Volume 24 Number 63
                       Produced: Tue Jul 16  7:53:37 1996

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Ed Ehrlich]
         [Elie Rosenfeld]
Cerebral Palsy Patient
         [Adam Bernstein]
Commentary to Menachos
         [Y. Adlerstein]
Davening Errors
         [Elie Rosenfeld]
         [Jim Phillips]
Maariv and Shema in the Far North
         [Steve White]
Meaning of "Vene'emanim"
         [M. Shamah]
Nationality of Balak
         [Mechael Kanovsky]
Number of Positive Time-Bound Commandments
         [Rose Landowne]
Pikuah Nefesh & Milhemet Mitzva
         [Binyomin Segal]
Shlomo & Chiram
         [Yisrael Medad]
Sources for Chinuch Questions
         [Asher Brander]
         [Michael and Abby Pitkowsky]
When to make a Siyum
         [Elozor Preil]


From: <eehrlich@...> (Ed Ehrlich)
Date: Mon, 15 Jul 1996 12:40:17 +0200
Subject: Ashkefard

Aharon Fischman's problem of mixing Ashkenazic and Sephardic
pronunciations of Hebrew was because

>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.... 

I had a different problem.  I learned to read Hebrew in a Talmud Torah
that used exclusively Sephardic pronunciation.  But after I finished at
Bar Mitzvah age, I started to regularly attend Shabbat services at a
Synagogue where the majority of the participants used Ashkenazic
pronunciation.  Gradually I learned the service by heart with a very
mixed up pronunciation.  I also remember during that period that my
Hebrew readings skill deteriorated as I "read" the same text week after

When I started seriously studying Hebrew at the age of 18, fortunately
things quickly sorted out and I returned to using exclusively Sephardic

Ed Ehrlich <eehrlich@...>


From: <er@...> (Elie Rosenfeld)
Date: 15 Jul 1996  11:29 EDT
Subject: Ashkephardi

Rabbi Geoffrey Shisler writes:

>things that annoys me most of all is the wilful confusing of Ashkenazi
>and Sephardi (or Israeli) pronunciation - Ashkephardi.
>It seems to me that the greatest exponents of this corruption are to be
>found in America and it's being done with the active encouragement
>of Artscroll.
>Expressions like 'Kabbalas Shabbos' is just not acceptable Hebrew, it
>should either be Kabbalat Shabbat or Kabbolas Shabbos and there are
>countless other examples of this appalling abberation of the language in
>their Siddur, for example; Pirkei Avos - for Pirkei Avot or Pirkei Ovos,
>Bris Milah - for Brit Milah or Bris Miloh Shavuos - for Shavuot or
>Shovuos Shabbos Hagadol - for Shabbat Hagadol or Shabbos Hagodol and so on.

Though the complaint about "Ashkesefard" is certainly valid, I don't know if
these are the correct examples.  It may be a matter of British vs. American
pronunciation here!  For example, the second 'a' in "Kabbalas", which stands
for a kometz, is intended to represent the "aw" sound as in "ball", not the
"ah" sound as in car (American pronunciation).  Same with the other examples.
In short, I think Artscroll is attempting to represent consistent Ashkenazic
transliteration but there is confusion here about the variety of sounds that
the letter "a" is being used to represent.

Be all that as may, there is undeniably a very widespread "Ashkesefard"
problem here in the US.  The prime example is the typical "Israeli-style"
pronunciation (the linguistic equivalent of "kosher-style" food!) taught
in most left-to-centrist-oriented day schools, which contains the worst
aspects of the Ashkenazic tradition and the Sefardic tradition, being the
lowest common denominator.  For example, it makes no distinction between
taf and saf, kometz and patach, and tzeireh and segol.  At the same time,
it inherits the Ashkenazic practice of confusing aleph and ayin, hes and
khof, kaf and qoof, etc.

On this general topic, may I point to an excellent article by Mark Steiner,
which appeared on this very list, Vol 11 Number 90, and from which my last
several lines are paraphrased.

- Elie Rosenfeld


From: Adam Bernstein <apb@...>
Date: Sun, 14 Jul 1996 16:32:56 -0700
Subject: Cerebral Palsy Patient

As the Director of the San Francisco bikkur cholim called Operation 
Kinder, I recently had a patient here who has cerebral palsy for spinal 
surgery. He is speech-impaired, but has an electronic device that enables 
him to communicate. He uses head movements to activate his electronic 
sound box. For his Bar Mitzvah, he learnt how to say the Brochos using 
this device, but his local Orthodox Rabbi (in K'far Saba) said that he 
could not get an aliyah (on a Thursday) as his Brochos would not be 
valid. The family, who are not observant, arranged for him to called up 
in a reform temple.

