Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Interesting Posts and Articles #372

1. A new blog, Shimush Chachamim. In a recent post, he points to a fascinating Yerushalmi (Berachot 17b), about Amoraim having difficulty focusing on davening.

2. At Life In Israel, the supermarket is not a shul.

3. At Hirhurim, Kosher Soap. Based on this LegalEase column by R' Ari Zivitofsky.

"Misconception: There is no
valid reason to use kosher soap.
Fact: There is a solid halachic basis
for using kosher soap exclusively."

4. Also at Hirhurim, the Internet and leading services.

5. At the Chazak vaAmatz blog, "Gedolei Yisrael call for modesty." This is misguided. Mystical Paths explains why.

6. At the Seforim blog, Jewish Taliban women and more.

7. An "assault" on metzitza be-peh. The NYC Department of Health is advising that metzitza befeh not be performed. Good for them. Thus:
New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley today issued a statement strongly urging that direct oral-genital suction not be performed during Jewish ritual circumcision, and announced that several hospitals, including those serving Hasidic Jewish communities and all Health and Hospital Corporation hospitals, have agreed to distribute a brochure that describes the risk of contracting the herpes virus from this practice, known as metzitzah b’peh.
Here is the brochure they are distributing, which has been around for a while already.As a follow-up, now they are urging parental waiver for a metzitza be-feh. (Not as Matzav puts it, Bris Milah under attack and their urging a parental waiver for a bris. Except of course that Matzav likely [incorrectly] believes that metzitza is required for a bris, where the gemara in Shabbos makes it clear that it is just for medical benefit.

All this "urging" and requiring of waivers can eventually lead to banning of a practice altogether. See what NYC is doing in terms of smoking and sugary drinks. On the one hand, there is public health to consider, while on the other hand, this can be an encroachment upon religious liberties.

8. Last week was the transit of Venus. Read all about it in this rather interesting article here. And then watch this video in HD, full-screen:

9. Hirhurim on the Flatbush Internet Asifa. You can listen to it here.

10. Lipa Shmetzer in a music video that stylistically seems like a bit Lady Gaga and a bit Michael Jackson. "Hang Up The Phone":

11. Here on parshablog, check out the beginning of my running commentary on Shelach. Also check out my question at Judaism.Stackexchange.

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