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7h
comment “Praiseworthy is he who will clutch and dash your infants against the rock”?
@SAH 4. Although the wording seems deliberately graphic, it may be a symbolic reference to recompense for the enslavement and sale of the children of Jerusalem abroad. The actual meaning of the words may be that their children would also be scattered abroad (including to the places of the יֹשְׁבֵי סֶלַע). This would nicely complement Yo'el 4:6-8, and it would also explain the choice of the ambiguous אֶל־הַסָּלַע rather than עַל־הַסָּלַע.
7h
comment “Praiseworthy is he who will clutch and dash your infants against the rock”?
@SAH 3. The Targum indicates that it was the angel Gavriel, Tziyon's passionate guardian angel, who spoke these final verses. Gavriel is known as an avenging angel throughout rabbinic literature. Although it would be inappropriate for a person to wish such gratuitous cruelty upon children, Gavriel was in a position to wish for the good fortune of those who he knew would unleash such fury on the progeny of the destroyers of Tziyon.
7h
comment “Praiseworthy is he who will clutch and dash your infants against the rock”?
@SAH Some alternative possibilities I could think of: 1. The Jews were saying this out of pain. When we recite it, we are recalling their agony rather than approving of the statement itself. 2. The Radak says that "happy shall be he" is a specific reference to Darius, who visited cruelty upon Babylon. This verse is not an endorsement of his act, but rather a further insult to Babylon that its destroyer would become great.
14h
comment Source in Hazal for holding sisith during qiryath shema`?
Related: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/8817, judaism.stackexchange.com/q/17508. Also related, but to a lesser degree: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/15175, judaism.stackexchange.com/q/22580, judaism.stackexchange.com/q/14664, and judaism.stackexchange.com/q/6737.
14h
comment Receiving an Aliyah/Dukhening While Wearing a Catheter
@Shokhet Here (it was deleted): judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/40118/…
15h
comment Are Synagogues “holy ground,” offering protection from evil creatures?
If you want to ward off demons, consider building the synagogue with lumber from a Sorbus domestica (as the mother demon warns her son: "Flee for your life from the domestic service tree (Corumasa)! It killed your father and it will kill you, too!"). Just don't confuse it with lumber from the very similar Sorbus torminalis (Zardatha); demons absolutely love those (P'sachim 111b). :)
1d
comment Is it permitted for a Ben-Noach be an atheist?
@Yishai Interestingly, see Rashi (Sanhedrin 96b, s.v. גר תושב), who appears to follow R' Meir ('Avoda Zara 64b) that rejecting 'avoda zara is sufficient to become a ger toshav (unlike the Rambam, Hil M'lachim 8:10‌​, who seems to follow the Chachamim).
1d
comment Is women saying Kaddish an issue of Kol Isha?
Perhaps there could be a distinction between a woman reciting kaddish with no melody (or just some subtle cadence) and a woman singing it operatically.
1d
comment Which rabbis are knowledgeable about sexual dysfunction and accept Sholom Bayis questions?
@DoubleAA OP commented about his rabbi: lots of bias, personal issues, prejudice may interfere in his judgment. If OP really doesn't trust his rabbi or has irreconcilable personal problems with him, it seems like OP has no choice but to circumvent his rabbi entirely. If possible, he should probably also find a new rabbi to guide him in halachic and personal matters in general.
1d
comment Can a Jewish woman sing in front of a non-Jewish man?
@DoubleAA I agree that that is an important concern. (I had edited that point into my previous comment just before you posted yours). I would hope Rabbis Fisher and Bronstein (Bornstein?) were aware of that important aspect of tz'niyus, but perhaps they felt that singing has some unique status that allays that concern, וצ"ע.
1d
comment Can a Jewish woman sing in front of a non-Jewish man?
@DoubleAA Perhaps, but I think it is more likely that they would apply practically to a woman undressing than to a woman singing. I agree, though, that there may very well be grounds to say a woman should not sing in front of a non-Jewish man aside from the grounds that are addressed (and dismissed) in the responsum (e.g. the importance of conducting oneself modestly, regardless of whether one's audience may be brought to sin).
1d
comment Can a Jewish woman sing in front of a non-Jewish man?
@DoubleAA Just some possible suggestions off the top of my head: chillul HaShem, p'gam mishpacha, possibly provoking the man to make advances towards her, or violating das Moshe or das Y'hudis.
1d
comment Can a Jewish woman sing in front of a non-Jewish man?
@DoubleAA I could think of additional factors and reasons why undressing could be prohibited when singing would not be.
1d
comment “Praiseworthy is he who will clutch and dash your infants against the rock”?
The parallel language in the final two verses is a poetic means of expressing the barbarism of the Babylonians who actually seized small Jewish children and smashed them against boulders. By extension, this starkly illustrates the suffering of the Jews at that time.
1d
comment Moshiach and Shemittah
According to a recording I heard of him speaking, R' Kanievsky shlit"a just indicated that, according to the gemara in M'gilla that you cited, "במוצאי שביעית בן דוד בא." This means some time during the following year, not immediately at the end of the sh'mita year. I believe the article may be slightly misleading, or is at least phrased in a manner that could lead someone to mistakenly think R' Kanievsky was referring to the immediate end of this year.
1d
comment Rav Yaakov Emden and the Survival of the Jewish people
A quick Google search yields this article by R' Howard Jachter: As Rabbi Jacob Emden has commented, in the introduction to his siddur (prayer book): “By the life of my head,” the greatest miracle is the continued survival of the Jewish people. Rabbi Emden, writing in the eighteenth century, asserts that the miracle of Jewish survival in our prolonged exile is even greater than the miracle of the splitting of the Red Sea.
1d
comment References in the Talmud or Rishonim to marijuana or any non-alcoholic drug use?
As far as the advice in P'sachim, the Talmud doesn't mention the word "habitually," though Rashi, but not Rashbam, understands it this way. The reason given by both commentators is that it can lead to addiction (though Rashi mentions a second explanation that such remedies help with one condition but exacerbate another). The second source you mention refers to medicines or curatives in general, not specifically addictive or psychoactive ones.
1d
comment How to deal with modern archaeological knowledge regarding supposed polytheism of ancient Israel?
Regarding your #4: Even among secular archaeologists who reject the mesorah and the unified, divine authorship of the Pentateuch, many consider Az Yashir to be at least a pre-monarchic text. So Sh'mos 15:2,11,18 should be of interest to them.
1d
comment Why did Moses add part of the tribe of Menashe to join Re'uvean and Gad on the east of the Jordan?
If you are trying to make the point mentioned in your comment here, this answer would be improved my including that explicitly (I think you make an interesting point, actually). Simply quoting the verses leaves the reader to draw his own conclusions that may or may not accord with your intent.
1d
comment Use of speaking “Baruch HaShem” in 1492 Spain
@sabbahillel Doesn't Spanish also use gendered terms (e.g. hijo or niño vs. hija or niña)? And if not, a rabbi speaking in Hebrew would probably say "my son" or "my daughter," but he would probably use the conventional expression when speaking in Spanish.