Menachem Mendel

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Archive for November, 2007

Who’ll Bring the Rain

Daniel J. Lasker has given us the lowdown about the liturgical change of asking for rain which will soon be upon us. See his post at Seforim, and for those interested in more, the articles that he and his father have published on the subject are referenced in the notes.

A Man and his Goat

During a conversation with my friend Lia this afternoon, I pointed out to her an interesting story which is found in the Tosefta (BK 8:13, the Bavli (BK 80a and Temurah 15b), the Yerushalmi (Sotah 9:9, 24a), Midrash Yelamdeinu (Ginzei Schechter, vol. I, p. 46) and Shir ha-Shirim Rabbah. Below is the text from the […]

Reciting the Haftorah in French

In the early days of this blog I posted on Rabbi Yosef Messas. Since in a post at Seforim Marc B. Shapiro has mentioned R. Messas, I figured that it was time to write about him again. My intention was to write about a responsum of his, which while not about some earth-shattering topic, I […]

Help with illustrations

PK at BibliOdyssey has posted two engravings from the Polish engraver Jan Ziarnko. They can also be seen here and here.  I am pretty sure that I have seen them in Jewish books. Does anyone have any specifics? Thanks.

Collected Articles of I.M. Ta-Shema in English

Recently Harvard University Press has published a collection of article by I.M. Ta-Shema in English. The book-Creativity and Tradition: Studies in Medieval Rabbinic Scholarship, Literature and Thought-is a collection of articles that were either already published in English or were intended to be published in English. I haven’t seen it so I can’t comment on […]

The Influence of Technology on Rabbinic Authority

Once in a while you come across a book which you say to yourself that you really should read, that it will probably help you understand certain things that you didn’t know before, or look at old truisms in a different light, but often you don’t get around to reading the book. Maybe you’re too […]

Circumcision Case in Oregon

Concurring Opinions draws attention to a case before the Oregon Supreme Court involving circumcision of a 12 year-old convert to Judaism. On November 6, the Oregon Supreme Court heard a dispute between parents over the circumcision of their 12-year-old son. The father, who has recently converted to Judaism and has full custody of the boy, […]

The Rambam and the Hitman

In a number of Muslim sources there are descriptions of how the Rambam converted while he was in Spain, and then returned to Judaism when he was in Egypt. According to Islamic law, one who leaves Islam is in big trouble, and the stories about the Rambam describe different ways in which he got out […]

Anthony Grafton on the Digital Age

As with most of his other writings, Anthony Grafton has written an interesting article in the New Yorker on “Digitization and its Discontents”.  Grafton’s bottom-line is that no matter how important 21st c. technologies are for research, and how much they often help academic research, Google Books, JSTOR, et al. will never take the place […]

The Artscroll English vs. Hebrew Talmud

I was aware that there were differences between the Artscroll English and Hebrew Talmuds since the Hebrew edition is not a translation of the English one, and it has different editors and commentators. I decided to do a little comparison regarding the bottom of Kiddushin 30a, discussed partially here, and was surprised at the scope […]

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