- My sister-in-law asked for this favor:
I'm working on a project for class, and I could really use your help. I've created a survey designed to study people's definitions of trauma, but it can only be a useful tool if I can reach a broad group of people. It's very brief, but might bring up some difficult emotions if you've been subject to trauma. That said, if you'd be willing to take it yourself (even if you haven't experienced any trauma), or pass it on to anyone else, I'd be really grateful.
The link to the survey is here:
and if you have any questions, feel free to ask me.
- Rabbi Bar-Haim suggests kitniyot is an adopted Karaite custom. I am not entirely convinced -- I think we Pharisees can come up with all sorts of chumros, whether silly or otherwise, without any help from the Karaites. In terms of
He states that “it is the universal custom not to eat Kitniyot during Pesach because they rise and leaven”.This may still be due to confusion to grains, or an extra chumra, or a reinterpretation of a chumra with another basis. In terms of
Two medieval French authorities declare that Kitniyot may only be cooked on Pesach if they are placed directly into a boiling pot. These statements, which can only be understood in terms of the foregoing Halacha, constitute proof positive that the origin of this custom is the mistaken belief that Kitniyot can become chametz just like the five grains.Bolding mine. I am not convinced that these can only be understood in terms of the forgoing Halachah. For example, if the concern is storage near the five grains and could contain them, chalata would handily take care of that concern; if concern that people would mistake them, then treating them identically would similarly handle that concern.
- On a related note, Treppenwitz reposts from Rabbi Lior directions in terms of Kitniyot. A sample, but there is more:
2) There is no need to be strict about Kitniot that did not come into contact with water during their preparation. (The logic being that we shouldn't be stricter about Kitniot that about we are about grain.) Therefore, Kitniot oil that is known not to have come in contact with water during its production is Kosher for Pesach, even for those who don't otherwise eat Kitniot. Similarly, roasted Kitniot, that one is certain that they were prevented from contacting water (and obviously flour as well); for example, Kitniot that one roasted by himself, are permitted.Consult your local Orthodox rabbi. But does Rabbi Lior's statement about kitniyot in contact with water reveal that he is a closet Karaite? Surely not.
- A funny correction in the New York Times Magazine. A Vending Machine For Crows: An excerpt:
The Times has since learned that Klein was never at the Binghamton Zoo, and there were no crows on display there in June 2008. He performed these experiments with captive crows in a Brooklyn apartment; he told the reporter about the Brooklyn crows but implied that his work with them was preliminary to the work at the zoo. Asked to explain these discrepancies, Klein now says he and the reporter had a misunderstanding about the zoo.
The reporter never called the zoo in Binghamton to confirm. And while the fact-checker did discuss the details with Klein, he did not call the zoo, as required under The Times’s fact-checking standards. In addition, the article said that Klein was working with graduate students at Cornell University and Binghamton University to study how wild crows make use of his machine, which does exist. Klein did get a professor at Binghamton to help him try it out twice in Ithaca, with assistance from a Binghamton graduate student, and it was not a success. Corvid experts who have since been interviewed have said that Klein’s machine is unlikely to work as intended.
- Pharaoh the Mitzri, along the lines of Yertle the Turtle. Cute.
Pharaoh the Mitzri was king for a while.and so on. And it seems to scan well, unlike most unfortunate attempts.
A bustling land. It was rich. It was neat.
The water was warm. There was plenty to eat.
The Mitzrim had everything Mitzrim might need.
And they were all happy. Quite happy indeed.
- HaAretz reports that ancient Jews used skulls in ceremonies despite ban.
Newly published archaeological evidence attests to the fact that ancient Jews used human skulls in ceremonies, despite a strict Halakhic prohibition on touching human remains.This is unsurprising to me, if true. Who pretends that all Jews back then kept halachah? The Talmud itself attests to people engaging in witchcraft. Maybe casting it this way makes it more newsworthy?
- YNet reports that a rabbi wants to ban Pesach food that looks like chametz-food, because of one woman's one-time mistake:
In a Q&A session on the yeshiva's website, one visitor recounted how she had accidentally failed to observe the holiday after her hosts at a Saturday event had not noticed that a particular product was not kosher for Pesach.I don't think this is just what we need. And I don't think a single incident justifies such extreme measures. At the same time, I think he is merely recommending that all Pesach cakes have a unique shape, for example. Regardless, not everyone, and likely not anyone, will be listening to him.
In response, the Rabbi wrote that a prohibition on eating products similar to chametz is required and is more important than many other regulations surrounding Pesach, which he said are sometimes 'silly'.
"Of course, it's important to check each and every product purchased for Pesach, but also I think that Elite products for Pesach look too similar to those containing chametz."
"As such, it is important to make a distinction in order to avoid such incidents," he said.