7,565 reputation
1862
bio website angelfire.com/md3/…
location Maryland
age 57
visits member for 2 years, 5 months
seen May 19 at 13:18

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
19
comment Am I Supposed to Believe that the Messiah is coming today, or that he is coming generally
I recall a Hasidic story that suggested that we should be prepared for Moshiach's immediate arrival at all times. The story relates that a Hasid heard that the Moshiach was at the town center and he should hurry to greet him. The Hasid went to put on his best clothes, but noticed that they were in need of repair. By the time he made himself presentable, the Moshiach had gone on to another town. Sorry I can't remember the source.
Mar
30
comment Does Jewish tradition indicate that Jewish people tend to be rude?
@MonicaCellio When parents and their children charge the table, and no one corrects them, it becomes accepted behavior. I have not been to a shul or a Jewish event of any size where this wasn't the common behavior.
Mar
4
comment Can a Jew have a non-Jewish “bashert” or vice-versa?
As I understand it, the convert's Jewish soul existed and was present at Mt. Sinai, but did not fully join his body until he converted. Nevertheless, there must be some element of that soul in one's body. I know that one reason I decided to convert was that all of my ideas on religion turned out to be Jewish.
Feb
18
comment Is it possible that Judaism would one day allow eating pork?
What about genetically altered animals?
Feb
18
comment Is there a halacha for writing a biography of a gadol? If so, what is it?
@Nafkamina I suspect that the sons might themselves write a biography of Rabbi Anemer, z'tl.
Feb
18
comment Is there a halacha for writing a biography of a gadol? If so, what is it?
@Nafkamina I will only say that he died a sudden and violent death and that he is buried in Bet Shemesh. Also, there is a very long eulogy written on his matzevah by his son, referring to the Rav as a martyr, among other things.
Feb
4
comment How big is the baalei tshuva movement resulting from the “Art Scroll Revolution”?
@danno - It occurs to me that the study would define the term or otherwise describe the scope of the universe it is testing.
Feb
3
comment Are there any sources that prohibit childhood vaccinations?
I heard recently that Rabbi Yitzhok Charner, shlita, principal of the Torah School in Silver Spring, Maryland, was confronted by parents who didn't want to vaccinate their child. He asked them which of the legal exemptions would they be using. They said the "religious exemption." "What religion would that be? Judaism does not forbid vaccinations."
Feb
3
comment How big is the baalei tshuva movement resulting from the “Art Scroll Revolution”?
@IsaacMoses this type of research also would come out in a detailed marketing study.
Feb
3
comment How big is the baalei tshuva movement resulting from the “Art Scroll Revolution”?
@LN6595 I think that the question I pose is one of a type that Sociologists would be familiar with. You can quantify book sales and mark them in time; you can quantify (over time) growth in Orthodox synagogue membership, growth in Jewish day schools, and growth of Kosher restaurants, for example. I think there are also estimates of daf yomi participation out there too. Plenty of info for a PhD candidate with time and patience. But the answer may be "not yet" as no one has yet tried to tackle the research.
Feb
3
comment How sick does someone have to be to be put on “the cholim list”?
Does he specify a rationale?
Feb
3
comment How sick does someone have to be to be put on “the cholim list”?
@LN6595 Perhaps the Rosh HaYeshiva was not being literal (I can't ask him now), but I've learned from other rabbis that there are limits to how sick one must be to have a mishaberach said in shul, and chronic and non-life-threatening illnesses usually don't make the cut. I would like someone with better skills than myself to research this and find out what those limits are. I'll even offer a bounty.
Feb
3
comment Am I supposed to Ignore Most Non-Religious Jews?
@LN6595 -- There was a very serious point made in my comment; two actually. I'm sorry you didn't read past the first sentence. We cannot on one hand disparage the non-observant and then still expect them to fund our yeshivos and other institutions. That is hypocritical. The second point is that it is a long-standing practices of our sages to reach out to the non-frum for one purpose or another. And yes, you and I have both been to yeshiva or shul banquets where someone who is not frum, but made a nice donation, was honored. If you don't think so, you probably missed it.
Jan
21
comment Doctor recommends pacemaker. Does the patient have to listen?
If we have an obligation to take extraordinary actions to extend our lives, such as getting a pacemaker, we should be starting such actions early in life by eating a healthy diet and exercising. I know of no rabbis today who require that (whether or not they should is beyond my pay grade).
Jan
19
comment Does an Orthodox rabbi have to have semicha?
@Ze'evFelsen As I understand it, he retroactively revoked the smicha of any rabbi taking a pulpit in a Conservative congregation.
Jan
15
comment Zoroastrianism .v.s. Judaism
I would dispute your presumption that Zoroastrianism is a monotheistic religion. Although it claims a supreme god, Ahura Mazda, he is opposed by a second entity, Anghra Mainyu (Phl. Ahriman), that is all evil. If the god of good can't defeat the evil entity, the evil entity is some kind of god, too. That is also one reason I would say that Christianity is also not wholly monotheistic because it makes God incapable or unwilling to defeat the Devil. Judaism believes God creates good and evil, and there are no other gods. Isa. 45:7. That is monotheism.
Jan
15
comment Are Jews allowed to have hobbies?
There is a classic story about Rabbi Moshe Heinemann, the rabbinical administrator of the Star-K and rav of Congregation Agudath Israel in Baltimore. Rabbi Heinemann's hobby is/was repairing cars. Some people thought it undignified that the rabbi should work on cars in his driveway or on the street. Reportedly, he set it up so he could repair cars in his house.
Jan
13
comment Why don't Jews think Jesus is the messiah?
Downvoter: If there is something wrong with the accuracy of my arguments, please explain. If you voted me down because you have theological differences, that is not an appropriate reason for a down-vote -- I answered the question which is "why don't Jews think Jesus is the Messiah."
Jan
13
comment The silence of the Rabbis — Should they have defended Bar Kamtza?
What does he mean that "they were not able to object"? Also, I'm not sure what he is saying when he says "they did this out of flattery." How was not objecting to a man's poor treatment "flattery"?
Jan
1
comment Dilemma for Jewish Scientists
@SethJ both really.