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visits member for 3 years, 7 months
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I'm an elected moderator on Mi Yodeya and The Workplace, and a pro-tempore mod on Writers and WorldBuilding. Professionally, I'm a technical writer who works with (and often helps design) programming interfaces. I'd love to see more tech-writing questions on Writers.SE.

I joined Stack Exchange so I could commit to the proposal for Mi Yodeya. I ask lots of questions to learn from the many knowledgeable Yodeyans. My answers tend to be mostly to practical "Jewish life" questions.

The SE network has many fine sites. Occasionally, a site doesn't match how it advertises itself, in a way that causes problems for users. So I offer a word of warning about one site that is especially harmful to Jews: before you join Biblical Hermeneutics, I urge you to consider these words from a 10k user who was ill-treated and ultimately driven out by religious zealots. They want people to help build their site (which they say is non-religious), but they allow Christian evangelism and presumption, quite a bit of it. If you're Jewish (or certain other religions too), you are likely to run into difficulties there. Learn from another's mistake, and please consult your rabbi. (More info on our meta.) See also: Working with idolaters, infidels, and the impious: can interfaith discourse work?


1h
comment What exactly was the sin and what made it possible for Adam and Chava to commit their first sin?
Partial duplicate: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/41106/472 (this addresses their culpability but not what precisely the sin was).
1h
comment How to bentch in a hotel room/vacation house?
I would think that, by extension from Chanukah candles which you light in your home and a hotel room counts, that they would be "home", but I don't have a source.
1d
comment Is one allowed to bid on a house if he knows another Jew has already made an offer?
@DaveS instead of deleting the question, how about turning that into an answer to help the next person who has this question? (If your LOR is willing to be named, or if you can report the sources he used, that'd be even stronger.)
2d
comment Lighting the Chanuka menorah in my moving trailer
@DoubleAA could be a boat, though the publicity properties of a boat at sea and a trailer on the highway seem different. Don't know if that matters, though -- presumably not if you're relying on "publicize to the household".
Dec
24
comment Paro enslaved Yisrael but they kept the good land — was that normal?
But on the other hand, when Paro gave them the land he told Yosef to have his brothers look after his flocks too -- "And if thou knowest any able men among them, then make them rulers over my cattle" (47:6). Related: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/12741/472
Dec
24
comment Who is understood to be the “one like a man” referred to in Daniel 7:13?
Thanks for explaining what you're using. I use a Soncino text bundle (also with a nice interface, including search) and I can cut/paste from that, which is why I asked.
Dec
24
comment Is there a halachic problem with saying “Christ” as a name?
What about when it's used as a name -- as a clear reference to an individual in history? I'm talking about uses like "C-- died on the cross" etc -- that's clearly talking about one false claimant to the title, not the concept in general. In other words, when it is used as a name, is the Gr"a still ok with it?
Dec
24
comment Who is understood to be the “one like a man” referred to in Daniel 7:13?
Hi Joseph and a belated welcome to Mi Yodeya. I've noticed that you've included images from the talmud in several of your answers. Are these from a digital source? If so, would it be possible for you to cut and paste the text into your answers instead of just taking a screen shot? That way your answer would be accessible to people who have trouble with images (like people using screen-readers). And it'd also add some Google juice to your answers. Thanks.
Dec
23
comment What is the valley of deep darkness (or shadow of death) in Psalm 23?
@Shokhet thanks for that information. (You could probably build that into an answer...) I'm still very much a beginner with Nach and non-Rashi commentary!
Dec
23
comment What is the valley of deep darkness (or shadow of death) in Psalm 23?
@IsaacMoses thanks! I hadn't seen that. I'll have to go through those answers later; it looks like some do exact-word match and others (like Strong's) do shoresh-based matches. I want the latter. (Correction: apparently I had seen that question because I'd favorited it, but I then lost track of it.)
Dec
23
comment Practically speaking, how should I cover my hair?
Thanks. Some of those caps look like they're close-fitting (not surprising if designed for cancer patients); a recommendation for something that can handle medium-length hair underneath (perhaps w/recommendations for the best way to distribute hair inside) would be helpful. I assume that wigs are meant for people w/very short hair. This question came up for me most recently on a visit out of town (where I hadn't been before); I knew that not everybody fully covered hair but something was needed, hence my scarf attempts. (I saw mostly dressy hats, it turned out.) Want to do better next time.
Dec
23
comment Practically speaking, how should I cover my hair?
@Mike thanks for the hint. Some of the caps I've seen are basically a solid version of that (with a brim, usually), so if I knew what that was called I could try shopping for that.
Dec
23
comment Practically speaking, how should I cover my hair?
@Daniel either -- how do I tie a scarf so it covers enough of my hair to be ok in those settings (and stays put!), or what can I do instead to satisfy the tzniut norms of the community? My level of scarf know-how is "bandana 101"; I can tie a knot under the back of my neck, but that leaves a lot of hair showing and I don't know if that's good enough. (Also, when I did that recently, it kept sliding around.)
Dec
22
comment Time for t'filah and you don't have a siddur: better to daven from memory or wait (and possibly miss the time)?
This question was prompted by this one: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/35650/472.
Dec
22
comment If the majority of organic and/or free range eggs contain blood spots, why are they certified kosher?
@code613 you seem to mainly be asking "why do organic eggs have this property?", which is not on-topic for us. (That would be a question for Biology, probably.) You also ask, tucked into a paragraph late in the question, "how can these be kosher given that this is so common?", which is on-topic for us. Could you please edit to focus it more on the on-topic question? Feel free to include the other background, but the question needs to ultimately be about kashrut, not chicken biology. Thanks.
Dec
22
comment How long do you really need to keep your sideburns?
@Shokhet ok thanks. If there's an edit to the question that would make the distinction clearer, please go ahead and make it. Thanks for the help.
Dec
22
comment How long do you really need to keep your sideburns?
@Shokhet isn't this one asking how much skin has to to be covered (over what parts of your face do you need to not shave) while the other is about length? Or did I misunderstand? I saw 3 reopen votes and what looked like some positive discussion in chat so I went ahead and reopened. Actually, that's what I thought last night, but now I'm not sure. Hmm...
Dec
22
comment What is the valley of deep darkness (or shadow of death) in Psalm 23?
@Matt where? I don't see it in 23.
Dec
21
comment Going to classical music concert
What music? Handel's "Messiah" (l'havdil) would probably be different from a program of Salamone Rossi. Vocal or instrumental?
Dec
21
comment Is there a best time of year to make aliya?
Oh wow, thank you for sharing hard data! I didn't know we had this knowledge within the Yodeyan community.