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Author Topic: Ask the Rebbetzin
rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Chanie:
Basically, the Talmud says that eating meat and fish together is unhealthy. It doesn't really explain why.

Not quite. It gives a reason that we don't really understand, which is not quite the same thing. Link
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ketchupqueen
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That link was perfect, rivka. Thanks!
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rivka
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Anytime, hon. [Smile]
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Lisa
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quote:
Originally posted by Bokonon:
All fish is parve, which means it isn't meat by kosher rules (however, not all fish is kosher, parve or otherwise). Also, you can have dairy and meat, but they have to be prepared and cooked in completely separate "kitchens" (I know that people often have separate fridges and ovens, but I don't know how much beyond that is common in personal homes), and served on separate plates and utensils.

Bok, I'm not sure what you mean. You know that dairy and meat can't be eaten together even if they were prepared separately, right?
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Bokonon
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So it's the entire meal they must be separate (in other words, both at the same meal is a no-no)? I thought that as long as they weren't served at the same time, and they were served (and prepared) separately, it's okay?

-Bok

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Bokonon
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Just to clarify, the clause about "separate plates and utensils" is in addition to the separate preparation, not an alternative.

-Bok

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pooka
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Yes, any given meal tends to be either meat or dairy, though they sometimes have completely pareve (neither) meals. It seems like the pareve stuff tended to be kept and prepared in the dairy kitchen.
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MightyCow
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From the standpoint of someone who doesn't know that much about Judaism, there seem to be a lot of very specific rules to follow. Does it seem like a lot when you're following them, or does it just become second nature, like how I know that it's not OK to jaywalk?

Do the rules sometimes seem arbitrary or frustrating to follow? Is part of the point that they're inconvenient, in order to remind you why you're doing them?

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Bokonon:
So it's the entire meal they must be separate (in other words, both at the same meal is a no-no)? I thought that as long as they weren't served at the same time, and they were served (and prepared) separately, it's okay?

Technically, one could serve certain dairy items (no hard cheese, for example), then remove all the silverware, dishes, tablecloth; put out a meat tablecloth, dishes, etc. Oh, and everyone eating would have to rinse out their mouths and take a bite or two of something parve. (Like bread.)

Is it possible? Yes. But I can't think of too many reasons why anyone would bother. And keep in mind, the reverse would not be true. One must wait after eating meat before eating dairy (generally either 3 or 6 hours, depending on your family's specific custom). And that's true after certain dairy products (like hard cheese) before eating meat.

quote:
Originally posted by pooka:
Yes, any given meal tends to be either meat or dairy, though they sometimes have completely pareve (neither) meals. It seems like the pareve stuff tended to be kept and prepared in the dairy kitchen.

Keep in mind that those of us with kitchens at home do not have two (or three) kitchens, just separate prep areas in one. Contrary to popular belief, most Jews are not hugely wealthy. [Razz]

quote:
Originally posted by MightyCow:
From the standpoint of someone who doesn't know that much about Judaism, there seem to be a lot of very specific rules to follow. Does it seem like a lot when you're following them, or does it just become second nature, like how I know that it's not OK to jaywalk?

Some of each. Most Orthodox Jews who are serious about their observance study the laws (or generally, some specific subset for a time, and then another, etc.) on a regular basis. After all, there will be a test. [Wink]


quote:
Originally posted by MightyCow:
Do the rules sometimes seem arbitrary or frustrating to follow?

Not so much now (speaking only for myself here), but definitely when I was a teenager. But sure, sometimes.

quote:
Originally posted by MightyCow:
Is part of the point that they're inconvenient, in order to remind you why you're doing them?

Certainly we should be thinking about what we're doing. Doing mitzvos by rote is rather emphatically discouraged -- but nonetheless is human nature. So anything that forces us to think about them is helpful. And certain ones (kashrus, for instance) certainly are more likely to force us to consider them than others.
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Chanie
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quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
Technically, one could serve certain dairy items (no hard cheese, for example), then remove all the silverware, dishes, tablecloth; put out a meat tablecloth, dishes, etc. Oh, and everyone eating would have to rinse out their mouths and take a bite or two of something parve. (Like bread.)

