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Feb
28
comment Why is the son of אסנ״ת משגע״ח called a sinner?
I'm sure that a mamzer considers his inability to marry whom he pleases only a slight aggravation, in light of his glorious ability to have somebody say amen after his berakhot.
Feb
28
comment Why is the son of אסנ״ת משגע״ח called a sinner?
How does a mamzer experience only a "slight" loss of privileges? Also, the first part of the section you quoted, which refers to these people as בני תשע מדות, argues in favour of it being a reference to those who possess certain qualities, and not at all to those who are merely the product of such unions. Maybe your question would be improved if you translated the passage rather than summarise it? I for one don't understand it as you appear to be doing. I see the statement of Rabbi Yonatan as related but distinct.
Feb
23
comment Are psilocybin mushrooms permitted/prohibited/advocated in Jewish law or tradition?
The foregoing is not an argument in favour of fungi, but it needed to be said. @Kordovero is correct in saying that there's no evidence of Jews using such drugs in the ancient world, but incorrect to suggest that this is necessarily an argument against them. There is no evidence of Jews using tobacco in the ancient world either, yet despite insurmountable evidence of its addictiveness and toxicology, there was a long period when it was encouraged in Jewish circles, and many religious Jews today continue to use it.
Feb
23
comment Are psilocybin mushrooms permitted/prohibited/advocated in Jewish law or tradition?
Jewish law makes no requirements on us whatsoever to follow the law of the land, though this might be another topic altogether. The oft-used "דינא דמלכותא דינא" clause refers to taxation. Alcohol didn't become halakhically prohibited by virtue of prohibition, and nor do psilocybin by virtue of the legislation that prevents people purchasing them. One has a civil, not an halakhic, obligation to observe the laws of the state in which one lives, which is why one faces civil punishments and never halakhic ones for infringing them.
Feb
22
comment Are psilocybin mushrooms permitted/prohibited/advocated in Jewish law or tradition?
Aside from the fact that there is no pharmocological evidence to suggest that psilocybin (which are non-toxic) are "dangerous drugs", it's simply untrue to claim that psychotropic plants were never native to the Ancient Near East. We have evidence for a range of different hallucinogenic plants, used in medicine and ritual, from Mespotomia to Egypt - including certain fungi. While they appear to be absent from Tanakh, they may be alluded to in the "apocryphal" literature. Consider 4 Ezra 9:26ff, where Ezra eats flowers and then has a vision of the heavenly Jerusalem.
Feb
21
comment How to bury old s'farim
Somewhat related (and maybe somebody who answers this question would like to also answer the other): judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/25654/…
Feb
21
revised Which Sacred Books Require Burial?
deleted 552 characters in body
Feb
20
revised Toynbee's description of Jews as a “fossil” — what was the Orthodox response?
added 5 characters in body
Feb
20
comment Who authored the 13 Ani Maamin's?
It was written by a fellow named Aaaaaaaaaaaaa, who cleverly hid his name within the composition in the form of an acrostic.
Feb
19
answered If kings were supposed to be from Shevet Yehuda, why was Shaul from Binyamin anointed?
Feb
19
comment Becoming Deaf and Mute
Thanks, @ba - I have edited the question accordingly and made it a little clearer in the process.
Feb
19
revised Becoming Deaf and Mute
Made the question clearer, and took into account a comment beneath it
Feb
19
asked Becoming Deaf and Mute
Feb
19
comment why cure the snake bites with the nehushtan
Sorry - I wasn't meaning to imply that this is a technique that Ramban is endorsing, but that his interpretation is similar. He refers, for example, to the manner in which Torah allows one to heal poison with more of that same poison (תסיר הנזק במזיק ותרפא החולי במחליא), and while he notes that the way of medicine is contrary, his remarks concerning just how contrary it is are also reminiscent: that one who was bitten by a rabid dog might see puppies in his urine, or that one bitten by a snake might get worse just by seeing a snake's blood.
Feb
19
comment Is tevel dough muktzah on yom tov?
Thanks, @DoubleAA, I didn't know that - nor enough to be able to answer this question, though I'm pretty sure you're not allowed to burn qodshim on yontef (is challah qodesh?). There's a discussion in Pesachim somewhere that might be informative. The relevant mishna is 3:3, which discusses separating impure challah on yontef Pesach. Not exactly the same question that is being asked here, but it might be relevant to a comprehensive answer.
Feb
19
answered why cure the snake bites with the nehushtan
Feb
18
comment Do other Chasidic communities follow Shulchan Aruch HaRav?
No need to edit: I think your question is already well-phrased. Just wanted to add my two cents :)
Feb
18
comment Do other Chasidic communities follow Shulchan Aruch HaRav?
Very few communities rely exclusively upon a single text. All Orthodox communities treat the Shulchan Arukh haRav as authoritative, but only Lubavitchers will ever treat it as ultimately authoritative. That is not to say that Lubavitchers will avoid studying other works. They treat it as many Litvaks treat the Mishne Berurah: authoritative to the point of being the final word, though not the only opinion. Likewise, many Sephardim now treat the halakha of the mechaber in a similar fashion (based upon the exhortations of Rav Ovadiah).
Feb
18
answered Is there a difference between “להלן” and “לקמן”?
Feb
14
comment Who wrote the anonymous explanations of Rashi printed within the text of Rashi?
I cannot put this in an answer, since I had this question a little while ago and I wasn't able to get it verified, but I think the individual responsible was Rabbi Shabbetai Bass, the author of Siftei Chachamim. I can't confirm that, sorry, so I don't know if it helps.