Thursday, June 25, 2009

Interesting Posts and Articles #167

  1. At DovBear, JS wonders whether yeshiva is worth it. And DivreiChaim, the position is that you cannot argue with success. But I don't think the difference is just Modern Orthodox schools vs. more right-wing yeshivot. It depends on the schools, and it depends on the students. And both can be a waste, and both can be great.

  2. Obligatory Gimmel Tammuz roundup. You can get it here at JudeoPundit. Some particular other ones of interest I've seen: At Dawn of Redemption, Yaakov Avinu didn't die. And at A Chassidishe farbrengen, Rabbi Oliver writes about a test of faith:
    Of course, one of the greatest difficulties for a chossid in coping with the situation after Gimmel Tammuz is the fact that we do not see the Rebbe physically. Why has this happened? According to the sicha below, it can be derived that Hashem put us in this situation in order to test our faith in Tzaddikim, to see whether we will maintain our Hiskashrus (bond) with him despite his concealment.


    If anything, his Hiskashrus with his chassidim is even greater after his Histalkus, for although in reality the Rebbe had known all along about all of his chassidim’s personal problems (see here), before Gimmel Tammuz one could have thought otherwise, considering that Rebbe is somewhat limited by the fact that his Neshomo (soul) is vested in a body, and sought to hide personal information from the Rebbe. In contrast, now that the Rebbe is a solely spiritual entity, no one can have any doubt that the Rebbe knows all his personal problems, and thus there is no use in trying to conceal them from him.

    So although it may seem that the Rebbe is no longer with us (G–d forbid), in reality he is with us just the same. Why have we been put in this situation?
    Hashem desires to test our faith in Him and in the Tzaddikim that He sends us...
    I agree that there may be an aspect of test here, but I don't think that he and others are passing the particular test.

  3. HaEmtza on a kiddush Hashem, and the positive influence of a Jewish family on a reality TV show.

  4. On the Main Line on what a Chinese chumash looks like. A lot to read in the image, over the text of the post.

  5. Yeranen Yaakov on Iran taking lessons from Sedom, in charging the family of the deceased a bullet fee. This was actually common in communist Russia, and I think even now in communist China.

  6. Life In Israel on an unusual form of protest for making adults wear helmets when riding bicycles and rollerblades.

  7. Vos Iz Neias on how a candidate accused of anti-Semitism and removed from the running is now suing her accusers. She admits that she wrote an article suggesting that Israeli companies had foreknowledge of Sept. 11.

  8. My post for this week's parsha on whether Ibn Ezra endorsed idols, in some form, got at least one person upset. What do you think? Is this post out of line?

  9. Kallah Magazine offers more evidence of the popularization of the idea of what she dubs quid pro quo prayer, the phenomenon I spoke about here.

  10. Someone steals a Mother in Israel's straw. I don't know if it is related to the updated post at SerandEz, where it would be the opposite. Probably not. Anyway, in terms of the Beis Yaakov rule not to drink from a bottle without a straw, I would guess it is someone's idea of etiquette, though society has shifted and these bottles are intended for this purpose. But "fromer [sic]" BYM girl notes
    sephardilady- the idea is that eisav, when asking for the food from yaakov, said "Haliteini nah min ha'adom ha'adom hazeh"

    It's a lashon of pouring the food down his throat, meaning, eisav wanted yaakov to pour it straight down his throat, not serve it properly.
    So pouring somehting straight down your throat is considered the way an untzniusdik person like Eisav eats, not tzniusdik and temimusdik little tzidkanios like us BY girls.

    See, I listened in 9th grade parsha class, even if I don't follow all the rules. ;-)

    And by the way, this is actually one of the more understandable rules they have there. I mean, watch someone drinking from a (big) bottle, it looks pretty unrefined. I personally drink from a cup so it doesn't concern me...
  11. At Rationalist Judaism, a correspondence with someone grappling with shaken faith in Gedolim (if indeed the letter-writer was being straightforward). An excerpt:
    After reading your blog and controversy link I feel compelled to change my views and it has become harder and harder for me to swallow what they say at face value. Am I to listen to someone who from a Torah perspective is more knowledgeable than I am, yet in the area under discussion they are my equal?
    I don't think you don't need to be in awe of every aspect of Gedolim (or similarly of Chazal) in order to listen to them. That it, I can deeply respect them and their position without that they know beRuach hakodesh every aspect of science. And if they are "my equal" in the area under discussion, well, they have in addition the great Torah knowledge, where a pesak combines elements of both Torah and knowledge of the metzius. The problem does arise when a Gadol is not just not my equal, but has less knowledge of the area under discussion, and yet does not realize this enough to consult an expert.


Ezzie said...

That Divrei Chaim/DB pair is interesting. Yiasher Kochacha.

E-Man said...

I agree with you on the idea about schools. Anyone who makes sweeping statements in that regard is just foolish.

Ariella said...

On your point #10, Josh, the shayla would be, what about a soda can? Is it in the same category of a bottle that an Esav-like person pours directly into his throat? Or can it be considered a type of cup. I had better consult the teshuvos on that.

Ariella said...

Sorry, I can't resist this one: E-Man, did you not just make a sweeping statement yourself? "Anyone who . . . is . . . " sounds like a sweeping statement to me. Or is the problem only "in that regard" of the specific topic?


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