Some families have a custom of waiting a period of time between dairy and meat, usually an hour.
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Lisa
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quote:
Originally posted by MightyCow:
From the standpoint of someone who doesn't know that much about Judaism, there seem to be a lot of very specific rules to follow. Does it seem like a lot when you're following them, or does it just become second nature, like how I know that it's not OK to jaywalk?

Yeah, it's kind of like that. If there are meat dishes in the sink, I know to put dirty dairy ones either on the counter or in a separate basin we have. It doesn't seem like a lot.

Of course, when I walk past a restaurant and smell barbecued ribs, then it seems like a lot. <grin>

quote:
Originally posted by MightyCow:
Do the rules sometimes seem arbitrary or frustrating to follow? Is part of the point that they're inconvenient, in order to remind you why you're doing them?

They don't seem arbitrary or frustrating. They are what they are, is all.
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Lisa
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quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
Keep in mind that those of us with kitchens at home do not have two (or three) kitchens, just separate prep areas in one. Contrary to popular belief, most Jews are not hugely wealthy. [Razz]

We don't even have separate prep areas. Our kitchen isn't big enough for that. We have separate cutting boards, and the like.
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rivka
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By separate prep areas, I mean about a square foot of counter space. [Wink] And when necessary, one "flavor" may take over the kitchen (but then all the counters have been cleared of all the others).
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pooka
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Right, I was more wondering, and I guess I should have posed it as a question, if there was any reason the dairy kitchen was the default kitchen. I don't know, it may have been something as mundane as the caterer liking the layout better. I guess it was slightly larger.
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rivka
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Mostly practical, probably. It's easier to keep things parve in a dairy kitchen than in a meat one -- largely because most "dairy" meals have very little actual dairy in them. And because unlike meat, there isn't the grease problem.
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pooka
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Forgive me if this question has already been asked, but if a woman does not menstruate for, say 8 months while she is breastfeeding, is she not niddah for that whole time? I would assume so, but wanted to check. I was reading on Jewfaq about the benefits of taking a break every now and then, and wondered if there is any tendency to do so when one doesn't have to.
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pooka
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P.S. My question above was answered in the negatory.

I wanted to ask this question separately from the context that inspires it, since it seemed a little heated (or cold, depending on which you don't prefer).

Are pharisees considered exemplary Jews? Would we even know what a pharisee was apart from the accounts in the synoptic gospels, and as such, is the representation of them even considered trustworthy? I guess what I'm asking is whether pharisees even exist in the Jewish tradition or are they a moustache-twirly strawman of sorts?

P.S. Nevermind, wikipedia seems to answer my question pretty well that they are definitely a historically recognized movement. However:
quote:
Although the Christian New Testament records explicit criticism by Jesus of the Pharisee's teachings, none of those teachings identified by Jesus were ultimately accepted by mainstream Judaism so as to be included in the Talmud.



[ February 27, 2008, 08:38 AM: Message edited by: pooka ]

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Lisa
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The rabbis in the Talmud mention the Perushim (Pharisees) as a subgroup of observant Jews who were extra meticulous. The word means "separatist".

It's not unlikely that the Sadducees saw all observant Jews as "Pharisees", since they weren't assimilationist.

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rivka
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My rabbi's explanation of the Pharisees is the side who won (in terms of defining traditional Judaism). He's only kind of kidding.
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Stephan
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I'm talking to a Christian in another forum, and the subject of whether or not Isaiah 14:12 talks about Lucifer came up. I did my own research and rebutted. Then she came up with the end of Daniel 4, saying Nebuchadnezzar became a believer so Isaiah could not have been talking about Neb being brought down to the netherworld (she uses the word hell).

I'm sort of stuck on this one. My gut instinct says that the difference lies once again in context. I want to say that Isaiah is just insulting Neb dramatically for things he has already done, whereas Daniel is talking about the end of Neb's life which he actually witnessed. But I am having trouble backing that up with something.

Am I on the right track?

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rivka
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Well, Rashi agrees with you -- it's Nevuchadnetzar. Regardless, why should it be Lucifer? I am not aware of any Jewish text that refers to the Satan that way -- it is an entirely Christian concept that the Satan is a fallen anything.

