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12:00 AM
@IsaacMoses That is a mildly creepy search, but it was interesting to see the thought process that created that particular question. Thanks for that :)
12:21 AM
@Shokhet I guess its target audience is not scholars.
2 hours later…
2:12 AM
@IsaacMoses Forget the target audience -- why should I trust what that site says if I can't verify it? (ignoring the "this is a psak site that doesn't replace a posek" thing)
2:39 AM
@Shokhet the site displays a haskama from RMH for the book that will eventually come out of the site. So, if you trust RMH, trust the haskama, and trust that it applies to the site, too then I guess you don't need to verify beyond that.
@IsaacMoses Hm...I hadn't seen the letter, but it was written about the book, not the website...I guess you're right, though.
....in my limited skimming of the site, I didn't see anything that I thought was wrong, but it feels very fishy to me to see all those halachos without cited sources....
....I guess I just got to used to the high quality of Mi Yodeya answers :P
3:07 AM
Some new scans from Hebrewbooks.org -- This one in time for Purim: hebrewbooks.org/53068
4:01 AM
@IsaacMoses judaism.stackexchange.com/q/53452/5323 is currently HNQ (as I expected) ....I think it's an interesting and valuable question, but I hope that most people who take note of it will click through and read your answer, rather than just assuming that Judaism is anti-vaccines from the question title.
@Shokhet No one's mentioned it in public chatrooms, which usually happens when something ridiculable from here makes it to HNQ
@IsaacMoses Okay; so far so good.
....I didn't even think to search chat. @IsaacMoses is clearly a professional.
@Shokhet I've been a professional creep since before you even heard of this place.
@Shokhet But really, we can only care so much about people who like to jump at headlines. I mean, headlines shouldn't be misleading, but we can't expect them to tell the whole story.
Oh wow.
I hadn't looked at my creepy Twitter search in a while. That mermaid question blew up on Twitter. Probably our most-tweeted question to date.
@StackExchange (which is not a robot) was amused:
“Are mermaids kosher?” Top answer ends w/ “contact your local rabbi if this becomes a matter of practical concern.” http://judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/53216/would-a-mermaid-be-kosher
4:18 AM
@IsaacMoses How often will @StackExchange tweet a Yodeyan question?
....the T. Rex question got a few good tweets also....
Is T Rex kosher? Is it acceptable under kashrut to eat tyrannosauridae meat? http://judaism.stackexchange.com/q/50293/527?stw=2
@Shokhet Not frequently. Like I said, it's not a robot, so it depends on catching the fancy of the person/people behind it. It looks like they only tweet about once or so a day.
@Shokhet Not as many as the mermaid one, IIRC
@Shokhet Looks like a spam link, I think.
@IsaacMoses My filter actually blocked that link....I didn't try it until after posting it here.
@IsaacMoses But they quoted your Jewrassic Park line!!! :P
@Shokhet maybe copied from another tweet
@Shokhet If you still can, I'd suggest deleting or de-oneboxing that message
@IsaacMoses Perhaps. I didn't really look, but that was the only one that I noticed that did that.
@IsaacMoses Too late. D'you think it's important enough to flag for a moderator?
@Shokhet Eh. @msh210 @DoubleAA @MonicaCellio, ^^^ please
@Shokhet Yeah. Search for "Jewrassic" doesn't find an antecedent.
@Shokhet ... but yeah. It's a spam account. It decorates spam links with interesting-looking food text. Probably done by a person.
4:28 AM
@IsaacMoses Oops. :/
@Shokhet Eh. My click earned it maybe a few cents.
@Shokhet I am annoyed about the other answer. I specifically had that source in mind when I wrote the "not want this" section. Eizeh bizayon.
@IsaacMoses sorry, de-onebox what?
@MonicaCellio Spam link here, posted by accident.
@MonicaCellio this one. It contains a spam link
Oh, the tweet with the cur.ly link?
4:32 AM
May as well delete it; it's not important.
@MonicaCellio Thanks
@MonicaCellio Thanks!
@IsaacMoses @Shokhet welcs.
I tweeted the mermaid question too. I hadn't seen other tweets of it. It was popular?
I mean, I'm not surprised it was popular; I just didn't see.
(Nor did I get an Announcer, at least not yet. :-) But I'm small potatoes on Twitter.)
@MonicaCellio Very popular....though I didn't notice till @IsaacMoses pointed it out.
4:35 AM
@MonicaCellio Looks like about 19 tweets that I can see, including one from @StackExchange, which has 11.7K followers.
@IsaacMoses nice!
You can search Twitter for the URL? Is that how you're doing that?
@MonicaCellio I just searched for judaism.stackexchange and used the bio-neuro-optical filter to pick out the relevant ones.
The question, 6 days in, stands now at 4.5K views
@IsaacMoses ah. Thanks.
And has a Good Answer.
Oh, I misremembered: I retweeted Stack's tweet. I had shared the link elsewhere with just a few people, but misremembered where.
4:41 AM
@IsaacMoses Using chavala to turn "you don't have to" into "you can't" is a very promising avenue for your question IMO. Would you need to find a halachic authority who has put the two together explicitly to get an answer? (Though IMO it's certain that any such psak is just a Taut BiDvar Mishna anyway...)
Also, can someone else remind him who's boss, or more specifically, who's not the boss?
@DoubleAA I did ask for "halachic sources that prohibit standard childhood vaccinations," not "a prominent rabbi who was willing to go to bat for someone based on some wrong metziut he heard about."
@Maimonist Double's not the boss of anyone. He's an elected moderator, who's supposed to take care of the community in the way that the community thinks is best. If anyone's the boss, that would be Joel SpolskyShokhet 49 secs ago
^^^ fair enough?
