Volume 29 Number 14
                 Produced: Tue Jul 20  6:57:14 US/Eastern 1999

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

'Yud' as 'Jay' (3)
         [David Charlap, Mike Gerver, Joseph Geretz]
Blessings in the Babylonian Talmud
         [Shlomo Pick]
Coming Late to Shul:  Update
         [Etan Diamond]
Dagesh in yud (2)
         [Daniel Katsman, Russell Hendel]
Kosher Corrections (2)
         [Daniel Israel, Yitzchak Scott-Thoennes]
Magen Avos on Friday Night (Was Coming Late to Shul)
         [Arieh Kadosh]
Shofar before Musaf
         [Ranon Katzoff]
Yom Tov Sheni (2)
         [Elie Rosenfeld, Avi Feldblum]


From: David Charlap <shamino@...>
Date: Sun, 18 Jul 1999 15:40:37 +0000
Subject: Re: 'Yud' as 'Jay'

Moshe & Davida Nugiel <friars@...> wrote:
> Any ideas about why the Hebrew letter 'yud' is transliterated into
> English as "jay" rather than as "wye?"  (Jacob, Jerusalem, etc.,
> etc...)

This comes from the translation of the Torah from Hebrew, to Greek, to
Latin, to German (possibly with other languages in between).

For instance, Greek has no "Y" sound.  Nor does it have a "sh" sound.
So, Yerushalayim, would end up being spelled (in Greek letters, of
course) as "ierusalaim".  This same spelling (with Latin letters, of
course) would be used in Latin.

Subsequent translation to German would replace the "i" with a "j".  The
Latin "i" and the German "j" are both pronounced as the modern English
"y".  This yielded "Jerusalaim".

English editions simply used the German spelling, changing the
pronunciation of the "J" in the process.

I don't know where the "aim" at the end became "em", though.  I suspect
that at one of the translation stages, people stopped pronouncing the
individual letters of "aim" (as "ayim").  From there, it's a very small
step to go to "em".  I'd guess that this would be either the
Latin->German conversion or a later German->English conversion.  If
anyone has access to German and Latin texts, it would be interesting to
check them and find out.

-- David

From: Mike Gerver <MJGerver@...>
Date: Mon, 19 Jul 1999 10:52:57 EDT
Subject: 'Yud' as 'Jay'

There was no distinction between the Latin (and English) letters I and J
until relatively late in the Middle Ages.  At that point, in Latin
manuscripts, people started using J for the letter I when it was used as
a consonant, i.e. at the beginning of a syllable with a vowel after it.
As a consonant in Latin, "I" would be pronounced like a Y in English.
Y, on the other hand, was only used in Latin as a transliteration of
upsilon in words borrowed from Greek.  So in transliterating Hebrew
words beginning with yud into Latin, it would have been natural to use I
(which later became J), not Y. When translating these words into
English, the Latin spelling was used.  At some point in English, the
letter J started to be pronounced like "dzh" rather than 'Y", probably
due to the influence of French J, which is why names like Jacob and
Jerusalem have their present English pronunciations.

Mike Gerver

From: Joseph Geretz <jgeretz@...>
Date: Sun, 18 Jul 1999 11:59:03 -0400
Subject: 'Yud' as 'Jay'

I'm not a languages expert, however it seems to me that many languages
older than English (e.g. German) pronounce the 'J' as we pronounce the
English 'Y' or Hebrew 'Yud'. So the 'J' transliteration seems correct to
me. Actually, the word 'Jot' which means 'a small dot' is an almost
perfect transliteration of the word 'Yud' (in German at least) which as
we all know is a small letter, pratically a dot. (This is related as
well to the Greek character 'Iota', which if you soften out the initial
'I' as well as the final 'a' you get the word 'yot' which is again,
strikingly similar to the Hebrew 'Yud'.)

So the question for the language experts is how did the soft sounding
'Ya', (which understandably migrates to the soft sounding 'Ha' in
Spanish) transform into the English 'J' sound which is much more lingual
in nature?

Joseph (pronounced Yosef by the Yekkes*) Geretz

* Yekkes: so known because of their style of dress in short Jackets as
opposed to Eastern European form of dress. Yekke = Jacket, note the
German 'Y' = English 'J' relationship.


