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177222
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location Keser Elyon
age 41
visits member for 4 years, 3 months
seen Jul 28 '13 at 6:23
Graduate of Beis Medrash Oholei Torah and "Seven Seventy"; now a בעל הבית with ריחיים בצוארו but still trying to be עוסק בתורה

Jun
18
comment Is there a spiritual meaning to wearing a Kippah?
@ba: actually, the story ends with him stealing ("he was sitting and studying under a palm tree, and the covering fell off his head. He lifted his gaze and noticed the palm tree; his yetzer (instinct) got the better of him, and he climbed up the tree and tore off a cluster of dates with his teeth"). Doesn't say whether afterwards he caught himself and put his kippah back on, or whether he was caught red-handed, or something else.
Jun
18
comment Tefilin with obstruction on hand
Refuah shleimah!
Jun
18
comment Is there a spiritual meaning to wearing a Kippah?
@avi: true, not every story in the Gemara is meant to be taken literally. However, when it is not, one or another of the commentaries will point that out; with this story of R. Nachman bar Yitzchak, there is (TTBOMK) no such comment.
Jun
17
comment Siblings marrying siblings
@msh210: it avoids the potential issue of ayin hara. (I think I've also seen an idea somewhere that it makes less likely the possibility of inappropriately close relationships between the couples.)
Jun
17
comment Chamishim - mi yodeya?
Or, according to one explanation in the Gemara (Zevachim 116b), he collected 50 shekalim from each tribe, for a total of 600.
Jun
15
comment Why did Moses send spies who were leaders?
@jake: since, as in your answer, they were reporting back only to Yehoshua, then it wouldn't have mattered as much. If they ended up being defeatist like the other two, he could bury the report.
Jun
15
comment Can an Alien convert to Judaism?
Wouldn't it basically boil down to the question of whether halachah would consider them human? If not, then no matter how sentient they are, they could no more be considered Jewish than a golem. [I imagine - though I'd have to look for sources - that the criterion would be whether they're born from a human mother (compare Bechoros 8a, הדולפנין פרין ורבין מבני אדם), so Spock might be considered halachically human, but Deanna Troi would not.]
Jun
15
comment Changing someone else's name
Another example: Gideon was called "Yerubaal" (Judg. 6:32) - whether by his father or by the populace, I'm not sure - and he's thereafter referred to by that name by his contemporaries, children and successors. (The last mention of the name "Gideon" is right after his death - Judg. 8:35.)
Jun
14
comment Why are the Meraglim in that order?
@jake: I wonder how Sforno would explain the facts that I mentioned in my comment to the related question, which indicate that Calev (#3 on the list) was younger than Hoshea/Yehoshua (#5).
Jun
13
comment Does casual sex establish a marriage?
@YDK: Rambam (Hil. Gerushin 10:19) states that this applies only if they had been otherwise at least potentially married (his examples are if they were divorced, or if he had performed conditional kiddushin).
Jun
12
comment Names of the books of Tanakh
Fair enough. What I meant was that I would have expected that the book of Ezra would rather have been named for its contents too, something like "Shivas Tziyon" or something of that sort.
Jun
12
comment Names of the books of Tanakh
Come to think of it, though, regarding Ezra, he's an important character in that book, but hardly the main one: out of 23 chapters total in the original (undivided) book, his activities are included in only seven of them (Ez. 7-10 and Neh. 8-10, plus a couple of brief mentions in Neh. 12).
Jun
12
comment Names of the books of Tanakh
+1. Regarding Esther, could be that the book was named for her (even though, as you note, there are other main characters in it) because she's the one who requested that it be written and canonized (כתבוני לדורות, Megillah 7a); the fact that Hashem's actions in it are "hidden" probably was a factor too.
Jun
12
comment Temple mount: wall around court of the gentiles?
@NiclasNilsson: that the Temple Mount was surrounded by a colonnade is explicitly stated in a number of places in the Talmud (Pesachim 13b, et al). I guess the question would be whether this refers to the original area or Herod's expansion; looks like the two models take opposite views on that. (That said, the fact that it took the Romans three weeks from the conquest of the Antonia fortress - off to the right of the Temple in both models - until they were able to break into the Temple courtyard proper, suggests that there must have been something more substantial than the soreg in the way.)
Jun
12
comment Qumran - Proof or Genizah for Errors?
@ShmuelBrin: because there are places where the Gemara explicitly says that a word is spelled a certain way. (I'm not talking about places where a verse is simply quoted - you're right, there's no reason to assume that the copyists took any special care with those.) Sanhedrin 4a-b gives several examples, including בסכת בסכת בסכות הרי כאן ארבע - our Sifrei Torah have all three written בסכת; and קרנות קרנת קרנת הרי כאן ארבע, where again our Sifrei Torah have all of them chaser.
Jun
12
comment Qumran - Proof or Genizah for Errors?
Come to think of it, too, there are quite a few places where the Gemara's text of Tanach differs slightly from ours (similarly Rashi's, etc.). Those are surely much more reliable sources than Qumran, and yet we don't change our mesorah on that basis.
Jun
12
comment Qumran - Proof or Genizah for Errors?
Even if we could demonstrate that these were meant as accurate texts, that wouldn't mean, as you put it, "that our texts are mistaken." They might have been according to a minority view that was in the end rejected (as with the שלשה ספרים מצאו בעזרה, Yerushalmi Taanis 4:2).
Jun
12
comment Published Ladino version of Meam Lo'ez?
@minhag: R. Kaplan's introduction is here. He says that it was done by the Ibn Tibbon Institute at the University of Granada. (That said, the Wikipedia article on Meam Loez quotes a review that says that it is full of inaccuracies.)
Jun
12
comment Kevias Ittim Vs. the General Mitzva of Talmud Torah
@Menachem: actually, it does directly answer the question - RSZ there says, as he does in Hilchos Talmud Torah which I cited, that the mitzvah of והגית בו - which is simply another way of saying the mitzvah of talmud Torah - is fulfilled minimally with 'פרק אחד שחרית וכו, and that there is a separate mitzvah (not necessarily applicable to all) to "know the entire Torah."
Jun
11
comment Shema in Musaf Kedushah - Source and reason
@SethJ: AFAIK there's no documentation of this minhag at all - or indeed, of the text of Kedushah in general - prior to the era of the Geonim (except for a brief reference to the phrase נעריצך ונקדישך in Maseches Soferim). So I doubt we know.