Volume 28 Number 63
                 Produced: Mon May 31  7:26:13 US/Eastern 1999

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Avi Feldblum]
Direction during Prayer in Moscow; Australia; Turkey; South Africa (
         [Michael Poppers, David and Toby Curwin]
Heh with a Dot in it (4)
         [Richard Schultz, Moshe J. Bernstein, Robert Rubinoff, Yehuda
Luach HaShamot HaShalem
Scope of being Exempt from Time Dependent Mitzvot
         [Stuart Wise]
Several issues from m-j 28#62
         [Rick Turkel]
Wedding Customs (2)
         [Prof. Aryeh A. Frimer, Yisrael Medad]


From: Avi Feldblum <mljewish@...>
Date: Mon, 31 May 1999 06:51:38 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Administrivia

Hello All,

It's good to be back on line again, and thanks to all who sent me back
email in response to my Hello message. I hope to have this list back and
functioning over the next few weeks. In addition, I will try and let you
know when I will be off the air for short periods of time. The first will
be this week, as I will be out of email touch from later today (Monday,
May 31) through Shabbat. I will hopefully get two issues out today, and
then the next issue will probably be this coming Sunday. 

By the way, if there is anyone from the list who either lives in Dublin or
knows anything about the Kosher scene in Dublin, please let me know. I
would appreciate if you could send any responses on this topic to: 
as I hope to be able to access that account over the next few days.

Thanks in advance,

Avi Feldblum
mail-jewish Moderator


From: Michael Poppers <MPoppers@...>
Date: Fri, 28 May 1999 09:30:27 -0400
Subject: Re: Direction during Prayer in Moscow; Australia; Turkey; South Africa

From: Michael J Broyde <mbroyde@...> via m-j 28:62
> I was wondering if anyone knew the direction faced during prayer at
various synagogues located in the following locations: (1) Moscow; (2)
Anywhere in Australia; (3) Turkey; (4) South Africa.

Is the direction of prayer the same as the direction of the aron kodesh? <

FWIW, as New Zealand is nearby, I recall (from a vacation I spent there
many years ago) that the traditional synagogues in both Christchurch and
Auckland had a central section of seats facing the aron and two side
sections of seats facing the central section; when standing (e.g. for the
Amidah), most people turned their face towards the aron.  I don't remember
whether, by facing the aron, we were directing ourselves towards
Y'rushalayim or not.

Michael Poppers
Elizabeth, NJ

From: David and Toby Curwin <curwin@...>
Date: Fri, 28 May 1999 19:10:49 +0300
Subject: Direction during Prayer in Moscow; Australia; Turkey; South Africa

Rav Yaakov Emden in Sulam Beit El, his introduction to the siddur writes
that "it is known that it is the obligation of one who prays to direct
his body to Jerusalem." But he continues that "this only is true when it
(going to Israel) is impossible, because then our good intentions will
join up with the action we are prevented from doing...But the direction
(one prays toward) does not help in a situation where one cannot
completely claim that he is forced (not to go)...And therefore every Jew
needs to make a complete and total decision in his heart to make aliya
and live in the Land of Israel..."

He later continues: "And one can not make the claim of 'danger', for in
a time of shalom (peace) there is not very much danger..."

And he goes on to write: "And it is really very astounding the fact
about the holy Jews, that in every case they take stringencies (chumrot)
upon themselves in details of mitzvot, and they spend lots of money and
work very hard to keep those mitzvot in the most perfect possible
way. So why do they act lazy and degrade this beloved mitzva, the stake
which the entire Torah is dependent upon."

Now with no disrespect intended to the poster of the question, we should
try to focus on the important issue here. Rav Yaakov Emden wrote his
commentary to the siddur in 1745! And for him that was considered a time
of peace! So for us today, who due to the grace of God can board an
El-Al plane and move to Israel with no restrictions, the issue of what
direction to pray from Australia has minor, if any, significance.

[I appreciate the enlightening quotes from R' Emden, and therefore
alowed this in, however I am not happy with anyone calling other peoples
concerns or questions as being of "minor, if any, significance". If you
think so, please simply ignore the issue. If you think I am publishing
too much that you do not think is of importance to the halachick
observing community, you are free to raise that with me. The you here is
a general you, not this particular poster, but just a reminder to all as
I try and get the list back in operation. By the way, over the next few
issues the quality of the topics we discuss will depend in significant
part with what people submit. Mod.]

Shabat Shalom,

David Curwin
Kvutzat Yavne, Israel


From: Richard Schultz <schultr@...>
Date: Sun, 30 May 1999 07:37:02 +0300
Subject: Heh with a Dot in it

In mail-jewish 28:62, Neil Parks <nparks@...> writes:

: What is the correct pronunciation of the letter hay when it has a
: dagesh?

