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Archive for August, 2010

The Origins of the Alphabet

Balshanut links to this exchange about the origins of the alphabet. Two scholars disagree whether it was invented by “illiterate Canaanite miners in the turquoise mines of Serabit el-Khadem in the Sinai peninsula” or “highly sophisticated Northwest Semites.” Also see this very good post on the origins of the alphabet by Christopher A. Rollston, who […]

Back from the West Coast to an Open Vault

Last night I got back from a wonderful trip to California that I took with our son. We were able to spend a nice amount of time in the San Francisco area and Los Angeles. While in San Francisco we went to the Mission Minyan on Friday night and Chabad of Noe Valley on Shabbat […]

Another Good Reason Not to Have Ads on a Blog

What the City of Brotherly Love is up to: For the past three years, Marilyn Bess has operated MS Philly Organic, a small, low-traffic blog that features occasional posts about green living, out of her Manayunk home. Between her blog and infrequent contributions to, over the last few years she says she’s made about […]

The Book in the Renaissance

Andrew Pettegree, the author of The Book in the Renaissance, is interviewed here. (hat tip) See here for a review of the book. I wonder how the following comments of his relate to Hebrew printing. Q: What did you find most interesting of the trends that you uncovered in your study of the early book […]

Rabbi Benny Lau and Torat ha-Melekh

Rabbi Benny Lau has written a strongly-worded column (Hebrew) on Ynet, wondering what religious zionist rabbis are doing defending Rabbi Dov Lior and anything having to do with the book Torat ha-Melelkh.

New Edition of the Steinsaltz Reference Guide to Talmud

It seems as if Koren Publishing will be putting out a new edition, not a reprint of the first edition, of the very good and long out-of-print Steinsaltz Reference Guide to Talmud in the Spring of 2011. (hat tip)

The Gilo Eruv

Thanks to relative quiet of the past few years, the concrete wall that was constructed in order to protect the residents of the Southern neighborhood of Gilo is being removed. Ynet is reporting that the concrete wall was part of the eruv around Gilo, and that this section of the eruv must be rebuilt. Having […]

Readings for the First Chapter of B Avodah Zarah

For those who are interested in some interesting articles on the first chapter of B Avodah Zarah. See this chapter by Alyssa Gray and this article by Yehuda Brandes. For numerous others see this good resource. I also want to add that two very good books have been written about Massechet Avodah Zarah during the […]

Rav Ovadiah: Don’t Wake the Neighbors

Kikar ha-Shabbat is reporting (via Rabbi Yosef’s Facebook page) that Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef cancelled the recitation of seliḥot that were suppose to be recited late at night in the synagogue found in the apartment building where he lives, because of complaints by the neighbors. Some of the neighbors said that the noise makes it difficult […]

Non-Observant Israeli Jews

AIWAC has begun a series of posts titled “A Partial Guide to Non-Observant Israeli Jews.” See his first post here on the Traditionalist.

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