Monday, February 6, 2023

How to translate?

 baal haturim (Bereishis 32 26) ויגע בכף ירכו לראות אם הוא מלאך כמותו אם היו לו קפיצים שהמלאכים אין להם קפיצים. א''נ לפוסלו מן העבודה לפי שקנה מעשו הבכורה שבהן העבודה: 

According to modern Hebrew he is saying angels don't have springs

Interlocking fingers: Halacha versus Kabbala & Rav Eliashiv does it

 There is a question regarding interlocking ones fingers. According to the halacha it is permitted but Kabbala says not to do it.

The Aruch HaShulchan brings L'Halacha (OC 91:7) that in times of Za'am or raging tzorus, one should daven with his hands clasped together and his fingers interlocking. However says the Aruch HaShulchan in times of peace you should not do so because it causes Din Shamayim to be brought down on you.
The Piskei Tshuvos (95:5) brings that Arizal was makpid that you should never hold your hands in that manner and it is bad Mazal. Rav Chaim Palagi writes that one should stop his wife or children from doing this, ever, and especially in times of sickness or the Aseres Yimei Tshuva.

The following video shows that Rav Eliashiv does in fact interlock his fingers.

Angels are jealous?

 Avos DeRav Nosson (12:06) Even the Holy Blessed One made peace in the heights, for He did not call ten angels Gabriel, ten angels Michael, ten angels Uriel, and ten angels Raphael, in the way humans do, calling ten people Reuben, ten people Shimon, ten people Levi, and ten people Judah. For if He had done as humans do, when He called one of them, they all would have come, and then become jealous of one another. So instead, He called only one angel Gabriel and one Michael, and when He calls any one of them, that angel comes before Him, and He dispatches the angel wherever He desires. And how do we know that they revere one another, and respect one another, and are humbler than human beings? Because when they open their mouths to sing a song, one of them says to the other: You should begin, for you are greater than I, and then the other one says: No, you should begin, for you are greater than I. This is not the way it is with human beings. Every person says to another: I am greater than you, and the other person responds: No, I am greater than you.

Sunday, February 5, 2023

When is it Permitted to Tell a Lie?

There is, for example, a famous argument between the schools of Hillel and Shammai as to what to say about the bride at a wedding.[4] The custom was to say that “The bride is beautiful and graceful.” Members of the school of Shammai, however, were not prepared to say so if, in their eyes, the bride was not beautiful and graceful. For them the supreme value was the Torah’s insistence on truth: “Keep far from falsehood” (Ex. 23: 7).

Telling the Truth ...and When It Is Permissible to Be Less Than Honest

One may "change the truth" for reasons of peace.16 We derive this from a conversation between G‑d, Sarah and Abraham in Genesis.17 Sarah said to herself: "After I have withered will I get smooth skin, and my husband is old." When G‑d repeated her comments to Abraham, he said that Sarah had said: "How can I give birth when I am old." As Rashi18 explains, G‑d changed Sarah's words so that Abraham would not realize that Sarah had made a denigrating remark about him.

The head of the Yeshiva shouts: "Chabad is in an educational emergency"

The head of the Chabad yeshiva in Safed, Gari Wilshansky , in a shocking conversation about the state of education in Hasidism: "We must not try or even think about 'finding out the good ones' as is perhaps accepted in the wider world. This is not the Lubavitch way!". In a rare reference he added: "Hiding traumas and vulnerability is not a method!". 'In the ultra-Orthodox rooms' with part of the transcript of his words

Jim Jordan Showed on His First Day How Unfit He Is To Lead the Judiciary Committee

Jordan is a classic demagogue. When presented with facts or evidence which plainly debunk his position, he doesn’t concede or even attempt to further inquire into those truths. He instead seems content with pretending as though he was never presented with the truth at all, repeating his talking points incessantly without even acknowledging contradictory facts presented to him. This was seen most recently in an appearance on NBC’s Meet the Press, during which Jordan just flat-out ignored his interlocutor, Chuck Todd. Under his leadership, the committee’s aim to “fix” anything is a false premise, as Jordan has made clear he is out to get President Biden and his administration.

Saturday, February 4, 2023

Biggest challenge today

This Shabbos I was in Beis Shemesh for a grandson's bar mitzva. Got to speak with an expert on Chareidi society. What is the biggest challenge?.
It seems psychology has penetrated and caused great damage. Children have been raised by parents who have intervened at the slightest hint of a problem or potential problem. Theses children are now parents and teachers or other positions of authority and don't understand how to deal with life's problems and challenges

Thursday, February 2, 2023

Social deficit with Autism

 On Shabbos one of my granddaughters was visiting She is studying teaching social skills to autistic children. I asked what she was currently learning? She replied that the biggest social problem was that they did't know how to lie!

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Intermarried Jew seeks advice on Jewish path

I received this letter yesterday and received permission to post it.

