Weather Censorship

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

A letter in this week’s issue of the Flatbush Jewish Journal decries a recent stricture the newspaper adopted. It seems that a few weeks ago, a letter writer questioned the newspaper’s publication of a full picture of the sun in its weather report. The editor consulted with a rabbinic advisor and changed its practice, now publishing only a partial picture. This week, a writer complained about this “chumra” attitude:

There is no reason why we have to place extra chumras on anyone. These chumras take a lot away from the newspaper. Then when people see so many children going off the derech these days they begin to wonder why.

I agree that new chumros are improper but this is not what we are discussing. Not everything unrecognizable is a chumra. Just because “I’ve never heard of it” doesn’t mean it’s some newfangled idea. It only means that you’ve never heard of it or, more likely here, you learned it but forgot it. In this case, it is an explicit law, based on a famous Gemara and codified and observed throughout the generations, even while acknowledging changing circumstances.

The Mishnah (Rosh Hashanah 28a) states that Rabban Gamliel maintained pictures of the moon at different phases in order to use in questioning witnesses of the new moon. The Gemara questions how he could keep such pictures, since it is biblically prohibited to make such pictures and rabbinically prohibited to keep them. The conclusion is that R. Gamliel had special permission in order to issue halakhic rulings (le-havin u-le-horos).

In other words, we are forbidden to make or keep images of items that are worshipped by pagans. The Gemara repeats and expands on this in Avodah Zarah (42a-43b). The Rambam (Mishneh Torah, Hilkhos Avodah Zarah 3:11) and Shulchan Arukh (Yoreh De’ah 141:4) rule accordingly, with all the appropriate details.

In the sixteenth century, the the Shulchan Arukh was written, very few if any people worshipped the sun, moon and stars. The rabbis recognized this and questioned whether the law still applies. The author of the Shulchan Arukh, in his Beis Yosef (ad loc., sv. umk”m ani), quotes R. Yerucham who says that this only permits us to benefit from such pictures, and not make or own them. However, the Beis Yosef infers from Tosafos (Avodah Zarah 43b sv. shani) that the rule applies today in its entirety.

Therefore, the Shulchan Arukh allows for no leniency today. The Rema (ad loc.) quotes R. Yerucham’s leniency but adds that some people are strict. The Shakh (ad loc., no. 16) argues that we should be lenient today and allow owning non-worshipped images, but not making them. The Shakh (ad loc., nos. 17, 23) adds that you also may not ask a gentile to make such images for you.

This law forbidding making images of the sun, moon and stars is quoted by subsequent codes, such as Chokhmas Adam (85:3) and Kitzur Shulchan Arukh (168:11). While perhaps a leniency can be constructed based on the view quoted in Darkei Teshuvah (ad loc., no. 27), that making such an image is only forbidden when done in a “serious” way. While this definition requires clarification, I am not aware of any halakhic authority who follows that line of argument. Certainly, it would qualify as a leniency, and would not render the baseline rule a chumra.

With all the wonderful aspects of the Orthodox community, there is also much to criticize. Among that is the common confusion between law, custom and stringencies. Ironically, the letter on this subject is an example of this phenomenon for failing to properly make this distinction. Rather than decrying this fulfillment of an explicit halakhah, I suggest the writer complain about the unjustifiable disappearance of modestly dressed women’s pictures from many Jewish newspapers.

UPDATE: See this article by R. Michoel Zylberman on the subject: link

About Gil Student

Rabbi Gil Student is the Editor of TorahMusings.com, a leading website on Orthodox Jewish scholarly subjects, and the Book Editor of the Orthodox Union’s Jewish Action magazine. He writes a popular column on issues of Jewish law and thought featured in newspapers and magazines, including The Jewish Link, The Jewish Echo and The Vues. In the past, he has served as the President of the small Jewish publisher Yashar Books and as the Managing Editor of OU Press. Rabbi Student has served two terms on the Executive Committee of the Rabbinical Council of America and currently serves as the Director of the Halacha Commission of the Rabbinical Alliance of America. He serves on the Editorial Boards of Jewish Action magazine, the Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society and the Achieve Journal of Behavioral Health, Religion & Community, as well as the Board of OU Press. He has published five English books, the most recent titled Search Engine volume 2: Finding Meaning in Jewish Texts -- Jewish Leadership, and served as the American editor for Morasha Kehillat Yaakov: Essays in Honour of Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks.

209 comments

  1. Dumb question, but where is the textual bridge from the man-made and imagined לצור דמות to the recorded image of reality that is a photograph?

    Also, note:

    The vertebrate retina (from Latin rēte , meaning “net”) is a light-sensitive tissue lining the inner surface of the eye. The optics of the eye create an image of the visual world on the retina, which serves much the same function as the film in a camera.

  2. That’s a good question but was established long ago with the advent of the printing press. Worthy of its own post.

  3. The printing press merely allowed for easy duplication. The images being duplicated were not recorded images of reality until the invention of the photograph in the 19th century.

  4. Gil -“In other words, we are forbidden to make or keep images of items that are worshipped by pagans. ”

    We also must explain zodiacs – including the sun- that appear in our ancient synagogues. Also, if I remember correctly the entrance to the original yu building on 185th street had the zodiac symbols imprinted of its floor.
    I wonder if the post has all the scholarship on this subject – I assume this topic has been covered in detail in the last 50 years. Although, I could be incorrect on that assumption.

  5. This law forbidding making images of the sun, moon and stars is quoted by subsequent codes, such as Chokhmas Adam (85:3) and Kitzur Shulchan Arukh (168:11). While perhaps a leniency can be constructed based on the view quoted in Darkei Teshuvah (ad loc., no. 27), that making such an image is only forbidden when done in a “serious” way

    Why is a partial picture, which clearly is and is meant to evoke an image of the sun, better then a whole picture, i.e. not a leniency? On what basis is it less of a leniency?

  6. I would bet I am not the only one who drew “sun moon and stars” in elementary school re: day 4 of creation. While you are correct that a rule on the books is improperly labeled “chumra,” this seems like a textbook case of mimetic vs. textual tradition, with it not obvious to me why people should just let the text win. Or perhaps not. I guess I am really interested in whether 3-4 generations back my ancestors would have “known” not to draw the sun or whether they would have done what I did (not that they had the copious construction paper, etc, that characterized my youth…). Anyone older with thoughts?

  7. IH: The printing press merely allowed for easy duplication. The images being duplicated were not recorded images of reality until the invention of the photograph in the 19th century.

    Photography was discussed when it became popular — see She’arim Metzuyani, BaHalakhah 162:2. Pictures of people are easier to permit because normative halakhah only forbids 3-dimensional images of people, but some are strict on that.

    Ruvie: We also must explain zodiacs – including the sun- that appear in our ancient synagogues

    That does require explanation but the Gemara is pretty clear.

    HAGTBG: Why is a partial picture, which clearly is and is meant to evoke an image of the sun, better then a whole picture, i.e. not a leniency?

    Some poskim go so far as permitting drawing a partial moon, i.e. the sliver that is visible on a given night. The Pnei Yehoshua (RH 24, Mishnah) considers that position but rejects it. But everyone agrees that if you aren’t drawing the full visible picture then it is mutar. See She’arim Metzuyanim BaHalakhah to AZ 43a sv demus.

  8. I wrote a pilpul on a related halacha I. Hilchos avodas kochavim, from what I remember the איסור of צורות לנוי as it pertains to the sun and the moon is similar to צורת אדם. The איסור is only when it is 3D. This also clear from the Gemara discussing רבן גמליאל. Am I missing something here? If this is the case assur all pictures of people too…

  9. Moshe: See YD 141:4

  10. Why bother with the question? Everyone knows that newspapers are assur!

  11. No reason to worry about Zodiacs in ancient shuls, a) because there is no reason to believe that these were “Orthodox” syangogues who followed rabbinic rulings b) because we cant really know the on the ground statw if psak in a time preceding the chasimas hayerushalmi. YU on the other hand is a different story.

  12. See this interesting teshuva (page 194) for a semi-justification of the common practice not to be particular about this:
    http://files.eretzhemdah.org/files/onlinebm/habazaq7.pdf

  13. Additionally, as R. David Sperling of yeshiva.org.il writes (http://e.yeshiva.org.il/ask/default.aspx?cat=4):

    Where the picture has obviously no connection to any form of idol worship, and is clearly only decorative, those who are lenient certainly have halachic opinions on whom to rely – and it seems to me that the prevailing custom, both nowadays and throughout history, is to be lenient.

  14. I’m sorry but this is clearly a case of a chumrah.
    The shulchan aruch is talking about raised or engraved images, as is the Talmud. Printing a picture on ink, does not fall under this category, and as seen by universal Jewish practice is clearly a chumrah.

  15. “The איסור is only when it is 3D.”

    Not sure what you mean by 3D, but normally 3D means that all sides of the object are represented. Even just etching is a problem in this case.

  16. Shalom Rosenfeld

    Surprised no one mentioned this yet — Igros Moshe was asked about kids drawing the sun in school. IIRC permissible if it’s a “low-quality” image, though not exactly recommended.

  17. Is there any distinction made between a stylized picture which represents the sun but is not meant to be an image thereof (such as seen here: http://www.spincollective.co.uk/acatalog/sun_wallsticker_lg.jpg) and something which is meant to be a fairly accurate representation of the sun? In the case of Rabban Gamliel, it’s pretty clear that the latter would have served his purposes better, and I’d venture to say that’s what he used. In the case of the newspaper, they were probably using the former.

