Volume 12 Number 96
                       Produced: Mon May  2  6:46:07 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Administrivia - Archive file name correction
         [Leora Renick]
Artscroll (5)
         [Marc Shapiro, Bruce Krulwich, Marc Shapiro, Avi Feldblum,
Rabbi Freundel]
Artscroll and Soncino
         [Philip Trauring]
Artscroll Siddur
         [Shmuel Weidberg]
music during Sefirah
         ["Ben Berliant, x72032"]
Torah Codes
         [David Green]
Watching TV, Videos, etc. during Sefira


From: <renick@...> (Leora Renick)
Date: Mon, 25 Apr 1994 09:47:36 -0400
Subject: Administrivia - Archive file name correction

[Thanks for catching this, Leora. Mod.]

I did an index, and discovered that there was indeed a typo in the file
name - here is the listing that the index command gives:

  hespid-cohn (1 part, 23362 bytes) -- Hespedim for R. Moshe Cohn

in other words, it is a '-' instead of '_'. 

Hope this helps.


From: Marc Shapiro <mshapiro@...>
Date: Mon, 25 Apr 1994 10:24:00 -0400
Subject: Re: Artscroll

Subsequent to sending in my posting on Artscroll I saw that in the new
ed. of Artscroll's Humash (the Stone ed.) the insights of Rabbi
Soloveitchik are quoted.
						Marc Shapiro

From: Bruce Krulwich <krulwich@...>
Date: Mon, 25 Apr 1994 13:08:44 -0400
Subject: Artscroll

> This anti-Zionism also appears in their siddur. This is most unfortunate
> because their siddur is without a doubt the best and most user friendly.
> Would it have been so terrible for them to have included the Prayer for the
> State of Israel or for IDF. If they wanted they could have included it in
> the back as an appendix. Since they do that with all the obscure piyutim
> which no one says why not with these two prayers, especially since the
> majority of Jews who use Artscroll daven in shuls which say these prayers.
> Here we have an example of Artscroll's world view -- they do not view these
> prayers as legitimate

First of all, R' Moshe Feinstein (and I'm told R' Aaron Solovetchick also)
have responsa that give problems with the standard prayer for the Medina,
mainly with the expression "medinas Yisroel, reshis tzmichas geulaseinu."
Given this, it makes perfect sense to omit the prayer.  Perhaps you could
argue that they should have included the changed versions that R' Moshe or R'
Aaron suggested, but that would deviate from the practice of so many shuls.

Given this, and given the fact that they were willing to include the prayer in
the RCA version, it seems silly to chalk it up to "anti-Zionism."  They're
just following their poskim, just like everyone else.


From: Marc Shapiro <mshapiro@...>
Date: Mon, 25 Apr 1994 16:09:06 -0400
Subject: Re: Artscroll

On Mon, 25 Apr 1994, Bruce Krulwich wrote:

> First of all, R' Moshe Feinstein (and I'm told R' Aaron Solovetchick also)
[etc, see above. Mod.]

Unfortunately Dov, you are not making sense. Obviously they are
following their poskim, and the reason their poskim don't say the prayer
for the State of Israel is because of anti-Zionism or non-Zionism. This
is not a halakhic question but a hashkafah question.  I have nothing
against those who do not say the prayer, but the point is that there are
hundreds of gedolim who have endorsed the prayer. In order for a prayer
book to be inclusive and reach out to all of kelal yisrael it should
include everything which has halakhic support. The siddur includes a
great deal of things, and directions, and halakhot, which were subject
to dispute. Usually the siddur will give directions and explain that
there are different opinions. Would it have been so terrible to have
included an appendix and stated "This prayer is said in certain
congregation." As for the RCA siddur, it is a complete waste of money to
produce. The only thing different from the regular Artscroll are the
prayers for Israel, IDF, and Diaspora government. Do we really need an
entire siddur just to include a couple of extra pages.  Furthermore,
find me a gadol who says there is something assur about saying the
prayer for the US government (it used to be considered a hiyyuv). Why
was this left out? Unfortunately there are gedolim who say it is
forbidden to pray for IDF but wouldn't the proper path have been to
point out that many gedolim differ and as our sages say in circumstances
such as this, whether you follow this view or that view, you have
followed a proper opinion.
					Marc Shapiro

