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Fictitious History, Shlissel Challah, and the King of Birds
Three entirely unconnected items for today:
1) I briefly peeked at today's HaModia, which featured an interview with some charedi banker about the cuts in financial aid to charedim. He stated that while some people who were anyway planning to eventually work might start a little earlier, the strong community of Torah learners won't be affected, because it has always been the way of Torah to live in poverty, and economic factors have never affected this.
It simply boggles the mind how they can say such things. If we're talking about what has "always been the way," it's been that people work for a living rather then have a system of mass long-term kollel. This was because Chazal mandated working for a living and teaching one's child a profession. The modern reformation was only able to arise precisely because of the change in economic factors that enabled government aid.
2) This week, some people are baking challahs with keys. Personally, I prefer bagels with locks. You can read last year's post on shlissel challah at http://www.rationalistjudaism.com/2012/04/shlissel-challah-ancient-segulah-or.html.
3) Here's a video about the king of birds, the nesher, first in the list of non-kosher birds in this week's parashah. I put it together from a segment that I did for Animal Planet's Beasts of the Bible, along with some other footage that I shot in England and some amazing documentary footage. Enjoy! If you want to read a more technical discussion about the identity of the nesher, see my essay at www.zootorah.com/essays.