Volume 12 Number 2
                       Produced: Tue Mar  1  0:08:40 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Aveilus on Non-Jewish Parents
         [Yosef Bechhofer]
One Year Programs for Americans
         [Gedalyah Berger]
         [Mike Gerver]
         [Jay Denkberg]
Study in Israel
         [Yitzchok Adlerstein]
Zoo or Zo
         [Ezra Rosenfeld]


From: <YOSEF_BECHHOFER@...> (Yosef Bechhofer)
Date: Sun, 27 Feb 94 05:58:18 -0500
Subject: Aveilus on Non-Jewish Parents

In a recent MJ Eitan Fiorino and Steven Phillips posted psakim
concerning saying kaddish for non-Jewish parents and variations on
this configuration. I would have posted this request privately to
them, but I think more people than me (who, personally thinks this
would make a great topic for a shiur, something which my line of
"work" requires me to do :-) ) would appreciate chapter and verse
citations on the topic, Thank you very much.


From: Gedalyah Berger <gberger@...>
Date: Sun, 27 Feb 94 15:47:32 -0500
Subject: Re: One Year Programs for Americans

In #98, Dr. Jeff Woolf discussed one-year Israel programs for American 

> The situation in One Year
> Programs for Americans has deteriorated beyond that which he describes:
> 1) Most of the popular programs teach no Hebrew and isolate the students
> so that they only mingle with other Americans

This is a gross overstatement.  While it is true that the programs do not 
have formal classes in Hebrew language, most shiurim are in Hebrew, and 
simply living with and conversing with Israelis does more for learning 
modern Hebrew than any class.  The most popular programs do integrate 
Americans and Israelis, although of course most "chutznikim" do tend to 
hang out with their English-speaking friends, which is only natural and 
certainly no fault of the institutions.  

> 2) There are fewer and
> fewer sections of the program which teach Love of the Land through tours

I don't really know what the case used to be, but I and my friends who 
went to various yeshivot certainly went on a number of tiyyulim.  In any 
case, tours are not by any means the only or even the best way to 
inculcate ahavat ha`aretz; it is only one element.

> 3) The teachers tend to be rabidly (or moderately Anti-Zionist)

I really would be interested to know which programs you are talking 
about, because the most popular programs are in hesder yeshivot, which 
certainly can't be accused of anti-Zionism, kal vachomer "rabid" 
anti-Zionism.  And if you are referring to certain roshei yeshivot and /or 
rabbeim who do not believe that serving in the army is lechatchila, then, 
although I disagree with their viewpoint and am a strong believer in 
fighting for the Medina, I would not chas veshalom accuse them of being 
anti-Zionist.  They believe that learning Torah is a more effective way 
of preserving `am Yisra'el be'eretz Yisra'el.

> 4) The students might as well be in New Jersey or Brooklyn in as boarding
> school arrangement for all that Eretz Yisrael and Medinat Yisrael impact
> upon them...

God forbid!  This is absolutely false.  Virtually every member of my graduating
class from high school (100 out of 114, in 1990), as well as hundreds 
of students from other schools, spent a year or more in Israel.  I would 
be hard pressed to think of *one* person I know who was not positively 
affected spiritually by his/her being in Eretz/Medinat Yisra'el.  The 
impact, in general, is significant and profound.  Formal Zionist 
education is by far not the most important vehicle for impressing upon 
people an appreciation of the Land.  Simply living in and breathing the 
air of Eretz Yisra'el, especially in the atmosphere of talmud Torah 
present in most yeshivot and seminaries, is *much* more important.  Just 
look at the difference between Yeshiva and Stern Colleges fifteen years 
ago and today - compare the dedication to talmud Torah and to Eretz 
Yisra'el, compare the aliyah rates; you will find all to have risen 
dramatically, and this is due almost solely to the now-prevalent custom 
of spending a year or two learning in Israel prior to college.

> I feel that severe pressure must be exerted upon High School
> principals in the US to ONLY send students to Zionist, Hebrew speaking
> programs where mixing with Israelis AND Gemillut Hasadim through
> volunteer work with immigrants or needy is a portion thereof. Otherwise,
> all this phenomenon is is Camp Raughly 6,000 miles away.

