Not new, but still really good! Hannukah sameach!
If you are reading transliterated Hebrew words or foreign names transliterated to Hebrew the results are often incomprehensible, sometimes hilarious and pretty much always very inconsistent. The Times of Israel now has an article (Wanted: A legion of proofreaders) about errors in Israeli street names in all languages which features this picture where all three languages on the sign are misspelled:
If you understand German, watch this cute video made by the foreign correspondent for German television in Israel, Richard C Schneider, about the challenges of finding your way in Israel using English spellings:
Seriously, who makes these signs? How can you sometimes get it wrong and sometimes right?
This is old, but I just discovered it today and find it sooo funny! And I’m so proud I understood it without translation!!! The thing you need to know to find it funny is that Eliezer Ben Yehuda is often called "the father of Modern Hebrew", he’s the one who revived Hebrew and invented loads of words for things that didn’t exist in Biblical times. So here is the comic:
If you don’t speak Hebrew, this is Chaviva‘s translation (reading from right to left, of course):
Title: It was really not fun to play Scrabble with Eliezer ben Yehudah.
Top right: “Your turn, Eliezer.”
Top left: “Please, handkerchief, 44 points.”
Bottom right: “What? That isn’t a word!”
Bottom left: “Now it is.”
🙂 🙂 🙂
menu of food items to prepare is muktzah because you may write
This one wins in the category of most intriguing question. Although I’m not clear yet on what exactly the question is.
This one wins in the category of best portmanteau. Composed of kosher and yasher koach (good luck) it is the name of our new coasher step-by-step program!
animated bear with tuxedo
It was hard to decide between these two for the winner in the category cutest animal, so I chose them both.
“conditions of treaty renewal have not changed”
Happy to hear that!
Er… what treaty are we talking about?
Maybe let’s take that discussion offline…
original thoughts on birkat hamazon
Winner of failed attempted plagiarism – failed because unfortunately there are no such original thoughts on this blog as far as I’m aware of.
blonde converted judaism
It was hard to decide on a category for this one, but it’s definitely a winner. Let’s call the category funniest racist prejudice. But, sorry, I’m not blonde. Also not converted yet. So, you got the wrong blog.
And finally the two winners in the category Hebrew:
You could try glas, gles, glash, glesh, galash, gelesh, galesh, gelash, gulash, gales, geles, gels, … or a dictionary!
gimel vav tav
Ende gut alles gut [All’s well that ends well].
Have you ever speculated about the issues Jewish vampires would face? Well, I seem to have too much time on my hands…
The most pressing question is of course what to do about the drinking blood thing. It is well known that Jewish halacha forbids the consumption of animal blood, that’s the reason for going to all of the trouble with kosher slaughtering. But many people may be surprised to learn that this refers only to animal bood, human blood is actually allowed (The Beis Medrash blog: Kashrut for Vampires)! There is an issue of marit ayin (people mistakenly think that one is doing something forbidden because it looks like it to the casual observer), but that can be avoided by making it clear that the vampire is consuming human blood, not animal blood, for example by drinking directly from the neck of a person.
But what about shabat? Can a vampire drink from a person’s blood on shabat? Causing an animal or a person to bleed is a violation of the melacha of shochet (slaughtering), even if the living being in question does not die of the wound.. Even if our vampire were to somehow take advantage of a wound that’s already there, the drawing of blood is forbidden due to the malacha of dosh (squeezing). So an adult vampire will probably need to fast or prepare some blood in advance (while taking care of the marit ayin issue, see above). Similar to the argument that nursing a baby is allowed on shabat even though liquid (milk) is squeezed out, an argument might be made for very young vampires where regular nourishment is vital for their health so that they may be allowed to squeeze blood out of a wound.
What about prayer times and praying with a minyan (for male vampires, females can simply pray on their own whenever they please)? Vampires are nocturnal and don’t approve of (or maybe even die when exposed to) direct sunlight. So I think they would form their own minyanim instead of going to regular ones. They would put shacharit (morning prayer) as early as possible, then go sleep during the day and rise again for a very late mincha (afternoon prayer). As far as I could find out, most parts of shacharit (morning prayer) may be said starting from Olot HaShachar (72 minutes before sunrise) or MeSheyakir (some amount of minutes before sunrise that I couldn’t figure out). I guess anything before sunrise would still be dark enough for a vampire. They would need to pray fast, though, to be finished until sunrise. According to some opinions mincha (afternoon prayer) may be said "until nighttime", so I guess if you squeeze it in just before nightfall, it would be suitably dark (Halachipedia: When Is the Earliest and Latest Time to Pray?). Aravit (evening prayer) is not a problem anyway, because it has to be said after the new day starts, which is usually at nightfall. Shabat and holidays start one hour earlier, that might be a problem, but I am not sure how to apply the earliest/latest times for mincha and aravit there. Anyway, thick curtains and underground passages may solve the whole issue even if the sun still needs to be up for the prayers.
