Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Finally! A Source for "Blei Gissen!" (Unfortunately, not Jewish...)

Bleigiessen - Vorgang
Zentralbild Quaschinsky 18.12.1957 Sylvester bei Werner Lierck. In der Küche! Unser Reporter traf Werner Lierck und seine Tochter gerade beim Bleigiessen an. Da dies eine besondere Handlung ist, wollte er nicht gestört werden.

The voodoo-like ritual of "Blei gissen, the technique of pouring lead to nullify ayin ha’ra" has been puzzling me for years, where did it come from? See a (laudatory) report on it at: Pouring Away Ayin Ha’ra: The Work Of Rebbetzin Aidel Miller | The 5 Towns Jewish Times Well, a Facebook comment I saw this evening reveals its pagan origin! 

 Thus, the line in the 5TJT article has a typo: "[Blei Gissen] has its source in the Gemara and been practiced for many years," should really read: "[Blei Gissen] has its source in Germany and been practiced for many years!"

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Rabbi Rakkefet Mentions TCE on Karpaf

Rabbi Rakkefet quotes The Contemporary Eruv on karpeifos. Thanks to Reb Chaim Sznicer for alerting me!

(Very much trivia, concerning the family connection Rabbi Rakkefet mentions: It is my cousin Reb Samson R. Bechhofer is married to a Hexter.)

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Rabbi Weinberg’s Agony by David Singer | Articles | First Things

Rabbi Weinberg’s Agony by David Singer | Articles | First Things

A worthy essay that I never saw before! "Oldie but goodie."

Pope Francis Channels Rav Wolbe

"Religious fundamentalism, even before it eliminates human beings by perpetrating horrendous killings, eliminates God himself, turning him into a mere ideological pretext."

-Pope Francis, Jan. 12, 2015, addressing the terrorist attacks in France
(numerous sources, see for example

On the narrow path to Truth in serving G‑d there is a major impediment which is called “frumkeit” – a term which has no clear and exact translation. Frumkeit is the natural urge and instinct to become attached to the Creator. This instinct is also found amongst animals. Dovid said, “The lion cubs roar for their prey and ask G‑d for their food” (Tehilim 104:21). “He gives to the beast his food and to the young ravens who call to Him” (Tehilim 247:9). There is no necessity why these verses should be understood as metaphors.

-Rav Shlomo Wolbe zt"l, Alei Shur II p. 152ff., as translated (see also the elucidation there) at