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Oct
1
comment Where did the “a cat will always be a cat” story about the Rambam come from?
... Also, see this site, which tells the story about the Rambam, but mentions that some tell it about the Maharal of Prague, and others about Yonason Eibshitz, and adds: "By the way, there’s good reason to believe that any story told about three different people never really happened."
Oct
1
comment Where did the “a cat will always be a cat” story about the Rambam come from?
like you I originally heard it told about the Rambam. Yesterday when trying to use Google to find an answer, I came across a site that told the same story about R' Yonasan. Googling "יהונתן אייבשיץ חתול מלצר" gave me more( like this and this, both in Hebrew)...
Oct
1
comment Is it permitted for a Ben-Noach be an atheist?
Re: belief in God not needing to be an explicit law: That may be all very well for the 613 Mitzvot we are commanded. Why need that apply to the 7 Noachide laws non-Jews are commanded, that don't command an active relationship with God( like the positive commandments 2 through 9 of ours)?
Oct
1
comment Is it permitted for a Ben-Noach be an atheist?
(1) As I have said above, one who "fulfills them out of intellectual conviction"( and contrasted with the fist half of the Halakhah, that means not through accepting Torah from Sinai) is not explicitly denied "a share in the world to come". (2) The word "only" in that quote is the translator's. It's not in the original, and in context may only refer to one being "considered one of 'the pious among the gentiles'"( and maybe one's eligibility for becoming a resident alien).
Oct
1
comment Where did the “a cat will always be a cat” story about the Rambam come from?
It may be worth pointing out that when Isaac Moses talked about the story being attributed to R' Simcha Zissel, he meant it was told by R' Simcha, and when @GershonGold talked about the story being attributed to R' Yonasan Eibshitz, he probably meant that it was told about R' Yonasan.
Sep
24
answered How strong was Midian's army?
Sep
24
comment Is it permitted for a Ben-Noach be an atheist?
(1) Who says "belief in God is foundational to the 7 Mitzvot"? shouldn't the answer to that be[ part of] your answer? (2) My contention is that, based on the source you quoted, one need not accept that the 7 laws were given by God at Sinai in order to accept their obligation to obey them. (3) If you're basing yourself on those who are selective about what of the Rambam's they accept, maybe you should cite or quote them, rather than the Mishneh Torah.
Sep
23
comment Why did David HaMelech tell Shlomo to punish Shimei Ben Geira?
@JimThio As I see it, that is a separate question.
Sep
22
comment Is it permitted for a Ben-Noach be an atheist?
(1) It does, because once you say there is an obligation to reach the 7 laws through intellectual investigation, and the laws themselves don't include belief in God, why can't one be an atheist( not being of 'the pious among Gentiles' not withstanding)? (2) Just because one "can figure out there is a Creator...", doesn't necessarily mean one has to.
Sep
13
comment rambam about non jews putting on tefilin, did rambam say non jews should not put on tefilin?
From the same place you quote, in Halakhah 9, it says an Idolater (עכו"ם) is forbidden to observe the Shabbat.( I mention this because, as you quoted, Halakhah 10 makes a distinction between a Ben No'ach and an Idolater, with regard to who we give Tzedaqah that we receive from them.) How do we know that this applies to non-Jews in general?
Sep
13
revised rambam about non jews putting on tefilin, did rambam say non jews should not put on tefilin?
A link better fitting with the "exact wording" quoted, and another for the cited but not quoted Halakhah 9
Sep
13
suggested suggested edit on rambam about non jews putting on tefilin, did rambam say non jews should not put on tefilin?
Sep
13
comment Is it permitted for a Ben-Noach be an atheist?
Well, Fred disagreed with me when I made the same claim you are making( see the revision history for my answer there). He makes a good point. Also, see b a's answer, which says a Gentile cannot excuse himself from the 7 Laws, because he can come to know them through intellectual investigation.
Sep
13
comment Does 'not in heaven' apply to kabbalah?
@not-Yahu Fair enough, but: (1) Aren't the minority opinions in the Talmud as normative and correct as the accepted majority ones? How does that work in Kaballah, where you are talking about one opinion( whether divinely inspired or of the majority) becoming normative? (2) In the example of Shabbetai Tzvi (Yemach Shemo), do his non-normative Kabbalistic opinions stem from a variant in Mesorah or lack of understanding, by him, of his teachers?
Sep
7
comment Is it permitted for a Ben-Noach be an atheist?
This may be true, as long as we read the last part as saying "nor of their wise men"(ולא מחכמיהם), as it is in most printed edition, which the translation used in this answer is based on. But if we rely on the majority of Yemenite manuscripts( like here) that have the last part saying "but of their wise men"(אלא מחכמיהם), then one might still ask: What if one accepts the 7 laws out of an intellectual conviction, that does not include recognition of God, is he permitted to be an atheist?
Sep
4
comment Does 'not in heaven' apply to kabbalah?
@not-Yahu (1) When i said "rejected" I meant "voted against", as that is what "rejected" means "[i]n the Halakhic process". Opinions not based on "mesorah, logical deduction or other principles of expounding the torah"( e.g. those of early Christian exegesis) wouldn't even be considered in that process. (2) In the example in the question, I understood you to be talking about deciding between the Kabbalistic views of the Ramban, the Ramak, Rabbi Yitzchak Luria, and others like them, and accordingly I asked.
Sep
4
comment Why build migdal bavel in a valley?
@msh210 Re-reading the original question, I see that what I should have asked was: How do we know that "the point of migdal bavel was to reach the heavens"( emphasis mine)? All that the verses say is that they intended to build "a tower, with its top in heaven", to make a "name" for themselves, lest they "be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth"( Double AA touched on this at the beginning of his comment). The answer to this question of mine should have been incorporated into the original question.
Sep
4
comment Why build migdal bavel in a valley?
If ha-Shem "swayed their hearts not to build it on a high place in order that they would not build it at that location", why not sway their hearts from building it at all?
Sep
2
awarded  Informed
Sep
2
comment Does 'not in heaven' apply to kabbalah?
I sill don't understand: In the Halakhic process, even the rejected views are correct( 'Elu ve-'Elu Divrei 'Elohim Chayim), to the extent that some say that at a future date( sometime after the Mashi'ach comes) Halakhah will be decided according to Beit Shamai. The only problem is, that with many correct views, what do we do in practice, and the solution is to follow the majority view, even against a divinely supported one. In kabbalah, what does choosing a "normative position" say about the rejected ones? With more than one [correct?] view, why do we need to choose one as "normative"?