Sunday, October 10, 2010

I'm still too young to be a grumpy old man

this just in from the New Zealand news website Stuff

Britons find being older than 52 is nothing to laugh about because that's the age when they start becoming grumpy, according to a survey on Friday.

The poll of 2000 Britons found those over 50 laughed far less than their younger counterparts and complained far more.

While infants laughed up to 300 times a day, that figure had fallen to an average of six laughs by teenage years and only 2.5 daily chuckles for those over 60, the survey for cable TV channel Dave found.

Men were also found to be grumpier than women.

One reason for the decline in mirth might be the lack of joke-telling skills. The study found the average Briton only knows two jokes.

So I'm just 11 years too young to be truly grumpy!

(Only 2 jokes?? My neighbour tells everyone that he knows 100 jokes!)

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Ralbag on Noach

Ralbag (Rabbi Levi ben Gershon) has a very interesting explanation of the Tower of Bavel. He says that they really didn't do anything wrong, except that G-d wanted them to spread around the world, rather than stay in one place. Why did they need to spread over the world?

He writes that if they were all living in one place, then if a natural disaster (e.g. earthquake, hurricane, tsunami) happened, the entire human race would be wiped out. G-d wanted them spread to different locations so that even if one part of the world was destroyed the human race would continue.

This means that even though G-d interacts with the world, and watches what goes on (and is directly involved), He does not wish to intervene in the natural course of events, and when nature dictates that disasters occur, G-d choses not to prevent it - even to save the entire human race! G-d would rather perform the one-time miracle of mixing up the languages and separating the nations, than get involved to save a country from 'Acts of G-d' (which according to Ralbag are really not acts of G-d at all, but acts of nature).

You can read it here on Hebrew Books

Next time someone suggests to you that the latest catastrophe is caused by (pick the sin of your choice)
a) gay pride parade
b) tight clothing
c) listening to Shweky disks
d) anything else any Rabbi doesn't like at any time
point out this Ralbag to them and see how they understand it.

Shavua Tov