Volume 21 Number 78
                       Produced: Wed Nov  1 23:45:23 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Alaynu and the Bismarck
         [L. Joseph Bachman]
Aleinu meets "Sink the Bismarck"  Vol. 21 #72
         [Neil Parks]
Black Clothing and False Piety
         [Esther Posen]
Black hats and "false piety"
         [Yehudah Prero]
Black Hats and Garments
         [Yisrael Herczeg]
Black hatters?
         [Joe Goldstein]
Hatikva and Smetana
         [Eli Passow]
Hatikva music
         [Steve Wildstrom]
Origins of Tunes (Hatikva)
         [Michael Shoshani]
Sources for Black Hat
         [Joe Wetstein]
         [Yeshaya Halevi]
         [Yeshaya Halevi]


From: L. Joseph Bachman <jbachman@...>
Date: Wed, 1 Nov 1995 08:57:02 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: Alaynu and the Bismarck

From: <CHIHAL@...> (Yeshaya Halevi)
Concerning a tune used in singing aleinu being derived fro the song , 
"Sink the Bismark."

>  The Bismarck was a Nazi supership that devastated Allied naval
>  forces until sunk by the HMS Hood.  The song was a big hit ca. 1960.

Actually, It was the Bismarck that sunk the Hood.  The Bismarck itself
was sunk by a flotilla of about half the Royal Navy, which had to chase
the German ship all around the north Atlantic for a considerable time
before they cornered it and sent out torpedo planes to do the actual


From: Neil Parks <nparks@...>
Date: Wed, 1 Nov 95 07:18:36 EDT
Subject: Aleinu meets "Sink the Bismarck"  Vol. 21 #72 

>From: <z-suldan@...> (Zal Suldan)
>As for she'hu noteh shamayim, according to "Zmirot Anthology" by Neil
>Levin and Vevel Pasternak, the melody we use for it comes from the song,
>"He Said He'd Sink the Bismarck." (I've never heard this song,
>myself. Is this possibly a civil war vintage song maybe??) 

No, it has nothing to do with the civil war.  "Sink the Bismarck" is
about a naval battle between Britain and Germany in World War II.  It
was made popular by Johnny Horton in approximately 1960.  There was a
movie of the same title, but I don't think the song was sung in the

Funny--I've always thought of "spider" whenever I heard She-hu Noteh
Shomayim.  I never thought of "Bismarck".  But as soon as you mentioned
it, I saw the connection right away.  Thanks.

     NEIL PARKS  Beachwood, Ohio    mailto://<nparks@...>


From: <eposen@...> (Esther Posen)
Subject: Re: Black Clothing and False Piety

I recently was at a wedding and at least 40% of the women were wearing
"black clothing".  Are they also exhibiting false piety?  This whole
track on "black hats" looks like yet another attempt at right wing
slamming.  I truly doubt that when black hatters depart from this world
they are punished in the next world for their exhibition of "false
piety" in their "uniform".  Although I can chuckle at my husband mowing
the lawn in an "old suit" (sans hat) I will attempt to list the reasons
for the "uniform".

Yeshiva guys like the Cary Grant look!
There is a requirement to daven with an extra head covering
Societies and sub-socities tend to develop uniforms; wearing the uniform   
is a way of "pledging allegiance" to the society.
There is the kovod-hatorah aspect which dictates that a talmid chacham   
should dress in a formal manner this would extend to one davening etc.
A black hat does amazing things for guys who are short, bald or both and   
this advantage compensates for the difficulties of taking a hat with you   
on a plane etc.
The yeshiva world wants to give the rest of orthodox jewry something to   
 talk about.



From: <DaPr@...> (Yehudah Prero)
Date: Wed, 1 Nov 1995 18:32:29 -0500
Subject: Re: Black hats and "false piety"

In a message dated 95-10-31 23:59:24 EST, Erwin Katz wrote:
>I wonder what the black hatters have to say about the comments of the
>Maharsha in Gemara Sotah on the Braisah of Sivah Pirushim, Daf 22b. The
>Gemarah speaks about false piety and the Maharsha includes in that group
>those who wear black clothing.

