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1d
comment What can I do if I don't have a Chanuka menorah?
...sounds like a lot of labor ....buying an 8 pack of nippers and doing it the YeZ way sounds less painful, or at least safer than juggling a burning roll of paper....
1d
comment Is there a problem with saying “for Pete's sake”?
...well, curiosity got the better of me, since I was also wondering about the phrase's origin..Google said it was a "substitution phrase" so folks wouldn't use the name of our fellow Jew whose birthday is today-or Jan 7th..and a movie..and a line of jewelry....and a deli, etc..."for goodness' sake" seemed to be the next phase of its evolution..just an exclamatory phrase that's been through several phases in its long life....
Dec
21
comment infallible reasoning for believing in a god that created and runs the world
..."or is there always an element of faith that is involved in the service of god in the ..... religion." Well put! You can substitute pretty much ANY religion for "Jewish" in that sentence...
Dec
19
comment Rabi Yochanan Ben Zakai, or Josephus?
I personally think that Josephus was the original version of the story-- after all, however exaggerated his works are, the Flavians - Vespasian/Titus/Domitian - were all his patrons- he even took their name and became Flavius Josephus! I don't think he could lie about THAT and have his works survive their time - his books and he would have been eliminated.
Dec
12
comment Writing the name chaya
...as Noach starts to point out, most Biblical Jewish names have a component that is one of the Names of G-d... just as the names of members of the other regional countries(Moab/Assyria/Babylon/etc) had names of their gods as components.
Dec
12
comment sofek yayin stam in a keli
@user6591 hahaha good one - love the last line of your comment! ..great way of underlining your point...
Nov
25
comment Kedusha during relations
I am far far far from a Kabbalah student, so I'm quite unsure of exact source locations, but I believe that concept is in the Zohar somewhere, where having relations on earth was supposed to symbolize/imitate the "oneness" of God by the joining of His "male" and "female" aspects, with each partner concentrating on the respective attributes during..I remember reading a translation of part of it that had the sensitive parts in Latin...I'm sure there are Kabbalah students here that can source and explain it better than me...
Nov
24
comment Would an abortion invalidate the first living son as a Bechor?
Quick answer - yes, he's not a Bechor. Source - a friend's uncle who fits the question's exact situation.
Nov
21
comment Is Bas Kol the heavenly voice always correct and how to identify Bas Kol from evil whispering?
@Bruce James - Right! ...but c'mon, even with Free Will and Torah, when the Creator of Free Will and Originator of Torah decides to interject his 2 cents, especially when(another paraphrase) "there was no open vision, the Word of HaShem was precious"...and they rejected it!!! They listened to Haggai and Zechariah when the First Temple was in ruins, with good results, then, when the Second Temple was in ruins, ignore His communications - the same "still, small voice" that Eliyahu ABSOLUTELY listened to--when they felt like it...no wonder Galut is soooo prolonged...
Nov
21
revised What did women have to do with the moon's shrinking?
moon and SUN were originally the same size in the story
Nov
21
suggested approved edit on What did women have to do with the moon's shrinking?
Nov
21
comment Sous-vide cooking for Shabbat
@Daniel - it's trendier.
Nov
20
comment What would have happened if Esav hadn't sold the bechora?
I've wondered this one also....if he was the prime heir, but the history still followed Yaacov...maybe nothing? maybe we'd have more history of the Edomites? I sometimes think this story was the "early historical" explanation of the Kingdom of Israel's later primacy over the Kingdom of Edom.
Nov
20
comment Is Bas Kol the heavenly voice always correct and how to identify Bas Kol from evil whispering?
Right...the Voice of HaShem spoke plainly to a bunch of Rabbis to clarify a point/solve an oral Tradition dispute and they rebuked Him! Amazing!! This, the same God who showed Job what's what and who's Who when he tried to bring a lawsuit against Him.."Har, Har, My children have defeated Me?!?!" Doesn't ring anywhere near true, sorry to say...seems more like, to paraphrase Judges a bit "In those days, every majority of Rabbis did what seemed right in their own eyes". Wow. That attitude makes our entire history make a LOT more sense, not letting us have the Land back for 1900 years, etc...
Nov
20
comment Why do Beit Shammai and Beit Hillel always argue?
316 points being disputed?!? Couldn't they find something better to do with their time, like, say, banding together and preventing the Zealots and other elements from revolting against the Romans?
Nov
20
comment Is Bas Kol the heavenly voice always correct and how to identify Bas Kol from evil whispering?
Actually, that Bava Metzia story really bothers me, the more I think about it...the egos on those guys! There seems to be a lot written on the issue of discontinued prophecy and revelations...Maybe HaShem withdrew and stopped the Voice because they were just ignoring Him when He was trying to clear up our fallible human confusion and give us a bit of guidance. Sad.
Nov
20
comment Is Bas Kol the heavenly voice always correct and how to identify Bas Kol from evil whispering?
Okay - now I'm getting confused -- the recent question on Beit Hillel and Beit Shammai :judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/48478/… had an answer that the issue was solved when the Bath Kol said Beit Hillel's views were correct. But in the case in this answer, it was overridden... I don't know, but if I was in ancient Israel arguing an issue with my fellow rabbis and the Voice Of God deigned to answer, I'd listen.
Nov
18
comment Why create lust?
somewhat related? not much on the "why" though- judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/16734/…
Nov
18
comment Napoléon's Sanhedrin
In my extremely handy book "Critical Documents of Jewish History" by R. Isaacs/K.Olitzky, it has the questions and responses, but only one sentence in their intro saying "Two years later the Sanhedrin was convened to enact these decisions." Obviously, it must've been applicable to the Jews in Napoleon's domain that were now French Citizens...but for how long? Until his death? Until sometime in 1808, when he rescinded some of the Jews' rights anyhow? Until later French law changed the situation? Good question.
Nov
18
comment Is there another meaning behind the words “Urim Vetumim”?
@Shokhet - as I was reading through it I realized that it indeed contained the answer...but it was closed as I was summarizing it, oh well... If anyone else is curious - in a nutshell, it was a term they decided to appropriate and use for the Founder of Christianity.