Volume 32 Number 53
                 Produced: Wed Jun 14  5:51:33 US/Eastern 2000

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Andy Goldfinger]
Geshem or Gashem again.
         [Bob Werman]
Honesty in prayer
         [Ben Z. Katz]
Instructions in Sidurim
         [I. Harvey Poch]
Shabbat Conferences
Tikun Sofrim (2)
         [Joseph Tabory, Carl Singer]
Why we are strict on 2nd day of Yom Tov
         [Elie Rosenfeld]
Womens obligation to Pray in a Minyan
         [Russell Hendel]
'Yihye' and 'Tihye'
         [Carl M. Sherer]


From: Andy Goldfinger <Andy.Goldfinger@...>
Date: Mon, 12 Jun 2000 09:50:05 -0400
Subject: Bulmos

	The Mishnah in tractate "Yoma" speaks of a physical condition
called "bulmos" in which a person has extreme hunger.  Does anyone know
if this is etymologically related to the word "bulimia" (perhaps through
a Greek root)?


From: Bob Werman <RWERMAN@...>
Date: Sun,  11 Jun 2000 23:54 +0300
Subject: Geshem or Gashem again.

Reviving the dead is surely God's function, not ours, but we try, and
try and try.

Some time ago there was an interminable argument as to whether [in
winter] we should say geshem or gashem [gimel kamutza].  The operative
conclusion is that both are acceptable but that there should be a stop
in the reading after the gashem form.  Sounds right and both forms are
found in various siddurim.

I realize that those you who live in diaspora do not say the equivalent
summer, "morid haTal."

But the Tal form is ALWAYS written with a tet kamutza.

Wouldn't that argue for a kamutza form in the winter blessing, too?


___Bob Werman


From: Ben Z. Katz <bkatz@...>
Date: Wed, 07 Jun 2000 21:51:08 -0500
Subject: Re: Honesty in prayer

>From: Steve McQueen <matnsue@...>
>Re: Rabbi Rosenfeld's revised version of the Nahem text in his Tisha
>B'Av Compendium.  In the later editions, which are still in print,
>either he or someone else re-revised the text to the traditional
>wording.  This was clearly a point of some controversy at the time.
>While we are on the subject of honesty in prayer, how can those who
>support a change to Nahem say "... and bring us up in joy to our land"
>in Shabbat Musaf?  Has this also not already happened?

You of course are bringing up issues that the Conservative movement in
Judaism has been dealing with for at least half a century.  I do not
disagree that they have gone way too far, but the essential idea is that
since at least the invention of the printing press our tefillot have
been frozen in time.  Not only are they dishonest in some instances, as
you imply, but in my opinion, border on being a hillul hashem and kofer
tov, such as when statements are made in the present tense that
Jerusalem is a garbage heap!  Furhermore, tefillot were never meant to
be static.  Our sages established a structure to the davening, but they
were never meant to become ossified.  There are many disparaging
statements in the Talmud about people who pray by rote.  Incidentally, I
am aware of at least one community where there was a backlash against a
course called "kavanat hatefillah" in a day school, presumably because
some thought that if the children knew what they were saying, they would
have theological problems.  What to do about this situation is
problemmatic.  Anyone who tries to make the slightest innovation in
prayer is often "not accepted" (cf. Rosenfeld's attempt to modernize
"nahem" for tisha b'av) or accussed of not being Orthodox.  Personally,
I know of at least two instances where Orthodox rabbis and communal
leaders have urged people, either publically or privately, to change
prayers that are currently unacceptable (eg changing "eyr hakodesh
vehamechozot hayu lecherpa ulebizot" in the Neilah service to "eyr
hakodesh od lo nigalah") or to refrain from saying prayers that are
aginst one's personal ethos.  This will not appeal to everyone however.

Ben Z. Katz, M.D.
Children's Memorial Hospital, Division of Infectious Diseases
2300 Children's Plaza, Box # 20, Chicago, IL 60614
Ph 773-880-4187, Fax 773-880-8226


From: I. Harvey Poch <harvpoch@...>
Date: Sun, 11 Jun 2000 16:35:49 -0400
Subject: Re: Instructions in Sidurim

> Issie Scarowsky <issie.scarowsky@...> wrote:
> <<I noted that the ashkenaz Tikun Meir siddur states that on these days we do
> not recite Lamenatseach. ... how is it that one edition of a siddur can
> provide instructions that seem to be contrary to most other sources? What is
> known about the Tikun Meir siddur?>>

The Hebrew Publishing Company, which put out the Tikun Meir as well as
the Machzor Kol Bo, took them as they were from their European editions.
(The only exception that I can recall is that, in the prayer for the
government, they changed "Czar Nikolai Alexandrovitch" - or "Czar
Alexander Nikolayevitch" - to "haPresident vehaVice-President {in
Hebrew} of the United States of America {in English}".)

