Volume 28 Number 45
                 Produced: Sun Feb  7  9:25:31 US/Eastern 1999

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Birkat Hachodesh (2)
         [Chaim Sacknovitz, Al Silberman]
Explanation of Error: ARuKiM vs ARooChiM
         [Russell Hendel]
Gendered Souls & Mitzvos
         [Shalom Krischer]
Hebrew College Announces New Online Courses
         [Nathan Ehrlich]
Marrying non-Jews
         [Elanit Z. Rothschild]
Rabbis, Contracts, Doctors, Scar Battala
         [Russell Hendel]
Response to Tragedy
         [Stuart Wise]
Yiddish name Breindel
         [Eliezer Finkelman]


From: Chaim Sacknovitz <702555@...>
Date: Sun, 10 Jan 1999 13:50:07 -0500
Subject: Birkat Hachodesh

Recently, Rick Turkel questioned the seemingly incorrect wording "chayyim
'aruhkim" in Birkat Hachodesh.

Both "chayyim 'aruhkim" (without a dagesh in the Kaph) and "chayyim arukim"
(with a dagesh) are correct - but they have different meanings.  Without
the dagesh, the word means "healthy" and therefore the phrase means a
"healthy life."  This is based on Yeshayahu 58:8 - Va'aruhktecha mehera
titzmahk" ("and your healing spring up quickly) where the word "aruhktecha"
refers to health.  

Arukim (with the dagesh) means a long life.  Personlly, I prefer 'aruhkim"
without the dagesh

From: Al Silberman <alfred.silberman@...>
Date: Wed, 13 Jan 1999 10:29:09 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Birkat Hachodesh

In MJ V28n43 Rick Turkel <rturkel@...> wrote:
>As long as we're on this subject, can anyone provide a source for the
>common (but grammatically incorrect) ... chayyim 'arukhim ... (spelled
>with a shuruq/vav and no dagesh in the khaf) instead of the proper
>'arukim (qubbutz/no vav and a dagesh in the kaf)?  Many respected
>siddurim (including Artscroll and, I believe, Tehillas H') have the
>former, while Birnbaum and Rinnat Yisrael have the grammatically correct

Both the form "'arukim" with a qibbutz and the form "'arukhim" with a
malopim are grammatically correct forms. The former is an adjective while
the latter is the present tense passive Qal form of the root

This prayer comes directly from the Gemara TB Berakhos 16b where the Vilna
Shas version has the verbal form rather than an adjectival form. This is
probably the correct form to use. Although in our Western culture one
wishes someone a "long life" the idiomatic usage of Hebrew requires the
verbal form. In colloquial Yiddish (I am not familiar with Modern Hebrew
usage) one wishes someone else to be "Ma'Arikh Yomim" - to have an
elongated life. The hiphil form of the verb is used.

If we go back to Tanakh we also find that most (if not all) expressions of
wishes of long life are presented by the idiomatic "lengthened life" rather
than "long life". The Ten Commandments says "so that you may have a
lengthened life" not "so that you may have a long life". The King in
Parshas Shoftim is promised a "lengthened life" (again hiphil) not "a long

Throughout Shas we also find this thought expressed in verbal form not in
an adjectival form. As an example see the Mishna in Qidushin 39b. This
seems to be the idiomatic form required by the Hebrew culture. It seems to
me that usage of an adjectival form has adopted a Western mind's frame of

While on this theme I have still not found a reason why right before
Shemonei Esreh we use the phrase "Motzi' 'Asirim" [frees prisoners] using
the noun form while in the second blessing of Shemonei Esreh the phrase
used is "Mattir 'Asurim" using the verbal form. (Since I pronounce both the
same way I didn't realize this until way past my childhood [: - )]  ).


From: Russell Hendel <rhendel@...>
Subject: Explanation of Error: ARuKiM vs ARooChiM

Rick Turkel in Mail Jewish V28n43 raises the issue of HOW THE FOLLOWING
error crept into the davening: The proper form is a) ARuKaH while some
Siddurim have b) ARooChaH (Rosh Chodesh benching)

Quite simply the error came from the fact that we find both forms in Tnach.

----    -----           -------         ---------------
ARuKaH  2S 3-1          Long            Shuruk/no vav vs Qubutz/vav
                                        Dagesh Chazak in K vs Raphe

ARuKhaH Jer 30,17       Healing         Qubutz/vav
                                        Raphe vs Dagesh Chazak

Since both forms occur in Tenach it is reasonable that someone erred.

