Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A Halevi-an article from R Dovid Tzvi Hoffmann

In his article on the methodology of R Y I Halevy, R YY Weinberg compares the strident tone of Halevi with the more moderate tone of R Dovid Tzvi Hoffman. I just noticed this article in HaPisgah which is written in the harsher style of Halevi. My guess is that when a Christian who "doesn't know any better" writes against the Torah it is OK, but in this case it is a "Rabbi" writing against תורה שבעל פה and this upset Hoffmann very much.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Where to find Yiddish newspapers?

I am in need of the Yiddish newspapers: "Haynt", "Tag", "Moment", and "Yiddish Tageblatt" of the dates: September-December 1929. YIVO was only somewhat helpful. Any ideas where else I might find them?



Sunday, February 7, 2010

non-PC story from the Chazon Ish

מספר הר"ר מאיר וונדר היה לי קרוב משפחה בחיפה שסיים בית ספר עממי דתי ואמו רצתה לשלחו לבי"ס תיכון באתי לחזו"א לשאול מה עושים ואמר לי בהאי לישנא אפשר תיסע לשם שאלתי וכיצד אשפיע על האמא השיב תמצא כבר... נשים דעתן קלות

From Ma'aseh Ish 3:50

Thursday, February 4, 2010

No, Cervantes was not Jewish

Chacham Y Faur has an article "DON QUIXOTE – TALMUDIST AND MUCHO MÁS"

In his words:

The purpose of the present study is to examine a story in Don Quixote II, 45 together with a passage in the Talmud, B. Ned. 25a

The essential facts are these. Someone loaned the sum of ten gold crowns to a friend without witnesses. The borrower admitted the loan but claimed to have repaid it in full. The creditor asks Sancho to put the debtor under oath. Before taking the oath the debtor hands over his staff, in which he had hidden the money, to the creditor. Unabashedly, he then proceeds to swear that he had returned the loan to the creditor

Typically, Faur goes to great length proving that Crevantes had a much greater understanding in the Gemara the the Rashba did, etc. ,etc. He notes that the story appears in older sources:

The motif of the reed as a tool of deception is already found in Livius I, 56,35 but in a completely
completely different context.

There seems to be a certain genre of story that passes from culture to culture and religion to religion with only minor changes to fit the context (see Parsha blogs excellent post on the subject here.) In fact, a quick search on Google gave me the following book Ariadne's Thread which has many versions of the "money in stick" story some of which parallel the Talmud's version exactly. Cervantes' source was probably one of the European versions.
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