Volume 28 Number 38
                      Produced: Tue Dec  1  7:50:36 1998

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

An Actuarial Analysis of  The time it takes to pray
         [Carl M. Sherer]
Another possibility
         [Schwartz Baruch]
Rosh Chodesh Bentching
         [Jonathan Marvin]
Singular vs Plural in Birchat HaChodesh (4)
         [Boruch Merzel, Steve White, Sheldon Meth, Gilad J. Gevaryahu]
Turning during Kedusha, Bowing to other than H-shem
         [Joseph Geretz]
Tzedakah, Work Ethic, and Weddings
         [Devora Farrell]


From: Carl M. Sherer <carl@...>
Date: Wed, 25 Nov 1998 15:26:56 +0200
Subject: An Actuarial Analysis of  The time it takes to pray

Russell Hendel writes:

> >>Ideally you should start Kriath Shma at the beginning of sunrise and
> >>finish it at the completion of sunrise--this takes about 6 minutes
> >>[Rambam, Shma 1: 11].
> Thus we have that an "expected time to say Kriath Shma" is 6
> minutes. This turns out to be about 2.1 words per second which is the
> same figure recommended for good business presentations.

I think this Rambam may be referring to Kriyas Shma *with* its 
brachos. The reason I say this is that the Rambam talks about 
finishing Kriyas Shma "at the completion of sunrise." Davening 
vasikin means starting Shmoneh Esrei at the completion of 
sunrise, and therefore the Rambam would have to be referring to 
reaching "Go'al Yisrael" and not "Hashem Elokeichem Emes." 

If my proposition is correct, six minutes would actually be a 
relatively quick but not outrageous pace, because "Kriyas Shma" 
would refer to Kriyas Shma with its brachos. For comparison 
purposes, when I was in Yeshiva I generally davened vasikin (in a 
minyan that davened faster than the regular Yeshiva minyan), and 
on weekdays we started Yishtabach about seven minutes before 
sunrise, which would be just about the pace the Rambam 
mentions. By comparison, the "Yeshivish" minyan in which I 
currently daven generally starts Yishtabach approximately nine and 
one half minutes before sunrise, and reaches Kriyas Shma itself 
five to five and one half minutes before sunrise, neither of which 
would accord with the Rambam.

> I have found Kriath Shmah normally takes 4-6 minutes. 

Which is in line with the numbers I cite above, but maybe not in 
line with the Rambam.

> RECOMMENDATIONS: Let Kriath Shmah take 6 minutes and Shmoneh 
Esray 4 minutes.  

Four minutes strikes me as quite fast for Shmoneh Esrei. Yes, I 
know there are minyanim that daven in less than that, but a 
weekday Shmoneh Esrei that takes four minutes doesn't quite fit in 
with a Kriyas Shma that takes six minutes IMHO. BTW, both of 
the minyanim I cited above took (and take) well over thirty minutes 
for the whole davening, without Kriyas HaTorah.

Carl M. Sherer
mailto:<carl@...>  or  mailto:sherer@actcom.co.il

Please daven and learn for a Refuah Shleima for my son Baruch Yosef ben
Adina Batya.  Thank you very much.


From: Schwartz Baruch <Schwrtz@...>
Date: Tue, 1 Dec 1998 05:11:39 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Another possibility

As noted by others, the traditional text of the siddur says ha-ba' in
the singular and not ha-ba'im in the plural, thus indicating that the
month, and not the day(s), are the subject of this participle. This is
also evident from the context, since it makes little sense, and there is
little precedent, for speaking of a day of the week as ba'`alenu
letovah. Another possible explanation for the linguistic peculiarity of
this fact is the following:

As can still be seen in some siddurim, the original text of this line of
the Rosh Hodesh prayer may not have included the verb yihyeh "will
be". The verb in the sentence would then be yehaddeshehu "May [God]
renew it", and "Rosh Hodesh [name of month]" would be the object, not
the subject of the sentence.  The entire sentence would then mean: May
the Holy One, blessed be He, renew the new month of [name] coming soon
on [day/s of the week] for our good and that of all Israel, for us and
for the entire house of Israel wherever they are, etc.

Anyone familiar with this version, which is the one preserved, for
instance, in Rinnat Yisrael?

Baruch Schwartz


From: Jonathan Marvin <jonx@...>
Date: Sun, 29 Nov 1998 10:23:47 -0800
Subject: Re: Rosh Chodesh Bentching

In the Sefas Emes siddur (Ed. Wolf Heidenheim, Roedelheim), used widely
in German-Jewish circles, the printed nusach has "habo" and, following
that, "haboim" in parenthesis, implying it should be said when there is
more than one day of R'H.

Siddur Avodas Yisroel, the "Baer" siddur (Ed. Seligman Baer,
Roedelheim), avoids the problem by stating "Oleinu v'al kol yisroel
l'tovoh," with no version of the word "to come."