  18. Gil, you overlooked the fact that R. Kook says that the olam has what to be somech on (referred to in the Eretz Chemdah teshuvah). In other words, minhag yisrael is not to be concerned about this, despite what the Shulchan Aruch says. So to institute this practice now can be regarded as a chumra. At the very least, it is not a requirement. We don’t follow everything in the Shulchan Aruch.

  19. I feel icky trying to defend something that shouldn’t need defending, Gil notwithstanding, but:

    1. I doubt they made the picture themselves. They probably used clipart.

    2. A circle with lines is not the sun. The sun has sunspots, flares, etc. (In fact, in ancient Egypt, there was a sun god, Amun-Ra, and a sun disc god, Atun. Don’t ask me what the distinction was, but it existed, and once caused a near civil war.)

    How do they plan on showing “partly cloudy” or whatever if they only show part of the sun?

    “Also, if I remember correctly the entrance to the original yu building on 185th street had the zodiac symbols imprinted of its floor.”

    Still does- it’s a brass inlay right at the entrance. Aquarius is the god Neptune, crown and trident and beard, nude. Virgo is a rather explicit nude woman. It’s usually mostly covered with an industrial rug (to protect it, I guess), but they uncover it for special occasions. Back in ’92 or so the MTA students wanted to put it on the cover of their yearbook and they asked R’ Ahron Soloveichik, who said there was no problem.

  20. Oh, by the way, contrary to come ma’amrei chazal, the names of gods occur in the Torah all the time. Raameses contains the name Ra; Pitom contains Atun. Tzafent Paneach and Asnet both contain the name Neth. Etc.

  21. Nahum- lest not forget Esther and mordechei too ( Ishtar and marduk). So what do frum people do when their children come home with drawings from school of sun and moons? Not hang it up on the wall or fridge with pride or throw it in the garbage and tell their children never to draw pagan gods again? Somehow emma comments rings true and I assure there is more scholarship on the topic than has been mentioned – any scholars out there? Or why do not rabbis do what tosafot did in their time? Explain either why we are not doing anything wrong while the law on the books is still being observed or re examine the law on the books to mean something else – because the am mimetically could not be wrong.

  22. can someone take a picture of the YU floor and post it here?

  23. Gil, I am wondering why when there is a practice that the entire frum world basically ignores, and has ignored for many years, you don’t think the more appropriate path is that followed by R. Kook, namely to be melamech zechus and find the heter that the olam relied upon. There are shuls from years ago in Europe that have these supposedly forbidden images. Clearly gedolei yisroel permitted it.

  24. the R. Kook teshuvah is Daas Kohen no. 64 and is on hebrewbooks.org

  25. Moshe -” No reason to worry about Zodiacs in ancient shuls, a) because there is no reason to believe that these were “Orthodox” syangogues who followed rabbinic rulings b) because we cant really know the on the ground statw if psak in a time preceding the chasimas hayerushalmi. ”

    Moshe I assume you mean “rabbinic” synagogues. Would you also say that rabbis did not play a major role in jewish society till late antiquity – say 6-7th century ce? Is there any reason to believe that rabbis did play a major role till early middle ages? Not too familiar with this area of scholarship – can you help here? If true then any art in ancient synagogues tells us little about rabbinic laws followed.

  26. you might also ask the rav of the bialostocker shul about the ceiling and aron kodesh.

    KT

  27. If we’re talking about ancient synagogues in Israel, one must also speak of Beit She’arim: http://parks.org.il/sigalit/DAFDAFOT/beitShearim.pdf

  28. Also germane to the topic would be the art shown in sefarim – usually the firsy page of the book- depicting images of women -sometimes unclothed- and other images that would assume rabbis would find objectionable – mazalot etc – in their own sefarim. But this are not 3 dimensional images. I believe that professor Shapiro has a lecture on this topic and the recent erasure of such images in recent copies – usually photo offsets.

  29. I’m seeing stars just reading this…. 🙂

  30. Further to Ruvie at 9:12am, there was a YU Museum exhibit on the subject in 2010 with an overflow lecture at the Met that I attended. From the NYT review:

    “Astrological signs and charts are found in a 14th-century scientific manuscript; they are also elements in marriage contracts or appear in centuries of Purim scrolls.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/26/arts/design/26braginsky.html?pagewanted=all

  31. Yet the FJJ did publish a picture on the cover of Rebbitzen Pam. link

  32. If we’re going to prohibit anything and everything under the pagan sun (pun intended), then let’s not forget to throw out all of our childrens’ stuffed animals (especially the “tamei” ones).

  33. It seems to me that people on this thread are displaying a mistaken understanding of how halacha works and what “chumra” means. For instance, the Mareh ha-Bazak teshuva quoted above, which cites R. Kook, does NOT conclude that it is permitted to create pictures displaying the celestial bodies. It only says not to protest (ein limchot) against people who are doing it because there is a minority opinion for them to rely on.
    That is not a chumra. The halacha is that you cannot do it, but since there are those that permit it, there is no need to go to war to prevent other people from doing it.

  34. “Yet the FJJ did publish a picture on the cover of Rebbitzen Pam.”

    But that was what precipitated the whole (manufactured) discussion about whether or not they should print pictures of women. As far as I can tell (I don’t read it every week) they stopped.

  35. Dani — I don’t think it is that simple. My reading is that some people think that resurrecting a halacha found in the Shulchan Aruch, but not normatively practiced can legitimately be called “chumra”.

    As with so many things we discuss here, different people use the same word to mean different things and little attempt is made to develop a consensus for shared definitions.

  36. The Torah U’Mesorah logo includes two Saturns, one moon sliver, two five-point stars, one mogen Dovid six-point star.

    I agree – these are not chumra issues here, just poskim saying different halachos.

  37. Isn’t it also assur to get hanaah in general from an avoda zara? wouldn’t this logic therefore indicate that it’s assur to get hannaah from the sun and moon? where does one draw the line?

  38. sp — no one today worships the sun and moon.

  39. “The halacha is that you cannot do it, but since there are those that permit it”

    Then it’s pretty strong to say that “the halacha is…”, unless you mean that “halacha works” in a way that “minority” opinions are worthless.

  40. “no one today worships the sun and moon.”

    Who says?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_deity#Africa

  41. AA: #1 as someone mentioned, not so true. #2, even if it was, that still doesn’t answer about the past: how they got hanaah from them then?

    there has to be some line that is drawn, but I’m not sure what it is and if one can make one that is in consistent with halachik literature.

  42. sp, the question of hanaah of the son is discussed in BT Avodah Zarah.

  43. Apart from the fact that the psak given is the mainstream view in Shas and Poskim, and the common practice is a limud zechus at best (as per Dani’s post), it is really tendentious to claim, as did the letter writer, that a chumrah is being imposed on anyone:

    There is no reason why we have to place extra chumras on anyone. These chumras take a lot away from the newspaper. Then when people see so many children going off the derech these days they begin to wonder why.

    The publishers of the paper asked a shayloh and are following the psak they got, which is certainly well within the mainstream of halakhic opinion, at the very least. They did not go out an denigrate anyone — they followed their poseik’s psak. The notion that someone is so offended at someone following a different view that they go off the derekh indicates more about their own insecurities than anything else.

  44. “That is not a chumra. The halacha is that you cannot do it, but since there are those that permit it, there is no need to go to war to prevent other people from doing it.”

    Did you not read the post? The person “went to war” to prevent the publication from doing it.

  45. Re the conclusion of R Gil’s article, IIRC, the only media in the Orthodox community that will show modestly clad women, outside of women’s organizational media, are Jewish Action, NCYI Viewpoint,the Jewish Press, and the Five Towns Jewish Times. On more than one occasion, if and when you read the Yated for the same week, you will see a photo of a couple being honored in the FJTN and only their names in the Yated.

  46. “Apart from the fact that the psak given is the mainstream view in Shas and Poskim”

    Drawings or engravings? I only see sources which talk about engravings.

  47. http://www.yutorah.org/lectures/lecture.cfm/750417/Rabbi_Michoel_Zylberman/The_Laws_of_Forbidden_Images, from the Journal of Contemporary Halacha and Society, summarizes many of these issues.

  48. Just because it’s in the shulchan aruch, doesnt mean it’s not a chumrah.

    A chumrah means anything not normally practiced by Jews who observe shabbos. [Why obseerving hsabbos? Because that is, at bottom, the only definition of an observant jew that everyone can agree on.] Most shabbos-observing Jews are not worried about pictures of the sun. Thus, to start worrying about it, even if you can find support for it in shulchan aruch, is most certainly a chumrah.

  49. “The person “went to war” to prevent the publication from doing it.”

    The person wrote a letter. I’m not sure that is called “[going] to war.”

    Here is the letter. The public can judge if he “went to war”

    http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/857/123sc.jpg/

  50. sp: The halacha is very clear that features of the Earth or heavenly bodies do not become assur just because some person worships them. The talmudic drash is “eloheihem al heharim, v’lo haharim eloheihem” that is what becomes prohibited is “their gods on the mountains, and not the mountains as their gods.”

  51. S. and maybe some people in Africa worship trees also. Does that mean we can’t draw a picture of a tree? If no one you come into contact with on a regular even irregular basis worships the sun, then it has no halachic mamashus for us.

  52. Mike S, but obviously the logic that led to saying that images of them are assur somewhat disagrees. How does it it not argue that features of the earth and heavenly bodies are assur as is.

