Monday, November 21, 2011

Interesting Posts and Articles #250

1) I saw the comic strip pictured to the right at Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal. A cute comic, in general. This one reminds me of an old parshablog post, about Life After Birth, as well as the Journeys song.

2) At Yeranen Yaakov, how Rav Kaduri told his chavrusa when mashiach was coming -- in the month of Av, 5772. (1 Av is Fri, 20 July 2012.)  This is good, because it means that we beat out destruction of the earth predicted by the Mayans for December 21, 2012.

Someone asks in the comment section about a video about Rav Kaduri converting to Christianity. This is apparently a somewhat widespread belief among some Christians. There are plenty of YouTube videos about it, such as this one.

I discuss the note in this old parshablog post. But though I think the writing is authentic, that does not mean that Rav Kaduri accepted Jesus as his personal savior. Christians don't realize how unlikely, and indeed ridiculous, it is, on a sociological level. It is as likely as the Pope being a closet worshiper of Cthulhu. Meanwhile, the more obvious explanation is that Yehoshua (the encoded name of the messiah) is an exceptionally common name among Jews. My name is Yehoshua. And I know plenty of other people named Yehoshua. (Indeed, when I was born, Joshua was one of the top baby names. And see this list of top names for Americans (rather than Jews in particular), from the Social Security administration. Joshua is an exceptionally common name -- within the top five from 1983 - 2008.

The thing is, Christians are Jesus-obsessed, and so they see Yehoshua and they leap to the conclusion that Rav Kaduri was referring to Jesus, rather than to, say, R' Kaduri's spokesman Yehoshua Maori.

3) A bunch of posts at Life In Israel about the Eidah trying to put an end to the Burka cult. Most recently, here. I disagree with the psak of the rabbi that they should not be called Taliban women:
Rav Mutsafi answered: It is a great sin of lashon ha'ra and motzee shem ra to call Jewish women, some of whom might be "disturbed", by the nickname of a terrorist organization that hates Israel, and it is equal to all other sins in the Torah. Doing so is the result of being addicted to the media that incites and pushes people away (RG: from religion presumably) and treats the gedolei yisrael in a degrading fashion. I will not relate to the actual question.
As I explain in a comment there, I think that he is conflating Taliban with Al Qaeda. And sociologically, the best way to combat this may well be to mock it.

4) Rabbi Lazer Brody has an article at called Long Beard, Short Emunah. Hopefully, the man will be able to obtain the money for these needs. Or if not, it should work out in some other way. But this is a widespread problem in Israel, in which poverty-stricken parents are expected to buy an apartment for their children, and schnorr in America to do it. And the solution is not simply to daven and then be confident that Hashem will provide. Of course, tefillah is appropriate, but there is also an acknowledgement of the great difficulty bederech hateva and that Hashem does not always chose to work these miracles. A level of hishtadlus is certainly called for; as well as a recognition, on the part of everyone going through this, that it is indeed an impossible situation. Then, maybe there is a chance for us to change society to avoid this sort of situation.

5) Massive fraud uncovered in the work of a Dutch social psychologist.

6) At Circus Test, the Daf Yomi Coverup.

7) An article at Ohr Sameach about fish with legs, and the Stincus Marinus.

8) At the Wall Street Journal: Is that Scientific Genius a Heretic, or a Loon?

9) Balashon on the different Hebrew and English etymologies of the word tag.

10) Rabbi Slifkin has Bat Responsa, about how to deal with the fact that bats don't lay eggs. Though it was funnier before editing. He notes my post about the atalef being a type of bird, namely the mythological strix. And indeed, no own does nurse its young, even though they believed that the strix did. and so, one would still need to appeal to the position advanced by Rav Shamshon Refael Hirsch, that they relied on the gentile scientists for their scientific facts, and that there is nothing shameful about this in the slightest.

What would be an answer I might expect of someone who wants to maintain that Chazal were correct. Something along these lines:

Maybe such a creature did exist, and indeed as a sort of bat common at that time, and such a species is in hiding or died out. And don't tell me that it does not fit into an evolutionary hierarchy. I disbelieve in evolution, and so any creature could have been specially created to these specifications.

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