Volume 30 Number 30
                 Produced: Thu Dec  9  6:02:48 US/Eastern 1999

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Choylem vs. Cholam
         [Yossie Abramson]
Elective surgery and Cohanim
         [Chaim Shapiro]
Esther /Mordechai
         [Sammy Finkelman]
Hair Covering after Kiddushin/Yichud
         [Eliezer Finkelman ]
Iggrot Moshe
         [Josh Backon]
Must Commentary jive with Halacha
         [Elllen Krischer]
Negiah and Posekim
         [Shlomo Pick]
Origin of Maoz Tzur tune (5)
         [Dr. A.J. Gilboa, Josh Jacobson, Miriam Goldberg, Mordechai,
Geoffrey Shisler]
Where would you like to live -- community size
         [Carl Singer]


From: Yossie Abramson <yossie@...>
Date: Tue, 7 Dec 1999 17:52:21 -0500
Subject: Choylem vs. Cholam

Just a quick note. 
In Yeshiva during hebrew classes, (which is one of the NYS Regent
courses) our teacher told us that the Vilna Gaon has a sefer about dikduk
(hebrew grammar). The Vilna Gaon writes that the correct pronunciation of
a Cholam is "O", not "OI". He writes simply, that you should make the
sound of the Kamatz, and then while you are making the sound start making
the "oo" sound. So it would turn into the "Oh" sound.


From: Chaim Shapiro <Dagoobster@...>
Date: Wed, 8 Dec 1999 14:16:55 EST
Subject: Elective surgery and Cohanim

    Last night, the news featured and interesting new cosmetic
procedure.  It seems that crystallized remains of cadavers are injected
into a person's skin in order to make scars permanently disappear.
    Two question; can any Jew use the remains of another human being in
this way?  If the answer is they can, is there any difference lhalacha
for Cohanim?



From: Sammy Finkelman <sammy.finkelman@...>
Date: Tue, 07 Dec 99 19:24:00 -0400
Subject: Esther /Mordechai

I would assume that according to the opinion of the Amorah - I would
need to check who said it - it is only one opinion - that Esther was
married to Mordechai, Mordechai divorced her when she was taken to the
king's palace. Had she escaped without contact then he would have taken
her baclk, but because things were not taht way then she became
forbidden to him. But the plain meaning of the text of the Megillah is
that she was his ward, like a daughter to him, and not his wife.


From: Eliezer Finkelman  <Finkelmans@...>
Date: Thu, 9 Dec 1999 04:27:37 EST
Subject: Re: Hair Covering after Kiddushin/Yichud

<< From: Rachel Smith 
 Apropos the current discussion of hair covering among the wives of the
 gedolei Lita, has anyone seen any sources justifying the widespread
 practice of the kallah's not covering her hair right after kiddushin (or
 after yichud at the latest), but rather waiting until the next day?>>

The mishnah in Ketubot (2:1) states that if the bride went out in a "hynuma" 
at her wedding, that suffices to prove that this was a first wedding.  Rashi 
explains the difficult word as meaning that her hair flowed over her 
shoulders as she went from her father's house to her husband's.  Thus, a 
woman who has already experienced Eirusin, the first half of the wedding 
ceremony, appeared with her hair uncovered.  Furthermore, other commentators 
refer her appearance with flowing hair to her situation even after the 
Nisuin, the second half of the ceremony.
If so, a virgin bride in Mishnaic times left her hair exposed, and, 
presumably, even today one could permit this behavior.

Eliezer Finkelman 


From: Josh Backon <BACKON@...>
Date: Wed,  8 Dec 1999 13:51 +0200
Subject: Iggrot Moshe

See what Rav Moshe wrote in the introduction to Iggrot Moshe on Orach
Chaim or his letter brought in the Chelkat Yaakov Chelek Gimmel 47 and
Tzitz Eliezer Chelek Tet p. 252: "chalila l'shum rav l'horot heter
b'nidon zeh mitoch sifri".

