Volume 29 Number 35
                 Produced: Tue Aug  3  6:08:44 US/Eastern 1999

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Earliest reference to Yom Tov names (2)
         [Josh Backon, Danny Schoemann]
Meat and Wine during the Nine Days (3)
         [Richard Wolpoe, Yehoshua Kahan, Elie Rosenfeld]
Rosh Chodesh Musaf Question
         [Carl and Adina Sherer]
Tisha b'av niggunim (3)
         [Joshua Hoffman, Gershon Dubin, David E Cohen]
V"Zot Hab"rakha
         [Art Roth]


From: Josh Backon <BACKON@...>
Date: Fri,  30 Jul 1999 16:44 +0200
Subject: Re: Earliest reference to Yom Tov names

As far as Simchat Torah is concerned: even toward the end of the Geonic
period, it was still called "Yom HaSefer" (Otzar HaGeonim on Betza 28;
SHU'T Maharik 9), or "Yom HaSiyum" (Sefer HaIttim 268 quoting a tshuva
of Rav Hai Gaon). Only during the time of the Ritz Geut [R. Yitzchak b"r
Yehuda Geyut, died 1089 CE) is there a mention of the term "Simchat
Torah" (Hilchot Ritz Geut Chelek Aleph 118 quoting Rav Hai Gaon). The
term also appears in the Siddur of Rashi and in the Machzor
Vitri. Completing the reading of the Torah after Shmini Atzeret is
already mentioned in the gemara in Megilla 31a.

Josh Backon

From: Danny Schoemann <dannys@...>
Date: Sun, 1 Aug 1999 12:36:02 +0200
Subject: re: Earliest reference to Yom Tov names

In MJ Vol 29. #27, Elie Rosenfeld <erosenfe@...> asked:

>Apropos of the discussion of the origin of Hakafos, I've always wondered
>about the earliest sources for each of the following names/associations for
>Yom Tovim, since none of them appear in the Torah:
>1) Shavous as Z'man Matan Toraseynu - the anniversary of the giving of the
>Torah.  In the Torah it is only associated with the harvest and/or with the
>count of weeks from Pesach.

In Parshas Pinchas (Bemidbar 28:26) it says: On Bikurim day when you
bring the new Mincha to HaShem on your *Shavuo's* -
(Beshovu'osechem). Seems like the Torah is already trying to call it

Hope this helps



From: Richard Wolpoe <richard_wolpoe@...>
Date: Thu, 29 Jul 1999 10:47:16 -0400
Subject: Meat and Wine during the Nine Days

>Even though the abstention from meat and wine makes sense and has
>become a widespread minhag it is interesting to note that its origin
>may be mired in such confusion.  Are there any other theories
>explaining the origin or is this one widely accepted

Yes.  One important theory relates to the use of meat and wine in the
Beis haMikdosh.  And this is a probable explanation as to how the Kitzur
Shuchan Aruch permits eating fowl for those who cannot eat dairy.
I.E. since fowl was not used in the Temple service therfore it is
preferable to eating "meat".  (Accordingly venison might also fall into
this category of non-Temple Meat)

There is a Gemoro (I forget where) that mentions that due to the
destruction fo the Temple, they should not eat meat nor drink wine the
whole year long.  This probably also serves as a source for the nine

If joy were the only source of the nine day prohibition, then one could
make a case to refrain from whiskey, beer, ice cream, etc.  The
parameters of "simcha" with regard to the mourning of the nine days
seems to be focused upon temple oriented items such as meat and wine.

Rich Wolpoe

From: Yehoshua Kahan <orotzfat@...>
Date: Thu, 29 Jul 1999 21:05:34 +0300 (IDT)
Subject: Meat and Wine during the Nine Days

Meir Shinnar wrote in Vol. 29 # 24:

>There is a story about Rav Kook.  A workplace under rabbanut hashgacha
>served only milchig on the nine days.  Most of the nonobservant workers
>decided to eat at a nonkosher meat restaurant.  Rav Kook then decided
>that it was better that the observant workers eat meat and the others
>kasher, than that the observant workers eat dairy and the others trafe.

