Volume 33 Number 98
                 Produced: Sun Dec 31 22:58:51 US/Eastern 2000

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Fifth Day of Hanukka
         [Daniel Katsman]
Need Reference - Tocho Kabaro
         [Paul Ginsburg]
Shabbat and Modern Convenience
         [Eli Turkel]
Shlumiel the shlemiel (4)
         [Stephen Phillips, Z'ev Scherman, Gershon Dubin, Sheldon Meth]
Spelling of Name Osna/Ahsneh
         [Boruch Merzel]
Territorial Waters of the Land of Israel
         [David Eisen]
U'meivi Goel
         [Joshua Hosseinof]
Yarchei Kallah in Elizabeth on Jan 1 from 9:00am - 11:15am
         [Moshe Feldman]


From: Daniel Katsman <hannahpt@...>
Date: Wed, 27 Dec 2000 22:13:22 +0200
Subject: Re: Fifth Day of Hanukka

Mike Gerver wrote:
<snip>.  This person has a theory (which he considers so
> farfetched that he doesn't want me to use his name here) that it has
> something to do with the fact that Shlumiel's parsha on Chanukah (read
> on the 5th day) is the only one that cannot fall on Shabbat.

I don't know about Shelumiel, but this is the second comment in two days
that I have seen about the 5th day of Hanukka not falling on Shabbat.
It should theoretically be possible, if Rosh Ha-Shana is on Tuesday
(=previous Pesah on Sunday) and Heshvan has thirty days.  However, then
Kislev also must have 30 days, which allows only two possibilities for
next Rosh Ha-Shana:

    1. Non-Leap Year -  next Rosh Ha-Shana will be on Sunday (impossible).

    2. Leap Year - next Rosh Ha-Shana will be on Tuesday again.  The
implication is that for two years in a row, Pesah would fall on Sunday.
That would certainly be rare, but is there any rule in the calendar that
doesn't allow it?

Daniel Katsman


From: Paul Ginsburg <GinsburgP@...>
Date: Fri, 29 Dec 2000 07:45:59 -0500
Subject: Need Reference - Tocho Kabaro

Does anyone know where in the Torah I can find the reference "tocho

Thank you in advance for your help.

Paul Ginsburg


From: Eli Turkel <turkel@...>
Date: Sun, 31 Dec 2000 17:44:13 +0200 (IST)
Subject: Shabbat and Modern Convenience

> <<  From: S&M Rosen <mrosen@...>
>  I am very interested in the current discussion on the automatic sensor
>  light issue as it is impacting us directly.  Our (Jewish) neighbor has
>  installed such a light and since our walkways are next to each other, it
>  is impossible to enter our house without triggering the floodlight.
>  There is no other means to enter/exit our house.  We have tried speaking
>  to this neighbor, appealing to city hall, and so forth, but the light
>  remains.  Either we are homebound Friday night or we will set off the
>  light.  Does anyone have a psak in a similar situation?  >>

A even harder question is automatic doors and even toilets in hotels
that also operate on automatic sensors.

Does anyone have a reason why there should be a difference between an
automatic sensor light and an automatic door opener or toilet flusher?

eli turkel


From: Stephen Phillips <stephenp@...>
Date: Wed, 27 Dec 2000 14:11 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: Re: Shlumiel the shlemiel

> From: Mike Gerver <Mike.Gerver@...>
> This morning's Torah reading brought up this question.  It seems obvious
> that the Yiddish word "shlemiel" comes from the name Shlumiel ben
> Tzurishedai.  But what is it about Shlumiel that makes him the
> archetypical shlemiel?  I heard, years ago, that it was because he was
> the first one to cross the Jordan River into Eretz Yisrael, recklessly
> ignoring the possible dangers to himself and to everyone else.  But
> someone pointed out to me this morning that only Yehoshua and Kalev,
> from that generation, entered Eretz Yisrael, so that explanation
> couldn't be right.  This person has a theory (which he considers so
> farfetched that he doesn't want me to use his name here) that it has
> something to do with the fact that Shlumiel's parsha on Chanukah (read
> on the 5th day) is the only one that cannot fall on Shabbat.
> Can anyone answer this question?

A friend of mine also raised this question (and mentioned the fact that
the 5th day of Chanukah cannot fall on Shabbat). I therefore consulted
the authority on such matters, namely the Microsoft Encarta Dictionary!
It gives the following entry for "schlemiel":

schlemiel (plural schlemiels) or schlemihl (plural schlemihls) noun US - 
an offensive term for somebody regarded as bungling, inept, or unlucky 
(slang insult) 

[Late 19th century. From Yiddish shlemiel, of uncertain origin: probably
from Shelumiel, biblical figure identified in the Talmud with a prince
who was killed while committing adultery.]

Encarta® World English Dictionary [World English Edition] © & (P) 
1999-2000 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
Developed for Microsoft by Bloomsbury Publishing Plc.   

