Volume 29 Number 20
                 Produced: Sun Jul 25  9:54:42 US/Eastern 1999

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Avi Feldblum]
         [Gershon Dubin]
Ashkenazic custom
         [Eli Clark]
Eichah In the Morning
         [Pynchas and Yael Levine Katz]
Hakafot on Simchat Torah (2)
         [Yrachmiel Tilles, Avi Feldblum]
Pronounciation of Yisachar
         [Carl and Adina Sherer]
Rav, Rabbie
         [Mechy Frankel]
Yizkor and Hakafot (2)
         [Zvi Weiss, Shmuel Himelstein]


From: Avi Feldblum <mljewish@...>
Date: Sun, 25 Jul 1999 09:14:41 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Administrivia

Hello and a good week to all,

I hope that all on the list had a meaningful and easy fast this past week.
May the weeks of Nechama that now follow lead to a final nechama for all
of Israel.

A couple of short remarks. 

Please do not send replies to two different topics in the same email
message. It either makes a lot for me, or I just put it in as one
submission and then reduces the effectiveness of the index capabilities to
find postings on specific topics.

If your email address (From: line) does not contain your full name, if you
can put it in at the top of your message that would help. Also, you can
change the Subject line to match the Subject line of what you are replying
to, that would be appreciated. If your emailer does not easily allow that,
leaving that line in your reply would be appreciated, as I will do the
copy/paste/cut, but that is easier than finding it in the original

If you have a choice on where to send the message, please use
<mljewish@...> in preference to mail-jewish@shamash.org. It is
likely to get your message posted a few days earlier.

If your emailer attaches a copy of the message in HTML format following
the plain text version, if there is a way to not do so, please try. 
Otherwise, it will likely take a few days longer for that message to get

Avi Feldblum
mail-jewish Moderator


From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Fri, 23 Jul 1999 17:15:31 -0400
Subject: Aliyos

Can anyone tell me when and by whom the printed aliyos in the Chumash
(Sheni, Shlishi) were established?



From: Eli Clark <clarke@...>
Date: Fri, 23 Jul 1999 14:53:00 -0400
Subject: Ashkenazic custom

Richard Wolpoe writes:

>The supposition that Minhag Ashkenaz is ONLY an extension of what the
>Talmud Bavli says is IMHO faulty.  As I've stated in previous posts,
>Minhag Ashkenaz is rooted in an independent Mesorah (oral traditionn).
>Now it might be true that this minhag to extend the strignencies did
>evolve in a later era, but citing a Gemoro does not in itself PROVE that
>to be the case.

>It is often the case that Ashkenazim had chumros not cited by the
>Talmud.  Kitniyos (legunmes) is another case in point. Unless one can
>show that early ashkenazim were lenient re: the nine days, I would
>assume that its roots are pre-Rishonic, and not a late-breaking chumro.

Dear Richard:

You are free to assume anything you want, but I think most historians
would consider your position idiosyncratic, to say the least.  It is
true that Jewish historians have been able to identify certain
antecedents for specific Ashkenazic customs, but that does not mean that
any of them adopt a blanket assumption that all Ashkenazic customs are
pre-Rishonic until proven otherwise.

Indeed, with respect to the Three Weeks and kitniyot (legumes), the
evidence clearly indicates that these customs developed in the Middle
Ages.  Regarding the Ashkenazic practice during the Three Weeks, see the
sources collected by Daniel Sperber in Minhagei Yisrael (Customs of
Israel), volume 1.  Regarding kitniyot, the first recorded reference to
abstaining from them on Passover is recorded, I believe, by R. Isaac of
Corbeille (13th century France), in his Sefer Mitzvot Katan, where he
derides the practice as foolish.

Put another way, the sources indicate that the Ashkenazic custom
regarding both the Three Weeks and kitniyot are, in yor words,
"late-breaking" humrot.

Kol tuv,

Eli Clark


From: Pynchas and Yael Levine Katz <ylkpk@...>
Date: Thu, 22 Jul 1999 00:38:26 +0200
Subject: Eichah In the Morning

The earliest source I am aware of that mentions the recitation of Eichah
on Tisha Be'Av morning is the Shelah. In Hilkhot Tisha Be'Av he writes
that it is a good custom for each and every individual to read Eichah
once again to oneself (beino le-vein atzmo), since the day is more
important than the night, as is the cases with kevod Shabbat, where the
daytime is preferable to the nighttime, and with Purim, when one is
obligated to read the megillah at night and again during the day. The
Shelah says that a person who is G-dfearing should read Eichah both
times (yereh shamayim yotzeh yedei sheneihem).

