Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Interesting Posts and Articles #59

  1. Some titles put online by JNUL. The first is a printing of Targum (Preudo-)Yonatan on the Torah. Though we can just use our mikraos gedolos for that. This one does not have the psukim in Hebrew for comparison.

    The second is "Gemul Ataliah," which is a play printed in Amsterdam, 1770, which tells over the story of Yoash, and of course Ataliah. It appears to have been a response to other fictionalized accounts. Click on "page 10" on the sidebar to jump to the cast of characters and the beginning of the actual play.

    Also, three works by Abarbanel on Jewish theology. He discusses Moreh Nevuchim. Also, Eliyahu will enjoy this one, I think. In Ateres Zekeinim, Abarbanel discusses at length such topics as the malach who went forth before the Israelites, in Shemos.

  2. "Stuffed" -- a Bizarro comic.

  3. A man is committed because he thinks there is a cat in his walls. Except there is. And then they save the cat. This Bizarro comic is appropriate.

  4. Death by 1000 Papercuts thinks what happened (see there) is a fitting result for a pompous psychologist who caused a mistrial by interrupting a video to say that he thought a confession was coerced.

    He writes:

    "It would strike me as coercive to listen to such an ass. We are discussing the death of a baby."

    Yet while he spoke out of turn and perhaps he should not have, given court procedures, the fact that we are discussing an emotional topic does not mean that we should throw critical judgment out the window. See how that worked out from the child abuse witch hunts. In his professional judgment, he thought that the confession was coerced, and thus not valid. And indeed, there are many instances of police pressuring people to confess, including many cases in which the people confessing are innocent. And even in halacha, we have the principle of אין אדם משים עצמו רשע.

  5. Mystical Paths cites various bloggers and new analyses that Obama staged the theft of his note in the kotel. I am no Obama supporter -- I favor McCain, but among the Democrats favored Hillary. However, I do not find this "dan lekaf chovah" to be persuasive. See my comment on that post explaining why.

  6. Jacob Da Jew, Pravda Neeman, and DovBear all find fault with Rabbi Yaakov Horowitz's harmonization of a young earth with scientific findings. I disagree with their takes, and with some of their objections. Even if we disagree with the "young earth" theory, that does not mean that we cannot leave others to maintain it. (Indeed, I see no theological problems with an old earth, and believe that the science supports an old earth.) DovBear, let them kvetch if they want, if their theology compels it, and if it is kvetchable. Not everyone has to agree with your, or my, reading of psukim or rabbinic sources. Pravda, the fact that there are correspondences between the human and ape genome could easily be cast into the whole idea of creating a universe to look old, so your objection does not seem to be an objection. Jacob, yes it would have God appear to be perpetuating a fraud. However, how confident are we of our understanding of God and His Ways? If the alternative to "perpetuating a fraud" is to leave scientific evidence of the world suddenly coming into being in extremely improbable ways, that might well eliminate bechira chofshis. You can counter with arguments the other way, but then this becomes a theologic argument.

  7. The Telegraph has an excerpt from Arthur C. Clarke's final sci-fi work, "The Last Theorem."

  8. My son got a bad scrape, and I had to explain to him why he needed to wear a bandage. This video was quite helpful:

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