Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Interesting Posts and Articles #175

  1. ZooTorah on Bigfoot in the Mir, or how a "little bird" told him peshat in the metzius of certain substances being mosif hevel. A quote:
    “I’ve got it!” I exclaimed. “These things ferment and decompose, producing heat in the process.”
  2. Wolfish Musings speculates that there is something in the water in Lakewood. He points to two annoying letters, one about non-Yeshivish moving into Lakewood, and another from a sheitel-wearer who thinks snoods are not tznius. In terms of the latter, it might be that an offense is the best defense...

  3. Finally, someone blames tzarot on bein adam lachaveiro, rather than talking in davening or tznius! Rav Steinman:
    Rav Aaron Leib Steinman has written a letter for teachers and parents, warning them about improper treatment of students and children. He says that the letter was prompted by the many tragedies and illnesses which have hit the frum community. Many Torah scholars suddenly require yeshuos of one kind or another -- children who can't make a shidduch or aren't blessed with children, or became seriously ill, etc. They inevitably turn to Rav Steinman and other gedolim for advice and blessings.

    "I wondered much," said Rav Steinman, "What is going on? I tell people who need a yeshua to try and remember if they hurt the people closest to them -- I'm referring to melamdim, parents and friends. A father sometimes thinks that he can slap his son, or he can insult his wife. He thinks it's permitted because after all, they're his... teachers also think that they have the child's benefit in mind when they criticize him and tell him off and even humiliate him. Everything is done in the name of well-meaning mussar and rebuke which he is responsible to do. But that's not the case."

    While there is a well-established idea that one undergoing suffering should inpect his deeds, pointing to a specific deed across the board for all people undergoing difficulties seems incorrect to me, whether one blames cancer on talking lashon hara, talking in shul, tznius violations, not learning enough Torah, or not treating others nicely.

  4. The Jewish Worker on outsourcing your parents to India. An interesting idea.

  5. Rav Mordechai Eliyahu, that one should prefer jail over hearing women sing.

  6. At redemption5768, using silly gematrias to reinforce the silliness of saying Na Nach. This just goes to show that you can deduce anything using gematrias.

  7. Rabbinate confronted with 60 missionary converts.

  8. Life In Israel, on a yeshua story in the latest Kupat HaIr booklet. Go there and check it out.
    As time goes on, one of the kids suggests that they donate to Kupas Ha'Ir in order to get a taxi. The father says that this time he is not donating to Kupas Ha'Ir. "When they left Egypt, they were able to do so without first donating to Kupas Ha'Ir. They were able to get to har Sinai without first donating to Kupas Ha'Ir. This cannot run our lives. i am not donating this time to Kupas Ha'Ir!"

    They wait some more time, still unable to locate a taxi. Meanwhile, the mother calls the parents to let them know of the delay because they cannot find a taxi.

    A few minutes later, the father comes running up the stairs to the house saying he found a taxi. They load up the car and head out.
    The surprising ending is that the got the taxi after the maternal grandparents donated money to Kupat HaIr.

    I think the story is noteworthy because they realize how they are corrupting Judaism, or at least the argument of others that they are corrupting Judaism. The father makes a good point, that for thousands of years, Jews have been going about their Judaism without using Kupat HaIr donations to control reality. He presumably thinks it superstitious, and he is absolutely right. Unfortunately, his chinuch is undermined by his in-laws. It is extremely likely (to my mind, at least) that he would have gotten the taxi without the donation, and the children could have learned a valuable lesson.

  9. Bad For Shidduchim on whether one should have an altercation during a date.

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