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15

It's approximating π, as is clear from the g'mara (Eruvin 14:1). The problem is that that g'mara seems to be saying that it's a pretty precise approximation, and we know it's not. (Tosafos there raise this question and offer no answer.) But to answer your question, whether it's an approximation of π or a miracle, it's the former.


14

If I daven for parnassah, probably not. However, for someone righteous enough, maybe, but it can come with a catch. Ta'anis 25a relates this story אמרה ליה דביתהו עד אימת ניזיל ונצטער כולי האי אמר לה מאי נעביד בעי רחמי דניתבו לך מידי בעא רחמי יצתה כמין פיסת יד ויהבו ליה חד כרעא דפתורא דדהבא (חזאי) בחלמא עתידי צדיקי דאכלי אפתורא דדהבא דאית ליה תלת כרעי (...


12

The Ramban addresses this in his commentary to B'reishis 17:17. He explains that miracle of Yitzchok's birth was not the age of Avraham or Sarah (as Avraham later had children from Keturah (Hagar) when he was 140). At that time, as long as people remained fertile they could still conceive children past age hundred. Rather, the miracle was in the fact that ...


11

The source of this ruling is the Rama to OC 187:4 (repeated again in 682:1). The Shaarei Teshuva on the spot (sk 3*) asks your question and gives two possible answers: The request is made in plural whereas the problem of praying for miracles is (apparently) only for personal ones. The request is for miracles which come about through the natural order of the ...


11

Rambam, Hilchot Klei HaMikdash 8:5: כָּל בֶּגֶד מִבִּגְדֵי כְּהֻנָּה שֶׁנַּעֲשׂוּ צוֹאִין אֵין מְלַבְּנִין אוֹתָן וְאֵין מְכַבְּסִין אוֹתָן אֶלָּא מַנִּיחָן לִפְתִילוֹת וְלוֹבֵשׁ חֲדָשִׁים. וּבִגְדֵי כֹּהֵן גָּדוֹל שֶׁבָּלוּ גּוֹנְזִין אוֹתָן. וּבִגְדֵי לָבָן שֶׁעוֹבֵד בָּהֶם בְּיוֹם הַצּוֹם אֵינוֹ עוֹבֵד בָּהֶם פַּעַם שְׁנִיָּה לְעוֹלָם אֶלָּא ...


10

We find in Yonah's prayer inside the fish: וַיִּתְפַּלֵּל יוֹנָה אֶל יְהוָה אֱלֹהָיו מִמְּעֵי הַדָּגָה. וַיֹּאמֶר קָרָאתִי מִצָּרָה לִי אֶל יְהוָה וַיַּעֲנֵנִי מִבֶּטֶן שְׁאוֹל שִׁוַּעְתִּי שָׁמַעְתָּ קוֹלִי And Jonah prayed to the Lord his God, from the belly of the fish. And he said: I called out from my distress to the Lord, and He answered me; ...


10

There are three main differences between Magic and Miracles. A miracle is a request to Hashem that is then granted, but it may not always be granted. While Magic is an attempt to subvert the will of Hashem and presumably is reliable. The ability of magic is limited. It can not create new things, can not raise the dead, and if it passes over fresh water it ...


10

The GR"A points out the following: The word circumference (kav) is spelled קוה but pronounced קו. The gematria of the former is 111 and the latter is 106. The ratio of 111 to 106, multiplied by the approximation of 3, gives you: (111 / 106) * 3 = 3.1415 Perhaps pi to five digits is a better approximation than 3?


10

Wikipedia has a set of answers in their article on Approximations of pi. That links to a terrific article on rabbinic approximations of π by Boaz Tsaban and David Garber. Tsaban and Garber summarize as follows (pp. 10-11): The rational-religious approach of Maimonides holds that, since we cannot know the exact values, the Bible tells us that we do ...


9

Without getting into a distinction between magic and miracles (because in the end both are supernatural) the halacha (Yoreh Deah 179) states that all forms of k'shuf are forbidden except those performed through Sefer Yetzeirah. The Beis Yosef and others explain that the general principle is that the Sefer Yetzeirah discusses the use of combinations of Hashem'...


9

First of all, the whole point of the 'river turning to blood' was that it was supposed to be a miracle, an event showing that superiority of a force over the natural world (i.e. science). So, if anything, your example proves that the Jews DO believe in modern science, as they believe that there's no natural way to turn water into blood without divine ...


9

He would be a prophet through whom God worked a miracle. In fact, this happened with the prophet Elisha, as recorded in Melachim II 4. Elisha had told a Shunammite woman who had treated him very kindly that she would have a son. She did, and then the boy died. She cried to Elisha, who ran to her house, closed himself in the room with the dead boy, prayed ...


8

This is a famous question asked by the Bait Yosef (OC 670), which has gained so much popularity since he's asked it, seemingly because of it's simplistic ingenuity, that it's attracted hundreds of answers from most everyone who has ever had anything to say about Chanuka. The Bait Yosef himself gives three possible answers: (quoted from here) Those who ...


8

At least some people who "half-believe" the torah are in transition. Not everybody is a rock-solid believer from birth; for the rest of us, there will be some period during which you are trying to figure out what torah you accept from scientific validation ("yeah, it would be possible for the Sea of Reeds to do that"), what you accept because of publicity ("...


