Volume 28 Number 71
                 Produced: Fri Jun 11  5:49:22 US/Eastern 1999

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

ANI=Confrontational I, ANOCHI=Supportive I:Old Bible Criticism
         [Russell Hendel]
Pointing with the Little Finger
         [Jay Rovner]
Second day Yom Tov, Shavuot and Yom Kippur
         [Tzvi Harris]
T'fillin on Chol Hamoed
         [Herschel Ainspan]
Time-bound commandments
         [Shlomo Pick]
Women's exemption from certain time-bound mitzvot
         [Clark, Eli]
Yom Tov Sheni - Shavuoth
         [Richard Flom]


From: Russell Hendel <rhendel@...>
Date: Tue, 8 Jun 1999 22:08:17 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: ANI=Confrontational I, ANOCHI=Supportive I:Old Bible Criticism

A very quick answer to Yacov Shulman's question on the difference
between ANI and ANOCHI. This was a favorite during previous
centuries. People who attacked the Bible use to say that it was not a
unified document: To prove their point they said that certain parts of
the Bible use the word ELOKIM for God while others use ADNAY for God
etc. Similarly certain sections use ANI for "I" while others use
ANOCHI. To sum it up certain keywords---God, I....---were used to
suggest that different parts of the Bible were written by different

To refute this literature the orthodox (and secular camps) developed a
whole literature on why different words were used in different
sections. This in turn led to higher appreciation of the Bible. These
"multi-section" views of the Bible are no longer popular due to the
successful refutations of these scholars.

As an example of a refutation: ELOKIM is used to denote God when He is
EXERCISING JUSTICE while the ineffable tetragramaton is used to denote

In a similar manner ANI denotes the CONFRONTATIONAL I--a person who is
confronting the desires of someone else--I vs YOU. By contrast, ANOCHI
denotes the CARING I--a person who is responding to the needs of someone

Perhaps one nifty example will illustrate this. In Dt 32:39 God is
confronting the Jews for observing idolatry--hence He says "...See now
that I (Ani), it is I who am God"--the confrontational I is used. By
contrast in the next verse, Dt 32:40 God promises to care for the Jews
and punish their enemies ((Dt 32:41-42) and hence the caring I (ANOCHI)
is used.

Of course the full development of this theme on the roughly 600 ANI and
250 ANOCHI requires more analysis and details then this introduction
could produce. I hope however that this whets the appetite. All modern
commentators (Rav Hirsch, Malbim) discuss this issue.

Russell Jay Hendel; Phd ASA RHendel @ mcs drexel edu
Moderator Rashi Is Simple


From: Jay Rovner <jarovner@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Jun 1999 11:06:05 +0000
Subject: Pointing with the Little Finger

	in many congregations, when the Torah is raised so that the
written side is displayed, people point with the little finger, while
reciting "ve-zot ha-Torah ..." there is a clear midrashic connection
between pointing and displaying and the biblical term "zeh," however,
the index finger (pointer) shows up in all of the illustrations and
descriptions of pointing that i have seen.
	i had thought that this was originally a sefardi custom, which
askenazim had also taken on. when i asked rabbi marc angel of the
spanish and portuguese synagogue in manhatten re: the source and reason
for using the small finger, he said that he did not know, and he thought
that it was actually an ashkenazi minhag.
	so, what is the source for the minhag of pointing with the
little finger and what is the reason for doing so.
	thank you
	jay rovner


From: Tzvi Harris <ltharris@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Jun 1999 15:23:13 +0300
Subject: Second day Yom Tov, Shavuot and Yom Kippur

In response to what Elie Rosenfeld wrote and asked about Yom Tov Sheni.

Although all poskim agree halacha l'maase to differentiate between Eretz
Yisrael and Chutz La'aretz regarding Yom Tov Sheni , there are a few
interesting loose ends.

(a)  Not all Rishonim agree to this differentiation, and there are those
who require locations in Eretz Yisrael that were not settled during the
period of the shluchim, to keep a second day of Yom Tov.  (there are a
few individuals still holding out, who are stringent upon themselves and
keep two days Yom Tov in Eretz Yisrael if they are not sure that they
live in a place where there was  Jewish settlement during the era of
kiddush hachodesh) 
(b)  There is also a question of what is included in Eretz Yisrael
(which borders define Eretz Yisrael with regards to the halacha of Yom
Tov Sheni). 