As one who wears a black hat, I really do not have much say on the
matter, beacuse the Gemora speaks for itself: (There are two Gemoras in
that area which deal with black clothing. As the significance of black
clothing is really the same in both pieces, I will only mention the
first Gemora).  Rav Nachman bar Yitzhak said : What is hidden is hidden,
and what is revealed is revealed; the Great Tribunal will exact
punishment from those who "chafu gundi."  Who are those that are "chafu
gundi"? Rashi explains that they are people who "cloak themselves" to
appear like "peirushim" or the true righteous people, while in reality
they are not "peirushim." The Maharsha explains that it means according
to the Aruch those who cloak themselves in black clothing.  What does
the Gemora mean? These people the Gemora are referring to wore black
clothes because they wanted to resemble the "peirushim" who wore black
as a sign of mourning over Jerusalem.  However, they only resembled the
"peirushim" in dress, not in deeds.  The thrust of the Gemora is that
only G-d really knows who is sincere, and He will give each person his
just reward.  Only those who wear black AND DONT ACT UP TO PAR are
hypocrtical and guilty of false piety. Of those who wear black (and do
the other actions that the Gemora lists as being examples of those
actions which people who like to appear pious may perform), the Maharsha
says "The true 'peirush' who does so - this is praiseworthy." If
anything, (if I may borrow a line which is actually a distortion from a
pasuk in Shir HaShirim) Black is beautiful.  

Yehudah Prero


From: Yisrael Herczeg <yherczeg@...>
Date: Wed, 1 Nov 1995 16:06:22 GMT
Subject: Black Hats and Garments

In v21n76 we find: 
> I wonder what the black hatters have to say about the comments of the
> Maharsha in Gemara Sotah on the Braisah of Sivah Pirushim, Daf 22b. The
> Gemarah speaks about false piety and the Maharsha includes in that group
> those who wear black clothing.

Maharsha to Kiddushin 40a says that wearing black clothing is an
effective way to combat the urge to sin. The Maharsha to which the
poster refers says that insincerely wearing black as a sign of mourning
for the Temple is false piety. Maharsha's point is supported by the fact
that the gemara in Sotah uses a verb from the root "chfh" with reference
to black clothing.  This is not the verb used for wearing clothes in the
usual manner. That is "lvsh". "Chfh" refers specifically to covering the
head with a cloak or shawl, as was the practice of mourners in ancient

Yisrael Herczeg


From: Joe Goldstein <vip0280@...>
Date: Wed, 01 Nov 95 09:19:09 
Subject: Black hatters?

Mr Katz writes: "I wonder what the black hatters have to say about the
comments of the Maharsha in Gemara Sotah on the Braisah of Sivah
Pirushim, Daf 22b. The Gemarah speaks about false piety and the Maharsha
includes in that group those who wear black clothing."

   I am not sure I find this comment to be in keeping with the "darkay
Noam" rules of M-J. However be that as it may I will attempt to put the
gemmorah in Historical context. In the times of the gemmorah the mode of
dress for people was to wear white clothes on Shabbos. Black clothes was
not the normal mode of dress. The only people who wore black clothes
were people who were in some mode of mourning,or sorrow. (this "custom"
exists even among the Goyim were they wear black to funerals). If a
person was trying to repent from sins he has done then he would wear
black as a symbol of doing teshuva and sorrow over his sin. (See the
gemmorah in either moed Koton or Chagigah, sorry I do not remember
where. The gemmorah says a person who wants to do teshuva should wear
black and go to a place where no on knows him and repent!)

Therefore in those days wearing black was a symbol for a Baal Teshuvah.
However, today the wearing of a black hat and conservative dark clothing
is not a sign of someone who is doing teshuvah. It is a mode of dress
that is in keeping with the style of not calling attention to oneself.
To dress modestly and properly. It is a style where one is not a slave
to fashion. And it is a way of dress for EVERYONE from Rosh Yeshiva to a
"simple Baal Habayis" It does not denote haughtiness. On the contrary it
is a mode of dress NOT to call attention to oneself! It is only because
our society is so fashion conscience that when one dresses
conservatively and properly people say, "look at them aren't they
strange ?"

I hope this clears up the question that you had.



From: Eli Passow <passow@...>
Date: Wed, 1 Nov 1995 15:03:36 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Hatikva and Smetana

Joe Goldstein mentioned music by Smetana which contains themes similar 
to Hatikva, but he didn't remember its name. The piece is entitled 
"The Moldau", and is a section of a larger piece called "Ma Vlast" 
(My Country). By the way, not all musicologists agree that this piece is 
the source of Hatikva.

