Friday, February 05, 2010

Interesting Posts and Articles #254

  1. Rabbi Slifkin is the Zoo Rabbi. He has expertise in the intersection of zoology and Torah, stemming in part from dealing with baboons the world over, from Bnei Brak to Monsey. He is now making a lecture tour of New York. See all the information at this post at Hirhurim, but on Sunday he will be doing the following:
    Sunday February 7th:
    Morning, 10am – 1pm
    The Torah Tour of the Bronx Zoo
    Price: Adults $20, children $15 (does not include admission)
    For registration (required), email
    Download flyer here (PDF)

    Sunday afternoon at Washington Heights Congregation (The “Bridge Shul”), 815 West 179th Street:
    2:30 pm: Sacred Monsters: Mysterious & Mythical Creatures of Torah, Midrash and Talmud
    4:00 pm: Rationalist Judaism: The Unknown, Endangered, Dangerous, & Life-saving Approach to Torah
    Entrance Donation: $10 for one lecture, $15 for both
    Download flyer here (PDF)
  2. Frum Satire writes a brief autobiography, to explain himself.
  3. A Matzav rant about future in-laws fighting about trivial things, such as how to walk down the aisle, such that it might entirely derail the marriage. And see the interesting comments there. It reminds me of the big dispute over whether the chassan would wear his peyos up or down . Each person may read his own values into this. My own take is that this is not the same thing as fighting over whether to eat potato kugel or lukshen kugel. One side (father-father; mother-mother) might view it as their masorah, or might have tznius concerns, and are appalled at the violation of halachah (in their view). The other side might consider this an excessive tznius chumra, and be happy that the other side is not insisting on separate chuppahs for the chassan and kallah; and that this is dismissive of the emotional need of the kallah (or chassan) to walk down the aisle accompanied by her parents on the basis of excessive frumkeit. There may be worries that this will set the tone for the whole marriage.

  4. Life In Israel tells of two lessons learned while riding a mehadrin bus. Worth a read. An excerpt:

    There was a bit of a ruckus, with this guy making all the trouble. It seems he felt like he was in charge of the bus and passengers, as he kept moving people around telling them where to sit. When this woman got up to help a different woman with her kids, the guy took her kid and bag off the seat and put them on the floor, freeing up the seat for a man, forcing her to stand much of the way after that.

    After that, as the bus came to the later stops and people were disembarking and the bus was less full, this guy was walking back and forth from the front to the back to talk to his wife and see the kids. This woman told me that he was the only man on the bus who spent considerable time walking through the womens section a number of times.
  5. Bad 4 Shidduchim has an illustrated book, a spoof of a Dr. Suess title. "I am not going out tonight".
    Please let me be.
    And shut the light.
    I am NOT going to go out tonight!
    The phone can ring.
    The shadchan weep.
    My bed is warm.
    My pillow’s deep....

  6. Deri praises chareidim getting academic degrees and learning trades; and denounces Shabbos protesters. Good for him.
  7. The Body Snatchers in Yerushalayim. I can understand the concerns of nivul hames, when it comes to autopsy. (Even though there is a very valid counterpoint, which we see e.g. by Pilegesh be-Giveah, that nivul for the sake of the person, to see who killed them, if they were indeed killed, it actually for their kavod.) But though the values of secular society differ from those of the chareidim in Geulah, this is not an overriding excuse for acting like a bunch of wild animals. That is nivul hachaim. Sometimes you have to just grin and bear it. Nivul hameis may be heavily frowned upon and considered an awful thing (though this is a technical violation not done with intent to disgrace), but that does not mean you steal a body, fight with police, etc. This seems to me a problem in general. Their ideal is that buses be segregated based on gender. But if a woman sits in the front, which is not to your hashkafic / halachic liking, do you start yelling at the woman, calling her names, hitting her, etc.? First learn to act like a mentch, and that is more important than making the world conform to your religious ideals.


Yosef Greenberg said...

"Sometimes you have to just grin and bear it."

You can bear it without grinning.

moshe said...

Just a point about the Israeli body snatchers:

While I may not agree with their way of life, I fully sympathize with them on this. The Israeli police do not consider the whether a full autopsy is necessary - they simply do an autopsy because they can.

Since the "body snatchers" went to work, the police is far more judicious in which cases it requests autopsies, as they know that any autopsy will cause a ruckus, and therefore there better be a good reason for the autopsy.

What happened in this specific instance? The police reached a deal with the "body snatchers" - no autopsy, an external examination will suffice. If there had been a reason for a full autopsy you can be pretty sure that the police would not have caved in so quickly.

Chalk one up for the body snatchers.


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