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Archive for June, 2008

Women Receiving Aliyot and the Second Amendment

Seforim has a posted a review by Aryeh Frimer of Daniel Sperber’s book Darka shel Halakhah. The review is part of a longer article which will be published in the future, and has resulted in a lively series of comments, numbering over one hundred. From some of the comments, it is possible to see the […]

Mordechai Kaplan is Smiling

Many people have been talking about the recently released section of the Pew Forum’s U.S. Religious Landscape Survey, “Religious Beliefs and Practices.” (here) Iyov has written about it, and from a Jewish standpoint there are a few numbers which are interesting. If I could summarize what I read, of all the religious traditions in America, […]

Last Day for MacHeist Bundle-June 24

For Mac users out there, you have 14 hours left to buy the MacHeist Bundle. For just $49 you get some great programs. Among the programs included are DevonThink Personal, iClip, TextExpander, Write Room and Cha-Ching. If you need more than one of these programs this is a great deal.

Moshe Idel on the Besht

Moshe Idel has a new article on the Besht. The following is from the Hartman Institute, Idel reports the hasidic legend that the Besht’s father was taken away to a far country by bandits where, in parallels to the biblical Joseph, he became a viceroy and was given a wife he did not touch. Then, […]

Stoning God

A quick midrash which I love from this past week’s parashah from Sotah 35a. ויאמרו כל העדה לרגום אותם באבנים וכתיב (במדבר יד) וכבוד ה’ נראה באהל מועד אמר רבי חייא בר אבא מלמד שנטלו אבנים וזרקום כלפי מעלה “But the entire community of Israel thought to pelt them with stones” and it is written […]

Dice Players in Antiquity

It is well-known that the Mishnah in Sanhedrin 3:3 states that dice players are invalid witnesses. If you were wondering what one of these dice may have looked like, here is one that was for sale at an auction a few years ago. It sold for $17,000. (hat tip) For more on the subject see […]

Books by William Wickes

Continuing my interesting in cantillation-related matters, two of the most important books ever published on the subject are available at the Internet Archive and Google Books, both of them by William Wickes. 1. A Treatise on the Accentuation of the Twenty-one so-called Prose Books of the Old Testament (here and here). In the introduction see […]

Reading the Ten Commandments in Synagogue

Lion of Zion has posted about the cantillation used in the reading of the Ten Commandments in synagogue. I have previously posted on this topic, but I wanted to draw the attention of those who are interested in Ta’amei ha-Mikrah to this article by Miles Cohen and David Freedman on the topic. On the basis […]

Doctored Photographs

Scientific American has an article describing how photographs are doctored, something that is much easier today with digital photography. Here are some of the most famous ones throughout history. (hat tip) I don’t think that there is a Jewish figure whose pictures have been doctored as much as those of the late Rebbe of Lubavitch, […]

Internet Site Dedicated to Yeshayahu Leibowitz

Someone pointed out to me a website dedicated to Yeshayahu Leibowitz. Leibowitz, the brother of Nechama Leibowitz, was clearly one of the most colorful and thought-provoking modern Jewish and Israeli thinkers and intellectuals. I still remember bringing a friend of mine to a lecture of his and emphasizing that he shouldn’t sit in the front […]

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