- I didn't yet note this week's Haveil Havalim, at West Bank Mama.
- Divrei Chaim gives some attention to Not Brisker Yeshivish, and posts again about how one must follow consensus and not pick and choose sources and based on what most appeals to you, in terms of hashkafa. I don't think it necessarily even applies so far as halacha, and at any rate, this is not a matter of choosing people based on what you want, but choosing truth. There is no pesak in reality. I elaborate, and argue, in the comment section at Divrei Chaim as well as in this parshablog post, which considers whether we must accept the ridiculous, either in halacha or hashkafa.
- At Rationalist Judaism, Rabbi Slifkin continues his review and critique of Chaim BeEmunasam. In part eleven, he discusses how the book is selective in its citation of authorities, while purporting to give the only authentic approach. And in part twelve, how the sefer puts the pnimiyus approach of Maharal and others as the only authentic approach, while in fact many Rishonim and Acharonim argued, either having Chazal making an error, or else Chazal being right but meaning their words literally and physically, in our realm.
- Another argument against evolution based on irreducible complexity shot down:
It reminds me of the argument about "vestigial organs" on the other side; many things may just be labelled vestigial organs because science had not yet discovered the purpose of it, such as the spleen.
Intricate cellular components are often cited as evidence of intelligent design. They couldn’t have evolved, I.D. proponents say, because they can’t be broken down into smaller, simpler functional parts. They are irreducibly complex, so they must have been intentionally designed, as is, by an intelligent entity.
But new research comparing mitochondria, which provide energy to animal cells, with their bacterial relatives, shows that the necessary pieces for one particular cellular machine — exactly the sort of structure that’s supposed to prove intelligent design — were lying around long ago. It was simply a matter of time before they came together into a more complex entity.
- Orthonomics and WolfishMusings note an "interesting" YNet article, also discussed at the Yeshiva World coffee room. A girls school is offering a scholarship in exchange for a promise that when the girl becomes a kallah, she not wear makeup on her wedding day. Something which may well be against a gemara. Now, some people are natural beauties and actually do not need makeup, some are not so much so and can use the extra help, and it is good and meritorious.
Rabbi Ishmael wept and said, "The daughters of Israel are really beautiful, but it is poverty that makes them look ugly."And he would help them become pretty. And there are many other such sources. I understand somewhat when girls are in school. They are not dating, and the superficiality of it and the idea of making oneself look pretty, possibly for boys, may be deemed inappropriate -- at that stage in their lives. Unfortunately, some mechanchim are under the impression that this should be the conduct even after they leave school, in entirely different circumstances.
On the other hand, there is a clear basis from Chumash for a bride not wearing makeup on her wedding day. After all, we see a marriage in the beginning of last week's parsha:
Thus, while she might be pretty before, it is a mitvah to make her look ugly before her wedding day. They probably just extrapolated from the Eshes Yefas Toar to the general case...
- Emes veEmunah on martyrdom, Meah Shearim style.
- Geulah Perspectives and Rav Shmuel Kaminetsky are hoping for moshiach's arrival this coming Sunday, based on a prediction by R' Elchanan Wasserman. May it be so; but messianic prediction by famous rabbinic figures are a dime a dozen. I wouldn't put too much stock in any particular one.
- Prepare the parsha by using my Ki Savo sources.
- At the Yeshiva World, Rabbi Weiss comes out against violence at the protests. But still for protests. I don't think that such is truly possible, in the current climate. My rebbe in Israel told me that a midwife is called a chachma because she is roeh et hanolad. Meanwhile, "misguided youths" attack an Arab taxi driver in Geulah.
- Oh! Nuts is having a Rosh Hashanah giveaway. You can enter by dropping a comment at this parshablog post, as well as in two other ways. See there.