Volume 22 Number 41
                       Produced: Tue Dec 19  0:40:35 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Marsha Wasserman]
Correcting Torah reading
         [Mordechai Perlman]
         [Gerald Sutofsky]
         [Zale Newman]
Etymology of Rivkah
         [Arnie Kuzmack]
Hanukkah's civil war - references wanted
         [Aaron D. Gross ]
Kabbalistic Curses
         [Mordechai Perlman]
Overzealous correcting of Torah reading
         [Warren Burstein]
Overzealous Correction of Torah Reading
         [Carl Sherer]
Rivka - Etymology
         [Shimon Lebowitz ]
Shunning others when we disagree
         [Eli Turkel]
Tea lights for Hanukah
         [Michael Slifkin]


From: <Wassermen@...> (Marsha Wasserman)
Date: Mon, 18 Dec 1995 18:36:12 -0500
Subject: Camps

I have an Israeli friend with a 15 year old daughter who wants to come
to camp in America this coming summer to learn English.  They are a very
involved family in B'nai Akiva.  I already have the addresses of two
possible camps ( Moshava in Wisconsin and Mesorah in NY).  Does anyone
have addresses of other camps?  Perhaps Camp Stone or other Moshava
camps, or any other suggestions that I could pass on to the family.
Thanks.  Marsha Wasserman


From: Mordechai Perlman <aw004@...>
Date: Thu, 14 Dec 1995 03:09:08 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: Correcting Torah reading

On Wed, 6 Dec 1995, Louise Miller wrote:
> My husband is a baal koreh for our shul, and a volunteer.  He's
> told me that the only corrections that should be made are those
> that change the meaning of the word.  Overzealous correcting
> (what we in La Jolla call the "Gotcha Gang,") can be disruptive,
> and quite annoying to the families of the gentlemen who have
> given up their time to prepare the laining.

	The Rav in my shul told me that all mistakes should be
corrected, including any changes in pronunciation and trop
(cantillation).  However, since doing so makes many of those laining
frustrated (in particular Bar-mitzva boys), we have become lenient.  I
believe I heard the same in the name of Rav Yaakov Kamenetzky zt"l.
However, I am also a ba'al koreh and have asked my Rav to correct me on
everything because I do not tend to become frustrated and therefore, why
should the minyan lose out on what could be a perfect laining if it's



From: <gerald.sutofsky@...> (Gerald Sutofsky)
Date: Mon, 18 Dec 95 20:11:45 EST
Subject: Driedel

Can anyone help me with the origin of the use of the driedel on
Chanukah. Does it date back to ancient times or is it a relatively
recent custom established by German Jewry about 200 years ago?


From: Zale Newman <jacobt@...>
Date: Mon, 18 Dec 1995 12:57:39 -0500
Subject: Re: Eruv

Toronto has had an ERUV for more than 60 years.  It was established and 
maintained under the Guidance of Rabbi Price A"H.  He wrote 2 tshuvas on 
the topic.  One originally and one about 5 years ago.
Currently a commitee is establishing a new enlarged eruv in Toronto.  I 
believe this is under the guidance of Rav Shlomo Miller the Rosh Kollel 

  -message from Zale Newman


From: Arnie Kuzmack <kuzmack@...>
Date: Mon, 18 Dec 1995 18:23:00 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: Etymology of Rivkah

Re: Etymology of Rivkah
> There has been a discussion on soc.culture.jewish.parenting about the
> etymology of the name Rivka. Somebody quoted a book of Jewish names
> saying that Rivka was derived from "a Hebrew or Arabic word meaning
> binding". Now, I don't speak Arabic, but I *am* a native speaker of
> Hebrew, and I am stumped. The only connection to Rivka that I can think
> of of anything which is bound is "egel marbek", fatted calf, and somehow
> I can't imagine that that is what our matriarch was named for.

According to the source I checked, the root in Arabic does mean "to
bind, tie up".  It is not used as a verb in the Tanakh.  The only words
based on the root are, indeed, "Rivkah" and "marbek".  The latter means
a stall where an animal is tied up, hence, "fatted calf".

The name "Rivkah" was described as meaning "captivating", thus, the
connection to the Semitic root.

Arnie Kuzmack


From: <aaron.g@...> (Aaron D. Gross )
Date: Mon, 18 Dec 1995 14:47:59 -0800
Subject: Hanukkah's civil war - references wanted

Yesterday in shul, someone asked me where there were definitive
references in the Hanukkah story to the civil war between observant and
Hellenist Jews.  I have seen stories, but have not seen references to a
specific gemara or midrash.  One of the possibilities was in the works
of Josephus.  Any assistance would be appreciated.


