Volume 11 Number 64
                       Produced: Sun Feb  6  9:13:04 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Dikduk Question in "Kel Maleh"
         [Elliot David Lasson]
Dvar Torah for Yitro
         [Mark Steiner]
Questions on Kashruth
         [Aryeh Blaut]
Reply to Isaac Balbin on comment of the Rav on adoption
         [Isaac Balbin]
         [Mike Gerver]


From: <Elliot_David_Lasson@...> (Elliot David Lasson)
Date: Sat, 29 Jan 94 21:50:45 -0500
Subject: Dikduk Question in "Kel Maleh"

Knowing that many M-J readers are dikduk experts, I pose the following:

This dikduk issue came up in shul during the Shabbat Mincha service.  As
many congregations do, the gabbai makes a weekly "kel maleh" for the
deceased of the congregation.  (Typically, there is a long list of
names, both male and female.)  I believe the gabbai uses the Artscroll
Siddur (refer to page 814 in the Ashkenazic edition; although this
prayer is in the "Yizkor" section, it is the identical text).  At the
end of the paragraph, there is the phrase (please excuse the weak
transliteration) "v'yitzror b'tzror hachayim et *nishmotayhem*, Hashem
huh nachalatam, v'yanuchu b'shalom al *mishk'votayhem*, v'nomar Amen.
(Note, that I have used the masculine because grammatically, this is the
correct version for a mixed-gender group).

My question related to the words which I have marked in the asterisks
"nishmotayhem" and "mishk'votayhem".  It would seem that from the Hebrew
spelling, there is a "double plural"; (1) referring to "their" and (2)
the other referring to resting places/souls.  It would seem to me
(drawing on my knowledge from Biblical Hebrew) that the presence of the
letter 'yud' in both words implies "many souls/resting places belonging
to many people".  However, in actuality we are talking about *many
people (i.e. "their") who have a one soul/resting place per person*.
Wouldn't the proper words be something like "nishmatam and mishkavam"?

I would appreciate if someone could look this over in the Artscroll.

P.S.  I have just looked the my Koren siddur (Ashkenaz, page 271), and
it has essentially the same thing as Artscroll.  However, in my pocket
Rinat Yisrael siddur (Ashkenaz, page 393), it has one of each
("nishmotayhem" and "mishk'votam").  Is there some difference in the
connotation of the two concepts of neshama (soul) and mishkav (resting
place) which would lead to this difference in Rinat Yisrael?

Could someone please clarify.

Elliot D. Lasson, Ph.D.


From: Mark Steiner <MARKSA@...>
Date: Sun,  30 Jan 94 18:57 +0200
Subject: Re: Dvar Torah for Yitro

Dear Readers,

     I made a tremendous discovery on Rashi this week.  Since I worked
on the Rashi for an hour and a half, I'll pass on the thought:
     On the verse, zachor et yom hashabbat lekadsho (Remember shabbat to
keep it holy), Rashi-- cites the midrash of zachor veshamor bedibbur
echad (the word "remember" in the version of the Ten Comandments in
Exodus and the word "observe" in the version in Deuteronomy were said by
the Almighty in one speech act); compares this idea of bedibbur echad to
three contradictions (offering sacrifices on shabbat, wearing sha`atnez
in tzitzit, yibbum--levirate marriage--vs. incest); learns from the
infinitive zachor that one should always remember shabbat.

     What's the connection between these things?  What is the
contradiction between zachor and shamor, illustrated by the three

     The answer could be: in the parsha of uvyom hashabbat (the shabbat
sacrifices) etc.  which Rashi quotes, the ending is `olat shabbat
beshabbato etc.  (the shabbat burnt offering must be made every single
shabbat) This seemingly superfluous phrase tells us, never to forget
this offering, that the continual offering is a kiyyum (fulfillment) of
the mitzvah of zachor (infinitive!) et yom hashabbat lekadsho!!  Thus
zachor and shamor are in conflict, indeed the very conflict mentioned by

