Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Interesting Posts and Articles #156

  1. At Jihad Watch, Robert Spencer notes that

    Foes of the global jihad are constantly accused of quoting the Qur'an "out of context," but when Barack Obama actually did so in Cairo yesterday, no one seems to have minded.

    He quoted one Qur'an verse in connection with speaking of our shared interests as human beings:

    As the Holy Koran tells us, "Be conscious of God and speak always the truth." That is what I will try to do – to speak the truth as best I can, humbled by the task before us, and firm in my belief that the interests we share as human beings are far more powerful than the forces that drive us apart.

    Ironically, the Qur'anic passage from which his quote comes actually is about fighting unbelievers, and doesn't remotely lead to thoughts of coming together with people with whom one has differences.

    This is not malicious on the part of Obama. He is not calling the Muslims to a Jihad. But either accidentally or intentionally he is misrepresenting the verse in the Koran, in the interest of portraying it (along with Judaism and Chirstianity) as interested in "coming together with people." Obama also quoted from the Talmud, that:
    The Talmud tells us: "The whole of the Torah is for the purpose of promoting peace."
    (Robert Spencer did not do the following. Someone else did.) However, one should not (as a blogger I won't mention by name out of consideration, but hat tip provided if requested) make anything of the fact that the verse, 9:119 is 911 read both ways. And this illustration seems an obvious fake. Indeed, the story behind this purported Koran, inscribed by Barack Obama, is an email scam. Read all about it. We hopefully don't fall for Nigerian scams, so we should not fall dor this one either.

  2. Rationalist Judaism discusses BeTorato shel Rav Gedaliah, and notes that now has the sefer available for free download or online browsing. And here is his first part of his translation into English of parts of it.

  3. At Sedra Shorts, on prophets interpreting their prophecy.

  4. The Jewish Worker cites a psak by Rav Elyashiv about just where talmidei chachamim ainam tzrichim shmirah applies, and where not, in reference to paying for security after a spate of burglaries. He then relates it to army service.

  5. The Jerusalem Post on Aliza's chareidi wedding. In terms of this particular excerpt:
    And then the grandchildren grew up. Separate dancing, which had crept insidiously upon us, has now given way to separate seating, sky-high mehitzot and separate smorgasbord buffets.

    I have been unable to ascertain the danger in eating next to my husband unless it may lead to nagging him to forgo the desserts.

    The band, of course, is in the male section. If the hall is large enough, we are able to hear the music. The gift receptacle is located near the male smorgasbord. It is the hapless, unattached female who must scuttle in, deposit the gift, and beat a hasty retreat, like some vilified cockroach. But not before noticing that the carving boards, hamburger grills and the bar are there, not in the women's section.
    I would guess that the separate chassan's tish and the kallah's kabbalas panim dictate the separate shmorgs. In part, the quite questionable idea of dam chiba as preventing the kallah from seeing the chassan before the wedding may play a role here. But in the states, the inequality is in the other direction. The larger area, and all the good food, is at the kallah's shmorg!

  6. Daf Notes on Bekius vs. BeIyun.
    This is what our Gemora meant when it stated that Rebbe in his youth taught that silver acquires gold, but when he was older, he taught that gold acquires silver. Initially he thought that one should diligently study at a swift pace in order that he should learn the entire Torah even if he will lack understanding. However, when he aged, he came to the realization that gold acquires silver, and one’s primary learning should be focused on the depths and understanding of Torah.
    A nice homiletic explanation. Of course, on a peshat level, this is likely related to how the Yerushalmi and Bavli's Mishnayos differ in whether gold acquires silver or silver acquires gold. I don't know that I agree with the idea that learning BeIyun trumps other forms of learning. It depends for who, and when.

  7. At BeyondBT, should one keep a dog and abandon an apartment? I think the bein adam lachavero aspects should be the focus, rather than on societal expectations of kabbalistic attitudes.

  8. Rabbi Dovid Landesman about behavior of bachurim at wedddings. (h.t. Hasidic Musician) An excerpt, but there is more, and touching upon different topics:
    Nevertheless, I will comment on the dancing, understanding that this has peripheral relevance to the music itself. A few years ago, a talmid challenged me to explain why I saw certain types of music as being “kosher” and other types as being “undesirable” or “distasteful.” The question has probably been raised in many homes as well.
    I responded that the means that I would use to characterize music would be to analyze what part of the body moves to the sound! When the rhythm and beat clearly appeal to the lower torso, I think it is unnecessary to go into any graphic explanation as to what the music is doing and why this constitutes a lack of tznius and propriety.
  9. Also via BlogInDm's link dump, an analysis of Kol BeIsha Erva.


Jeremy said...

I thought that the Haredi chashash for dam chiba is the reason they do the tenaim early.

joshwaxman said...

could be. but do they take pictures together before the chuppah?



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