From: Shlomo Pick <picksh@...>
Date: Mon, 19 Jul 1999 18:19:10 +0300 (IDT)
Subject: Re: Blessings in the Babylonian Talmud

in response to r. walpoe's note to gilad j. gevaryahu's note concerning
blessings in the babylonian talmud (vol. 20, no. 9).  the baruch hashem
le-olam in Sephardi rite is not clear-cut. in a manuscript containing
the aragon ritual, the blessing IS included.  However, the gist of
richard's message is correct. cf. berachot 60b to the daily nusach
ashkenaz and you will not find in the talmud the bracha "hanoten laya'ef
koach" something also not found in the early sephardic mss that i

Shlomo Pick


From: Etan Diamond <ediamond@...>
Date: Mon, 19 Jul 1999 08:39:13 -0500
Subject: Coming Late to Shul:  Update

	To follow up my initial posting about shul latecomers, I
discussed this with my Partner-in-Torah.  He came up with a rather
obvious answer that I had not thought about, but which all-but-solved
the problem for me.  Coming late to shul was not a function of work
schedules, he said, but of the lack of accurate timekeeping
technologies.  Since everyone relied on the sun for timekeeping, one
knew to come to morning services "shortly" after the sunrise.  But since
each person's notion of "shortly" varied, it would have been inevitable
that not everyone arrived at the same time.  Likely, as soon as the
first ten men showed up, davening would begin, and "latecomers" (put in
quotations, since they did not meant to be late, they just did not
arrive as early as the others) would catch up.  To my mind, his answer
made a lot of sense to me and put my question to rest.

	Not surprisingly, however, his answer also raised two questions.
One, in today's society, when timekeeping is far more easier, why should
we continue to allow "second chances" in davening for latecomers.  One
has fewer excuses, so to speak, today.  Second, the larger issue of
timekeeping in pre-clock days is intriguing.  I have always wondered how
they calculated halakhic hours in an era when one could only rely on the
sun.  How did they know how long the period was from sunrise to sunset
if they had no way to measure it accurately.  And besides, what did it
mean to have a halakhic hour of, say, 64.32 minutes, when one had no
real way of keeping track of that.  What does "one-third" of the day
really mean if you don't know how long the day is going to be.  The only
answer I can see is that you are always relying on YESTERDAY's length to
calculate today.

	As with most of the discussions on this list, I am sure someone
out there has written an article or book or knows of someone who has
already.  Any references or answers to these questions are appreciated.

Etan Diamond, Ph.D.			<ediamond@...>
The Polis Center				(317) 274-3836
425 University Blvd., 301CA			(317) 278-1830 (fax)
Indianapolis, IN 46202-5140


From: Daniel Katsman <hannah.k@...>
Date: Mon, 19 Jul 1999 00:23:03 +0000
Subject: Re: Dagesh in yud

  Alexander Heppenheimer wrote:

>  >>If the yud didn't have a dagesh, then the chirik under the previous letter
> would be a "short"
> chirik, similar to the vowel in "bin." The effect of the dagesh, as in most
> letters, is to double the consonant, so that the word is pronounced as
> though there were two yuds in it: one following the chirik, making it a
> "long" chirik (with the sound of the vowel in "bee"), and the other a
> consonantal yud with a kamatz. Which means that Mr. Shiffman's name should
> actually be pronounced "eilee-yahu," with the accent on the "ya" (if not for
> the dagesh in the yud, it would be "eili-yahu," also accented on the "ya"),
> though hardly anyone actually says it that way.
> (There's a similar situation with the name Daniel, by the way: given its
> nikkud, it should properly be pronounced "danee-yeil," with the accent on
> the last syllable and the alef silent.)<<

    The dagesh indeed doubles the consonantal yud, but this merely
closes the previous syllable, keeping the hirik "short".  What
Mr. Heppenheimer describes is the "first" yud of the double acting as an
"em ha-keri'a" to elongate the hirik.  This is not the function of a

The English translation of the Koren Tanakh renders Daniel as Daniyyel and
Elijah as
 (I believe) Eliyyahu.

Daniel Katsman
Petah Tikva, Israel

From: Russell Hendel <rhendel@...>
Date: Sun, 18 Jul 1999 19:12:09 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Dagesh in yud

Eliyahu Shifman asks WHY the Yud in Eliyahu is Degushah (v28n101)
Similarly Shlomo Godick asks about Yud pronunciations in Polish.

Although the subject of pronunciation is complicated and subject to much
controversy here is a brief idea from the RDQ that may shed light.

Hebrew vowels are classified as SHORT and LONG. The difference between
the SHORT and LONG vowels is that the LONG vowels have an extra hidden
letter For example: SEGOL (EH) is a short vowel while TZARAY (AY) is the
corresponding long vowel. The RADACKs point of view (mentioned in
Michlol) is that the TZARAY can be perceived as a SEGOL FOLLOWED BY A

To see this clearly try pronouncing MEM-YUD with a SEGOL under the MEM
You will end up pronouncing MAY (as if it had a tzaray).

In a similar manner the short vowel CHIRIK (as the "i" in "in") differs
from the long vowel CHIRIK (as the "ee" in "bee") in that the long vowel
chirik is SHORT CHIRIK + YUD.

