Sunday, June 29, 2014

How many people can a פרה אדומה be מטהר? Part 1

How many "doses" can 1 פרה אדומה provide? How much ashes can there possibly be from 1 cow? It is not clear to me from the Mishnayos or the Rambam exactly how much ashes needs to be in each "dose" the one thing it does say is that you need to see the ashes in the water which means that you need more then a drop of ashes. I don't see how the ashes of 1 cow could provide millions of "doses" which is what it sounds like, see below.

The Mishna in Para (3:5) states that there were 9 פרה אדומה in history. However, the distribution is very puzzling. The Mishna states that Moshe (really Elazar) made a פרה אדומה in the מדבר and that פרה אדומה lasted until the time of Ezra which is about 800 years and then Ezra made a פרה אדומה when they returned from בבל. Then, in the period of the second בית המקדש they made an additional 7 פרה אדומה. How is it possible that from Moshe until Ezra one פרה אדומה was enough to be מטהר everyone while in a much shorter period from Ezra until the destruction of the second בית המקדש they needed 8? What changed between the period of the שופטים and the first בית המקדש and the second בית המקדש that required so many more פרה אדומה in the second בית המקדש? Going back to my original question how could 1 פרה אדומה possible have enough ashes to מטהר everyone for 800 years? Did people not become טהור in that time period? 

[Update] It was pointed out in the comments that the ashes come not only from the cow but also from everything (wood, etc.) that was used to burn the cow which would additional ash. However, I don't think that it dramatically changes things, even adding in the wood that was burned teh questions above still remain.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

R' Shalom Cohen spiritual leader of Shas - It is prohibited for women to learn academic studies

Here is the letter that R' Cohen published:

We are witnesses today that there are students who learned in [Charedi] seminars who are applying and requesting to learn academic studies.

Our Rabbis, the Gedolei Yisroel, completely opposed academic studies even in Charedi colleges since a number of the lecturers are university graduates and don't have the pure torah ideology that we are raised on.

Likewise, the coursework in the colleges is based on academic and scientific methodologies which contradict daas torah.

Therefore, students should not even consider going to learn academic studies in any setting, because this is not the path of Torah.

The third paragraph is quite interesting, I wonder what scientific methodologies contradict daas torah?

The problem with this is that you can't have it both ways. On one hand, the men have to sit and learn in kollel and not work and the wife has to support the family. On the other hand you can't ask the wife to support the family with no education.

Bottom line, if the husband is sitting and learning and the wife doesn't have an academic degree who is going to support them?

Source: Kikar Shabbat

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Yated Neeman - The boys were kidnapped because the draft law was passed.

It amazes me how certain people in the Charedi world always seem to know חשבונות שמיים and that these חשבונות שמיים always come out that they are right. To think that we know what Hashem is doing and why and to blame it on someone else is simply unbelievable.

See: האשמים בחטיפת הנערים

Sunday, June 08, 2014

93% in Kiryas Yoel on Medicaid

This is driving animosity for Orthodox Jews as they are being looked upon as drains on the government treasury.

You can see the stark difference in numbers between Kiryas Yoel and the other areas of Orange County.

Dec. 2013 Medicaid recipients / Population / % Enrolled:
- Kiryas Joel - 20,293 / 21,894 / 92.7%
- Newburgh area - 17,764 / 54,447 / 32.6%
- Middletown area - 17,253 / 48,418 / 35.6%
- Port Jervis area - 4,485 / 14,511 / 30.9%
- Orange County - 91,557 / 375,592 / 24.4%
Sources: Orange County Department of Social Services, U.S. Census Bureau

In the past Jews (including Orthodox Jews) have been looked upon as a model population in the US, educating their children and contributing/succeeding economically. Now the picture has changed radically and Orthodox Jews are looked upon as a drain on society. I don't know how much longer this can go on.

Source: Times Herald-Record

Monday, June 02, 2014

R' Shteinman: No degrees for girls even at the expense of losing large amounts of funding

R' Shteinman was asked by the head of the Seminary in Bnei Brak, R' Wolff, the following question. The seminary is getting a large sum of money to pay for the education of a certain set of girls and the donors are requesting that the girls get a degree. Should he acquiesce to the request or continue the policy of no academic degrees?

R' Shteinman answered, no degrees even if it causes a major loss of funding.

On one hand the Charedi world is collapsing economically and yet, the leadership will not allow anything to be done to alleviate the problem.

Source: B'Chadrei Charedim