Thursday, June 18, 2009

Interesting Posts and Articles #162

  1. At BeyondBT, what must one believe to be considered a Torah-true Jew?

  2. More Shabbos grama inventions from the IDF.

  3. A defense of the Jewish prison chaplain, in the My Machberes column in the Jewish Press.

  4. A post from a while back from On the Main Line: semi-Talmidei Chachamim or semi-Amei HaAretz?

  5. Rationalist Judaism on Disrespecting Rishonim.

  6. Rabbi Gutman Locks at Mystical Paths on just what is wrong with astrology. I would take a different tack. While in the past, Tannaim, Amoraim and Rishonim balanced astrology with belief in Hashem, and thus limited astrology in certain ways and perhaps took care that it did not become superstition, in fact in their days it was regarded as a science. And so their attitude towards it was to treat the phenomenon as real. We have no such obligation to do so nowadays, even though reference to it was recorded in classic Jewish sources such as the gemara and encoded into the theology of kabbalah. Astrology is nonsense, we now know. It is a pseudoscience. Belief in it nowadays, especially as it is practiced by the fringe, and by fortunetellers, is superstition.

  7. Passengers who flew to south Vietnam took fever reducers to cheat a fever scan, and thus spread the swine flu to others. This seems rather selfish, and perhaps shows how cultural attitudes can cause issues for governments trying to keep the swine flu under control.

  8. An FDA warning on Zicam nasal spray -- that it can cause loss of sense of smell.

  9. The Academic Talmud blog is new.

  10. On parshablog, how does this flat earth video make you feel? -- to try to encourage empathy for how a rationalist would feel when faced with appeals to authority; also, did the Gra believe in Torah UMadda?

  11. Parshat Shelach, the LOLcat translation.


Yosef Greenberg said...

Is the LOLcat 'translation' considered 'making fun' of the Torah?

joshwaxman said...

interesting point. i don't know. that's not how i took it. i took it to be a project similar to the Biblical translation of the Torah to Klingon. (i would also guess that a lot of the work was done with an automatic dialect generator.)

now an illustrated lolcat Torah...


Yosef Greenberg said...

Probably a matter of perspective.

I recently saw a Photoshopped facebook stream of the Hagaddah. Actually very funny.


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