     Rashi emphasizes the contradictory aspects of his three examples by
citing the verse, "achat diber Hashem shtayim shama`ti" (G-d spoke once
and I heard two things) --the "lomdus" (point--there is no real tr. for
this word) here is that the contradiction is not just that there are
exceptions to rules, which is not really a contradiction.  But rather
that, even in observing the exceptions, one gets rewarded also for
observing the rule!  Thus, a person wearing sha`atnez (only) in tzitzit
gets rewarded both for the tzitzit and also for NOT wearing shaatnez,
unlike a person forced to wear sha`atnez for pikuach nefesh who gets the
reward only for preserving his life.  (The gemara says that every second
a person refrains from transgressing a prohibition is considered as
though he were doing a mitzva.  In the case of pikuach nefesh, however,
he cannot claim this reward, while in the cases cited by Rashi he can.)
This is in fact a contradiction, illustrating bedibbur echad.  This is
also why the Torah does not even refer to the rules when citing the
exceptions, but simply asserts the rule in one place and the exception
in another as a contradiction: in observing the exception, the rule is
not suspended.

				Mark Steiner


From: Aryeh Blaut <ny000592@...>
Date: Fri, 28 Jan 94 03:54:31 -0500
Subject: Re: Questions on Kashruth

Does anyone have a suggestion about these type of questions and responses?
>This is a very large Kashruth reliablility problem in the world today
>and is only getting worse.  Unfortunately I know of no easy answer.
>Any ideas,
>Barry Siegel   HR 1K-120   (908)615-2928   hrmsf!sieg  OR  <sieg@...>

I agree with you in what you said.  Any responses must be sent 
individually and not to a public forum.  (I responded to a question 
about a hashkacha that I knew something about via private e-mail.)  
Besides for the reason that you stated, I also feel that there could be 
some potential for Lashon Harah if these types of questions were to be 
answered publicaly.

As to a suggestion about these types of questions & responses - IMHO:  
If a questioner has her/his own Rav (LOR) to ask questions to, then the 
question should quietly be asked of the LOR.  Not everyone has a LOR (in 
some cases a person my not even have a NLOR (Non Local...).  What should 
this person do?  Options:  Post a public question which very well may cause 
other people to question a hashkacha s/he may never have questioned 
prior.  Another option is for the questioner to post a request for 
kashrus information including her/his background &/or current holdings 
in kashrus levels.  Anyone on m-j or anyone who knows of a resource
for the questioner can e-mail the individual directly.  I'll put myself 
out on a limb with a third suggestion.  The questioner can pose the 
question to our beloved moderator, who in turn, instead of posting it 
could give the names, addresses, phone numbers, or e-mail numbers
of reliable kashrus poskim to let them answer.

If I think of anything else, I'm sure I'll let you know.

Kol Tuv,

Aryeh Blaut


From: Isaac Balbin <isaac@...>
Date: Sun, 30 Jan 94 17:54:22 -0500
Subject: Re: Reply to Isaac Balbin on comment of the Rav on adoption

  | From: Alan Zaitchik <ZAITCHIK@...>
  | Subject: Re: Reply to Isaac Balbin on comment of the Rav on adoption
  | 	I am sure it was a colorful way of expressing his feelings about
  | 	the issue, with the secondary intention of reassuring me. The
  | 	Rav often spoke in dramatic terms.
This was also the explanation that someone else gave me. Note, I was
asking the question in response to your quote.

  | >If the reason is Toiv Sheyiyu Shogegim, then maybe
  | >the Rov agrees, but thinks it is a matter that Roiv would be Nichshal
  | >on and hence better left alone. 
  | 	Can't you just accept the fact that the Rav thought the whole
  | 	issue a non-issue? 
Yes I can. What gives you the impression that I cannot accept that he
thought this? I think you display a little too much heat when you
quote the Rov and someone simply asks about the curious phraseology
and what that might imply and you then infer from this that the person (me)
was *therefore* unwilling/unable to accept the Rov's viewpoint.
  |	Why did he characterize it (actually the
  | 	people who pushed it) as "crazy" ? 
>From what I have subsequently heard (via Rabbi Altshul), 
that was often his approach. Apparently, one could not read too much into the 
colorful phraseology employed by the Rov, which was often a device.
  |	Do not focus on
  | 	the WORD "yichud" but take an honest look at the implicit
  | 	proposition entertained by those who worry about yichud and adoption:
  | 	"being alone with an adopted child could involve behaviors
  | 	or temptations or suspicions of the above, which differ from
  | 	being alone with a biological child"? Do you think there is
  | 	a higher incidence of incest between adoptees and their adoptive
  | 	parents than in the general population?! Seriously, can't you see
  | 	that worrying about this is truly "crazy" (the Rav's term --
  | 	not mine).
I have made absolutely no sociological comment on the likelihood of
adoptive parents being involved in suspicious activities, Cholila. You draw
an exceedingly long bow and assume a rather accusative stance.

