Well, At Least They’ll Make Good Programmers

In honor of C.S. and all the righteous women of Israel (and S.C., who helped1). A provocative, albeit cryptic Yerushalmi: הכל נאמנין על ביעור חמץ אפי’ נשים אפי’ עבדים. ר’ ירמיה בשם ר’ זעירה לית כאן אפי’ נשים. נשים עצמן הן נאמנות מפני שהן עצילות והן בודקות כל שהוא כל שהוא.2 Mainstream halachic tradition interprets …

True Neutrality

Our previous post noted the idea, attributed to the Sanzer Rav, that Zelafhad’s daughters’ assurance to Moshe that their father had not been involved in Korah’s rebellion constituted “verbal bribery” and thus triggered his recusal from their petition. It turns out (unsurprisingly) that this exegesis is actually at least a millennium old, with its first …

Fixing Cleopatra’s Nose

A couple of years ago, we discussed the question of the permissibility of plastic surgery for cosmetic purposes, and we noted R. Chaim Jachter’s characteristically excellent discussion of the topic, in which he notes that both Rav Moshe Feinstein and Rav Ya’akov Breish discuss very similar sounding cases of a young woman who wished to …