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Oct
24
comment Fighting Wars on Shabbat
Shammai lived prior to the destruction of the temple. Any tradition concerning him is dealing with a period of time before Josephus, not after.
Oct
23
comment 20 years for Sin, 7 years for beauty
Thank you, Menachem, for the link to BCBM.org! Those are the clearest recordings of the Rav that I've ever heard, and you've made my iPod exceptionally happy :)
Oct
23
comment 20 years for Sin, 7 years for beauty
The person who said that was the Maharal, in his commentary on Rashi, "Gur Aryeh".
Oct
22
comment Tzeit HaKokhavim According To The Gr"a & Geonim
It's hard to envisage, but without streetlights it doesn't take long at all for only three stars to be visible. Here are some images of what various major cities would look like later in the evening, were there no light pollution: thechive.com/2013/08/08/…
Oct
21
comment Order of Masechtos in Seder Moed
There is no order to the masekhtos, there is only differing convention as regards how to print them. In reality, every mishna coexists simultaneously; it's all part of one system. It doesn't "begin" anywhere and it certainly never ends. To truly understand any one mishna you need to have learnt the entire Mishna, but to print the mishnayot onto physical paper you require an order of some sort. I wouldn't read too much into what that order is; ultimately, it doesn't matter.
Oct
18
comment Avraham's different approaches to kidnapping
Note as well that according to the Ramban (Gen 12:10), Abraham committed a grave sin, albeit by accident, in allowing Sarah to be kidnapped: ודע כי אברהם אבינו חטא חטא גדול בשגגה שהביא אשתו הצדקת במכשול עון מפני פחדו פן יהרגוהו.
Oct
16
comment When will the period of Acharonim end?
I think that this issue really just highlights the absurdity of periodisation. Acharonim only called themselves acharonim by virtue of their tendency to label scholars who lived before the Shulchan Arukh as Rishonim (although note that some "acharonim", like the Maharshal, rejected the label). Rishonim never called themselves Rishonim and were it not for the haskalah and the invention of Orthodoxy we wouldn't need to cling so fastidiously to the construct now. It's an invention, and one that we should't take so seriously. It has no halakhic merit.
Oct
16
comment What did kohanim do the other fifty weeks of the year?
Who says that they didn't own land? Within levitical cities they absolutely owned land. See Demai 6:4-5 for references to Israelites leasing fields from kohanim and levites. See earlier in that perek for references to kohanim and levites leasing fields from Israelites - proof that even those who didn't own land could still spend their time working on it.
Oct
16
comment Ashkenazic vs. Sefardic grammar tendencies
Are you certain about the vocalisation of the Sefardi nusach in your second paragraph? If so, it's problematic for another reason: נביאָך is a singular noun (your prophet). If you want to write "your prophets", it should be נביאַיך (nevi-ayikh).
Oct
15
comment Benefits of studying Ramak's Pardes Rimmonim vs. R. Vital's Etz Chayim?
That's actually not at all true. Maybe if you're a Lubavitcher, the Ramak's work was superceded, but there are plenty of hasidim who learn the kabbalah of the Ramak.
Oct
14
comment Seemingly weak proof-texts from Tanach
@Annelise - I think that every hermeneutic system is equally valid, but whether they are equally effective at determining meaning will depend on the sort of meaning that you are investigating. The midrashim that employ the middot (and even the middot themselves) are now an object of study in their own right. They are no longer employed in order to generate new and unprecedented information.
Oct
13
answered Seemingly weak proof-texts from Tanach
Oct
12
asked Dancing on Yom Kippur
Oct
11
revised Questions on the Bartenura in Beitza 2:3
Corrected my translation
Oct
3
comment Parsing the mishna in Beitza 1:10
Thank you very much! Interestingly, I had just ordered the two-volume version of your Mishna Sedura shortly before asking my question, and am currently waiting on their arrival. It will be excellent, for chazorah purposes, to have the full set in so manageable a size.
Sep
27
comment Is the sefer Knesses Hagedolah on the Tur in print?
The entire thing is available at HebrewBooks.org. See the bottom of the Wikipedia article for links.
Sep
27
asked Questions on the Bartenura in Beitza 2:3
Sep
27
revised Person in Eretz Yisrael making Eiruv Tavshilin for Bnei Chutz L'Aretz
Addition of a comma to remove ambiguity
Sep
26
comment Do Briskers use a particular siddur?
There are siddurim with haskamot? I'm not sure that I've ever seen such a thing.
Sep
24
comment Parsing the mishna in Beitza 1:10
I like the reasoning behind your answer very much (and +1), but it doesn't strike me as the simplest way to read the passage, if only by virtue of the fact that it makes the ruling given at the end of the mishna into something that only describes most of the mishna but not all of it. The passage about the spiked sandals now doesn't belong here; I'd prefer an interpretation of the כלל that took that passage into account as well... Ideally.