  53. DF wrote in part:

    “A chumrah means anything not normally practiced by Jews who observe shabbos. [Why obseerving hsabbos? Because that is, at bottom, the only definition of an observant jew that everyone can agree on.]”

    WADR, this is an excellent illustration of confusing convenience by a position viewed solely by one of default, Jewish folklore, Halacha and Minhag. We observe Shabbos because doing so is an eternal sign of HaShem’s creation of the world and redemption of the Jewish People, and that a Jew who transgresses the Shabbos denies HaShem’s role as the Creator of the World and Redeemer of the Jewish People. Such a person cannot serve as a witness or be relied upon with respect to many other elements of Halacha. The observance of Shabbos is a key element in the maintenance of the covenant between HaShem and the Jewish People, but, then again, our Ahavas HaShem is also marked by our willingness to go beyond the letter of the law, both in Bein Adam LaMakom and Bein Adam LChavero. Ain Am HaAretz Chasid and Vain HaBayshan Lomed should not be viewed as positive definitions of an observant Jew by default.

  54. Because a halachoh fell out of “favour” or practice by the hamon am doesn’t mean its a chumrah. DF – you just pulled that definition out from your hat.

  55. Another question is, if the report in the paper is accurate, namely that R. Reisman ‘sees no hetter for newspapers to publish and print images of the sun..’; does that mean that we can imply that R. Reisman is not aware of Rav Kook’s ruling, or that he does not think it cannot be relied upon? If the former, is it valid to criticize his position – it is one thing to say that this is what one’s opinion is, it is another to say that there is no hetter for something when a limmud zechus has been provided by a leading posek? Of course, a rav is entitled to say that he does not think the limmud zechus should be relied upon.

  56. The halacha, or so is my understanding, also really frowns on people attending ball games. Yet everyone attends ballgames. And that dolls might be idols as per “All for the Boss” where the father bashed in the heads of his daughters dolls … but that is far from the norm. The halacha requires kemach yashan but the vast majority of the US Orthodox world is makil on that.

    I join those who note that I have never heard of anyone having a problem drawing pictures of the sun and normative halacha l’maasa may not be normative theoretical halacha. The worshippers of the sun are rare though I presume they exist somewhere. The original reasons for doing this are gone.

  57. Also, here we are talking about having something printed, and not drawing it one’s self. There may be a difference according to some poskim. See here (siman 50):
    http://hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=930&st=&pgnum=72

  58. Because a halachoh fell out of “favour” or practice by the hamon am doesn’t mean its a chumrah. DF – you just pulled that definition out from your hat.

    Rafael — what is your definition of “chumrah” as it is used sociologically today?

  59. ““The person “went to war” to prevent the publication from doing it.”

    The person wrote a letter. I’m not sure that is called “[going] to war.””

    “to war” was not the language of the Teshuvah. Speaking up, was. And a letter certainly counts as speaking up.

    As far as worshiping the Sun goes, I direct your attention to this website, which talks about a yearly festival celebrated by people in California. http://sungodfestival.ucsd.edu/

    And as for ballgames… yeah, my family is really against sports in general. I was shocked to the core when I met “frum” Jews who cared more about sports, and had to find some loophole to listen to the scores on Shabbat.

  60. Danin- valid point. But if one would take an Halacha in the shulchan arukh that is no longer followed for generations and bring it back would that be a stringency to the current practice? and how does it work?

    For instance – do not have sources where it is – is it not issur per shulchan arukh to look at women’s or girls clothing ? So if rabbi came along today and said it is assur to display in the store window women’s dresses would that be a chumrah? Forbidding men to own women’s clothing stores or even entering them? Or are we just lax folks on this Halacha?

  61. Well, returning to halachic basics is not a chumrah, even if it results in a practice being restricted or stopped. If this has halachic precedence but is ignored, its a result of ignorance and ignorance shouldn’t be easily rewarded.

    Let’s talk about what a chumrah is on a halachic level – from what I see, in its purest form, its taking into account all shitos on an issue so that it carries the maximum halachic weight.

  62. just thinking out loud here.

    If the large majority of shomer mitzvot jewery do not know of a rabbinic halacha (or similarly, don’t view the halacha as being relevant anymore), would they have force of a sanhedrin to abrogate it?

    I’m thiking that I’ve heard this logic in reverse, that when the large majority of shomer mitzvot jews do something that isn’t necessarily required by halacha, it gains the force as if it was.

  63. “Let’s talk about what a chumrah is on a halachic level – from what I see, in its purest form, its taking into account all shitos on an issue so that it carries the maximum halachic weight.”

    A chumrah on a halachic level, is when you don’t know all the information so you lean in a stringent direction.

    http://machonshilo.org/en/eng/list-ask-the-rav/31-general/519-halakha-truth-or-convention

    But that isn’t what people mean when they talk about chumrot.

  64. J: Thank you for the reference to Rav Kook. I was not aware of his pesak, nor that BeMareh HaBazak is available online.

    Barry Kornblau: Thank you for the link to R. Zylberberg’s article.

  65. Well, it should be.

  66. “S. and maybe some people in Africa worship trees also. Does that mean we can’t draw a picture of a tree? ”

    Huh? I simply responded to you when you said “no one today worships the sun and moon.” That is apparently incorrect.

    Also, you were responding to the question raised by sp regarding deriving benefit from something used in avoda zara worship, not making depictions of them.

  67. i just don’t understand the algorithm (surprise) as to what is “today’s special”. it would be fairly easy to have a kollel beit yoseif that goes through s”a and lists the numerous deviations in current practice. actually we could also have a kollel shomrei hachumrot that records every opinion on every topic and produces a sefer which lists practices that meet all shitot (wait, I think many current anthologies are doing that-never mind)
    KT

  68. I think Marc Shapiro was working on a book that listed all the places we don’t follow the Shulchan Aruch. (Yemenites, by the way, don’t follow it at all. Ah, Yemenites, always challenging our definition of “Orthodoxy.”) I can think of a few.

    I’m having a flashback to that busybody who made a campaign to change the shape of the kamatz. He got a lot of big gedolim to back him up on this nonsense and actually succeeded.

  69. Gil – I have actually come across a few excellent resources online recently that I am not sure many are aware of. Besides for the Eretz Chemda material (and the last two volumes of B’Mareh Ha’Bazak are very good, IMHO – IIRC all the teshuvos are reviewed by great poskim such as R. Zalman Nechemiah Goldberg), there is a Charedi equivalent, with many excellent articles: http://www.dinonline.org/

    Another hugely useful website is Pninei Halacha, from Rav Eliezer Melamed, parts of which has been translated into English:
    http://ph.yhb.org.il/

  70. J – yeah, dinonline is excellent. They also have some great stuff on the parashah and on chagim.

  71. Oh, by the way, contrary to come ma’amrei chazal, the names of gods occur in the Torah all the time. Raameses contains the name Ra; Pitom contains Atun. Tzafent Paneach and Asnet both contain the name Neth. Etc.

    אוי לך מואב, אבדת עם כמוש

    As far as worshiping the Sun goes, I direct your attention to this website, which talks about a yearly festival celebrated by people in California. http://sungodfestival.ucsd.edu/

    The “Sun God” is a sculpture on the UCSD campus which many students find amusing but nobody actually worships.
    http://stuartcollection.ucsd.edu/artists/de-saint-phalle.shtml

  72. There are pictures of each sign of the Zodiac accompanying piyutim that accompany Tefillot Tal and Geshem in my 1920s Vilna Kol-Bo machzorim. Evidently the rabbinic powers in Vilna had no problem with such pictures printed on a page. Or, presumably, slightly raised, as the printing blocks for them would necessarily have been.

  73. jon – – not only pictures but in the piyutim themselves the zodiac is pressed into service to testify to israel’s past and future restoration. at times the tribes of israel and its month are equated with the signs of the zodiac. makes things interesting…. i wonder if symbols of the zodiac and the sun,moon and stars appear in the middle ages or later in synagogues – either walls, floors or parochets?

  74. Let’s not forget what “halacha” means. [I’m talking common def, not R. Saul Leiberman’s teitch.] It means “what everybody does.” When the halacha was being invented – ok, “codified”, if you prefer – there was no shulchan aruch to turn to. It was basically a combination of tradition and every man for himself. That’s why you see so many examples of towns and cities having differing halachic approaches.

    I grant you the shulcha aruch is for sure the authoritative code, but not not everything in life. Its only the Code for situations in which people are interested in looking up a code. Like, which sefer torah comes out first, or which candle we light first. For ritual like that, everyone wants a common code, and the SA is it. But for so much of life, not everyone is interested in a code. It makes no difference if the code addreses it – people arent interested in listening. Thus there are countless examples of common practice going against the SA. Talking in shul, for one obvious example.

    That’s my point with the sun. Sure, you can dredge up references from the SA. But most people dont care what the SA says about. It’s only the relatively recent phenomenon of yeshivah grads who fetishize the halacha, with the notable exception of chosen mishpat and selected parts of yoreh deah. But historically and today, most shabbos observers dont really care what the SA says about things they dont care about.

    THEREFORE – to make a fuss about it because the SA says something? Ehhhh.

  75. DF wrote:

    “Sure, you can dredge up references from the SA. But most people dont care what the SA says about. It’s only the relatively recent phenomenon of yeshivah grads who fetishize the halacha, with the notable exception of chosen mishpat and selected parts of yoreh deah. But historically and today, most shabbos observers dont really care what the SA says about things they dont care about.”

    Again,the observations of Hillel in the Mishnah from Avos that I earlier cited the relevant portions from IMO are apropro to the above observation, namely a life of ignorance of Halacha should not be seen as a life of religious bliss.

