Volume 24 Number 62
                       Produced: Sun Jul 14 21:28:03 1996

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Another wedding custom
         [Perry Zamek]
Anybody Want a Computer w/printer?
         [S. McCoy]
         [Aaron Aryeh Fischman]
         [Alan Cooper]
B'ris Milah on a fast day
         [Barry Best]
Brit Milah!
         [Merril Weiner]
Prayer for the State of Israel
         [Michael J Broyde]
Silent Aleph
         [Israel Pickholtz]
Siyum Mitzvah
         [Jonathan Katz]
Socializing at Tashlich
         [Elie Rosenfeld]
Translations of "Ashrei"
         [Rafi Stern]
         [Chaim Stern]
Use of Electronic Medical Equipment
Who Pays for Weddings
         [Eli Turkel]


From: Perry Zamek <jerusalem@...>
Date: Sat, 06 Jul 1996 21:12:18 +0300
Subject: Another wedding custom

Israel Rosenfeld, in mj v24n58, brought Rav Shalom Aizen's description
of a Yerushalmi wedding. It brought to mind the following, which I heard
at a shiur before Pesach a few years ago.

In the old Jewish community of Cairo, many people would marry on Erev
Pesach. As we know, Erev Pesach is Taanit Bechorim (Fast of the
Firstborn), and in most communities attendance at a Seudat Mitzvah
(usually a siyum) would allow the Bechor to eat, thereby exempting him
from fasting that day.  The problem arises: if the Bechor is not learned
enough to follow the Gemara discussion that constitutes the Siyum, is he
included. In Cairo, they held that he is not. As an alternative, he
would have the opportunity to attend a wedding :-) . I suspect that the
wedding would take place around (or even before) midday, to allow the
seudah to be finished well before evening (there are specific
restrictions on eating a meal on erev Pesach after certain times).

Perry Zamek (a Bechor :-) )


From: S. McCoy <suje@...>
Date: Thu, 11 Jul 1996 17:27:01 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Anybody Want a Computer w/printer?

My fiance and I are moving to Berkeley CA and will be buying a new
computer, so we have a a well-loved and used 386/16 with an 80MG HD with
a 12 in VGA monitor and a dot matrix printer to give to any needy person
or organization (perferably) who will pay the shipping charges.  Maybe
someone knows of a group who can use it for a mitzvah.  Please send
email to <suje@...> or dpaldric@email.unc.edu before July 29 and
we will make arrangements for it.

Yael and Daniel


From: <afischman@...> (Aaron Aryeh Fischman)
Date: Thu, 11 Jul 1996 17:05:38 -0500
Subject: Ashkefard

Regarding Ashkefardi (or Ashkefard)

Mr. Shisler is rightfully upset at the apparent mixing of two ways of 
pronouncing hebrew (eg Ess HaShabat) when praying for the congregation. I 
myself have this problem when I daven, and I have to keep in mind ONE derech 
(way) of speaking so that my tefilot do not sound ridiculous.

Mr Shisler also wanted to know why people develop such speaking habits. I can 
only answer for myself - and that is the way I was taught. One year in 
elementary school I would be taught in Sefaradi by one teacher, and the next 
in Ashkenazis by a second teacher, then back in Sepharadi by a third, 
Ashkenazis by a fourth.... you get the point. Basically what I retained was a 
little of both methods, doing justice to neither. My wife on the other hand 
went to a school that standardized to one method, and that is the way she 
speaks today (far better than I do).

Aharon Fischman


From: Alan Cooper <amcooper@...>
Date: Thu, 11 Jul 1996 13:50:39 -0700
Subject: Ashrei

Shimmy Schwartz <shimmy@...> wrote:

>Most Hebrew-English siddurim translate "ashrei" as "happy."  The
>ArtScroll siddur translates it as "praiseworthy."  The two meanings are
>obviously significantly different, but so are the implications.  The
>first meaning implies that one who recognizes, fears and loves haShem
>will derive intrinsic pleasure from doing so.  The second implies that
>one will be praised--by haShem, perhaps by other people--but does not
>necessarily imply resulting happiness.
>What are the sources for these two interpretations?  What are the other
>occurrences and meanings of "ashrei"?

