The title is taken from here, and describes what happens when fans of a fictional work try to “fill in the logic holes and rationalize the weird.”
This was the phrase that sprang to mind when I read a short d’var torah on sukkos. The article started by asking, “Why do we sit in sukkos,” and, “Why is Sukkos in the fall?” To which the obvious answer is, ‘because it’s a harvest festival, and people camped out in huts in their fields while they were bringing in the harvest.’ Of course, this isn’t at all spiritual, merely practical. The holiday, canonized in the chumash, has to have connections both to the miraculous past of the Bnei Yisroel and to glorifying God’s name. So various views were quoted, including a discussion of whether the sukkos are a representation of the ananei hakavod or are a remembrance of actual huts which Klal Yisroel lived in while in the midbar; and whether sukkos is in the fall because that is when the Jews camped or because by living outside when it is getting cold we are showing that we are doing so because God commanded it and not because it is fun to camp out.
If one accepts that Sukkos evolved from a harvest festival, the discussions among the meforshim seem kind of silly. They are an attempt to make sukkos fit into a spiritual framework that probably wasn’t in place when the holiday first started, and into which it was never really molded. [Unlike, say, All Hollows Eve, which was a deliberate attempt by the Church to turn a pagan harvest festival involving spirits into a Christian holiday involving the dead.] These rabbonim, fans of the spiritual framework of Rabbinic Judaism, are engaging in wild mass guessing to fill in the holes.
For a long time now, my initial reaction to any unfamiliar religious concept or practice I come across (and any I’m used to that I really start thinking about) is, “How did that get started?” Unfortunately, the traditional answers are often like the above d’var torah’s discussion of Sukkos. Wild Mass Guessing by various people attempting to construct something that makes sense out of various disparate parts, full of retcons and discontinuities, often bending over backwards to explain something that makes perfect sense when approached without preconceptions into which it needs to be made to fit. When it comes to how well these apologetics work, Your Mileage May Vary.
As the Wild Mass Guessing page says,
Warning: Prolonged exposure to these pages will result in them making sense.