Volume 26 Number 47
                      Produced: Mon May 12 23:31:20 1997

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Accuracy and Tikkuns
         [Barry Best]
         [Marc Leve]
Discussion of Dr. Haym Soloveitchik's article
         [Ranon Katzoff]
Gerim as Rabbis
         [Russell Hendel]
Hebrew fonts
         [Akiva Miller]
Jewish Calendar in Emacs
         [Robert A. Book]
Music during Sefira
         [Elie Rosenfeld]
Pronunciation of a Chataf-Patach
         [Barry Best]
Rare Haftorah
         [Michael J Broyde]
Sfeera Shehecheeyanu and Aveilus
         [Paul Merling]
Siddur Translation Sought
         [Jordan Lee Wagner]


From: Barry Best <bb01019@...>
Date: Sun, 11 May 1997 15:05:03 -0400
Subject: Accuracy and Tikkuns

In MJ Vol. 26 #44, Joshua W. Burton writes: 

>  ...Certainly a seller of ordinary _printed_ sforim who could only
> claim an accuracy of one error per few hundred words would be in an
> unenviable halakhic and (hv"s) secular legal position if he tried to
> sell his wares for money...

I don't know about halachic or secular culpability, but such an accuracy
problem not only exists but plagues what I would guess is the most
popular tikkun edition.  I am a ba'al koray and have been using the same
tikkun I used for my bar mitzvah for the past 18 years, I won't mention
the edition, but it seems to be the most popular one in print (based on
my informal observations of shuls and book stores).  As part of my
standard preparation after learning the parsha in my tikkun, I read it
over again in two different texts in order to pick up mistakes in my
tikkun.  I think that I have found at least one mistake or at least
inconsistency (usually several) in every parsha.  

Does anyone know of a particularly good tikkun?  To me good includes
several attributes: (i) accuracy; (ii) completeness (e.g., including the
megillah and haftorahs); (iii) clarity (e.g., using stam typeface on the
left side, displaying the parsha or perek in the top of the page for
quick reference; and (iv) I think someone mentioned in an earlier
posting about a tikkun that differentiates between kamatz katan and
gadol (like the Rinat Yisroel siddurs) or between sh'va nachs and nas.  


From: Marc Leve <MLeve@...>
Date: Sun, 11 May 1997 22:38:54 -0400
Subject: Re: Corporations

In Volume 10 of Dine Yisrael there is an insightful article on the
subject written by Moshe Shapira.


From: Ranon Katzoff <katzoff@...>
Date: Sun, 11 May 1997 10:33:42 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Discussion of Dr. Haym Soloveitchik's article

Please, not "memetic", but "mimetic." It is from the Greek root "mime-",
to imitate, from which comes our English word for an imitating actor:

Use English as you will, but please keep the Greek accurate.

Ranon Katzoff
Dept. of Classical Studies
Bar Ilan University


From: <rhendel@...> (Russell Hendel)
Date: Wed, 7 May 1997 21:18:07 -0400
Subject: Gerim as Rabbis

This has been discussed in recent issues. There are actually 3
questions: 1) The *source* for the prohibition--this has been identified
as Deut 15:15 which requires a "brother" for community appointments; 2)
A detailed discussion on *current practices* occurs in Vol 26n40 with
many sources; 3) I would like in this posting to give a *philosophical*
reason justifying this law

First I cite a parallel in American law: Only a natural born citizen can
be an American president; a naturalized citizen from another country (an
American 'Ger') cannot become a President. Obviously American believes
in equality--so why the law?

Second I quote a famous incident from the Nixon administration in which
a foreign crisis required him to take bold actions.  The comments in the
papers were interesting: Was he doing it because it was needed or
because he wanted to show that despite the Watergate accusations he was
still a "good and needed" President.  Thus the papers explained that
despite the fact that he had not been convicted of Watergate
nevertheless, the 'possiblility' that he had done wrong had weakened the
needed "trust and respect in him to take bold actions."

