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Dec
8
answered Explaining non-Jewish holidays to children?
Dec
8
answered Electric Menorah
Dec
8
comment “m'nora” on Chanuka
Some Sephardic Jews (Persians, I think) refer to the candelabrum itself as a "chanukah", as in "go light your chanukah." Similarly they refer to a mezuza scroll as a "shadai", "do you have a shadai on the wall yet?". I think you'd call these usages synecdoche?
Dec
8
answered Stripes on a Talis
Dec
8
answered The name of Adam, and his descendants
Dec
7
answered Fish Tank Menorahs
Dec
7
answered On the horn of an ox
Dec
6
comment Is Dreidel gezeilah?
@Chanoch, Beit Yosef rules like Rambam that many forms of gambling are prohibited because they're a form of theft (though not enough so to invalidate a witness). Beyond that, some poskim hold that Hazal went further and prohibited all forms of gambling as a safeguard; others say no. I don't know what Beit Yosef's opinion is on the second question, it's very possible he's lenient. Your question was about the first one and is certainly valid on its own, sorry for my interfering.
Dec
6
answered Zmanim accuracy before digital clocks?
Dec
6
comment How do scientists such as Natan Aviezer and Gerald Schroeder understand the fourth day of creation?
Fascinating. "Let there be illuminators fixed in the sky such that they separate between day and night, demarcating set times, days, and years." Didn't happen until they were fixed as they currently are.
Dec
6
accepted How do scientists such as Natan Aviezer and Gerald Schroeder understand the fourth day of creation?
Dec
6
comment Is Dreidel gezeilah?
@Yahu, thanks. Yes, I was figuring I mentioned it a few words after the Chasam Sofer (who died more than a hundred years ago), but yeah it was a stretch. Shlit'a would have been better.
Dec
6
accepted Is there any problem with using yomtov candles to cook food (on yomtov)?
Dec
6
asked Would the rabbis who prohibit all gambling and lotteries prohibit a no-lose lottery?
Dec
6
comment Is Dreidel gezeilah?
There are actually two questions: is it considered theft (based on how you read the various gemaras of asmachta); and is gambling altogether prohibited as a blanket prohibition, even if you somehow got out of the asmachta problem, based on the mishna in shabbos about lotteries. The latter is R' Ovadya Yosef [shlita]'s opinion.
Dec
6
comment Is Dreidel gezeilah?
Tosfos' opinion is that the problem is conditional obligations at a later, point in time. What can be done instead is if all the players put the money in a pot and each takes acquisition of the pot, as of now, should they win.
Dec
6
answered Bonim Talmidei Chachamim
Dec
6
answered Is Dreidel gezeilah?
Dec
3
comment Babylonian Jewry and Chanukah
The other chilling possibility is if the Diaspora communities at the time decided they would "sit out" the conflict between Hellenist and Hasmonean; even after Antiochus moved in, once they'd decided not to take sides, they wouldn't take sides. I certainly hope this wasn't the case, but it's a scary thought.
Dec
3
comment Babylonian Jewry and Chanukah
See Pesachim 3b; Rabbi Yehuda ben Beseira is unable to make it from Netzivin (now Nusaybin, Turkey) to Jerusalem. I think some of the commentaries there suggested geopolitical barriers.