Monday, August 03, 2009

Interesting Posts and Articles #190

  1. As noted in a previous news roundup, the Eidah Chareidis forbade bachurim from participating in the Shabbos protests, since it was purportedly the bachurim who were engaging in inappropriate behavior. So what to make of this and this? Did the bachurim ignore the ban, or is it the case that it is a different group behind the awful behavior?

    Related, Emes veEmunah on the protests, and leaflets, about the Munchhausen by proxy case.

  2. Why we swing our arms when we walk, according to some researchers. I recall a "prohibition" a while back on women swinging their arms as they walked.

  3. A terrorist threat to Sacha Baron Cohen for a scene in Bruno where he mocks the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade. Follow the link to see a video and explanation. But on a perhaps related note, see what happened when Bruno took a stroll in a chareidi neighborhood, dressed as a homosexual chassid:

  4. In the Forward: Is the NYT Ignorant and Anti-Semitic for using the term Pharisee?

  5. A roundup of sources on parshat Eikev.

  6. In the Jewish Press, in the My Machberes column, a plug for a yalkut of peirushim on Targum Yonatan, as well as translation of the Aramaic text:
    Perhaps the best-known segulah for finding one's shidduch is davening at Amukah, the burial place of Reb Yonason ben Uziel, the Tanna and author of Targum Yonasan ben Uziel. With the publication of the 5th volume, on Chumash Bamidbar a major achievement has been introduced. Never before in history has a project of this magnitude and caliber on this work been attempted, namely to interpret the intricate, hidden secrets and mystical messages expressed in the words of Targum Yonasan.
    Firstly, the author of the compendium, Rabbi Henoch Levine labored, for laymen and scholars alike, to have the opportunity to understand the Aramaic words of the TannaYonason ben Uziel. Rabbi Levine created an easy to understand word-for-word Hebrew translation, alongside seemingly difficult Targum Aramaic passages.
    Moreover, Rabbi Levine presents an analysis of the chiddushim (new insights) therein, by tapping into the resources and clarifications of all the major Rishonim, to determine what prompted Rabbi Yonasan to arrive at his conclusion. The author does not stop there, but cites relevant explanations expounded by the early and later Acharonim. The sources are cited verbatim, so as to retain their true flavor and intent, which are often lost in translation and interpretation.
    It is unfortunate he had to work the segulah angle of this into it. Meanwhile, if this is Targum Yonatan al HaTorah, then it is not really associated with Yonasan ben Uziel, who works on Targum for Neviim. This is rightly called Targum Pseudo-Yonatan.

  7. Wired on the worst ten evolutionary designs. The one about the 5 foot drop for newborn giraffes reminds me of the midrash (and Rashi) on Iyov 39:1. The pasuk reads:
    א הֲיָדַעְתָּ--עֵת, לֶדֶת יַעֲלֵי-סָלַע; חֹלֵל אַיָּלוֹת תִּשְׁמֹר.1 Knowest thou the time when the wild goats of the rock bring forth? Or canst thou mark when the hinds do calve?
    and Rashi writes:
    mountain goats: Estainboc in Old French. It hates its young, and, when preparing to give birth, goes to the top of a high rock, so that its young should fall to the earth and die. But the Holy One, blessed be He, prepares an eagle for it [the young], which receives it on its wings.
    Do you wait for the hinds to calve?: Heb. חלל, an expression of (Jer. 6:24), “pain (חיל) as of a woman in travail.” The hind’s womb is narrow, and the young cannot come forth; and, at the time of birth, I prepare a snake for her that bites her womb so that it opens; should it be a moment too early or too late, she would die immediately. I know to distinguish these moments, so should the distinction between Job (אִיוֹב) and enemy (אוֹיֵב) escape Me?

  8. Rabbi Lazer Brody compares Obama to Hitler. How unfortunate.

  9. At Mystical Paths, a Rabbenu Bachya on just what it means that Yaakov Avinu didn't die. Perhaps I'll provide my own translation later.

  10. In England, kids still in diapers at a pretty late age.

  11. Rationalist Judaism makes the point that the difference between traditional vs. academic approaches is how one regards context.

  12. Frum Satire hosts Haveil Havalim.

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