Volume 21 Number 70
                       Produced: Fri Oct 27  0:42:25 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Marsha Wasserman]
         [Harry Weiss]
Aleinu and the Problem with Non-Unique Solutions
         [Mechy Frankel]
Aleinu Tune (2)
         [Elie Rosenfeld, Alan Cooper]
Alenu tune
         [Elozor Preil]
Alenu tunes
         [Steve White]
Arba minim - purchasing
         [Israel Botnick]
         [Steve White]
Ritalin on Shabbos
         [Akiva Miller]


From: <Wassermen@...> (Marsha Wasserman)
Date: Thu, 19 Oct 1995 19:47:14 -0400
Subject: Re: Alainu

Regarding Alainu, I once heard someone explain that the opening melody was a
Gregorian chant.  Any music people out there have any comments?
      Marsha Wasserman


From: <harry.weiss@...> (Harry Weiss)
Date: Thu, 19 Oct 95 21:42:06 -0700
Subject: Aleinu

Alan Cooper indicated that the tune of Shehu Notah is a result of the
children finishing the services.  I remember that as a child there were
places they used to sing the standard Aleinu tune through Hakadosh
Baruch Hu and then almost immediately go to V'nemar.  Perhaps the tune
was devised to help insure that people said the entire Aleinu.
Incidentally in our shul and others where they sing the entire Al Ken
Nekaveh there is no problem with the repetition of Ushmo at the end
since the tune used has no repetition there.



From: Mechy Frankel <FRANKEL@...>
Date: Wed, 18 Oct 1995 22:17:48 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: Aleinu and the Problem with Non-Unique Solutions

As a number of recent correspondents have noted the gematric (if the
declension doesn't quite exist, it ought to) identification of "varik"
with "yeshu" they ought be reminded of the perils of rampant
gematrization (ditto) inherent in non-unique mapping to word space,
since (as noted in one of the earlier Sperber Minhagei Yisrael volumes)
the word "yikaro" is merely a permutation of "varik" with, of course, an
identical gematria. Then the substitution of yeshu into that other
Aleinu phrase "umoshav yikaro bashamyim mema'al" conveys a somewhat
different sentiment.

Mechy Frankel                                     H: (301) 593-3949
<frankel@...>                              W: (703) 325-1277


From: <er@...> (Elie Rosenfeld)
Date: 19 Oct 1995  15:28 EDT
Subject: Aleinu Tune

What about the origin of the commonly-used tune for the _first_ part of
Aleinu?  Something about that tune seems not quite "Shabbosdik", for
want of a better word.  It has the slow, ponderous beat of a song meant
to be accompanied by an organ.  Does anyone know if the tune in fact
originated in Temples where organs were used on Shabbos?

The same applies to the common tune for "Ain Kelokeynu".  It has the
same type of slow, organ-like beat.

- Elie Rosenfeld

From: Alan Cooper <Alan.Cooper@...>
Date: Thu, 19 Oct 1995 18:07:09 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Aleinu Tune

Yes, the poster who identified "Itsy Bitsy Spider" as the source tune
for shehu noteh shamayim was absolutely correct.  I stand by my
explanation of how that awful tune crept into our services.  In fact,
the rabbi of our shul informed me that it had been imported by the local
day school kids.  The Hebrew version of the tune, if anyone is curious,
begins with the words "akhbar akhbar hishamer pen hechatul yavo maher"
[Mousy, Mousy, watch yourself, or else the cat will pounce.]  Now don't
those words evoke the hymnic grandeur of shehu noteh...!  ;-)

Alan Cooper


From: <EMPreil@...> (Elozor Preil)
Date: Fri, 20 Oct 1995 00:05:49 -0400
Subject: Re: Alenu tune

About 15 years ago, I heard from someone who took a course at the Belz School
of Jewish Music (then known as CTI- Cantorial Training Institute) at YU that
the tune we use for Alenu is actually identical to the sheet music of a
Gregorian chant.  Can anyone confirm or refute?

Elozor Preil


From: <StevenJ81@...> (Steve White)
Date: Wed, 18 Oct 1995 18:42:12 -0400
Subject: Alenu tunes

Michael Shoshani writes (in #68)
>The children's song is known as "The Eensy-Weensy Spider".  There is
>a variant that substitutes "itsy-bitsy" for "eensy-weensy". 

