7,224 reputation
1456
bio website angelfire.com/md3/…
location Maryland
age 57
visits member for 2 years
seen 1 hour 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.


1d
comment What to do in a case of no siddur available and additions to the Shemoneh Esrei?
When Moshe prayed for his sister, he did not use a formal prayer, or even use her Hebrew name. He simply said, "heal her." Formal written prayers are more for our convenience, I would think, than for G-d's benefit.
1d
comment Why might we think that Moses did not write Parashat Bil'am?
You might get a necromanceer or reviver badge from it, too. That and $5 will get you an espresso at Starbucks. Enjoy.
1d
comment Why might we think that Moses did not write Parashat Bil'am?
I accepted your answer this morning, but then Matt came out with a better answer, and I've switched it. Sorry about that. I'm fickle enough that if you greatly improve your answer, I might decide to switch again. ;-)
1d
comment Why might we think that Moses did not write Parashat Bil'am?
I'm switching my acceptance (which I had just made today) for your excellent, though tardy, answer. Good job. Sorry Ofer.
2d
comment Assuming Christianity is Avodah Zarah (RamBam), can I get my car fixed by a gentile right before/during Nittle Nacht?
@rosenjcb I asked my rav once how Jews can sell gifts to Christians before Christmas if they are idolators per the discussion in the 1st Mishna in Avodah Zara. He said that we don't hold them to be idolators. How is Rambam's view distinguished?
2d
comment Early descriptions of the Foundation Stone
@DoubleAA I thought that's what I said. I want to know if the tradition has textual sources in Tanach, or if at least there are Biblical descriptions of such a flat rock that the Patriarchs, David and Solomon recognized as having special significance.
2d
comment Assuming Christianity is Avodah Zarah (RamBam), can I get my car fixed by a gentile right before/during Nittle Nacht?
Does the Rambam really hold that Christianity is avodah zara??? Where? I don't think that's how we hold today.
Dec
1
comment Can one, under any condition, shower using hot water on the Shabbat?
My son-in-law came to visit me in the hospital twice on a Shabbos. It was hot and he got pretty smelly. Rabbi Dovid Rosenbaum told him he could take a cold shower to clean up before coming to shul for Mincha.
Dec
1
comment About what were rabbis ahead of the times?
Down-voter, please explain.
Dec
1
comment About what were rabbis ahead of the times?
Rabbi Zacuto was on the cutting edge of navigational science at the time, which included creating some important measurement equipment and mathematical formulae that did not yet exist. That is what Rabbi Zacuto added to the world's knowledge of the time. There was a nice article in the Naval Institutes Proceedings Magazine back in 1992 which discusses the various navigational experts of Columbus' era on whom he must have relied, R. Zucuto being one (plus another rabbi as I recall). I think that there is more evidence that Columbus and Rabbi Zucuto actually knew each other and conferred.
Dec
1
comment Does killing a pest make a person unclean?
Welcome to Mi Yodeya. Question: Assuming that everyone is tamei at the present time (for numerous reasons), how can anything make it worse?
Nov
25
comment Being more stringent than your Rebbe
The rabbi who converted me some years back told me that he didn't mind if his converts went to the right of him, except for one circumstance where a convert joined the Neturei Karta and started saying terrible things about Israel. My rav tracked him down and threatened to revoke his conversion if he continued. The kid dropped out of the NK and later apologized.
Nov
25
comment Christianity as a test for jews
If you except the 1805 version of Toldos Yeshu, as some esteemed rabbis did, then you have the interesting question about the role Simon/Peter played in secret for the rabbis in intentionally turning the early Christian church into something far less Jewish than it had been before.
Nov
23
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.
Nov
21
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.
Nov
20
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.
Nov
20
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"].
Nov
20
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.