Volume 34 Number 02
                 Produced: Tue Jan  2  5:57:23 US/Eastern 2001

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Chag implies a Karban Chagiga
         [Shlomo Pick]
Chanukah Postings
         [Leona Kroll]
Chanukka a Chag?
         [Alan Cooper]
Hanuka Candle/Candles
         [Gershon Dubin]
Implausible Etymology
         [Jay F Shachter]
Learning out loud
         [Yaakov Feldman]
         [Meylekh Viswanath]
Mirror in the Case
         [Yerachmiel Askotzky]
Mirrors and Tefillin (2)
         [Eli Linas, Gershon Dubin]
Shabbat and Modern Convenience
         [David Charlap]
Son of Hanuka Candles Question (2)
         [Yeshaya Halevi, Avi Feldblum]


From: Shlomo Pick <picksh@...>
Date: Mon, 01 Jan 2001 18:35:35 +0200
Subject: Chag implies a Karban Chagiga

Ps. 81,4 refers to rosh hashanah - the talmud (BT rosh hashana 8 a-b)
and rishonim (e.g. Tosophot ad loc s.v. shehachodesh mitkaseh) uses this
verse for deriving halakhot in reference to rosh hashanah. rosh hashanah
has NO korban chagiga. hence, not always does chag imply korban chagiga.

shlomo pick


From: Leona Kroll <leona_kroll@...>
Date: Tue, 2 Jan 2001 00:24:10 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Chanukah Postings

> "Since "hanerot halalu" is phrased in the plural ("anachnu madlikin")
> perhaps it could still refer to the basic mitzvah requirement, but be
> referring to the nerot lit by the entire Jewish people."

I really like this interpretation.

On another topic- Alexander Seinfeld asked for a source for calling some
holidays "chag" and not others. In the siddur, some holidays receive
that title in Shemoneh Esrei and others do not, which might imply that
to Anshei Knesset HaGadol there was a distinction. The nusach is not,
for instance, "Chag HaZicharon" or some other phrase including the word
chag. There is, however, in davening a "chag simchasanu", etc.  Chanukah
is further distinguished from the yomim tovim in the use of "Migdol" in
bentching. In that sense, Chanukah and Purim are like weekdays.


From: Alan Cooper <amcooper@...>
Date: Mon, 01 Jan 2001 10:08:58 -0500
Subject: Chanukka a Chag?

Leona Kroll wrote:

>I thought that "Chag" applies only to the shalosh regalim, and not to
>Rish Hashannah, Yom Kippur, or- obviously- Shabbos, though all three are
>Holy Days mentioned in the Torah, and I've never heard anyone say "Chag
>Sameach" on these days.  It's interesting that people don't make that
>mistake, nor have I ever heard anyone say "chag sameach" on Purim but
>only on Chanukah. Any idea why?

 From the Hasmonean point of view, Chanukka was most definitely a chag,
in the sense that it was an annual festival during which special
offerings were made in the Temple.  See 1 Maccabees 4:59, where the
annual celebration of Chanukka is commanded to commemorate the
dedication of the Temple altar: "Judah, his brothers, and the whole
congregation of Israel decreed that, at the same season each year, the
dedication of the altar would be observed with joy and gladness for
eight days, beginning on the twenty-fifth of Kislev."  2 Maccabees
10:6-7 suggest that the celebration was modeled on Sukkot: "The joyful
celebration lasted eight days, like the feast of Sukkot . . . . Carrying
garlanded wands and flowering branches, as well as palm-fronds, they
chanted hymns [possibly the Hallel, which is quoted in 1 Macc 4:24] to
the One who had so triumphantly achieved the purification of His own

See also the fine discussion of Hasmonean "chaggim" in Prof. Tabory's
Mo`adei yisra'el bi-tqufat ha-mishna ve-ha-talmud, pp. 368ff.

There is no analogy between Chanukka and Purim, the latter being a
Diaspora innovation entailing no Temple rites.  Whether people nowadays
say "chag sameach" on Chanukka with knowledge of its historical
background or out of mere ignorance is a separate issue.  There is,
nevertheless, historical justification for regarding Chanukka as a chag,
even if that justification comes from "apocryphal" rather than normative
rabbinic sources.

