Monday, August 25, 2008

Interesting Posts and Articles #66

  1. Let me preface this with the fact that most neighborhoods in Israel, and Jerusalem, are not like this. But there are one or two neighborhoods in which there are some extremists. Arrests of the mishmeres hatznius suspects spark protests, including one in which a police car is (temporarily) flipped over (here and here). But are they protesting in favor of the purported actions? It would seem not. Rather, there are claims that the accused are innocent:
    “If the demand is not accepted, at least partially,” said Edah Hachareidit sources tonight, “the Beis Din itself will call upon its public to take to the streets and demonstrate until the police succumb and free the innocent arrestees.”
    The haredi community accused the police of "deciding to destroy the chastity squad," according to a prominent community member, who said that the "modesty guard" had nothing to do with the violent incidents.

    "The chastity squad members are doing the work the police should have done. Instead of thanking us for putting things in order, they are acting against us and trying to destroy the guard," he added.
    I am not sure what actions they mean by "doing the work the police should have done." It seems they believe that the police made up these charges, or charged innocent people for the crimes of others, because they do not want the "chastity squad" in operation. But the specific actions, they do not think they did. Or at least they claim as much.

  2. has seen Obama's birth certificate:
    Recently FactCheck representatives got a chance to spend some time with the birth certificate, and we can attest to the fact that it is real and three-dimensional and resides at the Obama headquarters in Chicago. We can assure readers that the certificate does bear a raised seal, and that it's stamped on the back by Hawaii state registrar Alvin T. Onaka (who uses a signature stamp rather than signing individual birth certificates). We even brought home a few photographs.
  3. The New York Times reports on a study conducted by two teenagers in which they purchased 60 samples of sushi and discovered that in 1/4 of the cases, the advertised fish was not what they got -- rather, they got cheaper fish, or endangered species. They used genetic barcoding, which tests only a single gene, in order to distinguish one species from the other. Meanwhile, in another NY Times article, they get the responses of owners of high-end sushi restaurants, who say they would never do such a thing, because their customers (or a restaurant reviewer) would be able to taste the difference, and besides, they would not run the risk to their reputations.

    This is not so surprising. It is not clear that the teenagers tested these particular restaurants -- they tested 4 restaurants and 10 grocery stores, and 2 of the restaurants and 6 of the grocery stores were selling mislabeled fish.

    It is a good illustration of the need for the kosher consumer to rely on some sort of certification. Those who say they eat fish out (disregarding issues of beliot) should perhaps consider the possibility that they might not even be getting a kosher species.

  4. This "User Friendly" comic strip speaks to me. And this Bizarro is just funny.

  5. In Turkey, people are easing the fast of Ramadan by using an appetite suppressant patch. It would seem that we could do the same for Tisha BeAv and Yom Kippur.

  6. Avakesh embeds a video of why we need tzaddikim. But I find the message of the video potentially theologically hazardous. See the video, and then my comment, over there.

  7. I don't know if I buy it, but a documentary claiming that Obama stole the election from Hillary.

  8. Don't forget that I've been blogging the Rif on daf yomi over at my Rif blog.


Anonymous said...

Re the "why we need tzadikim" video, let me remind you of the Gemara in Sotah 35b, where Yosef Hatzadik was on the verge of sinning with Potifar's wife but restrained himself because his father's image appeared to him in the window etc.

joshwaxman said...

thanks. I actually thought of this gemara earlier, but I think it is distinct. Bli neder, perhaps I will elaborate later.

Kol Tuv,

joshwaxman said...

My explanation of why I would distinguish between the two, here.

Thanks again for bringing it up.

Kol Tuv,


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