That only works up to "u'shchinat uzo."  I've got a good ear, and have
never figured out a good single song this fits to.  It seems to be a
variant of the spider song, jiggled around a bit, to make it fit.
'Course, if anyone has a better thought, let me know.  (Farmer in the
Dell only works from "Bayom ha hu," not before, BTW.)

But as far as this all goes, I'm curious if anyone can track the tune.
But my answer to those who are offended by it is: Lighten Up.  There are
a lot of children in shul at that hour, and if it is easy for them to
sing and follow along, I think that's absolutely great.  And having
something (anything) for even the adults to sing is a lot better than
having people talk during that part of the davening, which seems to me
to be just as common, and MUCH more offensive.  Finally, I think that
the key is kavvana.
 If you really find the tune so light that you cannot say Alenu with
kavvana, then don't sing it.  I sing Alenu, to that tune, with kavvana.

BTW, in a "Wee Sing" video we have, one of the (decidedly secular) songs
is to the same tune that we use for "Torah tziva lanu Moshe."  So do you
want to change that, too?

Finally, though I'd like to look this up, and I can't now, much
Ashkenazi shul music borrows from (and is borrowed from by) Western and
Christian musical traditions.  (Take a look at a hymnal some time.)
Similarly, Sefardic traditions tend to resemble Muslim ones.  It's real,
and you can't turn the clock back and change it.  But on the whole, that
ought to be more offensive than a children's tune, shouldn't it?

I just can't get worked up about this.  To my way of thinking, there are
just a lot more important things to worry about in the Jewish world than
the tune to Alenu.  And if someone disagrees and wants to write a new,
more solemn nigun for Alenu, send it to me.  If I like it too, I'll be
the first one to experiment with it when I daven musaf.  (My friends on
this list know that's true!)

Sorry I got so worked up.
Steve White


From: <icb@...> (Israel Botnick)
Date: Thu, 19 Oct 95 11:03:15 EDT
Subject: Arba minim - purchasing

regarding a minor who sells aravot, the biur halacha (siman 658) writes
that one shouldnt purchase aravot from a minor because the minor cannot
transfer ownership to the buyer. (a minor can only perform a transaction
on a rabbinic level, whereas the ownership of the 4 species must be on
the biblical level).

That is a minor selling the aravot on his own. If however the minor is
selling the Aravot on behalf of an adult, IWSTM that there would be no
problem since the minor isn't really selling them (they arent his).  It
is the adult seller who is really conducting the transaction (by
agreeing to sell the aravot) and the minor is simply accepting the money
on his behalf which is a valid kinyan kesef[transaction via payment].
The buyer then performs a kinyan meshicha [transaction via taking the
object] and it is then his. (both the kinyan kesef and kinyan meshicha
are necessary to acquire chattel).

Israel Botnick


From: <StevenJ81@...> (Steve White)
Date: Wed, 18 Oct 1995 18:40:52 -0400
Subject: Ritalin

>From Zev Kesselman in #69
>	I wanted to see a written psak, because my LOR permitted it as
>"a drug that's taken regularly may also be taken on shabbat", without
>really addressing the question of illness, pikuach nefesh, etc.  When I
>expressed my reservations about this to him, he stuck by his psak,
>adding: "Ah, if it's a "ma'achal-bri'im" [a food taken by healthy
>people] then it's even easier to allow".  I would still like to see
>something in print, if anyone has seen such a thing.

I (respectfully) have an enormous problem with this.  Your LOR has
already permitted this.  He paskened for you.  And you yourself say
you'd really like them to take it on Shabbat so they'll learn and behave
properly.  So why are you looking for trouble?

Now, lest you think that I h''v don't want you to do good Torah research
on the subject, that's not what I mean.  There's never anything wrong
with looking things up.  But in a case like this, good research doesn't
substitute for a shailah (question) and teshuva (response).  You've got
one, and it suits your desired end, and your LOR has taken the halachic
responsibility for making the decision.  I think you have a clear path
of action.

Additionally, you haven't mentioned discussing this with your doctor.
Most halachic questions of this type are _NOT_ generalizable because
every case is different.  If you read a written teshuva about this, you
might never know what the particular medical facts are in the case.
(The child may have been a very mild ADD, for example.)  If you really
think you don't want to give this medicine on Shabbat, you still
absolutely positively have got to go to your doctor first and see what
s/he thinks about the possibility of your trialing a drug holiday for
your twins.  Then discuss that with your LOR, and if there is still
disagreement, get all three of you in a room together.  You do NOT want
to fool around with this stuff without medical as well as halachic
advice -- and that's a matter of halacha as well as medicine.

