Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Interesting Posts and Articles #324

  1. This week's Haveil Havolim, hosted at Velveteen Rabbi.
  2. At Shearim, a discussion of whether nature changed at the time of Yonah, according to Rav Yaakov Emden.
  3. At Daat Torah, a true story of how the Gedolim dealt improperly with a pedophile. And discussing a video showing Rav Elyashiv interlocking fingers. See also the parshablog post on the subject.
  4. From R' Lazer Brody, roshei yeshiva suffering from the Korach syndrome.
    Ask any Rosh Yeshiva or community rabbi: “If you had lived during the time of Korach, would you too have revolted against Moshe Rabbenu?” Undoubtedly, all the Rosh Yeshivas and community rabbis would say a resounding “no!” But, they’re fooling themselves… 
    Mekom Moriyah objects. My thoughts are that not accepting the claims and primacy of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov is not on the same level of rejecting Moshe Rabbenu, even if Breslovers believe that he is the spark of Moshe Rabbenu. (Similarly, we are not Korach for rejected Jesus, even though Christians might believe that not accepting him is similar to rejecting Moses.) And further, leaving Eretz Yisrael, and one's living teachers, is no small matter; especially to go to support the local economy of anti-Semites. Even Rav Nachman might not have supported this. And if one wishes to visit the kever of a tzaddik, there are plenty of those in Israel. (And in America as well.)
    Also, this:
    Esteemed rabbi and Rosh Yeshiva, don’t be lifting up the tails of your frock to run and rebel against the true tzaddik. And, even if you don’t believe that he’s the true tzaddik, are you willing to play spiritual Russian Roulette? That’s dangerous. Just ask Korach – you don’t have to be a Chilean coal miner to be buried alive deep in the bowels of the earth.
    sounds like Pascal's Wager. But that only works if there is no downside, and only an upside, to the belief. I don't believe this is so, and would guess that the esteemed rabbi and Rosh Yeshiva would agree.
  5. At Fink or Swim, a post about the accuracy of the written Torah. He refers to this news article about a project in Yerushalayim, which someone sent to me a while ago. I don't really see the big deal about this. It seems like a Vetus Testamentum, or Ginsberg's Massoretico-critical edition of the Hebrew Bible, or even Minchas Shaibut on a more massive scale. So? This is useful stuff, but I don't get what is groundbreaking about it. Their conclusions, on the other hand, are individually interesting, and should be considered on a case by case basis.
  6. At Wired, whether marijuana makes one stupid. Apparently, someone forgot to control for gender.
  7. A debunking of the 13 year old's solar power breakthrough.
  8. Failed Messiah discusses a case of tampering with witnesses, leading to dismissal of charges against someone accused of being a child molester.
  9. Rabbi Ari Enken on Hirhurim, on bathroom etiquette. In the comment section, discussions of how today's bathrooms are different, to possible halachic effect.
  10. At Life In Israel, how the Amshinover Rebbe says kiddush levana during the day. And Rav Zilberstein defends his recent psak.
  11. Here on parshablog, are our cats (and other animals) different from the ones in the gemara in Chullin, just because ours do not inject venom? What are the ramifications for other halachic / hashkafic discussions, such as shafan and chilazon?


Anonymous said...

I was expecting you to write this article


Anonymous said...

Re: Mekom Moriyah objects

I thought I understood her point until she wrote:

Although this custom is quite popular among Sefaradim and Chassidim, it has no place among Ashkenazi Jewry.

Since both the Rama and the Hafetz Haim allow for this, it would seem that all Ashkenazim are allowed to kebarim if they wish. No?

And while the Gemara allows this as well, is this not a matter of mesora? Except of course for leaving EY to do it.


Anonymous said...

Did the Chofetz Chaim or the Rama ask their students to daven at their kevarim so that they would intercede in Heaven on their behalf?

joshwaxman said...

Anon #1:

Good point. I don't agree with everything she wrote.

Anon #2:
Indeed. On the other hand, the Chafetz Chaim did have a statement that he would intercede on behalf of anyone who learned his (particular) sefer, a statement that has been extended to fetishize learning hilchot Lashon Hara in general.

kol tuv,

Anonymous said...


No--the Rama and Haftez Haim did not, but that was not my point. I was only pointing out that Ashekanzim can go to kebarim for tefila and on good authority. I don't know what aspect of going to kebarim bothered Moriah. It;s likely the issue that you raise. But to me at least,she made it seem as if Sepharadim and Chassidim were lesser qualities than "Ashkenazim" even if she did not mean it. The thing is, its not appropriate to assume that what any particular type of Jew does at kebarim.

kol tuv



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