Volume 20 Number 67
                       Produced: Wed Jul 26 21:46:24 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Binyomin Segal]
Aliyot - addendum
         [Manny Lehman]
Ibn Bal'am
         [M. Linetsky]
More on the Grammar Question
         [Monica Devens]
Pinchas and Eliyahu
         [Sheldon Korn]
         [Josh Wise]
Pinhas and Clinic Murders
         [Tara Cazaubon]
Reunion with Monica Devens: Ittecha
         [M. Linetsky]
Two Recent Postings on Correcting Leining Errors
         [Arthur Roth]


From: <bsegal@...> (Binyomin Segal)
Date: Sun, 23 Jul 1995 02:15:53 -0500
Subject: Aliyot

 Manny Lehman writes
 * we have a ba'al
 * kore (reader) only because most people are unable to do their own
 * thing. Even if someone can, we do not. generally, permit it (except on
 * Simchat Tora) so as not to put to shame those who can't.

I too have heard this - and I think I was once shown a source, but have
been unable to find a source recently. Can anyone point to a source for
this idea ie that to avoid embarresment we don't let others read?


From: <mml@...> (Manny Lehman)
Date: Mon, 24 Jul 1995 10:59:55 +0100
Subject: Aliyot - addendum

My sincere apologies and one correction, one addition to my recent respose
to Aliza re Aliyot.

Rabbi Nahum Spirn has pointed out to me quite correctly that we only
make Hosafot when seven people are scheduled for calling up, ie. on
Shabbat.  Thus my 4th paragrph should have read:

4. If more than seven are called up on Shabbat when hosafot are allowed,
the first 7 (including Cohen and Levi are called up by their "serial
number", thereafter by the term "hosafa" (addition), except the last one
who is called up as "acharon" (last one).

I myself also sent an earlier correction which has not been posted.
Paragraph 2 should have read: {My apologies, I saw that one come
through, but it seems to have gotten by me. Mod.]

2. I can't think of any reason why one should not switch in the middle of a
parasha though I would suggest that no single individual should read less
than 3 p'sukim. I would think that where the ba'alei kria change over the
break time should be minimised so that it does not represent a hefsek
(break) usually defined as the time it takes to say "shalom alechem rebi
o'mori" Perhaps one should also avoid changing at those ends of sentences
where we would not make an inter-aliya break.

As posted only the first sentence was stated. I believe minimum "change
over time" is also important, though do not know if this is required by
Halacha or if the issue is addressed anywhere.

Prof. M M (Manny) Lehman, Department of Computing,
Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, 180 Queen's Gate,
London SW7 2BZ, UK., phone: +44 (0)171 594 8214,
fax: +44 (0)171) 594 8215, alt fax.: +44 (0)171 581 8024
email: <mml@...>


From: 81920562%<TAONODE@...> (M. Linetsky)
Date: Tue 25 Jul 1995 15:29 ET
Subject: Ibn Bal'am

The name is not related to Bil'am. Allony conludes, if I am not
mistaken, that it is a contraction of ibn al 'am.

Sincerely Michael Linetsky


From: <mdevens@...> (Monica Devens)
Date: Mon, 24 Jul 1995 13:10:23 -0700
Subject: More on the Grammar Question

Certainly I agree with Richard Schultz that there *are* true
disagreements among the sources.  I would, however, estimate that they
represent what, maybe 10% of the discrepancies one finds.  Many, many
people who would instantly accept that a price list with a figure for a
new car of $125.00 is obviously misprinted, find it extremely hard to
accept that traditional Hebrew texts are often badly done.  (I find the
idea that this was on purpose fascinating.  *That* never would have
occurred to me.)  That they accept what is printed so unquestioningly
frustrates me.

