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I'm an elected moderator on Mi Yodeya and The Workplace, and a pro-tempore mod on Writers.

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 to practical "Jewish life" questions.

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.

If you are a Jew and considering participating on Biblical Hermeneutics (another SE site), I urge you to consider these words from someone who went down that path. They want Jews to help out on their site, but they don't want to make Jews feel welcome by reining in the Christian evangelism. That's at best distasteful. Proceed with caution, and ideally consult your rabbi first. (More info on our meta.)


20h
comment Why are large Jewish communities not picking up and moving to Israel?
Related: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/11071/472
1d
comment What if I do not want (await) Moshiach to come?
Related: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/26908/472
1d
comment Is there an aversion to having Gentiles in the synagoge and why?
Hi Bruce. Off-topic, but you pinged me in a comment elsewhere and instead of responding there I thought I'd see if you'd like to chat briefly. Either way, please flag this comment as obsolete once you've seen it.
Jul
28
comment In a mixed marriage, is a Jewish woman liable for kareit if they have relations while she's niddah?
I read that one as "is she allowed to immerse" (which she might do even if it does nothing to permit the man to her), while I'm asking about punishment. One of the answers there partially addresses my question too, but I don't think the questions themselves are duplicates, though they are related.
Jul
27
comment Why did Rashi create a new letter system for his commentaries?
This seems to be a duplicate of this earlier answer. We try to avoid repeating other answers wholly. Is there some difference I've not picked up on? (Also, is this your own reasoning or did somebody say that about Rashi script?)
Jul
27
comment Differences between Bat Kol and prophecy
The one in Bava Metzia 59b is clearly heard by multiple people. (Didn't check the ones you listed.) Isn't prophecy usually to a single recipient? (If you say: the 70 elders + Eldad and Meidad, I'm under the impression that they had individual, if simultaneous, experiences.)
Jul
27
comment Keeping Kosher Jewish/gentile marriage
It's not a valid marriage (so you're right; family purity doesn't apply since that's not her obligation). But if she is going to do this thing anyway, then better -- while she rejects the halacha about intermarriage -- that she still keep the halacha she does care about. So rather than doom it to failure, saying "won't work; may as well give up" and have her joining him for the bacon cheeseburgers, I think it's valuable to still try. Anonymous people on the Internet aren't going to convince her to give up the marriage instead, after all.
Jul
23
comment What's special about where the unique karne farah trope appears?
I'm asking for why it's special -- could be a survey of sources on the matter, like on any other "what does such-and-such passage mean" question. The other one is asking for a d'var torah, if I understand correctly. An answer to that could address this, but "here's a link to my rabbi's talk" really doesn't help me. (Actually, isn't the other guaranteed to produce low-value results? It's asking for links, not answers.)
Jul
23
comment What's special about where the unique karne farah trope appears?
...and I didn't find it before asking, oops. (I don't think it's a dupe, but it is very similar.)
Jul
22
comment Beis Din observing a female convert's immersion in the Mikvah
Where I live, the mikvah lady watches and reports to the rabbis standing just outside the door (open, but they don't have line of sight).
Jul
22
comment May a surgeon who needs to do surgery on Shabbat correct the time on his watch?
Why wouldn't he, instead, either (a) borrow a watch from somebody else or (b) proceed immediately to the hospital after shul to make sure he's not late? And how often is life-saving surgery scheduled far-enough in advance for this to come up, for that matter?
Jul
21
comment Is using a Kindle on Shabbat permitted?
Neither did incandescent light bulbs, and yet it's forbidden to turn them on.
Jul
21
comment Sin Offerings — what did you do after sin, before you got to the temple?
Related: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/15440/472
Jul
21
comment Why was Batsheva bathing on the roof
@not-allowedtochangemyname if you're having a problem with your account, please use the "contact us" link at the bottom of the page to request help. That goes to SE staff, not mods (mods can't fix account problems). They should be able to help you get your original account back (and merge this one into that one), if you can prove to them that you're the owner of the other one.
Jul
20
comment backroom, minyan and shul
I'm confused by #1 -- why would you be yotzei if you aren't with a minyan? Is there some reason to believe that "in the same building" or "in the room next door" might be good enough? If so, your question would be stronger if you were to edit that in. Thanks.
Jul
20
comment Unclean — Consequences
Related: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/10976/472
Jul
16
comment Can you put a mezuzah on someone else's home without permission?
Also, consider darchei shalom if you think the owner would object (e.g. he's an apikorus who thinks you're trying to preach at him; your desire to bring him around wouldn't automatically trump his objections).
Jul
15
comment Would Moshe have lived longer if he had delayed fighting Midyan?
Yes, I think it is much to Moshe's credit that, despite knowing that his death would follow the war, he hastened to do it anyway. That he then got some extra time to tie up loose ends is a bonus he couldn't have known about in advance. (Well I suppose he could have, but I've never heard anybody make the claim, for what that's worth.)
Jul
15
comment HafTarah and Novi
Where did you learn these are preferable? Have you seen people takie care to do it that way? This (& many of your questions) asserts things as true & then asks for a source, but we don't have any basis for the assertions being true right now. I could ask "it is preferable to put a napkin on one's head before lighting candles; source?" because that's how I saw someone cover her hair when I was a kid, but that doesn't make napkins preferred (and for that matter doesn't even make hair-covering at home preferred -- it's just one observation). Please show us why you ask, & don't assume/assert, ok?
Jul
15
comment Arabs recognise Hashems watchfull hand over Klal Yisroel
A source that some Arab said that, or a source he might be drawing on for his claim about Hashem? The first seems off-topic (a question about current events).