From: <mljewish@...> (Avi Feldblum)
Date: Mon, 25 Apr 1994 16:09:06 -0400
Subject: Re: Artscroll

Marc and Dov, let's all strive toward understanding each others
position, rather than pushing it to extremes. Dov, do you know where
this responsa of R' Moshe can be found? In the past, I have a quoted a
response from R' Moshe on this topic, based on a verbal psak that was
never written down and given to a Rav in Philadelphia. In that psak, the
issue was purely one of format of tefilah, he said there was no problem
with the tefilah per se, except that the words "reishit tzmichat
geulosainu" are not written in a format of a request, but rather as
stating a fact. He questioned how one could make that statement before
the time of full redemption in the absence of a prophet. His only
recommendation was to suggest adding the word "sheyehai" before that
phrase. Had Artscroll published the tefilah in that form, in my opinion
they would clearly have been "mezake et harabim", given good value to
the community, as I suspect that version would have started to take
Marc, you are very quick to give a reason for an opinion/psak in the
absence of enough information. I do not think it is at all clear that R'
Moshe and R' Aaron Soloveichek (if he has given a psak as Dov thinks)
made their statements from an anti-zionistic perspective.

Avi Feldblum

From: <dialectic@...> (Rabbi Freundel)
Date: Tue, 26 Apr 1994 23:59:16 -0400
Subject: Re: Artscroll

One small quibble with Marc Shapiro's otherwise excellent critique of
the Art scroll siddur, the association of Lahevel varik with Mohammed
and Jesus in Jewish sources is probably later than the first polemical
attack on Jews for denigrating these people in Aleinu and may reflect a
sort of "in your face" "we did too" type of response


From: Philip Trauring <philip@...>
Date: Mon, 25 Apr 1994 15:01:41 -0400
Subject: Artscroll and Soncino

---Marc Shapiro writes:
> I'll end here wish Artscroll continued success in their Talmud
> translation which will soon replace Soncino as the standard (whether such
> translations are really needed is another issue entirely)

Just a quick note on the Artscroll Talmud. I will always consider the
Soncino a more accurate translation than the Artscroll, since the
Artscroll does not look into the text as much as Soncino. The fact that
Artscroll does not return censored passages is one key aspect(Soncino
always notes when a passage differs in manuscripts and printed form). I
once checked a passage where the word 'Edomi' which refered to the
Romans, which in turn is in reference to the Christians, was switched to
'Cootie' or Samaritan. Artscroll not only did not put in the correct
word, but put in their commentary a description of who the Samaritans
were(are). So as far as I'm concerned I'll stick with Soncino, since it
at least has a semblence of scholarship to the translation. I would
think that you Marc would especially appreciate that.

	Philip Trauring
	Brandeis University


From: Shmuel Weidberg <shmuel@...>
Date: Mon, 25 Apr 1994 11:23:36 -0400
Subject: Artscroll Siddur

I would like to respond to the complaints about the Artscroll siddur. I
believe the siddur was targeted towards that section of the jewish
community that doesn't say prayers for Israel b'shitta. Artscroll is
more than willing to make their siddur available to everybody, but has
no reason to change their orginal format unless they are putting out a
special edition for example the RCA edition.

As far as Gut fun Avrohom; in some circles it might not be said but in
my circles it is said every Motzoei shabbos. I would imagine that holds
true for the publishers of Artscroll as well.

