Monday, February 15, 2010

Interesting Posts and Articles #257

  1. Life In Israel on how Etrog is reopening under a hechsher, and how it is owned by Yated. And at Yachdus, how American Yated has opened up a website.
  2. A Mother In Israel on Teens, Facebook, and Cyber-Bullying.
  3. Jewish Blogmeiser posts on credit card acceptance and myths, and has a special offer:
    If you have great rates but can't get someone on the phone when you have a problem then what is that company really worth? My company offers all this and more. What is the more you ask? For a limited time I will assist all new clients with a Free seo analysis and assist them with marketing their website and/or business online free of charge. This will certainly help them expand their business to gain new customers.Feel free to pass this information along to anyone who is currently accepting or would like to accept credit cards. The company: Prestige Merchant Services.
  4. At Vos Iz Neias, Golden Flow has new procedures to keep their cholov Yisroel milk even fresher, such that it is guaranteed to last to the printed expiration date. As might be expected, the comments are all about why in the general case of cholov yisrael milk, it does not, and whether this is din or chumrah.
  5. Blog In Dm about how some are using the poor economy exploit musicians.
  6. Lazer Beams in favor of the authenticity of Near Death experiences:

    But what will he do with all of the Near Death experiences from those millions he mentioned who had a near death experience of Jesus? See here for countless examples. And Rabbi Brody endorses a book, "Closer to the Light", by Melvin Morse. From its first chapter:

    "Do you mean when I visited the Heavenly Father," she replied. Whoa, I thought. "That's a good place to start. Tell me about meeting the Heavenly Father."
    "I met Jesus and the Heavenly Father," she said. Maybe it was the shocked look on my face or maybe it was shyness. But that was it for the day. She became very embarrassed and would speak no more.
    This is what happens when you embrace non-Jewish ideas, New Age ideas, endeavoring to increase people emunah. You will increase people's faith alright -- but it might just be faith in Avodah Zarah!
  7. More on the actions of the chareidim in Eretz Yisrael who act like perfect malachim -- by which I mean chayos hakodesh. At the Yeshiva World, Renewed Violence in Meah Shearim. And at Emes veEmunah, Getting Results.
  8. Here at parshablog, I wrote a post yesterday arguing that life is complicated and nuanced, and that it is not so clear that one should call Dor Yesharim before any shidduch date. Rather, perhaps one should date a few times and only then call Dor Yesharim. Unfortunately, somehow this got misunderstood to be an attack on Dor Yesharim, and genetic testing, in general.
  9. The latest Haveil Havalim, at Shiloh Musings.
  10. Life in Israel on a surprising purported psak from Rav Elyashiv:
    The latest psak to be making the rounds in the name of Rav Elyashiv is that a woman cannot dunk in the mikvah if she is wearing braces (for anybody from England or other countries where this word might have alternate meanings, it here means the train tracks wired to someone's teeth in an effort to straighten them out, and not to suspenders). The braces would be a chatzitzah and dipping in the mikvah would be futile, as dipping with a chatzitza is not really doing anything.
    He explains why it should be surprising, and wonders about some of the repercussions. Meanwhile, Rav Ovadia Yosef rules otherwise, leniently:
    Chacham Ovadia Yosef (in Taharat Ha'bayit, vol. 3, p. 143) rules leniently and allows immersing while wearing braces, on the basis of a number of different factors: the braces are located inside the mouth, they cover only a minority of the area of one's mouth, the woman wants the braces to be in her mouth, and they are very difficult to remove.  For all these reasons, the braces may be seen as part of the woman's mouth and therefore do not constitute a Chatzitza.  Retainers, however, must be removed before immersion.  Needless to say, a woman with braces must ensure to thoroughly clean the braces to remove all food particles that might have become attached to them.


yaak said...

Malachim - Chayos Hakodesh

Cute. Did you make that up?
I may use that one on my kids.

Yosef Greenberg said...

Is seeing Yushke in NDE's proff that they don't exist?

Its more prudent to debunk (or prove) them scientifically; although I do get your point.

joshwaxman said...

you're right. i wasn't going for proof here, which would not be accepted anyway by true believers of NDE. i was rather trying to deflate their claim, such as R' Lazer Brody's assertion that these millions of instances of (Christian) NDEs prove NDE is real.

but here is where it approaches something like a proof:
if Christians have Christian NDEs, Jews have Jewish NDEs (see Dreaming of Moshiach for the latest meshuggenah), Muslims have Muslim NDEs, and Buddhists have Buddhist NDEs (the same, BTW, for FC from autistics), then assuming they are all telling the truth, as far as I can see we have three choices:

(1) All religious are simultaneously true, despite being contradictory. Or, they are flavors of a larger universal truth. A possibility, but one that falsifies each individual religion, and one which believing Jews, Christians, etc., would not be so eager to maintain.

(2) Only *your* religious experience is legitimate. The particular Christian (/Buddhist/Muslim/Zoroastrian, etc. )aspects come from the "sitra achara". Surprising, since the initial assumption was that the person was going to *stay* there, and this was, after all, the Olam HaEmes.

(3) There is some part of the brain that handles the state of near death in this way, and produces visions and delusions in accordance with what one has been trained by one's upbringing to believe.

The third option seems to me to be the most plausible. Somewhat like Chazal's statement that you dream whatever you have been thinking about during the daytime, such that you should not attach great significance to dreams.


joshwaxman said...

"Cute. Did you make that up?"
my father, in a slightly different context.


Mississippi Fred MacDowell said...

One of the 19th century maskilim; I don't remember if it was Rapoport or someone else, referred to the Chassidim in their capacity as persecutors of maskilim as "chayos hakodesh."

joshwaxman said...

thanks; i'll let him know...


Yosef Greenberg said...

Well, you're going for the third option from a (Jewish) Religious POV.

You're adopting the third option as the most plausible because of you're previous *belief* in two other dogmas. Namely, the exclusivity of the Jewish religion and the nature of the next world.

Not much for plausible truth for an objective thinker.

Their claim against the third option is that some see things that are naturally impossible to see. (Medical instruments facing away from the patient.)

I'm not sure how true this is, however. Or if its a very heightened sense of intuition.

joshwaxman said...

"I'm not sure how true this is, however. Or if its a very heightened sense of intuition."
i'm no expert in ND. we would need to evaluate each claim independently. but cold readings is a possibility.

in terms of the choice among the three, i think that most non-religious people would have arrived at answer three, as the possibility that requires the least leap. occum's razor, and all that. i put in #1 and #2 to be comprehensive.

true, in terms of #2, i was answering from Jewish doctrine, since that is where I've heard the "sitra achara" answer from. i don't know what the answer would be from the perspective of a believing Buddhist, Christian, etc., or if they would claim it in the first place. but if you don't subscribe to the doctrine in the first place, then it is not suggested. so this is arguing leshitasam.

in terms of #1, i wasn't rejecting it on plausibility grounds. i was just explaining why the typical religious person should not think he was "winning the argument by putting this forth". (and i've seen it put forth by certain frum FC believers, though i won't identify them at this time.)

the third option rationally seems the most logical and simple to me, independently of the arguments pro and con listed above by each element. and it fits with the way i've seen people behave in the past. Jews see the eye of Moses on Google Maps, and Christians see the Virgin Mary in a grilled cheese sandwich. the mental patient sees blood, blood, everywhere on the Rorschach, and someone else sees prancing puppies, but that does not mean that they are necessarily seeing something that was intended as a message to them...


Yosef Greenberg said...

"...see the Virgin Mary in a grilled cheese sandwich"

Where do you come with such good quips? :)

Batya said...

Thanks for mentioning HH.


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