Thursday, October 30, 2008

Interesting Posts and Articles #88

  1. A scandal in Louisiana's courts, about handling of appeals by indigent Louisiana convicts.

  2. Illegal, quite possibly politically motivated, searches on records of Joe the Plumber.

  3. As Gilui notes in a comment, these failing predictions of mashiach by the Succot which just ended were sparked by statements made by Rav Kaduri, z"tzl or perhaps made by Rav Kaduri's student in his name, based in turn on statements by the Gra applied to recent events. He notes this article at IsraelNationalNews which elaborates. If so, and this is indeed a failed prediction, then we should note that it is Rav Kaduri's (or his student, Yehoshua Meiri's) prediction which failed as well.

    Though we cannot blame the Gra on this, since his words were being interpreted and applied to present day. In terms of Rav Kaduri, he passed away and so was not making statements all the way up to Succot. I do not know what his student was saying.

    Also, this does not take the blame, or credit, from those who echoed this prediction with their own predictions, or prophecies, as the case may be in each particular instance. E.g. a navi who "steals" another prophet's prophecy, by echoing it and claiming it as his own, is still a navi sheker. And the people putting forth these claims were not advancing them solely on the authority of this prediction by Rav Kaduri. For example, the "autistics," who pretend to be prophets conveying messages from on high, were conveying their own messages about the end of days, adding all sorts of predictive details. They may have been initially influenced by Rav Kaduri or his student, or any of the other mystical websites / sources out there, but in the end, it is they who put forth their own predictions, as prophecy. The same goes for any (mis-)interpretation of sources at Dreaming Of Moshiach, or any quasi-"prophetic" dreams she may have had. These bolster the original claim, but still those who advance such claims, especially while giving it an air of authority as the words of the Zohar or as a prophetic dream, are ultimately responsible for their claim.

  4. discusses eating hot food on Shabbat, and how they (used to) suspect someone who did not do so of being a closet Sadducee. Unfortunate modern-day consequences of misunderstanding this to refer specifically to chulent, because chamin in modern Hebrew is chulent (they clarify that they mean any hot food, despite talking about chulent), or perhaps even applying it at all today when people are not really in danger of being Sadducees, may be seen in this old post at WolfishMusings about someone who was made to make a new geirut misafek, and the way it was reported.

  5. Shirat Devorah believes that the Obama campaign is going to literally brainwash millions of Americans via their TVs. I don't think so.

    If you would like to be brainwashed, though, you can see the infomercial here. Just make sure to put on your tinfoil hat first, to protect against the mind-control rays:

    But it reminds me of two stories which happened a short time back with my (fairly young) son. 1) He was running somewhere, and I made a stupid pun (I can't elaborate upon) about him being a Mayoral Candidate. He replied: Yes, I'm going to vote and vote, until John McCain decides to become President.
    2) The next morning, he was watching Word Girl. It was a rerun, and there was a evil genius, Mr. Big, who was trying to take over the town by using a mind-control device to get everyone to vote for him. (See here for a video clip of a (different) section of it, or view the same clip below.)

    But then the mind control device broke, so he had to take a different tack. He made a campaign slogan along the lines of "Vote for Change!" and took the (non-) unique approach of promising everyone everything they wanted. "I want a pony!" "Done!"
    My son saw this, turned to my wife and asked, "Is that man Obama?"

  6. Mystical Paths has a satirical take on the stabbing by a zealot of someone at the kever of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, at an upsherin, because of the lack of tznius in the fact that the family was gathered together, such that there was a mixture of men and women. See this article for more details. I don't know enough about the background. It could be reflective of the general encouragement of zealotry, especially in terms of tznius. But it seems quite plausible to me that the guy might just be a true lunatic, who took his cues from various messages, and should not reflect the general chareidi population or any trends they might be taking.


גילוי said...


I was not trying to take away from those that claim to have messages and are wrong. Just wanted to get this one added to the list. I have not actually seen on the inside, btw, the GR"A in question, nor have I seen any other reference to it. If anyone can find reference to the source, I do have some more obscure kitvei haGR"A.

Also, as the blogmaster of a Rif blog, you might appreciate what I have started putting together for chazarah purposes: A Rif style recitation/commentary on Yerushalmi Sukkah. I just finished and uploaded chapter 2.

joshwaxman said...

Sorry. I wasn't trying to say that you were.

But there was a potential side-effect in bringing this rabbinic / kabbalistic imprimatur, and so I just wanted to be clear on this. There was this aspect, so I used the words "in fairness," in the statement "In fairness, as Gilui notes in a comment". I think if I take those two words out, it will no longer suggest you were saying that.

Sounds interesting. I'll check it out.

Kol Tuv,


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