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Jan
19
comment Is there a bracha for blooming non-fruit trees?
Related: fn. 4 in this answer.
Jan
19
answered Oops, I just missed the siyum for Fast of the Firstborn
Jan
19
comment Is sky-diving forbidden because of the risk to one's life?
@Aaron (1.) wouldn't include military jumps. Did you see this specified somewhere? Because otherwise, I'd be wary (not yet having researched the topic myself) that the United States Parachuting Association may have a vested interest and may have included that data to portray the risk more favorably. (2.) Would the lifetime risk be halachically lumped like that, or would each event be halachically assessed separately? (I'm not necessarily saying one way or the other, but it's a non-trivial point).
Jan
19
comment Is sky-diving forbidden because of the risk to one's life?
@Aaron (1.) Driving is something normally done by the public in the course of their routine ("דש ביה רבים"), so it may be in a more permissible halachic category. (2.) Choosing 10,000 (passenger?) miles is arbitrary. Any given car trip is more likely to be closer to 10 miles (decreasing the relative risk by a factor of 1,000), in which case a skydive would be about 50 times more dangerous. (3.) Did you check if 21 is a standard fatality count, and not from an abnormally safe year? (4.) Does the "3 million jumps" include military jumps, usually made by trained personnel (which alters the risk)?
Jan
19
comment Is it permitted to use a thermochromic cup on Shabbos?
Like the Sh'miras Shabbos K'Hilchasah, the Orchos Shabbos (20:166), the Nishmas Avraham (OC, Choleh She'ein Bo Sakana 306:7), and Encyclopedia Hilchatis R'fu'is (Shabbos) all prohibit use of thermometers where digits appear (after being totally invisible) due to heat, unless the ill person may be in danger and there is no alternative to take his temperature. On the other hand, the Tzitz Eli'ezer permits in case of need and R' 'Ovadya Yosef permits altogether (sources cited here and here).
Jan
19
comment Is it permitted to use a thermochromic cup on Shabbos?
BTW, there's another method in the Y'rushalmi (Shabbos 12:4) whereby it seems that someone would be biblically liable for revealing an invisible message. That method involves Person A writing upon tanned parchment using a gallnut solution, such that the parchment and the solution are the same color. Then, Person B reveals the message by pouring over the parchment a gallnut-free ink (including a gum mixed with CuSO4), which adheres to the writing and reveals the message. The Y'rushalmi seems to rule that the Person B is liable, and Person A did not write at all (see also Gittin 19a).
Jan
19
comment Is it permitted to use a thermochromic cup on Shabbos?
However, if non-thermochromic letters are hidden within a layer of thermochromic material that is the same color as the letters (when the material is cool), there may very well be a problem with heating the cup, as no distinctive writing exists until the cup is heated. This case may be similar to using heat to reveal letters that were written in invisible ink, which the P'ri M'gadim (OC Mishb'tzos Zahav 340:3) says is rabbinically prohibited (even though, in the case of the cup, you are changing the color of the background rather than the letters).
Jan
19
comment Is it permitted to use a thermochromic cup on Shabbos?
In fn. ח*, he writes that there is no leniency in (3) for a sick person who is not in danger. | This all may not apply to the case in the OP. If the writing in the cup is always present and distinctive, but merely hidden underneath the thermochromic layer (as is maybe implied in the OP), there is probably no prohibition whatsoever (except maybe mar'is 'ayin?), as this would seem to be similar to opening a book cover to reveal writing inside. The numbers on the thermometer you discuss are themselves thermochromic such that no writing exists until the thermometer is heated.
Jan
18
comment Is it Rabbeinu Bachya or Bechaye?
I've certainly heard both of them referred to as R' Bachya, as well, but I rarely hear ר' בחיי אבן פקודה referred to as Rabbeinu Bechaye.
Jan
18
comment Plastic surgery
Closely related (duplicate?): judaism.stackexchange.com/q/17977 and judaism.stackexchange.com/q/10603.
Jan
18
comment Is it Rabbeinu Bachya or Bechaye?
If only for purposes of clarity (rather than technical accuracy), I often hear people say R' Bachya for ר' בחיי אבן פקודה, and R' Bechaye for רבינו בחיי בן אשר.
Jan
15
comment Does Judaism consider virginity to be a virtue?
@Alex Regarding the first paragraph in your answer, see this question and its answers. Regarding R' Yehuda's opinion on the Kohen Gadol's substitute wife, see this question and associated comments.
Jan
15
revised Do the Nine Measures Apply to the Woman?
updated, added Rashi and Rashbam
Jan
14
comment Could G-d change His mind about the future of humanity?
@SAH By the way, regarding (2.) in my preceding comment, the Talmud states (Rosh HaShana 18a, translated summary) that a divine decree accompanied with an oath is immutable.
Jan
14
awarded  Custodian
Jan
14
reviewed Leave Open The Mekor Baruch's intructions of making gold from copper
Jan
14
comment About Shemot 35:3
@AleksandrSigalov What difference does it make that other examples of this root in binyan pi'el have other meanings? Once you know various definitions of the root, those definitions can apply to any rational verb conjugation. In this instance, the direct object is "fire," so the definition is obviously kindle. | Regarding the English definition of "תבערו" in my earlier comment, by the way, I meant to imply pi'el, not hif'il (just in case there was any ambiguity in my translation).
Jan
13
comment About Shemot 35:3
@AleksandrSigalov On the contrary. The root in 35:3 means burn, and the verb conjugation of that root in the verse would be precisely translated as, "perform (pl.) an action causing ___ to burn" ("___" in this case is the object "fire"). I.e., "kindle," exactly as Yaacov Deane wrote.
Jan
13
comment What is an overview of Judaism's arguments against the “unconscious violinist” analogy used to support abortion in the case of rape?
@RedRackham 1. Re. utilitarian considerations, I wasn't referring to Catholicism specifically. I was responding to your remark about "opportunities wasted." 2. People seem to have somewhat different ideas about the implications of that doctrine. I'm certainly no expert on double effect as such, and I don't think there's much value in me voting "yea" or "nay" on it on behalf of Judaism. 3. I'm sure I don't have any vested authority to speak on behalf of any denomination. I'm just informing you of what seems to be the standard legal view that has traditionally marked Judaism over the centuries.
Jan
13
comment Pirates and Torah
The Radak suggests that David was sending them to raid an enemy encampment of P'lishtim that was within Israeli borders and fair game.