I would appreciate explanations and comments. Thanks in advance.


From: Y. Adlerstein <yadler@...>
Date: Mon, 15 Jul 1996 09:59:21 -0700
Subject: Commentary to Menachos

The "official" commentary of Rashi to Menachos takes a break in Perakim
(chapters) 7-10, at least according to the Shitah Mekubetzes as cited on
the page of the Vilna Shas.  He is replaced by a commentary whose author
is not named, at least by the Shitah.

Does anyone have any more information as to the author of this work?  


From: <er@...> (Elie Rosenfeld)
Date: 8 Jul 1996  10:40 EDT
Subject: Davening Errors

The discussion of Aneem/Anim Zemiros reminded me of another goodie,
which I heard from Rabbi Tendler at YU years ago.

One verse begins: "Chavash Kova Yeshu'a B'Rosho", meaning "he wore a
helmet of salvation on his head".  Yeshu'a (salvation) is thus an
adjective modifying "kova" (helmet).  But when this verse is sung,
it's always punctuated: "Chavash Kova, Yeshu'a B'Rosho" which
essentially means, "He wears a hat - a blessing on his head!"
(Support for the "black-hat" philosophy??? :-) )

Elie Rosenfeld


From: <RocketP@...> (Jim Phillips)
Date: Sun, 14 Jul 1996 21:51:13 -0400
Subject: G-dparents

Dear M-J Reader

   Does anyone know of the origin of the custom of naming G-dparents when a
child is born? Is this a Jewish or non- Jewish custom, and where does it come
from? This assumes that the G-dfather is not the sandek.  Jim Phillips


From: <StevenJ81@...> (Steve White)
Date: Thu, 11 Jul 1996 14:32:06 -0400
Subject: Maariv and Shema in the Far North

In #60, Chana Luntz (<heather@...>) writes:

> who holds they only need daven Shachris and Mincha). Still, especially
>  here in England, it is a significant tircha ( the sun sets so late here
>  in summer that it means that if you daven ma'ariv you can't go to bed
>  when you want to, because it is not yet time for ma'ariv).  It certainly
>  has made me a lot more careful about davening ma'ariv, so I don't end up
>  adding another service without at all intending to.

It seems to me that one might be able to daven earlier, after plag
mincha, provided one does so every day.  But consult your LOR.  Even at
that, I wonder whether one can fulfill kriat shma of ma'ariv before
dark, if one needs to go to sleep for his/her health, and if one says
shma *right before bed*, which is in a real sense "b'shochb'cha."
Clearly, one may in some circumstances fulfill kriat shma of ma'ariv in
daylight even l'chatchila -- if for example, s/he were at the north
pole, and there was no sundown at all.
 But I don't know whether that can only hold when there is no sundown at
all (or alterntively no tzet kochavim at all).  After all, the tircha in
a place like Archangelsk or Iceland, or even Scotland, is worse even
than in England these days.



From: <MSHAMAH@...> (M. Shamah)
Date: Sun, 07 Jul 1996 13:54:47 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Meaning of "Vene'emanim"

Re. Shmuel Himmelstein's question as to the meaning of "vene'emanim"
when applied to chastisements: as some respondents pointed out, it may
mean "lasting", but not because the sickness is faithful to the victim
but because it is faithful to itself, thus meaning "genuine" & could
therefore also imply "severe", which fits better with "blows" of
Deut. 28:59.  Perhaps somewhat less probable would be faithful to He who
sent them, to accomplish His purpose.  M. Shamah


From: <KANOVSKY@...> (Mechael Kanovsky)
Date: Mon, 15 Jul 1996 15:02:23 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Nationality of Balak

in response to my question about the nationality of Balak it seems that
I forgot a few rashis in parshat balak who brings from chazal that balak
was one of the princes of midyan. According to rashi (and that of
chazal) there was an animosity between Moav and Midyan but being that
Balak was a powerful magician they elected him to thwart that "Israeli
invasion". After doing that he probably went back to Midyan and there he
was killed by Pinchas.  Yonatan ben Uziel writes (in parshat Balak) that
the two countries (Moav and Midyan) regularly exchanged kings from one
nation to the other and he doesn't say anywhere that there was tension
between the two nations. BTW I urge you to look into targum Yonatan ben
Uziel on the pasuk in Matot, "ve'et chameshet malchei midyan ..." he
brings a fascinating story about bilaam, who he was and how he tried to
bargain for his life from pinchas (too bad some leaders of Israel didn't
learn from maaseh pinchas)