  | >I should point out that Rav Waldenberg also has a whole Kuntres on Yichud
  | >Tzizt Eliezer, and from memory, he also warns against the problem
  | >of Yichud. Rabbi Bill Altshul recently told me that in an article on the 
  | >Rabbi Nachum Rabinovitch questions why Chazal didn't seem to warn about
  | >this problem in all of Shas.
  | 	Actually Chazal would not have been in a position to comment 
  | 	explicitly on yichud and adoption-- but of course they could have 
  | 	commented on yichud and "ham'gadel yatom", which apparently
  | 	they did not. I suppose that this just shows that they,
  | 	like the Rav, and unlike those whom the Rav was debunking, saw
  | 	no issue here.
That is one thesis. There are others. For example, Chazal were most
concerned that people would not be involved in megadel yesoimim if there
was so much practical difficulty. They therefore chose to deal with this
issue in the same way that Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach purportedly dealt
with it as described in the Bamboo Cradle.

There are other examples where similar problems occur and about which
Acharonim have variant views. For instance, can a brother and sister
who are say flatting together (alone) actually live in the same flat?
Is there an issur of Yichud? Do we say that Hergel comes into play here?
What comes first in these cases: a blanket definition of what is assur
and what is not (which seems to be the approach of the Lubavitcher
Rebbe) or are there some unwritten? Klallim which are the precursor
to the definition of what circumstances are muttar and what are ossur?
Do we also include Reb Moshe's hetter of shaking a woman's hand as part
of, say, some business introduction in this category? These are interesting

PS. Alan, are you related to Rabbi Boruch Zaitchik here in Melbourne?


From: <GERVER@...> (Mike Gerver)
Date: Wed, 2 Feb 1994 1:58:02 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Tehillim

Freda Birnbaum, in v11n36, asks whether particular perakim of tehillim
[psalms] are considered especially appropriate to say when being a
shomer for someone who has died and is not yet buried.

About five years ago, when I was visiting Denver, the mother of one of 
the members of the shul passed away on Shabbat, and a request was made
for volunteers to go to the hospital to be shomrim. I volunteered for 
the 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. slot, which was less inconvenient for me than
for most people (as will be obvious to anyone who notes the time of day
on my postings). I was told that in addition to saying tehillim, any
kind of limudei kodesh was appropriate, so I learned some mishnayot and
started reading sefer tehillim in order from the beginning. I was much
better off than the person who had the 6 p.m to 10 p.m. slot, who had
to walk to the hospital during Shabbat, with no eruv. He was stuck with
nothing to read but some old Newsweeks and National Geographics that the 
hospital staff had given him.

Although no suggestions were made to me at that time for particular
tehillim or mishnayot that would be especially appropriate, I would think
that Psalm 49, Kelim chapter 24, and Mikvaot chapter 7 are good choices,
since they are often said during shiva. Kelim Ch. 24 is said because each
mishneh in it ends with the words "tahora miklum," which could symbolize
that the neshoma [soul] of the person who died is tahor [pure]. I thought
it was a nice "coincidence" that I happened to be learning this perek
[chapter] at the time my grandmother died.

Speaking of sefer tehillim, has anyone else noticed the similarity
between the numbering of the perakim of tehillim, and the opus numbers
of the works of Beethoven? There are nearly the same number of them
(150 perakim of tehillim, 152 works of Beethoven I think). The ones with
numbers close together, composed about the same time, are often similar
in style. Many of them you hardly ever hear, but maybe a couple of dozen
of them are very familiar, so that you can't help remembering which
number goes with which one. I'm sure that the "look-up table" for
these familiar perakim of tehillim is stored close by in my brain to the
"look-up table" for familiar Beethoven opus numbers, and I often can't
help thinking of the corresponding Beethoven opus number when I read a 
perek of tehillim, and vice versa.

Mike Gerver, <gerver@...>


End of Volume 11 Issue 64