Volume 29 Number 09
                 Produced: Sun Jul 18 10:13:58 US/Eastern 1999

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

'Yud' as "jay"
         [Moshe & Davida Nugiel]
An explanation of "Who did not make me a woman" (4)
         [Micha Berger, Richard Wolpoe, Tszvi Klugerman, Mordechai]
Borcuh hashem Leoilom
         [Percy Mett]
Etymology Q: Ratzon and Retzini
         [Jeffrey Bock]
         [Ira L. Jacobson]
Three Steps Back in Shmoneh Esrei (3)
         [Chaim Mateh, Zev Sero, Tszvi Klugerman]
Tphilah on the Way to Hong Kong
         [Betzalel Posy]


From: Moshe & Davida Nugiel <friars@...>
Date: Sun, 18 Jul 1999 08:22:32 +0300
Subject: 'Yud' as "jay"

Any ideas about why the Hebrew letter 'yud' is transliterated into
English as "jay" rather than as "wye?"  (Jacob, Jerusalem, etc., etc...)



From: Micha Berger <micha@...>
Date: Wed, 14 Jul 1999 07:20:02 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: An explanation of "Who did not make me a woman"

In v29n03, Etzion Avraham <wach@...> writes:

: The bracha is one of three brachot instituted by Rabbi Meir and were
: not part of the whole set of Birkot Hashachar. ...  It is only
: recently that Hirsh and Kook reinterpret the beracha in a positive
: manner.

Rashi is the originator of the explanation that this refers to the
opportunity to fulfil more obligations than one would as a woman. Rashi,
being a medieval commentator, clearly had no women's movement he had to
justify yiddishkeit to.

So while there may be commentators who had a different opinion (although
I'd prefer sources before taking that as a given) it's not "apologetics"
or "reinterpretation".

R Meir had a near-contemporary who went astray, and ended up rewriting a
major religion. In a letter to the Galacians Paul writes that one need
not observe the mitzvos in order to join Christianity. One of his points
is that Jewish laws apply differently to different groups of
people. Paul refused to believe, he writes, that his god would
distinguish between "Jew and Greek, slave and freeman, man and woman"

So it would seem that these three distinctions halachah makes in the
roles of different people were "in the air" at the time.

Micha Berger (973) 916-0287          MMG"H for 14-Jul-99: Revi'i, Devarim
<micha@...>                                         A"H O"Ch 338:6-12
http://www.aishdas.org                                    Pisachim 7a
For a mitzvah is a lamp, and the Torah its light.         Melachim-I 8

From: Richard Wolpoe <richard_wolpoe@...>
Date: Fri, 16 Jul 1999 12:11:48 -0400
Subject: An explanation of "Who did not make me a woman"

From: Gilad J. Gevaryahu Date: Wed, 14 Jul 1999 15:14:06 EDT

I would like to add Etzion Avraham [MJ 29.03] and call the attention to
the counter berach by the women, that is "she'asani kirtzono."
R. Baruch Halevi Epstein in his book Baruch She'amar [page 30] suggests
that women should not say the "she'asani kirtzono" with beracha [beShem
umalchut] since there is a rule, which is brought up by R. Yona to the
Alfasi [Berachot 6] which says: any blessing which is not mentioned in
the Talmud one should not add Shem umalchut to it. Accordingly, since
this berach is nowhere in the Talmud we should instruct the women to
bless only "Baruch ata sheasani kirtzono."

It is evident that this is not followed. <<

IMHO this is a case where the Talmud tells us one thing, and which the
Sephardim follow, but Minhag Ashkenaz differs.  EG, the final brocho in
Boruch Hasem l'olom, is not Talmudic.  Nor is the closing with Borach
Ato Hashem Hamekadish es Shimcho Borabbim Talmudic.  Note that Sephardic
liturgy does close withou the Ato Hashem.

IOW, the supposition that Ashkeznic practice is based <solely)y upon
precedents found within the Bablyonian Talmud is IMHO a faulty premise
to begin with.

Richard Wolpoe  

From: Tszvi Klugerman <Klugerman@...>
Date: Thu, 15 Jul 1999 22:36:31 EDT
Subject: Re: An explanation of "Who did not make me a woman"

In a message dated 99-07-15 20:19:53 EDT, Joseph C. Kaplan is looking
for an example of << rishonim who said "shasani  yisrael."  >>

I beleive it was the ROSH - Rabbeimu Asher ben Yechiel who novellae can be 
found in the back of the standard vilna shas. I believe it is in masechet 
(tractate) berachot but it was his alternative to "she lo asani goi "- that I 
wasn't made a Gentile.