From: Mordechai Perlman <aw004@...>
Subject: Kabbalistic Curses

	I'm trying to figure out why these curses are necessary.  What's
wrong with the prayer that our Sages devised for the deliberate sinners
of Israel, Birchas Haminim.  Although the motivation of this prayer
seemed to be the Jews who informed on their fellow Jews to the Romans,
nevertheless, included therein is mention of the "zeidim", the
deliberate sinners of Israel, which we pray daily should be uprooted,
smashed, cast down, and humbled.
	Nevertheless, we do find that such a curse was pronounced upon
Leon Trotzky by the Chofetz Chaim and Rav Elchonon, with very real
results, in that his fortunes steadily declined from that time onward.

A Lichtige un a Lustige Chanuka	
				Mordechai Perlman


From: <warren@...> (Warren Burstein)
Date: Wed, 13 Dec 1995 07:49:42 GMT
Subject: Re: Overzealous correcting of Torah reading

Louise Miller writes:
>My husband is a baal koreh for our shul, and a volunteer.  He's
>told me that the only corrections that should be made are those
>that change the meaning of the word.  Overzealous correcting
>(what we in La Jolla call the "Gotcha Gang,") can be disruptive,
>and quite annoying to the families of the gentlemen who have
>given up their time to prepare the laining.

Perhaps overzealous correctors should be told that since they are
clearly more qualified to be gabai than the two people who did not
correct the baal koreh, they have been appointed to the job.

 |warren@         bein hashmashot, in which state are the survivors
/ nysernet.org    buried?


From: <adina@...> (Carl Sherer)
Date: Tue, 12 Dec 95 22:21:39 IST
Subject: Overzealous Correction of Torah Reading

Zev Barr writes:
> I am seeking advice for an occasional problem that I am sure is not
> unique to our Minyan, the perennial problem of overzealous correcting of
> the Baale Kria.
> I am not talking about designated Parshiot such as Zachor, the 4
> Parshiot etc or about obvious mistakes of words and letters.  I am also
> not talking about pronunciation that changes meaning such as VAYAVO
> (cholam) instead of VAYAVEH (tzereh) or vice versa.
> My question is whether one should correct 
> 2. Altered vowel which does not change meaning etc eg., LECHEM instead of
> LACHEM at an etnachta or vice versa.  Further  examples are Beyom (shva)
> instead of bayom (patach) and Machaneh(segol) instead of Machaneh (tzereh).

Actually Rashi frequently comments that beyom (shva) means an
unspecified day while bayom (patach) means a specific, known day.  And
this is precisely my problem with asking Gabbaim (who *should* correct a
baal korei who meeds to be corrected) and congregants (who make
corrections when the Gabbaim miss) to make a split second judgment as to
whether or not a mistake changes the meaning of the word and based on
that judgment to correct or not correct the baal korei.  As both a baal
korei and a congregant I'd rather see the baal korei corrected when it
"doesn't change the meaning" than see him not corrected when it does
change the meaning and therefore not be yotzei with the kriya.  Because
the bottom line is that the baal korei is not supposed to make
calculations like that when he's learning the kriya - he's supposed to
learn it correctly with all the proper vowels.  If he doesn't, he should
be corrected.  JMHO.

> 3. An accent or pronunciation which would be acceptable in one shule but not
> in another,  Galizia/Sphardit/Ashkenazit/Brooklyn/Australian etc.,  eg.
> VAYAREM (segol) instead of VAYARAM (kamatz).  Examples abound.

I read in "havara ashkenzis" (Ashkenazic pronounciation).  When I was
learning in Har Etzion I had occasion to ask Rav Aaron Lichtenstein
shlita what to do if the congregants insist on having the baal korei
read in sfardit.  He told me that if they so insist then either you read
in Sfardit or you don't read.  A baal korei has no right to go into, for
example, a shul where they read in Sfardit and read to them in
Galicianer, unless the people who are going to listen to his kriya
agreed to that.

> 4. Very slight differences which may be enunciated by a bal koreh in haste,
> such as rounding off the end of the word and which do not throw the word in
> doubt.

Again, the baal korei should be careful and should enunciate the words
clearly.  Often when he doesn't it's because he's not sure of what he
should say.

> PS. Reminder - from Tuesday night to say veten tal umatar.

