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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).
Jan
5
comment What was the value of the Rishonim's philosophical inquiries about God and the world?
It is important to be careful not to conflate philosophy as defined by thinking logically about reality with philosophy as defined by the ideas of particular philosophers or schools of philosophy.
Jan
5
comment how do i know if a midrash is an allegory
Duplicate? judaism.stackexchange.com/q/13003 (though I don't think that question should be marked as a duplicate).
Jan
5
comment Non-literal Midrashim
I don't think this is a duplicate. It asks how to categorize individual midrashim, whereas the other question asks about "midrash" as a seemingly monolithic class (though some of the answers draw distinctions between different types of midrashim). (Can I ping @msh210 here?)
Jan
5
comment Being appointed to a jury in a case between two Jews
Also, to correct my above comment, the cases I mentioned earlier were not Supreme Court cases, but the general principle of concealing the right of jury nullification from juries is based on a Supreme Court case from 1895.
Jan
5
comment Being appointed to a jury in a case between two Jews
@YeZ According to this article abstract, jury nullification is discussed "almost exclusively in connection with criminal trials." The abstract mentions that some people think that there is only an implied affirmative right to jury nullification in criminal cases, but even those people recognize that, practically speaking, judges cannot reverse or vacate civil judgments by juries that they suspect of having decided against established law.
Jan
5
reviewed Approve Testing Hashem (for Monetary Gain)
Jan
5
comment Being appointed to a jury in a case between two Jews
I know. They are essentially lying, and they know it. Ask lawyers who you know personally, and they'll probably admit it to you. Trial lawyers hate jury nullification.
Jan
5
comment Being appointed to a jury in a case between two Jews
"By law one is required to use American law to decide guilt." Juries are actually allowed to decide guilt or lack thereof as they see fit, regardless of statutes on the books. Although the Supreme Court has ruled that judges may falsely imply (in jury instructions) that a jury lacks this right (U.S. v. Moylan, 1969), or even remove jurors who appear willing to exercise this right (U.S. v. Thomas, 1997), juries are technically allowed by law to rule however they want.