The entire episode, as told by Rav Zvi Kaplan in his book, "Me'Olamah
shel Torah", is brought by Rav Neriyah in Mo'adei Reayah (translated
into English as "Celebration of the Soul").  There, Reb Avraham
Mevarech, tells of Rav Kook's psak permitting the Poal Mizrachi-operated
restaurant, the only Kosher option around for many of the
hanging-on-to-Jewish-practice workers, to serve meat during the nine
days so that these workers wouldn't go to one of the many treif
cafeterias.  Reb Mevarech tells that he approached Rav Kook, in the
presence of a number of other rabbanim, explained the situation, and Rav
Kook became silent, immersed deep in thought.  He then asked Reb
Mevarech whether indeed there was a real concern that some of the
workers would eat treif if the Poel Mizrachi restaurant wasn't
available.  Reb Mevarech answer in the affirmative.  Rav Kook replied:
If so, then at your restaurant you are engaged in a Se'udat Mitzvah -
let the humble eat and be satiated!  When asked to clarify whether it
included ALL those who normally eat there (including the workers), Rav
Kook repeated - it is a Se'udat Mitzvah - all may eat.

        Rav Neriah writes, excerpting Rav Kaplan's analysis: such a meal
as this, which by the very fact that it is being held prevents Jews from
eating treif, is a Se'udat Mitzvah DeOraita [note: "reshuto u'mechitzato
ba'im k'echat" might apply here - YK], and all the details of the
halachot of who may join that Se'udah - their degree of
involvement/participation - apply.  Who would be more "shayach" to such
a se'udah that the workers that made such a meal possible?

        It may not be widely known that Rav Kook wrote many volumes of
halachic works and teshuvot.  On Rav Kook's approach to p'sak halachah,
specificly correcting a wide-spread impression that he was a "mekil",
see Michael Nehorai, "Halachah, Metahalachah, and the Redemption of
Israeli: Reflections on the Rabbinic Rulings of Rav Kook", in RABBI

From: Elie Rosenfeld <erosenfe@...>
Date: Thu, 29 Jul 1999 12:13:30 -0400
Subject: Meat and Wine during the Nine Days

 David Feiler wrote:

> connection?  A variant reading of the Yerushalmi has women refraining
> from weaving wool during the nine days because of the destruction of the
> Even Hashtia.  This makes more sense since according to Chazal the world
> was originally woven from the Even Hashtia and since that stone was
> destroyed the women commemorate that fact by abstaining from weaving.
> According to this theory the whole issue is due to confusion between the
> Aramaic terms for wine (chamra) and wool (amra); this is compounded by
> the fact that the verb shata can mean both to drink and to weave.  As

I asked my father to research this further over this past weekend, and
he provided some additional details.  The girsa [reading] in our current
Yerushalmi is amra [wool].  However the Biur HaGra (Vilna Gaon) states
that about half of the Rishonim had the alternate girsa of chamra
[wine], and one Rishon even had a girsa of chamra u'bisra [wine and
meat].  According to the Gra, this variance dates back to the Gaonic
period, where Rav Nissim Gaon and Rav Hai Gaon each had one of the
girsaos (not sure which had which).

Anyway, this all does seem to imply that the Minhag Ashkenaz of avoiding
meat and wine all nine days had an independent source in the Yerushalmi.
It has often been claimed in general that Minhag Ashkenaz is more
closely tied to Eretz Yisroel (as opposed to Bavel) than Minhag Sefarad,
but finding pre-Rishonic sources on any topic is hard because so little
has survived from the Gaonic period even in Bavel, let alone elsewhere.
But in this case, we may have found a good example of this rule of

Elie Rosenfeld


From: Carl and Adina Sherer <sherer@...>
Date: Fri, 30 Jul 1999 11:29:11 +0300
Subject: Rosh Chodesh Musaf Question

The following question comes from my 13-year old son, and has me
completely stumped. If anyone can bail me out, I would greatly
appreciate it.

In Rosh Chodesh Musaf during leap years (at least until Nissan) we add
the words "ul'chaporas posha," (and to atone for sins). My son, Avraham
Yaakov, asked me why we add these words, and I told him that we add them
because of the possibility that we have made a mistake in making the
year a leap year, and if we are wrong, we could be eating chametz on
Pesach. Avraham Yaakov was not satisfied with that answer. He argues
that even if the year was incorrectly made into a leap year, we would
still not be guilty of eating chametz on Pesach because fixing when the
Yomim Tovim (holidays) fall has the rule of "ma'aseh beis din" (an act
of the Rabbanic court). Therefore, even if the fixing of the year as a
leap year was mistaken, it still stands, and Pesach really is when the
beis din (in this case, our calendar) says it is.

