Shemos 20:22 [1] introduces the building of the altar with אם (“If you make an altar…”), implying that it’s an optional mitzvah. However, Rashi [2] cites R’ Ishmael who says that while אם in the Torah usually refers to an optional action, this is one of three exceptions where אם really means כאשר (“when”) and the mitzvah is obligatory. Why then does the Torah describe building the altar with אם rather than כאשר?
Question - updated 1 week, 4 days ago
is documentation for the Idealogs project.
Subject - updated 1 year, 7 months ago
is a free content reference work and collaborative annotation tool for making sense of complex topics. It is written collaboratively by volunteers using custom wiki software. The principal goal of the project is to establish and describe writings, claims, and questions which underlie subjects of interest to humanity.
Subject - updated 8 months, 1 week ago
is an article about the recent decision by a California judge to strike down the state’s 32-year old ban on assault weapons [Tx7]. It was written by Eliga Gould, Professor of History at the University of New Hampshire, and published by the The Conversation.
Writing - external - internal - updated 1 year, 6 months ago
is a question related to the recent decision by the FDA to grant approval to an experimental Alzheimer’s drug, Aducanumab, despite significant opposition from the scientific community [Ix4]. When confronted with an intractable, widespread disease, when–if ever–is it acceptable to prematurely grant approval for a questionably effective treatment?
Question - updated 2 years, 8 months ago
is a claim about the FDA’s recent decision to approve an experimental Alzheimer’s drug for use despite a substantial rejection by its own scientific panel of experts on the subject.
Statement - updated 2 years, 7 months ago
is a claim which correlates an individuals desire to be vaccinated with their trust in their government. It is sourced from a 2020 study [TxA] on public perceptions of government responses to COVID-19.
Statement - updated 2 years ago
is a model of understanding. Idealogs is a synesiary, a reference work that implements this model.
Subject - updated 2 years, 6 months ago
is a document which lays out the terms one must consent to in order to use Idealogs.
Subject - updated 2 years, 7 months ago
is an investigative report by ProPublica into taxation of the ultraweathy in the United States, based on Internal Revenue Service data on the tax returns of thousands of the nation’s wealthiest people.
Writing - external - internal - updated 2 years, 8 months ago

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