Finally I quote a distinction made by the Rav, Rabbi Soloveitchick: To
declare say a food as leavened (and prohibited on Passover) can be done
by ONE expert Rabbi while to tell Bob that he owes Abe say $5 canNOT be
done by one Rabbi and requires a court of 3. The Rav explains that the
leaven declaration is not a reflection on the person asking the question
but rather an attribute of the food. On the other hand I can't tell Bob
he owes Abe money without in effect taking sides and saying "you are
right and he is wrong". If only one person decided this he might have
been prejudiced to one of the parties. By using three we recreate an
atmosphere of trust since "many people" agree with the verdict.

We cannow explain the 'no ger in court' law using the above concept of
'trust'. The last example shows that creation of an atmosphere of trust
is a court requirement. In fact a knoweldgeable expert should not rule
if it (only) APPEARS that he may be prejudiced. The Nixon incident shows
that community officials need an atmosphere of 'trust' to take bold
actions and this required atmosphere can be marred by the possiblity
(without conviction) of wrongdoing.  Finally the American President law
shows that to insure 'trust' when making communal decisions we do not
allow former aliens as Presidents since they 'may' have other ties and

Using the above we can say that the reason for the prohibition of Gerim
as Kings,Judges and Rabbis is to create the necessary atmosphere of
trust and respect needed in making bold decisions(since the Gerim 'may'
have other interests). I hope this helps.

Russell Jay Hendel; Ph.d,; ASA; RHendel @ mcs drexel edu 


From: Akiva Miller <kgmiller@...>
Date: Mon, 12 May 1997 09:28:05 -0500
Subject: Hebrew fonts

For anyone who is interested, Word Perfect (versions 6.0 and up)
includes several foreign language fonts, including a Hebrew one. The up
side is that it includes every consonant, with a dagesh and without,
plus all the vowelling characters and all the trope characters, and a
way to overlay them on top of each other (so the result appears to be a
single character). The down side is that even the plain consonants are
placed on bytes totally different than any of the other Hebrew fonts you
have, so this feature is useful only for new WP documents that you'll be
typing from scratch. The font style, by the way, is "David", which I
think is generic enough for most uses.   (I'm not home right now, and I
don't remember if the "which syllable gets the accent" or "is this a
shva na or shva nach" characters are included or not.)

Akiva Miller
(formerly <Keeves@...>; now KennethGMiller@Juno.com)


From: Robert A. Book <rbook@...>
Date: Fri, 2 May 1997 14:25:05 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Jewish Calendar in Emacs

For those of you who use GNU Emacs (the text editor common on Unix
computers), it may be useful to know that it has a built-in calendar
feature which computes Hebrew dates, Jewish holidays (though it appears
to know about only one day of each, including Channukah), and even
sunset (and sunrise) times.

For instructions and details, check out:


Credit:  I saw this link on Edward M. Reingold's Calendar page
(http://emr.cs.uiuc.edu/~reingold/calendars.html), which was
referenced in a Mail-Jewish posting by Doron Shalmon

--Robert Book    <rbook@...>
  University of Chicago


From: Elie Rosenfeld <erosenfe@...>
Date: Mon, 12 May 1997 10:38:06 -0400
Subject: Re: Music during Sefira

Elanit Z. Rothschild writes:
> listening to music is not allowed, but there are many conditions to the
> issur.  I have heard that one can not listen to music in public but in
> private one is allowed.

The distinction that is generally made is similar to this - it's between
live music (e.g., going to a concert) and recorded music (radio, tapes,
etc.).  Some have the custom to forgo any music, and some limit only
live music.  The latter position seems to have a lot of logic to it, for
several reasons: 1) Obviously, the only type of music prohibited in the
original minhag was live music 2) There is significantly more
joy/fun/simcha in hearing live music played for you than in listening to
the radio.  People have the radio on all the time, so hearing non-live
music is too commonplace to be a big deal, while going to a live concert
is much more special.

Does anyone know of specific psakim on one or the other side of this
question?  Or is this topic too much "pure minhag" for there to even
_be_ definitive psakim?  As a further point of information, the "live
only" view seems to be officially held by Yeshiva University, since
their radio station continues to broadcast music during sefira (or at
least, it did when I was last there in 1985; can anyone confirm if this
is still the case?)



