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Aug
25
comment Tachanun on Yahrtzeit
The general custom is to omit Tachanun in an avel's house; if the avel goes to shul instead, it wouldn't surprise me to apply the same concept. But that's very different (I think?) from a yahrtzeit of a tzadik several hundred years ago.
Aug
24
comment Shnayim Ushmonim - mi yodeya?
Any guess what about its construction that would need 80-something people?
Aug
24
comment Echad Ushmonim - mi yodeya?
Woops, in hachi nami.
Aug
24
comment Echad Ushmonim - mi yodeya?
Great minds think alike: mi.yodeya.com/questions/1608/arbaim-mi-yodeya/1612#1612
Aug
23
comment Echad Ushmonim - mi yodeya?
The fun thing about this Day 81: Meseches Kinim. ("Combinatorics for rabbis.")
Aug
23
comment Echad Ushmonim - mi yodeya?
As we've asked before, can you prove more 81-ness, or is it just an 80 spin-off? (Not that I have super-better-answers.)
Aug
23
comment Which communities accept sheitels (wigs) as adequate hair coverings for married women?
It's not just "all chassidim say no", is it?
Aug
23
comment How can I avoid Bishul Akum with a rice-cooker?
If I'm reading that correctly: for Sephardim, put it in and turn it on; for Ashkenazim, turn it on. Hm; my rice cooker, when you plug it in it immediately starts "warming" the rice; then have to push the button to "cook" it. Would that be analogous to the non-Jew turning up the flame that a Jew lit, for Ashkenazim?
Aug
23
comment How can I avoid Bishul Akum with a rice-cooker?
Unless it's post-cooking, but that probably wouldn't be enough halachically.
Aug
23
comment How can I avoid Bishul Akum with a rice-cooker?
The problem with 7 is with most fancy rice cookers, you're supposed to leave it in there untouched until it's done cooking. So #7 was, culinary-wise, eitza sh'ayna hogenes, sorry.
Aug
23
comment How can I avoid Bishul Akum with a rice-cooker?
Re: parboiled -- see star-k article; parboiling isn't a problem. I'm talking about cooking my own rice at home.
Aug
23
comment If you're really thirsty (e.g. breaking a fast), do you make a bracha first on the water or solids?
There's a Chayei Adam that says if you're really thirsty, you can make shehakol and drink a cup of water a few minutes before making hamotzee; the initial water is considered part of the meal because you'll have a better appetite if you're not parched. I wonder if that plays in here? I vaguely recall a Frand tape that for dieters who insist on water before a meal, that kedima is good enough?
Aug
22
comment Sherlock Holmes & the Maharal of Prague
c.) It's possible Chazal's category of banned books was closed and can't subsequently be expanded; i.e. it may be worse than what Chazal assered, but we're not chazal so all we can do is excoriate. Regardless: you read Maharal's statement as unambiguously banning, therefore any proof based on a later talmid or other rabbi reading Meor Einayim is irrelevant, the Maharal said assur. I'd read Maharal's statement as ambiguous (whether there's a bona-fide literal actual ban), hence the fact of Achronim citing Meor Einayim should shed light on that question. Again, we're at a stalemate.
Aug
22
comment Sherlock Holmes & the Maharal of Prague
Reb Yahu; the gaol of m.y is questions that can be answered, not merely discussed or debated ad infinitum. You won't find this convincing, I realize; nonetheless: a.) have to understand exactly what chazal banned and how (e.g. plenty of anti-missionary rabbis have read the New Testament) b.) have to understand rabbinic writing, how literally did Maharal mean "deserve to be burned and worse than chazal" [really, actually, literally? Better to read Galatians than Meor Einayim?].
Aug
20
comment Sherlock Holmes & the Maharal of Prague
I'll admit that this answer was somewhat controversial and "chappy." (And intended as such.) Notice how much more interest it's gotten than the astronomy answer. I don't think debating this further will help; I hereby vote to delete it.
Aug
20
comment Sherlock Holmes & the Maharal of Prague
He said "I consider this work [or portions thereof] worthy of burning"; IMHO, it's unclear whether that means "I therefore proclaim it assur for anyone to read it", or "I disagree very strongly with it and believe most people would not be well-served reading it." The fact that his students then quote it would indicate the latter; again I consider Maharal's words ambiguous.
Aug
20
comment Me'or Einayim-The Maharal
Chalutzhanal, it makes for a simple illustrative example of outdated science, as I've heard it. I don't know the specific Gemaras one way or the other on that one. Probably in Rosh HaShanah.
Aug
20
comment Sherlock Holmes & the Maharal of Prague
He very strongly attacks Meor Einayim's approach, no doubt about it! But did he actually ever declare a ban?
Aug
20
comment Sherlock Holmes & the Maharal of Prague
Exactly. And any claim that Maharal banned Meor Einayim is likewise fiction.
Aug
19
comment How certain do I need to be that my Yom Kippur shoes are leather-free?
Certainly the logic of "trust in economics and regulation" would apply here; R' Moshe's heter for milk goes beyond that, that "knowing" counts as "seeing" with regards to the enactment on milk. For general kashrus, "knowing" is enough. So if we can apply a kal vachomer from food kashrus (and I'm correct on the metzius), should be fine.