- More autistic blogging and posting. Yaakov Nathan posts on the moshiach and geulah forum a contrast of statements by tzadikim and statements by autistics, and notes that "the choice is yours." While I think that facilitated communication is bunk and superstition (this particular offshoot resorts to claims of telepathy), I also agree that "I do not think that the father of these boys is a liar or a faker." And I do not think that Rabbi Sachs is a liar or a faker either. Rather, the big problem with FC is that it functions via the ideomotor effect, such that just as by an Ouija board, you think the message is coming from outside you but really it is coming from yourself. As a result, I am sure that Rabbi Sachs, is entirely convinced that Ben Golden, or Daniel, is the source of these messages. Meanwhile, along the same lines as Yaakov Nathan, Shirat Devorah contrasts the vision of mashiach of the Lubavitcher Rebbe with the vision of the autistics, also in terms of aliyah. As she writes,
Make aliyah if you want to.... but don't make a rash decision based on a dodgy website.And see my list of questions for Rabbi Sachs about this facilitated communication, that I might or might not ask as a call in to Tamar Yonah's radio show.
- Dwelling Place Below has a post on saying Birchas Hagomel after an overseas airplane trip. I think it is a very valid question whether air travel is considered dangerous nowadays, and comparable to those who go out on the sea. IIRC, the Ramban in Shaar Hagemul talks of those who put themselves into extreme sakana for the sake of profit, and that they might not merit special hashgacha pratis to save them, and how it is their own darn fault. Anyway, as Rabbi Chaim Jachter makes clear, it turns out that the applicability to airplanes which go over the water is a modern machlokes between Rav Moshe Feinstein and the Rav.
- On the Main Line has an old letter to the editor wondering about the descriptive "of Bagdad" in the gemara, and response. And the shaver essay of R' Reggio, permitting shaving on chol hamoed, and his father's response.
- Rationalist Judaism posts on the famous gemara of Nir`in divreihem midivreinu, about the sun's path at night. Divrei Chaim also has a post on the subject, wondering how come in general certain figures did not simply answer Chazal were wrong; and links to the Jewish Worker on this gemara. And check out the comment sections, of course. And see Rationalist Judaism's response to Divrei Chaim in the (short) second part of the series.
- I Heart Jews has the 10 funniest synagogue newsletter bloopers. Not! Rather, it is a half-hearted reworking of selected church bulletin bloopers. This type of thing really annoys me.
- A Mother in Israel has part i and part ii of her interview with a former kannoi.