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visits member for 4 years, 6 months
seen Sep 17 at 19:34

I’m an engineer, graduated with a B.E. in Electrical Engineering from the Cooper Union, and working in that field in the Greater NYC area.

My interests are varied and include computers & computer programming, science fiction & real-life space exploration, politics, and religion; see my active accounts on Stack Overflow.

Read my (very sporadically-updated) blog, or follow me on Google+.


Jul
15
comment Understanding how the omer was sifted
If I find the source for this I'll turn it into an answer: I've read that there was an initial coarse grind. Some of the wheat would crumble into fine dust; the bran would be coarse; and what was left could be ground again into more refined flour.
Jul
9
comment Is pharisaical - or any similar allusion to the Pharisees - offensive to modern Jews?
Cf. my answer to a related question at BH.SE (hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/a/5134/410): “The Pharisees themselves categorized several species of this hypocrisy, including the sort who make a show of their alleged piety or claim to have fulfilled their duties—these they classified as ‘those who bring destruction to the world’ (Sotah 22b). A cheap propaganda trick thus available to rabble-rousers was to broadly accuse all Pharisees of this hypocrisy, making the audience of common-folk feel superior.”
May
25
comment What was the name of Sarah's mother?
See Hebrew Wikipedia – שמות חיצוניים לדמויות אנונימיות במקרא : אם שרה אימנו
Apr
11
comment Was the Reish Galuta considered the presumptive candidate for the Melech haMoshiach?
I’m not sure @sabbahillel’s edit is appropriate. The original answer was a negative, backed by Seder Olam Zutta. Bringing in Vayikra Rabba opens the question back up.
Mar
5
comment Jewish responses to a sneeze
Related: Jewish responses to a sneeze.
Mar
5
comment How do we fulfill the positive commandment to be crazy?
Your answer implies the question should be moved to Meta.
Mar
4
comment Haman was Basar b’Chalav, so how could we eat him?
No, @IshPloniViKohen, the entire story takes place inside Achashverosh's intestines; and since he wasn't Jewish, the whole problem doesn't begin.
Feb
10
comment What puns are there in Tanach?
See R' S. R. Hirsch on the meaning of שבע, and why the word is used for “seven” and “oath”; he relates this homonym to the word אלה, which also means “oath” but is more obviously related to אל, “God”. To Rav Hirsch, your first example is symbolism, not a pun.
Feb
5
comment Should someone who isn't 100% certain of God's existence be considered a kofer?
It’s difficult enough giving a p’sak in matters of hashkafah, and you want to know the shiur too?
Jan
21
comment Why is the information that Malchi-Tzedek was a priest not written earlier in the posuk?
Are long chains of adjectives common at all common in Biblical Hebrew?
Jan
21
comment What is the correct vocalization for Megillas Ester 3:6
At mechon-mamre.org/c/ct/c3303.htm#6 there’s a patach; IIRC they follow the Allepo Codex where possible.
Jan
3
comment Who was Shaul ben HaCanaanie?
BTW, Rav S.R. Hirsh suggest Saul was the son of Dinah by Shechem, and was adopted by Shimon.
Jan
3
comment Why is Midrash not in the Torah
To rephrase: Why is Midrash within Torah shebeal peh rather than Torah shebichsav? I'm not sure this question is answerable, except perhaps to question it premise.
Nov
20
comment Cheap Techeilet?
@SethJ, more explicitly, theshofarman.com/cartmessianictallitscriptures-1.htm and theshofarman.com/carttwins.htm
Nov
6
comment Why is Moshiach a “fundamental belief” (iqar)?
@SethJ, note the (very similar) answers I've received; they both address “why?” and “in what sense?”.
Nov
6
comment Why is Moshiach a “fundamental belief” (iqar)?
@SethJ, I suspect the two are intertwined. If you can answer one without the other, I may accept that as well; but if your answer to one implies (but does not make explicit) the answer to the other, I will request a clarifying edit.
Nov
6
comment May an employer dismiss an employee to pressure him in a non–work-related matter
It actually assumes one cannot, at least not without suitable notice. This assumption may not be well-founded, I admit.
Nov
5
comment Death penalty convict status
… and the possibility of judicial reprieve is going to be a factor.
Nov
5
comment Death penalty convict status
Do we, in general, extend the rule “it must be destroyed, so it has the status as if it already is” to people? This question is more likely to have been discussed in the context of whether a condemned man can effect kiddushin.
Oct
31
comment Why is Moshiach a “fundamental belief” (iqar)?
Let me see if I understand correctly: The core of the 12th iqar (you explain) is that Gᴏᴅ has a plan for the world, and that history will eventually unfold according to that plan. The phrasing of the iqar just happens to be in terms of the specific goal Gᴏᴅ is aiming the world to. Is that a fair summation of your answer?