Volume 17 Number 13
                       Produced: Thu Dec  8 14:53:26 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Ashkenazic vs. Sephardic Pronunciation
         [Danny Geretz]
Being Frum in the Israeli Army
         [Sheila Tanenbaum]
Facing East
         [Eli Turkel]
Israeli Declaration of Independence
         [Rivka Finkelstein]
ki chozak horo-ov (Miketz)
         ["B. Horowitz"]
Mechitza - Origin
         [Aleeza Esther Berger]
         [Lon Eisenberg]
Reason for Hanuka
         [Noah Dana-Picard]
Women singing at the Shabbos table (2)
         [Gad Frenkel, Aryeh Blaut]


From: imsasby!<dgeretz@...> (Danny Geretz)
Date: Wed, 7 Dec 94 11:47:16 EST
Subject: Ashkenazic vs. Sephardic Pronunciation

In volume 16, number 90, Gilad J. Gevaryahu reports on several incidents
where individuals used to Ashkenazic pronunciation attempted Sephardic
pronunciation and managed to turn a samech or sin into a "T" sound (I
assume, thinking that it was a taf without a dagesh instead).

I saw (heard) a similar incident in a shiur in high school once. One of
the rebbeim, who grew up using Sephardic pronunciation, apparently
decided it would be better to use Ashkenazic pronunciation as did all of
his peers at this particular school.  He came into our shiur one winter
morning, and began "Now that we are in chodesh Shvas..." (the name of
the month Shvat being spelled with a tet, not a saf).  That was the end
of that (you know how kids are :-).

Seriously, this is a problem.  My father's generation all use the
Ashkenazic pronunciation (my mom grew up in Israel, and uses the
Sephardic pronunciation), but in my day school, we learned the Sephardic
pronunciation and that's pretty much what I've stuck with.  I do know of
one individual who successfully attempted to change from Sephardic
pronunciation to Ashkenazic pronunciation, but he told me that it was
extremely difficult for him. (Being a basically lazy person, I'm not
sure I'm that committed to changing pronunciation, unless there is a
really good reason to do so.)

Any thoughts about this matter?

Daniel Geretz


From: <SheilaTAN@...> (Sheila Tanenbaum)
Date: Tue, 6 Dec 1994 18:29:15 -0500
Subject: Re: Being Frum in the Israeli Army

Thank you to Chaim Turkel.

My son made aliyah July 1992. He was drafted Dec 1993, and just last week was
While he was in basic training, during the rainy season, there were times the
roads from his base were washed out. The army airlifted the boys from the
north (he was stationed in the negev) out, so they could get home in time for
Time for davening was a hardship, especially as they were always
sleep-deprived (the law entitling a soldier to 5 hours sleep, does not
mandate consecutive hours), but he had that same problem getting up early
when he was in college, here.
Also, he lived on kibbutz Sa'ad, and while visiting there, prior to his
aliyah, he was present when they received delivery of a Zomet- shabbat
modified Jeep. He scoffed at the expense because it is perfectly ok, if not
mandatory, to use a jeep for security purposes, on shabbat.
I found especially distasteful a posting which I received Friday morning,
stating that a woman should commit suicide before being drafted. I notice no
one has commented on that, yet.

Sheila Tanenbaum


From: <turkel@...> (Eli Turkel)
Date: Wed, 7 Dec 94 08:38:29 +0200
Subject: Facing East

     Friederwitzer and Shimshoni discuss what direction to face for
tefilla in Hawaii. I was recently in the alt-neu-shul in Prague (built
about 1270 and used by the Maharal of Prague and the Node be-yehuda
among others).  I took my compass with me and the shul faces slightly
north of east.  However, Jerusalem is almost 45 degrees between south
and east of Prague.  Hence, the direction towards Jerusalem is meant in
a vague way and not meant to be exact. Its the thought that counts.

    It would be interesting to know if the direction one faces in Hawaii
is connected with the problem of which day to keep for shabbat?



