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Showing posts from February, 2017

It's All About the Fathers in Ancient Egyptian Thought

Today we popped into the Brooklyn Museum and made sure to stop into the new section set up in the Egyptian collection. It's called  A Woman’s Afterlife: Gender Transformation in Ancient Egypt. The exhibit is really small, consisting of fewer than 30 objects that don't really do much to explicate the theory of what Egyptians believed about the condition for a woman's rebirth stated thus:
The ancient Egyptians believed that to make rebirth possible for a deceased woman, she briefly had to turn into a man. Guided by new research inspired in part by feminist scholarship, the exhibition A Woman’s Afterlife: Gender Transformation in Ancient Egypt tells this remarkable story of gender transformation in the ancient world, exploring the differences between male and female access to the afterlife.
Egyptian medicine taught that a woman, once in her tomb, faced a biological barrier to rebirth. Because the ancient Egyptians believed that in human reproduction it was the man who created…

Your phone just doesn't understand you

This post was inspired by an event my husband related from this morning. At the minyan, someone's phone was, surprise, surprise, not off. Seeking to serve in some way, the voice activation component let the owner and everyone else know, "I didn't understand that."
Prayers were not meant to be understandable to electronic devices. They are the means of communication with the One who does understand you, the One who understands the import of the words better than you do yourself. No matter how responsive your phone may be and how advanced the predictive analytics that are built into its operating system grow, it will still not be capable of understanding what you truly are about.

We should be saying olive rather than apple

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That is we should be saying "the olive doesn't fall far from the tree." That would reflect the halacha that says you can identify which tree an olive is from. The same does not hold true for apples or other fruit.  In the case of most fruit you'd find in the road, you can assume hefker status because it is considered impossible to determine which tree bore the fruit. In contrast, an olive can be identified as coming from a specific tree.

Rav Goldwicht stated this in a special Tu B'Shvat shiur he dleivered this Sunday in NYC on the occasion of the yahrzeit of Rabbi Copperman (see http://kallahmagazine.blogspot.jp/2016/01/the-life-of-rabbi-copperman.html). He connected that halacha to the blessing for a household expressed in Tehillim 128:3
Your wife will be as a fruitful vine in the innermost parts of your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table.גאֶשְׁתְּךָ | כְּגֶפֶן פֹּרִיָּה בְּיַרְכְּתֵי בֵיתֶךָ בָּנֶיךָ כִּשְׁתִלֵי זֵיתִים סָבִיב לְשׁ…