Josh Backon


From: Elllen Krischer <krischer@...>
Date: Wed, 8 Dec 1999 09:07:44 -0500 
Subject: RE: Must Commentary jive with Halacha

Russel Hendel writes:

> BUT...my questions stand (let me rephrase them so Avi's remarks will
>not hold): A) Since the Abarbanel did NOT write a halachic work am I
>justified in using his Biblical commentary to INFER halachic
>viewpoints?  (That he legally held that Monarchy was not a Mitzvah). B)
>If I am not allowed to infer halachic viewpoints from his commentary
>should I then disregard his commentary (Since it is not coupled with
>appropriate halachas). C) On the other hand if I am allowed to infer
>from his commentary that the Abarbanel had a halachic viewpoint that
>monarchy was a concession to human weakness then how do I deal with all
>the talmudic statements treating monarchy as a law and how do I deal
>with the lack of any literature reconciling the Abarbanel to these
>Talmudic statements.

Personally, I vote for D) the comments are commentary and do not have to
be judged vis a vis Halacha.

Consider, for example, the Rashbam's commentary on Breshit - "vay'hi
erev, vay'hi boker" ("and it was evening and it was morning") during the
story of creation.  The *halacha* is that we start the day on the night
before.  The *commentary* says that we should understand the verses as
"there was a period of day that concluded with an evening, followed by a
period of night that concluded with a morning."  This doesn't mean that
Rashbam started Shabbos on Saturday morning.  It just means this is how
he understood the phrases "yay'hi erev, vay'hi boker" in the Torah.

(See Moshe, I *was* listening in class!!!)


[If you open your standard mikraot gedolot chumash and look for this,
you will not find any Rashbam there. I had asked Moshe about the
"legend" that the Rashbam was "punished" for this "heretical" perush and
as such was not started in the mikraot gedolot until a few parsheot
later. However Moshe clarified that the extant manuscript of the Rashbam
was damaged in the beginning, and that is why it was not included. You
can find it in the new Toras Chaim edition. I wasn't in your class, but
I still listen (at least sometimes). Mod]


From: Shlomo Pick <picksh@...>
Date: Wed, 08 Dec 1999 15:24:03 +0200
Subject: Re: Negiah and Posekim

For a later use of the term in D. Katzman's sense, see the minyan
hamitzvot in a standart mikraot gedolot to vayikra, no.207 (negative
commandment 116) where it refers to an unmarried woman who is a niddah
and then says: velo yikrav eileha beshum zad kiruv ve-NEGIAH...  my
edition is the gurary publishing co., 1965, p. 203

Concerning the discussion on criticisms of pesakim, it would appear that
once published, one can criticize it in a respectful way (as should be
done in all cases of criticisms).  I saw nothing wrong with C. Mateh's
criticism, although I did detect a bias in his words. Nothing wrong with
bias, and one need not agree.  Any advanced shiur of halakha will
analyze a teshuva and note the weak points or the strong
points. R. Henken's responsa are no exception, and at times serve as
whipping board for other views and strong, criticism.

a lustiger and lichtege chanuka
shlomo pick


From: Dr. A.J. Gilboa <bfgilboa@...>
Date: Tue, 07 Dec 1999 15:44:41 +0200
Subject: Re: Origin of Maoz Tzur tune

You are quite right. The well-known melody is a classic case of Jewish
music "borrowing" from the music of the surroundings. I believe this
melody originates in a Protestant hymn. Incidentally, the borrowing of
music is a two-way street. Also, you may be aware that R. Nahman of
Bratzlav (and other Jewish leaders) were very much in favor of such
borrowing of music. The reasoning is that all music comes from Heaven
and is therefore universal. 

Yosef Gilboa

From: Josh Jacobson <JRJ4859@...>
Date: Tue, 7 Dec 1999 08:48:50 EST
Subject: Re: Origin of Maoz Tzur tune

The well-known Maoz Tsur tune is based on (or at least nearly identical to) 
several old German folksongs:
"Ich weiss ein Meidlein huebsch und fein"
"Van Coninck Maximilian"
"So weiss ich eins."
These songs were first notated in the 16th century.
Martin Luther's hymn, "Nun freut euch lieben Christen gmein" is based on 
these same folksongs.
-Josh Jacobson

From: Miriam Goldberg <mgoldber@...>
Date: Tue, 7 Dec 1999 09:41:01 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Origin of Maoz Tzur tune