Actually, I've been saying it for over a month already BTAT :-)

-- Carl Sherer
	Adina and Carl Sherer
		You can reach us both at:


From: Shimon Lebowitz  <LEBOWITZ@...>
Date: Mon,  18 Dec 95 8:25 +0200
Subject: Rivka - Etymology

Hadass Eviatar <eviatar@...> said:
> There has been a discussion on soc.culture.jewish.parenting about the
> etymology of the name Rivka.
> The only connection to Rivka that I can think
> of of anything which is bound is "egel marbek", fatted calf, and somehow
> I can't imagine that that is what our matriarch was named for.

The Evev-Shoshan dictionary, on the root resh-bet-kof says in the
etymology/cognate section:
in tanach nouns only, marbek,rivka; arabic rabaka: tied, bound well

it would seem logical that an animal to be fatted, would be bound to
prevent undue 'exercise' :-) .
under that root he brings two verb forms: hirbik, and hitrabek, concerning
fattening of animals, but the next entry is 'rivka',
whose etymology/cognate says:
in tanach, a proper noun; arabic ribk, loop for tying an animal.

he also has two quotes from chazal:
tosefta para (2:3) hichnisaH l'rivka v'dasha im immaH
                   (the para aduma was put in a 'rivka' to thresh
                    with its mother)
eruvin (2:1)       shtei revakot shel shalosh shalosh bakar
                   (the width of two yoke of cattle, each 3 animals wide)

(i hope i translated everything here with no errors)

Shimon Lebowitz                   Bitnet:   LEBOWITZ@HUJIVMS
VM System Programmer              internet: <lebowitz@...>
Israel Police National HQ.        IBMMAIL:  I1060211
Jerusalem, Israel                 phone:    +972 2 309-877  fax: 309-308


From: Eli Turkel <turkel@...>
Date: Mon, 18 Dec 1995 09:10:39 +0200
Subject: Shunning others when we disagree

    Akiva Miller 
>> One must read this carefully, for Eli is subtly contradicting
>> himself. Eli is "sorry to say" that "major gedolim" forbid one to be
>> with rabbis from a certain organization. What does Eli mean?

    Akiva is perfectly correct that I am to some extent
self-contradictory.  I did so because I was trying to avoid some
issues. Since he brings it up I will answer his question.
    My definition of a "gadol" is one who is recognized as such by a
significant segment of religious Jewry. It is not my place to tell others
who are their gedolim. Nevertheless, I express myself with the phrase
"sorry to say" about some of their statements. When some gedolim speak
in terms of hatred against other religious Jews (I avoid the problem of
attitudes to secular Jewry) I am not willing to accept this as "eilu
v'eilu divrei Elokim chayim".
    Without questioning any motives it is clear that the debates between
Rav Yonasan Eibshutz and Rav Embden (Yavetz) caused major rifts within
the Jewish community. Many of the slanders and accustations to the
government between Mitnagdim and Hassidim were done by rabbis of large
communities (The Vilna Gaon never sent messages to the Russian
government with political accustaions against the Hassidim). These
fights have again caused major damage which exists until this day. I am
not willing to excuse both sides with the answer "eilu v'eilu divrei
Elokim chayim".
     I have seen a psak by a major posek from about 60 years ago
refusing to join an Agudah fast on behalf of German Jewry on the grounds
that most German Jews are irreligious and so they have it coming to them
whatever the Nazis do with them (not to speak that he didn't realize
that the nazis would not stop at the German border).
    I try my best to treat gedolim with respect to the extent that I
avoid any personal attacks (if I have erred this way it was not
intentional). However, when I see some of their attacks as trying to
discredit other major segments of religious Jewry I can only express
myself as "sorry to say". I am sure that I will receive flames over this
message. However, I just feel very strongly that religious Jewry,
especially in Israel, is destroying its strength through internal fights
that I cannot simply except "eilu v'eilu divrei Elokim chayim" To me
sinat chinam (undeserving hatred) is a greater crime. The problem is
that everyone finds a reason why his hatred is justified.

Happy Chanukah
Eli Turkel 


From: Michael Slifkin <slifkin@...>
Date: Mon, 18 Dec 1995 11:39:27 +0200 (IST)
Subject: Tea lights for Hanukah

Whilst pre-packed oil lights may seem to be a good idea.  They are not as 
good as made out.  The ones made in France and available here work fine.  
The Israeli ones made by Belz are poorly made, the wicks are in some cases
at the bottom of the glass container and cannot be used.  They are 
difficult to light and burn barely for two hours.

Professor M A Slifkin            userid: <slifkin@...>
Department of Electronics        telephone: +972 (0)2-751176
Jerusalem College of Technology  fax: +972 (0)2-422075
POB 16031 Jerusalem 91160  Israel          4Z9GDH


End of Volume 22 Issue 41