Menachem Mendel

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Archive for December, 2005

Prof. Yehuda Felix z"l

I just saw that a number of weeks ago Prof. Yehuda Felix z”l passed away at the age of 83 (see here for a longer article in Hebrew). Prof. Felix was born in P0land in 1922 and moved to Israel in 1938. Felix was best known for his research and writing on the plant and […]

Incredible DVD Resource for Responsa

Today I received in the mail the Pischei Teshuvos DVD collection of responsa from The Society for the Preservation of Hebrew Books, a wonderful website to check out in any case. All I can say is that I have a hard time thinking of the last time when I got more for my money. For […]

Christmastime for the Jews

My wife and I saw what we think is a hilarious video on Saturday Night Live, “Christmastime for the Jews”. You can find it here. Enjoy! Update: While any textual criticism that I am usually interested in involves material a bit older, by about 500-1500 years, The Comedian unearthed what at first glance was a […]

More on Hanukkah

Dan Rabinowitz at Seforim has a nice post about some Hanukkah customs including a bit on the history of the dreidal and some more references about Nittelnacht.

Is Academic Blogging Dangerous to Careers?

Via Blogscholar an interesting article over at Slate about the dangers of academic blogging. For anyone who is an academic or an academic-wannabee and has an interest in blogging this is an important read. Hanukkah Sameah

Electric Menorahs-Towards a Teleological Halakhah

It is safe to say that most of us are familiar with the electric menorahs that we see in storefront windows or in the windows of people’s homes. What I would like to do is examine a halakhic responsum of a certain posek who discussed whether these electric menorahs are able to fulfill one’s halakhic […]

Nittelnacht

A few centuries before Jews started observing the custom of eating Chinese food on Christmas Eve there was another Jewish custom which was observed on that night called Nittelnacht. Its observance consisted of an avoidance of studying Torah and people would do such things as play cards. Eliezer Segal has a short summary about it […]

Intelligent Design

While there is probably lots to say about the relationship between Judaism, along with most any other religion, and evolution, you won’t be getting that here. In the meantime see the blog over at Scientific American which highlights some important sections of the recent decision from Federal Judge John E. Jones III in the recent […]

Jose Padilla

While I am not going to dwell on the legal and political ramifications of the 4th Circuit Court decision, see Kevin Drum and Orin Kerr for that, I do want to bring some sources from rabbinic literature about jail and incarceration. Whether halakhah would recognize the status of enemy combatant is not our question. Also […]

Benefit of Clergy

Prof. I.M. Ta-Shema once wrote an important article on the exemption of medieval Rabbinic scholars from paying taxes and this article was later included in his book Halakha, Minhag uMetziut beAshkenaz. In America when people think of priviledges that clergy have over others what immediately comes to mind is the tax exemption known as parsonage. […]

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