- At Mystical Paths, timtum halev from consuming Chalav ha-Companies in accordance with Rav Moshe Feinstein:
“Then, just before his third birthday, there was a party for children held at a friend's house and they served pizza and milk and cookies. The hostess asked everyone if they were strict about chalav Yisroel (milk produced with Jewish supervision), but my wife was out of the room when the questioning came, so she was missed, and the hostess served Yisroel a glass of regular kosher but not chalav Yisroel (supervised) milk.“The next day, Yisroel's gifts had left him. He completely lost interest in recitingTehilim and became a normal child with no apparent spiritual gifts. He remained intelligent and self-motivated, of course, but the spiritual light had diminished. And so it remained till his bar mitzvah. He was a brilliant young student, but certainly no rebbe. Now, (15 years later) he is maturing as a creative thinker, a spiritual innovator.”
- This week's Havel Havalim, hosted at Ima 2 Seven.
- At Wired, New evidence suggests that monkeys and old word apes may have split off later than was previously believed.
Discoverers of a partial apelike skull in western Saudi Arabia say that it now appears that a poorly understood parting of major primate groups occurred between 29 million and 24 million years ago. A 2004 analysis of DNA from living apes and monkeys in Africa and Asia had estimated an earlier divergence, between 34.5 and 29.2 million years agoThis just goes to show that some disciplines are speculative and based on reconstructions, rather than being entirely solid -- even though they do have the basics down pretty solidly.
- Hirhurim reviews a sefer, an English translation of Reb Chaim:
But read it all, where he clarifies that this is a translation to aid yeshiva students, who already have the requisite background. In terms of the Artscroll Talmud, and people thinking they know, consider this recent quote from a commenter on this blog, contending that I "denigrated" Artscroll by saying that one who relies on it, exclusively, is not on firm ground to challenge major posekim on pesak:When Artscroll began its annotated English translation of the Talmud, it faced opposition from some leading rabbis who disapproved of the effort. The Talmud, they contended, is a complex work whose comprehension requires great effort and personal guidance. An English translation offers the false promise of mastering a difficult work without the proper training. For a variety of reasons, this view did not prevail. Regardless, whether or not this idea applies to the Talmud, it still has merit in other areas.Scholarship requires training. You cannot open a physics book and expect to understand the terminology, concepts and methodologies without adequate background. An advanced work of talmudic scholarship is no different. You might even mistakenly think that you understand because you miss the true meaning of terms and methodology.Should anyone translate Chiddushei Reb Chaim Ha-Levi Al Ha-Rambam? Is there value in opening a complex work of talmudic analysis to an unitiated reading public? Generally, I think the answer is no. Without the proper background, you will not appreciate the brilliance of the work. In fact, I contend that the book suffers in translation.
- Speaking of translations and aid to understanding Reb Chaim, Rabbi Slifkin put up in response to the Hirhurim post some of his notes in English on Chidushei Reb Chaim on the Rambam.
When I was in yeshivah, one of my favorite sefarim was Chiddushei Reb Chaim on the Rambam. I was always fastidious about taking notes, and did so with this work too. Later, when I was teaching at Ohr Somayach, I found it very useful to teach Chiddushei Reb Chaim - not from the original Hebrew, but instead presenting the arguments in English. My notes came in handy, too, not just for myself, but also for my students.Then he discusses how he no longer thinks that this reflects Rambam's authorial intent, and whether this means the work is less valuable (yes) or valueness (no).
Reading R. Gil Student's latest post reminded me that I still have these notes sitting on my computer. I am making them freely available here. The document includes ten sections of Reb Chaim's work, translated and also presented in outline form in order to make the arguments easier to follow. I converted the notes from an old Word file, so the formatting is not up to my usual standards. I haven't checked it over in the last ten years, either, but I probably wouldn't get around to doing so, so I am making it available as-is.
- At Matzav, they have the "full" (=edited) video of Rav Chaim Kanievsky answering shailos:
Rav Chaim agreed to allow Lev L’Achim to broadcast a question-and-answer session from his home to the annual gathering of the Lakewood Torah community on behalf of P’eylim / Lev L’Achim.
- Chareidim in Meah Shearim riot over a plasma screen in a local Post Office:
Two of the protestors managed to forcefully enter the branch, clashed with security guards, unplugged the electricity cables and were shortly thereafter arrested by police. Dozens of protestors from the Eda Haredit and Neturei Karta faction sprayed a grafitti on the branch’s windows reading “an end to immoral publications.”The rioters also tore down a mail box and dropped it on the ground.A postal employee told Ynet that the rioters hit several of the employees. When police officers left the site the protestors shouted out “Nazis” and “Zionists”, however no physical clashes were recorded.Police are now trying to reach an agreement with Eda Haredit leaders who demanded the updates be removed and the two detainees be released. They threatened to impose a boycott of the Postal Company similar to the one maintained against the real-estate and construction company Electra for its involvement in the Andromeda construction project in Jaffa.
- Since it is almost Tisha B'Av, and since Rav Chaim Kanievsky purportedly predicted mashiach before this Tisha B'Av, it might be good to point out my post from a short while back explaining how it is rather unlikely that Rav Kanievsky made this prediction, and how this error might have arisen. The purported prediction:
While the fast of 9 Av is still in the air, a resident of Bnei Brak visited the honorable Rav Kanievsky Shila to ask him a few questions regarding the fast. The revered Rav answered him, "The answers I'll give you will not help you. By this time next year, Moshiach will be here and we will no longer be fasting."
The above rare answer from the Rav is extremely extraordinary. All those present in Rav Kanievsky's house were astounded to hear this surprise answer.