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14

Based on Jewish law, a person's Jewish status (for a non-convert) is determined through matrilineal descent. This means that one is only Jewish from birth if their mother was Jewish. And their mother was only Jewish if their mother was Jewish. Based on this, a person can have seven out of eight great-grandparents who are Jewish, and still not be Jewish from ...


11

In the translation of Michtav M'elyahu (Strive for Truth vol. 4 p 355), R' Carmell quotes R' Dessler that halacha does not change even if the reason given for the law seems to be untrue. He says that there may be other reasons other than the one given for the said halacha, and only the most obvious reason was the one stated, so the halacha stands without ...


9

At the core of your question is the assumption that the flood and its fallout was natural, and was subject merely to the laws of nature as we see them today. I do not accept that premise, however I think that one can still reconcile the evidence we see nowadays with the flood in a cogent way that draws upon the natural sciences we accept. I will attempt to ...


7

Technically, "modern science" incorporates quantum mechanics, which includes the ideas of particles "blipping" in and out of existence, as well as that of all that science predicts are probabilities not definitive absolutes. So modern science doesn't really contradict the miraculous (which are essentially then statistical anomalies). Furthermore, at a ...


7

First of all, the whole point of the 'river turning to blood' was that it was supposed to be a miracle, an event showing that superiority of a force over the natural world (i.e. science). So, if anything, your example proves that the Jews DO believe in modern science, as they believe that there's no natural way to turn water into blood without divine ...


6

The Rambam himself addresses your question. He writes the following in Moreh Nevuchim regarding the science in the Gemara: Moreh Nevuchim (3:14): אל תדרוש ממני להתאים את כל ענייני האסטרונומיה שהם ציינו אל המצב כפי שהוא, כי המתמטיקה היתה לקויה באותם זמנים. והם לא דנו בזאת מבחינת שהם מוסרים אמרות אלה מפי הנביאים, אלא מבחינת שהם היו חכמי אותן תקופות ...


6

זוהר ויקרא דף י עמוד א כל העולם מתגלגל בעיגול ככדור אלו למעלה, ואלו למטה,וכל אלו הבריות משונות במראיהן משינוי האויר, כפי כל מקום ומקום, וקיימים במקומם כשאר בני האדם, ועל זה יש מקום בעולם כאשר מאור לאלו, חשוך לאלו, לאלו יום, ולאלו לילה, ויש מקום שכולו יום ולא נמצא בו לילה, חוץ משעה אחת קטנה Rough translation: The whole world revolves in a circle like a ...


6

Iyov (27:18) discusses the ephemeral nature of a wicked person's success: בָּנָה כָעָשׁ בֵּיתוֹ וּכְסֻכָּה עָשָׂה נֹצֵר Translation (Mechon-Mamre): He buildeth his house as a moth,1 and as a booth which the keeper maketh. The Malbim (Iyov, ibid.) interprets the verse as referring to the ephemeral nature of a Lepidoptera chrysalis: כמו שהעש ...


6

I would say that this is a question of the definition of testimony. We have the halachos in a number of places, including the talmud and Rambam hilchos Yibum, hilchos gittin, and hilchos nashim, about the circumstances as to who is believed if they come before bais din and testify that a person is dead. The implication of all of these is that the witness is ...


5

Nahmanides, (1194-1270), on Exodus 13:16 says on the phrase about the head phylacteries 'as a reminder between our eyes', In verse 9, ... That we should place them in the place of memory between the eyes, that is the beginning of the brain (the prefrontal cortex allows for executive function, which facilitates cognition) and it is the beginning of ...


5

The Ramban, in his commentary on Bereishit, writes that there were only two actual "creations" and the rest were more of "formations". He says that the two things that were actually "created" were light (and the resulting difference between that and darkness) and a "small point that had no substance" (נקודה קטנה שאין בה ממש). This seems to be a reference to ...


4

Granting that time travel would ever be conceivable, I would make the following comments: Initially a reason should be provided to suggest that something is assur. Coincidentally however, I have thought of a comparable precedent which demonstrates how it is permissible to travel through time. Whenever we move, we inevitably alter time imperceptibly ...


4

Rabbi Daniel Friedman, in an article entitle Pareve Meat (pp. 93-105), wrote a halachic analysis of this topic for the RJJ Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society some years ago (Number LIII from Pesach 5767, Spring 2007). His analysis points to 3 possible conclusions: Not Kosher Kosher - Meat Kosher - Pareve Each of these successive conclusions ...


4

According to Halacha we follow Rav Sheishes's view (bechoros 7b) who holds like Rabbe Yaakov (the Tannah) that the reason honey is kosher (even if the bee extracts part of its flesh into the honey as part of the process - Rabeinu Gershom) is a Gzeiras Hakosuv (by Hashem's command) and not like the opinion who says that the reason for its permissiblity is ...


4

The Baal HaTanya writes: והיינו הגוף שלהם גדול כ"כ שהוא בבחי' מקום ומאחר שהם בבחי' מקום הרי הם ג"כ בבחי' זמן שהמקום והזמן שניהם הם נבראים בבחי' א So in other words, time cannot exist without space, and space cannot exist without time, they are one type of creation. Although I'm not sure the exact date of this Maamar, given the style it would seem to ...


