- Wolfish Musings points to, and comments on, the latest Lakewood scoop -- anonymous flyers telling couples struggling with infertility that the reason they don't have kids is improper level of tznius, and promising that they would be more stringent, they would have kids.
If this is so, we have an interesting setira. For we know that our matriarch Rachel was so tzanua that she covered herself with sheep! And yet she was childless for many years.
Indeed, Yaakov's response of hatachas Elokim ani is quite relevant in this instance.
- Rav Amar against using Artscroll and Steinsaltz gemaras. Of course, he was addressing an Israeli audience, who know Hebrew as a first language.
- The Seforim blog returns to its previous blog address. With a broadly exciting article about whether kamatz or patach goes under various instances of the word dam.
- Frum Satire notes the latest in tznius: not drawing women as pregnant, because that conveys what they must have done to get that way.
- Avakesh on whether frummer means less middos.
- Divrei Chaim on why he is frustrating blogging divrei Torah on the Internet. Basically, it is like YU, and the admixture with Torah makes people think it is kosher.
- The Jewish Worker on the latest silly Kupat HaIr advertisement.
- I noted this on Hirhurim already, but the comment thread on Rabbi Ari Enkin's recent post has become the latest battleground in the rationalist / mystic debate. My latest contribution to the comment thread -- in response to:
Let me ask you a question.
Why is the notion of seperating klipos on shabbos from a tree being considered borer, utterly ridiculious, but the whole concept of borer in itself, being assur on shabbos not?
Can you honestly tell me, that seperating one fruit from another or one bean from another does not sound "utterly ridiculios"?
this comes dangerously close to fideism:
and Tertullian's statement of "Credo quia absurdum," that I believe because it is absurd.
i do indeed draw such a distinction, as would Chasam Sofer who considered this (*metaphorically*) a violation of "lo tizra karmecha kilayim." and this was not because it involved concepts he didn't understand.
without taking a position on the actual halacha of your bean case (it is not a mixture), I do have faith in the Rabbinic, halachic system. and i would not consider it ridiculous for one of two (or more) reasons:
(a) it is gezerat haMelech, the decree of the king, so I do not need to grok its reasons, if there are even reasons.
(b) it is in the power of our Sages to define what a melacha is on a Biblical level, and by identifying certain basic component actions and preventing us from doing them across the board, a mood of menucha, and shamor and zachor, is created.
though again, i don't feel the need to grok everything before i accept it.
in terms of the kabbalistic klipah case, it is not that i consider separating klipot to be a fiction which accrued to Judaism post-Chazal (though it may be so). rather, it is because this is tremendous overreach. when the kabbalists spoke of klipos, they meant it in a figurative sense, which roughly corresponded to what we would speak of as separating off shells. and because if separating off kabbalistic klipos on Shabbos is forbidden, we would not be able to eat!
the problem is that it is taking *homonyms* and assuming that the halacha would be the same. now you be honest with me. let us say someone came up to you and told you the following four things:
(1) if someone greeted a woman (thus being *shoel* in her shalom) and she was subsequently raped (*ones*) by another person, he have to pay the 50 shekel to her father, because a Shoel is chayav in Ones. But if he had his Baal idols with him when he greeted her, he would be exempt, because it is a case of Baalav Imo.
(2) If one reads a brayta on Shabbos, he has to read it in full, until the end of the seifa, or else it would be a case of Pesik Reisha.
(3) One is forbidden from sending his amputated leg-bone to the Soviet Union, because "Ain adam meisim atzmo Russia."
(4) If two people are hiding inside a bull-costume made of an actual bull, one may not pull aside the costume to reveal their faces while they are not in the course of walking, because it is "megaleh panim batora shelo kehalacha."
What would you say? Would you say he was an am ha'aretz who did not understand how the halachic process worked? would you say he was drunk? would you say that he must have been saying purim torah? or would you take it seriously, because all of halacha is after all ridiculous? would it matter if the person was already a major talmid chacham? what if you knew somewhat how to learn? what if you were not a talmid chacham, but other people who were talmidei chachamim thought it was ridiculous? would you cast aspersions on them for not accepting what they did not understand?
- I updated my Rav Kanievsky and heliocentrism post with images of the question posed to him and his handwritten response. And in the comment thread there, a brief discussion of the Rebbe's weak geocentrism and why it does not work out.
- At Rationalist Judaism, part two of his series critiquing Chaim BeEmunasam, in which a Rambam was manipulated and misinterpreted. And a comment thread at Hirhurim discussing his first two posts of the series.