In the work Yesod Ve-Shoresh Ha-Avodah, the opinion of the Shelah
is quoted in concise. The author, though, opines that Eichah should
be read in public as the night.

Dr. Yael Levine Katz


From: Yrachmiel Tilles <seminars@...>
Date: Wed, 21 Jul 1999 09:36:24 +0300
Subject: re: Hakafot on Simchat Torah

>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)

I don't have it at hand, but there is some interesting stuff about the
origins of Hakafot in Rav Zevin's "Moadim b'Halacha."
Tzefat tradition is that the Ari *added* "Second Hakafot" on motzei Yom Tov
*Shemini Atzeret* so that the Jews in the Land of Israel would be dancing at
the same time as their Diaspora brethren on their night of Simchat Torah.
All this to be consistent with and enhance the spirit of unity so intrinsic
to Shemini Atzeret. This, by the way, is presumably why chassidim in
Diaspora do hakafot on the night of Shemini Atzeret, applying the same
reasoning in reverse. 

Yrachmiel Tilles
http://www.ascent.org.il (worth checking out)

From: Avi Feldblum <mljewish@...>
Date: Sun, 25 Jul 1999 09:36:03 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Hakafot on Simchat Torah

A good source for the issues surrounding Simchat Torah in general, and the
hakafot question in particular, is Avraham Yaari's "Toldot Chag Simchat
Torah" (History of the Holiday of Simchat Torah). In the beginning of his
chapter n the Hakafot he states (translation is mine):

The custom of Hakafot on Simchat Torah was not at all known until the
latter third of the 16th century [hamah hashesh esray, assuming that means
the 16th centure not the 1600's], and the first time we hear of this
custom is in Tzefat in the days of the AR"I, ands from there it spread to
all the ommunities of Israel, as I will explain later in detail. 

He then brings sources from at least the time of Rashi for a custom in
France and Germany to take out all the Sifrei Torah from the Aron and take
them to the Bima and recite "Ana Hashem Hoshiya Na, Eloki Haruchot Hoshiya
na", but nothing about taking them around the Bima seven times. See in
Yaari's book for much more detail.

As far as when the evening Hakafot at the time of the AR"I were, the
authoritative source is R' Chaim Vital's Shaar HaKavvanot, Shaar Shishi
where he clearly states that it was "lyl motzai yom tov achar tefilat
maariv" (night when yom tov ends after maariv). The problem was that R.
Vitals work was not published until 1852, but peices of the work were
quoted by others in print from manuscripts of the Shaar HaKavvanot. R.
Yaacov Tzemach published a work "Negid U'Mitzvah" that included many of
the customs of the AR"I based on the manuscript version of R' Vitals work,
which was published in 1712. In that work, he only refers to it as being
"belyla" at night and reading of that would clearly indicate the previous
night. Again, for those interested, please see Yaari's book for more

Avi Feldblum
mail-jewish Moderator


From: Carl and Adina Sherer <sherer@...>
Date: Fri, 23 Jul 1999 09:01:23 +0300
Subject: Pronounciation of Yisachar

Yehuda Poch writes:

> The Baal Haturim quotes the Daas Zekeinim Baalei Tosafos and notes that
> in Berishis, Yisachar had a son called Yov. In Pinchas, Yov disappears
> and is replaced by Yoshuv. He says that Yov was also the name of a
> popular idol in those days and therefore Yov complained to his father
> about his choice of the name. Yisochor agreed and therefore gave one of
> his s(h)ins to his son and hence the name Yoshuv and hence the silent
> sin in Yiso(s)chor. He also brings down a number of poskim who say that
> therefore until Pinchos, you are REQUIRED to read the name as Yisoschor,
> and from Pinchos on, one should read it with a silent sin as
> Yisochor. In the shul in which I grew up they have the custom of only
> reading Yisoschor (pronouncing both shins) the first time it appears in
> the Torah, and from then on with the silent sin.

Because I grew up in Boston, I had the privelege of leyining for R.
Soloveitchik zt"l several times when I was a teenager. My recollection
is that he required baalei kriya to read any pasuk with the name
Yisa(s)char in it twice - once as Yisachar and once as Yisaschar. I
don't recall him making any difference between before and after Parshas
Pinchas. Then again, I never spent Simchas Torah at Maimonides, so I may
have missed that detail :-)

I looked in Nefesh HaRav and did not find this minhag brought, but I
looked through very quickly, and maybe someone else who looks more
slowly will find it there.

