Volume 30 Number 10
                 Produced: Mon Nov 15  6:13:36 US/Eastern 1999

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Baruch She-amar
         [Lester Hering]
Break on Rosh Hashana (5)
         [Menashe Elyashiv, Louise Miller, Percy Mett, A. M. Goldstein,
Sam Gamoran]
Child Naming
         [David Zucker]
Metaphysics of Mitzvot
         [Stan Tenen]
Yesh Omrim
         [Joshua Hosseinof]


From: Lester Hering <lhering18@...>
Date: Sat, 13 Nov 1999 21:16:58 -0500
Subject: Baruch She-amar

Does anyone know the origin or reason for kissing the Tsitsit at the  end
of Baruch She-amar and why only two Tsitsiyot and not all four?


From: Menashe Elyashiv <elyashm@...>
Date: Thu, 21 Oct 1999 19:18:34 +0200 (IST)
Subject: Break on Rosh Hashana

Oh, it is a little late for Rosh Hashana but if Meshiah doesn't come
before next Rosh Hashana then RH will be on Shabbat again. Most Sefardim
do not have a break, in general the Tefilla is shorter than most Ashkanazi
do on RH (except Avi's minyan...) and start earlyer (6 - 7 a.m.). Our
minyan - Vatikin - finishes around 9 or 9:30 (starts at 4:30). On Shabbat
RH this gave us time to eat the 2nd meal in the morning, Minha Gedola &
Tashlich & seuda shelishit in the early afternoon, and Tehillim etc. for
the rest of the afternoon (DST ended before RH).

From: Louise Miller <daniel@...>
Date: Tue, 21 Sep 1999 17:38:53 -0700
Subject: Break on Rosh Hashana

I always thought that shuls that make a break between Shacharis
and shofar do it so people could eat!  I attended a shul once in
Israel where we had a kiddush break, and it was wonderful!

Here in La Jolla, (San Diego,) because we don't daven in our regular
shul and because the first day davening is so long when we blow 
shofar, we eat much later than we should.  (Last year my family
started lunch at 4pm.)

SInce it's forbidden to fast on Rosh Hashana, breaking for kiddush
would solve that problem.


From: Percy Mett <p.mett@...>
Date: Wed, 22 Sep 1999 17:37:34 +0100
Subject: Re: Break on Rosh Hashana

Yisroel Medad asks:
> This year, due to the absence of shofar blowing on the First Day of
>Rosh Hashana, the gabaim of our schule in Shiloh, Ramat Shmuel, decided
>there would be no break after Shacharit.
>My questions are:
>a)  what is the break for?

The break on Rosh Hashono seesm to have evolved for a number of
reasons. In some communities it gave the baal tokea an opportunity to go
to the mikve before tkios. [The Shinever Rov zats"al objected to this
practice on the grounds that the baal tokea went to mikve before davenen
in any case, and shacharis does not make one tomei.]

It is certainly used in many places to enable the congregants to make
kidush to survive a late end to musaf.

In Gerer shtiblekh (following the practice of the Gerer Rebbe's Beis
hamedrash) there is no break between krias hatorah and tkios. However -
as on every shabbos and yomtov- there is break for learning before krias
hatorah. However the main shuls which continue to follow
long-established practice hAve no break whatsoever.  In many of them the
same applies to Yom Kipur, with continuous prayer (except for the Rov's
drosho) from An'im Zmiros in the morning until the end of maariv.

>b)  did we do the right/proper thing?

Definitely. The preferred practice on shabos is surely to finish before
chatsos. Sadly our minyan did not quite make it - we finished musaf
about 15 minutes after chatsos. But then there was a break for kidush
before musaf.

Perets Mett

From: A. M. Goldstein <mzieashr@...>
Date: Tue, 28 Sep 1999 14:48:39 +0200
Subject: Break on Rosh Hashana

No flaming of the cong. intended, merely amazement: Moderator says his
cong. finished at 9:50, though began at 6:30.  Did they fly through it

[You're all invited next year, if you would like to come :-). Actually,
I find that we have at least as much time for the individual tefilot as
any of the "regular" minyanim in town, it's amazing how much time you
"save" when you have no extra Mi Sheberach's in the Torah reading
portion (that can add up to 1/2 - 3/4 hr!) and the Chazzan focuses on
Nusach not "Chazzanut". We do allow for double the amount of time for
the dvar torah on Yom Tov (10 min instead of 5), for those who want more
you can stay for the shuir after davening and/or go to the Rabbi's
sermon at main/late minyan. Mod.]

