Volume 30 Number 07
                 Produced: Fri Nov 12  5:36:20 US/Eastern 1999

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Ashkesefard pronunciation
         [Rick Turkel]
Ashkesefard transliteration
         [Micha Berger]
Chanukah Presents
         [Cheryl Maryles]
Children and Shema Story
         [Menucha Chwat]
Democracy--A Torah Value?
         [Yrachmiel Tilles]
Kaddish Aramaic and Mappik Heh
         [Jay Rovner]
Of the Shulchan Oruch & Kitzur Shulchan Oruch
         [aviva fee]
Transliterational Angst
         [Mechy Frankel]
Y2K and Shabbat (3)
         [Hilary Hurwitz, Danny Bateman, Saul Davis]


From: Rick Turkel <rturkel@...>
Date: Wed, 10 Nov 1999 13:44:35 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: Ashkesefard pronunciation

Elie Rosenfeld <erosenfe@...> wrote in m.j 30#2:

>While I agree that the prevalent Ashkesefard pronunciation (as I like to
>call it) is inconsistent and also seems to violate the rule of following
>one's family minhag, I have a question on the examples brought from
>> ** "Bris Milah" -  which should either be "Brit Milah" or "Bris
>> ** Miloh". Kabbalas Shabbos - which can't be proper Hebrew by anyone's
>> reckoning. It's either "Kabbalat Shabbat" or "Kabbolas Shabbos."
>> ** "Berachos" - which must either be "Berachot" or "Berochos."
>> ** "Akdamus" which is either "Akdamut" or "Akdomus".
>In all these examples the letter "a" is assumed to represent the sound
>of a patach (as in far, hard, etc.).  But in English, an "a" can also
>sound like a kometz (e.g., ball, lawn, etc.).  So while I agree with the
>premise as regards pronunciation, I think people are reading too much
>into the transliterations.  They may be perfectly consistently using "a"
>to represent the Ashkenazic kometz ("aw") sound.

	Right.  And according to G. B. Shaw (if I'm not mistaken),
"ghoti" spells "fish" - "gh" as in "enough," "o" as in "women," and "ti"
as in "nation."  :-)

	With all due respect to Elie Rosenfeld, the goal of
transliteration is to give the reader an idea of the proper
pronunciation of the words in question (within one system or the other),
which these examples clearly do not.  A transliteration system should be
reasonably self-consistent, and the one cited isn't.  Call me a pedant
if you will, but I'm a linguist and have worked professionally with the
various problems of transliteration.  I agree with Geoffrey Shisler (who
posted the original examples above in m.j 29#94) that the use of "a" to
represent two sounds as different phonetically as an Ashqenazi patach
and qamatz (I use a Sefardi transliteration) is unacceptable.  While
it's true that an Ashqenazi qamatz and cholem also represent slightly
different sounds, they're a lot closer to one another than the qamatz
and patach.  Note that I wrote "reasonably self-consistent" above -
we're limited in English to only five vowel letters with which we have
to represent at least seven different Hebrew vowel sounds (not including
distinctions of length), so we have to make some allowances.

	Just my NIS 0.09-worth.

Rick Turkel      (___  _____  _  _  _  _  __     _  ___   _   _  _  ___
<rturkel@...>      )     |   |  \  )  |/  \ ein |navi| be|iro\__)    |
<rturkel@...>    /      |  _| __)/   | ___)    | ___|_  |  _(  \    |
Rich or poor, it's good to have money.    Ko rano | rani, u jamu pada.


From: Micha Berger <micha@...>
Date: Wed, 10 Nov 1999 08:58:08 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: Ashkesefard transliteration

: In all these examples the letter "a" is assumed to represent the sound
: of a patach (as in far, hard, etc.).  But in English, an "a" can also
: sound like a kometz (e.g., ball, lawn, etc.).

We have a similar problem using "o" for kamatz, but instead of being
ambiguous with patach, it would be ambiguous with cholam. Shuruk makes
"u" an equally dubious choice.

Personally, I use "a" (the intent being a as in ball) for kamatz gadol
and "o" for kamatz katan.

:They may be perfectly consistently using "a" to represent the
:Ashkenazic kometz ("aw") sound. 

I don't think most Ashkenazi pronounciations actually round the kamatz
with a /w/ at the end. Using "aw" would be overstatement, and would make
kamatz a diphthong or drawl. But perhaps our least ambiguous choice.