From: <ac672@...> (Rivka Finkelstein)
Date: Wed, 7 Dec 1994 23:18:27 -0500
Subject: Israeli Declaration of Independence

Does anyone have any information or feelings about ammendening the Israeli
Declaration of Independence to include Hashem's name (G-d) and give thanks
for His miracles in creating a State of Israel.
Much Thanks
Rivka Finkelstein


From: "B. Horowitz" <horowitz@...>
Date: Tue, 6 Dec 1994 18:23:23 -0500 (EST)
Subject: ki chozak horo-ov (Miketz)

A small, but interesting point, related to reading kamatz as 'aw' as 
opposed to reading it as 'ah.'
In last week's parsha, Miketz, we find the text (o=kamatz, a=patach) 'ki 
chozak horo-ov bchol ho-oretz'(41:57).  This caught my attention for two 
	1. What is the difference in meaning between the text as is 
('chozak) as opposed to the possible alternative 'ki chozOk horo-ov' 
which we do not find?  'Chozak' is a verb, 'chozok' an adjective.  The 
Torah seems to want to tell us that the famine was active, not static.  A 
translation for the phrase as it is found (with thanks to my cousin, 
a Biblical linguist) would be 'And the famine *had become* intense.'  A 
translation for the alternate would be 'And the famine *was* intense.'  
The distinction may be small and subtle, and I would love to hear 
readers' ideas, but there is some difference and the choice cannot be 
accidental.  Which leads me to:
	2. Those who lein and learn in Sepharadit are likely to have 
missed the distinction since 'chozak' and 'chozok' are pronounced 
identically.  I tested this out in shul on several well-versed people and 
not one of them had caught the ambiguity and had in fact assumed the text 
to read 'chozok.'  It is likely that there are other such ambiguities.


From: Aleeza Esther Berger <aeb21@...>
Date: Wed, 7 Dec 1994 12:03:56 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Mechitza - Origin

I missed the beginning of this thread, but I believe the following is 
For archaelogical information (mostly, *lack* of evidence) for mechitzot 
in early synagogues in Palestine, see a book by B. Brooten (I think first 
name is Bernadette, title is "Women in the Ancient Synagogue").  Basically, 
she argues that when archaeologists 
excavated these synagogues, they expected to find separate sections for 
women, therefore they found them.  However if one does not expect to find 
a separate section, the evidence is not there.  (For example, perhaps you 
recall sitting in the synagogue at Masada. It's just a square with "bleachers" 
all around, if my memory serves.)  Of course one could have a separate 
section which doesn't leave archaeological evidence, but anyway, the book 
is thought-provoking, with lots of sketches of the synagogues.  It also has 
information about women leaders in the ancient synagogue, from ancient 
inscriptions.  Since the orginal evidence is presented, the reader can 
take or leave the author's conclusions.

aliza berger


From: <eisenbrg@...> (Lon Eisenberg)
Date: Thu, 8 Dec 94 09:07:48 IST
Subject: qama.s

I don't understand Mark Steiner's example:

>     (The Sefardic grammarians, by contrast, who by fiat labeled any
>qamatz not in a closed unstressed syllable a "long qamatz," were forced
>to say that the word "kawl" in "kawl-`atzmothai tomarnaw," is pronounced
>"kal" (i.e. long qamatz), simply because "kawl" here has a stress!  The
>absurdity that the same word (meaning "all") should be pronounced
>differently just because of an arbitrary rule, was certainly noticed by
>the grammarians themselves.