-- Carl Sherer

Please daven and learn for a Refuah Shleima for our son,
Baruch Yosef ben Adina Batya among the sick of Israel.  
Thank you very much.


From: Mechy Frankel <Michael.Frankel@...>
Date: Tue, 20 Jul 1999 13:53:03 -0400
Subject: Rav, Rabbie

Alex Heppenheimer writes: 
<I would hazard a guess that the latter is the case. The Hebrew word for
"master" is "rav" or "rab" according to all pronunciations; since thetitle
"rabi" is supposed to mean "my master," it makes sense that itwould keep the
same vowel in the possessive. Also, both Sefardim andAshkenazim use the
pronunciation "rabban" for the titles of R' Gamliel,etc., where "rabban"
means "our master" - which, again, is evidence thatthe singular possessive
should indeed be "rabi" (or, actually, "rabee,"since there's a yud at the
end of the word, making the chirik a "long"vowel).>

There is possibly less to this difference than might appear.  Firstly, it is
not entirely clear that "rabbie" merely indicates the possessive form "my
master".  There are other opinions (e.g. Tashbetz, R. Eliyohu Bochur) that
have the final yud as part of the shoresh, i.e that "rabbie" is entirely a
title, and there is no "my" indicated by its' spelling. a clear motivation
for this take is the perceived problem that "my master" is a more bounded,
i.e. less important, domain than plain "master" (he may also be master for
others besides oneself) which would fly in the face of the more common
interpretation of the title ranking maimra - first recorded by R. Sherira
Gaon - that "godole mi'rav rabbie godole mi'rabbie rabbon godole mi'rabbon
shi'mo" (trans: rabbie is greater than rav, rabbon is greater than rabbie,
greater than rabbie is his (untitled) name) which accords a greater status
to the title of rabbie.  as is well known (sefer tanoim vi'amoroim) rabbie
was the title used for palestinian chazal while rav was reserved for
babylonian amoroim - and since the time of rashi, rabbie has also been
interpreted to mean one who has officially received the semichoh by the
sanhedrin/bais din hagodole, as opposed to the babylonian rav which
indicated a lack of semichoh. (earlier sources do clearly refer to semichoh
in bovel. the talmudic constraint on semichoh chutz lo'oretz taken to apply
just to dinei qinosos, not the overall institution of semichoh)

Secondly, it is not even clear that rav and rabbie are different words.  J.
Breuer has attempted to argue that they are in fact the same word, or at
least started out that way, with the eastern babylonian aramaic speakers
then, characteristically, tending to weaken or lose final vowel sounds in
both aramaic and hebrew (after the paradigm of Kisuvos 50a, where Abaye
refers to a saying of his mother, apparently calling her "aim" rather than
e'mee, with many similar examples). Thus, according to this shitoh, rav
either a) also meant "my master", or b) was an independent title meaning
exactly, and whatever, rabbie meant.  While not entirely convincing, it
would seem to be at least a tzorich iyun.

Mechy Frankel				H: (301) 593-3949
<michael.frankel@...>		W: (703) 325-1277   


From: Zvi Weiss <weissz@...>
Date: Tue, 20 Jul 1999 09:27:32 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Yizkor and Hakafot

I think that it is deliberate to "mix" the solemnity of Yizkor with the
celebration of Hakafot...  All too often in "Chutz La'aretz" I have seen
the Hakafot deteriorate into something much less than "Simcha shel
Mitzva".  By having solemnity in conjunction with Hakafot, seems to me
that we "keep our bearings" better -- also, perhaps there is consollation
that even the departed are "connected" to the Torah which we are
celebrating on that day... (I believe that something similar can be noted
about Shavu'os where in the Diaspora, we read the "story" of Matan Torah
on one day and have Yizkor on the other.  In Israel, we see a clearer
"connection" between Torah and the departed of Am Yisroel -- who had
observed it in their lifetimes...)


From: Shmuel Himelstein <shmuelh@...>
Date: Tue, 20 Jul 1999 13:05:24 +0200
Subject: Yizkor and Hakafot

Elie Rosenfeld notes that Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah have
radically different natures, the one solemn and the other high-spirited,
and points out that in Eretz Israel the two are combined into a single
day. I once heard or read (or possibly innovated) a Drasha that it is
this exact difference between Eretz Israel and Chutz La'Aretz that
encapsulates the differences in living in the two. In Chutz La'Aretz,
Jews live in an artificial environment, with the discrete elements
separate from one another. In Eretz Israel, Jews lives in a natural
state, and the natural state is for life to be a composite of the solemn
and the joyful.

Shmuel Himelstein


End of Volume 29 Issue 20