From: Mordechai <Phyllostac@...>
Date: Fri, 16 Jul 1999 02:04:04 EDT
Subject: An explanation of "Who did not make me a woman"

Etzion Avraham (<wach@...>)  wrote in M-J Vol.29 #03
 <<Please it's about time we stop the apologetics and agree that there
were different opinions by Chazal on the worth of the woman.......
Furthermore on examining the early Meforshim they state that it is a
Zidduk Hadin on woman's lesser value. It is only recently that Hirsh and
Kook reinterpret the beracha in a positive manner. One needs to be
intellectually honest and admit the truth. By the way there were some
rishonim who simply said Sheosani Yisroel >>

Well said. I also think that intellectual honesty is needed here. Some
people are selectively quoting only certain statements of Chazal and
great Rabbis (e.g. the Maharal) that fit in with the picture they want
to paint of women allegedly being the superior gender, while ignoring or
creatively interpreting any statements that imply otherwise by the same
authorities.  I recommend 'Male and Female He Created Them....' by
Yisrael ben Reuven (Targum/Feldheim) to those who want to go beyond
selective quoting. This book is the only monograph on this subject to my
knowledge and I think it should be required reading in schools and among
those interested in approaching this issue with an open mind. Please
take a look at this authoritative work on the subject.


From: Percy Mett <p.mett@...>
Date: Wed, 14 Jul 1999 16:08:07 +0100
Subject: Borcuh hashem Leoilom

Joseph Geretz  writes:
>My tongue-in-cheek explanation (although maybe it holds a grain of
>truth) is that by Chassidim, the congregation eats Shalosh Seudos (the
>third Sabbath meal) together with the Rebbe in shul, so there is no need
>to take precaution for latecomers since everyone is already in
>attendance at the start of Maariv. Since Litvaks eat Shalosh Seudos
>together with their families, there is a percentage which does arrive
>late for Maariv on Motza'ei Shabbos, and therefore the precaution of
>reciting Baruch H-shem Leolom Amein V'Amein is added even on Motza'ei

This is very interesting based on partial observation, but is unlikely
to have any basis in truth, since many chasidim -do- say B.H.L. on Motsi
Shabos. In fact it is only those chasidim connected with Ropshits and
its offshoot dynasties who omit Boruch hashem leoilom on Motsi Shabos
etc..  Since nowadays these seem to form a majority of chasidim in chuts
loorets (B.H.L. is never said in Erets Yisroel anyway) as a result of
the destruction of most of Polish Jewry during the war, people assume
that chasidim a a rule do not say B.H. L. on Motsi Shabos.

In fact there are three customs in this area. Lubavitch (and possibly
one or two other groups) never say B.H.L. at any time.

Most chasidic groups (including all in Congress Poland such as Ger,
Aleksander, Grodzhisk etc etc, and also Belz, Rizhen etc) said B.H.L. on
all relevant occasions as in Nusach Ashkenaz.

Those chasidim connected with Ropshits (originally all those in Western
Galicia) including Tsanz, Bobov, Dzhikov, Satmar and also Vizhnits omit
B.H.L. on Motsi Shabos and Yomtov and on Chol Hamoied.

The reasoning about shalesheedes in shtibl applies nehter on Yomtov nor on
Chol Hamoied so this unlikely to be the reason.

Perets Mett


From: Jeffrey Bock <rashbi@...>
Date: Fri, 16 Jul 1999 05:59:53 PDT
Subject: Etymology Q: Ratzon and Retzini

Can anyone explain the linguistic relationship between the Hebrew words 
"Ratzon" (will) and "Retzini" (serious)?

Jeffrey Bock


From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Date: Fri, 16 Jul 1999 15:56:10 +0300
Subject: Qaddish

In mj n96, Michael R. Stein writes about Qaddish, that his analysis
". . . is based on rules for HEBREW.  Clearly the word we're discussing
is ARAMAIC.  Who says the pronunciation/grammar rules are the same in
the two languages, or that my Hebrew based analysis even makes sense?
If there are any learned Aramaic grammarians lurking out there, now is
the time to speak up."

I haven't noticed that anyone has taken up this challenge, so I thought
I would just mention that perhaps the most precise modern siddur, that
of Daniel Goldschmidt (`Siddur Tefllat Yisra'el'), marks all the words
in Qaddish from `le'eila' to `venehamata' [exclusive of `min' of course]
with a meteg to indicate that the penultimate syllable is stressed in
each case.
 This is indeed the practice of certain Sefaradim, particularly


Michael R. Stein goes on to note that "There is no a priori
justification for assuming that the word is milra'.  i.e.  no way of
deducing from abstract principles where the accent lies in this word."

