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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.

Please check out Mi Yodeya's publications with Q&A drawn from our site -- a haggadah supplement for Pesach, a Purim collection, and eight nights of Q&A for Chanukah.

Stack Exchange has many great sites. However, I recommend strongly that Jews avoid Biblical Hermeneutics or, at the very least, consult your rabbi first.


13h
comment Why are women unclean longer after giving birth to a girl?
And now the question has also been asked with different vocabulary, so the duplicate wasn't immediately apparent. So, both bases are covered there now.
13h
comment Why is a woman tamei 7 days for a son but 14 for a daughter?
Argh, this was not in the drop-down but I see it now in the related links.
13h
comment Why must a Yoledet, a woman who just gave birth, bring a sin offering?
@IsaacMoses thanks for helping me understand that next passage. (I didn't understand what R' Yosef was saying there.) I much prefer R' Hirsch's explanation as presented in your answer.
14h
comment Why must a Yoledet, a woman who just gave birth, bring a sin offering?
@RCW I agree with msh210's suggestion to ask follow-on questions. (There's a little more discussion of vows right after the part I quoted, but it wasn't germane to your question so I didn't include it here.) I don't know if the husband could nullify a vow she made about him; that's an interesting question too. And yeah, the "just in case" approach seems a little surprising to me; the oral law does that all the time, building fences, but here the written law is doing it, if we believe this g'mara. (On "what a chatat?", please see Isaac's excellent answer.)
1d
comment Why do women wear ponytail elastics on Shabas?
Does the restriction on this binding have to do with how it's fastened? Tying a string in one's hair would pose problems that slipping an elastic on might not. (Which isn't to say that the latter is ok -- I haven't studied this -- but I'm trying to get at the nature of the prohibition.)
Apr
16
comment A wife wants to stop going to the mikva. What does that mean for the husband?
Yitz, welcome to Mi Yodeya and thank you for bringing your question here. I really hope the two of you can find a solution to this that you're both comfortable with.
Apr
16
comment Why not catch up parshas right away?
And not only do we not use Tazria-Metzora to align, but we don't do it with Acharei-Kedoshim either.
Apr
15
comment does a water bottle become fleishig from a meal?
What is the bottle made out of? (Plastic I assume, but more specifically?)
Apr
13
comment Bootstrapping problem: havdalah ends shabbat (for one who didn't daven ma'ariv) but lighting the candle is melacha?
@DoubleAA oh, hmm! Looks like there was a merger. Ok, I'll think about how to work around that. I don't immediately see how to do that cleanly; input welcome.
Apr
9
comment Why can't one have marital relations with the light on?
It would help if you would tell us (for all your questions, not just this one) how you know what you know. Did you learn the g'mara on Niddah 17, or did you see a reference to this somewhere else and if so where?
Apr
6
comment Why no “Musaf” for Korban Pesach?
Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
Apr
3
comment Is there a place for the documentary-hypothesis in observant Judaism?
Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
Mar
31
comment What is the origin of the custom to have kids find the afikoman?
Related: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/14462/472
Mar
30
comment Is there a book that explains the large and small letters in the Torah?
Instead of asking for a book, why not ask your actual question? (Answers might cite books.) What do you want to know about the large and small letters?
Mar
27
comment Can Jews raise pets (cats, dogs, swine)?
And he doesn't say anything about other animals, while this question asks about pets in general (or, at least, dogs and cats as well as pigs).
Mar
25
comment Does Jewish tradition indicate that Jewish people tend to be rude?
How is charging a buffet line or talking during services ok by Jewish custom? That people do it doesn't mean it's appropriate behavior. We're not talking about the case where, e.g., it would seem rude to not acknowledge a greeting, except someone in the midst of the 'amidah is required to not interrupt, so that's a mis-impression based on incomplete information.
Mar
25
comment Chovos Halevavos' Proof from Design
Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
Mar
23
comment Can one accept Muhammad and remain Jewish?
Islam teaches that the torah that God gave us at Sinai is somehow corrupt, and Islam rewrites parts of it (e.g. to say that it was Yismael who was almost offered on Moriah). Further, as I understand it, Islam considers Jesus to be a prophet, while we do not. And, of course, Muhammad is not. So there are rather a few important differences; one professing faith in both Islam and Judaism must either be unaware of such problems or willing to ignore them, and in neither religion is the latter OK as best I understand.
Mar
22
comment Why is it ok to pay the kids for the afikoman?
@Scimonster I read that answer as saying that it's not ok to actually hand over cash but it is ok to make a pledge, and then adds the wrinkle of ownership (the afikoman never belonged to the kid legally). This was fairly early in my time on the site and maybe I shouldn't have accepted right away. I'm perfectly willing to move the acceptance to a better answer should one come along.
Mar
19
comment 3 kugels for 3 sifrei Torah?
I just heard somebody at the store ask somebody at the prepared-foods section about this (apparently it started as "do you have three different kugels available?"), but I hadn't yet seen this question. Bummer! (No, nobody there knew.)