Thursday, April 30, 2009

Dear TRS: A roaring success!

Once again, folks, you're privileged to read another fascinating edition of Dear TRS. How about a brief preface from today's Shulchan Oruch? So let's say you have a cow in a room, and there's a lion nail in the cow's back. There also happens to be a lion having a nap outside the room. Is the cow kosher? If the lion nail came from the lion, then the cow isn't kosher, it's a treifah. So what's the safek? Maybe the lion never went into the room. And even if it did, maybe it got a nail stick in the wall, and then the cow walked over to scratch it's back, and the nail got implanted in the cow, in which case the cow is still kosher. The Shulchan Oruch rules that the cow is kosher because it's a sfek sfekah.

The obvious question is, why? There would seem to only be one sfekah here, whether the lion put the nail in or not. Otherwise, how'd the nail get there if the lion never came in the room? (At this point in shiur I suggested aliens, but Rabbi Chaim Schapiro wasn't too taken with my answer). Another interesting factoid that emerged from today's shiur is that lions have poison in their claws! Who knew? It would also appear that even the Darchei Moshe (the Ramah) couldn't answer this question, so we're in good company.

The point of this was to demonstrate that I don't know all the answers (surprise, surprise) to all these genuine questions. On that note, here goes.

Dear Sir:

What is the purpose of the comment field on a blog?

sincerely,

170 comments on my shirt today :-)
--
Dear anon:

To leave comments, of course.
----
Dear Sir:
Why penguins? Why not parrots or some other exotic bird?

Sincerely,

Colorful Bochur
--
Dear uniform-challenged young man:

Penguins can swim underwater (mikveh), and they wear tuxedos. Could there be a better role model for our youth?
----
Dear Sir:

Which is faster, to New York or by train?

Sincerely,

Joseph Biden
--
Dear foot-in-mouth:

I prefer aeroplanes, myself.
----
Dear Sir:

Please rephrase the following sentence so that it doesn't end with a preposition:
Land is not worth risking your life for.

Sincerely,

The Almighty Editor (retired)
--
Dear crotchety baldy:

How about, "Yes it is."?
----
Dear Sir:

I am a crocodile. I stole a child. I told the father that I would give it back if the father could accurately answer the following question:

Will I (the crocodile) give back the child? The father guessed that I would not return the child. Now what should I do?

Crying crocodile tears, yours do I remain,

Mr. Croc
--
Dear Mr. Croc:

Have you ever considered investing in 240,00 pairs of crocs, five dollars each, for sale outside of the United States of America? The proceeds would allow the father to buy a new child to replace the one you ate, and that child to buy a new father to replace the one you ate for dessert.
----
Dear Sir:

How do you deal with a Big Meanie that is controlling your life and using your labor? Do you run away? Do you stop working? Do you confront them?

Thanks,

A simple slave
--
Dear A Poshite Kabbalos Olnik:

Polish her floors (very early) in the morning, and when she wakes up she'll walk on them, slip, hit her head hard on the spotless floor, and have peculiar brain damage, such that she will lose her previous character and become a happy, healthy, contributing member of society once again.
----
Dear Sir:

Is one allowed to dance around the bimah on Shabbos during the sefira?

Sincerely,

Permission to tango
--
Dear Permission to engage in highly immoral activity:

What makes you think you can dance on any day of the year? This is the kind of leitzonus which is bringing the Jewish people into disrepute among the nations.
----
Dear Sir:

If half of my French toast is runny and the other half is burnt, what changes in cooking should the cook implement?

Sincerely,

Butter side up
--
Dear Butter side up:

Have you ever considered coming to the Rabbinical College of America, where Dovid Solomon makes a decent french toast every week?
----
Dear Sir:

Is one allowed to eat a pas Yisroel cookie shaped like Harry Potter?

Sincerely,

Concerned Hogwarts parent
--
Dear Vernon Dursley:

Is it yoshon?
----
Dear Sir:

Why are literal penguins forbidden to bring into the zoos where figurative penguins (i.e. bochurim) have their habitats?

Sincerely,

Conservationist
--
Dear tree-hugging liberal:

The bochurim's guano might prove too much for the penguins.
----
Dear Sir:

If the measure of a philosopher is the quality of his hamburgers, what about vegetarian philosophers? Or philosophers who prefer hot dogs?

Sincerely,

Hugh Akston's Brother in law
--
Dear One of the last great advocates of reason:

Well, what about vegetarian philosophers? Is nisht kein stirah!
----
Dear Sir:

Why isn't a fish a cow?

Sincerely,

The other 4
--
Dear plus 1:

Because if it was, all hell would break loose.
----

13 comments:

e said...

In the olden days, I could ask "Who's Hugh Akston?" without feeling guilty. Now I know what the response will be: "Why didn't you Wikipedia it yourself?" Internet is ruining humanity.

The Real Shliach said...

You especially should know who he is.

Anonymous said...

I used him because I thought nobody but CA and e would know who he is.

--his brother-in-law

Roy Hobbs said...

Really? You're the brother in law of a fictional character? Curiouser and curiouser.

The shliach in Galt's Gulch said...

Not really. I'm the mashgiach at his diner and he gave me permission to say I was for the purposes of this column

The Real Shliach said...

Hmm, interesting. So you're a mushroom? You aren't on the official merkos list.

sarabonne said...

Where's the source that lions have poisonous claws?
What's wrong with the tango?
A girl cannot go to the Rabbinical College of America so having Dovid Solomon cook might be an issue...and the toast is still runny.
Regarding the fish and cow question; Isn't a giant bull and the leviason(leviathan) supposed to get into some sort of fight where the fish shechts the bull and moshiach has to make a psak din?
Maybe the latter was just a dream.

The Real Shliach said...

Lions: Taaruvos Siman 51, I think.

Tango: Anything which takes two to do...

French Toast: Who mentioned girls?

Fish+Cow: And therefore?

Dream: Of a white christmas.

sarabonne said...

Lions: I'll be checking up on that...
Tango: And if you're schozophrenic?
French Toast: Are you being exclusive?
Fish+Cow: So what I remembered from the shiur is not a dream?
Dream: I dream of being asleep.

The Real Shliach said...

Lions: Oh, really. Skeptical I am.

Tango: Then you have other issues.

French Toast: They do have girls working in the preschool if you really want some.

Shiur: No, sounds about right.

Dream: I dream of sleep.

Shliach in Galt's Gulch said...

What's a mushroom? I suppose you don't mean the psychedelic or edible kinds. Is the Merkos list online?

Lion: if she won't check it up I will
Tango: Chalila a tango should be performed around the bima. Not being a circle dance, it must be done on the bima
dream: I dream of sleep too.

The Real Shliach said...

You really don't know what a mushroom is? Don't you live in new jersey?

Lion: be my guest. I'll ask the grand rabbi for clarification.

Tango: on the bima? Even in lubavitch we would never do such a thing! (I think [I hope] {I wish} I pray)

le7 said...

Nice to see some HP represented. (Hewlett-Packard, Harry Potter, Hoshgocha Protis - whatever).