My cong. in Haifa--knit kippah, nusach sfard, we refer to it as a minyan
despite our 70 or so families--began at 7:00 and finished at 11:35-40,
with no break--break?--but with a (not over-long) drash.  I was in
Jerusalem for the first part of this Sukkot, and the Yeshurun
Syn.--nusach Ashkenaz, "Yekke" influence--does Hoshanot at the end of
the service.  My own cong.  does them in the middle, after Hallel. Is it
a difference of nusach or custom? Our cong., by the way, does the
hakkafot after musaf on Simhat Torah. (We used to do them in the middle,
right before Torah reading, years ago.)  It would be interesting to know
when others (and which type cong.)  do each of these la rondes.

From: Sam Gamoran <gamoran@...>
Date: Wed, 22 Sep 1999 07:54:19 +0200
Subject: Re: Break on Rosh Hashana

At the Ya"d Moshe synagogue in Hashmonaim we had, as in previous years,
a kiddush break after the Torah reading.  On the first day of Rosh
Hashana since the daveninig is a tad shorter without shofar blowing, the
break was extended from 30 to 45 minutes.

Since everyone has had kiddush, we go directly from Mussaph into Mincha.
We started both days at 7:30 and finished Mincha at a bit before 13:00.

Sam Gamoran
Motorola Israel Ltd. Wireless Access Department


From: David Zucker <DAVIDIZ@...>
Date: Tue, 2 Nov 1999 00:14:13 EST
Subject: Re: Child Naming

I don't know the Rabbinical sources but in the Ashkenazic community the
standard custom is to name the child after a deceased relative. In fact
if you look at family trees, you will find several things. Usually you
will find the same names repeated over and over through the generations
and sometimes within the same generation you will see cousins with the
same name, all named after the same relative.
 David Zucker


From: Stan Tenen <meru1@...>
Date: Mon, 01 Nov 1999 08:42:17 -0500
Subject: Re: Metaphysics of Mitzvot

At 10:43 AM 11/1/99 +0000, Jeffrey Bock wrote:
>For example, the Rambam and S.R. Hirsch seem to understand that all the
>Mitzvot are symbolic actions we are to learn from; a more chasidic
>approach seems to attribute to mitzvot the power to effect change in
>higher worlds (and our responsiblity to effect those changes).

Both are true.  The mitzvot derive from the experience of bitul (extreme
humility, will-lessness in the face of the Transcendent).  Kabbalistic
processes involving our relationship to Hashem are experienced
internally as complete humility, but when they're transformed into the
world outside of our skin, the experience of humility becomes the
mitzvot.  Because they're based on the Kabbalistic science of
consciousness, mitzvot really do have the power to affect change (here
and in the higher world).  But because they're externalizations of our
experience of the Infinity of Hashem/Elokim, they're necessarily also
symbols.  It's not possible to teach meditation to everyone. But
everyone needs to know something of the content and experience; so it's
externalized.  We externalize spiritual experience in only an extremely
limited way, as actions in the world.  Others externalize spiritual
experience in the form of idolatrous "things", like statues.

Meru Foundation   http://www.meru.org   <meru1@...>


From: A.J.Gilboa <bfgilboa@...>
Date: Sun, 14 Nov 1999 13:08:01 -0800
Subject: Transliteration

Clearly the problem of transliteration of Hebrew texts into Latin
characters is complex. Although Hebrew itself is WRITTEN in a fairly
standardized manner, the interpretation of the written (or printed) text
into the spoken word follows hundreds of different traditions. There is
no "standard" Ashkenazi pronunciation of Hebrew nor is there a
"standard" Sfaradi pronunciation. Contrary to what many of us think,
there is not even one standard Yemeni pronunciation. The closest we have
come to standardizing Hebrew pronunciation is in the so-called Sfaradi
pronunciation used in Israel. This, somewhat like the well-known
"Standard British English" is taught in schools and used by radio and TV
announcers, and is an attempt to impose a one-to-one relationship
between the written and the spoken language. But this in itself is an
idealization. Israeli children (as well as their teachers!) are for the
most part totally confused by the (written) distinction between qamatz
and patax (just as one example) and very quickly abandon the vowel
points as superfluous and confusing - even when reading pointed texts
such as Bible, prayer book and poetry.

