- At Gizmodo, a new wine-drinking glass. Try drinking rov kos from of these during the seder night.
- Thoughts on Maharal etc. discusses some fellow who was trying to impose his stringencies on others, in terms of when to daven on erev Tisha be'Av, relatedly, what they should be eating during the seudah hamafsekes, and when they should be davening at the end, which would impact when they would be able to break their fast. Oy.
- PC World notices the Hirch lawsuit regarding what people said about sending the son to Tranquility bay.
- At Daat Torah, an interesting idea from Rav Sternbuch:
UNPAID DEBTSWe've all heard of the concept of gilgulim used to explain the seemingly undeserved physical suffering in the world. And this is undeserved pecuniary losses. What seems to be Rav Sternbuch's novel chiddush here is that this extends to losses in Bet Din. I am puzzled. Many balebatim who don't understand the intricacies of Choshen Mishpat may go into court thinking they have an open-and-shut case. But presumably the beis din paskens according to law, and what the fellow owes or is not owed. If it is halacha, then wouldn't it not be a "clear perversion of justice", despite what it "seems". If so, then this need not be the result of something owed by a previous gilgul, and indeed the present gilgul did something that incurred the loss al pi halachah. If, on the other hand, the beis din erred, then it would indeed be a perversion of justice, but one which came to be so as to transfer money from Reuven's gilgul to Shimon's gilgul. Perhaps the idea is that the intricacies of the law, applied correctly by beis din, coupled with the particular details of this case, made the person lose the case k'din in court. The halacha can sometimes be unjust, according to what truly transpired (despite e.g. lack of kosher witnesses) or according to some outside moral compass. But that such cases are not indicative of some flaw in halacha. There is din and there is a dayan, and this outcome came about because money was owed from a previous gilgul.
There is also a more hidden aspect to this association: On occasion, a person might come to bais din thinking that he has an open and shut case, one hundred percent sure that he will be victorious. Yet, when the p'sak is issued, it is actually his opponent who is rendered the victor. How can he come to terms with what seems to be a clear perversion of justice?
The Zohar explains that this is the deeper connection between mishpot and Elokim. At times, there are debts that need to be repaid from other gilgulim, i.e., previous occasions that we lived in this world. Through some minor financial losses in this world, Elokim makes sure that a person can go into the next world free of previous debts.
Every Jew who experiences seemingly undeserved suffering in this world should keep the above concept in mind. Nothing in this world is for naught. Any travails that a person experiences during his lifetimes lessen the necessity for punishment in the next world.
I suppose this works out, once you assume gilgul is true and assume that gilgul is not an idea transferred from foreign religions.
- Vos Iz Neias reports that Israel's largest appliance company may halt service-calls to the chareidi community:
Assuming that this is true, then I think the company is in the right, and that more and more of this should happen.Yesterday, the haredi rabbinical court issued a boycott against Electra Consumer Products, which resulted in violent attacks against the company’s technicians making service calls at haredi customers... By law, Electra Consumer Products must answer service calls, but the company decided that if the attacks against its personnel continue, it will ask the regulator for permission not to provide service.
- Five Towns Jewish Times mentions an Israeli yeshiva which expelled its students for obtaining driving licenses. (See previous discussions of this.)
- Also, the makers of the Magen clamp are going out of business in the aftermath of a lawsuit over a botched circumcision. Even though the Magen clamp is non-standard because many rabbis do/did not hold by it, Rav Soloveitchik did hold by it. There are of course medical mishaps that are possible with any procedure, but this may well be the fault of the American tort system which allows this assignation of blame because the documentation didn't warn of this as a possibility. The attorney, David Llewellyn, is an anti-circumcision advocate. From another case:
- At Vos Iz Neias, taken from the Jewish Star, an Op Ed saying that the person putting out flyers blasting the victim and family for going to the police should not do so anonymously. While I think the author of these flyers is an idiot and a misguided jerk, and separate from that is not correct al pi halacha, I don't think that it makes sense to demand that he do this under his real name, and that if not it is a mark of something wrong. Given the recent arrest for obstruction of justice of someone who did just that via texting, there is good reason not to give his name, even if he were right. (Which he is not.)
- Avakesh puts up an interesting video of Rav Shteinman, from Kikar Shabbos. See his description over at his blog:
Rav Aharon Leib Steinman has quipped that Avrohom Avinu would not be accepted in our schools today because of his father, but Yishmael and Esav would be.
- DovBear with two maaseh shehayas about yeshivish people criticizing Darwin and evolution while making basic errors as to the theory and operation of Darwinian evolution.