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Posts Tagged ‘use’

Candle 2: Watch, Don’t Use

Monday, December 10th, 2012

There’s an inherent problem in the rabbinic commandment that we may only watch the Chanukah candles but not use them. It works fine for stopping oneself from re-lighting a Shamash candle whose flame went out with one of the lit candles – everybody knows you’re not supposed to use the Chanukah candle for that, you have to strike a new match and light the Shamash anew (gone are the day when everyone around the Menorah had a useful, little Bic lighter in their pocket).

But what about the light – can it be used to illuminate an otherwise dark room? Can we only watch the Chanukah candles with all the electric lights on in the room, lest we see by mistake an object other than the Chanukah candles which is lit by those same candles, and thus be using them for something other than pure sight?

Like these two young women in the picture – or us, watching the picture for that matter, are we in violation of Rabbinic law by also spotting the ponchikes (sufganiot, jelly doughnuts)?

One quick solution would be to swallow up those lovely, fried dough balls and then there will be nothing left to see other than pure Chanukah lights, in memory of the miracle.

Bon appetit..

Melachot, Permanence, And Umbrellas

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

Certain activities – such as building, tying, weaving, writing, dyeing and sewing – are not prohibited on Shabbat unless they are made to last. For example, one may tie a knot that is not tied in a professional manner and will be untied within seven days, such as shoelaces or the ribbon around the Torah scroll, on Shabbat afternoon. So too a safety pin may be used on Shabbat since it is not a form of permanent sewing. Similarly, writing or painting with fluid that fades away, or writing on a substance that does not retain script, is not a melachah in the Torah sense of the term (melachah de’oreita), though it is rabbinically prohibited (melachah derabbanan).

When do the above activities become permanent and, therefore, a melachah de’oreita? According to the Rambam, if the product lasts throughout Shabbat it is a melachah de’oreita. According to Rashi, however, it must have the ability to last forever.

May one build a structure on Shabbat if one intends to take it apart on Shabbat shortly after its use? This question is debated between two sages in the Jerusalem Talmud. Rabbi Yosi Bar Nun maintains that it is prohibited because the Mishkan itself, from which we derive the 39 melachot, was a temporary structure. Rabbi Yosah disagrees. He maintains that it is permitted because in his view the Mishkan was, in the eyes of the people, a permanent structure. They never knew when God would require them to move on and until such time they lived their lives in a state of permanence.

Whereas the Jerusalem Talmud rules in accordance with the first view, the Babylonian Talmud rules in accordance with the second and maintains that this type of structure is not considered a melachah at all. The debate is picked up by Rishonim and Acharonim in connection with the construction of a provisional tent on Shabbat. According to the Rif, this is a melachah de’oreita. According to the Rambam, it is a melachah derabbanan. And according to Rashi and the Rosh, constructing a provisional tent is permissible in the first place.

Based on the above authorities who prohibit the construction of a provisional tent on Shabbat, the Noda Beyehudah considered the opening of an umbrella on Shabbat a melachah de’oreita and prohibited its use in his community, even if opened before Shabbat, because onlookers would think it was opened on Shabbat (marit ayin).

Conversely, basing himself on the authorities who permit the construction of a provisional tent on Shabbat, the Chatam Sofer maintains that using an umbrella on Shabbat is not even a melachah derabbanan and he did not object to it in his community in the presence of an eruv.

The consensus of opinion among today’s poskim prohibits the use of an umbrella on Shabbat even in the presence of an eruv. The Chofetz Chaim prohibits it because, irrespective of its temporary nature, it is intended to be used as a tent for protection against the elements. The Chazon Ish prohibits it because it makes Shabbat look like a working day. Rav Ovadia Yosef, after summarizing all the authorities for and against, sides with the authorities who prohibit it.

Artist Uses Ashes of Burnt Holocaust Victims to Paint Picture

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

An uproar over the appropriation of the burnt remains of Jewish Holocaust victims for use in an artwork has swept the Jewish world and raised questions as to how the ashes remaining at European concentration camps are treated.

Artist Carl Michael von Hausswolff used ashes he took from the crematoria of the Majdanek concentration camp in Poland in 1989 to create a painting which is now on display in the Swedish city of Lund.

According to a report in Britain’s Telegraph newspaper, an important figure in the Swedish Jewish community, Salomon Schulman, discovered the use of the ashes and wrote a letter to his local newspaper, expressing his disgust for the appropriation of Jewish remains – or anyone’s remains, for that matter – to make art.

For his part, Von Hausswolff said the ashes were deeply meaningful to him, and “contain the memories and the souls of people… tormented and murdered… in the most vicious war of the 20th Century.”

Approximately 360,000 people, over 60% of whom were Jews, died at Majdanek.