From: Barry Best <bb01019@...>
Date: Sun, 11 May 1997 16:02:36 -0400
Subject: Pronunciation of a Chataf-Patach

Garry J Frenkel asked about the rules for the pronunciation of a

On a related theme, I have seen the same word in different Chumashim,
one with a chataf patach under a resh (or sometimes a mem) and one with
a sh'va na.  The one instant I remember off the top of my head is in the
word "Va-y'mawr'ru" (and they embittered) in the beginning of Sh'mos.
Some texts have a sh'va na under the first resh and some have a chataf

If this were in a siddur or other text I would say that the difference
is meaningless, but in Chumash, I would expect that there would be a
unique correct vowelization (even if there was a dispute as to what that
vowelization was).

Can someone shed light on the rules for when a resh (or any other
letter) gets a chataf-patach and when it gets a sh'va na -- specifically
in Chumash as opposed to modern Hebrew.


From: Michael J Broyde <mbroyde@...>
Date: Mon, 12 May 1997 09:48:32 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Rare Haftorah

I suspect that the single rarest haftora is the haftora said by the cities
which were surrounded by walls at the time of Yehoshua (Joshua), who, when
there is a purim meshuleshet (shushan purim falls on shabbat) layn a
special hafotrah. That is the rarest maftir (one reads vayavo amalek as an
eighth aliya) and repeats the haftorah of Shabbat zachor, according to
most minhagim.  (See Mishnah Berurah on OC 688:6)

By the way, that is the only situation I am aware of when the same
haftorah can be read in shul two shabbatot in a row, as zachor will have
been seven days before.

Michael J. Broyde
Emory University School of Law
Atlanta, GA 30322
Voice: 404 727-7546; Fax 404 727-3374


From: Paul Merling <MerlingP@...>
Date: Mon, 12 May 97 12:58:00 PDT
Subject: Sfeera Shehecheeyanu and Aveilus

            Isaac Balbin reports that Reb Herschel Shecter (in the Rav's
name) compared the Three Weeks and Sfeera to the Father-Mother 12 month
Avelus(mourning). I do not understand this. The Shulchan Aruch stresses
only 2 main Aveilus customs during this period, no marriages and no
haircuts/shaving. The Isur of haircuts is not characteristic of the 12
month Aveilus but of the Shloshim -- even though we continue to avoid
haircuts /shaving after the Shloshim until we are yelled at. One of the
main Halachos of the 12 month Aveilus is the prohibition of Seudas
Mireius (a dinner or party with friends). But the Aroch Hashulchan
specifically allows a Seudas Mireius in the Yimei Hasfeera or days of
Sfeerah. Maybe there are other Poskim who forbid this and the Rav
favored their view? It would seem that the Aveilus of Yimei Hasfeera is
unique and cannot be compared to any other Aveilus.
             Since last discussing the Rav's solution to why we do not
say Shehecheeyanu for the Mitsva of Sfeeras Haomer, I have come across a
Rashba which says that since this Mitsva was once D'oraisa (when the
Beis Hamikdash was standing) and today it is only Derabanan, one is not
really Bisimcha and the Shehecheeyanu is out of place.


From: <JordanleeW@...> (Jordan Lee Wagner)
Date: Sun, 11 May 1997 18:07:41 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Siddur Translation Sought

While the readers of this list probably don't have a personal use for a
complete transliteration of the traditional siddur, there are many who
 This includes baalei tshuvot, New Americans, and others new to
synagogue participation.  I have transliterated the entire siddur
(because no one else had done so) including Nusach Ashkenaz, Nusach
Sfard, and Nusach Ari variations.  I would like to publish the result,
but will not do so without both the original Hebrew and a good
translation.  I do not wish to reinvent the wheel by doing another
translation (nor by re-typing the traditional Hebrew text).  Does anyone
know of a machine-readable English translation of the Siddur (in public
domain or otherwise available for this project)?  .

 Jordan Lee Wagner


End of Volume 26 Issue 47