The printers in Europe had published both Ashkenaz and Sephard (i.e.
Chassidic, not Edot haMizrach) editions, and were not perfect in
documenting either the instructions or the nusach. There are many
errors, of which laMenatzayach during the three days before Shovu'os is
one. The assumption must be made that the nusach Sephard siddur was
printed first, and that the instruction was not edited when the nusach
Ashkenaz was typeset - the block of type must have been moved, as is,
into the Ashkenaz edition.

><< Finally, is it possible that the directions are in error and, if so, how do
> we come to trust siddur directions in general?>>

Yes, it is possible that siddur and machzor instructions are in error
(e.g. the Birnbaum for Yom Kippur has the Aron Kodesh closed during most
of Ne'iloh). The safest solution is for the Gabbo'im of the shul to know
the minhogim of the community and to be sure they are reported to the
ba'al tefilloh *before* the davening, and that they are enforced.

P.S. Long time no hear. Please respond off line and bring me up to date.


From: Anonymous
Date: Mon, 12 Jun 2000 13:31:02 +0200
Subject: Shabbat Conferences

Carl Singer writes:

> I'm a bit nonplused by the phrase "that someone is forced to go to" --
> no not because it ends in a preposition.  I don't know your circumstanes
> (obviously) but I'm sure that can with minimal effort (a few phone
> calls) find a family to host you for Shabbos -- you leave the conference
> Friday afternoon, spend Shabbos as guests of that host family -- return
> to the conference either Saturday night or Sunday morning.  You won't
> get fired, the company stock won't tumble, your chances for promotion
> won't be diminished, etc.  If you feel that you are forced, then you've
> already made certain decisions (which is, of course, your right and
> responsibility.)

I suspect the Shabbos conference thing is more common and often a bit
more complicated than that. Recently, I did not attend a Shabbos
conference because the "most important session" took place on Shabbos
morning, and I told people in advance that were I to attend the
conference, I would leave Shabbos morning to go to a minyan (I had
already ascertained that there was one within walking distance). Someone
else, who was more willing to forego tfilla b'tzibur (davening with a
minyan) went in my place. If I felt my future with my company was at all
dependent on attending this conference, I might have felt pressured to
be more accomadating.

-- Anonymous


From: Joseph Tabory <taborj@...>
Date: Mon, 12 Jun 2000 05:37:58 +0200
Subject: Re: Tikun Sofrim

>From: Chaim Mateh <chaimm@...>
>In vol 32 #44, Joseph Tabory <taborj@...> wrote
><<The "frum" explanation is that the "corrections of the sofrim" were
>actually done by G-d in the original edition of the Torah and are called
>"corrections of the sofrim" only because "corrections" of this nature were
>commonly done by scribes.>>
>By "frum" I presume you mean to the Rashba, Sifsei Chachamim, Minchas Shai,
>various commentaries on the Medrash, and other commentaries?!

I don't understand why you think that the Rashba etc. are not to be
considered as "frum". I do not consider this term pejorative. Perhaps I
should have described this approach as more fundamentalist.

><< The more reasonable explanation is that the scribes actually changed the
>text of the Torah. >>
>Huh?  Exactly who gives these more "reasonable" explanations?  Do you mean
>to say that the Rashba et al give _unreasonable_ explanations?

When the Rashba disagrees with Tosafot or other earlier rishonm, is he
implying that their explanations are "unreasonable"? See the
introduction of the Ramban to his animadversions on Ba'al hama'or.

><<The reason that this explanation is more reasonable, especially in this
>context, is that the whole purpose of the passage is to show the modesty or
>humility of G-d.   It would be strange to think that He changed the text to
>hide His humility.>>
>Lots of passages in the Torah seem to us, at first glance, to be "strange".
> Comes along the commentaries, be they the Talmud, Rishonim, or Achronim,
>and shed light on the topic and tell us the real meaning of the "strange"

We are not discussing a passage in the Torah but rather how a midrash
understood the concept of "tikkun sofrim". I don't think that you have
referred to a commentator on this passage who claims that this
particular midrash understands tikkun sofrim as referring to the way G-d
wrote the text. I agree that many, if not all, of the other texts are
sufficiently ambiguous to be explained either way. I also agree that the
way this midrash understands the concept of tikkun sofrim may differ
with the way it is to be understood in other texts of
hazal. Nevertheless, I think that this text does mean that human beings
changed the text. You could argue that we don't really understand this
text but this is just copping the issue. Since this is not a halakhic
question which has to be decided one way or the other, a theory
presented by a midrashic text is just as valid as a theory presented by
one of the rishonim.

