Volume 22 Number 49
                       Produced: Fri Dec 22  0:39:23 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

An'im Z'miros
         [Mordechai Perlman]
Correction of Balley K'riyah
         [Ira Y Rabin]
Four Hours Without Food
         [Warren Burstein]
         [Yeshaya Halevi]
Hashgacha Pratis and the Tower Air incident
         [David Charlap]
Jews Believe: Born Without Sin
         [A.S. Kamlet]
Kana'im Pog'in Bo, and the Dreidel
         [Mordechai Torczyner]
Oral Law
         [Eliyahu Teitz]
Revoking Smicha
         [Carl Sherer]
Rivka (2)
         [Elimelekh Polinsky, Eliyahu Teitz]


From: Mordechai Perlman <aw004@...>
Date: Wed, 20 Dec 1995 13:02:36 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: An'im Z'miros

On Wed, 6 Dec 1995, Mike A. Singer wrote:

> I have heard that the Vilna Gaon, one the one hand, considered "Shir
> HaKavod" to be of great sanctity.  Can anyone confirm that he held this
> view, and if so, where it appears?

	This song was composed by Rabbeinu Yehuda HaChossid, the 12th century 
German scholar and Kabbalist about whom the Chida writes in his sefer 
Shem HaG'dolim was in his own time, called a novi (prophet).  About the 
singing of the song, the Vilna Gaon said that due to its sanctity, it 
should be recited only on the Festivals.  
	The Shela Hakadosh writes as follows (as it appears in the Derech 
HaChayim Siddur -- From Rav Yaakov of Lissa):
	"Whomever wishes to mention praises and descriptions and does not 
understand anything about them commits a grave sin and this is the view 
of many g'dolim which discontinued the custom of saying the Shir Hayichud 
since it is full of praises and descriptions which contain wondrous 
secrets, so much so, that many hundreds of pages would not be sufficient 
to explain them.  It is best not to say it at all, especially by one who 
does not understand.  Also the Maharal was against saying it by such a 
person and that a great punishment would be in store for him, chas 
V'shalom (G-d forbid).  And where the custom is to say Shir Hayichud one 
must be careful to say it slowly and not quickly.  Those that answer 
after the chazan should not begin until the chazan finishes and the 
chazan should not continue until the congregation finishes, not like 
those congregations that say it with haste.  Those that say it hastily, 
not only do they not receive reward, but receive punishment for it, for 
because of this it is called the song of Unity and song of Honour that it 
should be said as a song, slowly, and fortunate are those who are careful 
and their reward will be great indeed."

A Lichtige un a Lustige Chanuka	
				Mordechai Perlman


From: <irabin@...> (Ira Y Rabin)
Date: Tue, 19 Dec 1995 12:29:08 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Correction of Balley K'riyah

	After reading some posts about overzealous correcting of balley
k'riah, and as someone who has leyned on a regualr basis since bar-
mitzvah, including professionally, I would like to offer some
suggestions to balley k'riah in how to deal with overzealous
correctors. The first thing to do is separate the gabbayim from the rest
of the kahal [congregation -Mod.]. The emmess [truth - Mod.] is most of
the kahal is not so familiar with the parsha, and even those congregants
who stand 2 feet from the bimah ready to pounce on every mistake do not
know a mistake when they see one. Every shabbes I check every chumash
against the tikkun and there are differences between them (ie rivivos,
rivavos; parshas behaloscha). In short, a correction made only from the
kahal and not the gabbayim is meaningless and should be ignored. The
gabbayim are appointed b/c they supposedly know how to correct better
than the tzibbur. IF that is not the case then the shul should replace
the gabbyim. Either way the Bal k'riah should not have to worry about
corrections made from the tzibbur.
	Unfortunately, many gabbayim also are not aware of what gets
corrected and what does not.  As an example a few weeks ago I was
corrected for saying terach instead of Tarach. As people should know,
this is a dikduk mistake and is changed to tarach because it was at the
end of a pasuk or an esnachta. This does NOT get corrected. My
suggestion to balley k'riah is this- when you get corrected for
somehting which isn't a mistake- just go on. repeating words should not
be done at any time and repeating a word which isn't a mistake should be
avoided, even when you get the trup wrong. When you get corrected,
listen to the gabbi, if it is something like a dikduk mistake which does
NOT change the meaning of the word, just go on. If it is a real mistake
you may also need to start the pasuk over. Many times hashem's name
appears in a pasuk- if you have already said His name and then you make
a mistake it is proper to start the pasuk over.
	I think Gabbayim should undergo some sort of "prubbeh"
[Test/exam - Mod.] before they are appointed. Do they realize that many
"accent" mistakes such as BA'ah instead of ba'AH need to be corrected?
Many of us are under the impression that if the vowels are said
correctly then it's ok, regardless of the accent, and that if the vowels
are said wrong then it must be corrected. This is far from
correct. While I suggest that balley k'riah always prepare with utmost
attention to every word, accent, vowel, and trup note, the gabbayim
should also be prepared in knowing what to correct and what not to.
	Another thing I have seen which is disturbing is someone
approaching the bimah to point out a mistake whihc may have been made x
number of aliyos ago, and then all of a sudden shishi (lets say) is now
being started back at rivi'i (lets say). This tircha [bother - Mod.] is
pointless. Unless it is parshas zachor (or parshas parah) there should
be no reason to return to another aliyah for what is at best a safek
[doubt - Mod.] of a mistake. safek de'rabbanan le'kulah.
	Preparing a professional leyning is time consuming and
difficult. Having gabbayim who are ignorant stand by the bimah is an
insult to the bal k'riah, and to the entire tzibbur as well.
Unneccessary corrections can create a gratuitous hefsek, and unnecessary
embarassment to the bal k'riah.

