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location North East Coast, USA
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visits member for 2 years, 5 months
seen Jan 17 '13 at 0:00

I'm a middle-aged guy and perpetual student. I currently identify as Modern Orthodox but daven Nusach S'fard because of family tradition and many, many years of davenen in Hassidishe shuls before recently switching to a local Young Israel. Special interests include Hebrew grammar in Tanach and liturgy and halachot pertaining to people with disabilities. I'm Deaf and communicate best in American Sign Language, which maybe explains many of my gaffes and mispellings...or not.


Mar
5
awarded  Yearling
Mar
5
awarded  Yearling
Jan
17
comment Would a Karaite be required to undergo conversion?
I want to correct a comment made above which claimed that "the only active Karaite synagogue in North America" is in San Fransisco. That is incorrect. The OTHER active Kariate community and synagogue is in Albany, New York. See this link: orahsaddiqim.org This link also contains tons of information about Karaite beliefs and prayer customs. Of note, they ask if rabbinites require conversion to Judaism in order to marry Karaites. The answer is the same
Jan
17
comment When does trash become muktsa on Shabbos?
I agree with @sam that the wrappers are not muktze (yet). Besides, even if they were technically mukzte, I believe one can move any muktze to get it out of the way if it is bothering people. I assume (ie, I hope!) you throw used nose tissues in the garbage after you use them, yes? Why would candy wrappers be different?
Jan
16
comment Seeking explanation/reason for versions of “R'faenu”
@DoubleAA -- Yes, it is I, one and the same. I have experienced great difficulties logging in to this site. I was forced to log in as a new user in order to post this answer.
Jan
15
answered Seeking explanation/reason for versions of “R'faenu”
Jan
5
comment What is a covenant and what are its implications?
The question asks about b'rit and not kinyan. Looking through narratives of b'rit in the Torah, there always seems to be some sort of witness or external sign involved in making a b'rit. We also never find that a b'rit can be annulled, although it can be violated. It is clearly different from the act of kinyan. I have not been able to find any sources that describe how or if a b'rit can be made in modern times. Really, it seems like a b'rit is more like an oath, which carries a host of halachic problems.
Dec
31
answered How can angels “give permission” to each other?
Dec
31
comment How can angels “give permission” to each other?
I wonder if "give permission" is too literal an English translation. The term r'shut in Hebrew has a wider range of meanings than simply "permission." For example, we speak of r'shut as a defined space in hilchot shabbat. Thus, in this context, I have always thought of it as expressing the concept to "make space" for each angle to perform its praise. Obviously, it wouldn't mean physical space but an attitude of non-interference. I think the meaning is simply that the angels are acknowledging each other's praises of Hashem.
Dec
4
answered Why isn't נִצָּבָה redundant?
Nov
29
comment How do people daven so quickly, and what's the support for it?
My own question for such speed-daveners is, "Would you offer praises and supplications at that speed if you were standing before a king of flesh and blood?"
Sep
21
comment First trip to the synagogue! Tips and advice please!
I think it's fine and even preferable (as per Rav Ovadia Yosef) for unmarried women to wear a headcovering, too, but I was answering based on the culture of a typical modern orthodox shul. I wouldn't want a newcomer to feel more out of place than they already feel. The point about not carrying anything is that no one should notice that you're carrying something. I hold by the eruv and carry keys in my pocket, too, within my city. I was trying not to overwhelm the original poster with details like that, although it is important to know it's okay to carry keys in one's pocket.
Sep
21
answered First trip to the synagogue! Tips and advice please!
Sep
10
answered Do any Jewish sources mention Satan talking to a Jew?
Sep
5
comment A Mashal of HaShem as a crazy king and Moshe as His weak-kneed friend?
So, is the question here "Am I just too Western to think that this story is in any way flattering to any of the parties involved?" That is the only question I can see here. I think this question calls for an opinion and not a sourced answer.
Sep
5
comment Do any Jewish sources mention Satan talking to a Jew?
Victor, I think you might need some help with the English. Are you trying to ask what is the Jewish idea of the "satan?" If so, that may be too big a topic for one question. A better question for here is to ask about one particular sentence in Jewish scripture that mentions the role of the "satan."
Sep
4
answered Why are some bakashot made on Shabbat?
Sep
4
comment A Mashal of HaShem as a crazy king and Moshe as His weak-kneed friend?
I think this question is worded poorly. Who says the king is "crazy?" Who says the friend is "weak-kneed?" Those are projected qualities that influence the reading of the text. What if we said, "Wise King" and "Humble Friend?" We might read it as a wise king who acted in a way to encourage or even test the friend to see if he would come to the son's aid.
Sep
4
comment If a person isn't sure he is Jewish, does he have to keep Mitzvot?
I'm getting stuck on what the Original Poster means by "not aware." If the person has no idea at all that they might actually be Jewish, then I would assume that they are in the category of not obeying the mitzvot by accident, shogeg, or even by compulsion, oness. In the time of the Beit haMikdash, they would have to bring a korban when they found out that they were really Jewish. But I'm not completely sure this is the situation the poster is asking about. This poster seems to imply that the people do suspect, which means they do have some awareness, and that's a very different question.
Sep
4
comment Why “hayom yom rishon”, not “echad”?
The reason it sounds okay to say "On day One of the week" is because the deep structure of the sentence allows us to understand that it means "On day Number One of the week," which is the same as saying "On the first day of the week." Amazing how syntax can convert a cardinal number into a functionally ordinal number. Similarly with the phrase, "Today is Day [Number] One of the week..."