: I have noticed that this occurs only at the end of a word.  I have
: heard varying pronunciations ranging from silent (as a hay without a
: dagesh would sound at the end of word), to heavily aspirated, to
: guttural almost indistinguishable from ches or chof.

: Does it matter whether the word in question is Hebrew or Aramaic?  The
: Kaddish has a couple of Aramaic words that end in hay with a dagesh,
: and the transliterations I've seen (Birnbaum, Artscroll, M.
: Greenfield) all seem to suggest that it should be silent.

The letter hay at the end of a word can serve one of two purposes.
It can either be an indication that the word ends with a qamatz; such
letters (e.g. the vav that indicates a holem vowel) are known as
"matres lectionis."  The final hay, however, may actually be a
grammatically significant letter.  In some cases, the meaning of the
hay can be ambiguous; e.g., "her king" and "queen" are both spelled
mem-lamed-kaf-heh ("malkah").  In order to eliminate the possibility
of confusion, the Masoretes indicated the second type of letter heh
by putting a dot (known as a mappiq rather than as a dagesh) in the heh.

According to Thomas Lambdin in his _Introduction to Biblical Hebrew_, it
is not always clear if the Masoretes intended to indicate that the heh
with a mappiq was always intended to be pronounced, or if it was merely
an indication of the grammatical function of the heh.  One case where
the mappiq *does* make a difference -- and one that is almost universally
not pronounced correctly -- is the word "eloah" (God).  The root is
aleph-lamedh-heh, and the patach under the heh is a "furtive patach"
that occurs under any guttural when it concludes a word and follows a
long vowel (e.g. "shaliach" or "lishmoa`").  So the word aleph/seghol -
lamed/holem - heh/patach is *not* "eloha" (unless, perhaps, you're 
Hawaiian), but rather "eloah" with the final heh pronounced *after* the

In my experience, most people ignore the mappiq altogether in normal
speech or reading (e.g. when saying Kaddish).  Many Torah readers, on
the other hand, tend to be more careful and enunciate all of the 
heh+mappiq's that they come across, because not "pronouncing" the heh
can change the meaning of the word.

					Richard Schultz

From: Moshe J. Bernstein <mjbrnstn@...>
Date: Fri, 28 May 1999 09:22:58 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Heh with a Dot in it

the dot in the heh is a mappiq (literally, "bringer-out"), not a dagesh.
it tells one to treat the heh as a consonant rather than as a vowel
letter. if one fails to give body to the heh, one has not read the word,
in the same way that skipping any other consonant is failure to read the
word in question.

note, for example, the distinction by the ba'alei mesora at the beginning
of parashat tazria between tohora and tohorah.

the same rules apply in both hebrew and aramaic.

there are rare occurrences of mappiq in aleph as well, although the
location eludes me at the moment.

moshe bernstein

From: Robert Rubinoff <Robert_Rubinoff@...>
Date: Fri, 28 May 99 14:32:18 -0400
Subject: Re: Heh with a Dot in it

This dot is actually not a dagesh; it is called a "mappik", and indeed
occurs only in a final hay.  (Note that hay cannot have a dagesh.)

Technically it should be pronounced the same as any other hay; since
there's no following vowel, this amounts to a sort of wheezing sound.
Most people simply leave it silent, either out of ignorance or because
it's too difficult to say (or to remember to say).

Also note: a final hay with a mappik and a patach under it should *not*
be pronounced "ha".  This is still a final hay that comes after the
vowel, just as a patach under a final chet is prounounced before the
chet (i.e. "ach" rather than "cha").  So this hay-patach-mappik
combination should be pronounced "ah" (with the wheezy final hey-sound)
or simply "a" (if you don't pronounce the hay).  Unfortunately, most
people don't know this, so they pronounce it "ha".  Even more
unfortunately, one of the most common occurences of this is in one of
the names of God (aleph-lamed-vav-hey), which is almost always
mispronounced.  The other common occurence of this is in the word
"magbiah", for the person who lifts the Torah scroll after a Torah
reading is completed.  But this word is usually pronounced correctly,
because people rarely see it written (try and find it in a prayer
book!), so they rely on the "oral tradition" which has preserved the
correct pronunciation.


From: Yehuda Poch <yehudap@...>
Date: Sun, 30 May 1999 14:31:58 +0300
Subject: Re: Heh with a Dot in it

>>What is the correct pronunciation of the letter hay when it has a

As if the heh is at the beginning of the word.  ie, you pronounce the heh.

>>I have noticed that this occurs only at the end of a word.  I have
>>heard varying pronunciations ranging from silent (as a hay without a
>>dagesh would sound at the end of word), to heavily aspirated, to
>>guttural almost indistinguishable from ches or chof.

I was taught that the middle of these three is the correct way to pronounce
it.  It occurs only at the end of a word where the word is female possessive.

