Thursday, July 31, 2008

eSefer and Google

4 Comments:

Blogger Moshe Y. Gluck said...

Also:
berachos 8a
shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 239:6

5/10/08 9:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

any more chazon ish coming...?

25/10/08 9:43 PM  
Anonymous Mr. Cohen said...

Very nice, but why no recent messages?

29/11/12 6:20 PM  
Blogger MYG said...

Thank you. No recent messages because I stopped blogging. There was enough good content up, though, that I left the blog in place. Enjoy!

29/11/12 6:59 PM  

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Monday, July 07, 2008

Worth Reading, Number Four: Project President by Ben Shapiro

As we all know, the presidential elections are coming soon. Again. And the current presumptive nominees seem to bring out the worst in their detractors. But what drives the elections? According to Ben Shapiro (in Project President: Bad Hair and Botox on the Road to the White House), while one might wish that it should be the issues - one of the most significant factors in the presidential race are the candidates' image. The candidates, well aware of this, do their best to put forth a pure face to all their public interactions, but generally don't succeed. No candidate, explains Shapiro, is good enough an actor to completely disguise his character flaws over the thousands of miles and face-hours the campaign trail requires.
So does deciding for whom to vote based on image rather than issue indicate that the average American voter is shallow? Shapiro does not find this troubling. (And this is the lesson of this post:) He contends that when the public vote based on image, they are voting largely based on the candidate's character. The most important attribute for a president, it can be argued, is the character of the man (or woman) who will be the most powerful person in the world.
So, should we apply this concept to the individual, we could conclude that when one projects a less-than-great image, they are actually demonstrating their character flaws. Such a person should not be calling his PR firm. He should be thinking about remedying his character.
There's much else of interest in the book - it begins with a discussion of the "boots vs. suits" candidate divides, and draws on fascinating snippets of American history to develop its thesis. It even makes an attempt at rating the 2008 candidates' image quotient. But the book suffers from choppy writing and has many redundancies. (It gives the feeling that each chapter was originally an individual magazine article, which were all combined - without editing - to produce this book.) On the whole, though, this book gives much food for thought in an entertaining and engaging package. Worth reading.

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Sunday, June 22, 2008

Old but Good...

...right here.

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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Polynap Soundtracks and the Twelve-Minute Nap

We've discussed in other posts how some of the Gedolim of past generations used polyphasic or biphasic sleep techniques to maximize their alert and awake time. But even for monophasic sleepers, a short nap can be a very powerful tool to help get through the day. Last night, for example, I slept only a bit more than three hours, had a baby girl today, and was ready to crash at about 5:30pm. So I took a very short nap. How, you ask, did I ensure that I would both fall asleep and wake in this short time frame? Simple - I put my headphones on and played one of these tracks. They are from a collection of polynap tracks that are on this website, and they have a long period of white noise followed by wake up sounds. The white noise (also blue and brown) helps drown out background noise and also to put one to sleep. The wakeup noises start with a rooster's crow, and become more and more cacophonous until you wake up. (For the record, the rooster's first or second crow usually wakes me.) The mp3 tracks are available in several lengths, and I highly recommend them. (The site used to contain a twelve minute track, too. Apparently, it was removed. Email me if you want a copy.)
(With appreciation to a distinguished member of the Community Kollel of Kansas City.)

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2 Comments:

Blogger defen said...

cool! will have to remember this.

20/6/08 1:46 AM  
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28/9/12 2:53 AM  

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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Emunah U’Bitachon 1:5

We are presented with another system – one designed with incalculable and other-worldly understanding – that testifies to the wisdom of its maker and its existence is praise to him: The mechanism of male and female union, designed to ensure the eternity of the world. This includes the wondrousness of each gender's organs and the creation of the desire that necessitates their use. Because we are habituated to them, we don't recognize the awesomeness of the Creator – all these He made and established to last forever!

Another mystery – fascinating and wondrous – is the forming of man in his mother's body. He lives there for nine months, a pleasant and well-ordered life. He develops and grows, and when his time comes to leave, he breaks through, and leaves! This is all already hidden in the universe's capabilities, involving complementary forces. All these many forces need to be coordinated, with each doing precisely its job perfectly, until the fresh and ready baby is produced. And the goal of all this effort was already planned in the mind of the Creator of all from its very beginning.

And when the baby does enter the world, his mother's breasts – which nurse him with nutritious milk – are created for him. And the Creator declared that there should be a powerful maternal instinct in the mother, to tirelessly care for her baby. We call this the mother's love for her young. (The child also possesses a prepared behavior in that it knows how to suckle from its mother and to take pleasure from her milk.)

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Blogger Beisrunner said...

You might be interested in my summary of Emunah Ubitachon:
http://allyourbeis.blogspot.com/2008/11/hazon-ish-emuna-ubitachon.html

18/11/08 9:19 AM  

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Thursday, June 05, 2008

Worth Reading, Number Three: The Art of Deception by Nicholas Capaldi

Tonight we are introduced to deception. No, eSefer does not advocate lying. But in The Art of Deception: An Introduction to Critical Thinking : How to : Win an Argument, Defend a Case, Recognize a Fallacy, See Through a Deception, (Amazon cut it off, but the subtitle continues: Persuade a Skeptic, Turn Defeat into Victory), Nicholas Capaldi suggests that to see through deception we must recognize it and understand it. That's a pretty good argument. This book explains both logic and illogic, so I recommend it for anyone who wants to refine how they learn a Tosfos. It also helps quite a bit in everyday life. (Of course, if you can, you should also learn דרכי הגמרא by R' Yitzchok Kanpanton.) One warning: this book can be a bit dry at times. Worth reading.

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More on Polyphasic Sleep

Daled Amos has a great post about polyphasic sleep and the Vilna Gaon. And it even references this classic post.

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Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Segmented Sleep and R' Simcha Zissel Ziv, the Alter of Kelm

We've discussed polyphasic sleep and the Vilna Gaon earlier. Another type of sleep pattern that was much more common was segmented sleep, where one sleeps a bit during the day, and is up longer at night. (It's a bit more complicated than that, see the Wikipedia article linked above for more details.) The Alter of Kelm, R' Simcha Zissel Ziv, would - according to his student R' Yeruchum Levovitz - sleep three hours each night and half an hour during the day. But he was still able to learn Torah for eight hours straight.
R' Levovitz attributes R' Ziv's accomplishments to his sense of order and his fanaticism for methodicalness in life. R' Ziv would equate orderliness with the clasp of a necklace: "The jewels of the necklace are its most important component, while the clasp is the least significant. Yet if the clasp fails – all the jewels fall. Orderliness is like that – it not particularly important, but it protects everything that is important. If one is orderly and methodic then his Torah, his prayers, his mitzvos will remain protected – he can be sure that they will continue! But one who is disorderly – his jewels fall to the ground… One needs to awaken at a set time, to pray at set time, to begin his learning at a set time, and to stop learning at a set time!"

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