Sunday, January 24, 2010

Interesting Posts and Articles #250

  1. A demo of Sikuli script. Very neat!

  2. In the Pink discovers the Mouser Rebbe, discussed on parshablog here.

  3. A collective statement from some Roshei Yeshiva at YU about homosexuality.

  4. A rather silly article in the Five Towns Jewish Times about the dybbuk, where the fellow maligns his Rebbe's wife and Rav Shternbuch.

  5. Vos Iz Neias on infallibility, and rabbinic leaders. He leads off with:
    There is a Mitzvah in the Torah to listen to the greatest Torah leaders in the generation. The Mitzvah is "Lo sasuru min hadavar asher yagidu lecha Yamin usmol."A careful reading of the Sefer HaChinuch, however, reveals that this does not mean that our leaders are infallible.
    Of course, that position of the Sefer HaChinuch, that it applies to the Gedolim of a given generation, rather than the Sanhedrin, is a minority position. Regardless, he turns it into a condemnation of unscrupulous askanim:

    Although at the end, Rava arrived at the correct psak din, we do see that unscrupulous individuals can, on occassion, or temporarily, mislead even the greatest Rabbis of our generation. Some meforshim have explained that the seyata deshmaya [Divine assistance] of a generation's leaders is dependent upon the spiritual level of the generation.

    At times some of the Gedolim will be able to see through those that are attempting a manipulation when others do not. When such a manipulation is attempted, those unscrupulous individuals may accuse those who are trying to set the record straight as being "Mevaze Gedolim." Nothing is further from the truth, and this should be recognized as a manipulation as well.

  6. At the Seforim blog, more analysis of what was bothering the censor.

  7. See here about how the Rambam maintains that there is no real efficacy in a curse. At Vos Iz Neias, how Acharonim grapple with the contrast between that and a clear gemara where Amoraim are worried about a curse, and where it actually comes to pass. The suggestion:
    Perhaps the Rambam could be understood to hold that curses are effective if one believes in the efficacy of curses. if one does not believe they are effective then they would not work. Rava did believe in the efficacy of the woman's curse and therefore it did have the possibility of coming to fruition.
    I think a straightforward answer, which for various external reasons would not be considered, is that Rambam indeed differs with Chazal about the efficacy of curses, just as he differed with them on the existence of sheidim. (For which, BTW, a similar suggestion was given, about only existing for those who believe in them...)
  8. At, an astounding teshuva from Rav Moshe Sternbuch, effectively banning the study of Tanach except to the advanced elite. See the teshuva inside here.

  9. Rabbi Natan Slifkin is arranging lectures in New York. And he briefly discusses the issue of Lucy's bones, assuming the position of Gosse. I last saw this idea at Pravda Ne'eman.

  10. The New York Times on Little Green Footballs, and its break with the right. And Little Green Footballs responds, here and here.

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