Menachem Mendel

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Archive for June, 2006

The Historical Antoninus

Gil at Hirhurim has a post about the identity of Antoninus, a Roman of some stature who is mentioned a number of times in Talmudic literature. Today I happen to come upon an article by Shaye J.D. Cohen, “The Conversion of Antoninus”, found in The Talmud Yerushalmi and Graeco-Roman Culture vol. 1. In this article […]

Pidyon Shevuyim

Our prayers go out to Gilad Shalit and his family, may he soon return home safely. Unfortunately the question of pidyon shevuyim, redeeming captives, is well known throughout Jewish history and Rabbinic literature. The locus classicus is Mishnah Gittin 4:6, אין פודין את השבויים יתר על דמיהן מפני תיקון העולם (“Captives should not be ransomed […]

Responsa in War Time

As was noted in the obituary for Solomon Freehof which was kindly posted by Menachem, “Dr. Freehof began his interpretations of Jewish law in World War II, when he headed a committee of Jewish chaplains. With Jewish soldiers stationed in Iceland, where night lasted six months, when was sunset? His decision was that it would […]

Tzvi Zohar’s Article on Pilagshut

Tzvi Zohar’s article on Pilagshut (concubinage) is now available online for download.

Rabbi Solomon Freehof

Menachem at AJHistory has a post about one of the most important poskim of the 20th century IMHO, Rabbi Solomon Freehof. Freehoff was the central halakhic decisor for the Reform movement and his hundreds of responsa, not to mention his important books such as A Treasury of Responsa or The Responsa Literature, are a worthwhile […]

The Shabbes Goy III

Manuscriptboy recently posted about questions which arise, both from a historical and sociological viewpoint, from having non-Jewish help in Jewish homes. He also brings a most unusual statement from an early-Modern Italian rabbi about the relationship between Jews and non-Jews which is worth reading. I want to bring below a responsum from R. Meir of […]

Jews, Alchemy and the YHWH

Over at BibliOdyssey PK has a post with images from an early 17th century book on alchemy with both the first and second images including the tetragrammaton, YHWH. On the relationship between Jews and alchemy you can read this article from the Jewish Encyclopedia or Raphael Patai’s book The Jewish Alchemistsor you can read this […]

The Shabbes Goy II

My first post about the Shabbes Goy pointed out the different readings found towards the end of the Talmudic sugyah on Eruvin 68a. Now I would like to show how this variant reading became a point of disagreement among some of the Geonim and early Rishonim. We read in Halachot Gedolot, והיכא דאייתי אוזמיל ממעלי […]

The Missing Nun of Ashrei

Mississippi Fred posts on the missing nun of Ashrei.

More on Rav Kahana

Not so long ago at On the Main Line there was a post about the important of understanding the historical of Talmudic stories. The story discussed was that of Rav Kahana that is found in Baba Kamma 117a. Today I saw a more recent discussion of the story by Shamma Friedman and is called “The […]

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