23,016 reputation
542153
bio website cellio.livejournal.com
location Pittsburgh PA
age
visits member for 4 years
seen 10 mins ago

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.


22h
comment How will we know the moshiach when he arrives?
@DoubleAA vague as it is, I've added what I know about that to the question.
22h
comment How will we know the moshiach when he arrives?
Neither of us remembered where we've learned that, unfortunately. I've heard it repeated often enough that I assumed it wasn't controversial. (Isn't this why we sing Eliyahu HaNavi after havdalah, for example -- we're hoping he's coming right now with this news?) I could put this into the question if you like; it feels vague enough that I hesitated to do so.
23h
comment What are the philosophical implications behind g'zerah shavah?
Welcome to Mi Yodeya. Can you say more about what, of all the rules of exegesis, especially troubles you about g'zerah shavah? Thanks. Also, your last question, about why there is no Christian or Islamic midrash, is something we can't answer here, so you might want to remove that. (I also don't know if it's accurate.)
May
22
comment Origin of Reform/Conservative “scarf” talleisim
FWIW, my husband inherited a small talit like this from his (eastern-European) Orthodox grandfather, who never had anything to do with the Reform or Conservative movements or, chas v'shalom, Christianity. My husband doesn't know its history, beyond that his grandfather used it his entire life (it wasn't just for a small bar-mitzvah child, in other words).
May
22
comment Rabbi Nosson Finkel and angels
It would help to know on what R' Finkel based his statement.
May
22
comment What is the meaning of the signs that Elijah was shown at mount Horeb
I sometimes find myself wondering whether God was not in the wind/earthquake/fire, or if Eliyahu couldn't perceive him being in them). It seems like that would affect how we understand what followed.
May
19
comment How to differentiate between observance and habit
Are you asking how we know if somebody else is acting out of habit or belief, or how you tell if you are? 'Cause I strongly suspect that the former is none of our business most of the time.
May
15
comment Why do we avoid inviting people to a b'rit milah specifically, and not other celebrations too?
A question here, linked from the answer I linked to, asks why we do this and whether it applies to other s'machot; the answer there does not address the latter.
May
14
comment How do I explain my heritage to my son? (as someone who has left Judaism at a young age)
@cham the topics are pretty basic (it is an intro class) and the course is generally taught by rabbis. (I've helped some when there have been scheduling problems because the rabbis involved specifically know me. That's not usual.)
May
14
comment How do I explain my heritage to my son? (as someone who has left Judaism at a young age)
My local intro-to-Judaism class is nearly free (or was last I heard). They only charge for books, and I imagine that more and more moves online every day. Last time I taught a session people were using their tablets, not paper editions, to look at torah text, for instance. (Obviously this was not on Shabbat.) I mean, you're going to want a chumash and a tanakh on paper eventually, but the course used to distribute copies at cost.
May
14
comment Were there particular reasons to vow the value of a person?
@msh210 oh! Ok, that makes sense; thank you. (I still rely on an English translation of Bavli and had not made the connection with the change in vowels. I should be used to those kinds of vowel changes by now...)
May
13
comment Cannibalism, Jew or Gentile?
The question asks for sources; can you add some?
May
13
comment Do any Jews, ancient or modern, hold that Michael the Arch-angel is the coming messiah?
@fredsbend the "possession" version of incarnation, but arguing that the identity goes with the body (so, e.g. Michael the angel possesses a descendant of David and that works) is a non-starter in Judaism. I'm not going to go digging for sources (that feels like a new question anyway), but the identity goes with the soul. An angel inhabiting the body of a descendant of David, even were such a thing to happen, would be the angel, not the descendant of David.
May
13
comment Do any Jews, ancient or modern, hold that Michael the Arch-angel is the coming messiah?
@fredsbend I added some quotes from the talmud. These are from the g'mara, so probably c.200-500 CE. This is the first writing-down (AFAIK) of an older oral tradition. We consider that oral tradition to be reliable.
May
13
comment Do any Jews, ancient or modern, hold that Michael the Arch-angel is the coming messiah?
@user6591 well, if an angel were incarnated he'd still not be of the house of David. Unless you say that that too could be changed miraculously, but at that point we'd have no way to vet a messiah claimant and God wouldn't do that to us. So I'm going to go with the simpler explanation that the signs we've been told about apply.
May
13
comment Do any Jews, ancient or modern, hold that Michael the Arch-angel is the coming messiah?
@curiousdannii you might want to ask that as a separate question. It's kind of tangential to this question but it sounds important to you.
May
13
comment Do any Jews, ancient or modern, hold that Michael the Arch-angel is the coming messiah?
@user6591 I don't know that midrash, but it sounds like it strengthens my case: if God turned (certain) angels into humans, doesn't that tell us that by default they're not? Or does that midrash claim that God turned all angels into humans? (From your comment it doesn't sound like it, but maybe I'm misunderstanding you.)
May
11
comment What is “the door of the tent of meeting” in Leviticus 1:3?
Where does Rashi talk about the metzora case being different? I don't see it in the Rashi on 1:3 and I haven't searched Rashi in Parshat Metzora.
May
11
comment How do observant Jews entertain themselves?
@Scimonster I don't think so. In the first sentence he says ruchniyos = fun, so I take this as "all ruchniyos and no play", with a substitution. I smiled when I read it.
May
8
comment If a gentile undergoes a non-orthodox conversion, and proceeds to keep the Sabbath, is he sinning?
Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.