Joel Rivera, Majority Leader of the New York City Council, together with AMCHA, the Coalition for Jewish Concerns, announced his intent to introduce a resolution calling on the Pension Boards of New York City and New York State to divest themselves of any investments made in corporations having ties to Iran's petroleum-energy sector.

As the participating councilmembers and activists gathered and greeted each other, a podium was set up with sigillum civitatis novi eboraci — the seal of the City of New York — and a video camera was placed to record the press conference. You can see attached to the podium a microphone from 1010WINS, an AM news radio station based in NYC.

The press conference was introduced by Ari Hoffnung of the Riverdale Jewish Community Council, who then passed the speaker's place to Councilmember Rivera, who explained the background behind the resolution and the reasons it is needed.

He explained that divesting from companies that invest in Iran is "an issue of national security," and that "New Yorkers should know that one billion dollars of their pension money has been invested" in Iran, a nation whose nuclear program is a threat to the United States, our fellow democracy Israel, and other countries around the world. He said that "action needs to take place now," and that introducing this resolution puts New York City in the company of the states of California, Missouri, Florida and Illinois, which are now working on or have already passed similar divestment resolutions. Rivera pointed out that similar divestment campaigns worked against the Apartheid regime in South Africa in the 1980's, and that they can work again.

Rabbi Avi Weiss spoke about how "money talks," and strongly affirmed that the pressure being put on Iran is "of course not directed against the people of Iran," but only against Ahmadinejad, "the tyrant, the wicked president of Iran." Rabbi Bruce Ginsburg discussed recent instances of hostage-taking by the Iranian military, including the case of the British sailors taken from Iraqi territorial waters — an action that "they didn't pay a price for."

What made Councilmember Rivera, as well as other members of the City Council, take notice of Iran in this way was ultimately the MASS RABBINIC ARREST civil disobedience protest; unfortunately, not all of the participating rabbis were able to make it to this press conference. While there weren't that many people actually participating in the press conference, the resolution has wide support in local government — a number of politicians sent aides to represent them, each of whom were identified as well.

A number of rabbis involved in that initial protest then spoke, beginning with the two who came up with the idea of divestment. Rabbi Steven Burton said succinctly that "this disvestiture has the potential to change a great deal of bad behavior" — and Rabbi Etan Mintz (pictured) reiterated Councilmember Rivera's point about the immediacy of the situation, saying "right now is the time that we must act." Ari Hoffnung added that "when New York City speaks, the country listens."
Councilmember Simcha Felder then spoke, and said that it used to bother him how New Yorkers kvetch so much, saying "oy" all the time — until Rivera pointed out to him that the identically-pronounced Spanish word hoy means 'today.' He told the citizens of NYC to be "proactive and move forward before something happens," and characterized the point of the plan to divest from Iran by saying "we will not use our money to support a murderer."

in the center of the picture, starting at the top and going clockwise:
unidentified someone, rabbi burton, councilmember rivera,
councilmember felder, rabbi herman

Rabbi Jason Herman then made the point that this isn't just about Iran and their nuclear development — Iran funds and supports Hizballah and other Radical Islamic terrorist organizations, and if the money trail begins with New York City and State pensions being invested in businesses that invest in Iran, then the ideology of groups like Hamas and Alqa‘ida "is being funded by these pension funds." By pulling the plug on the resources of such groups, "we can win over the hearts and minds" of the Muslim world, and "end terror all over the world."

Councilmember Rivera then told the well-known, much-varied story of the Scorpion and the Frog, specifically the version in which the unfortunate victim is a Beaver. In response to questions from the press (no I didn't ask any), he said that the ultimate goal is "complete economic sanctions" against Iran and any foreign corporations that invest there. We need to make sure that we ourselves are not funding Iran's nuclear development that may very well one day be used against us.

Congressional Research Services identified a dozen companies that have significant investments in Iran; more information can be found at

After the press conference, Rabbi Herman explained to me that the rabbis approached the councilmembers with the idea of divestment; he also praised Rivera, saying that "he took the initiative to say 'you're right'." Now that this resolution is being introduced to the New York City Council, and other parts of the country are taking similar steps, he added, "I feel like my five hours in jail were productive."