Micha Berger (973) 916-0287          MMG"H for 10-Nov-99: Revi'i, Toldos
<micha@...>                                         A"H 
http://www.aishdas.org                                    Pisachim 66b
For a mitzvah is a lamp, and the Torah its light.         Melachim-II 3


From: Cheryl Maryles <C-Maryles@...>
Date: Thu, 11 Nov 1999 12:42:19 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Chanukah Presents

See the book "patterns in time" by Rabbi Mattis Weinberg, he explains
the basis for the minhag of chanukah gelt as well as dreidal.


From: Menucha Chwat <menu@...>
Date: Thu, 11 Nov 1999 12:37:20 +0200
Subject: Children and Shema Story

Does anyone know the source or the exact details of the often told story
about the Rabbi (I've heard it with various Rabbi's names) who went to
find the Jewish children hidden in convents after the holocaust. When
told he had 2 minutes to find any Jewish children he went in at bedtime
and started saying Shema and all the Jewish children cried and followed

It is one of the most moving stories I know, but I'd like to tell it
Beshem Omro.
Thank you
Menucha Chwat


From: Yrachmiel Tilles <seminars@...>
Date: Fri, 12 Nov 1999 09:26:34 +0200
Subject: RE: Democracy--A Torah Value?

>From: Frank Silbermann <fs@...>
>Moshe Nugiel asked whether we will have the humility to forgo Democracy
>to accept Moshiach's Kingship.  I don't see a problem -- with all the
>other miracles Moshiach is promised to do for us, unifying our opinions
>should be a piece of cake.

I agree with Frank's conclusion but not his reasoning: what miracle is
expected of Moshiach that could possibly be greater than unifying all
jewish opinions!

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


From: Jay Rovner <jarovner@...>
Date: Tue, 09 Nov 1999 13:55:49 -0400
Subject: Re: Kaddish Aramaic and Mappik Heh

1. it has been suggested that the kaddish is in babylonian aramaic.
	this is true to a limited extent. the earlier stratum of the
kaddish ("hatsi kaddish") is in palestinian aramaic. this is
demonstrated in the plural ending -ayya (as in: alemayya) was dropped in
babylonian aramaic while palestinian aramaic kept it.
	in addition, Pal. ar. distinguishes definite nouns (adding an
aleph or a heh at the end, from indefinite ones (be-alema, "THE world,"
as opposed to bi-zeman, "a time") (i am not able to explain the ending
of "ba-agala" towards the end of the first paragraph, which should not
be definite; perhaps the aleph ending indicates that it is a feminine
	bab. ar. marks ALL nouns as "definite," with a final
aleph (or heh) ending, as in: "shelama" ("peace" or "wholeness," NOT "THE 
peace") in the penultimate line of the full kaddish. grammatically
speaking, this line is babylonian aramaic.
2. several grammar books all indicate mappik heh for possesive pronominal
suffixes (malkhutEH, KhirutEH)
3. the mixed dialect of the kaddish, which probably provides clues to its
growth and development, prompts me to comment re: a question that was
discussed earlier, which is, how are the kaddish words to be pronunced,
with stress on final syllables or penultimate syllables, and how is sheva
to be voiced.
	the stress in babylonian aramaic switched from an original final
syllable stress as in hebrew to a situation where the second to last
syllable was stressed (as is the case in east weuropean hebrew).
	IMHO we should do for aramaic what we do for Hebrew, which is to
try to adapt the biblical stress (ultimate syllable) against our native
european traditions (ARtscroll goes that way, making clear when exceptions
are accented on the penult, and this was recommended by gordon in siddur
otsar ha-tefilot). biblical aramaic would also be a useful guide (final

	jay rovner


From: aviva fee <aviva613@...>
Date: Thu, 11 Nov 1999 05:55:37 PST
Subject: Of the Shulchan Oruch & Kitzur Shulchan Oruch 

What is the relationship between the Shulchan Oruch (Code of Jewish Law)
by Rabbi Joseph Caro (16th century Israel) and the Kitzur Shulchan Oruch
(Abridged Code of Jewish Law) by Rabbi Ganzfried (19th century Poland)?


