Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Interesting Posts and Articles #197

  1. An important correction to my Rav Kanievsky / heliocentrist post.

  2. As a followup to my comments on Rav Brazil's article yesterday, I went to a wedding last night, and paid attention: did people look down at their feet for certain songs, and keep their heads up for certain others? And did this correlate to the holy or otherwise origins of the song?

    Well, I was out for much of the dancing, because the music was too loud. But from what I did see and the reports of others, it depended on the person. Maybe all the songs I heard were holy in origin, but people were in general not looking down at their feet. The exception was that during "Siman Tov Umazal Tov", while everyone shuffling did not look down, those in the very center who were dancing differently did look down some of the time, so as not to step on one another's feet. For some of the dances with fancier steps, the more experienced dancers did not need to look down, but the less experienced ones did in order to see how others were dancing and to make certain that they were stepping in similar manner. It seems difficult to say that this was due to the kedusha, or lack thereof, of the song, because different people were acting differently. What sort of litmus test is this?

  3. At the Yeshiva World, "problems" with giddin, in that they don't all incorporate a specific hiddur. I somewhat agree with the first commenter there, that this might to be a way of promoting a chumra to passul your competition and give yourself a competitive edge. After all, that aspect appears to be present here (see this). We have seen this pattern in the past. A commenter here (can't find it) noted the same idea in regard to an earlier story, which tried to invalidate tzitzis of competitors.

  4. At Hirhurim, Rabbi Ari Enkin explores some sources forbidding (certain) Torah study on Shabbos, this time with caveats in place.

    And in the comment section there, the latest, greatest rationalism / mysticism debate, in terms of mystical ideas impacting halacha.

  5. Shirat Devorah wonders whether we are at the final countdown. This is a good strategy, phrasing the prediction in the form of a question, so that one has plausible deniability when the prediction fails.

  6. Revach on adopting the theory of Ptolmey, from a philosophical standpoint.

  7. The Muqata has a sign in Bnei Brak that the Internet causes cancer. The proof is a gematria. This may be, but the gematria of Bnei Brak is the same as HaSatan.

  8. Frum Heretic recounts a dvar Torah he heard in yeshiva, that ben imecha is a reference to Yushke. I would relate this to another dvar Torah on Reeh, about the identity of the Baal HaTurim's woman.

  9. The New York Times on the Miracle fruit, which changes the way your taste buds perceive sour things.
    The miracle fruit, Synsepalum dulcificum, is native to West Africa and has been known to Westerners since the 18th century. The cause of the reaction is a protein called miraculin, which binds with the taste buds and acts as a sweetness inducer when it comes in contact with acids, according to a scientist who has studied the fruit, Linda Bartoshuk at the University of Florida’s Center for Smell and Taste. Dr. Bartoshuk said she did not know of any dangers associated with eating miracle fruit.
    One danger is that it does not change the properties of the food itself, and one might overeat acids in a way that can cause damage.

  10. Rationalist Judaism is presenting, in multiple parts, a review / response to the Sefer Chaim Be’Emunasom. Check it out. Rewriting Jewish Intellectual History, part i.

2 comments:

A Simple Jew said...

It looks like Bnei Brak is also the gematria יגאל עמיר

joshwaxman said...

:)

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