Thursday, November 06, 2008

Interesting Posts and Articles #90

  1. Techdirt discusses "Don't Download This Song," a song from Weird Al Yankovic: The uncensored version is here on YouTube. But on MTV's site, they have an embeddable version (below), where they bleep out the names of music download sites (many defunct) such as Kazaa and Grokster. See here:

  2. WolfishMusings notes an interesting post on SemGirl about Shidduch Madness -- a shidduch being canceled because of a dispute of whether the chassan would wear his peyos up or down.

    But I disagree with the second story in that SemGirl post:
    At one of the meals, one of the guests warmly greeted someone she hadnt seen for quite a while, "Chava Sara, how are you". Chava Sara was furious and demanded to know, who told her that her full name is Chava Sara. It seems that she only goes by Chava, because her son is "on the market", and he wont be able to date all the lovely Sarahs out there, if it became public knowledge that her few name includes Sarah. How one innocent greeting at a Yom Tov suddenly, puts its on a neon billboard on 13th Ave, I dont quite understand. Also, if that is in fact her name, then halachically speaking, does it matter who knows and who doesnt. You iz who you iz, to quote a famous rapper.. But I guess no one informed her of that, or maybe she was just too busy shopping.
    Chava Sarah is more correct than SemGirl here. Unfortunately, we live in a society in which the girl's name being equal to that of the future mother-in-law is enough to nix a shidduch. This has its basis in the Tzavaah (will) of Rabbi Yehuda haChassid, which, as noted recently, one YU Rosh Yeshiva called troubling and another called kefirah. The Nodah Be-Yehuda also considered it silly (read the intro to the teshuva carefully to see what I mean), and noted how it is at odds with explicit gemaras, but took pains in a teshuva to mitigate the restriction for those who insisted in believing and following this foolishness. E.g. he said this is only for Rav Yehuda haChassid's descendants, only three generations of names, and that combined names do not count (and some follow him on this last count, a very important loophole).

    So Chava Sarah "iz who she iz," but should that restrict her son's chances of having a fulfilling life, and of fulfilling a Biblical commandment to be fruitful and multiply. She has no hangups with this restriction (especially since she has a combined name). But she knows that (apparently) many shadchanim do follow this practice. And those shadchanim will consider a shidduch, and then dismiss it because the girl's name is Sarah, or one of the girl's names is Sarah. Sarah is a very common name, and these shadchanim might not know of this loophole of the Nodah Be-Yehuda, or might not hold by it.

    "One innocent greeting" does not put it on the billboard, but this person was not told directly, but must have heard it from someone else. Chava Sarah wants to find this initial person in order to suppress the information. This person might refer to Chava Sarah as "Chava Sarah" in casual conversation to multiple people, and some of those people may have daughters, and talk, or may be shadchanim.

    It is unfortunate, but sometimes one must, or one is smart to, take steps to suppress information, even if one personally really do not consider that information negative in truth.

  3. Lion of Zion quotes an Ibn Ezra, explaining why some of us have poor vocabulary.

  4. Mice cloned after many years dead and frozen.

  5. NY Times article: Conservatives have a better sense of humor than liberals. Social scientists offer some theories why. But the last paragraph captures something:

    Another possible explanation is that conservatives, or at least the ones in Boston, really aren’t the stiffs they’re made out to be by social scientists. When these scientists analyze conservatives, they can sound like Victorians describing headhunters in Borneo. They try to be objective, but it’s an alien culture.

    The studies hailing liberals’ nonconformity and “openness to ideas” have been done by social scientists working in a culture that’s remarkably homogenous politically. Democrats outnumber Republicans by at least seven to one on social science and humanities faculties, according to studies by Daniel Klein, an economist at George Mason University. If you’re a professor who truly “seeks new experiences,” try going into a faculty club today and passing out McCain-Palin buttons.

    Could it be that the image of conservatives as humorless, dogmatic neurotics is based more on political bias than sound social science?

    Read it all.

  6. HaMerkaz made an MP3 of that section of the shuir in which Rav Kanyevsky made his recent statement on sheitels. I discussed the implications, or lack thereof, in a post yesterday, discussing how this is an old, longstanding dispute in modern times. And today, Hirhurim covers the question.


Ariella said...

On the name and shidduchim, my grandmother a"h was named Sarah, actualy Sarah Sasha though I only learned of the middle name when she was ill (she didn't care for Yiddish names). One of my uncles married a Sarah whose full name is actually Sarah Rochel. I have only heard him call her Rochel, though I believe that the rest of the world calls her Sarah Rochel. I named my youngest daughter Sarah after my grandmother; I never dreamed of it posing a possible obstacle to shidduchim. I suppose you could start a movemenet to give unusual names so as not to have a possible mismatch in future.

SemGirl said...

Fascinating. Thanks for pointing that out.


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