Finally, please note that the prohibition against taking prepared
medicines on Shabbat is RABBINIC, not Torah.  As a rule -- but ask LOR
first -- Rabbinic proscriptions may be violated even for a holeh she'ain
bo/bah sakana (ill person not in danger), though preferably by shinui
(modification of action) or by a non-Jew.  And on the whole we are also
more lenient about what we consider sakana (danger) in a child than in
an adult.  So you _may_ even have holim she'yesh bo sakana (ill person
in danger), in which case you may do anything and everything necessary,

Look, I don't know your case, and I'm sorry I got so heated.  I work in
pharmaceuticals for a living, and I know these things can be dangerous.
You just don't want to fool around with stuff like this.

Steve White
(PS -- all right, now I'll tell you what I really think.  :-)   )


From: <Keeves@...> (Akiva Miller)
Date: Thu, 19 Oct 1995 03:20:39 -0400
Subject: Ritalin on Shabbos

Zev Kesselman wrote again, in 21:69, clarifying his question about
Ritalin.  His twins sound similar to my 12-year-old, who was diagnosed
with ADHD a year and a half ago, and has been on Ritalin since. I never
stopped to think that I should ask a shaala about it (though maybe I
should) mostly because the halachos of medicine on Shabbos as
specifically more lenient for children (though admittedly not carte
blanche). Though not asking my rav, I did consider the question to
myself, however, and this is what I came up with, though you may
consider it in the "moreh heter" category:

Chaper 24 of Medical Halacha for Everyone (Feldheim's translation of Lev
Avraham) opens with "Halacha does not differentiate between physical and
mental illness, and the psychiatric patient is also categorized as
enumerated in Chapter 1..."

In Chapter 1 there, a "choleh she'ein bo sakana" is defined to include
"a person who stands to lose part of his body, or the use, or partial
use, of part of his body, but not in circumstances that would constitute
a danger to life. Thus, if as a result of the illness or injury he might
be left with a limp, or with a hand that cannot be used normally, he is
included in this category." -- And such a person *may* take medicine on
Shabbos (10:52 there).  One does *not* need to be in a pikuach nefesh
situation (life/death emergency) in order to take medicine.

Now, it seems to me that if the danger of *developing* a limp justifies
taking medicine, then certainly medicine could be taken by one who
already *has* a limp, to enable him to walk normally. Is it unreasonable
to view our children as having comparably impaired brains?

>of Ritalin tablets on Shabbat.  In my case, the problem is training my
>ten- year-old twins to come to shul and daven, like the rest of their
>peer group.  Without Ritalin, even if they can be wheedled into coming
>to shul, they can't sit still and concentrate on what's going on.  With
>it, they sit like gentlemen, daven, follow the kriah, etc.  The question
>I had was: Given the issur of using pills on shabbat (except for pikuach 
>nefesh) - if the kids can't otherwise get into the religious habits 
>expected of them, isn't this a type of pikuach nefesh?

Ritalin is a very tightly regulated drug. You cannot get it unless a
physician has certified that the patient's nervous system suffers from a
chemical imbalance which the Ritalin can help fix. In plain english: The
kid is sick! My son is not lying in bed, and does not appear to be ill,
and this often causes me to forget that he is indeed ill, and I tend to
expect too much of him. If he forgets to take his medicine I will be
upset that is not davening properly. And so I must remind myself: This
is not a person who is too lazy to pay attention to davening, but rather
he has a sick body which will not let him pay attention.

Let me add one more note: Diabetics and heart patients must always carry
sugar or nitroglycerine (respectively) in case of emergency. Does this
mean that such a person must remain home if there is no eruv which would
allow him to carry it with him? No! See 10:49 ibid, that Rav
S.Z. Auerbach allows him to go to shul or to learning, provided that he
carries it in an unusual manner. Rav Waldenberg (ibid) disagrees about
carrying in such a case, but medicine is a much less severe prohibition
- you *don't* need pikuach nefesh to justify taking pills.


End of Volume 21 Issue 70