An important question from the victim’s side is whether others can protect themselves against Jewish vampires by using holy symbols. The question here is really whether any holy symbol is effective against any vampire or whether only the holy symbols of the vampire’s own (former) religion work. Literature seems to disagree on this point. In any case, what Jewish symbols could possibly be used? Today, the star of David would be an obvious choice, but this hasn’t been a uniquely Jewish symbol until the 19th century and vampires are quite old-fashioned. So maybe a menora? Or an item with religious use such as tallit, tefilin, lulav, shofar or even a chanukia? There seems to be little available data on this point, but one thing is for sure, only very few of the victims are going to have any Jewish religious item at hand or will even know what to look for. So it will be really hard to further investigate this point.
And last but not least, the final question: Garlic. It is inconceivable that Jewish vampires would have a problem with garlic, so they should have at least one advantage about Christian vampires!
To sum up, a Jewish vampire would have some logistics to work out, mainly related to food on shabat and prayer times – but isn’t that the same for all Jews?
COSMOLOGICAL ARGUMENT, a.k.a. FIRST CAUSE ARGUMENT (I)
(1) If I say something must have a cause, it has a cause.
(2) I say the universe must have a cause.
(3) Therefore, the universe has a cause.
(4) Therefore, God exists.
ARGUMENT FROM DESIGN, a.k.a. GOD OF THE GAPS, a.k.a. TELEOLOGICAL ARGUMENT (I)
(1) Check out the world/universe/giraffe. Isn’t it complex?
(2) Only God could have made them so complex.
(3) Therefore, God exists.
ARGUMENT FROM HISTORY
(1) The Bible is true.
(2) Therefore, the Bible is historical fact.
(3) The Bible says that God exists.
(4) Therefore, God exists.
ARGUMENT FROM SHAME
(1) The Bible showed a group of people performing embarassing actions.
(2) It must be true if the book describes negative events.
(3) Therefore, the Bible is describing historical events.
(4) Therefore, God exists.
ARGUMENT FROM HALF A WING
(1) Half of a wing is useless!
(2) Therefore, God exists.
This is another recommendation about a series. It is called "Little Mosque on the Prairie" and is a sitcom about a mosque somewhere in rural Canada and their struggles. It is a fun way to explore Islam. The characters are lovable and understandable and there is more depth to it that to many other series (although it is still a sitcom). Many serious topic like discrimination, racial profiling, the clash of tradition and modernity and being a minority come up, but in a light way that does not try to give moral lessons.
You might ask what the connection to Judaism is. Well, there are not really any Jews in there. But I can relate to two points. I guess in a city like New York or London it is normal to be a Jew (or a Muslim). I do live in a city and there are plenty of immigrants from all over the world and you see muslims all the time, but there are no Jews (at least none that are visibly Jewish). So I can relate very much to the feeling of being "strange". And also, my community is small and divided, just like the mosque in the series. Too small to split up, but too many opinions to get along. And in many aspects Islam is really similar to Judaism I have discovered!
So if you are bored and looking for something small to watch, give "Little Mosque on the Prairie" a try.
It starts with a funny discussion/rant about the logic of kitniot, then a small song. Have fun!
A few comments:
Other that that I pretty much agree that if people want to continue to not eat kitniot, that’s fine, but don’t expand the list every year!
I am currently watching an Israeli series called “Shtisel" (שטיסל). It takes place in a charedi (ultraorthodox) neighborhood in Jerusalem. But it’s not your usual frum-versus-secular thing. The series offers a glimpse into the life of some people who happen to have a lifestyle that appears very foreign to us but in the end they are just people like we are.
The actors themselves are not orthodox, but apparently they have done quite some research to keep it as close to the real world as possible. The series has won many prices in Israel. You can watch the trailer on youtube:
Unfortunately (or fortunately for my knowledge of Hebrew?) I haven’t been able to find English subtitles, so I’m watching in Hebrew with frequent pauses to look up things in a dictionary. But so far I love it (I’m in the middle of the first season)!
With all the discussion about why it was Pessach when the angels visited Abraham, I forgot to mention why I included the reason in the first place (this quote is from AskMoses, but stands as only one representation of this type of statement you can also find at Chabad, Aish, and all the other orthodox-mystical-kiruv-sites):
It is a tradition that Abraham kept the entire Torah even though it had not yet been given. So he would have celebrated Passover even before the Jews had entered Egypt!
(Rabbi Yossi Marcus on AskMoses Why do we have three matzot on the Seder plate?)
Yeah, sure. Abraham celebrated Pesach and ate matzot. He probably wore a shtreimel. I don’t know what to say about this other than Abraham lived way before the exodus happened and there is just no rational reason why he should have baked matzot. So I’ll just conclude with a video on the topic (not specifically matzot and Abraham, but Eisav and the bracha on lentil stew and a-historic anti-rational views of the patriarchs in general):
"The Torah commands us to write a Sefer Torah. Did Yaakov observe that commandment?" – "Of course" – "So why didn’t he just take out this Sefer Torah and read it to find out that his son Yosef was alive and avoid all that heartache?"
"The gemara brings down a machlokes about whether the correct bracha on lentils is shehakol or mesonos. The best way to avoid any problems is to wash on bread."
"If Yakov knew the entire Torah, why didn’t he know the correct bracha for lentils. Why didn’t he know which of the opinions in Masechet Brachos was correct?
End of rant, have fun on Youtube.
Why else would there only be questions and no answers on this blog?