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12

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 ...


8

Bamidbar 22:23 mentions how Bilam's donkey saw an angel which Bilam could not see. Rashi ad loc. implies that this was not a unique case: there are at times things that an animal can perceive which a human can not.


7

In the translation of Michtav M'elyahu (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 the fact associated ...


6

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 ...


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 ...


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

Rabbi Y.L. Rapaport suggested that R' Yehoshua Ben Chananiah's statement (כוכב אחד לשבעים שנה עולה ומתעה את (הספינות (בבלי מסכת הוריות דף י עמוד א) refers to the periodicity of Halley's comet, about 1500 years before Halley discovered this.


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

Rebbi Yirmiyah extrapolates from the Pasuk "va'Yeshalach es ha'Yonah me'Ito" that Tahor birds dwell with the Tzadikim - from the use of the word "me'Ito" (which the Torah does not use in connection with the raven). What he means is - that Tahor birds recognize a Tzadik when they see one (see also Agados Maharsha). from ...


4

The Rambam says that the details of the chapter of the Creation (I suppose, Gen. 1 and 2) should not be taught to the masses lest they misunderstand or twist what it means (Guide to the Perplexed, 2:17). An implication may perhaps be drawn that the literal reading is not all that there is to the story of Creation and that, perhaps, it should not be taken as ...


4

When they landed a man on the moon, one great rabbi (R' Yaakov Kamenetsky, I think?) observed: "well Rambam was quoting Aristotelian philosophy and thought the moon had an intellect; Ramban was a kabbalist and said it's a ball of mineral. Looks like Kabbala just beat Aristotelian philosophy."


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

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

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

The Talmud (Bava Kama 60b) says the following: ת"ר כלבים בוכים מלאך המות בא לעיר כלבים משחקים אליהו הנביא בא לעיר וה"מ דלית בהו נקבה Soncino Translation: Our Rabbis taught: When dogs howl, [this is a sign that] the Angel of Death has come to a town. But when dogs frolic, [this is a sign that] Elijah the prophet has come to a town. This is so, ...


3

First off, see Wikipedia: Timeline of chemistry for the history of the development of our understanding of chemistry and the elements. See also Wikipedia: Timeline of chemical elements discoveries for the history of the discovery of particular elements; compare to the Timeline of Jewish history. So if by 'Judaism' you mean classic texts such as the Talmud ...


3

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 ...


3

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 ...


3

In my opinion, the arguments have not been disproven only that we do not understand the arguments. see the shaar yichud with commentaries (i.e. we don't study the arguments in enough depth to understand them, therefore we mistakenly think they have been disproven. hence study with the commentaries, and even then if something doesn't make sense, ask wise ...


3

The Zohar (commenting on Bereshit 7:11) says that technological advancement will start in the year 5600, as a precursor and preparation for the Messianic Era. Read about it here. The Zohar (I:117a) reads this verse as an allusion to the following: “After six hundred years of the sixth millennium (the year 5600, corresponding to the civil year of 1840) ...


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

Cyrus the Great, reigning 559 BC–530 BC, conquered Babylon in 538 BC and freed the Jews slightly thereafter. He issued some of the first declarations on human rights. While this snapshot does not cover the start of the religion, Cyrus the Great is a historical figure well documented in various cultures' archaeological records (and well worth reading about) ...


2

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. ...


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

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

The term "literal" and its Hebrew or English counter-parts are not terms with hard and fast meanings so any discussion must necessarily be careful to clarify how the terms are being used in the immediate context. Generally "literal" meaning refers to the apparent meaning that the reader would reasonably be expected to take away from it. This can also be ...


2

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.) ...


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 ...


1

Chaza"l ensured us that if an animal has split hooves and are not pigs (who don't have horns) then they chew cud. So, if the horn is a shofar (not a keren, e.g from a cow), and it is still in kosher condition, it would be permitted. (Assuming that only the animal was technically fossilized, but the horn is still made of the original material.)


1

Ramchal (Mevo L'Sefer Haklalim): The philosophers and scientists can grasp only the external surface of the world, namely, the physical world, according to what appears to their physical eyes. However, this is merely the outermost garment of the spiritual roots, namely, the sefiros who govern the world and are the innermost spirituality inside the ...



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