Monthly Archives: February 2015

A Paradigm-Shifting Paradigm Shift

“Paradigm Shift” has become a very popular phrase. Originally coined by Thomas Kuhn in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962), it means a completely new way to understand reality, based on new data (rather than theories) which forces the shift. For example, consider Galileo’s proof … Continue reading

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 רַבִּי נְחוּנְיָא בֶּן הַקָּנָה הָיָה מִתְפַּלֵּל בִּכְנִיסָתוֹ לְבֵית הַמִּדְרָשׁ וּבִיצִיאָתוֹ תְּפִלָּה קְצָרָה. אָמְרוּ לוֹ, מַה מָּקוֹם לִתְפִלָּה זוֹ. אָמַר לָהֶם, בִּכְנִיסָתִי אֲנִי מִתְפַּלֵּל שֶׁלֹּא תֶאֱרַע תַּקָלָה עַל יָדִי, וּבִיצִיאָתִי אֲנִי נוֹתֵן הוֹדָיָה עַל חֶלְקִי–משנה ברכות ד:ב Rabbi Nehunia ben HaKana … Continue reading

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A Fine Brush Or A Sledgehammer

Perhaps it’s an “age thing” or maybe it just has to do with how long, regardless of age, you’ve spent engaged with Torah as a serious pursuit. I guess it’s natural when you first encounter the power of Torah to … Continue reading

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One Little Drop Of Water

Perhaps it’s that most human trait of all, certainty in the righteous truth and justice of our opinions, that leads directly to inhuman hell. A beautiful talk by Rabbi Shlomo Riskin on Parshat Yitro emphasizes the ultimate value Judaism places on … Continue reading

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Eretz Yisrael, Thoughts For Tu B’Shvat

Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz explains that over the many generations we’ve been in exile, Tu B’Shvat developed from a largely technical date to determine certain halachot pertaining to trees into a quasi-“Memorial Day” for the Land of Israel. Over the years, Jews have made … Continue reading

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None So Blind As Those Who Refuse To See

The famous Midrash (Mechilta B’Shalach, Shira 23) relates that even the humblest handmaiden saw more at the parting of the sea than did Ezekiel the Prophet. Yet, just days after this experience of enlightenment, complaining bitterly for better-tasting water, we no … Continue reading

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