From: Mechy Frankel <michael.frankel@...>
Subject: Transliterational Angst

A number of posters have weighed in, exercised about the inconsistent
deployment of ashqenazi and sefaradi transliterations

I'm not sure we need get too exercised over transliterational purity
since it's both hard to do - and may not even be right. as well,
different readers will resonate to different 'mistakes" and a ho-hum
kleinikeit to one individual will stand out as a jarring monument to
inadequate grammatical sensitivity to the next reader. e.g. if we
consider some of the well chosen negative exemplars cited above, some of
us who have a thing for shivohs might well recoil as much at the
inconsistent deployment of the shivoh mobile exhibited above as the
posters who are irritated by inconsistent treatment of patach-qometz or
sof-taf. Thus one poster points out that consistency mandates the
transliterated forms berachot/berochos (sef/ash) and also brit
milah/bris miloh.  Whereas I might (and do) take care to note that the
noh under both "b"s receives similar treatment and the holiday's name is
shi'mini atzeres/t. The poster undoubtedly used the forms he did because
bris/brit are the most common english realizations of the correct hebrew
word and "bi'ris" simply looks both odd and unfamiliar - and if that
strikes you as peculiar consider that I transliterate things like
poroshoh in place of the more familiar parsha.  i.e. transliterational
fanatics (like me) do pay a price in clarity which trade-off other
reasonable people may not choose to accept.

There is another point as well.  some of the most egregious
hybridizations involve transliteration of the ashqenazi qometz as an "a"
rather than "o".  but this may not be all wrong either.  it is well
known for instance, that ashqenazi hebrew in medieval times sounded
suspiciously like sepharadi hebrew- in particular the then ashqenazim
certainly pronounced the qometz as a patach (see, e.g., the otherwise
incomprehensible rashi in Birochos 47a d"h omein chatufoh).  we have
many surviving relics of the "original" ashqenazi pronunciation
preserved in the common usage today.  thus common words such as yad,
dam, yam, ki'lal u'fi'rat...  see Chanoch Yalon's Movoh Li'niqud
Hammishnoh (it's that thin yellow covered book that used to come
packaged with the ubiquitous set of white covered Albeck mishnayos and
which nobody ever read- this in the pre-kehati days) for a more extended
discussion of the survival of archaic forms in current ashqenazic.  thus
we perhaps ought mi'lameid zi'chus for our siddur transliterators - im
ainom ni'viim, binei ni'viim haim.

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


From: Hilary Hurwitz <hila@...>
Date: Thu, 11 Nov 1999 13:18:14 +0200
Subject: Re: Y2K and Shabbat

Here at the City of Jerusalem there are a lot of religious people
involved. The question came up here, and it has been decided that the
only systems that are "pikuach nefesh systems" would require people to
be here on Shabbat.

They defined those as the traffic lights system, and the water supply
and sewage monitoring systems.

Since neither of these involve the computer department itself we are
"off the hook" and I hope to turn up refreshed and rested after a non-
eventful Shabbat :)

However we have informed the City that we will be in attendance after
Shabbat. (Actually I offered to stay at a hotel nearby to be able to get
in fast after Shabbat but noone accepted my offer:) )

Hope everyone has a quiet 1st Jan .  

From: Danny Bateman <danny.bateman@...>
Date: Thu, 11 Nov 1999 13:59:04 +0200 (IST)
Subject: Re: Y2K and Shabbat

I work for a big telecomunications company in Israel.  Among our
customers are the defense establishment (army, police, etc.) and a lot
of the big hospitals.  I have been also asked to work on Shabbat Shmot
(1.1.2000).  My response was that I would prefer not to, but for pikuach
nefesh purposes I would work, but ONLY for these reasons.  Therefore,
other customers that don't come under this classification, as
strategically important as they may be, won't get software support from
me on Shabbat.  The problem is what if they want to call in a
non-religous worker in my team?

BTW, IMO, there won't be any big Y2K problems, and I hope I'm right.


From: Saul Davis <sdavis@...>
Date: Thu, 11 Nov 1999 19:03:49 +0200
Subject: Y2K and Shabbat

Yosef Branse (mail-jewish Vol. 30 #04) complained that his employee
plans to work on the Y2K Shabbath. I am not an halakhic expert but let
me tell readers about Israeli law. Section 7 of the Hours of Work and
Rest Law demands that all workers be given a weekly 36 hour holiday on
the holy day relevant to the worker (the 7th for a Jew). Work during
that period is criminally forbidden. The law does allow the Minister of
Labour to permit work to be carried out on Shabbath if he is (inter
alia) convinced that there might be great damage to the economy. It is
thus possible that the Minister will grant permits to work on the Y2K
Shabbath. But, even if your employer does has a permit it cannot force
you to break Shabbath.

Saul Davis, Adv.
Beer-Sheva, Israel


End of Volume 30 Issue 7