Alan Cooper


From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Mon, 1 Jan 2001 15:13:57 -0500
Subject: Hanuka Candle/Candles

From: Wendy Baker <wbaker@...> 

<<Don't we also use the singular every week when we light our, at 
> minimun,two Shabbat candles.>>

        Exactly.  The mitzva of lighting candles for Shabbos requires
only one candle. The custom to use (at least) two is, if anything, even
more widespread than lighting multiple Chanuka candles, and is even of
Talmudic origin.  Nonetheless, the strict halacha is one.  QED.



From: Jay F Shachter <jay@...>
Date: Mon, 1 Jan 2001 08:43:56 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Implausible Etymology

In mail-jewish v33n98, one of the correspondents offered the following

> "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'

This is implausible.  I do not know why the writer of the above sees the
Hebrew words "sh'eyn lo" in the beginning of the latter word, when it is
both morphologically and semantically (why should there be a relative
pronoun at the beginning of the word?) more plausible to see instead the
Germanic particle "schlimm", which is both a word in its own right and a
highly productive prefix meaning "bad", like the Latin mal- or the Greek
dys-.  Given the well-document shift in meaning of the word "mazal" from
the original Hebrew meaning to the Yiddish word for "luck" or "fortune"
(a shift in meaning which is not disputed by the above writer), it seems
obvious that "shlimazal" is formed from "schlimm-" + "mazal": bad
fortune, bad luck.

As long as we are talking about the origin of Yiddish words (admittedly
somewhat peripheral to mail-jewish), I would be interested in knowing
whether anyone shares my impression that the sharp distinction between
"shlimiel" and "shlimazl" is only about a century or so old.  It seems
to be that in the older Yiddish literature the two words are more likely
to be used more or less synonymously.  This opens up the interesting
possibility that "shlimiel" is itself derived from "shlimazl" and that
speakers of the language subsequently made a useful distinction between
the two forms of the word (like royal/regal or renascence/renaissance).
Can we hear from people more expert than I in the history of Yiddish
regarding whether this speculation is plausible?

			Jay F. ("Yaakov") Shachter
			6424 N Whipple St
			Chicago IL  60645-4111


From: Yaakov Feldman <YFel912928@...>
Date: Mon, 1 Jan 2001 12:00:29 EST
Subject: Learning out loud

    What is the accepted halacha regarding learning out loud? Is it 
compulsary? Is one who seems to learn better by not uttering the words 
permitted, even encouraged to do that?
    The Alter Rebbe's "Hilchos Talmud Torah" is rather clear cut. It says 
that if one doesn't learn out loud, he's not credited with Talmud Torah-- 
unless he's delving into something in his mind at the time.
    Yet I've read where Rav Soloveitchik referred to learning out loud as a 
mere eitzah tovah for retention, and not at all obligatory.
    --Yaakov Feldman


From: Meylekh Viswanath <pviswanath@...>
Date: Mon, 01 Jan 2001 14:57:32 -0500
Subject: lustig

Shlomo Pick, inter alia says:
 >A illuminating chanuka (a lustige chanuka)

Maybe he did not mean to imply that lustige khanuke is to be translated
as "illuminating chanuka." If he did, may I point out that that's not
quite right. "Lustik" means, according to Weinreich's dictionary,
"cheerful," from "lust" "cheer." Probably related, if I am not mistaken,
to English, "lust," and "wanderlust."

Meylekh Viswanath (<pviswanath@...>)


From: Yerachmiel Askotzky <sofer@...>
Date: Mon, 1 Jan 2001 23:14:51 +0200
Subject: Mirror in the Case

>>I have seen a mirror built right into the tefillin cover of the shel

Since the mirror is glued in it would be as one entity and not as if one
was placing a mirror in the velvet bag.

kol tuv,

Rabbi Yerachmiel Askotzky, certified sofer and examiner
<sofer@...>   www.stam.net   1-888-404-STAM(7826)


From: Eli Linas <linaseli@...>
Date: Mon, 01 Jan 2001 14:26:16 +0200
Subject: Re: Mirrors and Tefillin

>As a quick answer, let me bring the free translation of a responsum on
>this subject from "Sheelot U-Teshivot Divrey Hayim" (Rabbi Hayim of
>Sanz), vol.  II, Orah Hayim  6):
>"Regarding your question whether one should look in a mirror to check
>that the tefilin are in the middle of the head -- this is a practice due
>to ignorance (divrey borut) because even if they are not totally well
>oriented, its is kasher, as it is known that there is enough space on
>the head to place two tefilin [I assume in height as it is the custom by
>sefaradim who wear Rashi and Rabbenu Tam at once, assumption supported
>by what follows--my note] and even in width and there is no measure
>(shi'ur) for tefilin in width."

