Volume 30 Number 34
                 Produced: Wed Dec 15  5:39:04 US/Eastern 1999

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

(Rav) Eliezer or Elazar
Helping Children with Gemorah
         [Nosson Tuttle]
Kriah of Ma'aseh Reuvein (3)
         [Art Werschulz, Richard Schultz, Joshua Jacobson]
Pilegash, Aliyos
         [Israel Rubin]
Policy on Attending Girl's Basketball Games?
         [Etan Diamond]
Previous generations
         [David Deutsch]
Writing and Commentary (30:31)
         [Myron Chaitovsky]


From: Mordechai <Phyllostac@...>
Date: Thu, 9 Dec 1999 11:30:07 EST
Subject: (Rav) Eliezer or Elazar

I have been perplexed for some time now about a matter related to the
name of a famous Rosh Yeshiva (Rav E.Schach, shlit"a of the Ponovezh
Yeshiva now in Bnei Brak, Israel).

His name appears to be Elazar [and appears as such on his official
stationary - where his name is printed as Rav Elazar Menachem Man
Schach] (as in one of the sons of Aharon haCohen) - but very often
(perhaps more than Elazar) he is referred to as Rabbi Eliezer Schach!

Can people not tell the difference between Eliezer and Elazar? They are
two different / distinct names!

Even more puzzling to me is, when in one and the same publication, he is
referred to as both Eliezer and Elazar.This is the case in a recent
English book of his stories issued by a large Judaica publisher. Forgive
me, but can they not make up their mind what his name correctly is?

This has been bothering me for some time. I have brought this up with
people, but am still troubled by the lack of what seems an adequate

Do other people with the name Elazar get mistakenly called Eliezer to
such a large degree? For some reason I think not.

Can someone out there in Cyberia perhaps shed some light on the matter
for me?

Thanks in advance. I await your responses.



From: Nosson Tuttle <TUTTLE@...>
Date: 29 Nov 1999 00:24:43 -0000
Subject: Re: Helping Children with Gemorah

>From: Aviva Fee <aviva613@...>
>We have a friend who has what seems to be not so unique situation.

>He is a baal teshuva whose oldest son is now in his second year of
>learning gemorah (Talmud).  Unfortunately, the father never had a chance
>to learn in yeshiva, and hence, his mastery of gemorah is limited.  His
>son is coming home with gemorah homework and the father is extremely
>frustrated that he is unable to assist his son.

>The father is downcast that while he is working on his own gemorah
>skills,.  he will not be able to assist his son fully.  Any ideas on how
>to assist him in this situation?

It is ironic that the very reforms which Rabbi Yehoshua ben Gamla
instituted (to replace homeschooling by Yeshiva learning) in order to
equalize educational disparities are being undermined by current
tendencies in the Frum world for parents to feel responsible to help
complete their children's homework.  I have noticed this trend by seeing
it here and also in the Jewish Press, which mentioned a suggestion for
schools to give less homework because parents were spending too much
time helping their children complete it!  I do recall my parents
insisting I finish homework but do not recall them helping me with it
unless I needed ideas for reports or somebody to read an essay I had
written.  I do not think the fact that my parents are Reform Jews or
that I went to public school should make my situation that different
from that of homework given from Yeshivas to typical students.

In the context in which the above reform of establishing Yeshiva
education was made, it was still understood that the Mitzvah for a
father to teach his son Torah was not being replaced but supplemented by
this Yeshiva education.  Certainly the Mitzvah of a father to learn with
his son is still present under the Mitzvos Ha-av Al Haben (commandments
for a father regarding his son).  However, between the Yeshiva schedule
and other commitments for both the father and son, the amount of time
available for these sessions, and certainly the quality of information
exchanged, differ from family to family.  If students in a class are
required to "Chazer" (practice) over a particular Shiur in preparation
for that class, the best way for them to achieve that practice is to go
over the material with a Chavrusa (partner) who takes that same class in
school.  The father can almost be on that level if he is familiar with
that Gemara, but he cannot be expected to detail the points which have
been emphasized by that particular Rebbe (it is very interesting that
the process of learning with one's children will often be more
instructive for the parents who will learn new ways to look at the
material and also brush up on things that they had forgotten!).

Here it may also be pointed out in the context of the above two
paragraphs that an out-of-town Yeshiva where the children stay overnight
and board at the Yeshiva or with families local to the Yeshiva does not
give much chance for the above-mentioned father-son interaction in
learning, but also minimizes the deficiencies of one parent relative to
another (which was the reason why the Yeshiva-concept was introduced for

-Nosson Tuttle


From: Art Werschulz <agw@...>
Date: Fri, 10 Dec 1999 09:06:27 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Kriah of Ma'aseh Reuvein


Eliezer Appleton <eappleto@...> wrote:

> I'm looking for sources on the correct way to read ma'aseh Reuvein -
> Bereishis 35:22. Should it be read as one pasuk or two? In either
> case, what would be the correct trop on each word? 