I agree with Rick that it is an error since clearly the intent of the
prayer is to ask for a LONG LIFE and not a HEALED LIFE.

Russell Jay Hendel; Phd ASA RHEndel @ mcs drexel edu


From: Shalom Krischer <pgmsrk@...>
Date: Wed, 13 Jan 1999 17:56:18 -0500
Subject: Gendered Souls & Mitzvos

In V28N19, Hannah Gershon writes:
> ...
>   2. I thought women were originally required in the same 613
>commandments, but then (or simulteaneously at Sinai?) were *exempted*
>from mitzvos dependent on "fixed times."

Where did you get this from?!?!?  It is CLEARLY incorrect.  Without even
touching the question of which/whose 613, there is no one to whom all 613
apply.  Some of the mitzvot are clearly designated for the kohanim (such as
temple service), some are for the king (such as writing a sefer torah), some
are even the exclusive rights of women (anything pertaining to childbirth!).

The important thing to realize (despite contemporary practise) is that what
counts is not who gets to do what, but that we are all part of a cohesive
whole (only all together may we complete the full 613 {speedily in our days}).

Shalom Krischer (Usual disclaimers apply)
PS - If my daughter wants to learn gemara, I hope I know enough to teach her!


From: Nathan Ehrlich <nehrlich@...>
Date: Tue, 19 Jan 1999 03:18:08 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Hebrew College Announces New Online Courses

Hebrew College Announces New Online Courses

Hebrew College is pleased to offer 7 online courses during the
Spring 1999 Semester. Conducted via the Web and e-mail, these
courses can be taken for credit or non-credit. This is an
opportunity to participate in a dynamic learning community
with "virtual classmates" from all over the world. The following
courses begin February 8, February 15, and March 15.

o Finding Your Jewish Voice: A Creative Writing Workshop
o Playwriting on Jewish Themes
o Gender, Childhood, and Family in Jewish History
o Jews Among Christians and Muslims
o Justice, Forgiveness, & Reconciliation in Jewish & Christian Thought
o Introduction to the Bible: The Book of Genesis
o Modern Jewish Life: Emancipation & Enlightenment

As with all Hebrew College online courses, technical assistance
and support will be  provided to course participants. Non-credit
students earn 3 CEUs (Continuing Education Units) towards a
Certificate of Jewish Studies which requires 36 CEUs.

For course descriptions, instructors' bios, cost, registration form
and information about Hebrew College, please visit our Web site,
http://hebrewcollege.edu/online. You may also e-mail
<online-courses@...>, or phone (617)278-4944.


From: Elanit Z. Rothschild <Ezr0th@...>
Date: Mon, 25 Jan 1999 13:56:09 EST
Subject: Marrying non-Jews

I have been reading the thread on mariage to non-Jews, and I have been
quite disturbed by it - you might want to blame it on the fact that the
world in which we live in today is a pluralistic one, so we are taught
from childhood, and continue to teach our children, that we must love
everyone, no matter who they are or what they look like.  If they did
something wrong, you hate, or disapprove, of their actions, not the
person directly.  It could also be from the fact that I, and my
siblings, were raised by non-frum parents, although they taught us about
Jewish tradition and they sent all three of us to yeshiva day and
high-schools.  My sister and I even spent our respective years studying
in Israel.  [I call my parents non-frum - not non-religious - because
they are truly religious people.]  But, nonetheless, I have been
bothered by what has been suggested, so I thought that I would throw my
two-cents into the ring.

It is obvious that one can not compare marriages to a non-Jew with
marriages to someone who is not frum.  Depending on which spouse is
Jewish, the marriage theoretically stops the flow of mesorah and halacha
from parent to child.  The predicament that we find ourselves in today,
especially those of us living in the United States, is very grave to the
Jewish nation as a whole, because, before we have a chance to even
understand what went wrong, we will have lost 2 generations to the evils
of assimilation.  But I don't believe that the following suggestion will
do any good in the long run:

>>(1) IMHO means absence from the wedding ceremony and reception; it
means not addressing the couple as husband and wife, nor Mr. and Mrs.;
it means not sending any wedding gift; it means not participating in any
way in any anniversaries or any other occasions which recognize the
couple as husband and wife.  [ mj 28:42 ]<<

