- Blog in Dm takes note of the Koren Siddur on Yedid Nefesh.
- Life In Israel and the Yeshiva World on a kabbalistic attempt to prevent swine flu.
- The New York Times on how doctors now recognize the importance of the spleen.
- From last week's Jewish Week, an article about Kew Gardens Hills. And also an article about a facilitator to tzaddikim:
He urged me to get a blessing from a gadol, or sage, citing a commentator who stated that just as gazing into the face of a wicked person causes evil, looking at the face of a wise person brings sanctity to one’s soul. He told me about a Sephardic kabbalist who lives in the heart of the religious neighborhood of Mea Shearim. Nearing 100, the rabbi has, according to some, the spiritual power to bring about peoples’ wishes. (It would cost me about $75 an hour for Pessin to pull off the match.)Apparently, the article was written towards what would be interesting for its audience. This fellow does this as a parnassa, but also because his rebbe is of the position that people take tours of archaeological places in Eretz Yisrael, but they should be visiting all the tzaddikim. And this fellow takes people on tours to meet with the tzaddikim.
I wondered if he could help me win the lottery.
- Dawkins vs. Wright:
and it continues in more parts.
- Daf Notes on the protection of a mezuzah.
- HaEmtzah on the directionality of dan lekaf zechut.
- Zoo Torah on the secret of the stincus.
- Askonim try unsuccessfully to convince Rav Steinman to ban organized group vacation.
- All sorts of crazy: Redemption5768 musters the ever malleable power of gematria to reinforce a Christian Ethiopian myth:
If you know anyone from Ethiopia, ask them a simple question. "Do you know where the Holy Ark is located?" You'll be amazed when they respond, "Of course I do. Everyone in Ethiopia knows that it is kept in a special treasury next to the Church of St. Mary of Zion in Axum, Ethiopia. They'll also tell you that the ark cannot be seen by anyone but the high priest of Axum, an elderly, holy monk who is charged with its care and preservation for life. He doesn't leave the premises and names his successor on his death bed. His name is Abba Tesfa Mariam. He is the 30th guardian in history who never left that same enclosure. He as well as the guardians before him, worship 13 hours a day in front of the Holy Ark. So how did the Ark wind up in Ethiopia?Why must we adopt the meshegas of all the nations? We don't have enough of our own? And when the Christian myth that it was taken in the time of Shlomo conflicts with Jewish tradition, that we were in possession of the aron until the reign of Yoshiyahu, who hid it to protect it from the coming Babylonians. And when a church leader claimed six weeks ago that he would reveal the Ark of the Covenant, but meanwhile nothing has happened? (And that even if they are in possession of something, there is no assurance that the relic they are in possession of is the Ark?)
When our gullibility extends to accepting the reality of many of the claims of other religions (for example as seen here at Mystical Paths, in the post and comments), it makes me think that it is mere lucky accident that these gullible people believe in Judaism, but in slightly different environment, they would be just as committed to any other superstitious religion.
- See my posts on parshat Ekev.