Thursday, March 19, 2009

Interesting Posts and Articles #131

  1. Tomer Devorah has a roundup of comments from Christians who react strongly to the rav of the Kotel saying he does not want the Pope to visit if he is prominently wearing a cross. If I recall correctly, when YU allowed cardinals to enter the YU Beis Medrash, they tucked in their crosses. I don't know if the comparison to talis and tefillin in a church is most apt, though it perhaps causes less offense. Christians generally don't think of themselves as pagans, and so it is hard for them to imagine that their beliefs and practices could be considered avodah zarah by others. If the cross is the object of worship (and in this respect, there may be a difference between a cross and a crucifix, but I am no expert), or a stand-in for the worship of the person they idolize, then it may have the status of avodah zarah. And bringing it to the Mekom HaMikdash may be similar to historical tragedies of people setting up idolatry in the Mikdash. The mosque on the Temple Mount is a similar intrusion, but he does not have control of that, and anyway it is more clearly monotheistic worship. The question is whether Christians would be so ready to allow a Baal-worshipper to worship in their church, while bringing along a large bronze idol along with him. Perhaps that was in the back of the rav of the kotel's mind.

  2. A debate between Rav Ovadiah Yosef and Rav Bar Chayim over whether Ashkenazim should discard the Ashkenazic custom of kitniyot in favor of Sephardic custom, discussed at Life In Israel. It goes far beyond this specific example. Before you go saying "yay! I can eat kitniyot on Pesach" and champion Rav Bar Chaim's position, and arguing based on results, you might want to consider the merits of the respective arguments. Also, in terms of results, you should realize that this applies not only to the 8 days of "annoyance" but to many other things across the whole year. There are many heterim in Ashkenazic practice not found in Sephardic practice (and v.v.).

  3. On The Main Line has a Karaite text, in Arabic consonants pointed with Hebrew nikkud. Interesting.

  4. Wolfish Musings discusses a new chalav yisrael milk with four hechsherim, from a company called Machmirim, and the slogan Anachnu Machmirim Benei Machmirim. I thought it was a spoof, but apparently not.

  5. And DovBear discusses a specific video which apparently shows someone attempting to manipulate Rav Elyashiv. Maybe they succeed. I have what to say about it, but not the time to say it. Maybe later. In the comment section, he links to a transcript, but there is a difference between the transcript and the video, not only in a few words, but also in the tone, IMHO.

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