Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Interesting Posts and Articles #165

  1. A phoenix crop circle predicting the end of the world? Or not.

  2. Avakesh has more on techeles -- that it is enough to visualize that it is blue, together with a gematria based explanation. Here is a link to the Ben Ish Chai (siman 17, on the bottom of the page) and the Birkei Yosef, siman 24, seif 1. From reading what it says there, I would suggest that this visualization is by way of fulfilling the famous tzitzis mnemonic, that the techeles is domeh to the firmament which is domei to the Kisei HaKavod. At any rate, Birkei Yosef had his suggestion well before the Radziner Rebbe had his techelet suggestion, and I am not sure about the Ben Ish Chai -- it depends on when it was written. And this might be just as a positive thing to do, but for matters in which techeles is really required (for example, to violate shaatnez), this visualization would presumably not be enough.

  3. At Frum Meets World, everybody's a shadchan.

  4. Jewish Worker wonders why people are non machmir for girls to cover their head when making a bracha.

  5. Hirhurim on how "halacha" means something different in different contexts.

  6. Life In Israel about marrying a second wife in case of need without a heter meah rabbonim, for Teimanim.

  7. Bad 4 Shidduchim on Keepin' it spiritual, and why some people might attend Rabbi Reisman's shiur. Some excerpts:
    I thought I had mastered all the questions – like why did my great grandparents come to the USA, why did I attend my seminary if I’m so smart, who’s my rav – no problem. Then a friend calls me up and says, “I’m trying to redt you to this guy and his mother wants to know what you do for spirituality.”
    Oh, that kind of thing. Heavens, no. I’ve never been to a speech I haven’t slept through and felt guilty about afterwards...

    We finally agreed that having a chavrusa counts as looking after one’s spirituality. Friend called the mother back, and I haven’t heard from either since. Time to find a maggid shiur?

    I mention this to a friend who gave me one of those “And you’re an expert on dating?” looks I get whenever I reveal the gaping holes in my strategic knowledge of the game. “Of course. That’s why people go to Rabbi Reisman’s shiur,” she explained patiently. “It’s interesting, it’s at a convenient time in the week, and they can say they go to a shiur regularly.”

  8. Also linked from B4S, ProfK talks about the olden days of Shidduchim. An excerpt:
    Here's another difference. Shul was considered a good place to see and be seen. When davening was over mispallelim lingered for a few moments outside of shul and exchanged hellos. It was considered just fine for groups of singles to gather like this as well and say hello and introduce each other. After all, what could possibly happen untoward standing around in public? You had to see some of the looking and networking that went on at a shul's Simchas Bais Ha'Shoevah, Simchas Torah for hakofos etc.
    And see part 2 as well.

  9. Rabbi Slifkin, at RationalistJudaism, discusses the dangers of anti-rationalism, placing them against the dangers of rationalism.

  10. Ezzie passes on that at the Beis Yaakov of Monsey, dancing is not tznius:
    My sister is in Bais Yaakov of Monsey, and they had their end of year assembly today. The principal announced that from now on at the annual play, they are not having dance, because it's not tzniusdik. The end.

    [...] Mind you this is the school that barely even lets the girls stand still and clap because all the dance moves they wanna do aren't tzniusdik enough, so they are taking dance out; and in its place they are having something called "musical movements". (She got a laugh from the school when she announced that.)
    Also updated with a list of other tznius restrictions, such as drinking from a bottle must be done through a straw.

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