Clearly, then, there can be no single standard method of transliteration
of Hebrew into Latin characters that will serve all purposes. Suppose,
however, that we have decided which of the many traditions of Hebrew
pronunciation we wish to represent in Latin characters. We have still to
deal with the fact that the Latin characters themselves have a multitude
of variant pronunciations. Even if we limit our scope to the American
English rendition of these letters into sounds, we are faced with a
multitude of regional and even local variants. Consider the extremely
different pronunciations of a common word like "ball" in NYC and in San
Francisco. (A pronunciation table stating that Ashqenazi qamatz is
pronounced as the letter "a" in ball is OK for NY but dead wrong for
SF!). Consonants that do not exist in English represent another
difficulty. How to represent the letter "xet" so that the reader
(presumed not to know Hebrew) can understand what to do? Explanations
such as "pronounce as "ch" on Loch Lomond" presumes a knowledge of
Celtic! Should we even attempt to distinguish between 'alef and `ayin or
xet and khaf for a non-reader of Hebrew?

In light of all the above and lots more, I think it is futile to try to
use transliterated Hebrew as a substitute for the real thing in cases
where the target audience consists of non-Hebrew readers. It is much
much better to make the effort to teach such people to read the Hebrew
characters. There are special contexts, such as fitting words to music,
where it is convenient to use Latin characters so that the text and
music both progress from left to right. (Incidentally, this method has
finally come of age in Israel). But the full, pointed Hebrew text should
be printed as well for reference. We are presumably dealing with
Hebrew-reading singers so that any ambiguities can be readily resolved
by reference to the original Hebrew.

Another special context that has been dealt with at great length and is
still not resolved is that of road signs, street signs, and maps in
Israel for the use of foreign tourists. Here we get into the nasty
problem of Latin letters representing totally different sounds in
various European languages. (For example, I live on Rxov Xish in Rxovot.
The maps and street signs add up to Rehov Chish Rehovot). Not only is
the rendition of the 'xet' totally inconsistent, but the sound of CH is
different in English, French, Italian, Spanish and German. Only the
German speaker would come close!


Yosef Gilboa`

I am aware that a recent attempt has been made to create a fully
transliterated siddur, presumably as a stopgap for people who are on
their way to learning to read Hebrew but might feel "left out" in a
synagogue setting. I would be curious to learn how this experiment has


From: Joshua Hosseinof <hosseino@...>
Date: Sun, 14 Nov 1999 10:15:29 -0500 (EST)
Subject: re: Yesh Omrim 

You should look in Yechaveh Da'at vol. 6 by Rav Ovadia Yosef, which has a
section on "Klallei HaShulchan Aruch"  which explains how sefardim (and in
many cases Ashkenazim) pasken when the Shulchan Aruch presents several
opinions (Stam V'yesh Omrim).  
Also see Yalkut Yosef Vol 9. (Issur v'heter) by Rav Yitzchak Yosef (son of
Rav Ovadia Yosef) at the beginning has a long teshuva trying to prove that
sefardim will pasken like the Stam opinion in Shulchan Aruch even when
there is no major loss involved.  This is a new volume so it may not be
widely available.
I am not aware of any similar teshuvot on how to pasken when the Ramo
brings several opinions.
The summary of the Stam V'yesh as listed in Yalkut Yosef v.9 is as
1. If the Stam permits something, and the Yesh omrim is machmir, the
halacha is like stam completely even with no significant loss and a
non-emergency situation.
2. If the Mechaber ends by saying "It is proper to give weight to the
opinions that disagree" one should follow the Yesh Omrim in a case of
small loss and non-emergency.
3. If the Mechaber says "it is proper to give weight to the more stringent
opinions" and then later lists the halacha as a Stam V'Yesh, then the
halacha is like the Stam opinion, and the Yesh opinion is only a Midat
Chassidut (for those who are extremely pious).
4. If the Stam is more stringent, and the Yesh is lenient, the opinion is
like the Stam completely, and one cannot rely on the Yesh even for
significant loss.  (There are exceptions to this - and the Shach, among
others, have a different approach).
5. If the Stam does not allow something, and Yesh permits it, and the
Mechaber ends by saying "it is proper to give weight to the first
opinion", then it is permitted "Me-Ikar Hadin" (according to the letter of
the law) but many or most people follow the more stringent view (even
though the Mechaber himself believes the first one to be correct).
6. If the Yesh merely explains the Stam further but does not disagree, we
follow the Yesh.
7. Even if the Yesh opinion is like most poskim we (sefardim) follow the
8. If the Mechaber says that the Stam opinion is the proper one, then the
Stam opinion can be followed Lechatchila (one is permitted to do it
intentionally, as opposed to permitting it after the fact)
9. If the Yesh is listed as Yesh Mefarshim (some explain), the same rules
of Stam V'yesh apply.
10. If the Yesh is brought as a condition to a heter mentioned in the Stam
(i.e. Stam permits something always, Yesh only permits it in certain
conditions)  if the yesh opinion is listed in Beit Yosef with no one
disagreeing, then the halacha is like the Yesh.  

I hope this is useful for you.


End of Volume 30 Issue 10