In my house growing up, we never sang that melody. [F, C(below), F
B(above) A(down) G F etc. is the melody I assume you're speaking of.] It
was a Lutheran hymn and Luther, being that great philo-Semite, was not
particularly welcome in my house. The melody we used was the one written
by Benedetto Marcello, an Italian composer (I believe 1700s) who spent a
lot of time in synagogues.  Although not Jewish, he paid careful
attention to Jewish ritual and wrote a number of beautiful melodies,
including organ music for a variety of Psalms as well as his Maoz Tsur

Miriam Goldberg

From: Mordechai <Phyllostac@...>
Date: Tue, 7 Dec 1999 11:50:34 EST
Subject: Origin of Maoz Tzur tune

Macy Nulman, in his 'Concise Encyclopedia of Jewish Music', traces it to
old German songs. See his entry on the topic for details. He also makes
reference there to another well-known melody to Maoz Tzur.


From: Geoffrey Shisler <RavGeoff@...>
Date: Tue, 7 Dec 1999 21:50:13 +0000
Subject: Origin of Maoz Tzur tune

In the classic source for information regarding Synagogue melody,
'Jewish Music' by A.Z.Idelsohn, he explains that it clearly is of German

He gives examples of a chorale by Martin Luther, who himself adapted a
German folk-song, on which the first four and last two verses of our
Maoz Tzur melody are based, and says that the middle part (bars 5-8) is
reminiscent of a battle-song that was composed in 1504.

Idelsohn suggests that the whole lot became joined in the Ghetto by some
inventive Jewish singer.

Of course, the question raises the thorny issue of just what is Jewish

A good friend of mine once defined Jewish music something like this.

*Jewish music is any music that was:
*written by a Jew, for a Jew, with a Jew, about a Jew, about a Jewish
*place, story, person or object.

*Any music:
*played by a Jew, played on a Jews' Harp, recorded by a Jew, copied by a
*Jew, (stolen by a Jew), bought by a Jew or sold by a Jew.

*Any of the above
*done by, for, or to someone married to a Jew, or who has a Jewish
*descendant, a Jewish neighbour or Jewish milkman.

*All music written or played by anyone living in Israel.

*All music heard by a Jew!

This seems to me to just about cover it!

Rabbi Geoffrey Shisler
Bournemouth (Orthodox) Hebrew Congregation
UK                                              <RavGeoff@...>


From: Carl Singer <CARLSINGER@...>
Date: Wed, 8 Dec 1999 16:30:11 EST
Subject: Where would you like to live -- community size

Rabbi Meyer Schiller in a letter to the editor recently discussed the
Washington Heights Kahillah of yesterday, that coupled with Reuven
Miller's comments re: size brought to mind a discussion that I had well
over 30 years ago at the Hillel shared by Case Tech and Western Reserve
University (before the shiddach.)

Community size, or more importantly effective community size -- the size
of the community that you interact with is a critical component.  Also
consider how many people you interact with who are outside your
community.  (For want of better "instant" measures, what percentage of
the people you see / or people you speak with are strangers,
acquaintences, close friends, etc.)  I remember the dynamics of the
"greenhorn" community in Cleveland, accompanying my parents for a
schpatzier (stroll) in the park on Shabbos, etc. -- and how they knew
seemingly everyone.  I recall people being called by their trade
(schnyder, sheester, paperosimacher) in lieu of their last names.  And I
was told that this was a reflection of how things were in the old

When I mentioned this to a professor of sociology who was dining next to
me at the Hillel, he gave me a "go away little boy, that's the shteytel
theory" response.  Nonetheless, I believe an important ingredient is the
proportion of time spent with acquaintences vs: strangers, etc.  Just as
a child on a bus in Israel may have many surrogate parents, living in a
warmer, smaller community has the same dynamic.

I know when I lived in Edison, that I knew virtually everyone that I saw
in my shule, and probably over half the people who I saw at other
shules, or Yeshiva dinners or at the bakery, etc.  That's a comfort
level, enhanced by shared circumstances and shared values.  And it's
more than percentages, it's the warmth of people, their willingness to
return your greeting, or to reach out to a wouldbe stranger and say
hello, welcome.

I know when I visit Harrisburg PA annually for the mid-Shabbos of my
nearby Army tour of duty - I get the same sensation.  Hello, how are
you, weren't you here last spring, etc.

I"m sure we can all share some positive dynamics of communities -- some
large, some small.  The temptation to speak about negative is strong,
but I will resist.

Carl Singer


End of Volume 30 Issue 30