I then checked my Soncino Talmud CD for Shelumiel who is mentioned only
in Tractate Sanhedrin 82b as follows:

R. Johanan said: [Zimri] had five names: Zimri, the son of Salu, Saul,
the son of the Canaanitish woman, and Shelumiel, the son of Zurishaddai.
Zimri, because he became like an addled egg [beza hamuzereth]; the son
of Salu, because he outweighed [hisli] the sins of his family; Saul,
because he lent himself [hish'il fr. sha'al] to sin; the son of the
Canaanitish woman, because he acted in a Canaanitish fashion, [i.e.,
depravedly]; whilst his real name was Shelumiel the son of Zurishaddai.

How being involved with Cozbi, the Midianite woman, (Bamidbar 25)
warrants a Yiddish word for an idiot being named for him, I really
cannot say.

Stephen Phillips.

From: Z'ev Scherman <zscherman@...>
Date: Thu, 28 Dec 2000 01:56:34 -0500
Subject: Re: Shlumiel the shlemiel

"Shlemiel" is a contraction/corruption of "SheAyn Lo Me'iel" -- there is
'no help' for him
just as "shlemazal" = "SheAyn Lo Mazal" -- he has 'no luck'
Z'ev  Scherman

From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Wed, 27 Dec 2000 09:28:47 -0500
Subject: Shlumiel the shlemiel

My understanding of this word was in connection with (I believe) the
Midrash that, as the prince of the tribe of Shimon, he is identical with
Zimri ben Salu, who was killed by Moshe Rabbenu in the act of znus with
a daughter of Midyan.

If so, then the thousands of his compatriots from the tribe of Shimon
"got away with it" for the meantime, while this Shlumiel got caught and
killed.  Of course, they got theirs later on, but I believe this is the


From: Sheldon Meth <SHELDON.Z.METH@...>
Date: Wed, 27 Dec 2000 08:40:17 -0500
Subject: Shlumiel the shlemiel

Shlumiel ben Tzurishaddai was Zimri ben Solu of Pinchas fame, and since he
was in the wrong place at the wrong time he was the seminal shlimiel (as
opposed to the shlemazel).

[The shlemazel climbs the ladder with the paint bucket, the shlimiel
walks under the ladder, the shlemazel fumbles, and the bucket lands on
the shlimiel.]


From: Boruch Merzel <BoJoM@...>
Date: Fri, 29 Dec 2000 14:06:17 EST
Subject: Re: Spelling of Name Osna/Ahsneh

<<  From: Mike Gerver <Mike.Gerver@...>
 > In 1988, when we were planning a headstone for my grandmother a"h, we
 > noticed that on her ketuba her Jewish name Osna was spelled
 > aleph-tav-nun-ayin. I had always assumed that "Osna" was a variant on
 > the Hebrew "Osnat" and should be spelled aleph-samekh-nun-he, but I
 > started to wonder whether there was a different origin to the name, and
 > some significance to the odd spelling on the ketuba.  I wrote to Zachary
 > Baker, who was (and may still be) the librarian at YIVO, asking him
 > about this.  He told me that there was no standardized spelling in
 > Yiddish before YIVO published their first dictionary in 1936, and that
 > there was no significance to the unusual spelling on the ketuba. >>

I have in my personal library a sefer entitled "Minchas Aharon" by Rav
Aharon Gordon published in NYC in 1907 dealing with correct spelling
(and pronouciation) of Hebrew and Yiddish names for the purposes of
Gitin.  This Sefer was considered a standard text and used by rabbonim
and soferim in this country for many years.  There were similiar books,
perhaps not quite as detailed as this, used in Europe many years before.
Obviously, there was a standardized spelling for names before YIVO
dictionary of 1936 .

According to this sefer, Mike Gever's Grandmother's name, Osna is
spelled: Aleph, Samech, Nun, Aleph and voweled with a patach under first
Aleph and the Nun with a Segol, thus pronounced "Ahs-neh".(This would
explain the Ayin ending used in the Ketuba, as the Ayin is pronounced as
a Segol in Yiddish).Though Rav Gordon insists on the Aleph ending, he
would, however, accept a Get if the name were spelled with a Heh at the
end, "although l'chatchilah it would be proper to write it as explained
(with an Aleph) as essentially correct."

Rabbi Hyman E, Goldin in his Hamadrikh, however, under his list of
women's names does have Aleph, Samech, Nun, Heh and transliterates it as

What to me is most puzzling in the grandmother's ketuba, is the use of
the letter Sav (or Tav) in place of the Samech.  In all my Yiddish
reading over the years I have never seen a Sav used for the "S" sound.
Certainly, the Sav makes no sense in this instance. So, whoever, filled
in the Ketuba got the last Aleph right, but made a whopper of a mistake
in using the "Sav".