PA: We Will Fight Israeli Building With Our New UN Status

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

Now that the Palestinian Authority has been recognized as a non-member observer state at the United Nations, it will now use its new power to ask the Security Council to force Israel to abandon plans to build in the E-1 area near the Jewish city of Maale Adumim.

Israel announced last week, immediately following the PA’s unilateral decision to request non-member state status at the UN, that it would begin building on the area which is under Israeli control.  The world responded to the Israeli plan primarily through condemnation, with many European countries calling in their Israeli ambassadors to submit formal protestations.

PA head Mahmoud Abbas called the plan a “red line”, although it is unclear what the implications of that are.

The Palestinian representative to the UN submitted a letter calling the move a “contemptuous response” to international approval for recognition of a Palestinian state.

“ Israel is methodically and aggressively pushing ahead with this unlawful land grab and colonization of Palestine with the intent to alter the demographic composition, character and status of the Palestinian territory… in its favor in order to entrench its illegitimate control of the land and prejudge the outcome of final status negotiations,” the letter stated.

The US would be expected to veto a resolution against Israeli housing growth, primarily because of its interest in bringing Israel and the PA back to face-to-face negotiations.

Approximately 600,000 Jews live in Judea, Samaria, and eastern Jerusalem.  The PA and its supporters oppose any construction for use by Jews in those areas.

Soldier Missing

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

IDF soldier Liraz Benvenisti, 20, on Tuesday evening left the base where he is serving, near the town of Gedera, and then disappeared. It is feared that he may have hitched a ride with Arab terrorists.

He is 5’7″, slim, brown eyes, short, black hair. He was last seen wearing IAF uniform and carrying a black handbag.

Last month, during Operation Pillar of Defense, Gaza terrorists announced they would be on the lookout for Israeli soldiers they could kidnap and use them in prisoner exchanges. IDF soldiers are regularly warned against hitchhiking.

How to Say: ‘Go Out of Your mind’

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

The English expression to go out of one’s (his) mind gets translated literally into Modern Hebrew:

לָצֵאת מִדַּעְתּוֹ

לצאת  means to go out, while מדעתו  means from his mind. To use this expression, conjugate the verb לצאת, and substitute the וֹ-   ending with the one you wish to mean.

For example:

אִם הָרַעַשׁ כָּכָה יַמְשִׁיךְ, אֲנִי אֵצֵא מִדַּעְתִּי. If the noise continues this way, I’ll go out of my mind.

נִדְמֶה לִי שֶׁהִיא יָצְאָה מִדַּעְתָּהּ. It seems to me that she’s gone crazy.

A synonym for לצאת מדעתו is לְהִשְׁתַּגֵּעַ .

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Spruce Up Your Website for the Holidays

Monday, December 3rd, 2012

Changing your website to reflect upcoming holidays, commemorations or celebrations is an easy, fun, inexpensive and engaging way to keep your site timely and give it a little personality. Adding whimsical graphics to your logo or a holiday banner at the top of your site can be an attractive accent that gets your visitors into the holiday spirit.

You don’t have to only commemorate recognized holidays. Your founder’s birthday or your company’s launch date anniversary are perfectly legitimate reasons to use a banner to commemorate the occasion. Be sure to give your graphic designer some latitude for this project. And if the reason behind the swapped out logo is to obscure, make sure your users can see the explanation in the tool tip popup when they mouse over the image (it’s good for SEO, too).

You can use the graphic to cross-market holiday or seasonal specials. You can use it as the starting point for a site-wide promotional treasure hunt, or as a link to a special video or social media contest. Use your imagination.

Since most of the Jewish holidays don’t allow the use of computers, it’s a good idea to put your logos on display before the actual holiday. A few days to a week should be enough.

One of the more complicated holiday logos I ever created was for Yideoz, a now-defunct online Jewish video site. Each night of Chanukah, a new candle that flickered appeared, and when you moused over the logo, it played a song.

The most complicated issue your programmer should have to deal with is that Jewish holidays follow the Hebrew calendar. You have to make sure that Hebrew calendar dates for holidays, such as Chanukah (25th of Kislev) and Purim (14th of Adar 1 or 2) are converted to the proper English date. Thankfully, there are simple methods to do this. In PHP, the jewishtojd() and jdtojewish() functions convert back and forth from Hebrew calendar dates to English dates. [Java has a considerably more complicated method, probably because one of it's founders wasn't Israeli.] Your programmer should be able to preset the logos or banners so that there is no need to remember to swap them every time.

Have some fun brainstorming some seasonal and commemorative tweaks to your website. Chag sameach!

 

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/scitech/spruce-up-your-website-for-the-holidays/2012/12/03/

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