  76. Steve — I’d recommend R. Telushkin’s recent book on Hillel (reviewed in http://www.jewishideas.org/blog/books-you-may-want-read-reviewed-rabbi-israel-drazin)

  77. IH-IIRC, R Gil also reviewed R Telushkin’s book.

  78. IH-R Drazin’s review IMO seemingly ignores Hillel’s own statements in Avos which I cited previously. Please see the relevant commentaries as to the nature of Hillel’s comments to the would be convert and why he trusted his intentions.

  79. I wonder if I have get rid of all my hagadot that have certain pictures in the back where we sing all those wonderful songs at the end of the Seder. How could have religious people esp. Rabbis buy newspapers for the last 100 years, or any p&g product with their symbol of the moon and stars ( how could thye get an hashgacha- didn’t the rabbis know the Halacha?)

  80. Coincidentally, another blog linked to the Torah u-Mesorah website today.

    http://www.torah-umesorah.com

  81. R Gil’s post provided a link to the FJJ.One can find similar publications with the same announcements, drashos, photos, ads from the Five Towns , etc.

  82. MiMedinat HaYam

    ruvie — “or any p&g product with their symbol of the moon and stars ( how could thye get an hashgacha- didn’t the rabbis know the Halacha?)”

    it came up a few years ago, in the context of a”z, not per this particular issue. they (o-u) “looked into it” and accepted p&g claims that its not the devil (evangelicals or whomever it was, brought up the devil issue) and decided its not a pblm. of course, one may say “ha’kesef ya’aneh” but in the context above, who knows? not per o-u, but per the fjj decision.

    see if p&g puts an ad in fjj, 5tjt, jp, jweek, hamodia, yated (without female pix) to preclude future editorials. (dont think it doesnt happen.)

    note — fjj publisher is a professional marketing consultant. and agudah board member.

  83. MiMedinat HaYam

    torah u’mesorah — its an empty website. prob put up to prevent someone else from registering it. the agudah has / had such a website for years. though it just contained a disclaimer that internet is “assur”.

    of course, several agudah divisions / affilliates / advertisers do have web sites.

    of course, agudah and torah umesorah are identical.

  84. MiMedinat HaYam – I wonder if gil can ask the ou about letting Jews purchase products that have the insignia of the moon and stars on every product l’chatchila? Unless of course it is one those halachot like looking at women’s clothes on hangers or in stores that seem not to be of concern to the Jewish people. Does anyone here tell their children that is against the Halacha to draw these pictures of the sun,moon,and stars? Or in school any teachers do this?

  85. re kids: I was taught (by my parents) to draw a partial sun as a triangle in the corner with rays coming out.

  86. Seriously, there is a lot of ameratzus going on here. Gil is right. It is quite a stretch to call this a chumra.

  87. Avi –

    The shulchan aruch is talking about raised or engraved images, as is the Talmud.

    Incorrect. Anything in the celestial sphere may not even be drawn. This is mefurash in Tosafos (Avodah Zarah s.v. V’ha Rabban Gamaliel) and the Shulchan Aruch here: http://hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=9146&st=&pgnum=127

  88. That’s Avodah Zarah 43b.

  89. What I mean is that the reasoning b’pashtus applies to paintings as well.

  90. Dov — So how do you reconcile all the evidence that objects in the celestial sphere have been drawn in normative Jewish artifacts since antiquity (as per the many comments in this thread)?

  91. I don’t have to reconcile it. Just like I don’t have to reconcile why women didn’t cover their hair in lots of places. If the Shulchan Aruch says it as halacha, you can find a limud zchus regarding those who do not act this way, and you can even hold not like the Shulchan Aruch, but it’s quite a stretch to say that one who holds like the Shulchan Aruch in such a case is simply imposing an extra chumra upon him/herself.

  92. IH – I don’t have to reconcile it. Just like I don’t have to reconcile why women didn’t cover their hair in lots of places. If the Shulchan Aruch says it as halacha, you can find a limud zchus regarding those who do not act this way, and you can even hold not like the Shulchan Aruch, but it’s quite a stretch to say that one who holds like the Shulchan Aruch in such a case is simply imposing an extra chumra upon him/herself.

  93. abba's rantings

    MMY:

    “note — fjj publisher is a professional marketing consultant. and agudah board member.”

    if you know him, please tell him to stop distributing it to every doorstep on my block
    a) it’s embarassing that my non-jewish neighbors might open it up and see some of the content
    b) thank god my neighbors don’t seem to open it up. but the alternative isn’t much better. they seem to think i need 10 copies and they leave their copies on my steps. recycling day isn’t fun.

  94. “Gil is right. It is quite a stretch to call this a chumra.”

    The interesting question to me is sociological: why does this seem like a “chumra” to people? It could just be that they are “amaratzim.” That’s easy enough. But it could also be that there is something in common between the “chumra culture” (which we might define as trying to be yotse as many deos as possible?) and the resurrection of widely ignored but never actually overturned rules. What is that common denominator? I think it has to do with a text-based halachic culture (vs. mimesis, etc). Others?

    In other news, I also recall drawing those corner suns a lot, but no one ever “taught” me to or explained why. I thought it was just an aesthetic issue, but no perhaps only Jewish kids draw them (or draw them more)?

  95. I’ll bite. I think it is “amaratzim,” but not as intended by those raising the issue. The “amaratzim” are those who have elevated the SA to Torah m’Sinai, in ways that previous generations did not.

  96. IH – I’m not elevating the SA to Torah Mi’Sinai in any way. But you cannot deny that if you want to get a good idea of normative halacha, that is a good place to look. One following what the SA codifies as halacha should not, in all fairness, be looked upon as one imposing extra chumros on people, unless he is a daas yachid or something extreme like that.

  97. “Incorrect. Anything in the celestial sphere may not even be drawn. ”

    This link says you are wrong.

    http://www.yutorah.org/lectures/lecture.cfm/750417/Rabbi_Michoel_Zylberman/The_Laws_of_Forbidden_Images

  98. “But you cannot deny that if you want to get a good idea of normative halacha, that is a good place to look.”

    Maybe if you live in the 16th century.

  99. I don’t have to reconcile it. Just like I don’t have to reconcile why women didn’t cover their hair in lots of places. If the Shulchan Aruch says it as halacha, you can find a limud zchus regarding those who do not act this way, and you can even hold not like the Shulchan Aruch, but it’s quite a stretch to say that one who holds like the Shulchan Aruch in such a case is simply imposing an extra chumra upon him/herself.
    =============================
    r’dov,
    so i repeat my question, why just for this one halacha, why now? (btw if one wanted to do it for themselves, i might ask the same question but not be as concerned about it)
    KT

  100. Herman Wouk:

    “I have more than once brought tolerant smiles to the lips of scholars by citing the text of Caro in an argument.”

  101. R’ Joel – I think gil and Dov ( as well as others) have a valid point. Why should following something that is cut and dry in the SA and mostly all others ( in this case drawing any one of the stars, moon and sun) be labeled a chumrah? Otoh, if an accepted practice among rov am (kids drawing, owning books with said pictures or paintings, buying products whose label depicts said offense, or even buying a newspaper with daily pictures of said issur) is to ignore said practice ( when and how this happened has not yet been discussed and wonder why) then bringing back or here changing current practice to something more stringent because it was ” rediscover” may be of a sociological chumra? It will depend how you define chumra and not what any Halacha really is – can’t one say that at one point – shaving was not a kula? Other examples can be given – Shabbat goy etc.

  102. I suppose the presumption is that if a practice has (a) been around for a long time, (b) not been condemned very much by poskim, and (c) is currently performed by people of stature, then there should be some sort of halachic explanation. Whether you find that explanation satisfactory or not is a different story.

    My working assumption is that, in almost all cases, there will be at least some ‘limud zechus’ found for such practices in the poskim. I’d be happy to hear a counterexample.

  103. J. – the question is not Limud z’chut but when is a chumrah – a chumrah and whether sociological factors only ( or in combo) can qualify it so.
    I would recommend everyone to read moshe koppel’s article in azure:

    http://www.azure.org.il/article.php?id=588

  104. Avi, I’m baffled. What in R. Zylberman’s article are you using to prove your point?
    First of all, if I understand correctly, your general approach is that since people do it, it doesn’t matter that the SA says it’s assur. If that were the case, the article would be one page long. It’s not.
    Second, if you read the article, or even if you just read the conclusion, you see that, at least with regard to drawing celestial bodies, the majority view is to prohibit complete drawings, even 2-dimensional drawings.
    This is the second article which is being brought to bear by commentators to prove that it’s not an issue, which actually shows that it is an issue.
    It’s amaratzus until you have your hands on the material. Then it’s just brazenness.

  105. Maybe it’s me, but I see this conversation going in circles. There are two related, but separable issues:

    1. The definition of “chumra” as it is applied today sociologically and halachically.

    2. The status of historically widely ignored but never actually overturned rules in the SA (Tur, or Yad).

    The whole notion of “limmud z’chut”, as it has been used in this conversation, implies a level of sanctity to these codices that previous generations did not attribute to them.

    Further, it seems to me that it is valid from a modern sociological perspective that resurrecting a halacha found in the Shulchan Aruch, but not normatively practiced can legitimately be called “chumra”.

  106. IH, if it were only mentioned in the SA 400 years ago, and never since, I might agree with you.

    But one thing that your camp (I apologize for polarizing this, but I think it’s safe to say that there are two sides here) is ignoring is that hundreds of poskim from the time of the SA to present day have discussed this very issue. There is even an RJJ article about it with tons of sources from contemporary poskim!