Other Sources of News (but they don't have pictures!):

The New York SunCity Lawmaker Calls for Divestment From Iran

Metro New YorkCouncil call is contra Iran

the original placeholder post:
(so the first few comments still make sense)

watch this space for the latest update
on the AMCHA civil disobedience saga
later today (i do have a real job, after all)


(okay, just kidding about the elephants)

...coming soon, to an internet near you...

— your

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

An Early Modern Midrash on Tolerance?

My brother found the following 'modern midrash' in a book he happened across at shul one day, called כל אגדות ישראל ("All the Legends of the Jewish People") by י"ב לבנר; the book describes the lore it contains on its title page as
ערוכות על פי המקורות הראשונים וכתובות בלשון המקרא לפי סדר הזמנים
arranged according to the first sources and written chronologically in biblical hebrew

He found section #1 of 5, and the edition was the 13th — "New Israeli" — printing, published by תושיה in 1956. No idea when it was originally written. It includes aggadot from a wide variety of sources, including in this case — aggada #62 in the book — at least one from מורה נבוכי הזמן by R' Nachman Krochmal.

„מוסר“ שדי
מורה נבוכי הזמן בסה"ס בשל"ק

The Almighty's “Moral Lesson”
Guide for the Perplexed of [Our] Time bsh"s(?) bšl"q(?)

It was in those days, and Avraham was sitting in the doorway of his tent at sunset, and then he saw — behold — an old man, weary and exhausted, was walking along and approaching him. So Avraham got up and ran towards him, and said:

"Please, sir, do not bypass your servant; stay over here tonight, and rest, and then you can wake up early in the morning and continue on your way in peace."

And then the old man answered Avraham, saying:

"No thanks, I'll stay here under the tree."

But then Avraham urged him greatly, and so the old man turned aside to his tent.

Then Avraham took butter and milk, and put them before him; and he baked leavenless bread — and the old man ate and was satisfied.

And so it was after he ate and drank, that then Avraham told him:

"Please, sir, bless the God of the Heavens and the Earth, who gives food to all bodies!"

But the old man said:

"I do not know your god, and I will not bless any other than my own god(s) who I made with my own fingers!"

And then Avraham continued speaking to the old man, and told him about the kind acts of God, and God's greatness and might; and he explained to him the empty nature of idols, which give no benefit and do not save those who trust in them. And he spoke to his heart, attempting to convince him to believe in God and to thank God for the acts of kindness that God performs every day.

And so the old man listened to Avraham's words, and said:

"What problem is there between you and me, that you come to turn me aside from following my god(s)? Leave me alone — for I will not listen to your words that you say to me!"

And then Avraham became enraged with the old man, and said:

"Get out of my house this instant!"

And so the old man hurried and left the house, and walked out into the wilderness during the dark of night. And the incident was very evil in the eyes of God, on behalf of the old man, and God appeared to Avraham, and said:

"Where is the man who came to you tonight?"

And so Avraham answered, saying:

"The old man was very difficult; I spoke to his heart, attempting to convince him to believe in you, God, so that it would be good for him for all time, but he did not want to listen to me. And so he got me very angry, and embittered me, and then I kicked him out of my house...!"

And then God said:

"Did you pay attention to what you did?... See, please, see — behold, I have been willfully overlooking that old man's sins many many years already; and I clothed him, and supported him, and considered all his lacks my responsibility — and he came to you tonight, and you troubled yourself to feed him; but then you forgot your mercy in anger, and kicked him out of your presence!!"

And so Avraham pleaded to God, saying:

"Please, God, forgive me this time and pass my sin away!"

But God then said:

"I will not forgive you until and unless you humble yourself before the old man who you harmed, and he forgives your transgression!"

And so then Avraham hurried and ran into the wilderness, and searched for the man, and found him, and then he fell before his feet and cried, and pleaded with him, saying:

"Please, forgive my sin which I committed against you!"

And then the old man listened to the voice of Avraham's supplications, and said:

"I have forgiven, according to your words."

And Avraham did not loosen himself from the old man until he had brought him back to his house, fed him and gave him to drink, and did much good for him; and then he gave him provisions for the way.

And then the word of God came to Avraham once again, saying:

"Since you have now done that which is right in my eyes, I will also remember my contract for your descendents after you — although when they will sin, I will punish them with a human rod, I will never remove my contract with them forever!"


