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bio website learneroo.com
location New York, NY
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visits member for 3 years, 4 months
seen Aug 18 at 3:43

Recent graduate with a BA in Computer Science, currently working on Learneroo.com, for interactive education. Blogs: Zappable.com, TorahJournal.com/Blog.


Jul
26
comment Is there any precedent to read the first 11 chapters of Genesis as metaphorical?
By denying all miracles, one may deny other fundamental principles, but one can re-interpret specific miracles. Rambam himself was willing to re-interpret many miraculous stories, and he understood all miracles to have been "pre-programmed" in nature in some sense. I'll admit that one cannot re-interpret everything that doesn't directly contradict the principles. Some things may comes too close to denying a principle or implied principle, and there may not be such a clear cut-off. But understanding the first chapters of Bereishis non-literally do not run into any of those problems.
Jul
26
comment Is there any precedent to read the first 11 chapters of Genesis as metaphorical?
@AL, While you can imagine it, the Rambam felt they couldn't. Note that he had a rather Aristotelian view of angels.
Jul
25
comment How are pre-creation >4000 BCE human civilization and pre-flood >2300 BCE civilizations that continued reconciled with Judaism?
@AL Sorry, I meant Plato. Rambam would have been willing to interpret bereishis to not mean creation ex nihilo, which is seemingly an important religious principle, so a fortiori he would have been willing to interpret details of later history (which are not important religious principles) as non-literal.
Jul
25
comment How are pre-creation >4000 BCE human civilization and pre-flood >2300 BCE civilizations that continued reconciled with Judaism?
(In fact, the Rambam writes he would have been willing to re-interpret Bereishis to allow for a universe that always existed, just that Aristotle's proofs weren't convincing.)
Jul
25
comment How are pre-creation >4000 BCE human civilization and pre-flood >2300 BCE civilizations that continued reconciled with Judaism?
but seriously, matters are not so simple. The Rambam writes how he intentionally wanted the Moreh to be cryptic and how he put contradictions in it so only a wise person could understand the true meaning. While he may not explicitly spell out that he understands maseh bereishis non-literally, that is what most people understand he is hinting to.
Jul
25
comment How are pre-creation >4000 BCE human civilization and pre-flood >2300 BCE civilizations that continued reconciled with Judaism?
@AL "and in the intro to Moreh Nevuchim he says not to extrapolate or interpret what he says" good thing you cleared that one up!
Jul
21
comment Difference between Pesik Reshe Delo Niha Le, Pesik Reshe Delo Ichpat Le, & Melacha She'en Sarich LeGufa
See judaism.stackexchange.com/a/9135/369 though its a little more complicated!
Jul
19
comment Are old-fashioned razors kosher?
@Yitzchak, Rav Moshe never published a teshuva on shaving, but told his talmidim and sons his views.
Jun
27
comment Reason behind pinky during hagba
See "Pointing to the Torah and other Hagbaha Customs" Hakirah Summer 2013.
Jun
27
comment Matrilineal descent & Zera Israel
@ShmuelBrin, it was Yevamos 17, but it's not at all clear that it would apply in general: א"ל לא זזו משם עד שעשאום עובדי כוכבים גמורים שנאמר בה' בגדו כי בנים זרים ילדו hebrewbooks.org/…
Jun
27
comment Matrilineal descent & Zera Israel
@ShmuelBrin, that may not work if its very distant.
Jun
24
comment Why wool and linen?
There's different views on the exact prohibition but it has to be 'שוע טווי ונוז' to violate the d'oraysa...
Jun
24
comment Why wool and linen?
@MonicaCellio I don't know if people really use Leather threads.
Jun
19
comment Rambam held of Timtum halev?
the blog refers to the source. the story sounds like a joke though, i think i can count 17 problems with it.
Jun
5
comment How are pre-creation >4000 BCE human civilization and pre-flood >2300 BCE civilizations that continued reconciled with Judaism?
@AL edited with ref. to Rambam.
May
31
comment Why do we have shmitta only in Israel
@expern, it's still 'תלויות בארץ'. and 'כלאים' is also a prohibition on growing, but it's still considered תלויות בארץ.
May
29
comment Is programming against Judaism?
C.f. R.J.B.Soloveitchik: The first Adam, or "majestic man," employs his creative faculties in order to master his environment as mandated by God. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lonely_Man_of_Faith
May
29
comment Subjectivity in Halacha
A food's bracha is shehakol if eaten in an unusual manner, which would depend on how its eaten in that location.
May
23
comment Aruch Hashulchan's moon-distance estimate
Some people obviously knew more astronomy in Lithuania, but it a long time even for geocentrism to be abandoned. E.g. see rationalistjudaism.com/2012/06/… and amazon.com/New-Heavens-Earth-Reception-Copernican/dp/0199754799
May
23
comment Aruch Hashulchan's moon-distance estimate
Even if had been estimated before, it doesn't mean people knew about it in Eastern Europe. (Columbus would have never tried to sail to India if he knew the Earth was as large as Eratosthenes had calculated.)