6,213 reputation
1146
bio website angelfire.com/md3/…
location Maryland
age 56
visits member for 1 year, 8 months
seen 10 hours ago

I converted to Orthodox Judaism in 1980. My conversion story was originally published in the Baltimore Jewish Times and was reprinted in its entirety by About.com and in excerpt form by Rabbi Maurice Lamm in his book Becoming a Jew. I learned Daf Yomi for 10 years completing the entire 11th Cycle and getting half way through the 12th. I stopped shortly after being diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease and recognized I could not stay up for late night Daf classes nor keep up if I did not. For the 20th anniversary of my conversion, I decided to teach the last daf of Kesubos and contacted Art Scroll for help, as they had not yet published their translation of that daf. Rabbi Yehezkel Danziger surprised me by suggesting that I try translating the page for publication in order to make my celebration "more special." It took me 3 months to translate the main text and the Rashi, but I submitted my work and, after much editing, received an editorial credit in Volume III of Art Scroll's Kesuvos translation. I have been a frequent contributor to the About.com Judaism board and specialized in counter-missionary posts. My website, "A Primer: Why Jews Cannot Believe in Jesus" is designed as a quick introduction to major points I tend to make when dealing with missionaries. In my secular life, I am an attorney for the Federal Government.


Jun
2
comment Can halacha change based on scientific research?
While this link may answer the question, it is better to include the essential parts of the answer here and provide the link for reference. Link-only answers can become invalid if the linked page changes.
Jun
2
comment Is there a halacha for writing a biography of a gadol? If so, what is it?
Congregations can be fickel, especially back in the 1950s and 1960s where many rabbis had congregations with few, if any members who were observant. Rabbis were treated as mere employees. It is hard to write about the bravery of those rabbis without denigrating the congregation to some extent. Rabbi Emanuel Feldman, in his Tales Out of Shul, was quite blunt about his congregants when he first came to Atlanta. Could a biographer be so blunt?
Jun
2
answered What are the prophecies about messiah?
Jun
2
asked Is there a halacha for writing a biography of a gadol? If so, what is it?
Jun
2
asked How do we evaluate a b'raisa that quotes Rebbe against an anonymous Mishna?
Jun
2
reviewed Close What are your suggestions for learning Yiddish?
May
27
comment Differences between Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform Judaism
In the last couple of years, the differences between Reform and Conservative Judaism has blurred. A big reason for that was when the Rabbinical Assembly of the Conservative movement voted to not only permit gay marriages, but to justify it by saying that the Torah laws are not Divine. That is a major change for the movement which used to hold that, at least, the laws in the Written Torah were from G-d and should be observed, but that the rabbinic laws were fair game to be revised. Now it appears that any change in Torah law is fair game to tehm, also.
May
27
reviewed Reviewed Is “al tikri” ever used for a midrash halacha?
May
26
reviewed Leave Open Non-born-Jew Atheists without any Jewish belief or custom, while having Jewish self-identity for any reason. Is this accepted as Jew?
May
26
accepted What is the source for not using honorifics like “rav” or “hacohen” when reciting names for mishaberachs?
May
23
comment What is a Get Zikui and in what cases has it been used?
Let me propose another reason one might institute this as policy -- the vegetative husband in past generations would have died sooner than later, but now can be kept alive indefinitely. Do we want the wife to regret that she may have authorized medical intervention to sustain his life and cause herself to be an agunah or to want to be an adulteress?
May
23
comment What is a Get Zikui and in what cases has it been used?
We do appoint a trustee for an orphan child and act on what is in the child's best interests. The written Torah doesn't tell us we can; it was instituted out of necessity. The oral an written Torah says nothing of using physical evidence that a husband died to release an agunah, yet the rabbis accepted DNA evidence to release agunot after 9/11 beause of necessity. SImilarly less reliable evidence that husbands died in the Nazi death camps was used to release agunos althugh sometimes it was wrong.
May
23
comment What is a Get Zikui and in what cases has it been used?
But you also have the concept that when a husband gives in to communal sanctions and gives his agunah a get, "he wasn't coerced" because we presume that deep down he wants to do the right thing. How is that better? It would appear that we can have more insight. Into the good will intent of a man in a veggetative state than a donkey who gives in to the whip.
May
22
asked What is a Get Zikui and in what cases has it been used?
May
21
comment Responding to an army draft before 20
It is not clear to me that the verse in Bamidbar applies to armies other than those fighting wars authorized by the Sanhedrin or for the purpose of taking the Land (and holding it).
May
21
revised Responding to an army draft before 20
"Rashi on there" was an awkward way to say it.
May
21
comment Why are challenges to respected rabbis not treated seriously?
Lately I've been wondering why some "great" rabbis who disagree with each other cannot take the sort of respectful tone they expect from lay persons. One rabbi I'm close with told me that Judaism is great; not always our leaders.
May
20
reviewed Reviewed Is there a resource that shows all uses of a Tanach verse in the Talmud?
May
20
comment Is there a resource that shows all uses of a Tanach verse in the Talmud?
Welcome to Mi Yodeya. In the future you might want to summarize a bit more about the sources you provide links to. HaMafteach is a recent attempt to index by subject the Babylonian Talmud. I bought it and was very disappointed, for one reason because it lacks the very index the OP is looking for, and also because it misses many lengthy discussions in the Talmud that should have shown up in the index and do not. This, I suspect, is the major reason why Feldheim did not publish the Hebrew-only version that was promised. I think they discontinued HaMafteach, too.
May
20
comment Belief that a dead man will be the Messiah - Kfira?
@Yishai See pp 98-99 where he states that while the Rambam's 13 principles of faith (which he had just analyzed) was fully debated, and some halachic minds disagreed previously, the halacha now follows Rambam and "anyone who disagrees with one of these principles is an apikorus." I agree that Rabbi Student has some waffle language in the subsequent pages that would make you think that there is room for disagreement on some points. But I think his analysis on Rambam's principles of faith is dead on.