Volume 29 Number 39
                 Produced: Wed Aug  4  7:34:49 US/Eastern 1999

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Earliest reference to Yom Tov names
         [Zev Sero]
Hakafot in Tzefat
         [Yrachmiel Tilles]
Meat and wine during the nine days
         [Joshua Hoffman]
Rosh Chodesh Musaf Question
         [Stuart Wise]
Tisha b'av niggunim (3)
         [Barry Reiner, Danny Schoemann, Zev Sero]
Vihi Noam on Saturday Nite (3)
         [Bernard Merzel, Jeff Fischer, Gershon Dubin]
Zeman Matan Torateinu for Shavuot
         [Joshua Hosseinof]


From: Zev Sero <zsero@...>
Date: Tue, 3 Aug 1999 13:45:30 -0400
Subject: Re: Earliest reference to Yom Tov names

Danny Schoemann <dannys@...> wrote:
> Elie Rosenfeld <erosenfe@...> asked:
>>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
> Shavuos.

The festival on the 50th day of the Omer is explicitly called `Shavuot'
in the Torah: `bechag hamatzot, bechag hashavuot uvechag hasukot', etc.
That was never the question.  The question is when do we first find this
festival associated with mattan torah, or called `zeman matan toratenu'.

Of course, this name and association can't be found in the Torah or in
any source before the advent of the fixed calendar, because until then
it *wasn't* always on the date of mattan torah.  Indeed, mattan torah
*didn't* happen on the 50th day of the Omer, but on the 51st, so Shavuot
has no connection at all with mattan torah except for the fact that in
many years it would happen to be on the same date, 6 Sivan.  It's only
when we adopted the current calendar, and Shavuot is always on 6 Sivan,
that the association between the holiday and the anniversary of mattan
torah can have developed, and that must be when the name began to be


From: Yrachmiel Tilles <seminars@...>
Date: Sun, 01 Aug 1999 19:40:17 +0300
Subject: re: Hakafot in Tzefat

I wrote in:
>> Tzefat tradition is that the Ari *added* "Second Hakafot" on motzei (one
>>day) Yom Tov

implying that "regular" hakafot greatly pre-dates the Ari.

Avi responded:  

>[In] Avraham Yaari's "Toldot Chag Simchat Torah" he states:
>The custom of Hakafot on Simchat Torah was not at all known until the
>latter third of the 16th century, and the first time we hear of this
>custom is in Tzefat in the days of the AR"I.... 

Now, I don't know who A. Yaari is, but I don't see how he can overlook the
Rema (Rabbi Moses Isserles). In the only paragraph in Shulchan Aruch on
Simchat Torah, the Rema says, "It is the custom to circle the bimah with the
Torah scrolls, just as they circle it with the lulav."

Shulchan Aruch was first published in 5327 (1667). The "Mapa" (Rema's notes
to it) were published in 5331. The Ari lived in Tsefat only from 5329 or
5330 until he died in 5332 (1572), the same year as the Rema, interestingly.
It goes without saying that when the Rema refers to a custom, he is talking
about something that has been going on in Askenazic lands for a long time.
To say the custom he is talking about is something that originated at the
time he was writing is untenable.

Also, Rav Shlomo Yosef Zevin (first author of Encyclopedia of the Talmud,
and many many other important works of Jewish scholarship and law) in his
Moadim b'Halacha (Festivals in Jewish Law) cites a lengthy quote from the
book,Minhagim l'kol Hashanah, by Rabbi Issac Tirnau, describing Hakafot,
including: "The prayer leader recites two or three verses (the same that
Yaari cited) while circling the the migdal (pillar? platform?), the people
accompanying him with the remaining scrolls". I looked in several history
books -- The author of these words passed away at least a hundred years
before the Ari was born. Rav Zevin brings other rabbinic sources that refer
to hakafot as "an ancient custom."

To sum up:
Parading with the Torah Scrolls on Simchat Torah is a custom much pre-dating
the Ari, who, however, instituted Second Hakafot on his Motzei Yom Tov which
is Simcha Torah night in Diaspora, so that the Jews in the Land of Israel
would be dancing at the same time as their Diaspora brethren. (This is
presumably why chassidim in Diaspora do hakafot on the night of Shemini
Atzeret, applying the same reasoning in reverse.)