It seems to me that this might not be so simple. I understand that until 
relatively recently, certainly including R' Chaim's time, the "standard" 
tefillin that people wore were dakos, and not gasos. Dakos, are of course, 
much smaller than gasos. And, as a matter of fact, the people I know who 
wear Rashis and R. Tams at the same time wear dakos. This would mean that 
certainly for one daka, there is indeed a lot of room. However, this might 
not be the case with a gasa.

Eli Linas

From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Mon, 1 Jan 2001 15:22:15 -0500
Subject: Mirrors and Tefillin

        I would like to add that while many people are careful to use a
mirror to get their tefilin centered just so, which is really not all
that important as you mention, they are not nearly careful enough to
make sure that their tefilin don't go below their hair line, which is
not only important, but critical to the proper performance of the
mitzvah.  "Tefilin in the wrong place are as though they are still in
their bag".



From: David Charlap <shamino@...>
Date: Mon, 01 Jan 2001 20:21:58 -0500
Subject: Re: Shabbat and Modern Convenience

Eli Turkel wrote:
> 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?

Based on what I've read here so far, it would seem to me that the
differences are:
    - Do you benefit from the work done?
    - Did you intend to trigger the sensor when you walked in front of

1: In the case of an automated display in a store window on your way to
   shul, you are not benefitting from the work, and your walking in
   front of the display is not for the purpose of turning the display

2: In the case of an automatic light at your neighbor's house, you may
   or may not benefit from the light, but you are not entering/leaving
   your house with the intention of turning their light on.

3: In the case of an automatic light over your own house, or on your
   shul, you are definitely benefitting from the light, but you probably
   are not walking through the door with the intent of triggering it.

4: In the case of an automatic door or an automatic toilet, you are
   definitely benefitting from the work, and you are almost certainly
   intending to cause the work to be done.

WRT which of these categories would be OK and which would be forbidden,

-- David


From: Yeshaya Halevi <chihal@...>
Date: Mon, 1 Jan 2001 13:06:25 -0600
Subject: Son of Hanuka Candles Question

        I thank all the erudite people who replied to my question regarding
why we recite the Hanuka candle bracha (blessing) in the singular form
("lihadleek ner") and not in the plural ("lihadleek nayrot") -- especially
when we immediately follow up by saying "Hanayrot halalu" ("These candles").
        The most logical answer I've seen so far seems to point to the
obligation to light only one candle per night: the candle numbers 2-8 are
"window dressing," but not obligatory. BUT:
        On the first night, when we light only one candle plus the shamash,
we also say "Hanayrot halalu" ("These candles" {plural}). However, as the
words of "Hanayrot halalu" clearly say, the only one that counts is the
non-shamash candle. Yet, within "Hanayrot halalu" we begin by using the
plural for candles, and then go on to say that "And all 8 days of Hanuka,
these **candles** -- plural -- are holy, and we have no right to utilize
them, just see them" to remind us of the miracles.
        Back to square one, then: on the first night we bless for the
(singular) candle, yet continue to follow by saying these **candles**
(plural) are holy.  However, the sole purpose of the shamash candle is to
NOT be holy!

Yeshaya Halevi (<chihal@...>)

From: Avi Feldblum <mljewish@...>
Date: Tue, 2 Jan 2001 05:34:09 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: Son of Hanuka Candles Question

> From: chihal <chihal@...>
> Yet, within "Hanayrot halalu" we begin by using the
> plural for candles, and then go on to say that "And all 8 days of Hanuka,
> these **candles** -- plural -- are holy, and we have no right to utilize
> them, just see them" to remind us of the miracles.

As they say, in your question, is the answer. The song is clearly not
refering just to the one candle you have just lit, but is talking about
the candles of the entire Chanuka holiday, that the candles, as a group,
are holy. You would not expect to have two different versions of this
song, one for the first day of Hanuka, one for the rest.

Avi Feldblum


End of Volume 34 Issue 2