Volume 29 Number 48
                 Produced: Thu Aug 12  6:36:56 US/Eastern 1999

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Dagesh in the First Letter of "selah" (2)
         [Joshua Jacobson, A.J.Gilboa]
Does the molad ever occur after Rosh Chodesh? (2)
         [Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz, Russell Hendel]
Explaining Yesh Mei'Ayin to a 6 year old
         [Micha Berger]
High Yeshiva Tuition vs Chinuch
         [Stuart Wise]
Kol Ishah
         [mail-jewish Vol. 29 #46 Digest]
Mikva for single women
         [Gershon Dubin]


From: Joshua Jacobson <JRJ4859@...>
Date: Mon, 9 Aug 1999 07:53:04 EDT
Subject: Dagesh in the First Letter of "selah"

Rare words that begin with Conjunctive Dagesh (dehik)

If a mile'el word bearing a conjunctive accent ends with the sound of
segol or kamats and the following disjunctive word is stressed on the
first syllable (or begins with a sheva na followed by a stressed
syllable), then the first letter of the second word may take a dagesh.
This is called the Conjunctive Dagesh, or, in Hebrew, dehik

From: A.J.Gilboa <bfgilboa@...>
Date: Mon, 09 Aug 1999 15:39:22 -0700
Subject: Re: Dagesh in the First Letter of "selah"

> From: Michael Poppers <MPoppers@...>
> Checking the usage of "selah" in TaNaCH, there is no dagesh in the
> "samech" most, but not all, of the time.  (One of the notable "selah"
> exceptions is the one in "Ashrai" [T'hillim 84:4].)  Admittedly, I've
> only seen most, not all, the usages; that said, I haven't been able to
> formulate an ironclad rule for when the dagesh appears -- if someone can
> come up w/ one and/or with a theory for when it should occur and when it
> shouldn't, I'd be grateful.  Thanks.

This is not specific to the word sela. There are countless examples in
the tanach where a dagesh xazaq is placed in the first letter of a word
that comes right after a word with an open (or quasi-open) final
syllable. In "Ashre", it is "y-hall-lucha" with the open -cha that is
responsible. Another example that comes to mind off hand is ma tovu
where the tet has a dagesh. (The final "he" in "mah" is not considered
to be a consonant since it is not sounded It is written as a clue to the
vocalization of the preceding "mem".) I believe this class of dagesh is
referred to as "l-tif'eret ha-qri'a", namely, for the purpose of
enhancing the beauty of the sounds, and suggests a doubling of the
consonant. Read "mattovu" not "ma tovu". This can even override certain
grammatical rules as in "mi chamocha ..... mikkamocha nedar ba-qodesh"
where the first time the chaf is rfuya (grammatical rule) and the second
time the kaf is dgusha (l-tif'eret ha-qri'a) and doubled. I don't know
of any rule that posits the occurrences where this type of dagesh should
be used. All I can say is that it is necessary but not sufficient to
have a word ending in an open syllable preceding the emphasized

Yosef Gilboa


From: Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz <sabbahillel@...>
Date: Thu, 05 Aug 1999 22:18:51 -0400
Subject: Re: Does the molad ever occur after Rosh Chodesh?

> From: Jonathan Grodzinski <JGrodz@...>
> Now, I understand that a solar eclipse can only occur at a New Moon, and
> a lunar eclipse at a Full Moon. So one starts to think how this does or
> does not connect with the molad, and what indeed is the molad?
> At the time of the fixing of Rosh Chodesh "al pi haReiyah" by sighting
> the new moon, Rosh Chodesh could only occur after the Molad (being the
> instant that the New Moon appeared - or was it the instant before when
> there was no moon visile at all?)

The molad as defined is the moment that the moon is exactly between the
earth and the sun (totality in a solar eclipse).  This is the equivalent
of just before sunrise at the horizon line of the moon.  Rosh Chodesh
occurs at the time of reiya (seeing) which I believe is about six hours
later and is the earliest time that enough of the moon is lit for it to
be visible.  In order for a rough calculation to work, I will use 28
days a a lunar "day".  28*24 = 672.  6 hours is about .009 of a "day",
which is roughly the equivalent of 13 minutes after sunrise on Earth.
If a value of 30 days is used for the lunar "day" then it is roughly the
equivalent of 12 minutes after sunrise on Earth.

