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by Joel Rich

Interesting article to read (I have the PDF) – Joseph Davis – “The Reception of the Shulchan Arukh and the Formation of Ashkenazic Jewish Identity”. Points to correlations between codifications in the “outside world” and Halacha as well as moving from geographic minhag/identity to others subunits (e.g. ethnic).

Any good actuary (or even a poor one) can tell you correlation doesn’t prove causation, but it does provide some thoughts on some interesting questions (e.g. why the switch to ethnic minhagim from geographic ones?).

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Interesting WSJ report of a British Journal of Psychology study: “People who had more social interactions with close friends reported being happier – unless they were highly intelligent. People with higher I.Q.’s were less content when they spent more time with friends. Psychologists theorize that these folks keep themselves intellectually stimulated without a lot of social interaction, and often have a long-term goal they are pursuing. [Me – Any thoughts?]

Please direct any informal comments to [email protected].

About Joel Rich

Joel Rich is a frequent wannabee cyberspace lecturer on various Torah topics. A Yerushalmi formerly temporarily living in West Orange, NJ, his former employer and the Social Security administration support his Torah listening habits. He is a recovering consulting actuary.

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