@DoubleAA I also asked for not "Reasoning without basis in explicitly on-point sources" on purpose, to forestall people building and then arguing about lines of reasoning based on <cough> nonstandard findings of metziut plus more general halachot. Vaccinations have been around a long time, so if any posekim actually think they're forbidden, they'd probably have written it down by now.
@IsaacMoses Possibly each vaccine is different depending on the current medical findings (however loosely defined)
4:56 AM
The obsession with details and the inability to take idioms as they are is astounding. I was not according anything to DoubleAA that is not his. I only meant to politely acknowledge his correction and respect his experience in the process. Sheesh... Kol tuv. — Maimonist 1 min ago
@DoubleAA Many individual vaccines, e.g. the Measles one mentioned in the question, have been around for a long time.
@IsaacMoses And medical findings can certainly change. The Tiferet Yisrael permitted cow pox for use against small pox, but a competent posek would be obligated to reevaluate that based on current medical knowledge (I imagine he'd come to the same conclusion)
@IsaacMoses What of an answer saying that their permissibility is explicitly dependent on their efficacy?
That's all halacha can really say about them anyway. (Absent any divine knowledge‌​.)
@DoubleAA It'd have to be something someone can point to and say "See? My religion forbids me from letting my kids get the MMR vaccine."
@IsaacMoses I'd imagine they could based on that if they claim to believe in certain (pseudo-)scientists, no? Note the details of the USC exemption are not on topic here
@DoubleAA That looks like a great answer to me as it is easily applicable many different vaccines in different circumstances.
A discussion of what kinds of "science" one may/must use in general healing may be particularly apropos to compliment the q/a.
@DoubleAA From what I read on the Internet <best source *ever*>, they could just say "Getting these vaccines contradicts my sincerely-held religious beliefs" without pointing at any documentation. You're right that the legal niceties are off-topic. The question is whether traditional Judaism (see, I put that in on purpose to preclude "my own brand of Judaism") provides a grounding
Lemai nafka minah?
1) People who go to the government and claim exemption on the basis of Jewish belief or on the basis of unspecified religious belief while named Chaim Yankel should at least feel bad about it.
2) Supports policies at Jewish schools that, where permitted by government (i.e. not e.g. in California), go lifnim mishurat hadin in prohibiting religious exemptions, a la R' Charner.
3) In case anyone outside Judaism was wondering (perhaps because they ran into said Chaim Yankel at some point) (and 400 views to date says they are) if Judaism actually has such a prohibition
@DoubleAA There are definitely some very interesting other questions about halacha or halacha-theory that could be posed
5:22 AM
....@IsaacMoses, there was an article about the danger of vaccines in the Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society (may have been more than one), and IIRC his conclusion was that certain vaccines are neither forbidden nor required.
I specifically recall that he talked about the danger of autism (debunked without a doubt by the time the article was published), and cervical cancer (possibly dangerous, but not dangerous enough to be significant)
@Shokhet ... and there are probably some vaccines that were developed at some point whose dangers outweigh their risks and are therefore forbidden by both Halacha and the FDA. @DoubleAA's right that the really generalizable question has to be the meta one: On what basis do we decide?
My question, meanwhile, is specifically about the standard childhood vaccines currently in use, such as MMR.
@IsaacMoses Right. I don't think it makes sense to be either blindly pro-vaccine or blindly anti-vaccine.
@IsaacMoses Right. I think that's clear enough, in your question post.
@Shokhet Sure. That'd be like paskening that all food is kosher or that all food is treif.
@IsaacMoses Nice mashal :)
@Shokhet I do think that Judaism gives us meta-rules, e.g. "Consult your physician" that allow us to do so more or less carte blanche without going back to the rabbi over and over. (Except, of course, in certain sensitive areas like end-of-life.)
5:38 AM
@IsaacMoses Sounds about right. ....I don't have many medical halacha books with me now, but my father has just about every last one published at home. If you ever ask that question, I can do some pretty good research on it.
5:57 AM
@Menachem I started reading it.....it's 168 pages long??? I'm not finishing that tonight :) Thanks for the link; so far, it's very very good :)
@Shokhet appears to be an anthology
5 hours later…
11:24 AM
@Shokhet Someone had a lot of time on their hands.
@IsaacMoses It even has some repeat content, mostly with the Purim Hagaddah.
But that was hilarious.
And very alcoholic.
3 hours later…
2:04 PM
@Scimonster And a little sacreligious in places, I think
2:24 PM
Does Hebrew really need to be off-topic?
May 5 '14 at 19:10, by Isaac Moses
On-topic               On-topic                   Off-topic
|                               |                                |
||||Judaism||/++++Judaism AND+++\---Hebrew----|
In that graph, is Hebrew referring to modern Hebrew or all Hebrew?
@TheOne Hebrew (any) doesn't make questions off-topic, and it doesn't make questions on-topic. It's really easy for a Biblical Hebrew question to be on-topic, simply through the explicit inclusion of the Biblical context and motivation.
On-topic On-topic Off-topic
| | |
|---Judaism----/++++Judaism AND+++\----Hebrew----|
not sure why the second line didn't save spaces...
But doesn't Loshon Hakodesh have it's origins in Judaism?
Jan 8 at 5:02, by MichaelT
user image
@TheOne A lot of things have their origins in Judaism
2:31 PM
Venn Diagrams FTW
@TheOne I loves me some venns
3:26 PM
From the alt text project:
A: How to adjust the knot on tefillin shel rosh? (double daled)