> In recording the time for the molad, the classic definition starts the
> day at 6.00 pm Jerusalem time (that is not the time that we currently
> use in Jerusalem which I believe is Cairo time, but the "true" time
> based on the day at the equinoxes being 12 hours from 6.00 am to 6.00
> pm)

This means that the time shown on the Ezras Torah Luach must have 20
minutes subtracted from it in order to determine clock time (standard
not summer time) in Yerushalayim.  Then the time zone differential is
applied to be able to say the clock time around the world (subtract 7
hours for EST in New York for example)

> The hour is divided into 1080 chalakim (thus 18 chalakim = 1 minute ).
> So Molad Tohu was Monady 11:11:20  pm

Calendrical Calculations by Nachum Dershowitz and Edward M. Rheingold
page 87, It is Sunday night (by the nonJewish calendar) or Monday
according to our usage 5 hours 204 chalakim after the start of the day.
Since the world had not yet been created, this is calculated from the
molad of the creation which occurred Friday (the day Adam was created)
at 8:00 AM which is 14 hours of the day (since 6 PM the night before
starts the day).

> Each molad is 29 days 12 hours and 793 chalakim after the previous one.
> In all the books I have read, this is called an "average" lunation. I
> believe that it was calculated by dividing the elapsed time between two
> eclipses by the number of elapsed months, but that each lunation is not
> actually the same as another (Is this correct?)

Each lunation does indeed vary since the orbits of the sun, moon, and
earth are not exact.  That is also why we do not have a solar eclipse
every month.

The mean length of a lunar period is 29.530594 days and has been
attributed to Cidenas in about 383 BCE and was used by Ptolemy in his
_Almagest_.  Avraham bar Chiya Sasavorda, an 11th century
astronomer/mathematician suggested that 1080 chalakim was used because
it is the smallest number that allows the lunar month to be an integer.

Another interesting point from Calendrical Calculations is that the "19
year cycle" does not really exist because of the Gregorian leap year
rule which cancels leap year on three out of four century years (2000
remains a leap year but 1900 wan't and 2100 won't be).  Ina fact, the
actual repeat is after 689,472 years since each 19 year cycle adds up to
a multiple of a seven day week in 36,288 cycles as pointed out by the
Persian Moslem wrighter al-Biruni in 1000 CE.

Rambam in Mishne Torah - Book of Season 11:5 - 6 points out that the
methods he uses include a number of approximations and simplifications.
However, he explicitly states that he already knew about them and used
them only where they did not affect the results.  Similarly, when he
rounds down in one place, it is intentional because he has rounded up in
another.  The results come out correctly without having to go overboard
in calculating.  For example 1.9993 + 2.0007 is the same as 2 + 2.

Said the fox to the fish, "Join me ashore" | Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz
 Jews are the fish, Torah is our water | Zovchai Adam, agalim yishakun

From: Russell Hendel <rhendel@...>
Date: Tue, 10 Aug 1999 01:17:53 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Does the molad ever occur after Rosh Chodesh?

Jonathan Grodzinski raises the issue of the principles by which the
Jewish calendar is calculated (V29n33). A few points of clarification
are in order

1) ALL LUNAR MONTHS ARE CALCULATED: There are 5 principles:
---First Molad of Tishray, Year 0, was at Day 2, 5 hours, 204/1080
---Every 19 year cycle add 2 days, 16 hours, 595/1080
---Every leap year adds 4 days, 8 hours, 876/1080
---Every non leap year adds 5 days, 21 hours, 589/1080
---Every month adds 29 days, 12 hours, 793/1080.

So if I wanted the molad of Marcheshvan of the year 5700 = 19*300
I would
----------take 2 days   5 hours 204/1080
----------add 300 x( 2 days, 16 hours, 595/1080)
----------add 29 days, 12 hours, 793/1080.

(Source: Chapter 6, Rambam, Laws of Lunar Months) It is possible to make
a simple excel workbook exhibiting all 72000 months

2) The ANNOUNCED DAY OF THE MOLAD may differ from the Calculated day
according to 4 exceptions presented in Chapter 7(For example Rosh
Hashana can never occur on Sunday Wednesday or Friday).