    How can you call this “resurrecting a halacha found in the Shulchan Aruch”?

    [Note: I don’t know what the correct halacha is in this case. Apparently the rabbinic advisors this newspaper asked were not lenient. Who knows if they had asked someone else they would have gotten a different answer. What bothers me is when people say that something is not even a question, when it clearly is.]

  107. “not normatively practiced” – several years ago, someone asked R. Moshe Feinstein if it was okay for kids to draw celestial bodies because they didn’t draw them well. R. Moshe answered that it was bad chinuch because if they drew them well it would be an aveira. I presume that the questioner followed R. Moshe’s psak, along with many people who read it in Igros Moshe.

    R. Kook wrote that one should not draw such pictures but you don’t have to stop someone else from doing so.

    R. Chaim Kanievsky recently came out with a whole sefer on those simanim in SA which focus on this very issue.

    What do you mean by “not normatively practiced”?

    Do you simply mean that many people don’t know that it’s an issue? Is that really the barometer for halacha? If so, what need have we for poskim?

  108. Dani, if no one bothers to ask a question, is it a question?

  109. It is certainly legit to call this a chumrah. One legitimate definition of chumrah is a practice that follows a stricter position than that generally practiced, even if this stricter position is found in the SA. It seems based onthe sources quoted here that there exist perfectly legitimate positions that matir printing a sun in the paper and that such positions reflect quit reasonable understandings of the earlier sources. Since in general it seems that many fully observant Jews are not makpid on this halakha we can only deduce that they are holding from these mekil shitot. a move to follow this psak of the shulchan aruch is thus a move from a mekil to a machmir position and can be called a chumrah.

  110. moshe – “are not makpid on this halakha we can only deduce that they are holding from these mekil shitot.”

    your assumption is that people know these shitot which i am not sure about when the change from not drawing to drawing happened. my assumption is sometimes post avodah zara being learnt for most of the middle ages (since it either did not apply or rather they – including rabbis – did not want practice and theory to collide). and as dani correctly pointed it its 95% plus of all poskim that followed the sa.

    so the definition of what is a chumrah is crucial. i assume there more than one definition here . whether one is halachik and the other sociological – do they overlap or influence each other is the question. i assume moshe you can point to some scholarship that can help the discussion.

  111. correction: avodah zara NOT being learnt or taught in the yeshivas…

  112. Nachum: Yes! (How many people do you know who don’t understand the halachos of amira le-nochri and think that as long as you hint, you can ask a non-Jew to perform melacha for you on Shabbos in all circumstances? They don’t ask the question because they don’t know it’s a question.)

    Moshe Shoshan: What sources!? I followed this thread semi-closely because it’s a topic that has interested me for a few years. I haven’t seen anything that indicates that the thrust of the poskim is to be matir. Gil’s post indicates the opposite and the articles and responsa mentioned in the comments all lean in the forbidden direction.

    I would be very happy if someone would point to a major posek in the last 30 years (besides for R. Wosner, who is cited in R. Zylberman’s article) who says that it is entirely permissible to draw complete celestial bodies.

  113. Would you also say that rabbis did not play a major role in jewish society till late antiquity – say 6-7th century ce?

    The rabbis played an important role at least from the time of R. Yehudah hanassi. But that doesnt mean that there were plenty of shuls whose members could not careless about what the rabbis thought was assur or muttar.

  114. moshe – “The rabbis played an important role at least from the time of R. Yehudah hanassi”

    not sure if that is correct or there is any proof of that.

  115. I think the issue is, were the rabbis influential in . . . rabbinic circles, or in the wider Jewish world. It isn’t really clear from the external and internal evidence. Just to throw this out there, a lot of people think of the Karaites as a schism, arising from the rejection of the Talmud. From what historical evidence there is it isn’t really clear that this is what happened so much as non-rabbinic Jews continuing to be non-rabbinic and crystalizing their opposition during the ge’onic period. From the point of view of tradition this seemed like a schism, but that’s not at all obviously what happened.

  116. For example, they sure never told me about Pirkoi ben Baboi in yeshiva, yet he was running around spreading the Talmud amongst Jewry. Even the story of the Four Captives seems to indicate that the Talmud was spread and implanted amongst communities that may not have been all that Talmudic. In modern times we see similar things, with rabbinic emissaries in Bukharan and the Crimea bringing strictly Talmudic Judaism to communities which were amenable to it, but really had very little of it themselves.

  117. Dani
    I did’t say that the thrust of the poskim was to be matir. All I said is that some poskim recognize a tzad lekula and that it what many people, including ralmidei chachamim seem to be relying on.

    I am just interesting the facts as presented here. I am sure you know a lot more about the sources than I.

    I thnik we need to be very careful before declaring that masses of frum Jews are/were repeatedly “over” a serious issur. Im lo neviim hem bnai neviim hem. On many occassions I have learned that a widespread practice that seemed obiously ossur to me in fact had real basis in halakha.

  118. R’ Ruvie,
    I’m not thinking about the label chumra, I’m thinking about the mimetic tradition of accepted practice. Again, I have no objection if someone says they want to do it themselves, nor do I object to someone trying to overturn the mimetic tradition as a whole (a current trend which imho shows the wisdom of the original prohibition of writing down the oral law), I object to wrapping oneself in the text for certain items but not others.

    KT

  119. Ruvie

    You can start with Lee LEvine’s “The Rabbinic Class in Late antiquity”

  120. moshe – in the previous post which i commented on – was that a rhetorical question about late antiquity.
    i think it can be argued both ways. the question on how much of an influence the rabbis had in the 3rd century on is debatable. we do know that it increased over time but whether they were marginal or more influential can not be determined by solely reading rabbinic literature. it helpful to have in depth knowledge of roman history and workings of its institutions to shed more light on the subject.
    it also seems that the construction of the synagogues did not seem to be under their purview given the art and decoration that seems contrary to rabbinic law. again, i am not that knowledgable int his area and relying on a different understanding of the role of the rabbis.

  121. All I said is that they played a significant role. How significant, I dont know.

  122. MiMedinat HaYam

    anonymous 10:15 — the bucharan jews didnt have rabbonim cause the communists forbade it.

    nevertheless, in post communist era, (ashkenazi) rabbonim went there, and said even their mikvaot are 100% kosher, despite being built in communist era. ditto their schechita. there definitely was a desire to comply with rituals. unlike here in us.

    2. re: SA — there are many things SA says that are not considered halacha. kula or chumra. (r dr marc shapiro is gonna write on it, but it seems he has other priorities, or desire to avoid more controversy.)

    of course, note nachum’s quote of hermann wouk.

    3. moshe and ruvie — there seems to have been more knowledge of certain halachot / rituals among common ppl then, than now. everybody seemed to have known hilchot schechita then, but they didnt seem to know hilchot tfilla. (prob cause everyone was a shochet then, and tfillah was evolving in those times. though it still evolves today, but thats another part of the story.) other such unusualities. prob cause of diff change of emphasis. would make a great academic paper.

    4. abba — call the publisher yourself. i dont live in ny anymore, but i pick up the paper often. or better yet, tell the advertisers. (the circulation ppl are prob lazy, so they distribute too many. either way, inflated readership claims makes for increased ad rates. of course, increased chumra also makes for increased ad rates.)

  123. moshe – “All I said is that they played a significant role. How significant, I dont know.”

    can you elaborate? what time period? late antiquity – 6th-7th century? or rabbi yehuda hanasi? significant meaning what specifically.

  124. Like you said, influence increases of that entire time period. hard to know exactly how the curve ascents.

    MMhY
    Its more complicated than that. There was probably continuing influence of what the scholars call “priestly” halakhah (Zedukim and Essenes) as well as the practice of “common Judaism” both of which diverged in varying degrees from rabbinic halacha. There we also more assimilated greek speaking Jews in the cities.

  125. Dani, the article shows that the prohibition is for engraved or pushed out images. At some later point, the article is not clear, some poskim decided that this applies to drawings and printing as well. However common practice shows otherwise.

    This idea that all shuls found were not orthodox strikes me as very dishonest. I thought before the 1800s everybody was only orthodox? 😛 But seriously, maybe if there was only 1 shul with these sorts of drawings, or only 1 book out of hundreds, there could be a case for it. But as far as I’m aware, every shul with a mosaic has these images.

  126. “the bucharan jews didnt have rabbonim cause the communists forbade it.”

    I am talking about the end of the 18th century, not the end of the 19th.

  127. “I am talking about the end of the 18th century, not the end of the 19th.”

    20th, not 19th.

    I meant about 220 years ago, not 20.

  128. Avi –

    As he says himself, the Shach is stringent. In my opinion this is the simple understanding of the SA, because in elaborating on what constitutes a “sunken” image, he includes painting on a wall. Besides, the reasoning of Tosafos should apply equally to a painting. Therefore it seems to me that when they wrote “sunken” it was merely to preclude that it needs to be protruding, not to exclude paintings.

  129. Joel Rich –

    why just for this one halacha, why now?

    Why not? They want to follow the SA, which is understandable, and they found out that this is written there.

  130. The argument that this halacha wasn’t accepted klal yisroel and is therefore not normative halacha is not a reasonable argument. There is no evidence that most communities were never noheg this way, and in fact when I was a kid (and others here have attested to this too) I was told not to draw pictures of the sun or the moon. The fact that one has never heard of something should be reason to first question one’s own knowledge, not to automatically label others as being extra machmir.