The actual practice in K'hal Adas Yeshurun of Washington Heights, which
follows the custom of Frankfurt a.M., is quite interesting.  The phrase
"habo oleinu l'tovoh" is only added in reference to Shabbos, never any
other day of the week (thus the problem is also avoided).  Example: "R'H
Teves b'yom shabbos kodesh habo oleinu l'tovoh, u'lemochoroso b'yom
rishon."  Example: "R'H Shevat b'yom hasheni." Period.  (I can't
remember whether the word "yiyeh" is said.)

Jonathan Marvin


From: <BoJoM@...> (Boruch Merzel)
Date: Fri, 27 Nov 1998 14:41:26 EST
Subject: Singular vs Plural in Birchat HaChodesh

David I. Cohen asks:   < does anyone know why, when Rosh Chodesh is two
weekdays, we announce the two days with a simple conjunctive, "on
Monday and on Tuesday", for example, while when one of the two days of
Rosh Chodesh is on Shabbat we add the word "oomachrato" ?>

The reason is rather simple: Tuesday & Wednesday, for example are of
equal "Chashivus" i.e. stature and importance and this is demonstrated
in the manner in which we announce Rosh Chodesh as " occuring on Tuesday
& Wednesday."  Shabbos however has no equal and every other day of the
week is secondary to Shabbos.  This is demonstrated in declaring Rosh
Chodesh as "occuring on Shabbos Kodesh (oomachrato) and the the day
following Shabbos, (which happens to be) Yom Rishon".  

Boruch Merzel

From: <StevenJ81@...> (Steve White)
Date: Mon, 30 Nov 1998 09:45:13 EST
Subject: Re: Singular vs Plural in Birchat HaChodesh

On another related topic, how about "b'yom" vs. "bayom ha-" (or "b'yom
ha-")?  I have always been careful to say "b'yom," as in "b'yom sheni
uv'yom shlishi."  I've seen different siddurim instruct either usage,
though two siddurim I trust more than others, ArtScroll and Rinat
Yisrael, both opt for "b'yom."  I think that "b'yom" represents days of
the week, which do not normally take definite articles, while definite
articles indicate more of a count of days from present.  In practical
terms, they are the same (except when the second day of RH is Sunday,
eight days away), but I still think "b'yom" is a preferable

From: Sheldon Meth <SHELDON.Z.METH@...>
Date: Sun, 29 Nov 1998 10:47:40 -0500
Subject: RE: Singular vs Plural in Birchat HaChodesh

Meshulum Laks writes:

>"the only exception is for rosh chodesh ellul for which we do say haboim
> - because there is no separate birchat hachodsh for tishre - (as we
> fulfill hacesseh liyom chageinu - the holiday of R'H is hidden and so is
> its rosh chodesh..) so we bless both ellul and tishre together"

	I have never heard of such a custom; is there a reference?  I
thought it is precisely because it is hidden that we do not bless
Tishrei at all - implicitly as well as explicitly.  See Mishna Berurah
on O.C. 417:1, Note 1.

From: <Gevaryahu@...> (Gilad J. Gevaryahu)
Date: Mon, 30 Nov 1998 16:01:41 EST
Subject: Singular vs Plural in Birchat HaChodesh

Several people expressed many opinions on this issue (MailJewish 28#34),
but some clarifications are needed.

The new siddur nosakh Hagr"a by R. Joshua Cohen & Isaiah Vinograd
(Jerusalem, 1998) already pointed out that it was Rabbi Wolf Heidenheim
(1757-1832) who introduced the long form of the new khodesh

At the time of Hagr"a all siddurim of Ashkenaz stated that the
announcement was "rosh khodesh ploni beyom ploni". This short
announcement was maintained in nosakh Italiani till today (Siddur Tefila
kefi minhag kehilot kedoshot Italiani-Rome 1964, p. 153). You can find
the old short nusakh in other siddurim, for example: Tefilat Israel
(Nurnberg, 1925) in a note says: "in Frankfurt a.m. they used to say
"rosh khodesh ploni beyom ploni vetu lo" and they continue that if the
rosh khodesh is two days, Shabbat and the following Sunday, then one
says "beyom Shabbat kodesh haba aleynu letova ulemakharato beyom Rishon"
(1). Siddur Mh"r Shabtai Mipermishla (Ner Israel, Baltimore) also have
the short version. Also Siddur Hamekubal R. Hirz Shaz (Tihungen 1740)
also has the short nusakh.

I found that Siddur Sefat Emeth of Wolf Heidenheim himself (Roedelheim,
1928, 152nd edition , p. 123) has the following version: "Rosh
khodesh...yiheye beyom... (uvayom...) haba (habaim) aleynu veal kol
Israel letova". The anecdotal conclusion is therefore that it was Wolf
Heidenheim himself who suggested that if the Rosh Khodesh is two days
"habaim" is the proper announcement. (He was a Hebrew grammarian!) But
until someone verify the nusakh of the earliest version (1806) of this
siddur, (and the larger siddur Safah Berurah-1825) this conclusion is

If this conclusion is correct, we have here a case where his suggestion
for a "long announcement" was incorporated into the tefila and is today
the standard of Ashkenazi nusakh, (See Arugot Habosem-Dinei Birkat
Hakhodesh-Otzar Hatefilot, Jerusalem, 1960, p.720) but his suggestion
that the announcement refers to the days rather than to rosh khodesh was
not accepted.

