Volume 26 Number 69
                      Produced: Thu May 29  8:22:29 1997

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Meanings of Shoshana and Vered
         [Ronald Greenberg]
Succah on Shemini Atseret
         [David Glasner]
Succoh and Shimini; et tu David?
         [Michael Frankel]
Teshuva series
         [Yehuda and Rebecca Poch]


From: Ronald Greenberg <rig@...>
Date: Tue, 27 May 1997 10:52:45 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Meanings of Shoshana and Vered

  >In fact the earlier sources speak of roses. Sefer Maharil, Hilchot
  >Shavuot 2. Later the Bnai Yisaschar (R. Zvi Elimelech of Dinov,
  >d. Munkacz 1841), Ma'amarei Chodesh Sivan 4, associated it with a drasha
  >on the verse "k'shoshana bein hachochim," Vayikra Rabba 23.3. Eliyahu
  >Ki-Tov in Sefer Hatoda'ah, associates it with the verse "v'hadat nitna
  >b'Shushan", read "b'shoshan." Italians to this day refer to Pentacost

This excerpt regarding Shavuos prompts me to ask for further information
about the meanings of "shoshana" and "vered".  My little modern Hebrew
dictionary gives "rose" or "lily" for "shoshana" and "rose" for "vered".
The Artscroll siddur translates "shoshana" as rose, but two or three
other tanach translations I've looked at consistently translate
"shoshana" as "lily" even in the "shoshana bein hachochim" line in Shir
Hashirim.  Does "lily among the thorns" make sense, and, more generally,
what arguments are there to support the different translations of
"shoshana"?  Does "vered" have a particular connotation of a certain
type of rose, e.g., pink roses that grow in the Sharon?  There don't
seem to be any Biblical appearances of "vered".  Any pointers to its
early origins?



From: David Glasner <DGLASNER@...>
Date: Tue, 27 May 1997 14:13:27 -0400
Subject: Succah on Shemini Atseret

Prompted by my friend Mechy Frankel, many recent postings have been
discussing the rationale for the minhag of those who don*t eat in the
succah on Shemini Atseret.  Two common rationalizations for the minhag
are that sitting in the succah on Sh*mini Atseret raises 1) a problem of
bal tosif and 2) a problem of tarti d*satri.  The bal tosif problem, as
several postings have noted, is easily disposed of.  If there is a
rabbinic obligation to sit in the succah on Shemini Atseret, then doing
so creates no more of a bal tosif problem than does eating matzah on the
eighth day of Pesach.  So it begs the question to attribute a minhag not
to sit in the succah on Shemini Atseret to bal tosif, since the issue of
bal tosif could arise only if there were no rabbinic obligation to sit
in the succah.  The tarti d*satri problem is harder to get a grip on.
Although sitting in the succah seems intuitively to be at odds with the
spirit of Shemini Atseret, it is not exactly clear why this is so.  But
if there is no bal tosif problem with sitting in the succah, what other
basis is there to consider sitting in the succah to be in conflict with
Shemini Atseret?

Mechy seems exasperated by the stubborn insistence of poskim at least
since the Tur who take the gemara in Succah 47a (v*hilchetah meitav
yatvinan bruchei lo mevarchinan) at face value.  Why, Mechy wants to
know, can*t they just accept the obvious fact that there is a contrary
minhag which has been accepted by eminent halachic figures and just
agree to disagree?  The answer, I suggest, is the apparent lack of an
adequate rationale for the minhag not to sit in the succah.  Since it
seems to be based on nothing more substantial than it doesn*t feel
right, it is not surprising that the more rigorous halachists (who,
granted, tend disproportionately to be Litvaks but are on the whole a
fairly eclectic group) have looked askance at a minhag that a) lacks a
compelling rationale and b) conflicts with the explicit pronouncement of
the gemara.  It is true, as Mechy rightly points out, that there are
difficulties with the gemara in Succah 46b-47a that is the source for
the *official* halachah.  But those difficulties can*t be successfully
exploited as long as the dissident position lacks a compelling
rationale.  And without a compelling rationale for the dissident
position, upholders of the official halachah will continue to regard the
dissidents (though now, nine or ten generations since the G*RA, more in
sorrow than in anger) as woefully misguided.

This is all by way of introduction to the explanation of the sugya
succah b*shemini given by my grandfather, Rabbi Akiva Glasner, z.l., in
his book Dor Dorim (Cluj, 5694; 2d ed., Jerusalem: Ariel, 5748) that
provides the missing halachic rationale for the dissident position.  The
fundamental point about Shemini Atseret that my grandfather raised is
that there is an apparent dissonance between Shemini Atseret and the
rest of the holiday of Succot.  On the one hand it is considered a
separate holiday (regel bifnei atzmah) while its very name explicitly
connects it to Succot.  Indeed in parashat Re*eh, Shemini Atseret is not
even mentioned in the catalog of holidays and is implicitly subsumed
under the heading of Succot.  Thus, the essence and purpose of the day
of Shemini Atseret must involve both a distinction from and a connection
to the holiday of Succot.  Both the distinction and connection are
articulated by the Targum Yonatan ben Uziel who translates the verse at
the end of parashat Pinhas, *Bayom ha-shemini atseret t*hiyeh lakhem* as
follows: *Biyoma t*mina*a k*nishin t*hevun b*hedva min matilkhon
l*bateikhon* (on the eighth day you should joyously gather yourselves in
from your succot to your houses).  (This translation was subsequently
also cited by Rabbi Sh. Y. Zevin, z.l., in Ha-Moadim b*Halachah, but
without using it to bolster the dissident minhag.)  Thus, according to
the Targum Yonatan ben Uziel, the purpose of Shemini Atseret is to
conclude the cycle begun by the prior seven days of Succot.  First we
leave the home for the succah and then we leave the succah for the home.
Although the eighth day is distinct from and opposite to the prior seven
days, it is an integral part of the overall cycle which is centered on
the idea of the succah.  (In his book Ikvei ha-Tzon (London: 5717), my
grandfather explained the idea of Succot as a literal continuation of
Yom Kippur in which the sin of the Golden Calf is again expiated by a
t*shuvat ha-mishkal.  Whereas the t*shuvat ha-mishkal on Yom Kippur for
the sin of eating and drinking and merrymaking for the sake of idolatry
is fasting for the sake of Heaven, the t*shuvat ha-mishkal on Succot is
eating and drinking and simha for the sake of Heaven.  Leaving our
permanent home for the temporary dwelling place (the succah) symbolizes
faith in and reliance on the hashgahah pratit of the Almighty, the
denial of which was symbolized by the Golden Calf.)  Thus, if we adopt
the view of the Targum Yonatan ben Uziel, the problem posed by shemini
safek shevi*i is not simply a one-sided safek in which the only
obligation to consider is whether to sit in the succah, but a two-sided
safek between two opposing and mutually exclusive obligations: sitting
in the succah and returning to the home.  Indeed, the latter obligation
may be more powerful since after the first day of Succot the obligation
to sit in the succah is only r*shutit, while the obligation to return to
the home on the eighth day may be khiyuvit.  Thus, the tarti d*satri
associated with sitting in the succah on Shemini Atseret does not
consist in violating bal tosif but in negating the return to the home
that is the essence, at least according to Targum Yonatan ben Uziel, of
Shemini Atseret.

To reconcile this idea with the conclusion of the sugya in Succah 47a, my
grandfather used the Yerushalmi in Succah 4:5 which records a dispute
between Rav and R. Joshua ben Levi.  Their dispute concerns how one may
eat in the succah on Shemini Atseret, presumably in Israel where there is
no safek shevi*i.  Rav says that one must make the succah pasul while R.
Joshua ben Levi says that one must first make kiddush in the home.  The
dispute can be easily explained by supposing that R. Joshua ben Levi
accepts and Rav rejects the position of Targum Yonatan ben Uziel.  But one
could also explain the dispute so that both Rav and R. Joshua agree with
the Targum Yonatan ben Uziel by supposing that even Rav accepts that one
must make kiddush in the home on Shemini Atseret before eating in the
succah, but that Rav believes that in addition to making kiddush in the
home to fulfill the positive mitzvah of returning to the home on Shemini
Atseret one would violate a negative commandment by eating in a kosher
succah on Shemini Atseret.

Based on this Yerushalmi, my grandfather proposed that the sugya in
Succah 46b-47a can be straightforwardly interpreted under the assumption
that all the opinions expressed in the sugya take as a given that, in
accord with the Yerushalmi, one is required to at least make kiddush in
the home on the night of Shemini Atseret to fulfill the mitzvah of
returning to the home on Shemini Atseret.  Moreover, once one makes
kiddush in the home on the night of Shemini Atseret, one need not return
to the succah to conclude the meal (except, if one follows the G*RA, one
returns to the succah davka on Shemini Atseret, k*dai l*hotzi mi*libam
shel tz*dokim).  The obligation to return to the succah after one has
made kiddush in the home only obtains on the first night of Succot when
there is a mitzvah khiyuvit to eat in the succah.  Under this
interpretation, the question at issue in the sugya concerns eating in
the succah only the day of Shemini Atseret.  And the conclusion of the
sugya is that one is obligated to eat in the succah during the day
without making a brakha.  But it was understood that on erev Shemini
Atseret, one makes kiddush inside, and presumably finished his meal
inside as well.  In fact, this is precisely the minhag cited and
summarily dismissed by the Tur.

Armed with both a theoretical rationale for their minhag and a
plausible, if not compelling, counter-interpretation of the sugya on
which the official halachah is based, dissidents like Mechy need not be
quite so defensive about the lack of respect accorded to their minhag by
upholders of the official halachah.


From: Michael Frankel <FRANKEL@...>
Date: Wed, 28 May 1997 07:59:49 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: Succoh and Shimini; et tu David?

Since he was kind enough to mail me an advance copy of his posting, I
now find that my friend and shul neighbor, the Dor Shivi'ie, David
Glasner, has fired a shot across the bow as it were on the succoh on
shimini matter. Alas, other than quickly scanning it (a modest
achievement lurks behind that innocent phrase. David's great erudition
can rarely be confined by the boundaries of the merely succint) almost
literally on my way out the door - I am leaving for some official travel
to Israel today (surely just recompense for all those trips to
Albuquerque and Omaha) and will be mj-incommunicado for a week and a
half - I find myself without any opportunity to provide David with the
adequate response he deserves for his generous contribution of a far
fetched litvishe pilpul as a service to chassidim desparate to
rationalize their succoh-less shimini minhog - that and the fact that
I've quite overdosed on this issue for the present.  However, as General
Douglas MacArthur actually said during his ignomineous retreat from the
Phillipines, "oad chazone la'moeid."

Mechy Frankel				W: (703) 325-1277
<frankel@...>			H:  (301) 593-3949


From: Yehuda and Rebecca Poch <butrfly@...>
Date: Tue, 27 May 1997 10:57:19 +0300
Subject: Teshuva series

Recently, the Jerusalem Post ran a five-part series on the Teshuva
movement in ISrael.  The series was written by Dan Izenberg, who is not
religious.  This series concentrated on smaller "kiruv" organizations,
that I have never heard of (and I have been involved in kiruv for 12
years).  Organizations such as Aish Hatorah, Ohr Somayach, NCSY,
Lubavitch, etc. were totally ignored in this series.

The tone of the series made it seem that these organizations, and that
the teshuva movement as a whole, were equal to a Jews-For-Jesus type
cult.  I sent a letter to the editor of the Post complaining about it,
and one column appeared two days later to "give the other side".  But
the publisher of the Post offered me to write a series on the real truth
of the movement.

I am asking for stories.  If any of you have become ba'al teshuva (not
converted to Judaism, but moved from Reform/Conservative or
non-observant to Orthodox) please let me know and perhaps relate some
positive experiences so that I can include them in the stories I write.
Confidentiality will be kept if desired.

    \ ^ || ^ /        Yehuda and Rebecca Poch	    \ ^ || ^ /
     >--||--<             Rehovot, Israel	     >--||--<
    / v || v \         <butrfly@...>	    / v || v \


End of Volume 26 Issue 69