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Feb
5
comment What's a good joke to start a dvar torah off with?
no, sorry...a business associate told it to me... if any more come up i'll put 'em up here..
Feb
5
comment What's a good joke to start a dvar torah off with?
....so Moses was on the top of the mountain, about to receive the luchos, and HaShem asks "how many do you want?" Moses asks "well, how much do they cost?" HaShem says "Free". Moses says "oh good, in that case I'll take two!"
Feb
3
comment Cleaning blood from the temple
There must have been an awful lot of channels, and pretty wide ones. At the dedication of the Temple, Solomon had 22,000 oxen and 120,000 sheep sacrificed - that's a LOT of blood to drain!
Feb
1
comment What is the meaning of the saying “two Jews, three opinions?”
I never heard that expression relating to all Jews, just "Israelis". When I landed in Israel on Election Day a number of years ago, I heard it used a few times during political discussions on the plane, but a LOT more after landing. It seemed to be an expression of pride and general good-will.
Jan
24
comment Jewish considerations regarding moving to Mars
...well, it's not Egypt...
Jan
23
comment Shemot (Exodus) 17:4 - Why does Moses think that the people will stone him?
Good queston, DanF! Didn't he just announce HaShem's splitting the sea for them and all the other stuff at plaguetime? ...then they just wake up and decide it was all coincidence and get ready to stone him?
Jan
11
comment Why is Jeremiah 10:11 written in Aramaic?
sorry! didn't notice that...it DID look like a question that would be there also....there should be some Talmud scholars, etc here that know this one...
Jan
11
comment Why is Jeremiah 10:11 written in Aramaic?
This question is asked and answered in the bible hermeneutics beta forum - hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/4940/… You may or may not like the 2 answers there - one says it may or may not be a later gloss using Aramaic wordplay and the other quotes the Zohar. Someone here might have something better as an answer, who knows-mi yodeya?
Jan
7
comment Is it there an halachic opinion about whether or not it's ok for a person to take psychedelic mushrooms?
@Daniel - true true true, the question asks about recreational and medicinal use. But (at least in my limited experience)I have not seen much in the way of pure "recreational" use of mushrooms(Hey man, lets eat 'em and get messed up for the party!"/etc). Usually, there's a spiritual aspect of the usage--and that is what some cultures use them for in a formal/ritual sense-and that is a "way of the nations"/"you shall not do as they do" sort of worship thing, IMHO. So in regards to the question, THAT might be a sure halachik basis for forbidding them, whether they physically do damage or not.
Jan
7
comment Is it there an halachic opinion about whether or not it's ok for a person to take psychedelic mushrooms?
@JMFB - Never mind the Castaneda/Don Juan fraud, some Native Americans really have peyote and psilocybes as religious sacrament. Teonancatl is sacred--and there were definitely a lot of visitors to the "Jews for Jerry" tent. But it is definitely foreign to Jewish worship. We don't bow and eat the cracker as part of our davening process, same goes for eating mushrooms.
Jan
7
comment Is it forbidden for a person to take cocaine?
@JMFB - even assuming cocaine is cut a full 100 percent, that means that somewhat less than an 8-ball(3.5 gms-between $120 and $200) is still enough to kill someone...as far as snorting a gram and a half, I've seen some heavy duty partiers that(with a partner) would go through a quarter-ounce in three hours. With water/saline washes, you could easily insufflate the 1.5 or even 3 grams in an hour. Luckily, even though the boys were up all night, they didn't manage to poison themselves. Like anything, moderation is the key - even when playing with fire. But it still doesn't make it kosher.
Jan
7
comment Is it forbidden for a person to take cocaine?
Cocaine has had legitimate medical uses pretty much since its discovery, so if your doctor/surgeon is using it on you, it's no doubt permissible. Recreationally, it's just plain DANGEROUS--the LD50 for humans with no tolerance is around a gram and a half of pure cocaine. Pretty easy to kill yourself with or put yourself in the Emergency Room. Never mind the crap they cut it with - the substance itself is extremely toxic and psychologically addictive. The coca leaves and tea the South Americans use is a LOT safer than the isolated alkaloid-maybe a question of its use would be less obvious.
Jan
7
comment Is it there an halachic opinion about whether or not it's ok for a person to take psychedelic mushrooms?
One(of many, no doubt) reason that entheogenic fungi might be non-permissible is that they have religious sacramental use for some groups of people, and that eating them might be the equivalent of eating the Eucharist--definitely "a custom of the Gentiles".
Jan
5
comment Why did God need to command the Jews not to kill?
In the world that the Torah was given, and long, long afterward, it was perfectly normal in some civilizations(Greek and later Roman come to mind quickest) to murder in the form of leaving female, weak, and unwanted children out in the woods or wilderness to die. Murder was definitely not "logical and self-evident"-ly wrong to them.
Jan
3
comment Answering Amen to kaddish for a dog
I wonder if he intends to say Kaddish for 11 months...or longer/shorter if he was a REALLY good dog? It seems to prompt a question "How long should I say Kaddish for my dog?" but I have a feeling it would be downvoted ruthlessly...
Jan
3
comment why isn't moshe considered a “forefather”
Just a guess here, but weren't the people of Moses' generation already referring to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as forefathers already, especially in their formulaic references to "G-d of my fathers" or "G-d of Abraham/Isaac/Jacob/Israel"? Another thing that comes to mind is the tribe of Dan's "son of Moses/Menassah"(the "suspended Nun" indicator) priestly line, which might possibly make Moses the forefather of an illegitimate priesthood that the Tanach writers didn't want to keep reminding the people of....
Dec
31
comment Is it improper to invite a few single girls and a few single boys for a Shabbos meal to help fight the “shidduch crisis”
People meet on the computer, people meet at bus stops and on the subway, why NOT have people who have much more in common than the average person on the street meet in your house in an atmosphere of love for your fellow and next potential generation of Jews? It's 2015/2016, we're trying to survive as a people here....! (sorry if I offended some "old fashioned/etc" folks)
Nov
29
comment Prophesy in the book of Ezekiel
Hi Shona - I'm far from an expert, but, like Ezekiel's description of the detailed measurements of the Temple, the description of the division of the Land of Israel is prophesy for the time of the "End of Days/Messianic Era", not of the Second Temple era. Other folks here can supply the proof texts, I'm sure.
Nov
22
comment How did a marriage officially commence among Hebrew people 2000 years ago?
@msh210 - okay, sorry! It didn't seem to have much of a "pre" part to it for us--we looked it over and signed it with the witnesses just before the ceremony--I thought it was the "official wedding contract". When the wife growls or jokes n points to it on the wall it doesn't seem to be much a "pre" thing either....more like a binding contract, with me being the bound one...
Nov
22
comment How did a marriage officially commence among Hebrew people 2000 years ago?
I don't know about "official" registration with the "authorities", but the ketuba/marriage contract was a crucial part of the process. Several marriage contracts from the late 1st century/early 2nd century were found in the Dead Sea area...the contract wording is VERY similar to today's, amazingly enough. I don't have any handy links for you, but googling "Babatha archive" should get you to a translation/facsimile of one set of them.