4

Harav Yishak Yosef Shelit"a, our current Rishon Lesion writes in Yalkut Yosef Kitzur Shulhan Aruch that we should never chose what science says over Hazal. There are a few reasons as to why. One of the most accepted answers is "Nishtanu HaTvaim"- nature has changed and therefor Hazal said what they said because what they said was true at their time.


3

While a Jew is only Chayav for Ever Min HaChai if he has consumed a Halachic Shiur (minimal amount for culpability), as the category of Shiurim does not extend to a non Jew, non-Jews are liable for Ever Min Hachai even for consuming only the smallest amount. (Sanhedrin 56a, 59b, Rashi; Chullin 102a,121b; Lev. 19:14; Pesachim 22b; Rambam, Melachim 9:10, 12.) ...


3

Our views towards donating one's body for medical studies aren't so simple. But if the body is already here, and the medical student is expected to dissect a cadaver as part of their medical education (let's assume the student is not a kohen), Rabbi Joseph Soloveichik is quoted as saying that it is wholly appropriate -- "would you go to a doctor who's never ...


3

This Daf Yomi Digest writes that The Noda B’Yehudah writes in his responsa נודע יהודה קמא אה"ע סימן כ"ב that nowadays it is possible for women to become pregnant the first time they have relations. Furthermore, even in the time of Chazal the principle did not indicate that it was impossible for a woman to become pregnant the first time she had relations, ...


3

The Uncertainty Principle puts a limit on the measurement of certain attributes. Position and momentum, for example, cannot be each accurately measured to an arbitrary degree of accuracy. This appears to be a fundamental principle of the way the world works, not anything to do with our measurement ability, and is intimately related to wave-particle duality. ...


3

Far from being a "simple" question, this is actually very complicated, and I'm in no position to answer it properly. I can tell you, however, that the doctrine to which you refer is kabbalistic. There are allusions to it in the Ramban's (Nachmanides') commentary on Genesis 1:1 and in the writings of other mediaeval scholars. Its fullest treatment is in the ...


2

The Malbim has a novel perush on Bereishit (8:22) that help may to understand longevity: עֹד, כָּל-יְמֵי הָאָרֶץ: זֶרַע וְקָצִיר וְקֹר וָחֹם וְקַיִץ וָחֹרֶף, וְיוֹם וָלַיְלָה--לֹא יִשְׁבֹּתוּ. In explaining the (now) presence of the seasons he says that before the flood the Earth was not tilted. It was only after the flood that the Earth became tilted ...


2

Copied from my post to a similar question here: Rabbi Daniel Friedman, in an article entitle Pareve Meat (pp. 93-105), wrote a halachic analysis of this topic for the RJJ Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society some years ago (Number LIII from Pesach 5767, Spring 2007). His analysis points to 3 possible conclusions: Not Kosher Kosher - Meat Kosher - ...


2

I see no reason for not assuming that parshas Noach is a mashal. Natan Slifkin has already shown that many commentators (most notably Rav Hirsch in collected writings) view Bereishis as a mashal. The Meiri in the beginning of his hakdamah to Avos assumes that the Dor Haflagah was a mashal. Why not just say that the first two parshiyos were parables. The ...


2

Rabbi Yissochar Frand has a tape on inflicting pain to animals. Generally the prohibition is on inflicting pain for no good reason, and legitimate medical research is a good reason. He quotes a responsum -- I believe it's the Shvut Yaakov -- about a doctor testing a medicine on a dog or cat first, who allowed it, but said it's ideal not to do the procedure ...


2

According to Quantum Physics' Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle, often simplified as "To observe is to disturb," no such machine is even theoretically possible. Observing the behavior of any system affects the system being observed. Thus, the real brain and the "virtual" brain can't be identical. Furthermore, even if the brain were to be emulated, since ...


2

Tol'dos Yitzchak (by Rav Yitzchak Karo, uncle of the Bes Yosef) suggests that the water and continents were combined at first as a muddy slush, and this command separated them, with the land portion coming together (and rising) to form the continents and the water portion coming together (and sinking) into the space between the continents. In his words: ...


2

There are a number of opinions regarding the observance of Shabbos in the Arctic circle where the sun may not rise/set for 6 months. Each opinion may have ramifications for space travel where there is neither sunrise nor sunset, as well as the issue you raise based on the relativity of time. There does not seem to be a halachik consensus on these matters. ...


2

Believe it or not, the gemara discusses cases where an individual can have 2 polar opposite statuses at the same time (for example see here). There are a number of cases brought in the gemara (Gittin 41b, Mishna Pesachim 8:1, etc.) of a person that is 'half slave, half free'. Of course, if you are a slave then by definition you are not free and vice versa. ...


1

My last answer wasn't clear, so although I am loath to rewrite answers that have been voted on already, I'll try to make this a bit clearer. The Talmud has two opinions as to why bee honey is Kosher. Only one of them relies on the way in which bees make honey. The other says it is a "gezeras hakasuv" - an arbitrary distinction made in the Torah - which ...



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