Monday, April 22, 2013

Lots of nice pictures from Bayard Cutting Arboretum

at http://www.examiner.com/review/a-passive-park-on-long-island

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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Cheat sheet for rabbinic periods

The Sea of Halacha poster is available in both Hebrew and English 
I've noticed that some people are very sloppy in their references to earlier rabbis, lumping Rishonim either with Acharonim or with Chazal. Now while Chazal does simply translate into "our sages of blessed memory, it also refers to a very specific period of rabbinic Mesorah, which ended with the canonization of the Gemara [Talmud]. The rabbis quoted in the Mishna and Gemara are included, so that would take you through the following:
the Sofrim around the year 2448 (1312 BCE)
the Zugoth 3590 (170 BCE)
the Tannaim 3790 (30 CE)
the Amoraim: (using Rav Ashi's lifespan  as the cutoff) 4190 (430 CE)
 Some include the period of
the Savoraim 4260 (500 CE) within Chazal, though others mark the break there.

However, clearly a new era is marked by the time of the Gaonim  4360 (600 CE). We then get to:
the Rishonim 4800 (1040 CE)
the  Achronim 5200 (1440 CE)

The heritage of the Oral Traditions depends on respecting the earlier Sages. That was discussed at http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/coffeeroom/topic/copepods-in-boston-tap-water/page/2#post-147757

One of the rules upon which Talmudic discussion is based is that the words of the amora'im must always be in agreement with the teachings of the tanna'im. Thus, one of the most common questions found in the Gemara is "meisivei" - which brings a tanna'itic source like a Mishnah, baraisa or tosefta that seems to contradict the words of the amora. In his defense, the amora will have to explain how the statement of the tanna can be understood as being in agreement with his own, or else show that there is another tanna with whom the amora agrees. If the amora cannot reconcile his statement with the teaching of the tanna'im, the Gemara will conclude "teyuvta" - the statement is disproved.
The Mechaber in Kesef Mishna, Hilchos Mamrim 2:1 writes:
Amorim can't dispute Tannaim, and later generations can't dispute Amorim because the Amorim accepted the authority of the Tannaim, and the later generations accepted the authority of the Tannaim.
The Chazon Ish says that such acceptance is an acknowledgement that the earlier generations are more correct since they are wiser and closer to Sinai. (Chazon Ish, Letters 2:24) And the Maharal (Beer Hagolah 6) says that the Amoraim recognized their inferior state in relationship to the Tannaim and therefore didn't argue with them.

What the Chazon Ish pointed out fit perfectly with what we reassert at the recitation of Pirkei Avos: Moshe kibel Torah miSinai umasra l'Yeshosuah ... Moshe was the original recipient of the oral tradition, which passed on to his disciple, Yeshoshua, who in turn passed it on to the wise people of his generation, and so on throughout the generations.

Of related interest: http://divreichaim.blogspot.com/2013/04/chachamim-hizaahu-bdivreichem.html?spref=fb

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Thursday, April 11, 2013

On lashon hara

The Shem m’Shmuel explains that what caught Rav Yanai’s attention was the peddler’s use of the word “sam,” literally, a spice.  You can’t make a meal of spices alone, but any regular meal served without spice is bland and not satisfying.  “Netzor leshoncha,” guarding against lashon ha’ra, is not just another dish on the menu of Torah, item number whatever of 613 possible choices.  It’s the spice that goes into every dish that makes every dish more  satisfying.  It’s a defining value of the system as a whole.    Read more in:
Divrei Chaim: avoiding lashon ha'ra as a meta-value

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Pictures of Wave Hill, April 7, 2013

























Follow me on Twitter @AriellaBrown and circle me at Google+ For wedding tips and insight, as well as recipes and practical advice, visit http://kallahmagazine.weebly.com/index.html

Monday, April 08, 2013

Photo exhibit includes Holocaust pictures

An exhibit you may want to catch. You have until May 5th http://www.examiner.com/article/holocaust-photos-on-exhibit-new-york


Follow me on Twitter @AriellaBrown and circle me at Google+ For wedding tips and insight, as well as recipes and practical advice, visit  http://kallahmagazine.weebly.com/

Matchmakers don't have to be yentas

From my email: "We're seeking outgoing Jewish religious matchmakers. If you are outgoing,
personable and have a good network of Orthodox singles, please email us for
project details." 
Here's my objection to the description: Why outgoing? The assumption here is that outgoing people will be better at making matches, but I beg to differ. Outgoing people tend to talk more, but the flip side is that they will often listen less. To be more effective at making matches, one should be willing to remain quiet so as to get a good sense about what really makes the single tick. Outgoing types are less likely to tolerate silence and so either will fill it in with their own talk or quickly dismiss the quieter type as dull, slow, or uninteresting because s/he was never given enough of an opportunity to open up about him/herself. 
I happen to be on the quieter side myself, but people find me incredibly easy to talk to. I've learned a lot more than I  care to sometimes from the fact that people go on and on in my company or on the phone. That doesn't mean I never say a word but that I am willing to let the other person take the lead in the conversation. Consequently, I learn quite a bit about the other person without having to ask direct, probing questions.
So if I were to ask for what a shadchan should be it would not be "outgoing" but a good listener. And don't be so quick to write off the quiet ones.

Follow me on Twitter @AriellaBrown and circle me at Google+ For wedding tips and insight, as well as recipes and practical advice, visit http://kallahmagazine.weebly.com/

Thursday, April 04, 2013

See Wave Hill for free this weekend

Looking for something to get you out this weekend without spending a lot? Check out http://www.examiner.com/article/free-garden-admissions-to-wave-hill-this-weekend




Follow me on Twitter @AriellaBrown and circle me at Google+ For wedding tips and insight, as well as recipes and practical advice, visit http://kallahmagazine.weebly.com/index.html