  131. R’ Dov,
    IMHO it may be – Why not? They want to follow the SA, which is understandable, and they found out that this is written there [and it’s something they are willing to follow and want otheers to as well(vs. other things they have heard are written in S”A but they don’t care to)].- which to me is an inconsistent approach to psak.
    KT

  132. Moshe Cohn on January 16, 2012 at 9:30 am
    If we’re going to prohibit anything and everything under the pagan sun (pun intended), then let’s not forget to throw out all of our childrens’ stuffed animals (especially the “tamei” ones).

    That is exactly what Chabadniks do.

  133. Joel Rich –

    I don’t think there is an inconsistency here. I think it is fair to say that in most cases if you were to point out something they were doing that was not in line with the rulings of the SA they would correct their actions accordingly. This case is the rule, not the exception. An apparent inconsistency would not be from this case, but from those obscure cases where they won’t change. And in those cases – should you present one to them – they would have to answer for themselves.

  134. avi,

    I am not up on this question but there are a number of articles which argue that these mosaics in shuls can be reconciled with the halakha amorei eretz yisrael. All I am saying is that its not a big question if they dont, because I dont get the sense that these shuls were part of ancient version of the OU with RCA rabbis enforcing halakhic norms. btw even in later periods after rabbinic hegemony took hold, it is a mistake to expect practice to line up with what is described in contemporary halakhic literature.

  135. If we’re going to prohibit anything and everything under the pagan sun (pun intended), then let’s not forget to throw out all of our childrens’ stuffed animals (especially the “tamei” ones).

    I haven’t been able to follow the comments but on this last issue — dolls and stuffed animals — the generally accepted heter is that children drag them around and treat them disrespectfully. Anything treated disrespectfully is excepted from the rule (SA YD 141:3).

    I’m not sure what role commenters expect history to play when it contradicts codified halakhah.

  136. I looked at the Tosfos in AZ 43b, and I find that it must be the source for the B’er Heitev on SA YD 141:4, and that both are equally wrong, based on information that was unavailable to Tosfos.

    Both Tosfos and B”H say that the reason one may not even draw the sun or moon is because they are “flat (shuka’ot) in the heavens”, not three-dimensional (boletot). Since we (and the world since Galileo) know that this is physically not true, then it seems that the machmir position of the SA (that one may not even draw them) falls apart.

    How can it be the base halacha not to draw them, if the halacha is a) non-d’oraita, and b) explicitly based on a (turned out to be, rather than g”f intentionally) false statement? Rather, it seems the base halacha would be not to sculpt them, and it is a chumra of Tosfos not to draw them. Now that we know the idea Tosfos was basing itself upon to be wrong, we should fall back to the base halacha – not to sculpt.

  137. Jon: When I learned these halakhos, I learned them as “we may not draw them as we see them”. Anything that looks flat to us, we cannot draw flat.

  138. Jon Baker –

    There is no indication that they are saying they are actually flat. They are saying that they are perceived that way. The basis for my saying this is the context. Since the sun and the moon are perceived this way, an idolatrous representation of them would not necessarily be protruding, because all one would attempt to reproduce would be the image s/he normally perceives, which does not protrude from the sky.

  139. “Anything treated disrespectfully is excepted from the rule”

    And the FJJ is preserved under glass?

  140. i know we have focused on drawings by children but if i understand this correctly this would include many other things such as: paintings of sunsets, pictures of sun,moon, stars; any newspaper, magazine or any publication publish with a sun, moon, stars; books and any inscriptions depicting such, monetary paper money or coinage with said imprints (does the back of the one dollar bill qualify) – any purchase of products with either one of the three celestial bodies – p&g products (don’t they hechshers?)

    who is mindful on all above consistently? i dare say no one that i am aware of.
    is anyone throwing out their barbi dolls or telling their children to deface them? is mr. potato head next on the chopping block?

  141. my assumption is not drawing will also include having in one’s possession as well.

  142. Nachum: And the FJJ is preserved under glass?

    Is that the definition of not mevuzim?

    ruvie: i know we have focused on drawings by children but if i understand this correctly this would include many other things such as: paintings of sunsets, pictures of sun,moon, stars; any newspaper, magazine or any publication publish with a sun, moon, stars; books and any inscriptions depicting such, monetary paper money or coinage with said imprints (does the back of the one dollar bill qualify) – any purchase of products with either one of the three celestial bodies – p&g products (don’t they hechshers?)

    When I asked a she’eilah about this, I was told that if there is no possibility that you could make it yourself, then there is no chashad and you are allowed to own it. I’m not sure how to consistently apply it but that’s what I was told.

    Frankly, I don’t understand your gut response and even denigration of a halakhah simply because you were previously unaware of it. If you have never learned it before, responding by dismissing it or mocking it is simply inappropriate.

  143. Dov – in discussing issues related to women in this forum, it is not uncommon for people to reference MT Hilchot Ishut for support. If next week, someone paskens that husbands should restrict their wives from leaving the house using Perek 13 Halacha 11 as the basis, how is that different from your argument (most recently at 3:15pm) that “I think it is fair to say that in most cases if you were to point out something they were doing that was not in line with the rulings of the SA [MT] they would correct their actions accordingly.”?

  144. ruvie: my assumption is not drawing will also include having in one’s possession as well

    I didn’t see this. No, that is incorrect. We pasken according to the opinion that possessing it is a problem of chashad.

  145. Gil — this is why I asked about photographs at the very beginning of the discussion. Photographs with celestial objects visible are common, if not cherished by many — that beautiful sunset or low moon while on a vacation, for example.

  146. gil – i was not denigrating. if you see all my responses you would not conclude that (but i think i was trying for the humor in it). that said, i do not think its possible for anyone to follow it to a certain degree in all honestly. i also think its questionable whether this was accepted by majority of jews (and maybe therefore not applicable – but i am an haaretz as you know).

    i would appreciate if you can inquire about the entrance to yu old main building. surely that is of interest to many here. my point also was to looking at women’s clothes in a store is also appropriate here as a law in the sa that to my knowledge is not followed. i haven’t heard any rabbi telling their baal baatim not be in the schmatte business (which is mostly women’s clothes) – especially hasidim – have you? its appropriate to question and history plays a role – i think – in understanding what happened and maybe why

  147. Jon Baker – does you average person draw the celestial bodies in 3D? If anything, according to Tosfos, would a 3D depiction of the moon be assur?

  148. gil – it seems according to the article you linked to its still assur.

  149. IH: this is why I asked about photographs at the very beginning of the discussion. Photographs with celestial objects visible are common, if not cherished by many

    See the RJJ Journal article, linked at the end of the post.

    ruvie: that said, i do not think its possible for anyone to follow it to a certain degree in all honestly

    I’m not sure why not. I’ve certainly tried to follow it and can’t think of a case when I have failed.

    i also think its questionable whether this was accepted by majority of jews

    I’m not sure whether that is true nor whether that matters.

    i would appreciate if you can inquire about the entrance to yu old main building

    In my day, the “word on the street” was that it was intentionally covered by carpet because of this very problem. I don’t know who designed it.

    my point also was to looking at women’s clothes in a store is also appropriate here as a law in the sa that to my knowledge is not followed

    But that is a DIFFERENT kind of law. It is inherently subjective and not an objective prohibition. Not all laws follow the same rules.

  150. Regarding the discussion between Ruvie and Moshe Shoshan on the synagogues, see: http://tinyurl.com/6n4nctj (1st ed on Google Books) or pp. 213-216 in the 2nd ed.

  151. IH: this is why I asked about photographs at the very beginning of the discussion. Photographs with celestial objects visible are common, if not cherished by many

    See the RJJ Journal article, linked at the end of the post.

    My reading of R. Zylberman pp. 116-118 confuses the issue we’re discussing more than answers it. As I understand him, it is permissible to create a picture of the sun on a computer (or digital camera) because the image is not permanent; in which case the online version of the newspaper forecast would have been ok (assuming you accept the SA on this issue as halacha). A nuance we have not discussed thus far as far as I am aware…

    Going back to the photographs, though; even if seeing the digital image is ok, he seems to conclude that printing that image – even by a non-Jew – is not permitted. And he is silent regarding the key question of whether one could have snapped the shutter to take the digital image, of e.g. that vacation sunset, in the first place.

  152. typo: create in the 1st para should have been retain, as is made clear in the 2nd para.

  153. Rafael Araujo:

    No, the average person does not. But the Tosfos is talking, AFAICT, about not drawing them BECAUSE they are flat in reality. That’s the chumra, over and above the base halacha about not making 3D representations of 3D worshippable objects.

    Since the antecedent is false, the consequent is false (false cannot imply true), Tosafos has nothing to say about drawing them in 3D, and we fall back on the default halacha about representing worshippable objects in 3D – that it’s assur.

  154. So I take it that you are proponent that halochoh should change, if you are correct about your interpretation of Tosafos, based on new scientific information, or the determination that the Baalei Tosafos got their science wrong?

  155. Looking at the Tosafos you are referencing, the BT states that the celestial bodies are “barakiah shokin heim”, in the sky they are flat, as opposed to “boltin”. I can see Dov’s reading that Tosafos was talking about their appearance in the sky and the BT were not commenting on whether planets, for example, are flat.

  156. I think the burden to change halakhah based on revised science, according to those who would do so, has to be higher than that.

  157. Given Rafael’s quoting “barakiah shokin heim”, this seems to open up the whole issue of “The Sun’a Path at Night” as RNS titled his 2010 paper on the subject.

