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bio website angelfire.com/md3/…
location Maryland
age 56
visits member for 1 year, 7 months
seen 16 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.


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.
May
20
accepted Is it forbidden to wear a snap-brim Borsolino fedora on Shabbos?
May
20
comment How do I get myself to yearn for moshiach if I'm comfortable in the diaspora?
I like this question although I don't know how to answer it. Rambam, too, struggled with it and with his living in Egypt. I think we have no valid excuse to not live in Israel, except that (maybe) we're needed here to take care of aging parents who are unable to make aliyah. After they are gone, however ...
May
20
comment Belief that a dead man will be the Messiah - Kfira?
@Yishai see Chapter 6 of Rabbi Student's book. I provided a link to it in the text. He does say it meets Rambam's test for heresy, but that there is no organized effort by the gedolim to label Chabad meshichists as heretics. I suspect that this may because it is believed that they are mis-informed and therefore not acting with intent.
May
20
comment Belief that a dead man will be the Messiah - Kfira?
@yishai -- what Christians believe is sort of a specialty for me; those who understand that there are prophecies that have not been fulfilled -- e.g. world peace, world-wide belief in G-d -- they say he will do it when he returns; much as Chabad meshichists claim. In counter-missionary work I call it giving Jesus a "mulligan" (a golf term for a free do-over). If you give one guy a mulligan, you have to let everyone have it; therefore the claim anyone may hold to being the Messiah collapses under the weight of competition.
May
20
accepted What happens to the obligation of rivai when a new fruit tree reaches its third or fourth year during Shmitah?
May
20
comment Is there a resource that shows all uses of a Tanach verse in the Talmud?
The Art Scroll gemaras have indexes in the back for that particular volume. It has long been my hope that Art Scroll would combine their indexes into a separate volume.
May
20
asked What happens to the obligation of rivai when a new fruit tree reaches its third or fourth year during Shmitah?
May
20
revised Belief that a dead man will be the Messiah - Kfira?
Edited to avoid the confusion about what I wrote that Yishai shows in his comment.
May
20
revised Belief that a dead man will be the Messiah - Kfira?
Edited to avoid the confusion about what I wrote that Yishai shows in his comment.
May
20
comment Relations with messianists
Rav Solovechik said about the letter: "To my great dismay...publications affiliated with the Lubavitch movement have persisted in stating that I validate their belief that a Jewish Messiah may be resurrected from the dead. I completely reject and vigorously deny any such claim....such a belief is repugnant to Judaism and is the antithesis of the truth. My intent in signing the original letter...was merely to express my opinion that we should not label subscribers to these beliefs as heretics."
May
20
answered Belief that a dead man will be the Messiah - Kfira?
May
15
comment Any information about Rabbi Barnett Hasden's “Ner Tamid K” hechsher?
@doubleaa Anyway, I'm explaining the thinking of rabbis who don't trust heksher X -- I am not telling you that you can or cannot rely on heksher X.
May
15
comment Any information about Rabbi Barnett Hasden's “Ner Tamid K” hechsher?
@DoubleAA Basically you're supporting the standard that having the title "Rabbi" entitles him to decide for himself what is the halacha. So, let me use another real-world case. Canning factory packs "clam chowder" in its factory in week 1, but the amount of clams in each can is less than 1/6. Would halacha require that you kasher the plant before certifying a kosher run of soup in week 2? Or would you be OK certifying the run because the amount of clams in the Week 1 run was de minimus? R. Heisler says if you knew of the clam run, you have to kasher. If not, you don't have to pull the product.
May
15
comment Any information about Rabbi Barnett Hasden's “Ner Tamid K” hechsher?
@DoubleAA Rabbi Heisler is the exec. dir. of ACKO, an organization that sets best practices for community kashrus agencies. My point: some agencies don't follow best practices, and therefore, they are less respected. The example I referred to was one where an agency did not confirm that the railroad cars used to transport vegetable oil had not previously carried non-kosher animal oils because they assumed what was left was batul. If you know it was there, you can't rely on bitul. When a rabbi give a hechshur, he is certifying l'hathilah that everything is kosher and cannot rely on bitul.
May
15
comment Any information about Rabbi Barnett Hasden's “Ner Tamid K” hechsher?
It is not all "politics." As I noted in another comment, the hechshers who share information on their procedures, policies and even the difficulties they encounter, are the ones who are respected and recommended. Some of the solo-rabbi agencies suffer from lack of experience and, according to Rabbi Moshe Heisler, they forget that the standard a kashrus agency must follow is everything must be OK l'hatchilah (before the fact) -- leniencies that would be permitted b'dieved (after the fact) are meant for resolving issues resulting from accidents.
May
15
comment Any information about Rabbi Barnett Hasden's “Ner Tamid K” hechsher?
As noted in a Mishpacha magazine article a few months ago, that included a round table discussion by several kashrus experts, the most acceptable hechshers are those who communicate and share information on policies and procedures, and even problems they experience, with the rabbis of other hechshers as well as local rabbeim. Those who keep quiet tend to be not recommended because rabbis have no basis for making a recommendation.
May
15
answered Is it permitted and possible to convert a Christian to Judaism without approaching rabbinical authorities?
May
6
asked What is the source that an accused criminal must have been warned?