Episode #125 of the Stack Overflow podcast is here. We talk Tilde Club and mechanical keyboards. Listen now
21

Ari Zivotofsky and I have worked hard to collect tens of testimonies from Yemenites and North Africans on the ID and traditions of which chagav (locust-like insect) is kosher. There is no question, as there are still many people alive who can remember them from their countries of origin. Birds as the paradigm As mentioned in Isaac Moses' response above, ...


21

Emunat Chachamim צomes from Avot 6:6 where a list of 48 ways of achieving Torah wisdom are mentioned. There are many commentatries on Avot in general and this mishna in particular, all saying slightly different things. However.. Traditionally, this phrase is meant to mean that you must trust those people who are wiser than you to give over the tradition ...


20

As you yourself say, the Muslim claims have never been backed up with proof. If there would be proof, why would they not inform us? That seems ample proof that it's a baseless claim. There are various proofs that the Torah we have is essentially identical to the original (with some minor spelling variants). One is the fact that all Jews have the same ...


17

In Shu"t Mei'ein Omer pg 274 (not sure what volume, but it isn't volume 6, 7 or 8), a close student of Rav Ovadiah Yosef reports that a man once asked him if he needs to destroy a building he bought because it used to contain a synagogue of Dor De'im, a sect of Temani Jews who stick to strict Maimonidian philosophy and practice, and reject most if not all of ...


17

This article, by Prof. Rivka Ulmer, might answer some of your questions... She writes (pg. 108): "Prior to the attestation in the New Testament, there is no evidence of Psalm 22 being used in a Jewish messianic context... Jewish interpretations of the Psalm identify the individual in the Psalm with a royal figure, alternatively interpreted as King David, ...


16

My sister made this chart. It is kind of a condensed version of the hebrew one: And here's a version with the titles transliterated, instead of translated:


13

First, I would suggest you read a bit about the history of the biblical text, its redaction, etc. It's important to understand the role played by the Masoretes in the making of the Masoretic texts which are used today, such as the Aleppo Codex. What is the source (talmudic or otherwise) for this concept? Traditionally, there were a number of different ...


12

Rashi is actually quoting here from Bereshis Rabbah 61. The question is, do we trust the midrash with the text of our sifrei torah, and "fix" the problem accordingly, or do we trust the vast majority of our texts and sifrei torah that have the word with two yud's? Beis Yosef (YD 275), who claims that this problem happens quite often, seems to say (correct ...


12

There is a teshuva of the Rema in which he writes that if you find a Teshuva of the Gaonim, you could follow its opinion. I asked R' Zvi Berkowitz about this and he said this was restricted specifically to the period of the Gaonim, because the Rishonim themselves (on whom much of our codification is based) would have taken the position of the Gaon into ...


11

Teeth aren't an issue - unlike with land animals and birds, kosher fish can be predators. (In fact, barracuda is kosher - and you don't get much more toothy than that!) Fish don't need a mesorah to be kosher (unless it's a corner case, such as where it's uncertain whether the scales are detachable from the skin, or where it resembles too closely a non-...


11

Rashi's commentary seems to indicate that it refers to the plight of the Jewish Nation in Exile.


10

I think Avi nailed it, just to add my own spin. Rabbi Moshe Feinstein wrote that he welcomed critiques of his halachic stances, if someone felt the sources better indicated a different view. He made no promises that his final product of p'sak (ruling) was perfect every time, only that his process was a good one and that he worked on it quite a bit. So I ...


10

My Rebbe Rav Avigdor Nevenzahl Shlit"a told me that his Rebbe ybcl'c Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach zt"l when serving as mesader kiddushin at a wedding, upon hearing that one of the witnesses under the chuppa did not believe in Kabbalah or that Rebbe Shimon Bar Yochai authored the Zohar, had him replaced as a witness. The explanation I was given was that ...


10

A good place to look to find refutations of Christian messianic interpretations of the bible is Sefer Nitzachon, printed in Otzar Vikuchim by Dr. J. D. Eisenstein. This is his answer to this specific case (p. 256): The Christian claim is that Jesus was crying to G-d, his father, "Why have you abandoned me?" at the time he was being executed. But according ...


9

Here's a clear explanation of the Heter side: The Arugot Habosem (Rabbi Aryeh Lebush Bolchiver, author of Shem Aryeh, Russia, published 1870; kuntras ha'tshuvot in the back, siman 16) very neatly presents the quandary: Birds require a tradition to be kosher and turkey (indik) is a bird that comes from America, a place that was not discovered until the ...


