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Apr
15
comment Why do I care what time Bnei Melachim (sons of kings) rise in the morning?
I don't think so, no. But I do think it's interesting (and see Tosafot Yom-Tov on Berakhot 1:2 as to how the Ri understands it).
Apr
14
comment Why do I care what time Bnei Melachim (sons of kings) rise in the morning?
רבי שמעון אומר: כל ישראל בני מלכים הם (Mishna, Shabbat 14:4)
Apr
11
comment When is the next shmita year (as of 5772)?
It's correct that there is no year 0 in the Gregorian calendar, but that doesn't mean that 1 BCE to 1 CE is only one year - it means that 1 BCE is 1 CE.
Apr
10
comment Will the mesiah build the 3rd temple?
There's no point being sarcastic, @BabySeal - I don't think they need to be comprehensive theses either. There is, however, a huge difference between a "comprehensive thesis" and a single line, conveying what a single individual once said. This answer could be vastly improved without even coming close to being a "thesis".
Apr
10
comment Will the mesiah build the 3rd temple?
Actually, @BabySeal, this answer doesn't answer the question in the title either. The OP asked whether or not the messiah will build the 3rd temple, not whether or not Rashi thought that he would do so. Is Rashi's opinion the only one? Does nobody disagree with him about this? Was he mentioning something that everybody already believed? If so, why did he bother to say it? This answer gives one person's opinion on the topic only, and therefore isn't actually an answer.
Apr
8
comment Will the mesiah build the 3rd temple?
Not sure why you say that Ezekiel lived during the 2nd temple period, since the latest date given in the text (Ezekiel 29:17) is the 27th year of Yehoiachin's exile, c.571 BCE. That's over half a century before the second temple was even built.
Apr
3
comment The difference between Chazal and Razal
@Yishai - For all I know, though, his "מקום אחר" is personal correspondence. Do you know of any printed texts that use Chazal to refer to acharonim?
Mar
29
comment What is the difference between a kofer and apicorsis
@Fred - That may be true, but there's nothing in the Talmud to explicitly denote that. The earliest attestation for that understanding of Am haAretz is in the geonic literature, the authors of which sought to explain passages like Pesachim 49.
Mar
25
comment Why are Jews so meticulous about not saying/writing “god”?
You're overlooking the most obvious difference between the two terms. "God", when it has an initial capital, is functioning as a proper name and is thus given a one-to-one correspondence with the actual name of God; "lord" (without an initial capital) is merely a noun functioning in reference to that name. If you were to use "god" or "godhead" without the capital, that would not be problematic, while "Lord" (with a capital) would be.
Mar
25
comment Why did Rashi create a new letter system for his commentaries?
This answer is almost entirely incorrect. The printers didn't need a new script at all; "Rashi script" was the script first employed in a printed Hebrew text, and was so named because the book in which it was employed was Rashi's commentary on the Torah. That text didn't contain the Torah, only Rashi's commentary - the notion that it was "invented" in order to differentiate the two is a longstanding myth.
Mar
14
comment How can one achieve k'fitzat hadereh (miraculous speedy travel)?
Not sure why this was downvoted; it's a cool question. I have no idea what R' Hai Gaon was referring to.
Mar
10
comment Aleph with a Dagesh
I misread what Yeivin wrote - my apologies! He cites three examples (Isa 51:19, Jer 38:12 and Hag 1:1), and while he notes that it is common throughout the manuscript tradition (as do Joüon and Muraoka), he does not say that it occurs with every aleph in Cairo Codex, as I thought he did. (You might note as well, by the way, that Cairo Codex frequently puts a rafe over the aleph in ישראל).
Feb
19
comment Using money on Shabbat
With respect, the Rambam defines a table that has money on it as a כלי שהוקצה מחמת האיסור, but doesn't define (in this quote) the nature of the איסור on whose account the table is muqtzeh. Why is the money forbidden, is what I'd like to know, not how it makes things that it's resting on forbidden as well.
Feb
19
comment Using money on Shabbat
I don't see that this answers my question. Firstly, the passage in the gemara is speaking of a bed set aside to be sold, while the Rambam speaks of a table that has money on it; secondly, the passage in the gemara could be referring to a bed that you cannot use on Shabbat (since one doesn't lie on a bed that one intends to sell), and which might therefore be muqtzeh for reasons wholly unrelated to finance; and thirdly, the Rambam's aversion to moving an object that has money on it testifies to this prohibition, but is clearly not its source.
Feb
4
comment Are there any holes in the Kuzari argument for the transmission of Torah from Sinai?
Try this: talkreason.org/articles/kuzari.cfm
Dec
25
comment Nittle Nacht Meaning
The problem with Rabbi Leiman's suggestion (not having heard the lecture, myself) is that if it were merely a question of safety then a far better date for abstaining from these things would be Easter. The anniversary of Jesus's crucifixion was always a considerably more dangerous time to be a Jew in Europe than the celebration of his birth. Nativity plays were somewhat less incendiary than passion plays, for obvious reasons.
Dec
16
comment How could two prostitutes come to Solomon if prostitution was prohibited by the Torah?
This question would be improved if you provided a source in the Torah for prostitution being illegal in the first place.
Dec
16
comment Why did Samson's parents not see the incident with the lion?
Thankyou, Moshe! If you're interested in adding it to your answer, I had a bit of a look around and Qol Eliyahu (your source) was first published at the end of 1904. Although it's the most frequently quoted source for some of the Gra's hiddushim, the earliest one for this hiddush appears to be Likkutei Shoshanim, first published in 1837. It's in the end of that book, in a section titled "לקוטים מרבינו הגאון החסיד ז"ל". I don't know if it's available online, so it might not be as good as the link you provided.
Dec
15
comment May a Kohen become a doctor?
Why did this get voted down??
Dec
14
comment Source for the Mitzvah Tanz
What makes you think that there's a source? The most you can hope for with something like this is a text that mentions the custom. But customs precede texts, not the other way around.