Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Strange Side of Jewish History - from Yated Neeman

 Strange Side of Jewish History

For the past few years I have been writing the “Strange Side of History” Jewish history for the Yated Neeman newspaper of the United States. It is now the longest running Jewish history column in Jewish history. So far it has 200 articles

David Hoffman


  1. I have read & enjoyed many of David Hoffman's articles in the Yated and his original published books.
    Beware of the accuracy & biased opinions when he writes about HaRav Avrohom Yitzchak HaCohen Kook and his years in Eretz Yisroel. There were 2 outright inaccuracies that I respectfully wrote him about and never received any answer. History has been one of the most perplexing issues to cover and write about, since eye-witness, letters, publications can be one-sided in viewpoint. Even our visual perception of an event will be tainted by past experiences, cultural norms and the 'halo effect'. I always digest HISTORY with a large dose of skepticism.
    Sincerely, TzipSchum

  2. I used to read the English version of Yated Ne'eman all of the time when I lived in Israel. When reading it, I always got the feeling that every major event that happens in the world can be interpretted as the evil Goyim making life difficult for the pious Yidden who want to do nothing more than be left alone to learn Torah and do mitzvos.

  3. David Hoffman says

    "Take the gematria (numerical value) of the word as it is spelled (111), says the Gra, and divide it by the gematria of how the word is pronounced (106), and you will end up with the number 1.04716981321, etc. Then multiply this number by 3 (the diameter/circumference ratio of the verse) and you will come up with 3.1415… Keep going long enough you will reach the value of pi to the 10,000th decimal point."

    Anyone with a high school math education knows that this is false. Pi is irrational. You can't compute it by computing 333 divided by 106.

    He also claims that the Gra invented Kramer's Theorem. Look it up on Wikipedia and you'll see that it was discovered in the 20th century.

  4. Value of Pi to 10th decimal place, from as well as three other websites:

    Value of 111 divided by 106 multiplied by 3, to the 10th decimal place, checked on two different calculators:

    333/106 is actually a pretty good approximation of Pi, but it's accurate to only the fourth decimal place (only to the third decimal place, if you round up). Honestly, this level of accuracy should get you reliable numbers for calculations of circumference in most situations people are likely to encounter in daily life. But being accurate to the 10,000th decimal place? Definitely not true, unless the four different websites on which I checked the value of Pi all report the same incorrect value.

    1. pi can be calculated as 4 x (1 - 1/3 + 1/5 - 1/7 + 1/9 - ....)

      This repeats forever. The formula can be obtained through elemenatary calculus. There are many other formulas for pi, all of them involving calculations that go on forever.

  5. I am surprised you even thought of checking one calculator against another one.


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