Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Question of the Kidneys' Counsel


I am pleased to announce the publication of my latest monograph, The Question of the Kidneys' Counsel. It discusses the Scriptural, Talmudic and Midrashic accounts of the kidneys providing counsel to the heart, and explores the response of Rishonim, Acharonim and contemporary figures to this topic. The topic also has broad and significant ramifications for other conflicts between Torah and science, some of which are discussed in the document.

You can obtain a copy by making a donation with a credit card or Paypal account below. After making a donation (recommended minimum $5), you will be taken to a page where you can download the monograph (a 20-page PDF). Please take this opportunity to support this website; I can only invest the huge amount of time that it demands if readers express their appreciation via these donations. (And please do not e-mail this document on to anyone else.)

32 comments:

  1. To give money to a Rasha, it's also called a "Donation"?

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  2. Well, Anonymous from Mexico, you must be getting something out of this website, since, judging by the endless torrent of hateful comments that you submit, you read the website religiously! (I don't post your comments, but they are funny, in a pathetic sort of way.)

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  3. Wouldn't it be better to edit your MA papers into a coherent book(s)?

    Is the number of people who are willing to pay for these short PDFs really comparable with your book sales?

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  4. I can certainly understand why some people post their comments anonymously. I'd be embarrassed to reveal myself to the world as well if all I had to share was ignorant hate-filled drivel...

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  5. Is it a donation or payment?

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  6. Maybe timesavers (courtesy Machon Mamre, Even-Shoshan and Google):

    Kidneys in תנ"ך

    Kidneys in MN

    (Please e-mail me if there's a bug.)

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  7. B"H

    "Anonymous from Mexico".

    FWIW I am against anonymous and pseudonymous posts, specailly if they are derogatory.
    Ask your Posek before you write this kind of comments.

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  8. I wasn't referring to you. But the person's style of transliteration was indicative of Mexican origin.

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  9. Shimon said...
    Wouldn't it be better to edit your MA papers into a coherent book(s)?


    I plan on publishing them in a book at some point. But that's not happening anytime soon, so in the meanwhile I am making them available this way.

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  10. Fred said...
    Is it a donation or payment?


    It's a payment for the monograph, and a donation to support the website in general.

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  11. I assume the base amount is $5 as before?

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  12. Yes. (Astonishingly, two people gave one cent!)

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  13. Fred, I view it as a contribution.

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  14. People - if you care enough to download the article, and if you recognize and appreciate the time and effort that goes into this website, even if you totally or partially disagree with its views, then it's chutzpah to download and donate one cent!

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  15. Dr. Betech, let me also assure you that not for a moment I thought it was you and have been following the controversy. I am puzzled by your violent reaction.

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  16. I really can't believe some of the negative posters on this blog, especially in referring to Rabbi Slifkin as a 'Rasha' ( which couldn't be farther from the truth). I was taught as a child that if you don't have anything nice to say than don't say it. I guess my Jewish education was different than yours. If you don't like the site then leave. Is there a gun pointed at your head? And yes, I consider this a donation and worthy one at that!

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  17. B"H
    Carol
    My reaction was directed to the "Anonymous from Mexico" not to the blogowner.
    As you can remember, everytime I wrote to the blogowner, I wrote: "Dear Natan" or at least "Natan".

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  18. I wonder how many people thought Rabbi Slifkin was referring to Dr. Betech when he addressed "Anonymous from Mexico" and only adjusted their impression when Rabbi Slifkin clarified he wasn't.

    I'll start with myself.
    1

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  19. Do you address the little-known statements of some members of chazal made in Masechet Niddah? I know very little about female internal medicine [thanks G-d] so maybe they got it right. But when I see statements like "the blood that comes out during the first 7/14 days after childbirth comes from a diffrent source than the blood in the next 33/66 days", I have to wonder. And other statements oichet.

    [BTW, RNS, please see my lenghty comment in your previous post.]

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  20. Doctor, this makes sense and fits wth your character. I misunderstood you. We all on the same page and this is great! Please accept my apology.