As regards Psalms 118:25, that is a very interesting passage.  In the
two texts I checked, /hatslikha/ was doubly marked.  In both the BHS and
the old Leeser edition (very different texts), there is a zarka on the
syllable /li/ and a merkha on the syllable /kha/.  (Same, by the way,
for the word /hoshi'a/ coming earlier in the line.)  In the Leeser,
however, there is a footnote: milra.  Now I know nothing about the trope
system used in Psalms, so I can't intelligently comment on this, but
clearly this is a confusing section.  Personally I wouldn't put any
weight on the common pronunciation of the words by Ashkenazim.  How can
one know whether or not this is merely an influence of standard
Ashkenazi stress patterns?

Monica Devens


From: Sheldon Korn <rav@...>
Date: Tue, 25 Jul 1995 16:23:13 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Pinchas and Eliyahu

In response to Eliyahu Hanavi beinng a Kohen.  The Midrrash states that
Pinchas and Eliyahu are one--the same person--living 500-600 years
apart, thus infering from Parshas Pinchas that there is a Bris Kehunas
Olam which would apply to Eliyahu.  Note the Haftorah for Pashas Pinchas
and the meforshim on it.  Metephorically Pinchas and Eliyahu were
Zealous as well as forerunners of peace.  (Bris Shalom for Pichas, while
Eliyahu is the harbinger of Peace.  Both shed also blood as a result of
their zealousness.  If we take the Midrash and Rashi....I believe in
Sanhedrin then Eliyahu was a Kohen.

Sheldon Korn


From: Josh Wise <jdwise@...>
Date: Tue, 25 Jul 1995 14:48:30 EDT
Subject: Pinhas

The act to which Pinhas responded is hardly similar to the case of
abortion doctors. The reason why Pinhas was allowed to act as he did was
because the perpretrators were acting brazenly in clear defiance of what
Moshe had said in Hashem's nam. But the most important factor as I
understand it was that it was done in public. If this act had been
committed in private, as in the case of the abortion doctors, Pinhas
would have had no justification to act as he did.

However, even in a case of a public desecration, I would think that a
prerequisite to action would a warning, to determine whether the
perpretrators knew that what they were doing was wrong.

Josh Wise


From: <tarac@...> (Tara Cazaubon)
Date: Tue, 25 Jul 1995 10:24:15 -0700
Subject: Pinhas and Clinic Murders

My rabbi gave his drasha this past shabbat on exactly this topic (Pinhas
and clinic murders).  His conclusion was that this sort of thing is best
avoided (left to Hashem to deal with) since today's "zealots" most likely
do not have the proper intent when committing their actions (i.e. doing it
as a kiddush Hashem and without having to reflect on the rightness of the
action).  I agree with his conclusion, but for a different reason.  I
believe that the fetus is not a person and thus abortion does not
constitute murder.  I base my opinion on the incident of a woman who is
beaten and is caused to miscarry, where the perpetrator is liable for a
fine rather than the death penalty for the loss of the fetus.

-Tara Cazaubon


From: 81920562%<TAONODE@...> (M. Linetsky)
Date: Tue 25 Jul 1995 15:27 ET
Subject: Reunion with Monica Devens: Ittecha

Dear Monica:

We meet again| I thought that when I got off the Hebrew Language line, I
would not be arguing about any grammatical points anymore. I am back to

You say that if the shewa under that taw would be a nah the kaf would be
plosive. This, as I am sure you know, is far from necessary. I already
stated in the good old days that the early grammarians considered medial
shewas to be quiescent, even thogh the next leter was spirant. What you
say, therefore, is no proof. It is apparent to me that it is possible
that there be variant readings. It is well known that Rashi read
Wehattath 'amecha not wehatath as our texts have it. (Rashbam, already
noticed this different reading that Rashi had). It is impossible to
exclude any reading unless it defies every concievablrule of grammar

Thank you Michael Linetsky Tel hai


From: <rotha@...> (Arthur Roth)
Date: Mon, 24 Jul 1995 17:52:31 -0500
Subject: Two Recent Postings on Correcting Leining Errors

