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Sep
21
comment What is the source for the role of the Levi in the Torah service?
When we say "keep things peaceful": in theory we should give the first aliyah to the greatest person in the room and descend from there, but BOY would that make fights! Instead, the sages said to give out the first two by ancestry.
Sep
21
comment Why do the Samaritans perform the Passover sacrifice while Jews do not?
@TimBiegeleisen and again, our tradition has it that at Sinai we were given a law that says "from here on out, all sacrifices must follow the following format", and one of those rules is that they must all be in "the chosen place", once the chosen place is determined (which is Jerusalem). It's irrelevant whether something was given earlier, as Sinai supersedes all previous laws.
Sep
11
comment If a shidduch says “no” to you, does that mean that they are not your zivug?
Many say that "bashert" means "most likely, assuming a standard course of events." Regardless -- if someone says no to you, I think what God wants of you now is to move on.
Sep
11
comment If a shidduch says “no” to you, does that mean that they are not your zivug?
possible duplicate of 40 Days Before Conception
Sep
11
comment Origins of the Yerushalmi Kaftan
I'm told it has origins in Ottoman garb. (Makes sense, given they were in charge of that land for a very long time.) Contrast with the traditional Hassidic look, which has Eastern European roots.
Sep
10
comment Is the number triple-6 good, bad, or neutral in Judaism?
I Kings 10:14 states that King Solomon used 666 talents of gold to build the First Temple. (A biblical "talent" is an ~80 lb block.) Seems to be a neutral coincidence. Gold has been used for a lot of good things, as well as a lot of bad things.
Sep
9
comment Looking for RH Kiddush audio file
Agree with DanF. It's the Hagim melody. (Also used for Akdamut.)
Sep
9
comment Source for Groom's Immersion in Ritualarium (mikveh)
Recanati is around the year 1300 (though kabbalistic). It appears not to have been popularized until much later.
Sep
9
comment Source for Groom's Immersion in Ritualarium (mikveh)
@mevaqesh Chupas Chasanim is a work on taharas hamishpacha popular in some Sephardi and Chassidish circles. Written around 1800 by Chacham Raphael Meldola of London's Spanish-Portuguese congregation, a musmach of the Chida.
Sep
9
comment Is the consequence for rape a small sum?
And for rape, it's damages, plus 50 shekels, plus he must marry her if she agrees. "You decide, marry her or pay 50 shekels" is for seduction.
Sep
8
comment Gratitude for relief from pain
@mevaqesh we assume the bracha as formulated is derabanan; at the simplest level, k'ein deorasya, on foodstuffs. I've modified language accordingly. However the Gemara also applies a svara from birkat hamazon -- if we thank when full, we must obviously thank while hungry. R' Yaakov Weinberg zt'l observed that a Gmara's svara is of deoraysa strength (e.g. mai chazis), so he suggested that some expression of gratitude beforehand is a deoraysa; the particular format is derabanan. Not unlike zachor es yom hashabbos vis-a-vis kiddush.
Sep
7
comment Medically treating a 'rodef' (/terrorist)
@Loewian Rashi refers to the intruder as a gavra ktila, which is used in other contexts to refer to someone less-than-living. (E.g. gavra k'tila katal.)
Sep
7
comment Medically treating a 'rodef' (/terrorist)
@Daniel read it again. He says you don't break Shabbat for the guy who came in with the gun. As soon as he entered the house with a gun he was a dead man walking, so when the anvil fell on him that status remained. It's not about "is he a threat while lying here bleeding out?", it's about "was he a threat one second before the anvil came down on him?" The only burglar for whom you break Shabbat is someone with a big sign on their head that says IF YOU TRY TO STOP ME I WILL SURRENDER RATHER THAN HURT YOU.
Sep
7
comment Medically treating a 'rodef' (/terrorist)
@Daniel Rashi was only talking about the Shabbat case, we have to extrapolate to weekdays. He says "don't break Shabbat to save his life, as he's non-living." Does that mean on Tuesday there's still no obligation as he's non-living; or that on Tuesday, there's no Shabbat blocking your obligation to save the non-living?
Sep
7
comment Shaking hands with the opposite gender?
I believe the translation is simply "shake hands", not "slap." (The root appears as in "to pitch a tent." We talk about kinyan T'kiat kaf, a deal executed by handshake.) Sefer Hassidim reflects the viewpoint of what is pious, not necessarily what is required by the letter of the law. (And let's not get started on whether a cross-gender handshake had the exact same context in Germany a thousand years ago as it does in today's corporate America.)
Sep
6
comment Eating Meat: What Changed?
Allowing meat so mankind could recover in a post-Flood world: Sforno's introduction to Genesis, paragraph "VeSiper Shlishit." hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=9597&pgnum=8 Perpetual spring pre-Flood: Commentary to 8:22. hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=9597&pgnum=133 . I'm not aware if he addresses why it was previously prohibited.
Sep
3
comment Asking a Human to Interecede with God
If I recall correctly he points out that living humans have free will, that's one of the distinctions.
Sep
2
comment Is one obligated to honor his word in a business agreement with a non-jew?
@mevaqesh Basically, Rav Moshe says it. The piety of Rav Safra is to honor thought commitments, and we extrapolate that any good God-fearing Jew should honor spoken commitments.
Aug
28
comment Why isn't restitution for a goat mentioned in Shemot 21:37?
When different languages don't have a perfect word-for-word fit, the translator is challenged how to best work it. It's not an evil translation; the Artscroll folks felt that "four from the flock for each sheep-or-goat" sounds clunky. There's always a trade-off, and some legal terminology is going to be lost in translation.
Aug
27
comment Can a person break an oath to G-d to save a life?
@DoubleAA yes it's discussed; but as "accessories to the sort of sin that could warrant the death penalty."