><< It is much more reasonable that He wrote in the Torah that He stood
>before Abraham to teach us a lesson in humility. However, the scribes
>thought it more important to protect the honor of G-d and so they changed
>the text.>>
>WADR the "classic" explanation of what Tikun Sofrim is (i.e., _not_ changed
>by Chazal), is put forward by the majority of commentaries. 

I don't know what WADR stands for, and I have not counted all the
commentaries. I have already stated that the "standard" explanation of
"tikkun sofrim" is that these are not instances in which the Torah was
changed by humans but I am arguing that we can find a basis for another
understanding in rabbinic literature (assuming that midrash tanhuma is
included in this category). Incidentally, Rav Ya'akov Weinberg states,
in his Fundamentals of Faith, that the principle of the Rambam that the
Torah is immutable does not mean that the Torah that we have today is
letter true to the Torah which Moshe Rabbeinu wrote.

Joseph Tabory
Department of Talmud, Bar Ilan University
Ramat Gan, 59200, Israel
(972) 3-5318593,   email:  mailto:<taborj@...>

From: Carl Singer <CARLSINGER@...>
Date: Sun, 11 Jun 2000 09:51:17 EDT
Subject: Re: Tikun Sofrim

If tomorrow morning someone unearthed an n'th century Torah scroll in
perfect condition and this scroll had ONE WORD different than the
currently accepted geersah what would be the appropriate halachik

And let's not play with the authenticity of this newly discovered Sefer

Carl Singer


From: Elie Rosenfeld <erosenfe@...>
Date: Mon, 12 Jun 2000 10:28:47 -0400
Subject: Why we are strict on 2nd day of Yom Tov

The question was raised as to whether the 2nd day of Yom Tov should be
concluded earlier since it is only Rabbinical in origin.

While I have not heard of any view in favor of ending Yom Tov earlier
than the common "42 minutes" after sunset used for ending Shabbos, I do
know of people who keep 72 minutes for Shabbos each week but do not
adopt that stringency for Yom Tov, for the very reason raised by the
questioner.  Since whenever Yom Tov ends into Chol or Chol-HaMoed it is
always a 2nd, Rabbinical day of Yom Tov, they do not feel the need to be
as strict as they are for Shabbos, which is Biblical.

Of course all this is only outside Eretz Yisroel.




From: Russell Hendel <rhendel@...>
Date: Sun, 11 Jun 2000 22:54:17 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: RE: Womens obligation to Pray in a Minyan

Akiva Miller In Mail Jewish Volume 32 Number 32 writes
My understanding is similar to Dr. Hendel's, that according to the
Rambam, when a person is in trouble, there is a Biblical obligation to
pray, and this applies to both men and women. (See Sefer Hachinuch 433;
I'm not sure exactly where this appears in the Mishneh Torah.)
No. My understanding is that the RambaN holds that the Biblical obligation
to pray is when a person is in trouble.The RambaM explicitly states that
the Biblical obligation to pray is daily (Rambam Prayer 1:1)

Akiva continues
But there is no specific form which the Torah requires for that prayer.
How can it be possible that "all men/women are Biblically required to
say Shmoneh Esray when they have needs"? Does the Rambam hold that the
text of the Shmoneh Esray was known in biblical times?

This is answered by Rav Hirsch who points out that the FORM of prayer
existed in Temple times and corresponded to the form of the sacrifices.
Furthermore the Rambam explicitly states in Prayer 1:4-5 that the form
of the Shmoneh Esray was made by the Prophet-Sages of the great
Assembly (and presumably they made it equally for men and women)

Akiva's last question is
My second question concerns Dr. Hendel's third point, in (c). Suppose
that a woman has needs of the sort which gives her a biblical obligation
to pray. Is there a Rambam somewhere which explicitly states that she
must say her prayer together with a minyan of ten men?
Yes--- I intepret Rambam 8:1 "The prayers of the community (10 men) are
ALWAYS heard..therefore a person should always strive to pray with the
community" to mean that whether they are women or men they should pray
with the community and that has a superior status

Russell Jay Hendel; Phd ASA
<RHendel@...>; Math Towson
Moderator Rashi is Simple


From: Carl M. Sherer <cmsherer@...>
Date: Mon, 12 Jun 2000 13:03:16 +0200
Subject: 'Yihye' and 'Tihye'

Perets Mett writes:

> What is all this tihiye and yihiye business?  The vowel under the hey is
> a shvo (noch), so the words are 'yihye' and tihye'

I was taught to read both of those heh's as mapik heh's.

-- Carl M. Sherer
mailto:<cmsherer@...> or mailto:sherer@actcom.co.il
Please daven and learn for a Refuah Shleima for my son, Baruch Yosef ben
Adina Batya among the sick of Israel.  Thank you very much.


End of Volume 32 Issue 53