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  21. I wonder how many people thought Rabbi Slifkin was referring to Dr. Betech when he addressed "Anonymous from Mexico" and only adjusted their impression when Rabbi Slifkin clarified he wasn't.

    Not me. David, if you remember the dialog with Dr. Betech on this website, you will remember that Dr. Betech never used such derogatory name-calling language in his comments on this blog. Calling Rabbi Slifkin a "Rasha" is very extreme. As much as I disagree with Dr. Betech's views, IIRC he has not shown such a low level of extreme disrespect in his comments here. Also, Dr. Betech has no problem using his real name to say what is on his mind. And finally, Dr. Betech always puts B"H before his comments. So, I was sure it wasn't Dr. Betech that left the anonymous comment, and I was sure that Rabbi Slifkin was not addressing him. Sorry, you're alone on this one so far.

    But how about another vote. I wonder how many people would like to see a collection of all the hate-filled, ignorant, vitriolic, and nonsensical comments Rabbi Slifkin has gotten over the years which he didn’t post? Kind of like a “Bloopers” video but for blog comments and emails. I think it would be kind of interesting, and to quote Rabbi Slifkin “funny in a pathetic sort of way.” Or is putting up such a post too distasteful?

    I’ll start with myself.

    1 - For a post of a collection of hateful comments.

    0 - Against (it's too distasteful).

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  22. re monograph:

    In genreal can you post an excerpt from the monograph so that we can decide if we want to pay for more

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  23. Moishe, in general if you like the posts you will like the monograph.

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  24. The monograph is great! I would just comment that regarding the issue of Scripture I think you should elaborate more on the Yerushalmi in Taanit that you refer to in note 42. Tosfos in Taanis bring it down and clearly explain that the pasuk wrote according to what people thought.

    Also, note 43 seems to be imply that it is an exhaustive list of the seemingly unscientific verses in the Torah. What about snakes eating earth, sheep fur color affected by the mother's sight of colored rods, existence of magic (the vilna gaon's attack on rambam), and many others.

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  25. It makes a lot of sense to me that one isn't born a tzadik. Moshe Rabbeinu had to start somewhere, and he started as a baby growing up in Pharoh's Palace. thus he must have become the greatest tzadik ever somewhere along the way, rather than from birth.

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  26. Donation? Payment?

    Rabbi Slifkin seems perfectly happy to discuss Torah and his reasoning on it for free. But he has expenses and his time is worth something. It seems perfectly reasonable for him to charge for finished works like these monographs.

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  27. Just call it a PAYMENT already....jeeez. No one will be offended.

    On the contrary, continuing to call it a DONATION causes confusion.

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  28. On the issue of semantics: payment, contribution, or donation. The Hindus call it an "unconditonal love offering." How about that?

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  29. Interesting "food for thought", in classical Chinese medicine tradition (that dates back 5,000 years), the kidneys store the life force (energy from our very beginnings/ancestry) and do all of the body's "energetic" work--and they excel through "cleverness". :-)

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  30. You're incredible. Please never stop posting, teaching, writing, researching, questioning, etc. Such an important contributor to the world of Orthodoxy!

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  31. If neurons in your skin can do math, then maybe your kidneys can contribute to counsel.
    http://www.iflscience.com/brain/neurons-your-skin-do-math
    OK, so maybe that was a stretch. :-)

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  32. The word in question is cilayos. The Talmud says it means kidneys. The Zohar says it refers to the testicles. Atop the kidneys rests the adrenal glands, which do indeed give counsel to the brain to fight or flee. The testes counsel to have sex. The brain of course has the final say! I suggest that this "cilayot" refers to the endocrine system. Someone should research this. If true it means that the rabbis has an understanding of the body's function greater than we give them credit for, and they acquired this knowledge from other than the scientific method. I also refer the reader to the Tanya which quotes various sources that the sperm begins it's development in the brain. Today we know that the brain includes the pituitary gland which secretes hormones that tell the testes and prostate to create testosterone, semen etc. A man with a tumor on his pituitary cannot father children (unless he gets a Brachah from the Lubavitcher Rebbe, as a friend of mine did ;>)

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