According to Tikkun Kor'im Simanim, it's read as one pasuk, as follows:

  vayelech Reuven   munach revia
  vayishkav         pashta
  et-Bilhah         pashta
  pilegesh aviv     munach zakeif-katon
  vayishma          tipcha
  Yisrael           etnachta
  vayihyu           mercha
  vnei-Yaakov       tipcha
  sh'neim           mercha
  asar              sof-pasuk

> Why is there a piska be'emtza pasuk here? 

According to the Hertz Chumash: "This means that the subject is abruptly
dropped; it being too distasteful to continue so revolting a theme."

Chodesh tov, Chag Urim Sameach, and ADVshabbatshalomANCE.

Art Werschulz (8-{)}   "Metaphors be with you."  -- bumper sticker
GCS/M (GAT): d? -p+ c++ l u+(-) e--- m* s n+ h f g+ w+ t++ r- y? 
Internet: <agw@...><a href="http://www.cs.columbia.edu/~agw/">WWW</a>
ATTnet:   Columbia U. (212) 939-7061, Fordham U. (212) 636-6325

From: Richard Schultz <schultr@...>
Date: Mon, 13 Dec 1999 09:29:38 +0200
Subject: Kriah of Ma'aseh Reuvein

For the public reading, it is read as a single pasuk.

For the "out loud" reading, the ta`amim are

Reuvein -- revi'i
vayyishkav -- pashta
et-bilhah -- pashta
pilegesh -- munach
aviv -- zaqef katan

(This is taken from the masoretic notes to the Miqra'ot Gedolot)

: Are there different minhagim?  

To the best of my knowledge, no.

: Why is there a piska be'emtza pasuk here? 

Someone more knowledgable than I can probably give you a better answer,
but to the best of my knowledge, it is because the subject of 
Reuvein's actions is simply dropped without any continuation, and a
completely new subject taken up.

: How far back historically can we trace this break and the double set 
: of trop?

The break goes back at least to the Talmudic period; in massechet
Megillah (25b IIRC) the mishnah says that the incident of Reuvein and
Bilhah is not translated [into Aramaic] by the meturgeman [who used to
translate the Torah as it was read].  The Gemara comments that the
second half of that verse *is* translated.  The double set of ta`amim
goes back at least to the earliest Masoretic manuscripts -- it is
already found in the Leningrad MS, which is the oldest complete
manuscript of the Tanach.

					Richard Schultz

From: Joshua Jacobson <JRJ4859@...>
Date: Thu, 9 Dec 1999 08:18:41 EST
Subject: Re: Kriah of Ma'aseh Reuvein

High and Low Accents, The Saga of Reuben

Various explanations have been offered for the unusual punctuation of
"the saga of Reuben" in Genesis 35:22. Why are there two different
te'amim on five of the words?

According to one tradition the word Yisrael is punctuated with
etnahta. Why then is there a paragraph break in the middle of this
sentence? An early rabbinic exegesis explains that even though Yisra'el
(Jacob) heard about Reuben's immoral deed, he did not disown his son;
Reuben is still numbered among Jacob's twelve children in the same verse
as his crime is related.  On the other hand, some modern Biblical
scholars speculate that a paragraph ending with an unfinished sentence
indicates the excision of several words by the hand of an early
editor. The missing words do appear in the Septuagint.  In this ancient
Greek translation the verse reads. "And while Israel dwelt in that land,
Reuben went and lay with Balla the concubine of his father Jacob, and
Israel heard of it,{ and it appeared evil in his sight.}" The italicized
words [Italics do not transfer well over the general email systems,
although there are more today which do maintain font formating, many
still do not, so I have replaced the italics with {}'s. Mod.] are the
phrase that is missing in the Masoretic text.

According to another tradition the word Yisrael is punctuated with
siluk.  This punctuation allows the paragraph to end with a complete
sentence. While Wickes opines that this is the original punctuation,
others see the hand of a later editor attempting to smooth over an
expurgated text.  According to Breuer, the punctuation as a single verse
is the high cantillation and the punctuation as two verses is the low
cantillation.  When reading this passage as part of the synagogue
liturgy in the pericope of Vayyishlah, the ba'al keri'ah utilizes the
punctuation as a single verse.