Once again:  God forbid!!  Why is it that you ignore the *most* important 
aspect of time spent in yeshiva - *learning Torah*!!  Do you realize that 
you are comparing spending virtually all waking hours engrossed in studying
the devar Hashem in the Holy Land to wasting time in a marginally religious 
summer camp in the Catskills?!!  This is an example of what I feel to be 
the one of the worst failings of religious Zionism - the drowning out of 
other paramount aspects of Judaism by the tunneled concentration on the 
supreme value of Medinat Yisra'el and Zionism in general.  If I were a 
principal, and I felt that a particular talmid would develop into a much 
better yerei shamayim in a "black-hat" yeshiva than in, say, Gush, it would
be my religious *obligation* to advise him to go to the former, despite my 
(religious) Zionist feelings and loyalty to my alma mater.  Same goes for 
parent and child.  We must be very careful, especially when considering 
how to direct the spiritual course of a Jew in his/her formative years, to 
not allow our religious Zionist ardor to skew the rest of our fundamental
religious outlook.

Gedalyah Berger
Yeshiva College / RIETS


From: <GERVER@...> (Mike Gerver)
Date: Mon, 28 Feb 1994 0:26:23 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Pronunciations

Mechael Kanovsky, in v11n79, says of a ba'al koreh in his shul,

> Every time that there is a shoorook (the vav with a dot in the
> middle) he pronounces it like a chirik (i.e. ee like cheese). This way a
> who (heh vav alef) becomes a he (heh yud alef), "veyikchu li trumah"
> becomes "veyikchee li treemah" etc. 

and feels that this is such a distortion of proper pronunciation that he
really should hear it again, done correctly.

Actually, this is standard Galitzianer pronunciation (I think, unless I
have my accents mixed up). R. Yitzchak Halberstam, a very good ba'al koreh
who sometimes leins at the early minyan Shabbat morning at the Bostoner
rebbe's shul, always uses this pronunciation, as a matter of family mesorah (he
is descended from the Sanzer rebbe). This is a particularly convenient minhag
for a lazy ba'al koreh to have, since of course in the Torah, the words "hoo"
(meaning "he") and "hee" (meaning "she") are both spelled he-vav-aleph, and
it is necessary for people who do not have this minhag to memorize which is
which. (Once an inexperienced gabbai, not being aware that Yitzchak always
pronounces shoorook as "ee" tried to correct him when he read "hee" and
said "No, it's "hoo," to which Yitzchak, without losing a beat, replied

You would think that Yizchak would take advantage of this, but no, it turns
out that he knows exactly which he-vav-aleph is "hoo" and which is "hee",
even though he pronounces them both as "hee" when he leins. The proof of
this comes when R. Moshe Cohn, the principal emeritus of Maimonides School,
and often the only kohen at the early Shabbat morning minyan, gets an
aliyah. R. Cohn usually is the first to catch any error made by a ba'al
koreh, and will call out a correction from his seat, with obvious delight,
as I can see because I sit next to him on the occasions when I go to the
early minyan. (He is also a connoiseur of Yiddish women's names on the
yahrzeit plaques, and is in many other ways an entertaining gentleman to
sit next to.)  I don't ever recall him catching an error made by Yitzchak
Halberstam, though. When he gets an aliyah, he reads along in standard
Ashkenazic pronunciation (being from Germany), and distinguishes between
"hoo" and "hee" even though Yitzchak does not. If he reads "hoo" when it
should be "hee", or vice versa, however, Yitzchak corrects _him_.

Mike Gerver, <gerver@...>


From: <JDENKBERG@...> (Jay Denkberg)
Date: Sun, 27 Feb 1994 02:48:45 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Shaymos

What is the opinion of MJers regarding deleting the soft version
of Divrei Torah on disk and what happens when I make a hardcopy.

Jay Denkberg

[We have had some discussions on this back awiles, my memory of the
conclusions were that there is no issue of "Sheymos" for soft versions
of Divrei Torah on disk or in memory etc. There is also no real issue of
Sheymos for printed copies, because with everything in English, it never
has the Kedusha / holiness of one of the Names of Hashem. One issue that
I don't know if we fully dealt with is that even if it is not true
Shaymos, and this also applies to the people who make photostats of
Seforim for giving a shiur in shul on Shabbat, sys, is that if it is
Divrei Torah it should not be treated with "bezayon" - in a disgraceful
manner. So what should one do? Is recycling the paper a good method? All
thoughts welcome. Mod.]