A discussion of both of these points (and more) can be found in "Ir
Hakodesh v'Hamikdash" of R' Yechiel Michel Tukitzinsky zt"l.  Included
are responsa by Rabbanim of his period in response to R' Tukitzinskys'
queries on the topic.

Regarding Shavuot:
Rambam (kidush hachodesh 3:12) writes that in order maintain a standard
for all the moadim (lo lachlok bamoadot) the takana included Shavuot.

An interesting footnote to this halacha of the Rambam appears in the
Chatam Sofer (orach chaim 145).  At the end of the teshuva the Chatam
Sofer writes that Sukkot and Pesach were kept as two days out of a safek
and therefore we continue to do so (Minhag avoteinu etc.)  Shavuot
however, was never a safek.  This means that the halacha of Yom Tov
Sheni of Shavuot does not stem from the original safek and minhag
avoteinu, rather from an actual gezera (he compares it to Rosh Hashana),
making the second day of Shavuot more chamur than the second day of the
other moadim.

Yom Kippur:
Fasting two days for Yom Kippur never caught on, however there were
those who did fast two days. 
The Yerushalmi (Rosh Hashana 1:4) mentions fasting two days, and even
tells us of someone who died as a result of this.  It is also mentioned
in the Bavli, Rosh Hashana (21a and Rashi).  The Tur (Orach Chaim 624)
also mentions chasidim v'anshei maaseh who fasted two days, and the Rosh
(the Turs' father) argued against this minhag.  (The Tur writes that  in
some places they had a minyan of faster on the eleventh of Tishrei, and
would daven the tefilah of Yom Kippur). 

In recent times there were those who fasted two days in Kobe Japan,
where the Mirrer Yeshiva made a stop on the way to Shanghai.  Those who
fasted two days did so because of a dispute regarding the halachic
validity of the International Date LIne which created a safek as to the
actual day of the week. 

Tzvi Harris
Talmon, Israel


From: Herschel Ainspan <ainspan@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Jun 1999 12:12:00 -0400
Subject: T'fillin on Chol Hamoed

In v28n69, Michael R. Stein <stein@...> wrote:

>There is a book -- perhaps by Prof. Ta Shma of Bar Ilan -- called
>"Shorshei Minhag Ashkenaz" which discusses this minhag in many details.
>Until I came here, I never understood what he was talking about.

>NOW TO THE POINT. The practice here is for the Congregation to remove
>their t'fillin before Hallel on chol hamo'ed, both Sukkot and Pesach,
>with a single exception: the day of chol hamo'ed Pesach on which we read
>"kadesh li".  That is, this one day does NOT serve as a precedent for
>"late" removal of t'fillin on the other days of chol hamo'ed Pesach.

Any sources for this custom of removing the t'fillin after the Torah
reading on 1st day chol hamo'ed pesach?  As noted by R. Burton
(v28n66), the Rema says always before musaf and the MB says always
before hallel (except for the shliach tzibbur).  Where does this
exception for day 1 of chol hamo'ed pesach come from?

(Maybe Shorshei Minhag Ashkenaz - by Hamburger, if memory serves - has
sources for this minhag?  BTW, does anyone know where I could buy a
copy of this book?  It's been out of print for years.)

Kol tuv. -Herschel Ainspan (<ainspan@...>)


From: Shlomo Pick <picksh@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Jun 1999 14:11:24 +0200
Subject: re: Time-bound commandments

Mr. Jay Rovner <jarovner@...> on : Tue, 08 Jun 1999 14:17:46 +0000
wrote concerning  Time-bound commandments

>sticking to sources from the Hazal (the talmudic period), i have found
>only one reason. i think it is the tosefta that says the exemption is
>because "reshut aherim aleha," i.e., a wife must be available to
>minister to her husband's needs, which precludes her having a primary
>obligation to conflicting time-bound observances. a similar conflict
>arises regarding filial piety in bavli kiddushin (sorry i do not have
>passage references), where a wife is exempted due to a prior obligation
>to her husband, but the husband is obligated to serve his parents

Looking up the tosefta (Lieberman I,11) the reason given there is
exactly the same is BT kiddushin 30b and is probably the source for it.
It deals with filial duties only.  Thus, there are no reasons given in
HAZAL why women are not obligated in time-bound commandments, except for
the drashot offerred,as mentioned by joel rich in that same posting

shabbat shalom


From: Clark, Eli <clarke@...>
Date: Wed, 9 Jun 1999 11:19:00 -0400
Subject: Women's exemption from certain time-bound mitzvot