From: Israel Rubin <Israel.Rubin@...>
Date: Thu Oct 28 15:53:36 1999
Subject: Re: Pilegash, Aliyos

Zvi Weiss writes (#92) quoting a Rav Yosef Shani that "[in] a pilegesh
relationship, the woman is "equal" to the man". I'm not sure exactly
what is meant by this, but it should noted, in discussing the issue of
pilegesh, that it is very clear from many sources in Chazal & the
Rishonim that the relationship of a pilegesh was that of a servant/wife,
far lower in status than an actual wife.

There has been much discussion in recent issues about the topic of using
titles when calling someone up to the Torah. Since the discussion was
triggered by someone mentioning an incident in which an unmarried man in
his forties had his feelings hurt by being called up as "habochur", I
would like to note that there's no reason not to call such a person up
as "harav". I am usually the gabbai in the shul in which I daven, and I
would call up anyone over 30 as harav - maybe even younger.

More on this issue - I recall someone telling me that Sefardim don't
actually call people up to the Torah in the manner of Ashkenazim, but
simply approach the person and tell him that he is getting the current
aliya. Also, I believe that in Breur's Shul in Washington Heights, there
are metal ornaments with the names of the aliyas (shlishi, revi'i etc.)
engraved on them, which are given to the intended recipients of those
aliyas. I would qualify, however, that I don't know either of these
facts firsthand. Perhaps someone who does could enlighten us further.


From: Etan Diamond <ediamond@...>
Date: Thu, 9 Dec 1999 09:03:24 -0000
Subject: Policy on Attending Girl's Basketball Games?

	Do the day schools or high schools in your area have a policy
about fathers and brothers attending girls basketball games?  (This
question assumes that there are day schools and high schools that have
girls basketball teams.)  Do they have policies for the other
side--mothers and sisters attending boys games?

	Is prohibiting dads and brothers from coming to watch their
daughters and sisters altogether (for religious modesty reasons) a
better solution than not letting the girls play interschool games in the
first place.  One could argue that you are letting them play anyways,
why should you deprive the parents and siblings from seeing their
daughters and sisters compete?

	Does keeping the fathers and brothers away stigmatize the girls
in some way, particularly if the prohibition does not extend to the
other way (keeping mothers and sisters away from the boys' games)?


Etan Diamond, Ph.D.			<ediamond@...>
The Polis Center				(317) 274-3836
1200 Waterway Blvd., Suite 100		(317) 278-1830 (fax)
Indianapolis, IN 46202


From: David Deutsch <dsd3543@...>
Date: Mon, 29 Nov 1999 12:34:21 -0000
Subject: Previous generations

	Meir Shinnar <meir_shinnar@...> wrote
>I am told that Artscroll, in republishing family photographs, had to
>airbrush sheitels into the pictures not to scandalize today's crowd

Perhaps Artscroll would like to comment on this allegation which I would
venture to suggest borders on the libellous.  Besides, any argument
which is supported by a statement of this nature is seriously

David Deutsch

[If anyone on the list has any connections to Artscroll and can get a
reply from them, I would be happy to publish it on the list. Mod]


From: Myron Chaitovsky <MCHAIT@...>
Date: Thu, 9 Dec 1999 10:24:00 -0500
Subject: Writing and Commentary (30:31)

Ms Franco's dismissal of mesorah / mekorot ["I don't take the sources
seriously"] would seem to make any of our responses useless to
her. After all, why care?  But assuming that she was either too hasty,
too glib, or badly edited , it would seem IMHO that the two pitfalls to
be aware of in utilizing a source ( beyond accurately quoting it,of
course) is to determine if the statement is (a) normative and (b)

Thus, as to (a), citing a minority opinion which is clearly rejected by
the Sages ( and not, then, for the initiated, an eilu v'eilu situation),
or otherwise dismissed by later normative halacha as not to be followed,
would be misleading and therefore a disservice to Ms Franco's readers.

An oft-violated example of (b) is the story of the gentile who sought a
quickie conversion.  Rejected outright by the Tanna , Shammai, the
would-be convert turned instead to Shammai's contemporary and halachic
"opponent" , Hillel. As is well known, Hillel summed up all of Judaism
into one pithy saying, suitable for any ecumenical gathering or Social
Actions Committee.  What is generally lost in the re-telling is that
after Hillel did so he gave an important charge to the gentile: Go

Leaving out the "punchline" may yet make for a great story, but reduces
the actual teaching into something less than it is.

As with a misguided dependence on spell-check, the words in the quote
may be accurate, but the meaning behind the phrase has been lost,
sometimes irretrievably.

Myron B. Chaitovsky
Director of Admissions
Brooklyn Law School


End of Volume 30 Issue 34