Isn't the correct stress "kol-`a.smoTHAI"?  The "kol" has only secondary
stress.  Even if there were a rule that a qama.s in a secondarily stressed
syllable is long [gadol], why should it bother Mark that the same word with
the same meaning would be pronounced differently.  Don't we have a perfect
example of such a thing in English, with the very common word "the"?
the banana	the apple
Before a vowel, the "e" in "the" is long, so "the" is pronounced the same as


From: <dana@...> (Noah Dana-Picard)
Date: Wed, 7 Dec 94 14:51:02 IST
Subject: Reason for Hanuka

 I could not read mail-jewish during the last weeks, therefore perhaps
somebody else wrote alreday what I'll say.
 Jonathan Katz writes that in Hanuka we actually commemorate the
military victory and argues from Al-Hanissim. I think he is right.  I
heard about two reasons why the Bavli doesn't mention the victory:
 1) the maccabim were cohanim; as they took for themselves royal
position, Rabbi Yehuda Hanassi (who was from Bet David) saw that fact as
an usurpation and did not want to mention them in the michna. Therefore
there is no Massekhet Hanuka. On a long range, this explanation can be
 2) the Talmud was compiled during the Roman occupation of the land of
Israel.  To glorify fighters and commemorate a military victory against
hellenic occupation could have been dangerous.  Let me add that the
Rambam deals mostly with the historical part of Hanuka, linking it with
hilkhot hallel, and only afterwards, as a secondary topic, deals with
the oil miracle.

Bessorot Tovot,


From: Gad Frenkel <0003921724@...>
Date: Tue, 6 Dec 94 10:14 EST
Subject: Women singing at the Shabbos table

 At my Rebbe's (Rav Shlomo Twerski ZTZ"L of Denver) I had always seen
his daughters singing at the Shabbos table.  From this I assumed that it
was permissible for women to sing in a group with other women and men.
When my daughter, who goes to a coed school with a mixed choir, recently
became a Bas Mitzvah I discussed my assumptions with a local posek here
in Baltimore. He told me that although he couldn't site any sources, he
was aware that the Kopishnitzer (I think that't who he said, but I could
be wrong) Rebbe's daughters also sang at the Shabbos table.  The posek
however corrected my assumption that this meant any group singing was
OK, rather that group singing of Shabbos Z'meiros, with the inherent
Kedusha of them and the setting, offer a special instance where Kol Isha
does not apply.

Obviously not everyone holds this opinion, and I would imagine that for
the most part those who don't, would also refrain from having the women
of the household sing when a female non-family member is present, so as
not to cause her discomfort or lead her to believe that she would be
allowed to sing.

Gad Frenkel

From: Aryeh Blaut <ny000592@...>
Date: Tue, 06 Dec 94 20:56:07 -0800
Subject: Re: Women singing at the Shabbos table

>>From: Claire Austin <CZCA@...>
>Ari Shapiro wrote:
>>Therefore the singing of female guests at the Shabbos table would be
>>prohibited.  NOTE: Nowadays every pnuya is considered a niddah and
>>would be prohibited.
Claire responded:
>Whatever one holds by in this matter I myself feel very uncomfortable in
>the situation where female guests (that would be me) are prohibited from
>singing at the Shabbos table while at the same time the wife of the man
>of the house (no other men being present) does sing the zmiros along
>with her husband.  "Discomfort" is a very big understatement of how I
>feel in such situations.

I'm probably jumping into the middle of an on going discussion on this 
topic.  A collegue of mine told me the following story:

This friend of mine was being interviewed for a job as a Rabbi in a
school.  Some of the board members asked him if he was machmir
(stringent) regarding Kol Isha (women's voices).  He responded with the
comment: "The Torah is [stringent]".

There are many times that I'm in situations that others are not
following Halacha or being sensative to those following it and I am
uncomfortable.  For those situations in which I have control over, I
don't go back there again (or better yet, I explain my discomfort in
hopes of solving it).  For those situations in which I have no control
over (ie: the workplace), when I can avoid it, I do; when I cannot avoid
it, I suffer.

The bottom line for me is just because someone else isn't doing the
right thing, doesn't make it correct for me to follow.  The question of:
"if everyone else is going 15 miles per hour over the speed limit,
shouldn't I also?" comes to mind...



End of Volume 17 Issue 13