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Jan
29
comment Torah Study Of Rabbinic Laws
To which "R. Mordechai of Vilna" do you refer, and where did you hear this?
Jan
29
comment Was Rachav A Harlot (Prostitute)?
I would not say this is the definitively accepted interpretation. Some opinions do in fact say she was a prostitute (e.g. Radak on Y'hoshua' 2:1; also, related question: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/25753). As far as opinions that consider her merely an innkeeper, they would probably consider "innkeeper" to merely be a secondary literal definition of זונה.
Jan
28
comment Child from the relations Yael had with Sisra
+1. R' Tzadok is referring to Asara Ma'amaros (Chikur Din 5:11). The רמ"ע מפאנו follows R' Nissim Gaon's girsa of Sanhedrin 96b that R' Akiva descended from Sisera (B'rachos 27b, נוקי לר' עקיבא לית ליה זכות אבות. איתה בסנהדרין בפרק כל ישראל יש להן חלק (דף צו) מבני בניו של סיסרא למדו תורה בירושלים ומאן אינון ר' עקיבא).
Jan
28
comment May a woman think about another man during relations?
This is a specific case of this related question, and it is answered there.
Jan
28
comment What game is the Rama in 338:5 (טשי"ך) referring to?
@user6591 Also, maybe the S"G was referring to tabula or backgammon, considering his phrasing: "וא״כ אסור לשחוק באותן העצמות שקורין בריקיקלי ע״ג טבלא", since apparently dice were historically also made from talus bones. Then again, maybe both the S"G and the Rama weren't talking about any specific game, but just about playing with dice in general (and mention of a טבלא was only relevant due to noise). (And, to correct my previous comment, the S"G wasn't quoting the Or Zarua' when he mentioned chess).
Jan
28
comment What game is the Rama in 338:5 (טשי"ך) referring to?
@user6591 I also considered בריקיקלי as a corruption of alquerque, but mention of bones points more to knucklebones. The S"G explicitly discusses chess ("שקאק") in a quote from the Or Zarua' later in אות ג. Apparently on this basis, the Magen Avraham (338:8) interprets טשי"ך as chess, although the Rama's mention of "עצמות שקורין טשי"ך" suggests (IMHO) he is citing the earlier part of the S"G about "העצמות שקורין בריקיקלי". Also, other early acharonim describe the טשי"ך as the astragalus bone.
Jan
27
comment What game is the Rama in 338:5 (טשי"ך) referring to?
@user6591 "Szklane kulki" does mean "glass marbles/beads" in Polish (although "marmurki" is the standard term for marbles in Polish). However, games with glass marbles were developed in the 19th century, postdating the Rama, who was talking about a game played with bones (which is how kugelach was historically played).
Jan
27
comment What game is the Rama in 338:5 (טשי"ך) referring to?
@user6591 That's possibly related to the modern word for a "knucklebone" in Dutch ("bikkel") or West Flemish ("pekkel"). This Shiltei Giborim is in Eruvin (35b in dapei haRif, אות ג).
Jan
27
comment Can one Tovel dishes in snow?
I agree with your conclusion, but I'm not certain that any heter for t'vilas yadayim would necessarily extend to a corresponding heter for t'vilas keilim d'rabbanan since each might carry its own set of (albeit overlapping) leniencies and stringencies (but I'm not familiar enough with this topic to say so definitively).| The link to the Mordechai doesn't seem to get to the specific page. This does: hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=37953&pgnum=699 . Also, how do you know if the husband asked whether the t'vila counted - maybe the wife asked?
Jan
27
comment Is an Eishet Yefat Toar beautiful physically or spiritually?
@Shokhet באה להעיר שבאמצעות היותו עוסק במצוה יגלה ה' את עיניו להכיר בגויה שיש בה יפת תואר שהיא נשמה הקדושה הנקראת יפת תואר כי זוהר נשמות הקדושות מופלא ועצום הוא וזאת האשה קנתה בה חלק זה הטוב ולזה קראה הכתוב אשת יפת תואר והכרתה הוא על ידי שאתה רואה שאתה חושק בה בזמן שאתה דבוק בשכינה באמצעות היותך עסוק בשליחות מצוה כאמור זה יעירך שלדבר טוב חשקת.
Jan
27
comment Is an Eishet Yefat Toar beautiful physically or spiritually?
Although this might constitute an answer to the question in the title, this does not answer the question in the body of the OP, which specifically asks for commentaries that interpret the יפת תואר as spiritually attractive (even if such commentaries might not be על דרך פשט).
Jan
27
comment Can someone have a soul of the opposite gender?
@DoubleAA Perhaps so. I've seen this claim attributed to the Zohar on Pikudei, and that's the best I could come up with. (257b also talks about Yitzchak and Rivka being as one in that they both represent the same type of soul archetype, but that could also be interpreted in various ways).
Jan
26
comment How is gender halachically determined?
Further, in vol. XI (§78), the Tzitz Eliezer seems to implicitly negate the possibility that a person with a halachically definite male or female sex could halachically alter their sex via artificial means (though he ponders - but does not answer - the question of whether surgically changing an infertile אנדרוגינוס into a female would change its halachic status from that of an אנדרוגינוס to that of a female).
Jan
26
comment How is gender halachically determined?
This answer misrepresents the view of the Tzitz Eliezer. In the cited responsum, the Tzitz Eliezer mentions that either a spontaneous or an artificial sex change would bring up questions regarding halachic identity, but he does not actually discuss the case of an artificial change or extrapolate any halachos from his discussion of a spontaneous physiological sex change.
Jan
26
comment Palm-reading in Judaism
For an example of looking at one's palms in a (possibly) different context, see Tur (OC 298, regarding looking at one's hands during havdala): "We have heard from elders who say that there is a siman in the lines of the palm, by which to be blessed."
Jan
26
comment Can someone have a soul of the opposite gender?
@DoubleAA See this comment.
Jan
26
comment Are there any jokes in the Geonim or Rishonim?
Yes, I think the identification was mistaken. Also, according to the Hebrew Wikipedia page, R' Yosef Karo means to cite R' Yitzchak Abuav of Castile. (For more discussion of this t'shuva of the Maharit, see here, which also considers whether the King of Portugal compared R' Abuav to an eagle, or to an important bridge).
Jan
26
comment Are there any jokes in the Geonim or Rishonim?
This story, Which R' Conforte cites to the responsa of the Maharit (II YD 16, reproduced here), is actually about R' Yitzchak Abuav II of Castile, who was blind in one eye and close to the King of Portugal. (For fun, here's a link to a scan of the Maharit's original handwritten responsum).
Jan
26
comment Source of Ramban's famous debate
Correct, the Ramban's account can be found in volume 1 of R' Chavel's Kisvei Ramban (cited here). It can also be found in Otzar Vikuchim, here.
Jan
23
comment Disagreeing with one's rebbe
Is that referring to advice and guidance in general (e.g. what city to move to, what career to choose, etc.), or even deciding an overtly halachic question (e.g. "Some milk fell into my pot - is it kosher?").