The Rambam EXPLICITLY gives the reason for the laws in Chapter 7 as
"because all calculations are averages"(paragraph 7)

Over the past few years several people have offered programs doing this
I am simply adding the point that it can be done in spreadsheet form for
all known months of Jewish history

Russell Hendel;Phd ASA;Moderator Rashi Is Simple;http://www.shamash.org/rashi


From: Micha Berger <micha@...>
Date: Tue, 10 Aug 1999 10:16:24 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Explaining Yesh Mei'Ayin to a 6 year old

In v29n46, Steven Pudell asks:
: That is, she thinks that everything needs a creator.  The fact that
: Hashem always existed, is in fact, a problem of something coming from
: nothing.  We try to resolve this by positing that Hashem always existed
: (whichwe believe He did).  But, nonetheless, the problem my daughter had
: with this is that while Hshem created the world, who created Hashem.

Actually, we do NOT believe G-d always existed. We believe that G-d's
existence is "beyond" time. "Always existed" implies that G-d is subject
to time, but His age is infinite.

This is the root of your daughter's question, since it implies that
things can be infinitely old. Which would then raise the question of
whether Euclidean parallel lines never meet, or meet at infinity. IOW,
was G-d never created, or was He [ch"v] created an infinite amount of
time ago.

However, by taking G-d outside of time you avoid the whole issue of His
"beginning" and "end".

This is the idea you see all the commentators struggling on with the
quote "Ata hu rishon, viAta hu ha'acharon" (you are the First and you
are the Last). The problem is that even being First places Hashem into a
temporal sequence.

To my mind, the verse (and subsequently the tephillah) means "You are
First Cause, and You are Ultimate Purpose".

I have no idea how to explain this distinction to a six year old. But
then, none of my kids realized the question could be shifted to "Who
created Hashem?"  at age six. Shep nachas!

Micha Berger (973) 916-0287          MMG"H for 10-Aug-99: Shelishi, Shoftim
<micha@...>                                         A"H O"Ch 352:3-353:6
http://www.aishdas.org                                    Pisachim 20b
For a mitzvah is a lamp, and the Torah its light.         Nefesh Hachaim I 4


From: Stuart Wise <swise@...>
Date: Tue, 10 Aug 1999 10:08:13 -0700
Subject: Re: High Yeshiva Tuition vs Chinuch

>  Russel brings up an interesting point.  Let me take this one step
> further.  One thing I have learned in several schools (and I do not mean
> to include any particular school here per se) is that after accepting
> students who cannot afford to pay full tuition, these students are made
> to feel like second class citizens to their full paying counterparts.
> Wealthier kids would get special privileges, do not get punished as
> often, or as severely as their poorer friends.  What lesson is that
> sending?  That money is everything?  What lesson does that send to the
> richer children?  You have a free ride in life because your dad is rich.
> You may lie and steal and break rule with impunity?  Is that fulfilling
> a principals responsibility to that child?  How can an administrator
> possibly justify this kind of behavior?

I've been paying full tuition for several years already and never felt
preferential treatment, one way or another -- not that my kids needed
that, Baruch Hashem.  If anything, I feel that since I pay full tuition
I should be exempt from the extras I don't want to participate in --
such as the school dinner -- but I hardly get that consideration.  And I
am aware there are kids who don't pay full tuition and they are treated
like everyone else.

I am curious: how does the second-class attitude manifest itself.  What
privileges do the richer kids get?

Addressing your comment about "how can they do it?"  Unfortunately, this
isn't the only issue that causes wonderment among frum people.  Being
frum doesn't guarantee the highest moral fiber; we hope it does, but the
reality is that it's does not.  Even frum people commit aveiros; that's
why we have a concept of tshuvah and Yom Kippur.


From: mail-jewish Vol. 29 #46 Digest <JoshHoff@...>
Date: Tue, 10 Aug 1999 08:35:10 EDT
Subject: Re: Kol Ishah

<< R. Yehiel Weinberg's (Seridei Eish) permissive response about boys and
 girls singing together is based, in part, on the principle that "two
 voices are not heard simultaneously."  >>

Actually, R.Weinberg does mention this reasoning in his teshuva, but
rejects it and gives a different reason for his ruling.


From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Tue, 10 Aug 1999 12:43:31 -0400
Subject: Mikva for single women

Does anyone know the origin of the custom that unmarried women do not go
to the mikva?  Did it begin immediately upon the destruction of the Bais
Hamikdash (and attendant lack of sacrificial meat for which one had to
be tahor)?  Was it a formal decree, or did it evolve gradually?



End of Volume 29 Issue 48