[I'll take editorial advantage of my position, and just comment
quickly. I never meant to imply that the minhag of Hakafot were a
TOTALLY new invention of the Tzefat community with no prior custom that it
was built on. One can indeed trace the roots of the custom to early
sources that indicate simply taking out the Torah's and decorating them,
to a later stage where they were taken out, then circled the Bimah 1
time (similar to what was done with the Lulav during the 6 first days of
Cha). This pre-AR"I stage is what is found in several sources at the
time of the Ramah, but also only in certain geographic locations. The
innovation of the time/place of the AR"I was to do this 7 times, and for
it to become a central focus of the tefilah. The widespread
dissemination of this minhag is directly traced to followers of the
AR"I. If interested, I can give additional sources off-line. I would be
interested in the source that the AR"I instituted the hakafot on motzei
chag (following the holiday) to be in synch with diasperah jews. Avi

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


From: Joshua Hoffman <JoshHoff@...>
Date: Tue, 3 Aug 1999 08:01:51 EDT
Subject: Re: Meat and wine during the nine days

The Rov zt'l felt that the prohibition of meat during the nine days was
connected to the loss of the BeisHaMikdash. For this reason,he said, the
Rambam says that the shechitah knife should be put away at the beginning
of Av.This indicates, he said, that it was at least partially the act of
shechitah, which typified the avodah in theBeis HaMikdash, that was
being prohiited.It is also noteworthy that the Rov said that where he
lived as a child,it was the practice to abstain from meat during the
entire three weeks.


From: Stuart Wise <swise@...>
Date: Tue, 03 Aug 1999 10:43:03 -0700
Subject: Re: Rosh Chodesh Musaf Question

I don't know the basis for this but I did hear it from a rebbe of mine years
ago: We a L'chaporas Pasha to atone for the additional sins that may be
committed in the extra month.

> 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.


From: Barry Reiner <breiner@...>
Date: Tue, 03 Aug 1999 12:01:00 -0400
Subject: Tisha b'av niggunim

 I had the privelage of attending the Rav's Tisha B"Av Kinot on several
occasions and his tune for Eli Tzion constantly reverberates through my
 The start (the word "VeArehah") does resemble very much the Yom Tov
Nigun but my suspicion was that this was how it was sung in the past -
with a sorrowful tone, rather than the upbeat inflection that this word
gets in what we generally hear today.

Barry Reiner

From: Danny Schoemann <dannys@...>
Date: Tue, 3 Aug 1999 14:54:09 +0200
Subject: Re: Tisha b'av niggunim

David E Cohen <ddcohen@...> asked

> 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?

Well, where I was brought up (in the Adas Yeshurun of Johannesburg), Eli
Tziyon was sung with a rather cheerful version of the niggun, to the
extent that I was sure it was "a happy ending" to the Kinos. Later on,
the Rov toned it down a bit, but it still had a beat. A great tune for
Lecho Dodi and Shir HaMaAlos.

In Yeshiva I later heard a slightly different and definitely sadder
tune, that does not have a beat - and it does sound like the 3 words
"Bnie Beitscho Kevatchilo".

So it seems to me that both tunes are in use today.


From: Zev Sero <zsero@...>
Date: Tue, 3 Aug 1999 15:15:23 -0400
Subject: Re: Tisha b'av niggunim

I haven't got a sound card, so I can't hear the Rav's version of Eli
Tziyon at the web site that was posted, but now that it's been pointed
out I realise that the tune that I've always heard for the words `eli
Tziyon ve'areha' does fit the traditional tune for the words `benei
veitecha kevatechila' and `bechag hamatzot', but then the two go off in
entirely different directions.  This past Shabbat Chazon, though, at my
shul, the chazan sang Lecha Dodi to a tune that I'd never heard before,
quite a cheerful tune, and when I asked him what it was he told me that
it was Eli Tziyon as he'd heard it at Lincoln Square.  This tune sounded
cheerful enough to me to be appropriate for any Shabbat, but perhaps not
for Tisha B'av!

This discussion reminds me of something my grandfather AH told me.  In
many places the tune of `Yaaleh' from Yom Kippur night is used in Hallel
for `Odecha ki anitani...', which struck him as not the most appropriate
words for a Yom Kippur tune.  In his hometown (Brahin, about 50 km north
of Chernobyl), the custom was to sing the paragraph in the Yomtov musaf
that we're discussing (Melech Rachaman...) to this tune, which seems
more appropriate as it's a heartfelt prayer, rather than a joyous


From: Bernard Merzel <BoJoM@...>
Date: Tue, 3 Aug 1999 10:56:36 EDT
Subject: Re: Vihi Noam on Saturday Nite

 Ira L. Jacobson asks concerning not saying "Vihi Noam" on Saturday nites 
preceeding weeks during which a holiday will occur:

<< 1.  But why do Sefaradim recite Viyhi No'am and V'ata
 Qadosh even if yomtov does occur during the following week?