As to: when to say "lemakharato"? there are two versions: Some suggest
that it should be only in a case of a two days rosh khodesh of
Saturday-Sunday. (See Arugot Habosem above) The logic being that Sunday
could be misunderstood by some as refering to the immediate sunday
rather than to next week's Sunday.  While others (e.g. IDF Luakh)
maintain that "lemakharato" should be used in all two days rosh khodesh.

[Similar postings/explanations to the above also mentioned by:
<NJGabbai@...>, StevenJ81@aol.com (Steve White), Joseph Geretz
<jgeretz@...>, ajroth@skcla.monsanto.com, Arie Weiss
<aliw@...>, Sheldon Meth
<SHELDON.Z.METH@...>. Mod]

(1) The Frankfurt a.m. Orthodox community was headed by Rabbi
Dr. S. Breuer, the son-in-law or R. Shimshon Raphael Hirsch, and they
did not accept some of R. Wolf Heidenheim changes, which were
controversial at the time.

Gilad J. Gevaryahu


From: Joseph Geretz <jgeretz@...>
Date: Fri, 27 Nov 1998 10:00:57 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Turning during Kedusha, Bowing to other than H-shem

> I don't know the sources, but the reason for the different sequence is
> as follows: In osei shalom, as David Ziants mentioned, one is taking
> leave, as it were, of the Shechinah.  Therefore, one bows first to the
> right of the Shechinah, which, if one is facing the Shechinah, is to
> one's left.  In "vekara zeh el ze," one should imagine one is standing
> in a row of angels; therefore one bows to the angel on his right first.

Sorry, I don't have a source for this either (I may have heard this
somewhere) but the turning from side to side during Ze El Ze is not
actually bowing. In the preamble to the Kedusha we state that we, on
Earth, should sanctify H-shem just as the angels do in heaven.
Accordingly, we tailor our words *and actions* to the words *and
actions* of the heavenly host.

They say 3 times Kadosh - We say 3 times Kadosh.
They stand upright - We stand upright
They ask permission between themselves - We emulate this by turning from
side to side as though asking permission of our neighbors.


I prefer this explanation, because I'm a bit cautious about bowing to
angels. I'm not sure if this is permissible. I don't know of any place
in Tefilla where we bow to to anyone other than to H-shem. (The one
bowing which had me puzzled was the bowing at the end of Lecha Dodi. My
initial understanding was that we are bowing to Shabbos. However, the
verbiage refers to us welcoming the Shabbos as Ateres Baalah, where the
Baal obviously refers to H-shem. So to be more precise, it seems to me
that we are bowing to H-shem's presence as manifested by the coming of
Shabbos. [H-shem wearing the 'crown' of Shabbos, so to speak])

Can anyone give any examples from Tefilla or Tanach which clearly
*sanction* bowing to an angel?

Kol Tuv,

Yossi Geretz


From: Devora Farrell <alfarrel@...>
Date: Wed, 25 Nov 1998 21:22:29 -0000
Subject: Re: Tzedakah, Work Ethic, and Weddings

 When people collect tzedakah to "marry off a kallah", they are often
collecting for more than merely a wedding; the tzedakah is often intended to
allow them to purchase a table to eat off of, chairs to sit on at the table,
dishes to serve the food on, silverware, beds, linens...
 Also, I think that a kallah should be able to have at least a simple,
dignified wedding with at least some of the trimmings so that she can
begin married life feeling pretty and b'simcha rather than poor and
bereft.  This allows the tzedakah-giver the opportunity to participate
not only in hachnasas kallah (marrying off a bride), but also in the
additional mitzvah of being rodef shalom bain ish l'ishto (pursuing
peace between a husband and his wife).  Most people have a sense of
distinction between adequate and over-the-top when it comes to financial
matters, although our needs vary individually and we all make mistakes
from time to time.  When I give tzedakah for this purpose, I try to
assume that the recipient will spend the money (however much or little)
for reasonable needs.

Devora Farrell

>From: <erosenfe@...> (Elie Rosenfeld)
>In the discussion on people soliciting tzedakah during davening, an
>anecdote was presented by Carl Sherer that I found very
>2) There are nearly unlimited opportunities for tzedakah, and
>conversely, almost all of us have quite limited funds from which to
>give.  It is thus critical that the worthiness of each given cause be
>taken into account.  To some extent, this will be subjective to each of
>us, but I also feel that to a significant extent, it is fairly
>objective.  For example, how does giving money to "make a wedding" stack
>up against support for widows, orphans, or the disabled, against helping
>those who literally do not have enough to eat, a place to live, or who
>have R'L staggering medical expenses?  Especially since the lack of a
>formal wedding reception in no way prevents a couple from fulfilling the
>mitzvah of getting married!  All that are really needed are a kesuvah, a
>mesader kiddushin to make sure everything is done halachically, and a
>few friends to serve as witnesses.  Of course, if one has the means, a
>"real" wedding as per our modern social mores is a wonderful thing.  But
>is it really a worthy cause on which to spend ones precious, scarce
>tzedakah money?


End of Volume 28 Issue 38