- This week's Haveil Havolim.
- Obama caught lip-syncing a speech! From the Onion News Network:
- In Mol Araan has a nice post on a 'subversive' haggadah. Here is an image from it. Click on it to make it larger. She explains how it is subversive:
This is a good time to recall that rabbits are positively hopping with significance in Jewish art, most notably in hagaddahs, in which we see rabbits employing their skill and speed to evade the fierce hounds who pursue them. In Dreams of Subversion in Medieval Jewish Art and Literature, Marc Michael Epstein explains the subversive nature of some of these illustrations, like the amazing picture reproduced above in which a repentant hound serves wine to an enthroned rabbit. Take that, dawgs!I'll add why it is so common to see hounds hunting rabbits. See this parshablog post. Basically,
because Yaknehaz (yayin kiddush ner havdalah zeman) sounds similar in German to "jag den Has," meaning "hunt the hare,".
- At Mystical Paths, Reb Akiva quotes an eerie quote from the Lubavitcher Rebbe, and wonders whether it is nevuah or just chochma:
During this time (in 1981) a well respected yid came to the Rebbe and asked him, “why are you so opposed to the Camp David (Sinai) Accords?” The Rebbe answered the question with a question, “What will happen if in 30 years time the present strongman of Egypt is overthrown by those who are opposed to the Peace Treaty.”
My guess would be just chochma. It is perhaps debatable whether it was worth the 30 years of security. But besides that, there was no declaration at the time that it was being said in prophecy. And being a public figure making a lot of public and private pronouncements, it might be inevitable that some will be uncannily accurate. Those will be reported, while statements which did not come do pass will not be reported.Today, as the strongman (Mukbarak) of Egypt falls, it’s exactly 30 years later...
Still, chacham, einav berosho. The statement in Bava Basra daf 12 comes to mind:
R. Abdimi from Haifa said: Since the day when the Temple was destroyed, prophecy has been taken from the prophets and given to the wise. Is then a wise man not also a prophet?12 — What he meant was this: Although it has been taken from the prophets, it has not been taken from the wise. Amemar said: A wise man is even superior to a prophet, as it says, And a prophet has a heart of wisdom.13 Who is compared with whom? Is not the smaller compared with the greater?14 Abaye said: The proof [that prophecy has not been taken from the wise] is that a great man makes a statement, and the same is then reported in the name of another great man.15 Said Raba: What is there strange in this? Perhaps both were born under one star.16 No, said Raba; the proof is this, that a great man makes a statement and then the same is reported in the name of R. Akiba b. Joseph.1 Said R. Ashi: What is there strange in this? perhaps in this matter he was born under the same star. No, said R. Ashi; the proof is that a great man makes a statement and then it is found that the same rule was a halachah communicated to Moses at Mount Sinai. But perhaps the wise man was no better than a blind man groping his way through a window?2 — And does he not give reasons [for his opinions]?3Though the proof to such ruach hakodesh this does not cover incidental statement. Indeed, the incidental statement appears in the next passage in the gemara:
.R. Johanan said: Since the Temple was destroyed, prophecy has been taken from prophets and given to fools and children. How given to fools? — The case of Mar son of R. Ashi will illustrate. He was one day standing in the manor of Mahuza4 when he heard a certain lunatic exclaim: The man who is to be elected head of the Academy in Matha Mehasia5 signs his name Tabiumi. He said to himself: Who among the Rabbis signs his name Tabiumi? I do. This seems to show that my lucky time has come. So he quickly went to Matha Mehasia. When he arrived, he found that the Rabbis had voted to appoint R. Aha of Difti as their head. When they heard of his arrival, they sent a couple of Rabbis to him to consult him.6 He detained them with him, and they sent another couple of Rabbis. He detained these also, [and so it went on] until the number reached ten. When ten were assembled, he began to discourse and expound the Oral Law and the Scriptures, [having waited so long] because a public discourse7 [on them] should not be commenced if the audience is less than ten. R. Aha8 applied to himself the saying: If a man is in disfavour [with Heaven] he does not readily come into favour, and if a man is in favour he does not readily fall into disfavour.How has prophecy been given to children? A case in point is that of the daughter of R. Hisda. She was sitting on her father's lap, and in front of him were sitting Raba and Rami b. Hama. He said to her: Which of them would you like? She replied: Both. Whereupon Raba said: And let me be the second.9
- Life In Israel reports on when a segulah clashes with halacha. I would say that the second time, he should give him matza!
- Here on parshablog, considering the Maharsham, that a talmid chacham should gain all secular knowledge from Torah, parallel to the menorah which was beaten out of one piece of molten gold. I see a difficulty or two in this.
- And related, On the Main Line considers the path from comet comprehension to nes Chanuka denial.
- The Google Art Project, which seems to be Google Street View for art museums.
- A Five Towns Jewish Times article on Rabbi Dr. Bernard Lander's legacy.
- ThanBook on a common Artscroll nusach which developed due to a typographical error.
- Here on parshablog, prepare the sedra using my Tetzaveh sources.