Respectfully submitted,

Ira Rabin
(215) 662-0411


From: <warren@...> (Warren Burstein)
Date: Thu, 21 Dec 1995 08:26:49 GMT
Subject: Re: Four Hours Without Food

What does the modesty of the guests' garb have to do with the kashrut
of the food?

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


From: <CHIHAL@...> (Yeshaya Halevi)
Date: Wed, 20 Dec 1995 10:20:45 -0500
Subject: Re: Haircuts

       I was always under the impression the custom of giving first
haircuts at three pre-dates European Jewry, and perhaps the following
entry from the Encyclopedia of Judaism lends credence to this thought:

"Other Israeli customs derive from Lag ba-Omer's association with the
second-century tanna, SIMEON BAR YOHAI, legendary author of the ZOHAR,
who, according to tradition, died on 18 Iyyar.  Simeon was buried in
Meron, near Safed, and to this day thousands of Sephardi and Hasidic
Jews from all over Israel make a Lag ba-Omer pilgrimage to the
traditional site of his grave.

"This mass celebration, held after nightfall in Meron, is known as
Hillula de-Rabbi Shimon bar Yohai ("Festivity of R. Simeon"). Pious Jews
visit the reputed burial places of many sages in the vicinity; they
study the Zohar, sing hymns, light memorial candles, and (according to
ultra-Orthodox practice) give three-year-old boys their first haircut. "

      <Chihal@...> (Yeshaya Halevi)


From: <david@...> (David Charlap)
Date: Thu, 21 Dec 95 10:24:24 EST
Subject: Hashgacha Pratis and the Tower Air incident

As many of you already know, during the snowstorm of a few days ago,
a Tower Air 747 aborted takeoff from JFK Airport (in New York).  It
slipped off the runway when the nse gear collapsed.  As it skidded, one
of the engines was ripped off of the wing.

Amazingly enough, thre was no fire, even though there was a ripped
off engin, with fule hoses disconnected.  The tanks were full to the
top, since this was a takeoff, and there were sparks everywhere as the
plane skidded off the runway.

Miraculously, all of the passengers were OK, with only a few minor

I heard that Rabbi Teitelbaum was on board, with several of his
students.  His followers claim that there was no fire or explosion
because he was aboard.  God protected him, and consequently all of
the people on board were spared.

This bears an interesting parallel to Chanuka.  In the case of
Chanuka, God gave us a miracle by providing for 8 days of fire.
In this case, God gave us a miracle by not allowing a fire to

Any ideas?  Comments?

-- David


From: <ask@...> (A.S. Kamlet)
Date: 21 Dec 1995   1:52 EST
Subject: Re: Jews Believe: Born Without Sin

Yitzhak Teutsch <TEUTSCH@...> writes:
>R' Shlomo Grafstein asks in mail-jewish v.22, no.36, for sources and 
>information regarding the purity of the neshamah (soul):
>> If a messianic would tell you that you were born with sin, and you
>> need his approach to become pure, what would you answer??

I have a follow-up question:

A verse used by some Christians to "prove" the "doctrine of original
sin" is Psalms 51:7

 Behold, I was shaped in iniquity,
 and in sin did my mother conceive me.

