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seen Oct 16 '13 at 11:27

Sep
15
comment Are there any halachic authorities which relate to the non-mechitza, pre-1967 prayers which were held at the Kotel?
Thanks for the information. As per my question, I'm particularly interested in what they did during the period when there wasn't a mechitza. Any ideas?
Sep
15
asked Holiday cooking: website(s) with prepared menus?
Mar
30
answered What is the source for the “Upsheirin”?
Mar
30
comment What is the source for the “Upsheirin”?
The name of the Upsherin is unrelated to its origins, e.g. some claim that it was started as a result of influence by Muslims who cut their children's hair at sanctified gravesites, and later was brought to Ashkenazi Europe in the Middle Ages (to this day it is known among many Israelis as 'halaka', Arabic for 'shave'). At that time Ashkenazi Jews may have adopted a local name for it.
Mar
29
answered So should be done unto the man
Mar
29
comment Commencing Shabbos: Shkiya behind a mountain
As a datapoint, Maaleh Adumim in Israel is only slightly east of Jerusalem, but is found below the mountain range surrounding Jerusalem. Perceived sunset is therefore about 20 minutes prior to perceived sunset in Jerusalem. The chief rabbis of the city therefore are stringent in Torah-related matters (דאורייתא) and consider Shabbat to arrive 20 minutes earlier for those matters (in deference to the ruling of Rabbi Nachum Rabinovitz as per his understanding of the Rambam). For all other matters, they rule sunset to be according to the horizon.
Mar
7
comment Burying on shelves, one on top of the other
There are two types of "dense" burial being offered: bhol.co.il/Article.aspx?id=35810 1) Machpelah -- in the ground, and two graves are on top of each other (for instance, husband and wife). 2) Sanhedrin -- above ground, in chambers built into the walls. (An additional aspect is 'Ramah' - burying in 'parking lot'-type structures, where on each 'floor' people will have the option of 'Sanhedrin' or 'Machpelah').
Mar
6
comment Halachically skipping Purim
Therefore, if a Jerusalemite is at home at Alot on the 14th, and in Tel Aviv on the 15th, then he will have no obligation. Tangentially, many people living in Jerusalem and its suburbs have the practice of visiting friends so that they can obligated for 2 days of Purim and enjoy twice the merriment.
Mar
6
comment Halachically skipping Purim
As one point of reference, Rav Melamed, head of the Yeshivat Har Bracha and an influential posek in Israel, explains here the issues of when to observe Purim and Shushan Purim: yeshiva.org.il/midrash/shiur.asp?id=7056 . He concludes that the majority opinion is that one's obligation is dependent on your location at the halachic time of Alot HaShachar on the day of Purim and Shushan Purim. Based on Rashi, Ritva, Ramban, Riyaz (R Yeshaya Matruni), Shulchan Aruch, the Jerusalem Talmud (Yerushalmi) and more. In fact, the Rosh is very much in the minority.
Mar
4
asked Halachically skipping Purim
Feb
20
comment Is there a list of Nusach -> Shevet correspondence?
As noted, my source was the Wikipedia article listed above [en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Assembly]. That Wikipedia article lists its source as the Jewish Virtual Library [jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Judaism/Great_Assembly.html] . There are few classical Midrashic and Talmud sources about the Great Assembly and many of them conflict regarding the details. It seems that there is quite a bit of confusion regarding the matter -- perhaps this could be a source for a new question? :)
Feb
19
answered Can the living negatively affect the dead?
Feb
19
answered Is there a list of Nusach -> Shevet correspondence?
Feb
12
awarded  Nice Question
Jan
31
asked Are there any halachic authorities which relate to the non-mechitza, pre-1967 prayers which were held at the Kotel?
Jan
31
comment Halachic/sociological basis to support the split-apart beds for a nida couple?
These types of beds are relatively common in stores in Israel; they're referred to as מיטה יהודית, a Jewish bed. You can see pictures here: google.com/…
Jan
25
comment does one have to take a Midrash/Aggadah literally?
accepted tradition, and this is not a command [to accept it as fact]."
Jan
25
comment does one have to take a Midrash/Aggadah literally?
He seems to be taking a 'safe' attitude to leave open the option to reject certain midrashim as long as they're not קבלה, an accepted tradition. Other examples: Genesis 22:4 hebrewbooks.org/… . "And our rabbis have said that Yitzchak was 37 at the time of the binding of Isaac (Akeida). If they are an accepted tradition then we will accept it. But logically this is not correct." Also see Genesis 11:29 (again the "long" version of Ibn Ezra) "Those who have said that Sara is Yiskah... this is a drash/explication or logical inference, not an
Jan
25
comment does one have to take a Midrash/Aggadah literally?
The Ibn Ezra's comment on אור כשדים can be found in the version of his commentary ראב"ע שיטה אחרת which, for instance, can be found at the back of the תורת חיים Mikraot Gedolot. (Couldn't find a version online). He says on 11:28: וקדמוננו אמרו שהשליך אברהם אבינו בכבשן האש, ולא נזכר זה בכתוב, ואם היא קבלה נקבל כדברי תורה. And our predecessors have said that Avraham was thrown in to the furnace of fire, and this is not mentioned in the Torah, and if this is 'kabbala' (an accepted tradition) then we shall accept them as words of Torah.
Jan
23
comment Why do Jews physically resemble members of their “host” nationalities?
Here's a fascinating article using genetics to assist our current understanding of Jewish history (including intermarriage, etc.): thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2010/06/03/…