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 […]

Über formal unentscheidbare Sätze der Halachah

For my father, who has long been fascinated by the application of the ideas of Kurt Gödel to the Torah. Well, and wherefore shall it daunt me, when ’tis I myself am tasked, When, by weakness weakness questioned, weakly answers—weakly asked? Weakness never needs be falseness: truth is truth in each degree —Thunderpealed by God […]

The Boughs Of Goodly Trees

Rav Shlomo Eliezer Alfandri (the “Saba Kadisha”) remarkably holds that lemons and other citrus fruits (perhaps even oranges!) are all subsumed under the rubric of פרי עץ הדר. He explains that the ancient Hebrew and Babylonian lexicons did not have distinct terms for what other, later cultures considered distinct species, and that back then Jews […]