--------Shmuel Weidberg, Toronto, Ontario-------------------------


From: "Ben Berliant, x72032" <C14BZB@...>
Date: Thu, 28 Apr 1994 12:44:53 -0400
Subject: re: music during Sefirah

eisenbrg%<milcse@...> (Lon Eisenberg)
Subject: Re: Watching TV, Videos, and Dating during Sefiras Haomer

>Check the Mishnah Berurah.  The only prohibitions mentioned associated
>with Sefirah are weddings and haircuts.  It does go on to say that if
>you have an engagement party, there should be no dancing (nothing about

	I would not expect the Mishna Berura to list a prohibition on
music, because in Hilhcot Tish'a B'av there is a general prohibition on
music any time of the year, zecher l'churban (in memory of the
destruction of the Temple).  So any prohibition during sefira would be

	When I was in Yeshiva, one of my friends asked Rav Aharon
Soloveitchik if it was OK to go to movies during Sefira.  Rav Aharon
ansered, "It's no more asur than the rest of the year."

					BenZion Berliant


From: David Green <dagreen@...>
Date: Sun, 24 Apr 1994 16:11:23 -0400
Subject: Re: Torah Codes

	I have read with some interest the recent discussion about the Torah 
"Codes".  I have to agree with Rav Karlinsky on perhaps more philosphical 
than Halachic grounds (turf I would need to know a great deal better).  
There is funamental problem with the "Codes", and any other atempt to 
somehow empirically prove that the Toraha is God given.  They depend on 
something that is going to fluxuate.
	Lest say tomorow some mathamatician came up with an entirely 
different statical analisis, one that showed that the codes were bunk.  
Or a group of astrophysisists came up with a new more provable theory 
than the Big Bang, one that could not connect with the Torah story.  What 
do we do?  Well the answer is get up in the morning and put on Tehpilin, 
if we are men, and go about our lives as we had before.  
	What this means is;  Our belief that the Toraha is God given, 
is just that, a BELIEF.  We arent going to rationaly prove it, and 
if we do the rational that we do it by may soon be inept.  In all 
likelyhood in the middle ages Jew's were fond of looking at the 
prevaling scientific world veiw and showing how it and ours 
correleated with it.  That scientific veiw of course had long been proven 
false.  That is why Codes etc, are only proper for the already 
religous.  They are not, and cannot be, the basis of faith.  
	This is why these empirical justifications, so heavily used by 
those in the bussness of "Mecaraving" (That sounds like a proper 
transliteraion), are do dangerous.  They create people whose faith is on 
the one hand overly zelous, and on the other somewhat fragile.  It is 
overly zelous because they think that it is provable, and fragile because it 
potentaly can be disproved. 
	I dont intend to offend anyone who belives the "Codes" to be 
accurate.  I am simply to trying to point out a flaw in their use.


				David Green



From: <er@...> (rosenfeld,elie)
Date: Thu, 28 Apr 1994 12:44:10 -0400
Subject: Watching TV, Videos, etc. during Sefira

By the time this appears it will be after Lag B'Omer, so sefira
restrictions will have ended for most of us, but....

In regards to the custom of avoiding music, many apply this to live
music only (e.g., going to a concert) and not to music on tapes, the
radio, etc.  This was also apparently the "psak" at YU when I was there
since the radio station continued to broadcast music during sefira.  (At
least as of the mid-80's - I assume this is still the case?)

This distinction does really make logical sense since having a live band
playing for you is clearly a quantum leap ahead, simcha-wise, of merely
flipping a switch and hearing music.

As for TV, movies, etc. I would put them in the same category as taped
music.  Some will even avoid going to the movies yet will watch TV and
videos at home.  It seems that in the area of sefira, just like the
question of what is or is not "Shabbosdik", there is a lot of
subjectivity in what folks will and will not do.  As someone else
commented, the Shulchan Aruch addresses only weddings and haircuts.
Everything else is "left as an exercise for the reader".  A rare
opportunity to be tolerant of differing practices!  (Yes, I'm being



End of Volume 12 Issue 96