8

Technically, "modern science" incorporates quantum mechanics, which includes the ideas of particles "blipping" in and out of existence, as well as that of all that science predicts are probabilities not definitive absolutes. So modern science doesn't really contradict the miraculous (which are essentially then statistical anomalies). Furthermore, at a ...


7

I think that the point is being missed here. There are not that many places where there is a difference between the written word (k'siv) and the way the word is pronounced (kri). This is especially true where the written word would be pronounced the same way. The reason is generally that neither is quite correct. The "real" word should be some combination. ...


7

You question's a little unclear (to me) but if you're asking (as l ' suggests) I understood that interaction between God and man in the form of miracles done by the former ended along with the canon, yet we see such outside of the canon! then the answer is simple: Your premise is wrong. God has done many miracles since the times of Tanach. There are ...


7

here is one from Megillah 7b (via dafyomi.co.il) (a) (Rava): A person is obligated to become drunk on Purim until he cannot distinguish 'cursed is Haman' from 'blessed is Mordechai.' (b) Rabah and R. Zeira ate their Purim Seudah together; Rabah got drunk and slaughtered R. Zeira. The next day he prayed, and restored him to life. 1. The next year, Rabah ...


7

Rabbi Chanina bar Chama brought back one of Antoninus' servants to life (Avodah Zara 10b): Rabbi Haninah bar Hama thereupon went out but found that the man had been slain. Thought he, “How shall I act now? Shall I call and say that the man is dead?—but one should not bring a sad report; shall I leave him and walk away?—that would be slighting the king.” ...


7

The Gemara you are looking for is in Bava Kamma 117:b. Rav Yochanon revived Rav Kahana after having caused his death and according to the second Pshat of Rashi, Rav Kahana told him he prefers to remain dead then to experience death again.


7

With thanks to Danny Schoemann who pointed me at a reference to what I’d remembered without a source. Here is how the Torah describes the tabernacle altar (Shemot 27:8): נְבוּב לֻחֹת תַּעֲשֶׂה אֹתוֹ; כַּאֲשֶׁר הֶרְאָה אֹתְךָ בָּהָר, כֵּן יַעֲשׂוּ׃ Hollow with planks shalt thou make it; as it hath been shown thee in the mount, so shall they make it. ...


7

See the introduction to R' Ya'akov Emden's siddur (bottom of the page). R' Emden is continuing from his discussion of the persistent survival of the Jewish people through great adversity and the appropriate conclusions to draw from this regarding HaShem's involvement in the world and His care for the Jewish people: By the life of my soul! When I ...


7

A helpful source in this discussion is (the ever-rational) Ibn Ezra, in his second commentary to Shemot 16:13: ירקב שם חיוי שאמר כי המן הוא הנקרא בלשון פרס: תרנגבין, ובלשון ערב: מן, ובלשון לעז: מנא. כי קושיות רבות יעמדו עליו: האחד – כי אינו יורד היום במדבר סיני, כי ההר ידוע. ואני ראיתי זה הדומה למן במלכות אלנצי״ר, והוא יורד בניסן ובאייר, לא בחדשים אחרים. ...


6

How to explain to an atheist? Don't look to Johnny: Nine-year-old Joey was asked by his mother what he had learned in Sunday School. 'Well, Mom, our teacher told us how God sent Moses behind enemy lines on a rescue mission to lead the Israelites out of Egypt . When he got to the Red Sea, he had his army build a pontoon bridge and all the people ...


6

Here is something I wrote about this last year: One of the most famous questions asked about חנוכה is known as “The Beis Yosef’s Question”. The גמרא explains the reason for the celebration of חנוכה is because the Jews found only one flask of oil containing enough oil to light the מנורה for just one day. A miracle occurred and the oil lasted for eight days. ...


6

No, but if you work the minimum amount and devote yourself to the service of God more and more, then the amount of exertion that you will need to do will diminish down to zero. Chovos Halevavos Shaar Habitachon middle of chapter 3: If a man strengthens himself in the service of G-d, chooses to fear G-d, trusts in Him on matters of torah and matters of ...


6

The Ramchal in Da'as Tevunos explains that Hashem's hidden-ness is the only vehicle for fulfilling the purpose of the world. He writes that the purpose of the world is to reveal Hashem's singularity and unity, and he writes that this attribute can only be attributed through the negation of the apparition of its opposite. There is required to be a world in ...


6

It was made out of Sapphire and had the words דצ"ך עד"ש באח"ב , (an acronym of the Ten Plagues) inscribed on it. See Pirkei Avos chapter 5:6 with its commentaries.There are also midrashim on this topic. From Pirkei D'Reb Eliezer 40 ר' לוי אומ' אותו המטה שנברא בין השמשות נמסר לאדם הראשון מגן עדן ואדם מסרו לחנוך וחנוך מסרו לנח ונח לשם ושם מסרו לאברהם ...


6

The Talmud is replete with miracles. The first 5 pages of the 5th chapter of Tractate Bava Basra (beginning here and ending here) are almost entirely dedicated to miraculous stories that happened to Rabba Bar Bar Channa. Many of the miracles of the Talmud are subject to discussion if they are meant to be taken literally. However, some are generally ...


6

This may very well be one of Ramban's objections to Rashi's explanation: ועוד מה טעם שיזכיר הכתוב עובי קולו And furthermore, what reason is there that Scripture should mention the thickness of his voice? While this is not quite asking why it should have occurred in the first place, it is similar to your question in that it sees no point for this. ...


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