Friday, May 25, 2007

Limits on Lovingkindness

חֶסֶד is usually translated by the awkwardly-long English word 'lovingkindness'.

What is חסד?

According to the משנה, in מסכת פאה, the performance of acts of חסד has no legal lower or upper limit. And in פרקי אבות, we are told by שמעון הצדיק that the performance of acts of חסד is one of the three pillars of the universe, along with תורה and worship.

חסד is one of the dominant paradigms of how we see God acting towards us, and about which we are told in מסכת סוטה in the תלמוד בבלי that we are obligated to imitate God by doing similar acts of חסד — specifically listed are clothing the naked, visiting the sick, comforting mourners and burying the dead.

חסד is meant to be shared among all of God's creations. It can't be kept cooped up among your family, tribe, or nation; of course, as human beings we feel a greater responsibility and affinity for those who we are more closely related to, and those who more closely resemble us, but we can't ignore our obligation to practice acts of caring on behalf of those who are different from us as well.

Because when you restrict חסד to just your brothers and your sisters, leaving the rest of the human family out in the cold, what you've got isn't חסד — it's חסד.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Respectful Anger

Is there a psychological stage of mourning where people and the media make innocent random references to 'fathers', 'parents', 'family', etc., and you get really angry at them or the context in which they made the reference, even though no one did anything wrong?

I was at a שיעור on שבועות night where someone referenced רמב"ם's Laws of Learning Torah:

משנה תורה — ספר המדע — הלכות תלמוד תורה — פרק ה

כשם שאדם מצווה בכבוד אביו וביראתו,
כך הוא חייב בכבוד רבו ויראתו;
ורבו, יתר מאביו:
שאביו הביאו לחיי העולם הזה;
ורבו, שלימדו חכמה, הביאו לחיי העולם הבא.

Mishneh Tora – Book of Knowledge – Laws of Learning Torah – Chapter 5 Law 1

Just as one is commanded regarding the honor and awe of one's father
so is one obligated in the honor and awe of one's rabbi
and his
rav, more than his av:
for his father brought him into the life of this world;
but his rabbi, who taught him Torah, brought him into the life of the coming world.

And so I was reading this directive on the source sheet, as formulated by Maimonides, and all I could think was, "Fine, sounds nice, simple and logical — but WTF are you supposed to do when your rav is a friend and your av is dead?!"
Here might be a good time to point to the Rabbi Without A Cause's post on Annoying Titles.
At a meal during יום־טוב, one of the friends through who(m) I met my rav commented on how weird it is to be at his shul and call him [Firstname] when everyone around is calling him Rabbi [Lastname]. And I was thinking, you think that's weird? Now imagine the opposite scenario.

Another incident over שבועות (where i feel i was legitimately angry)... a visiting rabbi was speaking at a minyan geared towards relatively young people in this area (note: i was not home) about the importance of learning Torah, and how it's a commandment like any other — so how much you learn doesn't matter nearly as much as simply learning at all. He referenced the גמרא about the questions they ask you when you die. What really pissed me off was that he started off the speech mentioning the fact that later on that morning we would be saying יזכור, and then later on, in connection to the Questions They Ask You When You Die talked about how everyone there's parents would eventually, after 120 years need to answer those questions — as if no one in the room was actually going to be saying יזכור for their dead parents less than an hour later. I went up to him when I saw him later on during the day and told him not to do that, and he seemed apologetic.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Do I Need An Image-Adjustment?

About a year and a half ago, an otherwise brilliant and caring person who I respect told me that before they met me, they thought, based on my internet presence, that I'm some kind of (note: this is a paraphrase; they probably didn't put it this way exactly) pedantic PhD student with a stick you-know-where.

And now I get the following comments from (lehavdil) Steve Brizel in the comment thread to this Hirhurim post:
Steve Brizel:

i'm not denying that RIETS/YU/SCW & Azrieli include a wide variety of students with a wide variety of hashqafot; but it's still all one institution.
Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) | Homepage | 05.16.07 - 9:47 pm | #

We pretend to be liberal when we read it and then go back to our right-wing modern Orthodox practice and thinking. Thanks for letting us pretend to be open-minded.

