Sunday, July 26, 2009

Interesting Posts and Articles #186

  1. A shocking post at Mystical Paths, reported from a conversation with a tzaddik:
    Last year we (the gedolim & tzaddikim) really thought Moshiach was here. (There was a young man who was recognized as having the right credentials who was imbued with a spirit of understanding far beyond his years.) Many gedolim and tzaddikim went and attended his words.

    To our great misfortune, he was found to be false. Those who became close were in real danger at this trick of the Other Side. (Fortunately Shamayim protected the general public and this person was not 'revealed'.)
    He continues that one should expect a different false mashiach to be revealed this year. It seems plausible to me, based on sociological facts on the ground, but does not seem to be compulsory. It is amazing that all this was going on behind the scenes, though. If I would have to guess -- and I must stress it is an uneducated guess -- they were misled by Yehoshua Meiri, a student of Rav Kaduri. Since Rav Kaduri had predicted the mashiach about then, had this student / spokesman named Yehoshua, had said that an extra yud was added onto mashiach's name, and had written a letter where the roshei teivot of mashiach were Yehoshua with an extra vav.

    We will see what this coming year will bring.

  2. The comment section at Rationalist Judaism has turned to briefly discuss Rashi, and what he intended by tikkun soferim. A reading in some versions of Rashi has him clarify that Chazal turned about the pasuk, meaning that they modified the original wording. Some texts don't have it, though. See at What Is Bothering Artscroll how they left out this controversial nusach and did not note its existence. And see this article in Hakirah, starting on page 5, in the text and footnotes, on why it seems likely that Rashi did say and maintain this. And see this parshablog post where I address this, and the comment section there where Lurker notes a mailing-list post by Professor Bernstein which states:
    When my teacher, Professor Yeshayahu Maori, was beginning to do work on a critical text (based on MSS) of Rashi al Hatorah, I asked him what the textual status of the infamous "asher hafachuhu razal" was. He replied that it occurs in well over half of the kitvei yad. We both realized that such a phrase is far more likely to be removed from "authentic rashi" than added to it. (pietistic excision to protect the reputation of rabban shel yisrael)

    Furthermore, the Sefer Zikkaron (one of the earliest commentators on Rashi; I believe that he was among the megoreshei sefarad) screams a lot about these words in Rashi and at the end says, what can I do it occurs in every text that I can find (or words to that effect; I don't have the zikkaron in front of me). And he was writing about 1500.

    The general principle is, just because what a rishon writes disagrees with what has become the 14th, 15th or 743rd iqqar haemunah doesn't mean the rishon didn't write it. (or maybe even the 8th....)
  3. Google Wave looks interesting:

    Wave is like giant Web page onto which users can drag and drop any kind of object, including instant messaging and IRC [Internet Relay Chat] clients, e-mail, and wikis, as well as gadgets like maps and video. All conversations, work product and applications are stored on remote servers — presumably forever. “It’s like real time email. On crack,” he wrote.

    According to Rometsch, the user interface is nothing like a typically minimalist Google search, Gmail or Google Docs UI. “It feels a lot more like a desktop application that just so happens to live in your browser,” he writes.

  4. A Dinosaur mummy.
    Scientists today announced the discovery of an extraordinarily preserved "dinosaur mummy" with much of its tissues and bones still encased in an uncollapsed envelope of skin.
    It seems that it is all fossilized, so don't expect any dino DNA from this.

  5. In terms of the story with Rav Chaim Kanievsky calling the yeshiva bachur who drove without a license a murderer, the following from a source I am not allowed to name:
    Not long ago I received the following in an email from a friend of mine. "I just spoke to some one who is very close to Reb Chaim & the story of the boy & his car accident is not true."
  6. HaEmtzah has a guest post from Dr. Josh Backon about the Munchhausen by proxy case, and the implications of Dr. Weill's assessment that the mother does not have Munchhausen's.

  7. Divrei Chaim on missing the point about what is wrong with the protests.

  8. See a link roundup at Life In Israel. As he notes, the mother accused on Munchhausen by proxy now has a blog.

  9. This week's Haveil Havalim, hosted at Jewschool.

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