Would someone please interpret this verse?

Art Kamlet   AT&T Bell Laboratories, Columbus   <ask@...>


From: Mordechai Torczyner <mat6263@...>
Date: Wed, 20 Dec 1995 14:48:12 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Kana'im Pog'in Bo, and the Dreidel

> On Tue, 19 Dec 1995, Barry S. Bank wrote:
> > What is the halachic status of Pinchas in killing Zimri [Numbers 25:1-15])?

> Mordechai Perlman responds:
> 	There is a law which is Halacha L'Moshe Misinai (a law which has
> no source in the written Torah but is purely received tradition from
> Hashem through Moshe).  The language mentioned in the G'mora for it is,
> "Habo'el Aramis Kano'im Pog'in Bo".  This means that one who lives
> sexually with a gentile woman, the zealous ones may kill him.

	This does not change Mordechai Perlman's response, but it is
interesting to note that this principle only applies at the moment that
the crime is being committed. Afterwards, the punishment is Malkos,
executed only by a Bais Din with all of the attached rules that go with
Bais Din.

	As far as the Dreidel/Sevivon analysis, I am trying to get ahold
of a section from the Benei Yissaschar which was circulating in YU two
weeks ago, in which he discusses the meaning of the dreidel and its
letters. If I can find it, I will Beli Neder post excerpts.

					Mordechai Torczyner


From: <EDTeitz@...> (Eliyahu Teitz)
Date: Wed, 20 Dec 1995 13:21:50 -0500
Subject: Re: Oral Law

In digest #42, the following statement was made, concerning a rabbi who makes
claims against common Jewish belief, and specifically against Rambam:

> He has publicly found fault which the accepted view that
>the Oral Law is of Divine origin.

One has to CLEARLY define what one means by "Divine" origin.  Does it
mean that every word of the Oral Law was transmitted to Moshe? ( Rambam
quite emphatically argues against this in his Intro. To Mishna, though
in his 13 Principles he seems to uphold this belief ).

I am not coming to defend the rabbi who was being discredited.  But one
must clarify what statement was made, and what definition we are using.



From: <adina@...> (Carl Sherer)
Date: Thu, 21 Dec 95 22:48:46 IST
Subject: Revoking Smicha

Mordechai Perlman writes about a certain unnamed Rav:
> In fact, that famous Rav,
> who gave him s'micha, was asked to withdraw the s'micha but said that a
> s'micha given cannot be withdrawn.

Does anyone have a source for this? I had heard that smicha *could* be
withdrawn if the Rav who gave it was convinced that the musmach had
become an apikores or done similar inappropriate deeds.

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


From: <mpolinsk@...> (Elimelekh Polinsky)
Date: Wed, 20 Dec 1995 18:57:26 -0800
Subject: Rivka

Rabbi Moshe David Valle (1696-1777), from the circle of Rabbi Moshe
Chaim Luzzatto in Padua, offers a kabbalistic explanation of the name
Rivkah.  In his commentary on the Torah (edited by Joseph Spinner,
Jerusalem, 1994), at the end of va-yera (Bereshit 22), where the
unremarkable ancestry of Rivka is listed as Besuel and his concubine
Reumah, he says:

		The fruit, despite all of these bad kelippot (negative
evil forces), was this righteous woman (Rivkah), whom Hashem removed
from the dung heaps and brought into the house of the righteous man
(Yitzchak).  One who separates herself from the orlah (unclean fruit) is
analogous to removing oneself from the grave (ha-kever).  Perhaps, for
this reason she was named Rivkah, the same letters as ha-kever spelled
backwards.  Names are given based on the future, and that is the secret
behind the name Rivkah.  In the future she was to leave the grave of the
chitzonim ,evil forces, and attach herself to a life of holiness.

I find this explanation fascinating since it gives an insight into the
question raised by one of the respondents: Who knows what Hashem had in

The name Rivkah represents the reversal of ha-kever, her turn from
tum'ah to taharah, from evil to good, the rejection of wickedness for


Elimelekh Polinsky

From: <EDTeitz@...> (Eliyahu Teitz)
Date: Wed, 20 Dec 1995 13:22:01 -0500
Subject: Re: Rivka

I find it amusing that the root of Rivka, resh-vet-kuf, means bound,
while in modern hebrew the term for a unmarried ( unbound ? ) person is
ravak ( even though the root is -resh-VAV-kuf, it is still amusing ).



End of Volume 22 Issue 49