Thursday, January 02, 2014

Interesting Posts and Articles #391

1. At Cross-Currents, Are they really Reshaim?

2. Was the Israeli snowstorm predicted in Daf Yomi and in Tanach? See at Matzav, with both, and at Shirat Devorah, with just the Daf Yomi one.

Cool, certainly at first glance. But don't make too much out of it, and of stuff like this. They reason yom hasheleg is defined by the Targum as the Yoma Zota deSitva (of winter), defined as the 10th of Tevet, is that Tevet is the height of winter. And so too, the point of the gemara's statement that it was Tevet was foreshadowing for the expected snow, just as the point of the gemara's statement that it was erev Shabbos was to prepare for the violation of Shabbos to save the frozen Hillel.

The odds are such that we would expect a Tevet with snow on a Friday. Of course, one can argue about the odds of coinciding with the Daf Yomi on the same day.

3. Dreaming of Moshiach lets us know of two stories: "All the details are absolutely true. 2 stories Translated from Russian by Chaim Zehavi." The second one.
Again, WWII. Lithuania. The Japanese Ambassador, who was a compassionate and noble person, disagreed with the Nazi crimes, and was concerned with the future of the European Jewry. He used his status and provided them with visas to Japan. From Japan they immigrated to America. Thus he saved the lives of thousands of Jews. When the Germans found out they demanded that the Ambassador will be removed. The Japanese, allies of the Nazis, followed the request. But he still had 2 weeks until his return, and he used these 2 weeks, and worked around the clock, days and nights, and recruited people to help him issue more visas. The lives of many more Jews were saved this way. This was a very dangerous act, deserving of admiration. Prior to his leaving a mission of Jews from the Vilna Synagogue came to thank him. "What you have done for the Jewish People will never be forgotten, and we will pray to God to bless you and your descendants." This wonderful person returned to Japan, and miraculously all his punishment was that he was fired and lost his pension. In order to help his family he started a small workshop. 
His name was Mitsubishi.
See the discussion of this "true" inspirational story at Snopes. That is:
Japan didn't establish an embassy in Lithuania until 1997, so there was no Japanese ambassador there during World War 2. However, there was a Japanese vice-consul named Chiune Sugihara, and he did help several thousand Jews leave the country. He didn't have anything to do with the Mitsubishi company, which was founded thirty years before he was born and isn't named after a person.

ETA: Spanked! Mitsubishi built the famous Mitsubishi A6M "Zero" fighter plane.
Meanwhile, there was a real righteous and great person who has been stripped of his accomplishment, Chiune Sugihara:

A photographic portrait of Chiune Sugihara.
Chiune Sugihara

4. Can you use a cat to turn on a light on Shabbos?

5. The Internet Archive now has a bunch of old console games, which are playable in your web browser via an emulator. Here is a game I remember from my youth, from an IBM PC version, Dig Dug. Use the letter R to start, the arrow keys to move, and the Ctrl key to fire your weapon.

6. One hundred years of techelet research, and the Gadol and the snail.

7. Frei

1 comment:

Mighty Garnel Ironheart said...

The Cross Currents post is fascinating. It's the first little admission that maybe all the chilonim aren't sitting around all day obsessing on how to destroy Chareidism and its Torah. Like a spoiled child who finally tastes the vegetable on his dinner plate and says "Well I guess it's not so horrible..."


Blog Widget by LinkWithin