Did Phil Ivey put a stumbling block in front of a blind man to the tune of $12 million?
Over the past few days the internet has been buzzing about whether “[a]ccomplished gambler and noted professional poker player Phil Ivey” should be paid his gambling winnings after a manufacturing defect allowed him (allegedly) to “read” the back of cards at a London casino. (See Larry Brown, Phil Ivey Reportedly Read Back of Cards to Win $11.9 Million at Casino.)
Ivey contends he did not violate any laws; but I wonder whether his actions violated the Torah.
The gift that keeps on giving.
The new moon was sighted in Israel on May 11, 2013 – two days after the calculated Rabbinical calendar sets rosh chodesh (i.e., the start of the new month). As a result, most observant Karaites celebrated rosh chodesh on a different day from observant Rabbanites.
1100 years ago, though, (at least some) Palestinian Rabbanites set their calendar by the actual sighting of the new moon – and even observed “Rosh Hashanah” on a different day from the Babylonian Rabbanites.
Leon Nemoy’s work contains some of Kumisi’s writings.
Yesterday, a rabbi published an excellent piece about how the word “God” has become a loaded term. (See Rabbi Says, “Time to Give Up On God.”) As the rabbi astutely points out, people intend to convey vastly different feelings, meanings, and intentions when using the word “God.”
It seems to me, as a Karaite, that the ambiguity around “God” would be minimized if people actually referred to God by God’s personal name (יהוה).
Don’t worry; I’m not about to swat the hornet’s nest by advocating for a particular pronunciation of God’s name.
A Blue Thread has surpassed my wildest expectations.
As a way of showing my appreciation, I’m giving away 100 sets of all eight Karaite fact cards printed to date. Absolutely free.
This offer is only good between now and midnight on April 30, 2013 – but you have to be within the first 100 people to request a set. (One set per person/household.)
If you want a set, email your mailing address to Shawn@abluethread.com.
Here are some of the images and corresponding text for your enjoyment.
A gift from friends. And an excellent read!
Whenever heated Karaite-Rabbanite polemics pop up these days, my initial reaction is to roll my eyes and sigh,”It’s not the Middle Ages anymore.”
Although such diatribes were once commonplace – and A Blue Thread has discussed some of them - I really try not to get lost in the rhetoric of yesteryear.
In that regard, I love finding information that turns these historical notions of strife upside-down.
Last night, April 17, 2013, the Board of Directors of the Karaite Jews of America reaffirmed the KJA’s commitment to hosting a conference on Karaite Judaism in 2014.
This is spectacular news. And for about seven years now, I’ve been dreaming about such a conference. I’ve always thought that a conference of this sort would be the first of its kind.
I am pleasantly surprised to be wrong.
Shawarma? Should’ve Warned Ya.
My mouth was watering as I was getting ready to place my shawarma order. My friend, one of the founders of the Karaite Jewish University, politely said, “Shawn, there’s a problem. That fat on the top of the shawarma is chelev and it is forbidden to eat.”
I couldn’t believe that a restaurant in Israel with a kosher certification would serve something forbidden. So I placed my order and devoured some of the most delicious shawarma I’d ever had.
That was 2006 and it took me a few years to learn my friend was right; that shawarma probably wasn’t biblically permissible.