Volume 11 Number 61
                       Produced: Thu Feb  3 18:28:31 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Chumous is not Salty Fish
         [Israel Botnick]
Final letters in Hebrew alphabet
         [Leonard Oppenheimer]
Heritage (Arachim) Seminar
         [Lenny Oppenheimer]
Kiddush clubs
         [Alan Mizrahi]
Lecture - "Jews With Disabilities: Living Up To Our Heritage"
         [Mark A. Young]
Proper Pronunciation
         [Leora Morgenstern]


From: <icb@...> (Israel Botnick)
Date: Mon, 31 Jan 94 13:47:06 EST
Subject: Chumous is not Salty Fish

After reading my previous posting about brachot on secondary foods,
I realized that something may be a bit misleading. In Lon's original
question he said:

>If one wants to eat something, but can't eat it without the help of some
>bread (in the Mishnah Brurah, salty fish is used as an example, but
>perhaps a better example for us would be humous or tehina),

I read over this too quickly. I don't think that the comparison between 
salty fish and chumous is correct. When the gemara says that bread is 
secondary to salty fish, it is talking about someone who wants to eat 
the salty fish, but because of it's saltiness, it can't be eaten plain, 
so he has some bread afterwards. In this case, the bread would be
totally secondary, because the bread isn't eaten for it's own sake (it
is not eaten for it's taste nor for nourishment). Chomous on the other 
hand (unless you are putting something in your chumous that I don't),
can be eaten plain. If it is eaten with bread it is because the bread is
also desired and therefore one would have to wash and say ha-motzi for
the bread (and the chumous then needs no bracha). This is all spelled out
in the mishna brura 212:3 and 212:5. The same would apply to a sandwich,
because the bread is eaten for it's own sake.

If anyone knows of any other opinions, or if I am making a mistake,
please let me know.


From: <leo@...> (Leonard Oppenheimer)
Date: Wed, 2 Feb 94 08:35:37 -0500
Subject: Final letters in Hebrew alphabet

Henry Edinger writes:
> There is a discussion of the development of the alphabet in the Encyclopedia
> Judaica but the question of the final letters kaph, mem, nun, pe, zadi is
> addressed specifically in the Jewish Encyclopedia.   (stuff deleted about
> ancient script forms.)

With all due respect to the Jewish Encyclopedia, the issue is discussed in
the Babylonian Talmud in at least 2 places, Shabbat 104a and Megillah 2b.

The Talmud takes these letters as an acrostic for MiN TZoFeCHa, or from the
prophets.  The Talmud thus states that these letters are written in this
way as the result of a tradition that we have from our Prophets.  (See an
interesting discussion there about the Mem contained in the Luchot

For a very interesting interpretatation of the significance of these
letters, see the commentary of Rav S.R. Hirsch to Bereshis (Genesis) 
12:1.  He says (based on a Midrash) that there are five times in Tanach
that each of these five letters is "doubled", at significant times which
were ends of historic eras.  Our prophets wanted to tell us through these
letters that we should look forward to the end of these periods and learn
what to look forward to in the "end" to come, speedily in our days.

Lenny Oppenheimer


From: <leo@...> (Lenny Oppenheimer)
Date: Mon, 31 Jan 94 14:12:04 -0500
Subject: Heritage (Arachim) Seminar

A Heritage seminar will be presented in White Plains NY over the President's 
Day weekend by the Arachim organization.  This seminar has been presented to 
many thousands of people in Israel and abroad, and is famous for its success 
in providing a fresh approach to Judaism for unaffiliated Jews.

The title of the seminar is - To Touch the Spirit - The revealed and the
Hidden in the Jewish Tradition.

The cost of the seminar, including 3 nights in the hotel and all meals is
$300 for adults. (Program for children available)

The event is being co-sponsored by Agudath Israel of America.
For details on the event, call

Please spread the word!!
Lenny Oppenheimer
(I am not connected in any way with this seminar.)


From: <amizrahi@...> (Alan Mizrahi)
Date: Wed, 02 Feb 94 16:54:03 EST
Subject: Kiddush clubs

>>  What would be if the shul *officially* scheduled its kiddush before or
>>  after laining? (This is actually done in some frum camps.)

> I see two immediate problems.  If you make kiddush before musaf, the
> cohanim/chazzan will not be able to deliver the priestly blessing at
> musaf, due to their having drunk wine. 

Is this really a problem.  To the best of my knowledge, no Ashkenazi shuls 
do Birkat Kohanim, except on Yom Tov.  On regular Shabbatot, having kiddush
after leining should not be a problem.  Besides, not everyone has to drink 
wine at kiddush anyway.

Reconvening the minyan after kiddush might be a problem.  In my shul at home,
we sometimes daven mincha right after kiddush if the weather is bad and we
don't think enough people will come back.  This is usually a last minute 
decision, and getting people to return to davening when they think they are
going home is even more difficult than if they knew all along they would have
to return for mussaf.

If people come to shul for davening, then there should be no problem getting
everyone to return for mussaf.  If a large majority of the congregation is 
only there to talk, or to be seen, they will make it difficult, but not
impossible to resume davening.  

The appropriate time for kiddush, should be determined by each individual
shul, by it's members.  There are pros and cons for having kiddush either
way.  I personally don't like having kiddush before mussaf, but perhaps it
could cause people to pay more attention at the end of davening, since this 
is when most of the kibbitzing goes on.