Frisch Family:

could you explain what you mean?
Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) | Homepage | 05.18.07 - 12:51 pm | #

Steg-I can't comment or anticipate the response to your question . However,in more cases than not, I find posts that spell hashkafa with a "q" as implying that whose who post with a "k" are somehow intellectually inferior and that the spelling with a "q" is an inicator of "proper", presumed or alleged intellectual superiority when it is really a display at times of being supercilious-especially to those who might disagree with you and use the more conventional "k" spelling, etc.
Steve Brizel | 05.18.07 - 1:57 pm | #

Maybe i'm just dense, but i fail to see what my transliteration-style has to do with other people's self-description as periodically "pretending to be liberal" or anything like that.

I also don't understand the answer. Does "pretending" mean
[reference to something Frisch Family wrote in response to my question to them]? Or is it referring to your willingness to read other people's opinions even though you know they won't convince you?
Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) | Homepage | 05.18.07 - 3:43 pm | #

Steg-I always read everyone's comments, regardless of whether I will agree or disagree, in whole or part. It is just that when I see Hashkafah spelled with a "q" instead of a "k", I can sort of figure where the person is coming from in his or her comment.
Steve Brizel | 05.18.07 - 3:51 pm | #

If you're interested you can read my angry and sarcastic response.
But you don't need to.

For the purpose of this post, you just need to answer one question — Do I really come across as such an ass? And maybe a second question — if I do, is it really because I transliterate ק as Q instead of K?

Being a mentsh is one of the pillars of my philosophy of Yahadut (although I admittedly do give in to anger and snarkiness when pushed); do I really express myself so poorly that I give people the impression that I'm a supercilious bastard?

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


mass rabbinic arrest
mass rabbinic a.c.d.
mass rabbinic impact

or:  בָּרוּךְ מַתִּיר אֲסוּרִים
or:  What Do You Mean 'No Cameras'?
or:  No one Actually Had to Watch the
      Jacket & Mishna But I Did It Anyway

A little less than a month ago, R' Avi Weiss and 21 other protesters (mostly rabbis, with a few rabbinical students and a communal leader mixed in) were ARRESTED for obstructing pedestrian traffic as part of a civil disobedience protest at the United Nations.

Today was their day in court.

I apologize for the lack of pictures;
recording devices aren't allowed in the court building.

I arrived at the Manhattan Criminal Court building at 100 Centre Street at around 8:10am (and sat on a bench and caught up on last week's parsha). The arraignments for the protesters' Desk Appearance Tickets took place in room AR2, a long courtroom with somewhat weak acoustics (I found it difficult to hear everything the bailiffs and judge were saying).

The first identifiable protesters, R' David Kalb and R' Steven Burton, arrived at around 8:35. Attempting to be a better amateur reporter, I asked if they would like to make a statement. Rabbi Burton (of Shaarei Shalom), who also happens to be a lawyer, said that while he has been in court many times before, this was his first time being arrested and arraigned.
This issue, he said, is "central to everything that my rabbinate is about..." It's an "issue of klal Yisrael." He explained: "We and those who live in Eretz Yisrael are one people, and the threat that Iran presents directly to those in the Land of Israel — I and my congregation consider [it] a threat to us."
Other protesters arrived soon afterwards, including R' Jason Herman and Ben Greenberg. Their lawyer arrived around 9:10, and began the process of representing his clients. Some of the arraignees, watching the action from the back of the room, theorized that their lawyer probably needed to get their case delayed, since there was a bris in Riverdale that morning that many of the people involved had to attend.

At 9:15, the judge arrived, and a few of the rabbinic protestors stood up, yeshiva-style, as she entered the courtroom. Almost all of my knowledge of court procedure coming from the media, I expected a bailiff to make a loud announcement for everyone to have respect and rise when the judge enters, but no such announcement was made.

The court came to order about ten minutes later. For the next hour and a half, protesters trickled in while other cases were brought before the judge. A few marijuana possession charges; some unlicensed driving; a few cases of possession of stolen property... Most of the defendents were given ACD — Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal. As the judge said many times this morning to many different people,
If you stay out of trouble, your case will be dismissed and sealed thereafter.

