832 reputation
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bio website lxr.linux.no
location Jerusalem, Israel
age 36
visits member for 1 year, 8 months
seen Aug 25 at 19:45

I'm a self taught programmer whose taken a break to go back to school and study Software Engineering.

וישמע משה ויפל על-פניו -- And when Moses heard it, he fell upon his face.

The truth of a fact can only be proved by a fact, not by reasons or reasoning. Reasons and reasoning can establish its probability or its necessity but can never prove its actuality. The veracity of a messenger can only be proved by his sender, the sending of Moses only by God himself. That is why no word of an answer from Moses himself could refute the accusation of Korach. If God would not consider it right to confirm the veracity of his being commissioned by God, in face of this denial of it, then his mission was at its end -- ויפל על פניו.

Rav Samson Raphael Hirsch, Parshat Korach

I wish I had God's PGP Key.


Aug
24
comment If masturbation is so bad, why is it not in list of 613 Mitzvos?
... that to impose a really serious punishment could have the opposite of the desired effect. I've read many cases where people have left observance because of this issue after being imbued with the harsher kabalistic take on this. Wouldn't it be better to leave the hyperbole on the side and simply explain practically why the act is bad for their spiritual development and then council them on how to overcome it?
Aug
24
comment If masturbation is so bad, why is it not in list of 613 Mitzvos?
@Yishai Regarding the Nidduy, it doesn't seem reasonably that it could be automatic - even if it's obligatory, i.e. not at the discretion of the B"D, unless the person gets up and goes to the B"D and says, "hey guys, guess what I've been doing" I don't see how this punishment will ever be carried out practically. Regarding the hyperbole I might say it's in direct proportion to the desire to commit the act, and the lack of any serious, practical punishment, I might say it's from a desire not to put a stumbling block in front of people. The desire is so strong, and the act so common...
Aug
22
comment If masturbation is so bad, why is it not in list of 613 Mitzvos?
@Yishai Thanks for the Radbaz, I'll take a look when I get the chance - is that your source for Mitah B'Ydai Shamaim?
Aug
22
comment If masturbation is so bad, why is it not in list of 613 Mitzvos?
@Yishai he.wikipedia.org/wiki/…
Aug
22
comment If masturbation is so bad, why is it not in list of 613 Mitzvos?
@Yishai I saw Fred's ref, and I agree with him that the death penalty mentioned there is hyperbole - if there was really a death penalty associated with this then there would be a specific one, such as strangulation or stoning and Rambam would bring it down just like he does for all the arayot. Nidduy is at the discretion of a beit din and is not a particulary harsh punishment. In addition, it seems like Rambam may be a da'at yachid on nidduy applying here as this particular issue ( bad pun intended ) doesn't appear in this list of things for which nidduy is applicable:
Aug
22
comment If masturbation is so bad, why is it not in list of 613 Mitzvos?
@Yishai What is your source? In MT there is no punishment at all associated with it.
Aug
22
comment What's the difference between wasting seed and having marital relations without the possibility of conception?
It seems like the base assumption is that a man can have relations with his wife in any manner he chooses - including the "irregular way" - mechon-mamre.org/i/5121.htm#10
Aug
18
revised When and why did women change to ritually bathing in the Evening?
added 661 characters in body
Aug
17
answered When and why did women change to ritually bathing in the Evening?
Aug
17
comment Do Amalekians not have souls?
@user3931926 They weren't Jewish - Abraham wasn't a Jew - he was a monotheist - probably a Noahide - Judaism didn't exist until the Torah was given at Sinai. Claiming they were Jewish doesn't make any sense. It's like the Muslims claiming that Abraham was a Muslim.
Aug
14
comment When and why did women change to ritually bathing in the Evening?
It's still allowed for women to immerse during the day if she has some reason to do so such as modesty concerns or an inability to travel to the mikveh at night for some reason.
Aug
14
answered How do we know that The Hebrew Bible of today is substantially the same as the original writings?
Aug
14
comment Do Amalekians not have souls?
@user3931926 בראשית פרק יב: Hirsch says: "but here, with נפש it can only mean, formed, fresh created. That these fresh formed persons were probably the inmates of their household, and that these had also spiritually attached themselves to them, we can see from Eliezar who shows himself a true גר צדק." Hirsch seems to indicate a very fundamental change in these people - their souls were newly formed, and they were as close to being converts as possible considering that Judaism as a religion didn't exist yet. Basically, I take it as that they "converted" to monotheism.
Aug
14
comment Do gentiles have neshamot?
There's another option - people obtain souls when they become monotheists - that's always how I've taken the verse in Genesis that talks about the souls that Abraham made.
Aug
14
comment Do Amalekians not have souls?
This would seem to contradict the plain meaning of the Torah. In Genesis it talks about the souls that Abraham made - people he converted to monotheism. It would seem that becoming a monotheist endows one with a soul - the person doesn't need to be Jewish.
Aug
6
comment Mishneh Torah in english
By the way, here's a suggestion - first find out if any of the English translations are based on the newer corrected manuscripts - anything published prior to the 1980's is probably going to be based on the old incorrect editions and is not going to be what you're looking for.
Aug
6
comment Mishneh Torah in english
Here is a list of English translations, not sure if any of them are based on the corrected texts published in the past 20 or 30 years though: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mishneh_Torah#English_translations
Aug
5
answered Are you allowed to get married the night going into Shiva Asar B'Tamuz?
Aug
3
answered Life after death?
Aug
3
comment How does the phrase מנהגא מילתא היא relate to halachic Jewish life?
What I'm saying is that, even if you assume that this particular minhag was formally codified, how does that translate into מנהגא מילתא היא meaning that all universally accepted customs take on the force of formally codified halacha? On the side issue of this specific minhag, there are respected authorities on both sides of the debate as to whether it is "just" a custom or was formally codified, but that's really not directly relevant here.