Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Interesting Posts #2

1. Over at Parsha Potpourri:
"The Brisker Rov answers that the Gemora in Yevamos (64b) teaches that Sorah was an איילונית – a woman who is unable to have children. Such a woman never develops the physical signs of adulthood. The Gemora in Yevamos (80a) rules that when a woman turns 20 without becoming physically mature, she is declared an איילונית and legally considered an adult from that time onward. Therefore, although sins which are committed before a person turns 20 are indeed considered sins even if they aren’t punishable at that time by the Heavenly Court, the transgressions of Sorah were not considered sins, as she was legally considered a minor until she turned 20!"
And more on the parsha, there. The alternative answer which uproots the question on the midrash is that there is another girsa in which 20 and 7 are reversed.

2. At Hirhurim, the Or HaChaim's approach to Peshat:
"I would suggest that to R. Chaim ben Atar, peshat means an explanation that reads smoothly with the words of the text. It can be based on a midrashic expansion of the text and assume a backstory which is not mentioned anywhere in the text, but as long as the text itself reads smoothly based on this explanation then it is peshat. In other words, he distinguishes between a derash, which is a non-literal reading of the words, and a midrash, which is a backstory that is not mentioned in the text. Unlike many peshat-oriented commentators who will not consider information that is not contained in the text, he will utilize midrash to establish peshat, a literal reading of the text."
3. CuriousJew posts some class notes, about the following question within the history of halacha:
"A yachid facing larger societal issues/ constructs, an apostate (someone who converts to Chrstianity and now wants to come back to Judaism), what does he need to do? Does he need ritual immersion?"
4. SeraphicSecret notes that Google removed detailed maps of Israel from GoogeEarth, which is a good thing:

"Last week we noted that jihadists in Gaza were using Goggle Maps to target Israel. Unlike some of our more, ahem, liberal commenters, we thought that this was an atrocity and unacceptable. We also tipped our readers to the facts that Google execs were in secret talks with the IDF. Well, we are glad to report that when the jihadists reference Israel, em excuse me, the Zionist entity, on their computers, they will come up blank."
5. Emes veEmuna discussed Rabbi Dr. David Berger
"What Lubavitchers do not understand is that Rabbi Berger is not attacking them. He is attacking their mistaken belief in their Rebbe’s Messiah-ship. It is a belief that is so entrenched, and so vast, and so harmful that it may end up destroying them! …or at least marginalizing them, if it hasn’t already."
6. Young Israel of KGH Torah Tape Library:
The Young Israel of Kew Gardens HIlls has an extensive torah tapes library that is open for lending to the community. Currently, the library is open on SUNDAY mornings ONLY, AFTER the 7:00am and 8:00am minyanim. You can download a copy of the list from the Young Israel of Kew Gardens Hills website at
7. For Halloween, the Codex blog discusses various Darkei Emori, from Mesopotamian omen texts:
If a white cat is seen in a man’s house — (for) that land hardship will seize it.
If a black cat is seen in a man’s house — that land will experience good fortune.
If a red cat is seen in a man’s house — that land will be rich.
If a multicolored cat is seen in a man’s house — that land will not prosper.
If a yellow cat is seen in a man’s house — that land will have a year of good fortune.
8. Google BlogScoped has screenshots of the new Gmail interface they are rolling out.

9. LifeInIsrael has an interesting post about a pesak from Rav Kanievsky:
"The mother packed up a home cooked meal. His father took the package to the bus station, found the bus that goes to Yerushalayim and stuck the package of food in the luggage compartment under the bus. He called his son and told him when to expect the bus to arrive and that he should be waiting by the station in Yerushalayim to remove the food.
The father was going to do this again and became concerned there might be a problem with this plan. He was concerned it might be considered Bassar She’nisalem Min Ha’ayin
Rav Zilbershtein said the meat is fine as far as his concern of unsupervised meat goes. However, Rav Zilbershtein added, there might be a different problem that he is stealing from Egged by sticking the package under the bus without paying for the transport."
10. ThanBook on Musical Instruments in the Synagogue:
"Some communities invited their congregants to come earlier to the shul, where instruments were played during the singing of the service! In fact, an organ was installed in Prague's famed Altneu Shul just for this purpose, where between 1594 and 1716, Kabbalat Shabbat was a festive musicale. The musicians had to stop their playing before sunset, and in some communities, it was done early enough so that the congregants had time to go home, dress for Shabbat, and return for the recitation of the "real" Kabbalat Shabbat hymn, Psalm 92, Mizmor Shir L'Yom HaShabbat."


Josh M. said...

there is another girsa in which 20 and 7 are reversed.


joshwaxman said...

See Etz Yosef's commentary to this in Midrash Rabba. He writes:
בת ק' כבת כ' לנוי ובת כ' כבת ז' לחטא: כן גרס רש"י ז"ל בפירוש המדרש. וכן הגירסא בילקוט תהילים ל"ז. וכן הנוסחא במדרש לקח טוב. ועייו פירוש רש"י בחומש ובר"אם
(the last presumably Mizrachi)

Anonymous said...

Josh W:

I wish you the best in your apparent quest to become the next Hirhurim.


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