  158. IH: See this essay on Halachic Responses To Scientific Developments http://www.aishdas.org/toratemet/science.html (from over 10 years ago, oy vey)

  159. Gil ” In my day, the “word on the street” was that it was intentionally covered by carpet because of this very problem. I don’t know who designed it.”

    In the 70s to the best of my recollection it’ was never covered. Anyone with recollections? Surely the topic must have arisen learning avoda zara?

  160. Gil – thanks for the essay reference which I shall read, but not tonight.

    But, to me — and I think many who have commented — this is not a case of changing halacha based on revised science, rather a case of resurrecting a dormant halacha based in questionable assumptions to no benefit.

    It just so happens that modern technology makes a hash of this anyway (ref: R. Zylberman’s article) and the whole premise of resurrecting the dormant halacha may be based on anachronistic assumptions about science and pagan worship as they were understood to the pre-modern decisors.

    At a practical level, making an issue of a halacha that (per my reading of the RJJ article) rules you can use the Weather Channel app to see the forecast on your iPad, as long as you don’t print it is an example of halachic fetishism that we are better off without.

  161. 1. This is not a “resurrected” halakhah. It has been observed by many throughout the generations.

    2. The concept of the “halachic fetishism” is itself anti-halakhic and unworthy of response.

    3. I do not believe that modern technology makes a hash of this law. If it does, so be it.

    4. Your real argument is: “I’ve never heard of this so it must be some newfangled idea.” I don’t believe your personal experience has any bearing on a halakhic discussion.

  162. And we were making such progress, Gil, without the snarkyness. Pity.

  163. Oh, we’re pretending that “halachic fetishism” is a valid argument in a halakhic discussion? And “pictures are in machzorim and no rabbi has noticed it so this explicit halakhah must be wrong” is somehow correct even though the Shakh directly addresses this? For crying out loud, open a sefer before debating a halakhah.

  164. On the YU Mosaic: http://old.yuhsb.org/currentyr/admission/newsltr/12.18.09%20-%20Mikeitz.pdf

    “The zodiac of brass inlay in the stone
    floor of the main entrance vestibule of
    the MTA building presents an interesting,
    if more tenuous, connection with
    Jewish art in Israel in the first centuries
    of the Common Era. (The synagogue in
    Bet-Shean providing a similar prototype
    in Greek-Jewish artistic influence.”

  165. Gil — one last try. My comment was very specific:

    “At a practical level, making an issue of a halacha that (per my reading of the RJJ article) rules you can use the Weather Channel app to see the forecast on your iPad, as long as you don’t print it is an example of halachic fetishism that we are better off without.”

    If you can’t deal without emotional flaming, so be it.

  166. My mistake. I thought you were saying that making a detailed distinction in observance based on differing technology is halachic fetishism.

  167. Gil: And they davka only uncover the inlay for special occasions?

    Look, the only solid source I have about the YU zodiac is R’ Ahron Soloveichik, circa 1992, as I said, who had no problem with printing it on the cover of a book. In fact, the printing was a gold inlay itself (like on the cover of a sefer, impressed). Make of that what you will.

    So to spell it out: A major YU Rosh Yeshiva and Talmid Chacham had no problem with printing- impressing- a zodiac that included a nude woman and a Greek god on the cover of an official YU publication.

  168. “I think the burden to change halakhah based on revised science, according to those who would do so, has to be higher than that.”

    Except in this case, the halacha does not follow the tosefot reading, as can be seen from centuries of Jewish practice.

  169. Gil- ” We pasken according to the opinion that possessing it is a problem of chashad.”

    Can we return to what is issur for a moment. Drawing, sculpting or a taking a picture ( with film) of sun, moon or stars is not allowed ( as well as commissioning one too). Purchasing or owning one is a different issur of chashad which we are makil on ( even though as shown above by others that worshipping celestial bodies exists even though not common) because? So if you are a Jewish printer of books,sefarim etc you cannot produce such pictures in any physical form. Is this correct?

  170. Ruvie: Purchasing or owning one is a different issur of chashad which we are makil on

    Who says we are meikel on this? I think it is a well established custom to either not own statues or to somehow deform them.

    So if you are a Jewish printer of books,sefarim etc you cannot produce such pictures in any physical form

    Do you disagree with the Shakh (Nekudas HaKesef on Taz 141:13) who allows it in the printing of books when it serves an educational purpose and is only a partial picture?

    Avi: Except in this case, the halacha does not follow the tosefot reading, as can be seen from centuries of Jewish practice

    I disagree with this evaluation. It’s like saying halakhah allows talking during kaddish, as can be seen from centuries of Jewish practice.

  171. Nachum: Look, the only solid source I have about the YU zodiac is R’ Ahron Soloveichik, circa 1992, as I said, who had no problem with printing it on the cover of a book

    Did he say why? Is the zodiac an exception to the rule?

  172. gil -“Who says we are meikel on this? I think it is a well established custom to either not own statues or to somehow deform them.”
    i assume it includes 2 dimensional per the poskim as well – so i was referring to books,painting, and pictures. on statues (which most religious jews have in their possesions including prayer books that have etchings or drawings on said moon,sun, and stars esp. on piyutim of geshem, tal and kinot tisha b’av where the zodiac is referenced)- i believe rav o. yosef has a teshuva some where (it was told to me last night but not where) that we see many people over the centuries have busts in their houses – and he didn’t find anything wrong with (no defacing issue) – does anyone know where this teshuva is?

  173. correction the parenthesis on the above after on statues – should be for the preceding sentence

  174. gil – “Do you disagree with the Shakh (Nekudas HaKesef on Taz 141:13) who allows it in the printing of books when it serves an educational purpose and is only a partial picture?”

    no. but i wonder if its a reason to permit something that is already done. but this line of reasoning will NOT permit you to own or buy pictures of said celestial bodies or buy newspapers on a daily basis or products of p&g . so it hard to me to believe that religious jews in general follow this halacha as stated. do we agree that this halacha on the possession of said articles is only for l’hitlamid – so no educational purposes is 100% issur (certainly taking pictures is no question on film)

  175. Too tired. If you aren’t willing to say “How do we relate to this halakhah?” but instead say “It can’t be right” then you have already made your decision. If you think about it, the path you are following can lead to many interesting permissive positions.

  176. gil – never said it can’t be right. just pointing out that its questionable if we follow this halacha? hard to me to understand why many seforim on their template first page for hundreds of years had drawings (including unclothed women) that are against the halacha (rabbis and jewish printers).

    i also wonder why the reasoning that is used in avodah zara by rashi of commerce with non-jews is not used in some fashion here to explain well documented practices of iconography through the ages.
    i think its a fair question. i haven’t made any decision and was not aware of said halacha (but not surprising to this am haaretz). i also wonder if its taught generally in schools since all children draw pictures of the sun when young. i think in the mo world nobody observes this – why is a good question.

  177. gil – ““How do we relate to this halakhah?” but instead say “It can’t be right” then you have already made your decision.”

    i am trying to understand our current practice (as well as historically) with regards to this halacha. its actually a time honored process used by many rabbis including tosafot on down to today (roy as noted above). do you maintain that we follow all halachot in the sa all the time? or if we don’t do we not look for reasons why this has occurred? i am perplexed at your answer.

  178. IH –

    Sorry for the late response.

    I agree with you, it would be an inconsistency if one were to follow the MT where his words are not supported by the SA, if one normally follows the SA. To apply this argument and thereby criticize the FJJ however, would be a straw man.

  179. Dov — Sorry, but I didn’t understand your response. If something is in the MT and the SA is silent, would it not then be halacha in the absence of another authoritative source overruling the MT?

    Would we then have to resort to “limmud z’chut” to explain why many don’t follow the halacha according to the MT?

  180. I don’t understand the distinction being made between having a depiction of the solar bodies and a lifelike doll. The argument that a doll is permitted because a child will drag it around and not treat it in a respectful manner is questionable. Some children treat their dolls with loving care. In any case, why is the child’s treatment governing? They are not responsible and have no requirement to observe any relevant halacha. That responsibility falls on the adults who brought the doll into the house and kept it. They are unlikely to mistreat anything which their children love. If the doll falls within the parameters of a biblical or rabbinic issur, then its treatment should be no different that the depictions of the solar bodies. I recall reading “All for the boss” about R’ Herman who broke off the nose of his young daughter’s (the author) doll in front of her, despite her wailing.

    The above is not written with the aim of seconding and generalizing R’ Gil’s position. I only wish to show an inconsistency in that viewpoint. As far as R’ Herman is concerned, his behavior was pure fanaticism in my eyes. As I see it, if the religious public has condoned the ownership of lifelike dolls, the depiction of solar bodies, and taking photographs of people – and will continue to do so, then poskim should be more geared to finding rationales for such behavior rather than invoking issurim.

  181. IH – It would be halacha if one generally follows the MT on such occasions. I don’t know that this is the path taken by typical, mainstream Orthodox Jews (that is – to take Rambam’s word for it the way they will take the Mechaber’s). Being that there is no such indication with regard to the FJJ, one cannot make say that this makes them inconsistent for following the SA in this case.

  182. Y. Aharon: As I understand it, the theory behind the permission of “mevuzim” is similar to yayin mevushal — no one would use it for avodah zarah. Therefore, a doll that is shlepped around does not fall under the prohibition (although I believe Rav Elyashiv is machmir and requires deforming dolls). See here for R. Shlomo Aviner’s position: http://www.ravaviner.com/2009/08/toy-animals-dolls.html

    And see this PDF for a roundup of different views on related subjects: http://daf-yomi.org/english_dafyomi/avodah_zarah/Avodah_Zarah_43.pdf

  183. yayin mevushal — no one would use it for avodah zarah.

