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visits member for 1 year, 11 months
seen Nov 11 at 20:15

Nov
9
comment What's the meaning of “Hashmal” (electricity in modern Hebrew) in the bible? (Ezekiel 1:4)
Uh, what?? That's crazy. Glad it was helpful, I guess?
Jul
11
comment Cognitive meaning of כפר
Haha @msh210 I bet it does! My dad and I used to read that book for giggles as a kid.
Jul
4
comment Is there a book that cross-references where the names of animals are mentioned in Tana"ch?
I've seen a few on my dad's bookshelf, I can ask him if you want. You can also just use a concordance if you're looking for a specific animal-word (i.e. kelev or yonah etc.).
Jun
2
comment What are your suggestions for learning Yiddish?
@msh210 I appreciate your concern but I'm not sure my answer isn't helpful — Yiddish is Yiddish (despite dialectical variations in spelling). For example, having taken only standard Yiddish, I can read the linked Forverts Hassidic Yiddish blog with no problem. If one wants to understand grammar and actually be able to read Yiddish texts, one needs a stronger foundation than just picking up a few words here and there.
Jun
1
comment What are your suggestions for learning Yiddish?
@NoachmiFrankfurt fair enough. If there were a similarly prominent organization devoted to Hassidic Yiddish that I knew of I would have recommended it. I suspect that even despite the differences, our OP may have to learn 'standard' Yiddish and then adapt to Hassidic, rather than jump in at the get-go (sort of how I'm learning Moroccan Arabic but via MSA).
May
30
comment Why doesn't Chabad read Ruth on Shavuot?
Jake — actually, like @allced mentioned, many North African and Mediterranean Sephardi communities have the custom of reading Ruth in public on Shavu'ot, separated for the two days — in fact I have a Turkish mahzor which has the reading for Ruth with an interlinear Ladino translation. For Shir haShirim, most of these communities read it in its entirety every Friday night so reading it on Pesah might seem unnecessary. :)
Apr
30
comment Tune for Aishes Chayil
For all who are concerned: there's a cappella / sefirah-safe recording of Shenker's recording here: milkenarchive.org/people/view/all/561/Shenker,+Ben+Zion#/works/…
Apr
23
comment Mystical Practices within Kabbalah: Is There a “Ceremony of Remembrance”?
I second (third?) the recommendation for Aryeh Kaplan. As far as I know, while various Qabbalistic groups employed meditations, devotional poems, and mantra-like chanting, none of them ever developed a specific practice of bead use. Also you might be interested in this book on Hasidic spiritual practices: books.google.ca/books?id=l5hz_n-XGg0C.
Apr
20
comment A word seems to be written in an unusual way in Psalm 60,2
I second @GeminiMan's comment — I checked every TaNaKh I have on paper and online and all of them had the final mem. I suspect this is a typesetting error.
Apr
17
comment eBay Judaica auctions
@NoachmiFrankfurt the story you're thinking of must surely be from this blog: lavlor.blogspot.ca/2013/05/auction-sefer-torah.html
Mar
24
comment What is the difference between sephardi and ashkenazi rituals?
we independently wrote essentially the same thing! it's almost impossible to say anything this general, especially since the "ashkenazi-sephardi" binary is too simplistic to be useful. :)
Jan
26
comment Peh at the end of a word
Wow! A new fact to add to my Biblical trivia. It's more common with kaf (e.g. וַיֵּֽבְךְּ + inflected forms), and of course happens with tav all the time (e.g. אָתְּ and associated verb forms). The only word I know with final dalet degusha is the plant נֵרְדְּ in Shir haShirim. It doesn't happen (to my knowledge) with bet or gimmel.
Jan
24
comment What are the symbols of the 12 tribes?
Maybe... Or maybe that interpretation of halakha was developed later. Or maybe the midrashic imagination is not concerned with halakha. There are many possibilities here. ;)
Jan
22
comment Rabbinic understandings of non-Divine origin of Onqelos
Great — thanks!! That's exactly the kind of answer my friend's looking for, I think. I'd love to see other examples.
Jan
20
comment Rabbinic understandings of non-Divine origin of Onqelos
seriously, no answers? do i have to put a bounty on it?
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
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.
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/…