He does eventually repent in Daniel, but he is definitely brought low beforehand! He ate grass with the animals of the field. Sounds pretty low to me.

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Stephan
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quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
Well, Rashi agrees with you -- it's Nevuchadnetzar. Regardless, why should it be Lucifer? I am not aware of any Jewish text that refers to the Satan that way -- it is an entirely Christian concept that the Satan is a fallen anything.

He does eventually repent in Daniel, but he is definitely brought low beforehand! He ate grass with the animals of the field. Sounds pretty low to me.

Thanks!

And just in case you haven't seen the King James version, the word Lucifer is actually used in a mistranslation.

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rivka
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I think I knew that. But I gave up arguing text with Christians (with the occasional exception, like here on Hatrack) years ago. So the oddities of their mistranslations don't occupy too much of my brain space these days. [Wink] The Hebrew is "הילל בן שחר", which means "the <something> of the morning" -- with something most often translated as "star." How on earth anyone gets the Satan from that (even with Christian, rather than Jewish theology) is beyond me.
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Kwea
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I believe that Lucifer is thought to mean Morning Star, or something like that, but I don't recall the actual text that belief is based on any more.
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rivka
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I realize that. But that's where it gets very circular, IIRC.
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Bokonon
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Lucifer comes from the Latin meaning "Light Bearer/Carrier" (Luci = light; fer = carry).

-Bok

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Lisa
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Right, but where does that get derived from the original Hebrew, if not through an already determined myth? I see where Avraham becomes Abraham. I see where Yitzchak becomes Isaac. I even see where Khshayarsha becomes both Xerxes and Ahasuerus. I don't see where Hillel ben Shachar becomes Lucifer.
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Stephan
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quote:
Originally posted by Lisa:
Right, but where does that get derived from the original Hebrew, if not through an already determined myth? I see where Avraham becomes Abraham. I see where Yitzchak becomes Isaac. I even see where Khshayarsha becomes both Xerxes and Ahasuerus. I don't see where Hillel ben Shachar becomes Lucifer.

They basically translated the word from Hebrew to English to Latin, leaving the rest of the passage in English.
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dkw
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Since the Vulgate was translated into Latin around 400 C.E. I'm pretty sure it didn't go through English first.
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BlackBlade
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Facinating, I had no idea our concepts of the devil could differ so much!

So if the devil has repented has anyone filled his role then? Are there just other devils who continually tempt folks? I am reminded of how the Pharisees often accused Jesus of having a devil in him, has this belief in devils evolved since then?

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dkw
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Nebuchadnezzar was a historical person, not a devil.
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Lisa
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quote:
Originally posted by Stephan:
quote:
Originally posted by Lisa:
Right, but where does that get derived from the original Hebrew, if not through an already determined myth? I see where Avraham becomes Abraham. I see where Yitzchak becomes Isaac. I even see where Khshayarsha becomes both Xerxes and Ahasuerus. I don't see where Hillel ben Shachar becomes Lucifer.

They basically translated the word from Hebrew to English to Latin, leaving the rest of the passage in English.
Except that Hillel ben Shachar doesn't translate in any way into Lucifer. Shachar is not light, and Hillel is not bring.
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Lisa
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
Facinating, I had no idea our concepts of the devil could differ so much!

So if the devil has repented has anyone filled his role then? Are there just other devils who continually tempt folks? I am reminded of how the Pharisees often accused Jesus of having a devil in him, has this belief in devils evolved since then?

You should take that Pharisee story with a big grain of salt. The Christian scriptures don't report on Pharisees accurately.
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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
So if the devil has repented

No, no, no. He hasn't repented -- there is no rebellion, no fall, nothing to repent for/of. The Satan is just an angel, doing his job. He works for God, not against him.

The internalized evil inclination is not truly "evil", either.

Some relevant links.

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by dkw:
Nebuchadnezzar was a historical person, not a devil.

Potato, potahto. [Wink]
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
So if the devil has repented

No, no, no. He hasn't repented -- there is no rebellion, no fall, nothing to repent for/of. The Satan is just an angel, doing his job. He works for God, not against him.

The internalized evil inclination is not truly "evil", either.

Some relevant links.