    What is the basis for this assertion?

    And see this PDF

    This September 2010 PDF (like the 2004 RJJ article) avoids discussing digital photography, which is dominant today.

  184. yayin mevushal — no one would use it for avodah zarah.

    What is the basis for this assertion?

    Gemara Avodah Zarah 29b

    This September 2010 PDF (like the 2004 RJJ article) avoids discussing digital photography, which is dominant today

    What do you mean? The RJJ Journal discusses it! Page 118. Not that the article also indicates that taking a picture on film is also permissible, just not developing it (p. 116).

  185. IH wrote:

    “If you can’t deal without emotional flaming, so be it”

    WADR, “halachic fetishism”, is a classic example of emotional flaming, which IMO, has no relevance to a halachic discussion.

  186. Gil — it doesn’t (as I pointed out yesterday — first comment on this page — as well).

    …even if seeing the digital image is ok, he seems to conclude that printing that image – even by a non-Jew – is not permitted. And he is silent regarding the key question of whether one could have snapped the shutter to take the digital image, of e.g. that vacation sunset, in the first place.

  187. I disagree with your evaluation. He permits snapping the shutter and taking the digital image and forbids printing the image.

  188. Can you point me to the specific paragraph, or quote the words. I just don’t see it…

  189. Page 118, third paragraph (“How does…”)

  190. Thanks, Gil. I did not read it that way, but it is ambigious enough that your reading is plausible. It still seems strange to me that the September 2010 article addresses film snapshots, but not digital.

    On the Bavl AZ reference, thanks — I misunderstood your initial comment referring to today’s technological context.

  191. MiMedinat HaYam

    “but on this last issue — dolls and stuffed animals — the generally accepted heter is that children drag them around and treat them disrespectfully. Anything treated disrespectfully is excepted from the rule (SA YD 141:3).”

    i dont know if that is disrepectful, to the child, its how to play with it / how to respect it.

    also, chabad prohibits animal cookies, and coloring books of animals in their kindergartens. (but thats not a”z.)

    the fjj is not exactly treated respectfully. thrown on the ground, torn apart for the ads, read in the bathroom, definitely not hidden in the gemara. used for fish wrapping.

    the barbi doll, on the other hand is very respectfully treated.

    2. how do you reconcile this whole discussion with overall prohibition of portraits (film, or digital)?

    prob cause we do portraits without pblm, we do celestial bodies pix.

    getting back to chabad analogies, they wouldnt break the nose off a statue of the rebbe z”l. (dont give them ideas.)

  192. Gil, you mention lots of logical leaps in regards to other halachot brought down that we don’t follow to the letter

    men selling women’s clothing (subjective), dolls (not used for AZ) so on and so forth.

    why don’t those arguments equally apply to pictures of the sun? Do we know anyone today who would use a picture of the sun for worship? Why isn’t what’s AZ (especially when dealing with rabbinic non takanot/gezeirot, which I would agree are more objective and defined) subjective as well?

  193. in the link provided by gil for the daf in avodah zara 43:
    ” He does rule stringently regarding a trophy that is a full image and sits
    on top of a mantel with honor: there it is a legitimate
    concern and one should deface it somewhat.”

    he – is rav ovadia yosef. i just checked my children’s trophies and they all have full body images – most from TABC – a mo high school and none were defaced. i wonder if yeshivish or hareidi schools hand out sport trophies with full statues or images?

  194. “I disagree with this evaluation. It’s like saying halakhah allows talking during kaddish, as can be seen from centuries of Jewish practice.”

    I’ve never seen the Rabbi of a shul talk during Kaddish.

    However, as a counter example. The common practice of saying Maariv early on a regular basis is a clear violation of halacha according to the books. However, since it has been the common practice for centuries, I would never tell someone that the halacha is wrong, even though I feel strongly that you should only be talking about stars when stars are actually about.

  195. Then there’s always the opening of Even HaEzer. I remember learning this in high school from a charedi rebbe (it was MTA; guess) and our reaction was, basically, “You’re telling MO teenagers this?”

    Gil, I don’t remember them giving a reason. I’d either have to look up the yearbook- archive.org doesn’t get that recent- or contact the editor of the Elchanite from that year.

    “Who says we are meikel on this? I think it is a well established custom to either not own statues or to somehow deform them.”

    Well, YU has a bust of Einstein at AECOM- granted, a bit abstract- and very accurate busts of Sy Syms (in Belfer Hall) and Samuel Belkin (in Cardozo). Granted, donor considerations may have played into the first. But the second? (Norman Lamm has a cute little statue of himself in his apartment, probably a gift- it looks like one of those “world’s best dad” statues you see.)

  196. Avi: I’ve never seen the Rabbi of a shul talk during Kaddish

    I have

    The common practice of saying Maariv early on a regular basis is a clear violation of halacha according to the books

    What? See Tosafos on the first daf of Berakhos!

    Nachum: Well, YU has a bust of Einstein at AECOM- granted, a bit abstract- and very accurate busts of Sy Syms (in Belfer Hall) and Samuel Belkin (in Cardozo).

    Full body busts? I doubt it.

  197. “What? See Tosafos on the first daf of Berakhos!”

    And which community would actually refuse to have maariv if it was later?

    See, http://www.vbm-torah.org/archive/halak57/06halak.htm

  198. “Full body busts? I doubt it.”

    By definition a bust is not full body…

  199. On the ommission of digital photography in the Sept 2010 PDF Gil shared, this mornings’ news:

    http://www.managementtoday.co.uk/news/1112972/chapter-11-filing-final-kodak-moment/

  200. avi – busts are permissible relies on the rosh (even though he is a daat yachid at that point):

    In his commentary to ע”ז (פ”ג, ס”ה) Rosh writes: “והאי דאסרינן צורת האדם ודרקון דוקא בגולם שלם. צורת הראש בלא גוף שלם מותר ולא תעשון אותי דרשינן” . “That which we have prohibited of the human form and the dragon is only in a complete figure. The shape of the head without a complete body is permissible, as he have explained: ‘Do not make Me.'” Here, Rosh forbids the creation of the human form, only if it is the entire body.

  201. avi: By definition a bust is not full body…

    Hence the heter!

    And which community would actually refuse to have maariv if it was later?

    I don’t even understand the question. Early Maariv is easy to justify. Rishonim justified a tartei de-sasrei.

  202. avi – eventhough via the rosh busts are ok the halacha is an arm falls off a statue is still against halacha to keep it (so its interesting that the rosh would say that a bust is ok). also, in the gemera there is no discussion of a full body rather persuf adam – face of a human

  203. The dragon reference has been seen by some as a reference to the menorah in the Mikdash having same on its base, but not in the fully realized way they were shown in Roman religion.

  204. gil – “If you aren’t willing to say “How do we relate to this halakhah?” ”

    of course its how we relate to it. i am also interested in how the halacha evolved or morphed from an avoda zara society to now and what changes among the poskim happened and why. i think historical context is helpful to understand some of the issues of the rishonim and achronim. also, looking around and seeing via observation what is done today. i think there is a difference among many religious folks and the question is out of ignorance or otherwise (and is there an understanding to rely on). just imagine the issues if you have a child that is in art school.

  205. avi – btw, it is the ritva that first extended this issur – human forms – to include ink (including paint) in the late 13th century. he actually divorces the issue of creating and owning since no one worships idols anymore and maintains its ok to own them but not create them (i am assuming full form statues).

  206. “Who says we are meikel on this? I think it is a well established custom to either not own statues or to somehow deform them.”

    Similar to the “we dont eat giraffes b/c we dont know where to shecht them” myth. In reality, we dont eat giraffes because its impractical, nothing to do with hilcohos shechitah.
    Same thing with busts and statues. Most people dont own them, because most people can’t afford them. The proof is that everyone keeps plastic figurines without deforming them. Because they’re cheap. If statues were cheap, people would also keep them sans deforming them.

  207. I had a thought over Shabbat: Something I’ve noticed recently is the trend to change the images of the Shevatim found in shuls so they show no animals (this affects Yehuda, Yissachar, Dan, Naftali, Yosef, and Binyamin). I can only imagine this is some “Avoda Zara” related concern, never mind that according to the Midrashim, the *Shevatim themselves* had no problem putting them on their flags (i.e., *Moshe Rabbenu* had no problem with it, just had he had no problem having animal images in the Mishkan). One interesting result is that this sometimes (but not always*) results in a reversion to the “original” Yissachar picture, i.e., a sun and a moon (based on a pasuk in Divrei Hayamim)- there in all their glory in shul, so that there’s no donkey. Go figure.

    *Sometimes they pick truly baffling images. I’ve seen a set of hands (Human hands! Horrors! Maybe they’re gloves.) on a book for Naftali. Huh? That is in the OU Center in Jerusalem. I forget their Yissachar picture, but it’s neither a donkey nor a sun and moon.

  208. Oh, and shuls for centuries had no problem showing suns, moons, stars, donkeys, etc. for the shevatim. Ditto haggadot illustrating “Achad Asar Mi Yodea,” etc.

Leave a Reply

Subscribe to our Weekly Newsletter


The latest weekly digest is also available by clicking here.

Subscribe to our Daily Newsletter

Archives

Categories

%d bloggers like this: