Volume 26 Number 76
                      Produced: Thu Jul  3  1:08:44 1997

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Accurate Tikkunim
         [Art Werschulz]
Accurate Tiqqunim
         [Alan Cooper]
Jewish View of Capital Punishment
         [Eli Clark]
Pru Urvu  and Sheva Mitzvot Bnei Noach
         [Rachel Mechanic]
Reading Ketuvim on Shabbat afternoon
         [Shlomo Katz]
Rebbe vs msader kiddushin
         [Chaim Shapiro]
Shehechiyanu when Wearing a New Garment
         [Reuven Miller]


From: Art Werschulz <agw@...>
Date: Wed, 2 Jul 1997 10:01:45 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Accurate Tikkunim


I've lately been using the Tikkun LaKorim Chadash "Simanim", which is
available (e.g.) from Eichler's in Flatbush.

It has a lot of really spiffy features, such as explicit indication of
kamtzei ktanim, emphasizing kri/ktiv differences, printing
unexpectedly accented syllables larger on the vocalized column, etc.
A STaM font is used on both columns.

Also, the two columns are laid out line-for-line the same (much like
the Koren Tikkun).  This makes it easy to bounce back and forth.  Not
surprisingly, the unvocalized column doesn't match line-for-line with
(e.g.) the KTAV Tikkun.

I *have* noticed that it doesn't always break the first aliyah into
its three Shabbat mincha/MonThurs morning parts at the same spots that
(e.g.) the KTAV Tikkun or the Hertz chumash would break.  It's also a
very large book---it barely fits into my briefcase for those times
when I want to work on the leyning during my commute.

What I've finally wound up doing: I initially learn out of Tikkun
LaKorim Chadash "Simanim".  If I need to do extra work (while
commuting), I use KTAV.  At any rate, if at all possible, I try to be
able to leyn out of both books.  This way, I'm less dependent on
spatial cues, so that if the Torah scroll isn't aligned with one
Tikkun or the other, I'm less likely to be thrown off.

Art Werschulz (8-{)}   "Metaphors be with you."  -- bumper sticker
GCS/M (GAT): d? -p+ c++ l u+(-) e--- m* s n+ h f g+ w+ t++ r- y? 
Internet: <agw@...><a href="http://www.cs.columbia.edu/~agw/">WWW</a>
ATTnet:   Columbia U. (212) 939-7061, Fordham U. (212) 636-6325


From: Alan Cooper <amcooper@...>
Date: Wed, 2 Jul 1997 08:38:43 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Accurate Tiqqunim

>From: Miriam Goldberg <mgoldber@...>

[after citing a previous posting]

>In addition to your criteria, I would add: 1) a list of the unusual
>kriot -- just to save having to open another text to be sure that I'm
>preparing the right reading and 2) notations for unusual troph -- e.g.,
>the shirat hayam troph that is used in matot/masei and in b'haalotcha
>for the "travels" (Vayis'u m'____; Vayachanu b'____.) and even notations
>like reading the toch'chot quickly and quietly. Perhaps a second volume
>on troph itself (although there are a number of good books out already
>so that's probably overkill). In short, I would want a one- or
>two-vol. set that even beginner ba'ali kriah could use as a faithful and
>complete guide.

the concluding sentence gets to the crux of the matter--please excuse the
all-lower-case typing as i have a broken arm.  the tiqqun is not intended
for use by beginners, but by people who already possess knowledge of hebrew
grammar and cantillation practices.  it is not a teaching tool, but an
aide-memoire for the experienced reader.  those who do not know the
customary cantillation practices, variant tropes, rules of accentuation,
schwa, qamets qatan, etc., should not expect to learn these things from a
tiqqun--indeed, one hopes that those people are not actually reading tora
in synagogue with such deficient knowledge.  it is best to learn about such
matters from a competent teacher, and to reach a level of proficiency that
will enable one to use the tiqqun as intended before reading in public.
then one will be in a position to decry the poor print quality of the most
readily-available tiqqunim.

>My current setup is actually as follows: I have the entire tikkun
>photocopied and am trying to put together for myself what I have
>described above. I double check with primarily the Koren tanach. In some
>cases, I double check against Koren, JPS, Torat Chayim, and whatever
>else I have handy (Plaut, mikr'ot g'dolot). Part of the problem of
>double checking stems from my uncertainty as to where each of those
>editions got _their_ text.


again, checking the masoretic apparatus requires competence and training.
one should familiarize oneself with the problems by reading such works as
prof. yeivin's introduction and prof. dotan's article in the ej.  on the
miqra'ot gedolot masora, one should go back to the writings of jacob b.
chayyim and elijah levita, which have been translated into english.  ms.
goldberg is correct in suggesting that it is pointless to 'check' a tiqqun
against other dubious texts.  even if one is using more authoritative
editions for checking, however, it still requires considerable expertise to
deal with variant readings.

>I have actually spoken to one or two
>people about putting together a new tikkun. I don't hold out _much_ hope
>but one never knows.

with all respect, it is not more tiqqunim that we need, imo, but more
people undertaking the serious study of cantillation and masora.

alan cooper


From: Eli Clark <clarke@...>
Date: Tue, 1 Jul 1997 10:35:00 -0400
Subject: Jewish View of Capital Punishment

In Vol. 26 #74, Tzadik Vanderhoof <stvhoof@...> asked: Does
anyone know what the correct Jewish view of capital punishment for
non-Jews by non-Jews?

 It is safe to say that there are at least two views on the subject.
Mr. Vanderhoof suggests that capital punishment may be "a fulfillment of
the non-Jews' obligation, under the seven commandments of the
descendents of Noah, to establish just courts and to enforce the
prohibition of murder, which applies to non-Jews and is punishable by
death (according to the 7 commandments)."  It should be noted that there
is a dispute among Rishonim (medieval authorities) regarding the precise
scope of the Noahide obligation to establish laws: does it entail only
the enforcement of the other six commandments or does it encompass the
establishment of a comprehensive justice system?  In either case, it may
be assumed that capital punishment would play a part in such a system.
This is because all of the other six Noahide commandments are punishable
by death.

An opposing view was articulated by Rabbi J. David Bleich in an article
entitled "Capital Punishment in Non-Jewish Courts" (or some reasonable
approximation thereof).  The article is reprinted as a chapter in one of
the volumes of Rabbi Bleich's series, Contemporary Halakhic Problems.
Apparently, during the 1970's debate in New York state regarding capital
punishment, a number of Jewish leaders argued that Torah-observant Jews
should support the imposition of the death penalty under New York law.
Rabbi Bleich rejects this view altogether.  He claims that the halakhic
sanction for capital punishment cannot be divorced from the halakhic
justice system.  In other words, only a court which is governed by
halakhic principles regarding homicide, evidence, and procedure is
permitted by Halakhah to impose the death penalty.  For example, a
halakhic court would not convict a person of murder solely on the basis
of circumstantial evidence, but requires the testimony of two
eyewitnesses.  (For this reason, neither Timothy McVeigh nor O. J.
Simpson would have been convicted in a halakhic court.)

My own view is an intermediate one.  Rabbi Bleich is no doubt correct
that one cannot make facile analogies from one justice system to
another.  One who concludes that the death penalty is justified in,
e.g., U.S. courts (or state courts) because "the Torah says so," is
plainly being simplistic.  At the same time, as Mr. Vanderhoof notes,
Noahide courts are themselves enjoined to enforce the death penalty.
Rabbi Bleich notwithstanding, I am somewhat dubious that every Noahide
court is required to adopt every relevant halakhic principle in carrying
out its duties.

I think one may also draw a distinction between arguments of policy and
morality.  Let us assume Rabbi Bleich is correct that differences
between secular systems of justice and Halakhah are too great to warrant
support for the death penalty in secular courts.  From a policy point of
view, then, Rabbi Bleich would not support the secular enforcement of
capital punishment.  However, the inherent morality of capital
punishment is, I think, affirmed by the Torah. It is irrefutable that
God's law asserts that there are actions for which a person deserves to
forfeit his life.

Kol tuv,



From: <701718@...> (Rachel Mechanic)
Date: Wed, 2 Jul 1997 13:18:03 -0400
Subject: Re: Pru Urvu  and Sheva Mitzvot Bnei Noach

In issue #75, Zmira Wolf wrote:

>Is pru urvu one of the sheva mitzvot bnei Noach? If not, are bnei Noach
>chayav in this mitzvah?

