Sunday, September 26, 2010

Interesting Posts and Articles #286

  1. I discussed this in the previous link roundup, but this story has legs. Matzav reports on a Rav Chaim Kanievsky miracle, that people in Bnei Brak drank contaminated water over the three-day Yontiff of Rosh Hashanah. They give proper attribution to Life In Israel, though they could have also provided a direct link. Perhaps struck by the cognitive dissonance, they try to explain just how this is a miracle:
    In Bnei Brak, it has been declared that the allowance issued by the Health Ministry to drink contaminated water for three days without first testing it is a miracle. Another aspect, not mentioned in the chareidi press, is the miracle that nobody got sick from drinking the contaminated water.
    But indeed, the chareidi Press, that is Kikar Shabbat, reports the miracle quite simply:
    "זה נס גלוי", אומרים תלמידיו של הגר"ח. "משרד הבריאות אישר את השימוש בבאר לימים ספורים, רק כדי שלא לגרום לחילול שבת".
    "It is an open miracle", say the students of the Gaon Rav Chaim. "The Health Ministry approves the use of the well for only those days, just so that this would not cause chillul Shabbat."

    Just because the talmidim of Rav Chaim Kanievsky assert that this is a nes does not make it a nes, nor does it mean that Rav Chaim Kanievsky himself would endorse it as a miracle. As I've written before, Rav Chaim Kanievsky is a gaon atzum surrounded by morons. Rav Kanievsky did not tell this company to use contaminated water. And he did not say, after the fact, that it was a great thing that people were able to drink the contaminated water. As for the people, they should have collected water in bottles beforehand so as to have enough. It was not necessary for the company to use this well.

    Why do the talmidim think this was a neis? I would guess it is because they do not attribute legitimacy to this state institution, the Ministry of Health. It was the government acting arbitrarily, not that there was a legitimate, rational reason for their "gezeira" that the water was forbidden or was permitted.

    Often, I dislike when people teitch up Ibn Ezra by saying that his words were written by a talmid toeh vechaser be'daas. However, this and other stories demonstrate that the phenomenon of a talmid toeh veChaser beDaas is all too real.
  2. A Mother In Israel links to and cites this parshablog post. See the comment section there.
  3. Wolfish Musings discusses a shocking ImaMother discussion forum. An important point is that 100% of the people who responded, including chareidim, disagreed with the Original Poster and were more than a bit horrified.
  4. At Conversations in Klal, a chumra in a certain chassidish school not to use images of maps. Commenters speculate what the reason for this could be. For my part, I'd just point out that Mizrachi, the famous supercommentator of Rashi, includes maps where appropriate to explain what Rashi means.
  5. On The Main Line on how Rav Moshe Feinstein wrote responsa. An important excerpt, I think:
    He sat there reading the whole time, rather than sleeping. I used to ask him, “Why do you read thischazeray (junk)?” He would respond to me, “Dos iz mayn vinde” – this is my window [to the world]. He understood society and his piskei Halachah show that. He used to say, “People think that because I’m aware of society, I became a meikel (lenient decisor). What do they want me to do – paskn incorrectly? I’m not a meikel – I paskn the way it has to be. The Halachah takes into account societal factors.” This willingness to be exposed to society made his teshuvos more meaningful and more acceptable.
    I think that michlal hein ata shomea lav.
  6. ThanBook is opposed to Carlebach selichot:
    Walking around, and muttering to a neighbor from my home shul, this just doesn't seem right, it's falling into all the complaints I hear about Carlebach - it's shlepped out too long; if the words don't fit the tune phrasing, the words lose out; and the tune doesn't bear any relationship to the words.
  7. Life In Israel, opposed to quotas on Sefardim in schools.
  8. The Modern Orthodox girl who publicly dropped Shabbos observance on national television, on Tyra Banks' show America's Next Top Model.
  9. The following from Machon Shiloh, regarding Birkat Hachamah. I've commented on this topic in the past, and indeed haven't really finished my posts commenting. I don't know if I'll get to this very soon.


Menachem Mendel said...


I just posted here about Rashi's maps.

thanbo said...

Re the Carlebach Slichot:

Noting that my home shul uses a lot of Carlebach niggunim for the piyyutim, I think we can draw a distinction between Bad Carlebach and Good Carlebach. The tunes at Yavneh Minyan fit the words, for the most part, and the moods of the poetry. This selichot was just Bad Carlebach, and the guitar-mass aspect, as well as the lack of choice to go elsewhere (the nearest minyanim were 40-50 miles away in Hartford or Waterbury) just made it worse.


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