samSee here on Tiferes Stam which shows a diagram with instructions for both the double and single.

Before even dealing with alt text, what should we do with this answer? Is it OK that it incorporates that entire graphic? Would it be better to excerpt out the relevant part of the graphic? Should it include, in addition or instead, either a text quotation of the instructions or an own-words summary of them?
2 hours later…
5:21 PM
@Shokhet Huh. Right around when we were talking about mermaids last night, this got posted to reddit. It's garnered 32 upvotes so far.
2 hours later…
7:15 PM
@IsaacMoses (Just catching up in here.) Out of curiosity: You've been (I think consistently) capitalizing "Measles". Why?
@msh210 Odd. I have no idea.
Q: Is the name of a disease considered a proper noun?

animusonI've never really thought about it before now, but is the name of a disease considered a proper noun, and thus, should the first letters be capitalized? For example: Would it be "celiac disease" or "Celiac Disease"? I've seen it capitalized in some places and not in others.

Maybe the fact that some disease names are also proper nouns and therefore capitalized subliminally confused me.
@IsaacMoses Are you asking about utility and similar concerns, or about copyright and plagiarism concerns?
@msh210 I can't argue with the reasoning in your comment saying that the RSK answer is, in fact, an answer, albeit weak, so I agree that forced deletion would probably be inappropriate. However, I maintain my downvote, and would be quite happy to see Ze'ev delete it of his own accord. It is a big shame to expose more people to those unfortunate statements.
@msh210 Both
@IsaacMoses I agree completely. It should be community-deletable by those with 20,000 reputation points. Cough.
@msh210 so you think the community should force its deletion?
7:27 PM
@IsaacMoses Sorry. When I agreed with your "forced deletion would probably be inappropriate" I was referring to mod-deletion. What the community does is up to it. Those who are trusted to do so can vote to delete an answer if, in their opinion, it has "extremely low quality: There is little to no scope for improvement". IMO, that is not true of this answer. But if the community disagrees with me, it has suffrage.
@msh210 Alright, well you've convinced me to agree with you, so I'm electing to not exercise my suffrage.
@IsaacMoses In other words, no, I think the community should not force its deletion. But I'd be happy to see the post go, and if the community wants to force its deletion for valid reasons (they think the post has very low quality), then it can. It should, of course, not do so for invalid reasons, but I'll have no way of telling why it did so.
@msh210 PSA: Anyone who would be happy to see the answer go, whether you feel that its deletion should be forced by the community or not, is welcome to upvote my comment to that effect.
@IsaacMoses IANAL and can't speak to copyright concerns, but I think it's terrible plagiarismic. (That's not a word.) Including an entire poster, which was designed primarily to answer this question, in this answer? Bah. And then to the utility of it: The answer shouldn't include the bit about where the bayis should be.
I think include only the relevant part -- and include the text parts as text (ideally in the answerer's own words) and the image parts as images.
@msh210 So excerpt the "double-daleth" diagram and then retype and blockquote the associated instructions?
7:36 PM
@IsaacMoses Oh, right, this Q is only about the square type. Yeah, what you just said.
@msh210 could you please s/are/is/ in this comment? <face buried in hands>
@msh210 IMO, of course.
@msh210 OK. Thanks. Will implement later, beli neder.
@IsaacMoses Consider it done. Mostly because it's done.
@Matt, isn't this a duplicate of that question? — msh210 ♦ 3 mins ago
@msh210 Consider yourself thanked, for the usual reason.
Abby T. Miller on February 04, 2015