"Praiseworthy" is derived from Rashi's gloss "les felisemanz," which is
cognate to modern French (and English) felicitations = praises.  In
Rashi's Hebrew, "the felicities [ashurav] of a man and the praises
[tehillot] of a person" arise out of the virtues that are listed in the

"Happy" is a misleading translation because of the vulgar manner in
which most people understand "happiness."  "Praiseworthy" is closer to
the mark, but it loses the plurality of ashrei, as remarked by the
Targum and Redaq among others. It also misses the nexus of cause and
effect, as Shimmy rightly notes.  A proper translation of ashrei has to
encompass both "the virtues of" and "the felicities of" the person,
since the Psalm is concerned both with the behaviors that draw a person
near to God (verses 1 and 2), and the rewards that ensue (verse 3).

Alan Cooper


From: Barry Best <bbest@...>
Date: Sun, 14 Jul 96 16:12:00 EDT
Subject: RE: B'ris Milah on a fast day

In response to a question on B'ris Milah on a fast day (MJ 24#60), the
Bais Yosef, as brought down in the Biur Halochoh held that if a fast day
fell on Shabbos and was "pushed off' into Sunday ("Nidcheh"), the
principals of the B'ris (father, sandek, mohel) are allowed to eat.  I
think the implication is that if the fast day itself fell on Sunday or
any other week day, the halochoh would be different.

I have heard customs of giving the wine to a young child or to the
mother (who is most likely considered "ill" for purposes of the fast).
I have heard other customs as well taht allow the principals to eat
after minchah, but have no reliable sources on these customs.


From: Merril Weiner <Merril_Weiner/CAM/<Lotus.LOTUS@...>
Date: 8 Jul 96 11:23:30 EDT
Subject: Brit Milah!

I'm proud to announce the first boy to the Weiner clan since I was born.

He was born 7/3/96 at 1:36 pm weighing 7 lbs 2.5 oz.

Mother and son are both doing very well.

Brit Milah will be (or was, depending upon when this reaches the net) at
8:45 am at the Bostoner's (that's Congregation Beth Pinchas) in Boston.

-Menachem & Elianah Weiner
o/~ Simon Tov U'mazal Tov ...


From: Michael J Broyde <relmb@...>
Date: Sat, 13 Jul 1996 22:27:26 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Prayer for the State of Israel

Is anyone aware of any published halachic articles or teshuvot dealing 
with the prayer for the state of Israel?
Michael Broyde


From: Israel Pickholtz <rotem@...>
Date: Thu, 11 Jul 1996 11:56:30 +0300
Subject: Silent Aleph

Add to the "silent aleph" list the name Daniel, where the tzere is on the 
yud, rather than on the aleph (as in Gavriel, Ariel etc).

Also note the much more important aleph in yire'u (Shemot 14 v. 31) - where 
the am feared rather than saw.  Some siddurim mark the reish to indicate a 
sheva na, but I've heard many take that to mean mil-eil and still use a 
sheva nach.

Israel Pickholtz


From: <frisch1@...> (Jonathan Katz)
Date: Thu, 11 Jul 96 01:18:53 EDT
Subject: Siyum Mitzvah

With the 9 days almost upon us, I figure it is an appropriate time for the
following question:

[background: during the 9 days from the beginning of Av through the 9th of
Av, there is a custom not to eat meat as an indication of mourning.
However, at a meal celebrating a mitzvah (se'udat mitzva), one is allowed
to eat meat. One category of a se'udat mitzvah occurs upon completion
(siyum) of a major portion of learning.]

Under what conditions is one entitled to have a se'udat mitzvah for a siyum?

Traditionally, one celebrates a siyum upon completion of a tractate of
Talmud or a tractate of Mishna. But, can one celebrate after learning a
sefer of Chumash? Or the entire Chumash? Or perhaps after learning through
the Shulchan Orech or Mishnah Torah? Or, to go further, can one have a
siyum after learning a perek of Talmud? Can a beginning student hold a
siyum after finishing his first daf of Talmud? What are the conditions and
requirements, and where are they set forth?

Jonathan Katz
410 Memorial Drive, 233F
Cambridge, MA 02139


From: <er@...> (Elie Rosenfeld)
Date: 11 Jul 1996  13:39 EDT
Subject: Socializing at Tashlich

Though I usually steer clear of potentially controversial topics, I was
surprised at the lack of response to the thread about Tashlich.  The
posters stated that they avoid (or that one ought to avoid) going to
Tashlich on Rosh Hashanah because of the mixed environment.  Am I the
only one to be taken aback by this?

Is any form of friendly contact between the sexes really something to
be shunned?  The discussion was not focused on avoiding licentiousness
or lashon hara, which should be taken for granted - the recoil was from
simple socializing.  One person even referred to it as "strengthening
the Satan".  This sounds extreme, and perhaps more in tune with Medieval
Christian beliefs than Jewish ones.