Ah I see, thanks for the clarification. Facinating links [Big Grin]

Lisa: are you suggesting that Pharisees or Jews as a whole during that time period did not believe in demonic possession?

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
Lisa: are you suggesting that Pharisees or Jews as a whole during that time period did not believe in demonic possession?

Not in the way Christians do, certainly.
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
Lisa: are you suggesting that Pharisees or Jews as a whole during that time period did not believe in demonic possession?

Not in the way Christians do, certainly.
Could you indulge me with an explanation on the difference?

I really am just curious.

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rivka
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Maybe Lisa can. I don't know details; I just know that demons are viewed as destructive forces, less than potential invaders.
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Primal Curve
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Hey rivka, can you explain the whole "G-d" spelling thing for me? The question that follows is, how do you say that?
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Tante Shvester
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quote:
Originally posted by Primal Curve:
Hey rivka, can you explain the whole "G-d" spelling thing for me? The question that follows is, how do you say that?

"Hashem", pronounced "Hah-SHEM".

Thing is, the Jews take the Name of G'd to be a Very Big Deal. We don't say it out loud unless we are talking to the Big Guy Himself in prayer. And if we were to write it down, well then, what we wrote it on would take on a bit of holiness and need to be treated with quite a bit of respect and care. So we don't write it down much either, unless we are doing so in a prayer book or the like. You know, to be careful. And yeah, none of these things are the Real and Actual, True NAME, just what we call Him. We want to be careful, anyway, and treat what we call Him with respect, too.

That's why we refer to him as "Hashem", which, really, just translates into "The Name". We aren't saying what name, just, you know, the name.

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Jonathan Howard
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It is also worth noting that in Hebrew there are various ways of referring to "The Big J" avoiding the explicit name, like using what is practcally one of two random letters from the Hebrew alphabet followed by a little stroke that looks like an apostrophe.
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rivka
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They're hardly random, Jonathan. One is "heh" -- the first letter of "Hashem". The other is "yud" -- the first letter of several of His names, including the Tetragrammaton.

It is worth noting that some of us do not consider the word "God" to be one of His names, and therefore only use "G-d" when necessary to avoid bothering those who do. (And I find those who have taken this a step further and started writing "Hash-m" to be just the tiniest bit insane. [Razz] )

As for saying it, that's actually slightly less problematic than writing it (for several reasons, among them the difficulty of disposing of a written name of His), and so it is pronounced exactly as the non-oblique version is pronounced. (Except when avoided altogether by substitution, as Tante indicated.)

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Jonathan Howard
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There's also "dalet"... Only reason I see is to retreat one back from "heh"; unless it's short for the Aramaic word for merciful ("dachil")...?

And I completely agree with your second paragraph. I know an author who even used the term "EverPresent God" in his book, to get around the problem of translating the Tetragrammaton when quoting phrases from the Bible. :-)

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rivka
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(Daled and heh are interchangeable for some purposes, so when they use a daled, it's much the same as using a heh.)
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Tante Shvester
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Hey, I know some people who call the soda "Ginger Kale", (to avoid the sound-alike word for G'd) for "ale".

I suppose they must also be sending their kids to "kelementary school".

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Tante Shvester:
Hey, I know some people who call the soda "Ginger Kale", (to avoid the sound-alike word for G'd) for "ale".

*sigh*
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Tante Shvester
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Hey! It's not me!


I just know people who do that. Me, I think it's kind of silly.

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rivka
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I know it's not you. [Smile]

"Silly" doesn't begin to describe it to me. But that's a whole other conversation.

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Lisa
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A guy gets set up on a date with a girl. She introduces herself as "Batka". He blinks, and says, "Then I'm Keilikaku".

I know people who literally, when they write names like ירמיה, will write ירמי-ה. It's nutty.

As far as the dalet is concerned, it's the same thing. It's simply an incomplete heh, for the same reason.

There's a story that Rav Soloveitchik, when asked about this in his classroom, went up to the black board, wrote "GOD" in big letters, and then took the eraser and erased it.

God is an Anglicization of the German Gott, which has nothing to do with the One we pray to. It's a kinui, and as such, there may be an issue with non-Jews taking it in vain, but there's certainly no issue when it comes to Jews.

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