Reputation
12,575
Top tag
Next privilege 15,000 Rep.
Protect questions
Badges
1 26 57
Impact
~74k people reached

1d
awarded  Popular Question
Apr
5
awarded  Yearling
Mar
22
awarded  Nice Answer
Jan
29
revised Is a minyan required for Sheva Brachot?
Rephrased to remove ambiguity at the beginning of the 2nd paragraph. +1.
Jan
29
comment How does Rambam explain the use of magic in Tanakh?
@mevaqesh By the way, regarding R' Sa'adya Gaon's dismissal of the tricks by the chartumim as mere legerdemain, it is interesting that the Tanchuma (Sh'mos 11) uses a similar word ("chartumin") to refer to the fraudulence that Yisro recognized behind 'avoda zara: "ויתרו רואה חרטומין שלה ובוסר עליהן והרהר לעשות תשובה".
Jan
29
comment How does Rambam explain the use of magic in Tanakh?
@mevaqesh that Rav Saadya and Rav Hai hold that necromancy is generally impossible. I reread the Radak, and I suppose it could be read either way. I read "מעשה האוב" as referring to the specific necromancy performed by that woman. It could be that RSG would more likely dismiss the possibility of necromancy in general (à la Emunos v'Dei'os 3, re. the sorcerers' fraudulent imitation of the plagues "התבאר כי זה לגנות פעלם לא לאמתו"). But I suspect RHG may take necromancy more at face value (see T'shuvos HaGeonim, Harkavy, 365).
Jan
28
comment Can Rashi mean eagles actually fly with their young on their wings?
@HaLeiVi It may depend on which gemara you're referring to. When discussing the nesher in the taxonomy of impure species (Vayikra 11:13), the gemara (Chullin 61a) may be defining it more narrowly (certainly Tosafos excludes the eagle in this context). In other contexts (perhaps, for e.g., Chullin 139b re. nesting habits), the gemara might view nesher as a more broad category. Nesher might also be viewed broadly in metaphorical comparisons, like in the verses cited in the OP or 'Ovadya 1:4.
Jan
28
revised How does Rambam explain the use of magic in Tanakh?
added links
Jan
28
comment How does Rambam explain the use of magic in Tanakh?
Radak, and the opinions he quotes, are specifically discussing necromancy and seances, not "magic" in general. R' Sa'adya and R' Hai both said the woman was a faker, not that necromancy is impossible generally. Radak himself disagrees and says she was a legitimate necromancer. He also quotes the Rambam (Hil. 'Avoda Zara 6:1), who indicates that the client perceives a voice; while the Rambam is ambiguous about the true source of that perception, he does cast aspersions on all sorts of magic in Hil. 'A"Z 11:16 (as you mentioned).
Jan
28
comment Can Rashi mean eagles actually fly with their young on their wings?
Following up on my previous comment: Note that the article excerpted in the answer below suggests that, in the context of these verses, the term nesher could be more broadly encompassing, including both eagles and vultures. Also, R' Slifkin notes that some opinions do identify the nesher specifically as an eagle (Sefer Ha-Itur, Chizkuni and Yalkut Me'am Loez). Read the articles in full for more detail. See also this article.
Jan
28
revised Can Rashi mean eagles actually fly with their young on their wings?
added links
Jan
28
revised Can Rashi mean eagles actually fly with their young on their wings?
improved formatting
Jan
28
comment Can Rashi mean eagles actually fly with their young on their wings?
Note that Tosafos (Chullin 63a) points out that nesher does not refer to an eagle ("וכמו כן טועין גבי נשר שקורין אייגל"א ואינו דנשר יש לו ד' סימני טומאה ואייגל"א יש לו אצבע יתירה"). See also this article by Rabbi Natan Slifkin, which identifies the nesher as the Griffon vulture, the highest flying of all birds.
Jan
28
comment Is causing oneself to have an erection forbidden or just not recommended?
