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Jan
8
comment Explanation of the midrash of the Donkey of moshe
@DoubleAA Are you refering to the gemara that talks about about the emendation in the Septuagint that changes "on the donkey" to "on the pack animals" (εκι τα ὑποζυγια, or על נושא בני אדם in the gemara's wording)?
Jan
8
comment Kasher a liver or unsalted meat
Slightly related: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/43628
Jan
7
comment Did Jewish Men Always Have Beards Throughout History
@Matt Also Shabbos 152a ("הדרת פנים זקן") in the amusing story with R' Yehoshua ben Karcha and the heretic.
Jan
7
comment What is the source of the Birkat Habayit?
Maybe they are referring to the final stanza of Kipling's "A Carol"? "God bless the master of this house, and all who sleep therein! And guard the fens from pirate folk, and keep us all from sin..."
Jan
7
comment What is the source of the Birkat Habayit?
I hope it's not derived from the practice of Christians in central Europe who write an acronym for mansionem benedicat over their front door on January 6.
Jan
7
revised Elazar ben durdayah and the Metaphors
added 240 characters in body
Jan
7
comment Elazar ben durdayah and the Metaphors
@ChiddusheiTorah Hadrash V'ha'iyun is one possible transliteration.
Jan
7
revised Elazar ben durdayah and the Metaphors
added 51 characters in body
Jan
7
answered Elazar ben durdayah and the Metaphors
Jan
6
comment Am I liable to be stoned for my devotion to Hashem and the Jewish people?
The Hebrew expression is ואל יאמר בן הנכר הנלוה אל השם לאמר הבדל יבדילני השם מעל עמו, meaning: "Let not a child-of-a-foreigner who became attached to God say, 'God has surely separated me from upon His nation.'" This is a reference to a convert: 1. It says "child of a foreigner", not a foreigner. 2. The word "הנלוה" suggests conversion, per Y'sha'yahu 14:1. 3. The person is worried that "God separated me from upon His nation"; the Hebrew word meaning "from upon" suggests that the person had become a member of the Jewish people. 4. "Grasping my covenant" in verse 6 implies conversion.
Jan
6
comment Did Jewish Men Always Have Beards Throughout History
@Matt Scandalous! It's sounds like you have some good material for an answer yourself. If you write one up, feel free to incorporate some of the stuff in my comments towards the Tanach-era part of an answer, if you like.
Jan
6
comment Did Jewish Men Always Have Beards Throughout History
Also, Yosef was "shaved" before his encounter with Pharaoh, suggesting that he had a beard beforehand (B'reishis 41:14, unless this only means his hair was trimmed, such as is perhaps indicated by Onkelos - "וספר ושני כסותיה". See also Y'vamos 88a, "ואמר רב חסדא מלמד שיצא בלא חתימת זקן ובא בחתימת זקן").
Jan
6
comment Did Jewish Men Always Have Beards Throughout History
Some more examples: Vayikra 13:29 (as will some of the earlier examples, regarding tzara'as "leprosy"), Sh'mu'el II 19:25, and Sh'mu'el II 20:9. And Divrei HaYamim I 19:5 repeats the story with David's envoys.
Jan
6
comment Did Jewish Men Always Have Beards Throughout History
...Yirm'yahu (Yirm'yahu 41:5, 48:37), Y'chezkel (Y'chezkel 5:1), and Ezra (Ezra 9:3).
Jan
6
comment Did Jewish Men Always Have Beards Throughout History
Not to mention the mentions of beards in the time of Moshe and Aharon (Vayikra 14:9, 19:27, 21:5; T'hillim 133:2 regarding Aharon himself), David (cited above, and Sh'mu'el I 21:14), Y'sha'yahu (Y'sha'ya 7:20, 15:2)...
Jan
6
comment Did Jewish Men Always Have Beards Throughout History
Certainly in David's time, Jewish men had beards. When the Ammonites sheared off half of the beards of David's envoys, David told them to stay in Jericho until the other half of their beards grew back (Sh'mu'el II 10:4,5).
Jan
6
comment Precedent for Forbidding Conversion
Related: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/5962
Jan
6
revised Why is Moshe's family unnamed at first?
explicitly extended point to Aharon and Miriam
Jan
6
comment Experimental drug testing (e.g. for cancer)
@user67771 Well, it may make a halachic difference. For example, the Mishk'nos Ya'akov says that a mi'ut hamatzui is 10% or greater. See also this question.
Jan
5
comment Experimental drug testing (e.g. for cancer)
Do you know how widely the 50% standard applies? Because I recall reading about an exceptionally effective hepatitis C drug that was nixed in 2008 after phase II trials showed signs of liver toxicity in 8% of patients (which is lower than the rate of liver damage from the disease itself).