>>Does it matter whether the word in question is Hebrew or Aramaic?  The
>>Kaddish has a couple of Aramaic words that end in hay with a dagesh,
>>and the transliterations I've seen (Birnbaum, Artscroll, M.
>>Greenfield) all seem to suggest that it should be silent.

I have heard the aramaic pronounced as in Hebrew, or as in regular.  I am
not certain that the same gramatical details apply in Aramaic as they do in

It should also be noted that the heh is one of the "ha'ach ra" letters that
are gutterally pronounced.  Thus, if it appears at the end of a word and
holds a patach vowel, the vowel is to be pronounced before the sound of the
letter, not after, as in "luach".  The most common occurrence of a heh in
this case is the word "elo'ah" at the end of the second paragraph of Hallel.

Yehuda Poch


From: <ROSELANDOW@...>
Date: Sat, 29 May 1999 23:43:04 EDT
Subject: Re: Luach HaShamot HaShalem

I found my copy of Luach HaShamot HaShalem.  It is by Dr. Shaul Barkoli,
is copyrighted by Rubin Mass, and was published by S. Weinfeld in
Yerushalaim in 1965.


From: Stuart Wise <swise@...>
Date: Fri, 28 May 99 12:50:19 -0000
Subject: Scope of being Exempt from Time Dependent Mitzvot

I have a question that I have posed elsewhere but wasn't completely
satsified with the answer.  We say that women are patur [Exempt - Mod.]
from mitzvos asah she'bizman gerama [Time dependent positive
commandments - MOd.], and in general women have fewer mitzvos to perform
because of their involvement in the caring for young children.

My question is: what if it is the man who is the primary caregiver of the 
child, either at times when the wife is work, or say, chas v'shalom, if 
the mother dies in childbirth, is a man patur from any mitzvos?

[Just a quick reminder to all, if you use Hebrew terms in your posts,
please supply translations for any phrase that you think others on the
list may not know. Thanks. Mod.]


From: Rick Turkel <rturkel@...>
Date: Fri, 28 May 1999 13:34:08 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Several issues from m-j 28#62

1) Direction during Prayer in Moscow; Australia; Turkey; South Africa

	Michael J Broyde <mbroyde@...> asked about the above.

	Ideally, one should face in the direction of Yerushalayim, i.e.,
south in Moscow and Turkey, west in Australia and north in South Africa.
However, if the 'aron qodesh is in another direction, the presence of
sifrei torah takes precedence and one faces the 'aron qodesh.

[Note: I'm pretty sure that R. Broyde's question was one of what is the
actual practice in these places, as opposed to what is the halacha of
what direction one faces outside Israel. There were a few answers
similar to above which have not been forwarded back to the list. If I
have misunderstood R. Broyde, I expect him to correct me, otherwise I
will be looking for respomses similar to Michael Poppers above of people
with knowledge from the location/ Mod.]

2)hay with dagesh

	Neil Parks <nparks@...> asked about the above.

	The mark that occasionally appears in a final hey is called a
mappiq, not a dagesh (even though they look the same).  It generally
marks feminine singular possessive suffixes on nouns in Hebrew and
masculine ones in Aramaic.  Its pronunciation should be a heavily
aspirated "H" sound.  It is most commonly heard by careful ba`alei
qeriya in the section on vows at the beginning of parashat matot, where
one should distinguish clearly between 'iyshaH (with a yod and a mappiq)
meaning "her husband" from  'isha (no yod or mappiq) meaning "woman."

	Hope these help.

Rick Turkel         (___  _____  _  _  _  _  __     _  ___   _   _  _  ___
<rturkel@...>)oh.us|   |  \  )  |/  \ ein |navi| be|iro\__)    |
<rturkel@...>        /      |  _| __)/   | ___)    | ___|_  |  _(  \    |


From: Prof. Aryeh A. Frimer <frimea@...>
Date: Sun, 30 May 1999 08:51:40 +0300
Subject: Re: Wedding Customs

Asher Goldstein asks the source of having the bride/groom march down
accompanied by the parents carrying candles? One of the outstanding
modern works on the Halakhot and Customs regarding weddings, Brit millah
and Pidyon HaBen is "Eidut le-Yisrael" written by R. Avraham Werdyger He
also wrote a multivolume commentary to the Siddur called Tslota
de-Avraham). He indicates that there are many customs that come from the
description of the "wedding" between Klal Yisrael and Hashem at Sinai.
For example, The bride circling the groom 3 (later evolving to 7) times
comes from the 3 days the bmai Yisrael sat around har Sinai prior to the
giving of the Torah. The candles come from the "Kolot and berakim"
(thunder and lightening) - with the candles representing the latter.

From: Yisrael Medad <isrmedia@...>
Date: Sun, 30 May 99 11:40:28 PDT
Subject: Wedding Customs

Could the simple answer to the query have been that
when there was no electricity, they used candles
and then someone "created" another reason?

Yisrael Medad


End of Volume 28 Issue 63