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Jan
8
comment Is Zoroastrianism Avodah Zarah?
I don't know about the label of 'avoda zara per se, but there are many Jewish sources that engage with Zoroastrianism (check out the various examples and sources given in Yaakov Elman's EJ article). This is actually one of the hottest topics in contemporary Jewish Studies and there is a lot of work being done on Jewish-Zoroastrian contact. The pre-eminent work to have come out so far is Shai Secunda's amazing new book, The Iranian Talmud: Reading the Bavli in its Sasanian Context, and googling him will turn up a bunch of interviews and articles on the topic as well.
Dec
31
awarded  Yearling
Dec
9
comment Variant text of דרור יקרא
Fair point, @SethJ. I'm not sure how useful this is either except adding a few more sources/arguments to the mix... I don't know if there is a conclusive answer here.
Dec
8
comment Variant text of דרור יקרא
Well, yes, I read it, so I know. He does eventually say that he thinks that Edom is original, even though it doesn't fit the metre. I'm not convinced.
Dec
8
answered Variant text of דרור יקרא
Nov
14
comment Can a Jew serve as a secular judge?
I was really just being tongue-in-cheek, sort of about the can/may issue, but really just the general question "can a Jew serve as a secular judge": well, plenty of Jews have served as secular judges, so that answers the question. If you want to know what various interpretations of halakha say about it, that's really a different question (although obviously I understood the intent of the question, esp. with the halakha tag, hence the comment and not an actual answer).
Nov
13
comment Can a Jew serve as a secular judge?
Maybe ask these distinguished people? en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…
Oct
15
comment Can marooned Jewish couple marry in G-d's eyes alone and start a family?
@Shalom I appreciate your clarification although it certainly could have calmer in tone. Perhaps 'betrothed' was the wrong word: I was merely bringing the aggada in Ta'anit as an example of the folkloric motif of using non-human "witnesses" in the context of intent to marry — I did not mean to suggest that they were actually witnesses in the halakhic sense or that the couple had been halakhically married.
Oct
14
comment Can marooned Jewish couple marry in G-d's eyes alone and start a family?
The halakhic answer is as noted at the answer above. I also want to point out that there is a well-known Jewish folktale, first found in a manuscript of Midrash Tanhuma, about a king (usually Solomon) who locks his daughter in a tower but her destined husband finds her and they marry with Gabriel and Michael (or heaven and earth, in other versions) as witnesses. There's also the Talmudic story (Ta'anit 8a) of a man and woman who are betrothed with a well and a weasel as witnesses.
Oct
2
comment Story of a Great Rabbi who becomes an Apikores
Yep! I was just about to post that. At the end of the story it's suggested that the sage Elisha ben Abuya ("more like Elisha ben A-boo-yah!," my friend likes to say), was the one who saw it. BTW, the gemara rejects the answer of "the reward is in olam haba" as insufficient to explain this tragedy. Elisha's grandson, R. Jacob, suggests that it was a "shaky ladder", i.e. the world is sometimes a place of brokenness and injustice. I heard Daniel Reisel give a phenomenal drash on it once at Limmud.
Sep
29
answered Is there kabbala is a Ascetic or Sufi style group in Judaism
Sep
8
answered Do we have old ancient torah manuscript?
Aug
19
comment What is the problem with dogs?
This is an interesting hypothesis about the significance of dogs in the TaNaKh and the world of the ancient Near East... But to me it doesn't explain what any of that has to do with prostitution, which from context is clearly the topic of this passage.
Aug
19
comment What is the problem with dogs?
I apologize for any disrespect! I'm sorry the link seems not to work, it works fine on my computer. I understood the tone of your first comment to be that scholarly sources that "disagree" with traditional rabbinic interpretation are not "real", and I reacted as a student of Jewish studies. I apologize if that was not your intention.
Aug
19
comment What is the problem with dogs?
@tryingToGetProgrammingStraight I added the note from the JPS TaNaKh, which hopefully is "real" enough for you. YUASK, I'm sorry you can't seem to see the page! It's in his book "The Construction of Homosexuality", pp. 94-97.
Aug
19
revised What is the problem with dogs?
added another source
Aug
19
comment What is the problem with dogs?
If by a "real" source you mean "one that you agree with" I'm afraid I can't do that. I acknowledge that the rabbis of the Talmud, and hence Rashi etc., understand this verse as literally referring to a dog. I therefore began my statement by saying "Biblical scholarship"... You can take that or leave it as you will.
Aug
18
answered What is the problem with dogs?
Aug
8
awarded  Revival
Aug
7
answered Conceptual Relationship Between “River” (יאר) and “Light” (אור)