Jay Rovner writes:

>the questions re: the fact that unmarried and childless women
>are also exempt highlights the difficulty with the rationales
>given. this leads one to understand that the essential difference
>between women and men re: positive time-bound commandments lies in the
>construction of idealized gender roles: man is expected to be active in
>public life; woman is expected to lead an essentially private life,
>restricted to the home and family. this helps one understand why women
>are obligated to the seder but exempt from dwelling in the sukkah. the
>seder is seen as a family-centered rite; sukkah with both sexes sleeping
>in it leads to problems of modesty and morality (note that helini
>ha-malkah dwelt in a sukkah with many rooms).

I admit I find the "idealized gender roles" explanation not at all
persuasive.  Jay cites an article by R. Saul Berman which puts forth
this argument in a slightly more nuanced form.  But it is not at all
clear what this public/private distinction has to do with the
commandments from which women are exempt.

For example, women are exempt from shema but obligated to recite
tefillah (the "Shemoneh Esreh" or "Eighteen Benedictions").  Which of
these is more closely associated with a public role as opposed to a
private one?  They don't relate obviously to either category; and most
people would probably agree that they belong to the same category.

Similarly, women are exempt from laying tefillin or wearing tzitzit.
Yet, there is nothing inherently public about either of these
commandments.  Even the example which Jay brings undermines his point:
the sukkah is a private structure that is treated as a chamber in one's
home.  As a place to eat and sleep in the sukkah should be more closely
associated with the putative home-based life of the woman than the
supposed public life of the man.  Yet, we see that women are
nevertheless exempt from the commandment to dwell in the sukkah.  (I
find the modesty issue Jay raises to be strikingly anachronistic; for
most of Jewish -- as well as non-Jewish -- history, parents did not have
bedrooms separate from their children.  Hence, having a woman sleep in
the sukkah involved no more modesty questions than having her sleep in
her own bedroom!)

Note too that women are exempt from the actual commandment of
procreation, which would seem to be the defining mitzvah of family life
and the most private as well.

On the other hand, women are obligated in the positive commandment of
observing the Sabbath, which Hazal (the rabbis) envisioned as a public
act (hence the opprobrium heaped upon one who desecrates the Sabbath
be-farhesya  -- in public).

In sum, I believe the claim that the halakhic exemption of women derives
from "idealized gender roles" is an awkward and ultimately unsuccessful
attempt to impose anachronistic sociological categories on the halakhic

Kol tuv,

Eli Clark


From: Richard Flom <rflom@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Jun 1999 21:05:34 +0300
Subject: Yom Tov Sheni - Shavuoth

Elie Rosenfeld <erosenfe@...> wrote:

>1) Why does Yom Tov Sheni apply to Shavous?  Its date is not based on any
>given day of the month, but rather a fixed number of days (50 of course)
>after the first day of Pesach.  Surely by then, the news as to how many
>days Adar lasted, and thus the "real" day for Pesach, is assumed to have
>reached everywhere.  In fact, it seems that the news about the length of
>any given month is assumed to have reached everywhere no later that the
>start of the next month, or else there would be multiple doubts introduced
>and the need for *three* (or more!) day Yom Tovim.

I asked this very question of my teacher of halakhah l'ma'aseh, Moshe
Benovitz, at Machon Schechter in Jerusalem just a couple weeks ago.  His
answer:  The problem is not that, even without a fixed calendar, we
ultimately know the exact date on which Shavuoth should fall well before
hand, and that therefore, there could not be a doubt about Shavuoth.
Rather, it is because we originally observed two days of Yom Tov on  Pesach
in the first place, out of doubt, and the effect this could have on the
counting of the Omer.  Since we began counting the Omer on what might have
been the _wrong_ day (if Adar had been 30 days that year), we might need to
add a day to the Omer once we found out the correct date of Rosh Chodesh
Nisan (and therefore, the correct day of Pesach), and we would then not
have performed the mitzvah d'oraita of counting exactly 49 days of the Omer
until Shavuoth.  All of our counting before the day we found out would have
been wrong.  In short, the safek concerning Pesach had to continue, in a
sense, all the way until Shavuoth.  

Kol tuv.

Richard A. Flom - - <rflom@...> - Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies


End of Volume 28 Issue 71