    Avrom Forman (MJ 20:62) asks about the custom of finishing a pasuk
before going back to correct an error if Hashem's name has already been
said in this pasuk.  Avrom argues that logically this doesn't make any
sense.  Well, it seems that Avrom's logic has support from Rav Herschel
Schachter (not sure of spelling) of YU, who pubished an article about 10
years ago, I believe in a journal whose main focus was on musical
applications in religion, with a title something like, "Little Known
Laws About the Reading of the Torah."  One of his points was that there
was ABSOLUTELY NO BASIS for this custom, and it should not be followed.
In fact, I was struck by Rav Schachter's strong unequivocal language on
this issue, especially since the majority of the points in his article
were stated in an equivocal manner that allowed for minority views and
differing minhagim.  Furthermore, nothing in the article was just Rav
Schachter's own opinion.  Every one of his assertions was backed up by
quoted sources, including many from Rav Moshe Feinstein, though I don't
remember the source for this particular item.  It may take me a few days
to find my copy of this article.  When I do, I will post the exact
reference to it, as well as the source Rav Schachter relies on for his
very strong statement on this matter.  By the way, my own logic agrees
with that of both Avrom and Rav Schachter.  Let me add one more
dimension to this logic that Avrom didn't state.  The issue of whether
Hashem's name has been spoken in vain has to be logically related to the
INTENTION of the speaker at the time he utters the name.  It is hard for
me to believe that a name read with pure, holy intentions by a ba'al
korei in the normal course of leining can suddenly become a violation of
taking the name in vain by virtue of an independent error that is made
later in the pasuk, long after the name has been heard by all.
Similarly, if someone were to recite half of a pasuk, containing
Hashem's name, in a disrespectful, mocking way, it seems to me that this
would be a serious violation, and I fail to see how it could be "fixed"
merely by finsihing the pasuk with the correct words.  No, I don't have
a source for this, but neither has anyone ever been able to show me a
source to the contrary, and like Avrom, I've asked many people for such
sources over the years.
    Bobby Fogel (MJ 20:44) asks what if a ba'al korei is corrected
incorrectly and goes back to read what turns out to be an incorrect
version of what he had already read correctly to begin with.  From the
custom to read "zeicher/zecher" on Shabbat Zachor, it is obvious that
once you are already yotzei on a given word, this does not become
reversed by a subsequent different reading of the same word.  We read
this word (or phrase or entire pasuk, depending on the custom of each
shul) twice, so that we are yotzei no matter which one is correct.
(Yes, I know that Rav Breuer argues strongly that "zeicher" is the only
correct reading and that it should be read only once rather than twice,
but that is not relevant to Bobby's question.)  If the last reading in
some way "wiped out" the first reading, then repeating "zeicher/zecher"
wouldn't help at all.  I've been told that the halacha (no sources, just
word of mouth) is that the words have to be read correctly once and in
order.  This was applied in actual practice about 10-12 years ago in a
shul in New Jersey, where the ba'al korei made a mistake in word "C" of
a pasuk that contained the words "A B C D E".  When he went back to make
the correction, he for some reason or other started with "A" instead of
"C" and this time made an error pronouncing "A", which he had done
correctly the first time.  Amid shouts from everywhere, the rabbi
motioned everyone to quiet down and let the leining proceed, on the
grounds that we were already yotzei on "A" from the FIRST reading.  If
the second mistake had occurred in "D" instead, this would not have
worked even though "D" had also been read correctly the first time, as
it is impossible to be yotzei on "D" before "C" has been read correctly.
By the way, in this case, "A B C D E" were just words, all part of the
same phrase if my recollection serves me correctly.  There is a
difference of opinion as to whether it is sufficient to read each word
as a separate entity or whether groups of words must be read as correct
entire phrases.  This ruling was obviously according to the more lenient
opinion in this regard.  But for those who view the phrases rather than
the words as the basic units, the same principle would apply if "A B C D
E" are viewed as five consecutive phrases rather than just five
consecutive words.  Whatever the basic units are, each of them must be
read correctly just once, in the correct relative order, and bad
"corrections" do not "undo the credit" for a unit that has already been
done successfully.


End of Volume 20 Issue 67