Nor, I might just add, in any of the words that follow it.

			Ira L. Jacobson


From: Chaim Mateh <chaimm@...>
Date: Fri, 16 Jul 1999 03:39:38 +0300
Subject: Re: Three Steps Back in Shmoneh Esrei

Saucee Garfinkel <s.garfinkel@...> wrote:

<< I know the procedure when saying Shmoneh Esrei is to take three steps
back and then three steps forward before beginning and at the end before
Oseh Shalom. My question is: With which foot do you go back first; and then
which foot do you use to go forward? Is it the same at the end of the
Shmoneh Esrei?  We tried looking it up but none of the seforim we
consulted seemed to address this question--or else we didn't know in which
section to look it up.  Can anyone help?  Sources?>>

Shulchan Aruch, Orech Chaim, 123 et al discusses this.  Specifically to
your question, Mishna Brura there, middle of seif koton 13, says:
"...And here is the order of these 3 steps: First step back with the
left foot, a small step. And afterwards, step back with the right foot,
a large step.  And afterwards, step back with the left foot in a fashion
that the feet will be together."

Regarding how to step forward afterwards, I couldn't find anything
specific.  However, the Gemoro says (and the Mishna Brura mentions it in
the beginning of seif koton 13) that in general ("mistomo") a person
steps with his right foot first when beginning to walk.  There is a
specific reason given why we step _back_ with our _left_ foot (to show
that it's difficult for us to part from H-shem).  This reason doesn't
really apply when stepping forward.  Therefore, I would think it doesn't
really matter which foot goes forward first.  But ask your LOR to make

Kol Tuv,

From: Zev Sero <zsero@...>
Date: Fri, 16 Jul 1999 14:16:37 -0400
Subject: Re: Three Steps Back in Shmoneh Esrei

I was taught to start with the right foot when stepping back and forward
at the beginning of Shemoneh Esrei, and with the left foot at the end.
Compare to tefillin (shel rosh), which is put on with the right hand,
and taken off with the left.

From: Tszvi Klugerman <Klugerman@...>
Date: Thu, 15 Jul 1999 22:45:54 EDT
Subject: Three Steps Back in Shmoneh Esrei

In a message dated 99-07-15 20:19:53 EDT, Mrs. S. Garfinkel  writes:
<< .... My question is: With which foot do you go back first; and
 then which foot do you use to go forward? >>

I can't recall any sources per se but I remember my ninth grade rebbe-
Rabbi Yitzchak Mann a"h explain that we want to show that we are
uncomfortable with leaving God's presence so we start the three steps
back at the end of the shemoneh esrei with the left foot (he didn't
account for lefties) . He also explained that we didn't need to take
three steps back to start the amida only three steps forward. The reason
for taking three steps back at the beginning was to make sure there was
room for the three steps forward. I don't recall if he mentioned a
preferred foot for the three steps at the beginning but I'm not sure if
it matters.



From: Betzalel Posy <kbposy@...>
Date: Thu, 15 Jul 1999 12:06:30 -0400
Subject: Tphilah on the Way to Hong Kong

Leaving from Chicago to Hong Kong at 12:30 PM, it is too early to daven
mincha.  In fact, using the route follower on the airline TV, I was able
to see that we only entered the "mincha zone" (eastern half of daylight)
about two thirds into the flight, near Alaska. So arriving, we were in
time for mincha, but it was the next day meanig we missed a
shachris-mincha-maariv.  On the way back, we left at 8:00am, in time for
shachris, but we were in the "mincha zone" only three hours into the
flight, around Japan, and it got dark about half way through near
Russia.  It stayed dark for little more than an hour, and by the time we
arrived in Chicago, we had missed Krias Shma of shachris.

I know that the practice on the way to Israel from the US, is to follow
the tphilos for the real location, meaning that people daven shachris
only two or three hours out of New York on a 9:30 PM flight, and don't
daven at all on the way from Israel to the US.  Based on that reasoning,
eastbound over the Pacific, we should have to daven mincha, maariv, and
shachris again before we get to Chicago. It comes out that one would
daven shachris twice on the same day, not to mention mincha and maariv.
I think what to do about the shir shel yom is not the most interesting
part of this problem.

Does anyone have a psak/experience regarding this issue.  The only date
line issues that I have seen relate to what to do when one gets to the
other side in terms of shabbos and spheira, but not what to do about
davening during the trip.

Thank  you

Betzalel Posy
Corporate Development Analyst
IBM Corporation, New Orchard Road, Armonk, New York 10504
(914) 499 (T/L 641) 6110        Fax -7317


End of Volume 29 Issue 9