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1d
comment In what sense is Hanukkah “a Yom Tov like other yamim tovim”?
Regarding your second point, note that Rosh haShana is a yom tov, but we don't say hallel.
Dec
15
comment Dikduk Q: Rashi and Ibn Ezra on the Sar Hamashkim
Actually, @Jo.P, it relates more specifically to whether or not the verb can take a direct object - but the chief sign of an intransitive verb is its needing to take an indirect object instead (hence, with a preposition). Both transitive and intransitive verbs can also eschew the object altogether (eg: "he remembered", which is a transitive verb; "he jumped", which is intransitive). One can only differentiate between them when an object is involved: "he remembered the log"; "he jumped on the log". Hope my comment's less confusing now :)
Dec
15
comment Why is the wording “הערים האל” used? (Deut 4:42)
If you have a look at Kelley, Mynatt and Crawford's The Masorah of the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (p105-106), you'll see that they bring this example, and that they note that the word is only profane insofar as האל does not refer to God. Your interpretation, while beautifully set out, reads a bit more like a drash. Sorry, but I agree with @IsaacMoses - your reading of this meaning into other passages that feature the same word is an example of "overfitting".
Dec
15
comment Dikduk Q: Rashi and Ibn Ezra on the Sar Hamashkim
In other words, Ibn Ezra (acc. to the Avi Ezer) is taking זכר in this instance as synonymous with the hiphil, הזכיר, but this is problematic for other reasons. Chiefly is the fact that זכר turns up with a direct object over a hundred times in Tanakh, and everybody understands it to mean "remember" in all but a handful of instances. So I cannot explain this passage at all (if the Avi Ezer is correct, it is very, very strange), but I would suppose that Rashi's response would have simply been to say that זכר is a transitive verb, and that it means "remember". No big chiddush there.
Dec
15
comment Dikduk Q: Rashi and Ibn Ezra on the Sar Hamashkim
An excellent question; this passage in the Avi Ezer is really difficult to justify. I cannot answer it, but I need to note that your understanding of transitivity appears to be misguided. It has nothing to do with whether or not the verb denotes a physical effect upon the object, but only upon whether or not the object requires a preposition. In your fourth paragraph, both "mention" and "remember" are transitive verbs. An example of an intransitive verb (and perhaps how the Avi Ezer thinks that Ibn Ezra understands זכר) is "reminisce". The cupbearer cannot "reminisce Joseph", for example.
Dec
14
comment Abel was a shepherd, wasn't it a crime?
@user8558 - if Jewish sources are explicit about this then you should include some Jewish sources in your question. It's not an open verse, but a drash that enables people to conclude that animals were not slaughtered for food before Noah's being commanded in that regard. I wouldn't make the assumption that every person who reads this question is familiar with that interpretation.
Dec
14
comment Abel was a shepherd, wasn't it a crime?
This is a very nice question, but I think it requires a justification for its second half. How do you know that slaughtering animals wasn't allowed before the flood? That's not necessarily a universally-held opinion.
Dec
4
comment What are the three Terumots?
@Shokhet - Short answer is yes: Devarim 12:17 mentions תרומת ידך, which is explained in Sifrei Devarim as a reference to Bikkurim (see Rashi, who quotes the midrash). See also Makkot 17a ("ותרומת ידך אלו בכורים") and the commentaries on Terumot 3:7, Maaser Sheni 5:6 and Bikkurim 2:1 (amongst other places).
Dec
4
comment What are the three Terumots?
Note that bikkurim is also called reishit.
Nov
6
comment Are Jews commanded to love Muslims?
Very much related, and should maybe be a link within the last part of the question: judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/89/…
Nov
6
comment Understanding a Fine Point in the Rambam's Laws of Yibbum
What you have explained also reveals a nice parallelism between his commentary on the Mishna and his MT: in the former, when speculating on whether this principle is biblical or rabbinic, he describes the possibility of its being rabbinic by saying that it's "כמו שנייה וצרת שנייה"; in the latter, when describing it as being biblical, he says it's "כדין אשת אח שלא היה בעולמו". Thank you again.
Nov
6
comment Understanding a Fine Point in the Rambam's Laws of Yibbum
Brilliant - thank you! That makes so much sense, athough I wonder why he chose a biblical prohibition that has to be learnt out by a drosh (and one that appears almost at the very end of the Mishna's list of fifteen prohibited partnerships), rather than a more explicit prohibition, like the co-wife of one's daughter, etc.
Nov
5
comment Understanding a Fine Point in the Rambam's Laws of Yibbum
My apologies for so long-worded a question. The subject is so complicated, I don't know how to abridge it...
Jun
29
comment How do different scholars define “aggadah”?
Excellent answer - thank you so much!
Jun
10
comment Sources for the world being round in the Gemara
I haven't looked it up, but just from what you copied here of the tosafos I don't see it as difficult? "The world is spherical, as it says in the Yerushalmi: Alexander the Macedonian ascended on high until he saw the earth like a ball and the sea like a platter. The 'sea' refers to the ocean that encompasses the entire earth".
Jun
10
comment Sources for the world being round in the Gemara
This is a good answer (and +1), but it would be greatly improved if it featured a translation into English. Especially of the passage in the Yerushalmi, since that's the part that best answers the question that was asked.
Jun
9
comment Why are there no fish korbanot?
Note that it's only domesticated land animals that are brought as offerings (בהמות). Wild animals (חיות), like deer, are not. The birds that are brought are also domesticated species (doves), and wheat is a domesticated grain. It stands to reason that all fish could have been excused on these grounds too, there being no species that might have been considered anything but wild.
Jun
8
comment Jewish headstone abbreviation
@sam - FWIW, that's a shewa nach.
Jun
8
comment Why is Shekalim in the Bavli?
Nothing wrong with what you've said, but it doesn't answer my question. I know that every masekhta is included in Shas Bavli, but the only one of those masekhtas to feature the Yerushalmi is Shekalim. Why?? I don't accept the suggestion that you made (that it makes Seder Moed more "complete"), since as you pointed out yourself this only raises a question on why they weren't included for Seder Zeraim.
May
30
comment Lubavitcher Rebbe on the Shoah
Very interesting - thank you! Unless "1972" is a typo, perhaps it was republished eight years later? It's hard to imagine that Prof Bauer could have made so glaring a mistake in two separate articles and not have been corrected by any of his respondents.