In other words, all of these minor violation charges were put on hold for 6 months (12 months for marijuana); if, during that time, the defendent gets into no more trouble with the Law, the charge is automatically dropped and erased from their record. However, if they do get into trouble during that time, The People have the right to reopen the case.
While waiting for his case to come up, Ben Greenberg told me about some of the other causes he has demonstrated on behalf of. Just last night, as a matter of fact, he was at a labor rally in support of the workers at the Congress Hotel in Chicago who have been on strike since June, 2003. One of the owners of the hotel, Albert Nasser, was being honored by the International Sephardic Education Foundation at a benefit in New York, and Rabbi-In-Training Greenberg, with 40 workers from the hotel and many other supporters, demonstrated in front of the benefit in order to inform the people attending just who it is that they are actually honoring. Other protesters included R' Jill Jacobs of the Jewish FundS (sic) for Justice, R' Michael Feinberg of the New York Labor-Religion Coalition, and Rev. Dr. Charles H. Straut Jr. of the Riverside Church.

Getting back to the aftermath of this protest, though...

At around 11am, the rabbinic protesters' case came up. Their lawyer made a statement on behalf of all of them, pointing out that the civil disobedience protest was coordinated respectfully with the Police Department, and that there was no intent to cause a public disturbance — instead, their sole intent was to raise the public consciousness about the threat that Iran poses to Israel, the USA, and the rest of the world. The judge granted the protesters an ACD, and they were called up four at a time so that she could give the detailed spiel about what exactly an Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal is. It all took less than 15 minutes, and afterwards, outside the courtroom, the lawyer explained to the protesters that with a successful ACD — 6 months of not getting into trouble and then the automatic dismissal of the case — they can legally answer the question "have you ever been arrested?" with a 'no' and be telling the truth.

After being released of the consequences of their previous protest, the protesters promptly left the courthouse and protested again. I was unable to attend and play photographer again, however, since unfortunately I had to go to a friend's grandfather's funeral. I hope to get in touch with my sources soon so that I can describe what happened after I left.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Marine Midrashic Mnemonic

Today I am going to teach you some Geology.

Geology is my favorite science. I should have minored in it in college, but unfortunately decided not to. I study geology because it helps me appreciate and understand the workings of God's world.

This is what we call it when sea level falls, relative to the land, exposing former sea-bottom to the air. If you were to stand at one point on the beach and watch regression take place (you may be waiting around for a few million years in some cases), you would see the water retreat away from you, as the land seems to spread into where the water was.

This is the opposite of regression. In transgression, the land retreats relative to the water, and the sea level rises relative to the land. This is what we're afraid of when we talk about rising sea levels and global warming.

When I was studying regression and transgression in Geology class, I could never remember which is which — until I recalled a midrash I had read references to that described the Ocean revolting during the process of Creation. On the third day, God commanded the Lower Waters to condense down, revealing the continents. However, the Waters didn't want to listen, and attempted to rise up and drown the Dry Land. In response, God set a boundary of sand around the yabasha — and when the waters try to rise up and attack the dry land, they crash against the sandy seashores and lose their strength.

So, according to that midrash, the sea rising up over the land is a transgression of the Divine limit. Instant mnemonic.

If anyone has any actual source listings for that midrash I would appreciate it greatly. I'm running out to minyan now.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Nomen Omen Theophorica Wanax

King Shelomo was the wisest of the entire human race, but, as one of my students pointed out last year, he was not wise enough to avoid a number of mistakes. One of them was exploiting the other tribes while exempting his own tribe, Yehuda, from the payment of labor taxes. He even took a member of the tribe of Efrayim, Yarov‘am ben Nevat, and put him in charge of the exploitation of his own people. Because of Shelomo's sins, God sent the prophet Ahhiya Hashiloni to tear away most of the Israelite Nation from the Davidic dynasty, giving rulership over all tribes but Yehuda (including Shim‘on) and Binyamin to that same Yarov‘am.

After Shelomo's death, his son Rehhav‘am rejected the people's request that he lighten their burden, threatening that while his father beat them with whips, he would beat them with scorpions (ouch!). And so Yarov‘am led a rebellion, tearing apart the Nation of Israel. However, while he had a divine mandate to do so, he was not authorized to set up new ritual centers — with golden calf idols/godseats, of all things — in Beit Eil and Dan, nor to ordain non-Levite kohanim, nor to invent a new holiday on the 15th of Bul-Marhheshvan.