 2. Since 9 b'Av is called a mo'ed (and since we belive that mashi'ah
 will be coming by that date), why do Ashkenazim recite Viyhi No'am and
 V'ata Qadosh on the Motza'ei Shabbat preceding 9 b'Av?  >>

1. Please see Shaaray T'shuva note 2 on O.C. 295 were he quotes sources
that speak of some G'dolim who would quitely say V'ihi Noam by
themselves even when a holiday occurred during the coming week "because
the truth requires saying Vihi Noam every Motzaay Shabbos". See, too,
"B'er Haytiv" on O.C.491 questioning recitation of these passages on a
Saturday nite that is a Chol Hamoed.

It would, therefore, seem that the Sfardic custom of seeking blessing
for work during the coming week, though interrupted by a Yom Tov, is the
more proper since some work, after all, will be performed.

2. The reference to the 9th of Av as "Moed" is irrelevant, to the
dicusion at hand.  However, since "m'lacha" that is proscribed on
Shabbos is permitted during the week of Tisha B'Av, indeed, even on
Tisha B'Av itself, there is no inconsistency in the Ashkenazic minhag of
reciting Vihi Noam on the Saturday nite preceeding.

Boruch Merzel

From: Jeff Fischer <NJGabbai@...>
Date: Mon, 2 Aug 1999 20:47:22 EDT
Subject: Re: Vihi Noam on Saturday Nite

>  2. Since 9 b'Av is called a mo'ed (and since we belive that mashi'ah
>  will be coming by that date), why do Ashkenazim recite Viyhi No'am and
>  V'ata Qadosh on the Motza'ei Shabbat preceding 9 b'Av?

I believe that when Moshiach comes, and it becomes a "Yom Tov", it will
just be like Chanukah and Purim, and you do say Vihi Noam and veAta
Kadosh on the Motza'ay Shabbos before them.


From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Mon, 2 Aug 1999 22:26:31 -0400
Subject: Vihi Noam on Saturday Nite

	Viyhi noam refers to maaseh yadeinu (the work of our hands);
this refers to days where melacha (labors prohibited on Shabbos and Yom
Tov) is permitted.  Since melacha is permitted on Tisha B'av, strictly
speaking, viyhi noam is recited on the previous Motzoei Shabbos



From: Joshua Hosseinof <hosseino@...>
Date: Tue, 3 Aug 1999 00:17:51 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Zeman Matan Torateinu for Shavuot

Keter Shem Tov (Vol. 4, p. 15) has a discussion of why Shavuot is referred
to as Zeman Matan Torateinu instead of Zeman Simchateinu.  He quotes the
Iyun Tefila in Otzar Hetefilot (p. 484) as saying that until the time of
Antignos "Ish Socho" (from the city of Socho) they used to say Zeman
Simchateinu even by Shavuot, but since the Saduccees during that time said
that the holiday of Shavuot should always fall on Sunday, and by
implication that the Torah was not given on Shavuot since the Torah was
given on a Shabbat.  This was also the reason that the Talmud learns the
issue of being happy on Yom Tov (Simchat Yom Tov) from a pasuk dealing
with Sukkot, even though there is a pasuk by Shavuot that also mentions
Simcha.  They wanted to emphasize the "Matan Torah" aspect of Shavuot and
minimize the Simcha aspect of the holiday.
Keter Shem Tov on page 10 of the same volume explains why it's called
"Zeman" and not "Yom" matan Torateinu.  The Gemara in masechet Shabbat p.
86, the Rabbis hold that the Torah was given on the 6th of Sivan, while
Ribbi Yosi holds that it was on the 7th of Sivan, but everyone agrees that
it was given on Shabbat.  Other reasons given are that Shavuot is tied to
the 50th day of the Omer and not to the day of the giving of the Torah.
Also, the entire Torah was not given in one "sitting", and although the
Ten commandments were given on Shavuot, some mitzvot were given earlier
(Shabbat at Marah, Circumcision to Abraham, etc.).   And the Rabbis could
not have referred to the holiday as "Yom Matan Aseret Hadibrot" (The day
of giving the ten commandments) because much more than just the ten
commandments was given on that day.
Finally, one cannot bring the Pesach and Sukkot (Zeman Cheruteinu and
Zeman Simchateinu) as reasons to use Zeman by Shavuot as well, since
Pesach and Sukkot both extend for more than one day, whereas Shavuot is
only one day.


End of Volume 29 Issue 39