He looked up in several sforim why these words are added to Musaf on
Rosh Chodesh in leap years, and he found two answers to the
question. One is the one I gave him (which is brought in Taamei
HaMinhagim). The other answer is that we add ul'chaporas posha so that
there will be one request from Hashem for each month of the year
(normally in Rosh Chodesh Musaf that we ask Hashem to include twelve
good things in the new month; this adds a thirteenth item for a leap
year). See Ishei Yisrael Chapter 39 Paragraph 60 and note 137 (Page
436). But he is still trying to explain my answer, i.e. he is still
bothered by the issue that even if the fixing of the leap year is
mistaken, it should be considered maaseh beis din, and therefore there
should be no problem of chametz b'Pesach (eating chametz on
Pesach). Anyone with any ideas? Thanks in advance.

-- Carl M. 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: Joshua Hoffman <JoshHoff@...>
Date: Wed, 28 Jul 1999 19:00:28 EDT
Subject: Re: Tisha b'av niggunim

<<  have heard ( a report from NCSY Kollel) that the Rav sang Eli Tzion
 with a bit of shalosh regalim melody - so maybe this is not a conclusive
 proof - anyone know any more on this?  >>

I heard the Rov say in shiur-and also on a tape from Tisha B'Av
1974-that the tune for B'nei beischa k'vatchila is the same tune as Eli
Tzion, and we use it in the beracha regarding aliyah l'regel [Going up
to Yerushalaim for Yom Tov - Mod.] to indicate our regret over not
having the Beis HaMikdash. I once mentioned this in a talk I gave in a
shul on Shabbos Chazon durng seudah shlishis, and the chazan, who was
present, said that it is not the same tune. I guess the Rov's ear was
tuned differently!

From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Wed, 28 Jul 1999 20:46:03 -0400
Subject: Tisha b'av niggunim

> Rav Schachter in Nefesh Harav tells a story where Rav Schachter led
>kabbalat shabbat at the Rav's summer shul in Onset(cape cod). Rav
>Schachter led Lcha Dodi to the tune of Eli Tzion and noone knew it so 
>he sang by himself until the Rav had mercy on him and joined in, From 
>this Rav Schachter concluded that the Rav didn't have a problem with this
>tune on Shabbat even though it might seem like a public display of

Sounds to me that he just had mercy on Rav Schachter, even to
the point of singing a tune he might otherwise have disapproved of.


From: David E Cohen <ddcohen@...>
Date: Wed, 28 Jul 1999 17:19:57 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Tisha b'av niggunim

I had heard somewhere years ago that the yom tov nusach purposely
"borrows" from Eli Tziyon because of "im lo a'aleh et yerushalayim al
rosh simchati" -- remembering the destruction of Jerusalem at the time
of our joy.  At the time, I thought it was a bit of a stretch --
although it was close, it didn't really sound the same.

But then I heard a recording of the Rav singing Eli Tziyon on
www.613.org (in their Tisha B'av section, I think).  Somebody who heard
this could likely be the "source of the rumor" coming out of NCSY
Kollel.  But in any case, he really did sing it exactly like that part
of the yom tov nusach.

My personal guess (only a guess, without any evidence to back it up) is
that that's how Eli Tziyon was always originally sung back in Europe,
and somehow over the years, it's changed into the song with the steady
rhythm that we know today.  It's close enough that it's pretty easy to
see how that could have happened.  Does anybody have any recollection
of, or know of Eli Tziyon commonly being sung like that anywhere?

If this is correct, then it really is feasible that it was around as Eli
Tziyon first, and yom tov "borrowed" from it.  After all, just think of
what points in yom tov davening we use that tune -- "Benei veitcha
kevatechila..." "bechag hamatzot..."  This is exactly when we are
remembering Yerushalayim!  Even the fact that we use it for "kaasher
ratzita" could be referring to the fact that the way we're REALLY
supposed to celebrating yom tov, "as Hashem wanted," is in the Beit

--David Cohen


From: Art Roth <ajroth@...>
Date: Fri, 30 Jul 1999 08:22:03 -0500
Subject: V"Zot Hab"rakha

From: Elie Rosenfeld <erosenfe@...>
> Is the existence of a regular
> Shevi'i evidence that when the yearly parsha cycle was first set up,
> V'zos Haberacha was read on a regular Shabbos, and that the current
> custom of reading it on Simchas Torah and adding Chasan B'reishis (or
> perhaps just the latter) came later?

Yes, V"zot Hab"rakha was originally read on a Shabbat.  In fact,
Nitzavim and Vayeilekh were originally a single parasha, and they were
separated when an extra Shabbat leining was required in most years as a
result of shifting V"zot Hab"rakha to a weekday.  That's why Nitzavim
and Vayeilekh are so short.  Now if anybody has an explanation for the
shortness of Ha'azinu and of V"zot Hab"rakha itself, I'd love to hear

Art Roth


End of Volume 29 Issue 35