	Eli Passow 


From: Steve Wildstrom <swild@...>
Date: Wed, 01 Nov 95 09:35:23 est
Subject: Re: Hatikva music

In MJ 21:76 Joe Goldstein <vip0280@...> writes:

> Those that are more familiar with classical music may correct me, 
> However The is a piece of classical music by Smetana, Sorry I do not 
> remember the name of the piece, that has the Hatikva music in it. 

That would be the "Moldau" section of Smetana's "Ma Vlast" (My
Country). It has an eight-bar motif that is very close (but not
identical) to the first eight bars of Hatikvah. Similar motifs occur in
other music of the late 19th century Central European "nationalist"
school. I suspect a common origin in folk music of the region for all of
them, including Hatikvah. (Most "Israeli" music of the Ashkenazik
Zionist period, ca. 1900-1948, has clear roots in the music of Hungary,
Russia, Bohemia, and, especially, Romania, where Ottoman influence gave
the local music a "Middle Eastern" flavor.


From: <shoshani@...> (Michael Shoshani)
Date: Tue, 31 Oct 1995 23:26:40 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Origins of Tunes (Hatikva)

> From: Joe Goldstein <vip0280@...>
> Ian Kellman writes: "Where does the melody for Hatikva come from? In
> fact, musicologists say the origin of the gregorian chant is sephardic
> religious music from medieval Spain."
> Those that are more familiar with classical music may correct me,
> However The is a piece of classical music by Smetana, Sorry I do not
> remember the name of the piece, that has the Hatikva music in it. 

There is a French folk song called "Ah, vous dirai-je, Maman".  You may
be more familiar with its *melody* as "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star".  In
1778, Mozart was in Paris when his mother died, and he wrote the piece
"12 Variations on 'Ah, vous dirai-je, Maman' " for harpsichord.

I have this on a record, played by Igor Kipnis.  The first 7 or 8
variations are straightforward renditions, with varying degrees of
intensity and technical showing-off.  THEN, it is played VERY SLOWLY, in
a MINOR key.  When I first heard THAT, I sat bolt upright...it was,
NOTE-FOR-NOTE, exactly the same as "Hatikva".

You should make an effort to at least visit a library and hear this
piece.  I am convinced that this is one of the collective sources for


From: Joe Wetstein <jpw@...>
Date: Wed, 1 Nov 1995 18:33:07 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: Sources for Black Hat

> From: <adina@...> (Carl Sherer)
> Well I don't know of a source that says that the hat must be *black* but
> the Shulchan Aruch in OH 91 discusses the prohibition against davening
> with one's head uncovered (for men) and the Mishna Brura in SK 12 states
> that in our times one should wear a hat to daven.

Can you please double check this... doesn't 91 only go up to 6?


From: <CHIHAL@...> (Yeshaya Halevi)
Date: Wed, 1 Nov 1995 11:12:32 -0500
Subject: Re: Thanksgiving

Shalom, All:

[As Yeshaya fully quotes Arthur Roth's posting, which he also sent
directly to Yeshaya, I will rely on the quote here and not reprint
Arthur's submission. Mod.]

      <rotha@...> has called to my attention that I stated
<<Abraham Lincoln later annualized Thanksgiving on the last Thursday in
November.>>  However, as rotha cogently notes, <<Currently, Thanksgiving is
celebrated on the FOURTH Thursday in November, which may or may not be the
last one, depending on the year.  Is the above statement about Lincoln
inaccurate, or has this been changed again since that time?>>
        Since Thanksgiving is associated with football, permit me to say
to rotha, "Nice catch."  Yes, Lincoln did decree Thanksgiving to be the
last Thursday in November, but I'm told it was fixed by Congress in 1941
as the fourth Thursday, after Franklin Delano Roosevelt did a bit of
tampering/day-juggling to help American merchants.  But that's another


From: <CHIHAL@...> (Yeshaya Halevi)
Date: Wed, 1 Nov 1995 11:12:24 -0500
Subject: Re: Tunes

Shalom, All:
       Regarding tunes for t'filot, when I was in yeshiva -- and it was
so long ago I can't remember whether it was Telshe Chicago or Bet
Medrash LaTorah, under Rav Aharon Soloveichik -- I was told that a nigun
(tune) is not mikabail tum'a (doesn't become ritually impure).
        However, the rabbaim still threw a fit when one of us led the
rest in singing Adon Alom to the tune of "Scarborough Fair, by Simon &
Garfunkle -- despite the fact that both S&G are Jewish :) .
     <Chihal@...> (Yeshaya Halevi)


End of Volume 21 Issue 78