- Why did Hashem create flies? (Well, aside from as in this midrash.) Assuming that flies are indeed what are being mentioned, rather than assuming that they have no purpose, perhaps see what naturalists claim. According to this website, flies have the following impact on the ecosystem:
Flies and other insects, such as burying beetles, are very important in consuming and eliminating dead bodies of animals. Flies are also essential in the conversion of feces and decaying vegetation to soil. Flies serve as prey to many other animals. Some flies aid in pollination.
Because of their habits of being attracted to feces and decaying meat, flies have been implicated in transmission of disease such as dysentery, typhoid fever, and cholera.
- A Beur on Sefer Bereishit by Naftali Hertz Weizel, at HebrewBooks. The edge is too often cut off, though. Here is another one. Perhaps will be useful to learn together with Shadal.
- The NFL schedule had the Jets playing on both Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur. This bothered Jewish fans, and there were efforts to change the schedule. As I understand, they eventually succeeded, by moving one of the games a bit earlier. But here is Jimmy Kimmel talking about it, and he has an interview with a Jewish Jets player, who is upset about the situation:
- Life In Israel about fighting over exercise equipment in a public venue, and whether the issue is tznius or public safety.
- The Yeshiva World has how Rav Ovadiah Yosef came out strongly against smoking. At DovBear, Jameel notes the weirdness of the instruction to slap them. Must be a cultural thing.
Update: In the comment section, Michael points us to this video:
- Also at DovBear, A Mother In Israel talks about tznius and breastfeeding in shul. While not taking a position on it, I will note that it is not just culture vs. halacha. There is an intersection of culturally-based attitudes and halachah. For example, spitting in shul, into spitoons, was acceptable practice, and there used to be spittoons in certain shuls. And halachah permits spitting in shul. Nowadays, this is not so acceptable (except perhaps among some Lubavitz, who spit by shehem mishtachavim lahavel varik).