Dear Rabbi;
   I came across an older posting on intermarriage, and have yet to find a discussion that addresses my particular case (if indeed one believes there are distinctions).  I grew up in a loving Jewish home, but my parents were rapidly discarding observance as I was growing up.  I had a wonderful Orthodox grandfather z"l who is my inspiration to this day, who passed away when I was 13.  I was tutored by a good Orthodox man in Hebrew and Tanach. I was one of those that after my Bar Mitzvah in Conserv. shul was handed tallis and tefillin (without even a lesson in using them) and waved goodbye.  Along came the 60's and I left home at 17 to join in the Hippie movement.  Before leaving home, many of my cousins were marrying or in relationships with non-Jews, and no one in my family batted an eye (though looking back there was an "oy" and a sigh here and there).  Everyone was trying so hard to accept everything back then (at least where I grew up).  Strangely, no one in all my life (I am 57 now) told me that if I married a non-Jew, my children would not be Jewish, and that that might matter.  
  I met a very good woman who saved me from the excesses of the "free" lifestyle; we have been married for 35 years. We have 3 grown children and grandchildren. It is only 6 years since I made a return to Judaism.  It all began with picking up my Grandfather's old siddur and beginning to pray, and I have been wonderfully immersed in Torah ever since. What I never see addressed is that there must be others like me that never were able to make a conscious choice not to intermarry.  I have seen sites where people say you owe it to Judaism to divorce your wife immediately - I don't think so.  this is the woman that made me even begin to act moral enough to be able to approach Torah teachings; who nursed me through open heart surgery and much more. My children are eager to learn Noahide teachings, possibly to go further towards conversion - I can't see where divorce would help Ha-Shem's plan for all of us. And she is a great cook of Jewish foods! 
   We began in a Reform Temple together as the only place we could be accepted, but soon even my wife could see the compromises  with real Judaism.  She is a G-d-fearing woman, but isn't going to convert Orthodox just for me.  She loves Judaism, but also respects it enough to know how much is involved.  On the other hand, I haven't been able to expose her to enough Orthodox community so that she could be more inspired.  I consider myself Modern Orthodox in outlook, but Chabad is the only place I would consider beginning to take her, to avoid hurtful situations.  In fact, we are going to the Upshernish ceremony of a very good friend and Rabbi's son this week as a start.  
   One in my position cannot help but notice that all our great leaders in Tanach married Gentile women!  I realize this is before our great Sages, but it does make one wonder about some people's open hostility. So I wonder if you might address those of us that were ignorant before intermarrying, and any advice on my Jewish path would be greatly appreciated.
  Wishing you a productive and meaningful New Year

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

The GOP effort to equate Biden and Trump on classified documents is working Analysis by Philip Bump

Even before the FBI searched Mar-a-Lago and seized more than 100 documents with classification markings, Trump and his allies were arguing he had the right to have those marked documents in his possession. When it was discovered President Biden had similarly marked documents at a think tank office he’d used and his private home, Trumpworld pivoted to the attack: Not only did Biden’s document possession functionally neutralize Trump’s possession, Biden’s situation was worse because [waving hands] Hunter Biden.

The media is blowing Biden’s documents ‘scandal’ out of proportion

It’s debatable if Biden’s mishandling of documents – and more recently that of former vice-president Mike Pence – warrants much attention at all, much less the full-bore media blitz it’s getting.

“The bigger scandal here,” said Jameel Jaffer, executive director of the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University, is the over-classification of information; the US government puts its classified stamp on 50m documents a year. In an interview with the Guardian’s David Smith last week, Jaffer called that system of secrecy “totally broken in ways that are bad not just for national security, but for democracy”.

Monday, January 30, 2023

Why More Physicists Are Starting to Think Space and Time Are ‘Illusions’

Picture a perfectly calm, glassy sea on a windless day. Now ask yourself, how can such a plane be produced by overlaying two individual wave patterns? One possibility is that superimposing two completely flat surfaces results again in a completely level outcome. But another possibility that might produce a flat surface is if two identical wave patterns shifted by half an oscillation cycle were to be superimposed on one another, so that the wave crests of one pattern annihilate the wave troughs of the other one and vice versa. If we just observed the glassy ocean, regarding it as the result of two swells combined, there would be no way for us to find out about the patterns of the individual swells. What sounds perfectly ordinary when we talk about waves has the most bizarre consequences when applied to competing realities. If your neighbor told you she had two cats, one live cat and a dead one, this would imply that either the first cat or the second one is dead and that the remaining cat, respectively, is alive—it would be a strange and morbid way of describing one’s pets, and you may not know which one of them is the lucky one, but you would get the neighbor’s drift. Not so in the quantum world. In quantum mechanics, the very same statement implies that the two cats are merged in a superposition of cases, including the first cat being alive and the second one dead and the first cat being dead while the second one lives, but also possibilities where both cats are half alive and half dead, or the first cat is one-third alive, while the second feline adds the missing two-thirds of life. In a quantum pair of cats, the fates and conditions of the individual animals get dissolved entirely in the state of the whole. Likewise, in a quantum universe, there are no individual objects. All that exists is merged into a single “One.”

Saturday, January 28, 2023

Wood from coffin of tzadik?

 Just read an article in Stolin journal  which notes that when the Rebbe's body was reburied in Israel the coffin was removed and pieces of it were saved as a segula by the chasidim.  The question raised was whether this constituted a problem for cohanim?