From: Yitzchok Adlerstein <ny000594@...>
Date: Sun, 27 Feb 94 17:09:45 -0800
Subject: Study in Israel

I was well on the way towards "ad d'lo yada" when I logged in on
Purim, so my memory may not be perfect.  I thought I saw a posting
from someone who lamented that many American high school students
are sent to institutions that are not sufficiently Zionistic.  He
argued that if a strong dosage of Hebrew language and mixing with
Israelis were not incorporated in these programs, then these
students were really in the equivalent of an American summer camp,
a few thousand miles distant.

Now, I may not have fully comprehended the difference between arur Haman
and baruch Mordechai at that point, but I was sober enough to realize
that I was reading a very strange claim.  Could it really be that we
think so little of kedushas ha'aretz [the holiness of the Land - Mod.]
that a year of yishuv Eretz Yisrael, sans language training and the
external accoutrements of Zionist identification is likened, chas
v'shalom, to a jaunt in the Poconos?  What happened to the incredible
magic that Israel works on kiyum mitzvos [keeping/following the mitzvot
- Mod.], on the avira d'eretz yisreal machkima [the air of Israel makes
wise - Mod.], on the effect that living the way we are supposed to live
in the place Hashem wants us to be almost invariably has upon young

I have taught high school seniors for fifteen years.  The year
spent in Israel has profound effect on young men and young women. 
I have not seen any relationship between the long term effects of
the year and degree of Zionist identification of the institution. 
We employ a host of criteria in matching students with schools:
difficulty of the academic program, warmth of the environment,
success of the institution in producing graduates who continue a
passionate involvement with learning upon their return to the
States (if they come back) - as well as philosophical orientation
of the faculty.  I cannot understand the justification for any
other approach.  The suggestion that we exert "great pressure" on
American high schools to send student to only one kind of school,
as the writer suggested, could not have been born of sound
educational principle.

Perhaps what is even more disturbing are the implications of the
posting.  I thought, perhaps naivelly, that the one positive consequence
of the non-peace that the Israeli government is now considering
["Shalom, shalom v'eyn shalom," said Yirmiya.  "Shalom, shalom in
gematria equals Arafat], is that the poles of the Orthodox community
were finally going to drop their respective extremism, and realize that
we have much more in common than separates us.  There are signs (in
print!) that the religious Zionist community was dropping charedi
bashing; that they realized that they had looked the other way for
decades while a government wreaked havoc with eternal Torah principles,
because of an abiding faith in a government that was now preparing to
self-destruct.  There are indications that the charedi camp finally
realized that those with whom they disagreed were not soft on Torah,
just high on the exhiliration of a return to our Homeland; that they
understood that in their Zionism-trashing they had destroyed a good part
of the chibas ha-aretz [love of the land - Mod.] they could transmit to
their children.  As you watched a Rav Areleh representative holding a
Sefer Tehilim with a young man in jeans and kippah serugah at the recent
demonstration / yom tefillah at the Kotel and cry their hearts out to
the Ribbono Shel Olam they understood they both served together, one
harbored the hope that all the loose ends in the Torah community were
coming together.  [Last observations and optimism compliments of Rav
Nachman Bulman, Shlita.]  I guess it will take a bit longer to penetrate
the Internet.

Perhaps there is a simple explanation for the posting I read. 
Maybe the writer was drinking something a good deal stronger than
what I was.  In which case, I'd love to know what it was, and
whether it's legal...

Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein


From: Ezra Rosenfeld <zomet@...>
Date: Mon, 28 Feb 1994 13:54:43 +0200 (IST)
Subject: Zoo or Zo

To the best of my knowledge there isn't really a "dispute" about the
correct pronunciation, it is basically a commonly made error. The word
"zoo" is a synonym for the hebrew word "asher" as in the verse in 
Shirat HaYam" - "Ad Yaavor Am Zoo Kanita" meaning the nation which Hashem
acquired. The word "Zo" (meaning "this") is the feminine form of the word
"Zeh" and is therefore the appropriate word to use when betrothing a wife
with "this" ring. 
Ezra Rosenfeld


End of Volume 12 Issue 2