Like Shim‘on "Bar-Kokhba" ben Kosba hundreds of years later, Yarov‘am is a failed savior. And not only does he fail, but he acquires such a bad reputation that hundreds of years later, prophets are still cursing evil kings of the North that they end up like the quickly-extinguished Jeroboamic dynasty, and using Yarov‘am as the benchmark for how evil each king was.

And yet, let's compare one salient piece of information about Yarov‘am with his rival Rehhav‘am — what they named their children.
Yarov‘am's son was named אֲבִיָּה, Aviya.
Rehhav‘am's son was named אֲבִיָּם, Aviyam.
Two normal theophoric names — except that Yarov‘am's son's name invokes Yhvh [barukh shemo], God of Israel; while Rehhav‘am's son's name invokes Yam, the Cana‘anite god of (what else?) the seas.

So who's the "good guy" and who's the "bad guy" now?

nomen omen theophorica wanax

Saturday, May 05, 2007

A Philosophy Of Lag

My father passed away at the beginning of Adar. We got up from shiv‘a (stage 1 of mourning) a few days before Purim, which meant that I was going to be celebrating Purim while still in the period of sheloshim (stage 2). One of the first post-shiva questions I asked my decisor/consultant on aveilut matters was how to go about doing that. The interaction of personally-legislated solemnity and comunally-legislated rejoicing is a complicated field of inquiry; it changes with each type of event and with each stage of the mourning process.

When I asked my rav about Purim, I certainly didn't expect that I would end up going back and revisiting the same topic almost every other week or more. But the music of the spheres doesn't stop for human frailty (shemesh beGiv‘on dom notwithstanding), and the calendar keeps cycling through. From Purim during shloshim, to the power of holidays, including Hhol Hamo‘eid Pesahh, to suspend restrictions; from Pesahh to Yom Ha‘atzma’ut, and the principle that 'communal celebration trumps personal aveilut'; and now to Lag Ba‘omer.

I had assumed — based on its greater universality, longer history, and pivotal role within its own context of Sefirat Ha‘omer — that the Thirty-Third Day of the Counting of the ‘Omer would have at least as much "yomtov-ness power" as Yom Ha‘atzma’ut, thereby authorizing activities of celebration for the day, such as live music and parties, that would otherwise be inappropriate for the mourning period of yud-bet hhodesh (stage 3). However, my rav informed me that of all the books on aveilut at his disposal, none of them mention Lag Ba‘omer at all — implying that it has no power to suspend mourning practices — and that one cannot build a qal vahhomer argument from Yom Ha‘atzma’ut to L"G ba‘Omer. After all, we (for some values of 'we', at least) say Hallel on Yom Ha‘atzma’ut; no one says Hallel on LäG Ba‘Omer.

At that point it hit me:
La̋G Ba‘Omer is meaningless out of context.
Lag Ba‘omer is about the cessation of bad, while Yom Ha‘atzma’ut (and even more 'real' holidays) are about the inauguration of good. The only reason that Lag Ba‘omer is significant [leaving aside the later Qabbalistic overlay] is that it marks the end of the period of the death of Ribbí ‘Aqiva’'s students. It's not a song of celebration; it's a sigh of relief. The only reason that Lag Ba‘omer cancels the pseudo-aveilut customs of the Sefira is because that is its only reason for existence. When it comes to real mourning, on the other hand, it's just another ordinary day...

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Going All In

Vayiqra’/Leviticus 22:32
ולא תחללו את שם קדשי
ונקדשתי בתוך בני ישראל
אני ה' מקדישכם
And do not desecrate my name of holiness;
I will be sanctified among the Israelite People —
I am God, your sanctifier.

R' Shelomo Yarhhi/Yitzhhaqi explains, based on the Midrash Sifra, that ונקדשתי "I will be sanctified" is referring to the ultimate sanctification of God's name — giving up your life for its sake — and adds:
And when one gives themself over, they must give themself over to die — for anyone who gives themself over, [trusting] that a miracle [will be performed for them], no miracle is made for them.

If you're going to do something, do it properly.
There is no 'hedging your bets' in matters of faith.
Pascal's Wager is nothing but a scare tactic.