Parsha Question

My mother recently found buried in one of her bookshelves a notebook of mine from 7th grade.  Looking through it, I found the following question, with no answer written down.  For all I know, its very obvious, but I’m not sure what the answer is.

The Pasuk says that Hashem smelled Noach’s korban and was so pleased that he promised never to bring a mabul again.  Why did Noach get such a reward for a simple korban?  Hevel, Kayin, and Adam also brought korbanos, but they didn’t get such a promise.  What was different about Noach’s korban?



My sister recently introduced me to Facebook. I’ve tried to stay away from it because I heard about how bad it can be, etc. But wow. This thing can be addicting.

Posted in WWW. 10 Comments »

Dishonesty amongst college students

I’ve always known that there is rampant cheating in just about anything where cheating is possible.  Universities are even bigger game for cheating as the motivation lies in getting better grades and getting a degree as quickly as possible.  The steps teachers have to take are pretty tremendous.  I know that some teachers require students to email a copy of any paper in addition to hard copies so that the teachers can google the paper and see if plagiarism has occurred.   But I didn’t realize that teachers had to resort to treating students like 6th graders.

As part of a class assignment today,  several students and I manned a booth at Towson University‘s Health Fest today.  We were showing various pieces of adaptive equipment that occupational therapists use to help people with disabilities.  For example, in order to cut an apple, you need two hands, one to stabilize the apple, and the other to actually cut it.  But what if someone had a stroke and are very weak on one side of their body?  How will they cut the apple?  So one of the tools we had was a cutting board with two nails protruding from it, as shown here:

By sticking the apple inside the nails, it stabilizes the apple, allowing you to cut with just one hand.  This can be used for all sorts of things you’d need to cut.  Anyway, we had a whole bunch of other fun low-tech gadgets that can help people with various disabilities be more independent.

So back to my main point, we had several people come around looking at the various booths, and you can easily tell who’s really interested in what you have to say.   But then there were those who came to your booth, took a brochure, and then asked you to sign it for them so that they can take it back to class as ‘proof’ that they were at the Health Fest and went around to all the booths.

Now I can understand that going to the Health Fest would be a class assignment for many of the health-related disciplines, but to make your students get signatures from each booth as proof?  Is the level of dishonesty amongst college students so bad that we have to treat them like 6th graders?

Filtering water on Shabbos

Yesterday’s daf (50) was talking about leaving uncovered water out and how we’re concerned that a snake could come and drink from the water, thus injecting some of its venom into the water. If you were to want to drink the water, the gemara offers the following solution: filter it, even on Shabbos. The question is asked, but if you filter the water on Shabbos, isn’t that borer? You are specifically trying to separate the bad (the venom) from the good (the water)?

The reason we allow people to filter water is because we’re not sure that there is something bad in the first place. It is only there as a precaution. You might not be filtering out anything bad. In this day and age where filters are commonly found in people’s homes, it is not necessary to disable the filters just for Shabbos because there might not necessarily be bugs or whatnot in the water.


Last night, a local 5 year old boy was playing on the playground at BJ’s in Owings Mills, and fell off. At the time, they thought he was ok, but when he went home, he started vomiting up blood. He ended up having emergency brain surgery last night at Hopkins.

Ephraim Moshe ben Baila Chaya

Updated on October 24, 2006 at 9:35am:

He is B”H out of the PICU, and still being weaned off the sedations.

Updated on October 25, 2006 at 11:25pm:

The father of the boy sent out the following email:

[Wife’s name] and I want to thank you all for the well wishes. BH Ephraim Moshe has made very significant progress and he is IYH on his way to a complete recovery.

We hope to have him home for Shabbos.

We sincerely appreciate the Tfilos and Tzedakah that the olam has made b’zechus his refuah shleimah. It is truly a brocho to live in such a wonderful chesed-oriented community.

We hope to share in Simchos!

Sheva Brachos Etiquette

Ok, be prepared for a rant, because that’s what’s coming!

I was recently at a sheva brachos that was called for 6:30. The unfortunate minhag is to start late, and because of extraneous variables, I too, was late, showing up at 6:55. There were three other people there, including the host. By the time we actually started, I think it was 7:40. Now this was in no way the fault of the hosts, who worked tremendously hard and were actually ready at the appropriate time. It is 100% the guests fault for showing up as late as they did. Them, and the chosson and kallah. What is it about newlyweds that make them late to sheva brachos anyway? My wife and I were on time to every single one of our sheva brachos, coming earlier than most guests. I hate to be blunt, but its not like they’re ‘busy’ so why are they so late? It’s at the point where if you come on time, then people ask, “why are you here already” (as was the case with my wife and I).

I hereby move to make some regulations when it comes to sheva brachos. I think that if you’re hosting a sheva brachos, you have the right to announce when it will happen. Therefore, if we host a sheva brachos called for 6:30, I’m going to tell everyone (including the chosson and kallah) that they are more than welcome to come late, but with them or without them, we’re starting at 6:30. And unless you have a valid excuse, there will be no reheating of food either.

Posted in Rants. 15 Comments »

Telemarketer gets Own3d!

I saw this here, but its just too funny to pass up.  It’s a guy who gets his revenge on the telemarketers, and you can practically see that the guy is peeing in his pants.