I think we all recognize the problems that face us.  Not addressing the
couple as husband and wife, or not sending any gifts and the like, IMHO,
do no good.  The point is that we must get to the roots of the problem.
The couple will not divorce or change their minds only because an
"Orthodox" cousin does not approve of their marriage.  Lehefech.....the
couple will scorn Orthodoxy and/or Judaism even more, and with good
reason.  Why did the Jewish partner even consider marrying a non-Jew in
the first place?  Did he/she lose respect for the Orthodox because of
the way he/she was treated, or because he/she witnessed the way some
"Orthodox" treat others?  Was he/she raised without an Orthodox
background?  Did the person rebel?  When we face these terrible
situations, we must ask ourselves why?  What could we have done
differently in the past in order not to give off the wrong impression of
the way I live my life?  What should I do differently in the future to
make sure that it does not happen again?  Do I look down upon those who
do not keep halacha the way I keep it?  Do I scorn those who do not keep
it at all?  Is my house closed to them because they might be a bad
influence on my family?

The letter of the law might dictate to us that we are not allowed to
attend these weddings because of the symolism of the whole occasion.
But each individual case deserves individual attention by the certain
Rav that can give an answer based on the letter of the law AND the
spirit of the law, depending on each situation.  But, in the long run,
it is not the gift that matters or the way in which you formally address
the couple - what really matters is the way you treat them and others.
In these situations, it is the "bein adam l'chavero" that matters the
most - and those are REAL important.  One action will have an effect on
hundreds of people and on hundreds of lives - which, at the end, will
have an effect on the future of all of Klal Yisrael.

Elanit Z. Rothschild


From: Russell Hendel <rhendel@...>
Subject: Rabbis, Contracts, Doctors, Scar Battala

Just a quick response to Avi Feldblum who in V28n39 suggested that
religious doctors also could only take wages because of the argument of
"Scar Batalah" --that because they are doing medicine they cannot spend
time doing other mitzvoth. The shulchan Aruch citing the talmud finds
the heter to take monetary compensation for doctors from the explicit
verse "...and you shall surely heal" (Ex 21:19)--->>From here we learn
the permissability of charging for medical services.<<

The original question was how Rabbis can take contracts if their only
heter to take money is because they could be doing something else.  As
to Avis other point--->>Why do you assume that something else = being a
waiter<<.  Actually I assume that >>Something else<< = >>the minimum
wage<< and I picked waiters since they usually get minimum wages.

So these two questions still stand: a) what is the definition of
"minimum wage" and b) why can a Rabbi take a standing contract to
receive "money for being idle" If anyone has ideas it would be

Russell Jay Hendel; Phd ASA Rhendel @ mcs drexel edu


From: Stuart Wise <swise@...>
Date: Tue, 12 Jan 99 10:27:39 -0400
Subject: Re: Response to Tragedy

On Monday night, at least here in Brooklyn, there was a gathering for 
purposes of chizuk in recognition of "overwhelming" tragedies occurring 
within the frum community, such as tragic accidents, sudden deaths and 
cancer.   I was unable to attend, but even so, I probably would have 
listened to speeches similar to those I've heard in years. A day of 
tefila, according to the flyer, was declared Erev Rosh Chodesh.

This is not the first time in my recollection that there has been concern 
over the state of the frum community and what happens to it. I remember 
R' Moshe Feinstein z"tzl, more than once declared a taanis for that 
purpose, and he was niftar 13 years ago.

My question is this: Aside from admonishing us concerning davening, 
fasting and trying to be a better frum person, is there anyone who has 
heard any insights as to why such tragedies are occurring? Are the 
occurrences disproportionate to similar instances in the general 
community?  Have we run out of zechusim? After all, nissim still do 
occur.  What lesson can we be learned?

Any input would be appreciated.

Stuart M. Wise
Leader Publications
(212) 545-6168


From: Eliezer Finkelman <Finkelmans@...>
Date: Tue, 26 Jan 1999 01:49:31 EST
Subject: Yiddish name Breindel

Can anyone at Mail-Jewish help me with information about the derivation and
meaning of the Yiddish name Breindel?
 I have a few clues.  The Beit Shmuel (on Shulhan Arukh in the section
on the spelling of names for purposes of Divorce documents) lists Breina
and Breindel among the names which should be spelled phonetically, so
varying from place to place.  Among those names, he also lists Brunlein,
which seems to derive from a word meaning Brown (like the name Melanie).
 I also saw, in a book called "What to Name Your Baby," the suggestion
that Breina derives from the Slavic name Brunia, which the book explains
as meaning Joyful.
 Can anyone add to these clues?
Eliezer Finkelman


End of Volume 28 Issue 45