From: <ROSELANDOW@...> (Rose Landowne)
Date: Thu, 11 Jul 1996 08:29:36 -0400
Subject: Re: Number of Positive Time-Bound Commandments

In regard to Jonah Bossewitch's question about the number of positive
time-bound commandments, I think I've heard Rabbi Saul Berman say it's
Rose Landowne


From: <bsegal@...> (Binyomin Segal)
Date: Thu, 11 Jul 1996 04:30:15 -0500
Subject: re: Pikuah Nefesh & Milhemet Mitzva

Israel Pickholtz writes:
 * I seem to recall learning that in a true milhemet mitzva no one is supposed
 * to die so there is no issue of pikuah nefesh.
 * The source for that logic was the reaction of the people to the unexpected
 * loss of life in the first battle for HaAi.  the very fact that anyone was
 * killed meant that something was amiss.  Ergo under normal circumstances no
 * one gets hurt so there is no pikuah nefesh.

Though I certainly believe that this could be true (according to some
source) it is my recollection that Yehoshua's wars were the exception - not
the rule. Hashem promised Yehoshua that he would be treated as Moshe had
been treated (hence the splitting of the yarden etc)... and it was this
that made the battle of Ai so disturbing.

In general however a milchemes mitzva would carry with it some risk.



From: <isrmedia@...> (Yisrael Medad)
Date: Tue,  4 Jun 96 16:45:07 PDT
Subject: Shlomo & Chiram

Re Vol. 24 No. 60 and A. Husarsky's statement that the problematics of
Shlomo's handing over cities to Chiram are unanswered is not quite true.
There was a recent article in "Ha-Ma'ayan" here in Israel dealing with
the subject, which I will review when I get home.  But for now, three
answers I recall were: a) he got cities in return; b) by "cities" is
meant renumeration; c) it was purely temporary and conditional.
 Yisrael Medad
E-mail: isrmedia


From: Asher Brander <jam@...>
Date: Wed, 10 Jul 1996 23:22:25 -0700
Subject: Sources for Chinuch Questions

I am searching for sources dealing with the following topics:

        a. the obligation of chinuch mitzvot for a child (r"l) with Down
        b. the obligation of chinuch mitzvot for a child (r"l) who is
terminally ill
        c. the obligation of the father to teach torah to a shoteh  
        d. the level of cognitive ability below which s defined as a shoteh 

I am aware of the RJJ journal article & R. Moshe's Am HaTorah teshuva



From: Michael and Abby Pitkowsky <pitab@...>
Date: Sun,  7 Jul 96 00:26:50 PDT
Subject: Techinot

For anyone interested in reading a good article about women's techinot,
there is one by Chava Weissler, "The Traditional Piety of Ashkenazic
Women", pp. 245-275 in Arthur Green's ed. _Jewish Spirituality: From the
Sixteenth Century Revival to the Present_.  This is the second volume of
two dealing with Judaism and is published by Crossroad.  For those who
are interested in reading some scholarly works on Jewish spirituality,
both of these volumes are highly recommended.

Name: Michael Menahem and Abby Pitkowsky
E-mail: <pitab@...>


From: <EMPreil@...> (Elozor Preil)
Date: Mon, 15 Jul 1996 23:15:21 -0400
Subject: Re: When to make 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?  >>

Rabbi Frand has a tape called "Making a Siyum" (#231) where he discusses
this question.  If memory serves, he concluded that completion of any
significant unit of learning would qualify, as long as it was done
seriously.  Thus, I recall clearly that one who has learned even one
masechet ("tractate", or book) of Mishna WITH RAV AND TOSFOS YOM TOV
(emphasis added) is entitled to celebrate with a siyum.

A note of caution: The discussion on the tape was for a siyum on erev Pesach.
 One could argue that the standards might be more stringent regarding a
siyum during the Nine Days...


End of Volume 24 Issue 63