Blog: February 2015

Most of these posts were originally posted somewhere else and link to the originals. While this blog is not set up for comments, the original locations generally are, and I welcome comments there. Sorry for the inconvenience.

How should a werewolf observe Pesach? (Purim Torah)

A Purim Torah question on Mi Yodeya asked: how can a Jewish werewolf observe Pesach and other holidays that fall on the full moon? I answered:

I've heard conflicting rumors about the characteristics of werewolves. For purposes of this question I'm going to go with the common modern-day interpretation: a werewolf undergoes involuntary transformation into wolf form at the full moon, losing most of its human instincts, and typically hunts and gorges on something before returning to human form in the morning with few if any memories. If you had some other kind of werewolf in mind, you should specify.

All of these holidays will pose problems for our werewolf because the full moon rises at sunset, which is before festivities can be concluded (or in some cases even started), but his transformation into wolf form commences with the appearance of the full moon. If you follow the minority opinion that it's the sight of the full moon that does it then you might be able to prevent transformation for a time, but the majority seem to hold that the transformation happens at moonrise with or without consent.

One possibility is that he's not obligated in mitzvot while in wolf form (because only human Jews are obligated). If he is obligated, though, he's going to face some challenges: Read more…

Purim Torah: why don't we accept Zaphod Beeblebrox as the messiah?

A purim torah question on Mi Yodeya asks what I think is a brilliant question. Due to the nature of purim torah I can't really summarize it, so I will quote it and then share my answer, which I had a lot of fun writing. Read more…