Boruch Merzel


From: David Eisen <eisend@...>
Date: Wed, 27 Dec 2000 15:27:20 +0200
Subject: Territorial Waters of the Land of Israel

Is there such a concept as territorial waters of the Land of Yisrael
with respect to Kidushat Eretz Yisrael? And if so, what would be the
halakhic ramifications to the following issues:

1. Are edible plants that grow in the floorbed of the sea - e.g.,
seaweed, subject to Mitzvot Hatluyot Baaretz? (As an aside, are such
plants considered Gidulei Karka and is a Borei Pri Haadama made on
cooked seaweed?)

2. If underwater cities were to be developed (I know that this is a bit
science fictiony), were a person to immigrate to such city located in
the territorial waters of Eretz Yisrael, would such person fulfill the
Mitzva of Yishuv Eretz Yisrael?

3. How far do such waters extend beyond the land borders of Eretz

I would greatly appreciate a prompt response provided with
mekorot. Thank you and Hag Urim Sameach!

B'virkat Hatorah,

David Eisen
Bet Shemesh, Israel


From: Joshua Hosseinof <hosseino@...>
Date: Thu, 28 Dec 2000 18:38:42 -0500 (EST)
Subject: U'meivi Goel

Does anyone know which is the correct form of the phrase "u'meivi goel"
in the first beracha of Shmoneh esreh?  In many siddirum (Artscroll
among them) the letter gimmel of goel has a dagesh (dagesh qal), in
other siddurim (qoren, rinat yisrael) the gimmel of goel has no dagesh.
According to the rules of hebrew grammar, a bgdkft letter at the
beginning of a word always has a dagesh unless it follows a word that
ends in aleph, heh, vav, or yud.  There are a few exceptions to the
cases where it follows a word ending in aleph, heh, vav, or yud, such
that the bgdkft letter will still get a dagesh.  However, as far as I
can tell this should not be one of those cases.  Any insight as to the
reasoning behind siddurim that put the dagesh in the gimmel (other than
the don't know any better)


From: Moshe Feldman <MFeldman@...>
Date: Thu, 28 Dec 2000 14:28:57 -0500
Subject: Yarchei Kallah in Elizabeth on Jan 1 from 9:00am - 11:15am

> The JEC Community will host its first annual Yarchei Kallah on Monday,
> January 1, 2001 from 9am - 11:15am at the North Avenue shul (Adath Israel)
> located at 1391 North Ave. (corner of Stanton, one block off North Broad
> St.). 
> The speakers will be:
> 1.  Rabbi Aharon Kahn, a Rosh Yeshiva of the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan
> Theological Seminary (RIETS), speaking on "The Hashkafah of Birchas
> Hamazon" @ 9:00 am
> 2.  Rabbi Heinemann, Rabbinic Director of the Star-K, speaking on "Kashrus
> in the 21st Century" @ 10:00 am  (question & answer session to follow).
Refreshments will be served.

Elizabeth is only 30 minutes from Flatbush when there is light traffic.  It
is also convenient from Passaic, Fairlawn, Highland Park, etc.  There is a
bus from Port Authority (only 30 minutes).

Directions from Brooklyn:

1. Take the Verrazano Bridge to Staten Island Expwy to the Goethals Bridge.

2.  At the end of the Goethals, you'll see various exits--take the second
from the right (follow signs to Bayway Avenue WEST, going towards routes 1 &
3.  At the light, make a left.
4.  At the first light, make a right (remember you can make a right on red
in NJ) onto Bayway Avenue.
5.  At the third light, make a right onto South Broad Street.
6.  Continue straight for a number of minutes.  Becomes North Broad Street
(after passing under train overpass).
7.  After you pass through the center of town, you'll enter a residential
area.  (Make sure to stay on North Broad rather than Newark Ave.)  Soon,
you'll reach North Ave.  [If by mistake you ended up on Newark Avenue, just
make a left when you get to North Ave.]
8.  Right onto North Ave.  Go one short block.  
9.  Make left onto Stanton Ave., past shul building and make a left into
parking lot.  (Note that the parking lot will probably be jam-packed, so if
you park inside, you will not be able to leave until the entire program is
10.  Shul address is 1391 North Ave.

Directions from NJ Turnpike:
1.  Get off at exit 13A.
2.  Follow signs for North Avenue WEST (keep on following those signs while
on service road).
3.  At fork in road, bear right -- onto North Avenue.
4.  Go 5 minutes until shul, which is 1391 North Avenue (on the right).
Landmarks: after you pass under a overpass, you get to Newark Ave.; soon
afterwards you get to Stanton Ave--which is one block before the light for
North Broad Street.
5.  Parking is in back of the shul.

Directions from Garden State Parkway:
1.  If driving south, right after the Union tolls there is an exit for
Morris Ave.; I believe it's 143A, but I'm not sure.
2.  At Morris Ave., make a right and continue to North Avenue.
3.  Left onto North Ave.
4.  Stanton Ave. is one block past North Broad Street.

Any questions--call Moshe Feldman (908) 355-4561


End of Volume 33 Issue 98