@jj2 That's the translation, but it doesn't necessarily imply that "יהא בנדוי" and "אסור" are mutually exclusive, or that "אסור" is more severe than "יהא בנדוי". The question could be motivated by the assumption that "יהא בנדוי" is more severe than "אסור", and the gemara might be asking why it says "יהא בנדוי" rather than just "אסור". Or, per the Chasam Sofer, the question is motivated by the assumption that both categories are equivalent (see Shulchan Aruch YD 334:1), and the answer is that "יהא בנדוי" in this context implies it is אסור but even more severe than typical נדוי liability.
Jan
28
comment Blessing on Immersing Vessels to Purify Them
@DoubleAA If the Rambam wasn't using pu'al, then Mikva'os 3:12,28,20 seems like a precedent suggesting that the Rambam could possibly have used the intransitive kal in B'rachos 11:6 to refer to a category of immersions that includes keilim. | Note, BTW, that the P'nei Y'hoshu'a' (Beitza 18a) disagrees with the Maharsha (mentioned above) and says t'vilas keilim from tum'a is not a mitzva at all (possibly the Chasam Sofer on Nidda 29b holds likewise).
Jan
28
comment Is causing oneself to have an erection forbidden or just not recommended?
@jj2 IMHO, the Chasam Sofer (and, apparently, the Rambam) flows with the gemara and fits with the subsequent statement of R' Ami that this person is called a "transgressor." I suppose the gemara could also be read the way you say: R' Ami could be seen as a dissenting opinion, especially since his opinion is introduced with "ורבי אמי אמר". Or perhaps R' Ami doesn't even mean that it is a sin, just that he is called a "transgressor" because that activity tends to lead to actual sin. But do you know of anyone (aside from Rabbi Epstein who translated this) who expressly reads the passage this way?
Jan
27
comment Blessing on Immersing Vessels to Purify Them
@DoubleAA But even when talking about immersing other things, the Rambam seems to switch to טבל if using it as an intransitive verb (see Hil. Mikva'os 3:12, 18, and 20) and he may be using the word the same way in B'rachos 11:6. On the other hand, maybe Torat Emet's vowelization is wrong, and the Rambam is using binyan pu'al ("טֻבַּל"), as he seems to do in Y'sodei HaTorah 8:2 ("אלו ששולח להן") and Ta'aniyos 1:4 ("עד שירוחמו"). This may more neatly explain "כאילו לא טבלה" at the end of Mikva'os 3:20.
Jan
27
comment Blessing on Immersing Vessels to Purify Them
@DoubleAA Where the Rambam discusses immersion as a transitive verb, the Rambam uses הטביל for immersing something else, whether keilim (e.g. Mikva'os 6:9 and 8:12), other people (e.g. Hil. 'Avadim 8:20), one's body parts (e.g. Bi'as HaMikdash 5:11), or even the אזוב (Hil. Para Aduma 10:9 and 15:1)...
Jan
27
comment If a food product has a heretical/idol worship image on it, and a hechsher as well, may one partake of it?
@Loewian Leverage seems like a fair enough distinction. If the OU thought it was forbidden to eat fish with a label like that or put the OU symbol on such a label, they should've removed the certification anyway. Since they certify it, I guess they're not concerned. I don't buy the idea that the name "Jezebel" is worse than the Chicken of the Sea label (I could see someone either rule that it is permitted for the OU to certify both, or prohibit for both, but not just prohibit "Jezebel"), so maybe the former case was just the OU applying pressure for a more ideal (but not necessary) outcome.
Jan
27
comment Is causing oneself to have an erection forbidden or just not recommended?
"merely incites..." The translator added "merely." The implication of the gemara appears to be the opposite of what the translator wrote; not only is it forbidden, but there would also be a requirement to put the person in nidui if he is found to do this (see Tosafos, s.v. "המקשה", who maintains that a person is not automatically in nidui for this behavior). The Chasam Sofer (ad loc.) expressly reads the passage this way.