-Alan Mizrahi


From: Mark A. Young <myoung@...>
Date: Mon, 31 Jan 1994 21:52:43 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Lecture - "Jews With Disabilities: Living Up To Our Heritage"

"Jews With Disabilities: Living Up To Our Heritage" is the topic of a
lecture by Rabbi Dr. Moshe Tendler scheduled for 1:00 PM, Sunday February 6th
1994 at the Lincoln Square Synagogue, 200 Amsterdam Ave. in NY.

The afternoon is sponsored by the Orthodox Union and TODA- The Torah
Organization For Disability Access. TODA is an international Jewish
Disability Access advocacy group founded by Mark Young MD, a Johns
Hopkins University Physician. Dr. Young specializes in Physical Medicine
and Rehabilitation and fervently believes in the need for the Jewish
Community to tear down the architectual and attitudinal barriers that
have long prevented Yiddin with disabilities from adequately
participating in Jewish ritual and communal life.

The group is composed of G'dolay Torah, educators, physical therapists,
occupational therapists, physiatry physicians, speech therapists, social
workers and nurses who share a common sensitivity and interest in making
Kehilas Yisroel a friendlier and more functional place for the estimated
325,000 Jewish Americans with disabilities.

According to Terry Klein, a hearing impaired officer of "Yiddihkite must
once and for all address the needs of people with disability in the
spirit of our tradition". The examples are all around us:

* The young quadriplegic in a wheelchair unable to ascend the steep
  staircase in front of the Bais Knesses.

* The spirited yeshiva bochur with athetoid cerebral palsy unable to enter
  the handicap-inaccesible bais hamedrash.

* The kallah with multiple sclerosis unable to use the mikvah

* The eldely visually impaired congregant unable to follow the davening
  because of the lack of availability of adequate lighting and large print
  text books.

Sensing the critical imprtance of this communal challenge, the Orthodox
Union under the guidance of Rabbi Yitzchok Rosenberg has joined forces with
TODA to establish a new agenda emphasizing disability access. Rabbi
tendler, Moreh D';Asrah of the Monsey Community Synagogue and Professor
of Medical Ethics will be delivering this historic lecture.

For more information about TODA write:  TODA 3409 Shelburne Rd.
Baltimore, Maryland 21208 410-764-6132

In New York: call Danielle Nieman 212-663-5315


From: <leora@...> (Leora Morgenstern)
Date: Sun, 30 Jan 94 22:59:02 EST
Subject: Proper Pronunciation

Here are some additions,  and one modification, to Aryeh Frimer's
list of commonly mispronounced words. [sources:  Even Shoshan & Jastrow]

1. parhesia,  not pharhesia
Parhesia comes from the Greek word paresia (pi-alpha-rho-rho-eta-sigma-
iota-alpha), meaning free speak or frankness.
Thus, (speaking) b'pharhesia came to mean (speaking) openly or publicly,
and parhesia came to mean the public.  Note that the adverbial form
is correctly pronounced b'pharhesia,  with a pheh.

2. parasha,  not parsha

3. haftara,  not haftora

4. acharonim, not achronim

5. rav, not rov     (when the word is used to mean Rabbi)
 No, no, this is not yet another case of a disagreement about how
to pronounce the kamatz.  The point here is that the word is vocalized
with a patach.  (rav is spelled resh-vet, with a patach under the resh.)
This is true of the noun (and thus, the title) form of the word; only
the adjectival form is sometimes vocalized with a kamatz.
So, those who refer to (e.g.) Rav Soloveitchik as the Rov, instead
of the Rav, aren't making a decision about how to pronounce the kamatz
(or making a statement about their particular position in the religious
spectrum,  all too often indicated by one's choice of pronunciation);
they're just using Hebrew incorrectly.

1. There are actually two correct pronunciations for the expression
yud-yud-shin-resh  caf-chet-caf.sofit:
yiyasher kochacha (or kocheich) and yishar kochacha (or kocheich)

One other comment on the subject of correct pronunciation: A number of
submitters to mail.jewish have argued that there is no way to determine
the original, "correct" pronunciation of Hebrew given our lack of
concrete, objective evidence.  Even if we grant this assumption for
consonants and vowels, it seems clear that we have a good deal of
objective evidence for how to stress words: namely, the ta'amei hamikra
(the Masoretic indications in Tanach which tell us, among other things,
which syllables to stress).  The ta'amei hamikra are of (relatively)
ancient origin and are univerally accepted; everyone seems to agree on
which syllables to stress during k'riat hatorah.  Given this fact, how
can there be any possible questions as to which syllables to stress when
we speak?  and how can we explain -- or tolerate -- the egregious
pronunciation that we hear so often -- in conversation, in shiurim, in
tefilah?  (e.g. YIsa Hashem PAnav eiLEcha as opposed to the correct yiSA
Hashem paNAV eiLEcha; YISmach MOshe b'MATnas CHELko as opposed to the
correct yisMACH moSHE b'matNAS chelKO)

What's especially puzzling about all this is that there seems to be some
sort of political agenda involved.  I've noticed that those with
Yeshivish affiliations tend to mispronounce words in this way more often
than those with YU and/or modern/centrist Orthodox affiliations.  (These
are my observations, and those of people I know; I'd be curious to hear
other people's observations.)  But why should this be so?  What possible
purpose can such a blatant display of ignorance -- or deliberate
mispronunciation -- serve?  This is especially disturbing because so
many people grow up not knowing how to speak Hebrew properly.  In
particular, it seems likely that stressing the wrong syllable *causes*
gross mispronunciations down the road.  For example, the word parasha is
correctly stressed on the last syllable (paraSHA).  Once people start
incorrectly stressing the word on the first syllable, however (PArasha),
it's easy to see how the middle syllable disappears, and we're left with
the terribly incorrect, and sadly widespread, PARsha.


End of Volume 11 Issue 61