Welcome to Stack Exchange Podcast #62, recorded live on January 20th–with a live studio audience (kinda)!. Today’s podcast was brought to you by the American Venture Capital Association. With you today are our hosts Jay Hanlon, David Fullerton, and Joel Spolsky.

Let’s jump right in: we made a big announcement! Andreessen Horowitz has invested a pile of money in our little company so we can improve our ‘programmer forums’. Precisely none of the pile of money is going into Jay’s raise, but one of those dollars is going to SomeKittens. …

8:31 PM
סדר ט"ז בשבט, anyone?
Oh wait, it's, like, still yesterday for you guys. xP
@Scimonster What, for those who were bederech rechoka?
@IsaacMoses I have no idea why they did it tonight, but they did.
9:29 PM
@IsaacMoses I really think its an answer, and I'm not sure why you think that article is a Chillul Hashem but the question isn't begging for one. He thinks they are useless and harmful. That is going to be a reason to ban pretty much anything. The fact that he is wrong on the Metzius and wrong on the Halacha of following doctor's advice? That is precisely the answer you were looking for. Now downvoting, of course ...
@Yishai My comment indicates why I think it's not a good answer. It's not a pesak, and what he said doesn't directly forbid anything. The chilul Hashem is in the abject wrongness about metziut, the danger resulting from someone of his prominence promoting such wrong metziut, and the racism included in one of the statements of wrong metziut, all coming from someone who is a (deservedly!) highly-respected, prominent rabbi.
@IsaacMoses I guess I don't understand why you think it is not an on-point source. The Rabbi wrote a letter justifying a parent's refusal of vaccinations on religious grounds, and his logic is fairly obvious to deduce.
9:45 PM
... Everyone, gedolim included, has some wrong knowledge in their head and sometimes says stupid stuff based on it. When such an utterance comes from a gadol, it's a shame if that's to a news reporter, and it's an even greater shame the more people read about it.
@IsaacMoses OK, but weren't you asking for that information in the question?
@Yishai It's not obvious that he considers such vaccinations to be forbidden under Jewish law. If we had the letter, or if he was quoted in the article saying so, then it would be obvious. As it is, we don't know that the letter didn't say something like "Vaccines are a hoax. Therefore, there's nothing wrong with this fine family opting out of them. I urge you to let them into your school. Your friend, RSK," including nothing about Halacha and nothing about prohibition.
@IsaacMoses That doesn't sound like a basis for a religious exemption.
@Yishai No. I give the posek community the benefit of the doubt and assume that they would not pasken based on abjectly wrong information. Maybe there's a Halachic theory under which vaccines would be forbidden even considering the actual metziut. Or maybe not, and R' Shabtai is right, in which case my answer is sufficient. And my question was certainly not asking for reports of racist comments.
@Yishai There's no reason to assume that this letter was intended to be legally significant. It could be that he was just putting social/communal pressure on the school principal.
... I would be quite happy for the answer to this question to remain "No."
... Also, as to its fitness as an answer, a news story is not a very good source for an answer about Halacha. Too imprecise, and too prone to extraneous, distracting detail. Case in point, this one.
... Indeed, I give RSK himself the benefit of the doubt that he wouldn't pasken and hasn't paskened based on these beliefs; presumably, he'd undertake a careful investigation, consulting reliable experts, before issuing an actual pesak.
10:01 PM
@IsaacMoses Last night, someone who has been involved in several high profile news stories, told me that after reading the news reports of the stories where he personally knows how inaccurate the reporters get it, he no longer believes anything in the news.
10:13 PM
@YeZ Looks like he was cured of his Gell-Mann Amnesia.

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