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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."
Jan
10
comment Should Jepthah have sacrificed his daughter?
@Yishai Malbim IIRC.
Jan
7
comment Do you know a Rav who did not remarry after the death of his wife?
@Ari after the Holocaust everyone knew they needed to rebuild. (Not to mention people were relatively young.) I think most rabbis who survived did remarry. The not-remarry trend tends to be older rabbis who lost their wives to natural causes, often after some extended illness.
Jan
6
comment What's an elegant way to avoid social contact with untzinius or attractive women?
Honestly my first reaction is "tough luck, the world doesn't revolve around your thoughts." Rav Moshe Feinstein allows a man to take the subway to work every day, even if it means occasionally unintentonally (and I mean really unintentionally) bumping into a woman. "What if it causes thoughts?" "Just move on." "What if it causes an anatomic reaction?" "Shame on you, if you're busy with work, kids, mortgage, minyan, it shouldn't; but if so, you need to find another means of transportation."
Jan
6
comment Is there any record of spousal abuse in the written or oral tradition?
@Avi I'd seen an article citing Rav Kapach's writings; his point specifically is that kofin means "we compel", and not kofeh that he compels -- he is not allowed to hit her.
Jan
6
comment Is there any record of spousal abuse in the written or oral tradition?
@Avi ask Rav Kapach, his point not mine. The language is kofin, not kofeh. Presumably she is called into court, told that if she insists on staying in this marriage and being supported, she needs to do something, whipped by a professional if the courts feel that's necessary to get the message across, and then sent home. If she pulls this shtick too much he could simply divorce her. And recall that Rambam writes as soon as she says "I can't stand to be in the bedroom with my husband", she can demand a divorce too.
Jan
6
comment Do you know a Rav who did not remarry after the death of his wife?
There's no perfect rule, but it seems the rabbis who didn't remarry tend to be the ones who got married relatively young (before they had "made it" as a gadol) to someone they viewed as a peer (e.g. not afraid to talk back to him -- if you called the Soloveichiks and asked to speak to "Dr. Soloveichik", rebbetzin Tanya would ask "which one?"), and lost them fairly late in life.
Jan
6
comment Do you know a Rav who did not remarry after the death of his wife?
@Yarden thank you, yes Rav Ovadiah spent his later years without Rabbanit Margalit by his side.
Jan
6
comment Is there any record of spousal abuse in the written or oral tradition?
@Avi Rambam says that if a woman says "I insist on sitting around the house, remaining married to my husband, getting fed by him, but doing no chores whatsoever", that they -- i.e. the courts -- could compel her to do so, even with a strap if necessary. Not that the husband could take that into his own hands, G-d forbid! (Rav Kapach, zt'l, makes this point.)
Jan
6
comment Is there any record of spousal abuse in the written or oral tradition?
@Avi -- says who?!!!! Ptooey!! Rambam says if you slap someone in the face, even if there's no long-term damage (i.e. you can go back to work the next day just fine), you still pay for pain and embarrassment. Why is this different?