6,762 reputation
1253
bio website angelfire.com/md3/…
location Maryland
age 57
visits member for 1 year, 11 months
seen 2 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.


10h
comment Is Bas Kol the heavenly voice always correct and how to identify Bas Kol from evil whispering?
@Gary: If you thought you heard a bas kol, how would you know it was G-d and not your imagination? G-d ceased prophecy, after the survivors of the first exile died out (which would be with the death of the minor prophets who were part of the Anshei Knesset Gedolah. See vbm-torah.org/archive/yeru2/29yeru.htm for a nice explanation with sources.
2d
comment Is Bas Kol the heavenly voice always correct and how to identify Bas Kol from evil whispering?
@Gary there is a lot of interesting commentary on the topic of prophecy. Eg that after the destruction of the 1st Temple, G-d's spirit, the Ruach HaKoesh, slowly distanced itself from the Temple Mount, as it waited for the Jews to return (spiritually), but eventually gave up, and subsequently the capability of prophecy for anyone was lost. But the issue here is Deut 30:11-12 -- the Torah is NOT in Heaven, nor is it far away that we shoul have to struggle with it; neither is it too difficult to follow. With Free Will and the Torah, we should be able to do right alone without intervention.
2d
comment Can a man who has undergone a gender change give his wife a Get?
The threshold issue for me is whether a transgender person (not to include those whose gender had been previously uncertain through physical appearance) changes his sexual status for halachic purposes.
2d
comment How is Rav Feinstein's psak regarding subway travel and the sexes distinguished today by those wanting to sit separately on buses and planes?
@Shalom I like how you delicately put it ["anatomic reaction"].
2d
comment How is Rav Feinstein's psak regarding subway travel and the sexes distinguished today by those wanting to sit separately on buses and planes?
@shalom How did R. Getzel Ellinson challenge Rav Moshe? What was his analysis?
Nov
20
comment Would a convert/Ba'al Teshuvah have to remove any tattoos they may have?
@SethJ: Rabbi Ephraim Oshry used the issue of "wounding" for his psak halakha telling Holocaust victims that they didn't have to remove their tatoos. But as I note in the answer, lo yosif is used as the basis for a heter -- if a person would feel better if the tatoo was removed, then under Rav Moshe's psak, it can be done, because you can wound yourself if doing so results in your perception that you are better off. That is also the basis for permitting any cosmetic surgery; otherwise, lo yosif would be a basis for prohibiting any cosmetic surgery.
Nov
20
comment Is Bas Kol the heavenly voice always correct and how to identify Bas Kol from evil whispering?
@Gary. Prophecy, after Moshe, did not reveal new laws. Sometimes a prophet confirmed a teaching from the Oral tradition re specifics as to how to perform mitzvos; but no new laws were transmitted by G-d via prophets.
Nov
19
comment Loshon Hara against public Jewish and non-Jewish figures
It seems to me that the rabbis should say, generally, "I personally don't support candidates who believe in the following ...." and then suggest that voters read the candidates own literature to see what they stand for and reach appropriate conclusions. Or, simply endorse the candidate you like and ignore the others being careful not to mention menschen. Alas, we don't see much of that lately.
Nov
19
comment Loshon Hara against public Jewish and non-Jewish figures
@Matt This question is about the nonsense we had a couple of years ago where rabbis were calling other rabbis (even from the same religious spectrum), secular Jewish candidates, and the followers of any of the above, very nasty things about their character, religiosity, etc., and asserting that they and anyone who supports them are rashayim (evil people). Can one say not to vote for X because: "X is an adulterer" or "X supports gay rights" or "X supports drafting religious Jews." In one case "X was a rasha" because he broke from Gimel to run his own candidate.
Nov
19
comment Would a convert/Ba'al Teshuvah have to remove any tattoos they may have?
@SethJ I pointed out it is not an obligation for a Jew to remove a tatoo. How could it be an obligation for a convert to remove a tatoo?
Nov
19
comment Is there a problem with “Mar'it ayin” by attending a company picnic?
If I must go to one of these, or to any office event, I am very careful not to eat anything unless I brought it myself. Whether or not it is maris ayin, one who is not careful creates problems later for himself and for other observant Jews who work there because someone will say, "I saw you eat such and such before, why won't you eat MY food?"
Nov
19
comment Would a convert/Ba'al Teshuvah have to remove any tattoos they may have?
@SethJ Dr. Price's tatoos predated his trip to the Mikvah. The Beit Din at the time, in my opinion, was pretty illustrious and his tatoo would have been obvious when he disrobed. That beit din, as I recall, included R. Hillel Klavan, shlita, R. Philip Rabinowitz, zt'l, and R. Simon Burnstein, zt'l. Given that Dr. Price was black and the conversion was in the late 1960s, the panel was very very careful. If a tatoo had been a sufficient basis to hold up the conversion, they would have used it, and stalled until he had it removed. Note Rabbi G. Anemer endorsed the conversion.
Nov
19
comment Does a convert who goes off the derek have to go to the mikvah again upon making tshuvah?
@IsaacMoses Yes, I have suggested a rabbi we both know.
Nov
19
comment Does a convert who goes off the derek have to go to the mikvah again upon making tshuvah?
do you know to what degree the rabbinic custom mentioned there is still followed? As for the source of information the geores received, he was a rav of a shul, but he is currently having legal difficulties and not in a position to explain that advice or his motivation for giving it.
Nov
19
comment Does a convert who goes off the derek have to go to the mikvah again upon making tshuvah?
That's what I think, but I'm not a rav.
Nov
19
comment Why Not Eight Days Until a Convert's Circumcision?
Would the case of an eved Canaani who jumps into a mikvah with the intent to convert, rather than for the purpose of slavery? Non-Jewish slaves were circumcised immediately after becoming slaves (although there are opinions they could put off circumcision for a year). But according to Rambam, a slave could jump into the mikvah, before it was clear that the purpose of tevilah was for slavery, and if intention was to convert, the conversion was valid and he was deemed to have acquired his freedom, as well. Does this case have any bearing on an answer?
Nov
13
comment Can we give importance to a person's contributions to one field and ignore those to another?
I suspect you have in mind a certain living rosh hayeshivah who is brilliant with Jewish knowledge but whose opinion on medical topics run counter to 99.9% of medical scholars. Interestin as that may be, you're sill looking for opinions.
Nov
12
comment What does it mean to have geknipt payos?
This does not provide an answer to the question. To critique or request clarification from an author, leave a comment below their post - you can always comment on your own posts, and once you have sufficient reputation you will be able to comment on any post.
Nov
12
comment What does it mean to have geknipt payos?
Improve your answer by answering the second question -- who (what groups) have this custom.
Nov
10
comment Hotels, electronic keys, and shabbat
On kosher cruises, they recommend that you lock all of your valuables in the room safe and then keep the door unlcocked when you're away by using something (e.g. tape) to cover the hole where the bolt goes. One company gave me a small magnetic ruler that did the job perfectly, but I lost it.