In general, I am concerned with the trend where attitudes and practices
that used to be associated with "fringe" or "ultra" positions, are
becoming more and more the expected norm in the Orthodox world.  This
trend is no more pronounced than in issues relating to mixed activities.

Just about a year ago (I remember it was also during the three weeks)
there was a discussion on the merits of separate seating at weddings.
The point I attempted to make then, was that with today's frightening
levels of intermarriage and assimilation, pushing for _more_ separation
of Jewish men and women than required by halacha seems like exactly the
wrong response.  Let's be realistic: Most of us work in environments
where we spend all day socializing - or at least interacting with -
_non-Jewish_ members of the opposite sex.  Does it really make sense to
then come home, and spend our Shabbosim and Yom Tovim shunning their
Jewish counterparts?  What effect does such a situation have, long term?

It's worth thinking about.

- Elie Rosenfeld


From: <iitpr@...> (Rafi Stern)
Date: Sun, 14 Jul 96 07:45:15 PDT
Subject: Translations of "Ashrei"

Shimmy Schwartz <shimmy@...> wrote:
>Most Hebrew-English siddurim translate "ashrei" as "happy."  The
>ArtScroll siddur translates it as "praiseworthy."  The two meanings are
>obviously significantly different, but so are the implications.  The
>first meaning implies that one who recognizes, fears and loves haShem
>will derive intrinsic pleasure from doing so.  The second implies that
>one will be praised--by haShem, perhaps by other people--but does not
>necessarily imply resulting happiness.

I think the two translations may be explained in that there are two
meanings to the root Aleph-Shin-Resh. The first one is related to
happiness, eg. "Osher" = "happiness", "Meushar" = "happy". The second
one is related to approval, eg.  "LeAsher" = "to approve", Meushar =

The word Ashrei is a difficult one to translate as it would appear to be
a smichut without an obvious noun attached to it. For example "Yoshvei
Veitecha" = "those who sit in your house". Therefore "Ashrei Yoshvei
Veitecha" should mean something like "the happy/approved ones of those
who sit in your house". However if we look at other commonly known uses
of the "Asher" construct like "Ashreicha Yisrael" = "happy are you
Israel" or "Ashreinu ma tov helkeinu" = "we are happy how good is our
portion" we come to a translation of "happy are they the sitters in your
house". However in that case shouldn't it be "Ashreihem" and not
"Ashrei"?.... I said it was a difficult word to translate.

Rafi Stern
IITPR - The Israel Institute of Transportation Planning and Research
POB 9180 Tel Aviv 61090 Israel.	Tel: 972-3-6873312	Fax: 972-3-6872196
E-mail: <iitpr@...>


From: Chaim Stern <Chaim_Stern@...>
Date: Thu, 11 Jul 1996 13:16:56 -0400
Subject: Tuition

> Dr. Twersky says that the "problem" of the high yeshiva tuition bills is
> not a real problem because it is charity and we are guaranteed that
> G-d will repay whatever we spend on charity. 

This statement is found in the Gemorah, where it says that whatever
money you spend to teach your son Torah, you'll get back.

According to this, why do Yeshivos charge more tuition to some and give
a "break" to others based on financial considerations ?  Shouldn't
everyone pay the exact same amount, if everyone gets it back ?

Chaim Stern


From: Anonymous
Date: Sun, 14 Jul 1996 03:03:10 -0400
Subject: Re: Use of Electronic Medical Equipment

My father has been in a wheelchair for 30+ years, long before our
community had an eruv.  He was advised to use a non-electric wheelchair
and hire a non-Jewish attendant to assist him in getting to shul.  This
attendant helps him with other needs on Shabbos that may require the use
of other electric durable medical equipment.  While some of the DME is
not necessary on Shabbos, some of it would appear to fall into the
category of P'kuach nefesh (sp?).  When thinking about the needs of the
handicapped, one must use some common sense as well as halachah.

Name withheld by request


From: Eli Turkel <turkel@...>
Date: Sun, 7 Jul 1996 10:53:49 -0400
Subject: Who Pays for Weddings

     In Talmudic days it was customary for the husband to pay for the
wedding.  In modern day US it is usually the bride's side while in
Israel usually each side pays for its own guests. Does anyone know the
origin of these various customs?

Eli Turkel


End of Volume 24 Issue 62