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Mar
4
comment Why don't we celebrate Ben Drusai's Yahrtzeit?
I was going to say "we celebrate just enough to make it minimally edible."
Feb
26
comment Chronicles & Kings
@ClintEastwood and often we can learn more from people's failures and challenges (which Kings contains by the ton), rather than their perfect-hair days (Chronicles).
Feb
26
comment Chronicles & Kings
@ClintEastwood that's because Chronicles is from the Writings; haftorahs are only from the Prophets.
Feb
18
comment Hearing Megillat Esther in a mixed minyan
@DoubleAA thank you, done!
Feb
11
comment Is beer a davar charif?
I still don't hear it.
Feb
4
comment Is there a problem with women wearing red clothing?
... and Rabbi Moshe Feinstein made it clear that if the non-Jews wore red and the Jews clearly didn't, then an attempt to emulate them in such a flashy way would be problematic. He then wrote that the American clothing of the 1950s had no such "Jewish" vs "non-Jewish" distinction. Some clothing was inappropriate because it was simply inappropriate, but nothing "non-Jewish" per se.
Feb
4
comment Does the Torah ever mention jail as a punishment for a crime?
Rambam writes that if someone commits murder in a way that isn't technically liable to the death penalty (e.g. he calls a hit man), the courts are entitled -- and expected -- to imprison him.
Jan
31
comment Why do women and girls not immerse before prayer?
@Arach I haven't seen that Tosfos YomTov but that sounds quite weird. Tevilas Ezra was instituted out of concern that Torah scholars would spend so much time with their wives that they wouldn't be able to study enough. (That's R' Aharon Lichtenstein's explanation, shlita; he's rejecting the asceticism approach.) That very much sounds like it's just for men.
Jan
30
comment Gender Choice in Halacha
@NBZ my sense is if the halachic situation is causing the parents suffering, that's one thing. If the parents don't care whether the children are chalalim and think they can love and raise them just the same, I don't know if a posek would be matir fertility technology.
Jan
30
comment Gender Choice in Halacha
@NBZ it's been discussed. (Or the kohen with zero sperm count who needs donor sperm, and the children won't be kohanim -- he'd want only girls.) My impression from Rabbi Freundel was that there would be a wide variety of weighty concerns that could allow the use of such techniques. (He'd indicated even something as simple as a culture that demands boys and the couple will otherwise feel strongly pressured by everyone to keep trying, even after their twelfth girl.) His point was that a simple "I'd like to do Peru Urvu" isn't reason enough to allow it for well-adjusted parents.
Jan
29
comment Pekuach nefesh by causing mortal injury in a non-rodef
@ClintEastwood "in harm's way" doesn't matter. The point is he wasn't going to die, and now he is. "Someone who is going to die" is known in the Gemara as gavra katila -- "a dead man." We have no halachic category called "someone who was going to be hurt."
Jan
21
comment Was stoning practiced in 30-32 CE?
Similarly, as I heard on a recording from Rabbi Leiman, Jerome writes that he asked the Jews why they didn't accept the book of Susanna. They said it involved the Jews giving out capital punishment while under Persian rule, and it could in fact only be done under self-rule.
Jan
16
comment What is the status of a pull-apart challah for “lechem mishneh”?
Welcome shloma edelstein; I've heard that Netziv as well. I think the question was from the perspective of those who try to use conventionally-whole loaves.
Jan
16
comment Could a religious man be an anarchist?
Not to mention the conclusion to the book of Judges: "in those days there was no king in Israel; each man did what was right in his eyes." And Abraham's retort to the king of the Philistines, the way Sforno translates it: "as there was no fear of the authorities here, they would kill me [to obtain] my wife."
Jan
16
comment What is the Halacha if one shechted a sacrifice on Shabbos and found it to be a Treifa?
And yes, you keep slaughtering an animal until you find a good one. (This assumes you've made a reasonable attempt, given human senses, to choose a healthy animal.) Basically, we do what we're told as best we're can. The rest is up to God.
Jan
15
comment Why are wedding invitation abbreviated b'rachos different for males and females?
I suspect the blessing of "may she live" for a young woman had a lot to do with the incredibly-high rate of death during childbirth, back in the day.
Jan
15
comment Requirements for people reciting shevah brachot at an orthodox wedding?
@Dennis that's what I've seen as well. Thank you.
Jan
12
comment Should Jepthah have sacrificed his daughter?
@Yishai Malbim says that Chazal read it as literally killing her, and "letanot levat" as "to mourn her death."
Jan
10
comment How do I find answers to sensitive questions I can't ask my rabbi?
yoatzot.org/ask.php
Jan
10
comment Should Jepthah have sacrificed his daughter?
@Yishai all depends how you read "letanot le-vat Yiftach." "To talk with Yiftach's daughter", or "to cry about Yiftach's daughter."