        This past year I was in the grade 12 Rabbinics class at CHAT and
this subject was addressed.  The answer is sort of.  I know that sounds
a bit ridiculous, but throughout history, Jewish Rabbeim have been
commenting on this subject.  Who am I to give a ruling.  The sources
below are partially adapted from "Marital Relations, Birth Control and
Abortion in Jewish Law" by Rabbi David M. Feldman.  I hope that it will
be of some assistance.
        According to the relevant part of the Talmud, the answer is no
(TB Sanhedrin 59b), however, in another place the Talmud rules that a
ger who had children before he/she converted has fullfilled the mitzva
(TB Y'vamot 62a).  Tosafot points out the apparent contradiction.
Seemingly, the mitzva is applicable to the non-jew.  Applicable (?) yes!
Mitzva (?) no!
        Another Tosafot (Y'vamot) suggests that they are applicable
under the 7 mitzvot.  Rambam tries to reconcile the two in his Yad in
Hilchot Melachim chapters 9-10.  Rambam explains here the rules
pertaining to the non-jew under the rule of a Jewish king, or anywhere
else for that matter.  He does not include the mitzva of pru ur'vu in
the Yad (following what is in the Talmud).  He explains that the secones
Tosafot refers only to the sons of Noach *himself* and not to future
        Another source (Rav Gaon's Sh'iltot) that predates the Tosafot
writes: "The house of Israel is obigated to mary and beget children and
concern itself with the fullfillment of pru ur'vu as it is written
(Yirmiya 29:6) 'Take ye sons and beget sons and daughters.'  And not
only Israel but even gentiles are bidden to procreate as it is written
(Gen. 9:7) 'And ye, increase and multiply.'"
        Sh'iltot's standered commentary (Rav Berlin) rallied to his aid
by demonstrating that the Talmudic passages could be interpreted the
same way.  Sh'iltot is alone in his position.
        The Aruch HaShulchan explains the words of the Sh'iltot in
context and compares them to it's language in another place.  "As to the
haitation of the world, all human race is equal [in this
responsability].  Even though a mitzva does not attach to each
individual [among the gentiles], [the obligation] rests on the
generality of mankind to increase the world's population in accordance
with Hashem will as expressed to Adam and to Noach and his sons.  With
Israel the mitzva was attached to to each individual just as any other
mitzvot are.  Gentiles who were not given the the other commandments
were not given this one as a mitzva either - to individuals - but the
bracha from Hashem to increase and multiply was directed to all of
        This is the position held by most people as to whether or not
this is one of the 7 mitzvot b'nei noach.

Rachel Mechanic


From: Shlomo Katz <skatz@...>
Date: Wed, 02 Jul 1997 09:23:19 -0400
Subject: Reading Ketuvim on Shabbat afternoon

Since yesterday's message on reading Ketuvim on Shabbat afternoon and
on haftarot in mincha generally, I have had a chance to review my
notes.  Some of the "mareh mekomot"are as follows:

Shabbat 116b
Shabbat 24a, last line, and Ritva, Meiri, and Ba'al Hamaor there
Mishnah, Megillah 21a and Rashi, Tosfot and Rashba there
Teshuvot Hageonim on all of the above

Not directly related to the question, but interesting: In She'eilot
Uteshuvot Melamed Leho'il by Rav David Hoffman (Berlin, turn of this
century) he writes that they used to reread the haftarah in mincha
for the benefit of public school kids who missed shul on Shabbat
morning.  He writes that he disapproves of this but "kvar horah
zaken" i.e., Rav Ezriel Hildesheimer.


From: Chaim Shapiro <ucshapir@...>
Date: Mon, 30 Jun 1997 21:12:19 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Rebbe vs msader kiddushin

	At a recent wedding, I was the baal tefila for mincha.  Upon
completing my shmone esrai, i turned around to look for the rav's
approval to continue.  I, however, (as usual) had a problem.  There were
two rabbonim in the minyan, and I was not sure which one to wait for.
	First, there was the msader kiddushin who davened a relatively
quick shmone esrai.
	On the other hand, my rebbe from my yeshiva days was also
present.  He davened a rather slow shmone esrai, finishing a few minutes
after the msader kiddushin.
	Neither rabbi was from that particular city.  So, who do I wait
for, my rebbe as I would normaly do?  Or, do I consider the msader
kidushin the morah dasra even though he is nowhere near his city or



From: <millerr@...> (Reuven Miller)
Date: Wed, 2 Jul 1997 14:46:29 +0300 (WET)
Subject: Shehechiyanu when Wearing a New Garment

Could anyone suggest an _Ashkanasi_ source for the wide spread custom of
making a shehechiyanu when wearing a new garment and not when buying it
(which is the requirement of the Gemara and brought down by the Shulchan
Aruch as well as by the Mishna Brura and the Aruch HaShulchan.
The Ben-ish Chai and the Kaf Hachaim (Sefaradi poskim) do state that
todays custom is to make b'racha at time of wearing the garment but I need
a source for Ashkanasim.

|  Reuven Miller                        |
|  E-mail: <millerr@...>   |


End of Volume 26 Issue 76