Monday, October 27, 2008

Interesting Posts and Artciles #85

  1. Gender Separation in Halacha. A short shiur by Rav Hershel Schachter. Balancing societal norms and halachic considerations, and how halachic considerations are at times defined by societal norms. But while in the past, he has said that there should be mixed seating at weddings for singles, at least, here he says that due to changing metziut, it is not a good idea nowadays. Also, a preference (though not insistence -- depending on circumstance) on separate seating at shiurim. I agree with some, and disagree with some, for various reasons, such as a general trend towards overemphasis of tznius concerns such that the shvil hazahav might demand compensation in the other direction by rabbis, to make sure that things do not get out of control. But who am I? And something would be wrong if I always heard exactly what I wanted to hear.

  2. Confessions of a reporter of bias in covering the presidential race.

  3. A review of the game Spore, by evolutionary biologists (and by a proponent of Intelligent design). It flunked. Read why.

  4. Hirhurim notes Rav Schachter's position on the Kotel cam, first one way, then another, based on what is being done on Shabbat. Read it there, together with the comments, but roughly, if nothing is being caused to be done on the webserver in Israel, but it is just streaming continuously, then receiving (in some way) that stream would not be problematic. But if logging in causes it to do some actual activity when it is Shabbat in Israel, this may indeed be problematic. This is a complicated topic. Actually, what is there is a link to an audio shiur, so a start would actually be to listen to the entire shiur, something I have not yet done.

  5. BlogInDm begins a series of posts reviewing Rabbi Ephraim Luft's book, The Torah Is Not Hefker. Rabbi Ephraim Luft is the one behind recent attempts to ban certain Jewish music.

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