Monday, April 8, 2019

The Kezayis Post

With Pesach approaching, it's kezayis season again. The monograph that I wrote on the evolution of the kezayis, from the size of an olive to a matzah ten times that size, seems to be the most popular piece that I have ever published. If you haven't read it, you can download it at this link.


Here is a list of other posts relating to this topic:

Matzah/Maror Chart for Rationalists - so that you, too, can have a chart!

The Popularity of Olives - exploring why this paper is so popular and yet hated by some.

Why On Earth Would One Eat A Kezayis?  - discussing the strange notion that one should aim to eat a kezayis of matzah on Seder night.

The Riddle of the Giant Kezayis Defense - wondering why many people would not accept that a kezayis is the size of an olive.

Maniacal Dishonesty About Olives - exposing an error-ridden critique that appeared in the charedi polemical journal Dialogue.

It's Krazy Kezayis Time! - discussing the view that one should eat a huge amount of matzah in a very short time in order to fulfill all opinions.

The Kezayis Revolution - announcing the fabulous sefer by Rabbi Hadar Margolin, which presents the same arguments that I brought but in a more yeshivish manner. He also brings an astonishing array of evidence that many recent charedi gedolim likewise held that a kezayis is very small, including even the Chazon Ish! Best of all, the entire sefer can be freely downloaded.

Finally, two notes regarding The Biblical Museum of Natural History:

First, there are lots of tours over the next few weeks, including before Pesach as well as Chol HaMoed. But they are rapidly filling up, so if you'd like to come, book your tour as early as you can!

Second, we are really looking for people who support our goals of educating the entire spectrum of society about the relationship between Torah and the natural world, and who want to be part of our mission. To join the museum as a patron, please see http://www.biblicalnaturalhistory.org/support/ for details. We can now arrange tax-deductible donations in Israel, the UK and Canada, as well as the US. For easy online donations, please click this link. Thank you for supporting our mission!

21 comments:

  1. Dont forget about the kazayis for maror.
    https://youtu.be/uEJjSuqcwtU

    ReplyDelete
  2. Apropos of things everyone does wrong at the Seder, if you have ever noticed that the Maggid doesn't appear to make a whole lot of sense, I have wrote an explanatory Haggadah, which can be downloaded https://haggadahberurah.com/download-haggadah/ and a couple of essays explaining most of it: https://haggadahberurah.com/

    It's in it's beta stage at the moment, so I would very much appreciate anyone who uses it at the Seder and provides feedback.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Although we have argued vociferously over the years on this blog, I must compliment you on your extensive work and research in compiling this Haggadah.
      One comment: when we used to learn Gemara in our shul in the Bronx, and someone would say, "This Rashi doesn't make sense!", the Maggid-shiur (not a chassid, by the way) would correct him and say, "You mean that you don't understand the Rashi!"
      --Yehudah P.

      Delete
    2. That link doesn't work for me. Any alternatives?

      Delete
    3. I would love to know who this Maggid Shiur was.
      Do you recall his name?

      Delete
    4. Cheers.

      I should of course point out that mine is a vindication of a traditional text and, therefore, to some extent a vindication of traditional practice. Not that I originally set out to do that - the spirit moved me.

      Delete
    5. @Shlomo

      Oops, screwed it up: You can copy and paste or click here.

      Delete
    6. The Maggid Shiur's name is Rabbi Meir Lubin, שליט"א. He taught us Gemara when he used to live in the Bronx, but he later moved to Brooklyn. He recently celebrated his 96th birthday!

      (As an aside, he wrote an article on the identification of the gamal, shafan, and arnevet, as camel, Bactrian dromedary, and llama. Rabbi Slifkin respectfully disagrees.)
      --Yehudah P.

      Delete
    7. Chaim: Every Maggid Shiur Ever.

      Delete
  3. I think your missing the whole idea of a "Baal nefesh". The chareidi culture is and always was about doing the laws as faithfully as possible. If that means erring on the side of stringency, so be it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The difference is in honesty. If a person says "I am erring on the side of caution but you don't have to", that's not the same as saying "This is how big an olive is and therefore you should eat accordingly."

      It also gives us a chance to assess the wisdom of the person saying it if they really think olives are that big...

      Delete
  4. What is the story behind the picture ???

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. http://www.bhol.co.il/news/977857 (Found by right clicking the picture in Google Chrome and clicking "Search Google for image"). Pretty worthless article though as it's about as incomplete as its attached truncated video. Jewish click-bait.

      Delete
    2. *Yawn. In line
      With expectation.

      Delete
    3. *yawn. Another.. yawn appeal. Get a real job.

      Delete
    4. What is the story behind the picture ???

      Obviously the man holding the matza is asking RCK if it's a Kezayis or not. ;)

      Delete
  5. And here is something new to consider:
    https://www.timesofisrael.com/2600-year-old-chicken-egg-shells-from-jerusalem-first-evidence-of-use-in-diet/

    ReplyDelete
  6. I love that Kezayis chart -- a true work of art.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Just tonight I came across a thin leaflet/Kuntres by Menachem Noeh of London, a grandson of R AC Noe. He levels some serious accusations againt R H Margolin (doesnt call him shlita), namely that he cannot understand basic Gemoros, that he argues with Rashi in explaining Sugyos, and that he has the Chutspah to declare that the Mechaber was not paskening LeHalocha.

    I know that you think highly of Margolin, so am wondering if you encountered Noeh's arguments at all, and if yes, what you thought of them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Can you post the link to this kuntres by Menachem Noeh.

      Delete
  8. PS
    He also writes how Margolin cites support from a handwritten letter he ascribes to R Chaim Kanievsky, however Noeh states this letter was an obvious forgery as confirmed to him by members of the Kanievsky family as not being R Chaim's handwriting.

    ReplyDelete

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