This explains the YUD DEGUSHAH in Eliyahu. WIthout the DAGESH the word
would be pronounced with short vowel chirik (E Li Ya Hoo). With a Dagesh
it is pronounced with a long vowel Chirik (E Lee Ya Hoo).  The phonetic
reason for placing the dagesh is because (in general) short vowels that
are not accented tend to link up with the following syllable to make the
pronunciation smoother (E Lee Ya Hu is easier to pronounce then E Li Ya

Russell Hendel; <rhendel@...>; http://www.shamash.org/rashi/


From: Daniel Israel <daniel@...>
Date: Mon, 19 Jul 1999 10:36:55 -0700 (MST)
Subject: Re: Kosher Corrections

There are many kashrus sites on the internet that have contact numbers
for kosher agencies.  According to http://www.kosherquest.org (Rabbi
Eidlitz) the agencies you mention can be contacted at:

The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations
333 Seventh Avenue  New York, New York 10001
(212) 563-4000 Fax - (212) 564-9058
Rabbi Menachem Genack

The Organized Kashrus Laboratories
391 Troy Avenue Brooklyn, NY  11213
(718)756-7500 Fax - (718) 756-7503
Rabbi Don Yoel Levy

KOF-K Kosher Supervision
1444 Queen Anne Road Teaneck, NJ  07666
(201) 837-0500 Fax - (201) 837-0126
Rabbi Ahron Felder

Daniel M. Israel
University of Arizona
Tucson, AZ

From: Yitzchak Scott-Thoennes <sthoenna@...>
Date: Mon, 19 Jul 1999 13:52:02 -0700
Subject: Re: Kosher Corrections

Try http://www.kosherquest.org/html/Reliable_Kosher_Symbols.htm

It has contact info for the ones you ask about and many more.


From: Arieh Kadosh <akadoch@...>
Date: Sun, 18 Jul 1999 22:24:41
Subject: Magen Avos on Friday Night (Was Coming Late to Shul)

I have heard on many occasions that Magen Avos is said on Friday night
because of the existence of Mazikin, harmful spirits.  When Leyl Pesach
coincides with Leyl Shabbos, Magen Avos is skipped since Leyl Pesach is
by tradition Leyl Shimurim (A gurded night) and therefore even the
Mazikin do not exist on that night.

There is a tradition that Baruch HaShem LeOlam is said every weeknight
since we have a Masorah that this was the actual Tephilla said during
the times of the 1st Beit HaMikdash when Maariv was still considered
Reshus (optional); i.e, Shema was said, followed by Hashkibenu, followed
by Baruch HaShem LeOlam.

Arieh Kadosh


From: Ranon Katzoff <katzoff@...>
Date: Mon, 19 Jul 1999 11:26:20 +0300 (IDT)
Subject: Shofar before Musaf

Ba'al Hamaor has an interesting take on shofar before Musaf -- not the
real shofar-blowing at all, but only a quickie done for sick people and
the like who cannot stay through the whole davening. It's worth a special
look, at page 10b of the Rif on Rosh Hashana.

Ranon Katzoff                       


From: Elie Rosenfeld <erosenfe@...>
Date: Mon, 19 Jul 1999 14:19:59 -0400
Subject: Yom Tov Sheni

Since I started this rapidly-evolving thread, I'll add my own example of
something I'd miss about two-day Yom Tovim: Shimini Atzeres and Simchas
Torah.  That's the only case where the first and second day of Yom Tov
really have totally different characters - at least as far as shul is
concerned.  The former is serious, with Yizkor and the kittel/tunes used
for Geshem, and the latter, of course, is raucous and wild (maybe too
much so in some shuls!)  It must take a little getting used to have both
of those ambiances rolled into a single day.

Elie Rosenfeld

From: Avi Feldblum <mljewish@...>
Date: Tue, 20 Jul 1999 05:56:56 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Yom Tov Sheni

Another of my favorites. This one can be well argued. Simchat Torah is a
fundamentally Chutz LaAretz (outside of Israel) holiday. It had to have
started in Bavel, as in Israel, they used the triennial cycle and they
did not finish reading the torah on the same Shabbat all through
Israel. So the holiday was instituted outside of Israel, where they used
the single year cycle of reading the Torah. It then spread back to
Israel, where lacking the "last" day, it was combined with Shemini
Atzeres. However, an interesting point is that the "raucous and wild"
part tends to be the Hakafot. The hakafot as we know them were probably
instituted in Tzefat at the time of the Ari. However, when they are done
is likely a result of an earlier and incorrect transmission of the
custom by a talmid that wrote earlier than R. Chaim Vital's
writings. What are called in Israel "Hakafot Sheniot" (I think) and held
on motzei Yom Tov are probably the correct time for the Hakafot, and
were likely the main hakafot at the time of the Ari.

Avi Feldblum
mail-jewish Moderator


End of Volume 29 Issue 14