9

Toldos Tanaaim V'Amoroim Volume 2 Page 137 says that it is highly unlikely that Rabbi Yehuda ben Bava was the son of Bava ben Buta. Bava ben Buta lived in the times of Hordos (73/74 BCE - 4 BCE - source) and was a student of Shamai Hazakain (50 BCE–30 CE - source) while Rabbi Yehuda ben Bava was killed after Churban Beitar (135 CE - source).


9

Any works that deal in detail with the development of the Talmud (e.g. Seder HaKabalah of the Raavad, the Igeres R' Sherira Gaon) will discuss the Savoraim. The Doros HaRishonim discusses them at some length in volume six. The Savoraim was a very brief and obscure period. Different sources give significantly different information on the period. The Seder ...


9

Rav Ahron Lopiansky seemed to dispel this myth as being an old bubby's tale in a lecture. His words were some thing along the lines of "Yiddishe bubbies say that this is the makeh, (slap)", while gesturing to his philtrum, with a smile on his face. I subsequently had a phone conversation in which I asked him directly for his stance. He said that he hasn't ...


9

This blog post mentions that it appears in some collections of Jewish legends and the like, but not in any traditional Jewish sources. R. Chaim Kanievsy (in this Kuntres on Chinuch) was asked whether or not woman are taught Torah in the womb, and pointing out that women also have a philtrum, and it seems like he uses this as a proof that the philtrum is not ...


9

I would offer three answers, which I believe may be true simultaneously. 1 While scribes were extremely careful for pesukim in Tanach, so as not to invalidate the kosher status of the sefer, they were not so careful when quoting pesukim when they occurred within the Gemara. Add to that that sometimes earlier manuscripts will shorten words or phrases with ...


9

There are two different types of gzeirah shava specific words were part of the mesorah but the pesukim used and / or the actual item that was derived from the gzeirah shava may not have been part of the mesorah. The content of the limud was part of the mesorah but not the words used in the gzeirah shava. Halichos Olam Shaar 4. See also Ramban sefer ...


9

From Chabad.org this question was once asked by Rabbi Alexander-Sender Yudasin to the Lubavitcher Rabbi Zatzal. The Rabbi said that perhaps since the Siman was = the words "בלי כל" the original Siman said "בלי כל ֿ סימן". A publisher who misunderstood took it that there was no Siman and left it out, thus it was not in future editions. הרב אלכסנדר-סנדר ...


8

The Gemara (Megillah 25b) mentions several examples of one type of keri ukesiv - where a less refined word is replaced with a more euphemistic one. (Examples include ובעפלים\ובטחרים in Deut. 28:27, ישגלנה\ישכבנה ibid. v. 30, and several others in Nach.) In various scattered places (examples include Eruvin 26a, Yoma 21b and Sotah 42b) it also mentions others ...


8

Hacham Ovadia in Yechave Da'at 4:47 quotes Morenu Harav Haim Vital (1543-1620) who speaks about this concept in Sha'ar Hagilgulim (Hakdama 11) and in his introduction to Sha'ar Hamitzvot. He seems to get it from the Zohar Parashat Balak (202a) which says: והיה כעץ שתול על פלגי מים, מה אילן זה יש בו שרשים ויש בו ענפים ויש בו עלים ויש בו פרחים ויש בו מוח ...


8

There is a book called Fixing God's Torah, Barry Levy. It deals with this Rashba. There is a Rebbi Akiva Aiger in Masechet Shabbat (55B) where he has a list of such issues. Also note, in the examples given above, they are letters that the gemara (Kiddushin 30A) says "we are not expert in full and defective spelling" i.e. the use of the vav. The yud is more ...


8

We do have a masorah on turkey. That is: Bechorot 7a declares that kosher and non-kosher species cannot cross-breed. Thus, if two species can hybridize, and one is known to be kosher it is proof positive that the other is kosher as well. This is cited (Rambam, Ma'achalot Assurot 1:13) as an halachikally valid means of distinguishing between kosher and non-...


8

Rav Herschel Schachter has written a Teshuvah that Ashkenazim may eat soft Matzah. See here* for a discussion of his Teshuvah and some follow-up questions and answers about it. *Be advised that this is taken from a commercial site selling a product under the umbrella of "approved by Rav Schachter". It is, however, a real Teshuvah, and the discussion that ...


8

There are differences between texts of Tanach now and in the past. In fact, there are several different so-called "textual witnesses" of Tanach that exist, each of which has their own strengths and weaknesses. The textus receptus — received text of the Jews is the Masoretic text, whose ancestors are present in some form in some of the Dead Sea Scrolls and ...


8

I still feel the question of "sources for indecent dress by women" deserves a better treatment than we (including me) provided up to now. So let me try again. In summary the key Torah verse prohibits erva in the Jewish camp the gemara will define a woman's erva as parts of her body, her hair and her voice most laws of tzniut are part of dat Yehudit and ...


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