The Siren Song of the Siren

R. Natan Slifkin writes: In my younger years, when I was a charedi yeshivah student, I would not stand silently during the sirens on Yom HaShoah and Yom HaZikaron. After all, I reckoned, those are non-Jewish, meaningless customs. Instead, I would recite Tehillim, the traditional Jewish way of memorializing the deceased, which I was taught […]

Theft and Thaumaturgy III

We have previously discussed the two traditional interpretations of Rachel’s motive in stealing Lavan’s תרפים: The תרפים were magical entities, and Rachel stole them to forestall the possibility of their informing Lavan of her family’s flight. The תרפים were idols worshipped by Lavan, and Rachel stole them to wean him from idolatry. But what about […]

Frankenstein: Origins

An Account of some Experiments made on the Body of a Criminal immediately after Execution, with Physiological and Practical Observations. By Andrew Ure, M.D.M.G.S. Read at the Glasgow Literary Society, Dec. 10, 1818 Convulsions accidentally observed in the limbs of dead frogs, originally suggested to Galvani, the study of certain phenomena, which from him have […]