Volume 34 Number 64
                 Produced: Thu May 31  7:26:53 US/Eastern 2001

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

4 Reasons why NACH is ignored
         [Russell Hendel]
Another correction
         [Shmuel Himelstein]
Ashqenazi Qomotz
         [Michael Frankel]
Baruch Hashem le'olam
         [Eli Turkel]
Jewish Catalogs
         [Shmuel Himelstein]
Milk spoiling -- Chalav Yisroel
Repetition of Words in Prayer
         [Bernard Raab]
Size of Measurements
         [Mark Steiner]
Tefilla question - Phraseology
         [Mark Steiner]
Tfila Phraseology
         [Gilad J. Gevaryahu]
Torah and Archeology
         [Mike Gerver]


From: Russell Hendel <rhendel@...>
Date: Tue, 22 May 2001 22:12:14 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 4 Reasons why NACH is ignored

Nachum Klafter in v34n47 continues the thread, started by
Ben Katz in v34n43, on why Navi is not learned.

Allow me to summarize a lecture by Rabbi Dr Yitzchak Twersky,
The Talner Rebbe, which he delivered in the early 70s to
a college shabbaton at the Young Israel of Brookline.
He enumerated 4 reasons why people prefer gmarrah to Tnach. 
They are

* Practical considerations--people have to know what to do
* status--your learning is measured by your knowledge of gmarrah
* There is an obscure Talmudic statement < keep your children
  away from logic (higayon) >. While some have interpreted this
  statement to refer to philosophy many have referred it to Tnach
* The Christian influence---During the middle ages the Church
  tried to justify its religion by a misinterpretation of 
  Nach. Hence it was felt safer to ignore the potential for
  such discussions.

Russell Jay Hendel; http://www.RashiYomi.Com/


From: Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...>
Date: Wed, 23 May 2001 15:55:00 +0200
Subject: Another correction

Mark Symons noted:

> And while on the example of Yehallelu, most people, at least in the Shules
> where I davven, start the response incorrectly as: HODU (Al ERETZ
> VESHAMAYIM) instead of HODO, which gives it a completely different Meaning

We should note the same problem with Pesukei d'Zimraž the paragraph
which begins, "Hallelukah, Hallelu et Hashem min HaShamayim," whose
second-last verse includes the words, "HODO al Eretz VeShaayim," and NOT
"HODU." This is unfortunately a very common error.

Shmuel Himelstein


From: Michael Frankel <mechyfrankel@...>
Date: Tue, 22 May 2001 10:24:38 -0700
Subject: Re: Ashqenazi Qomotz

Mark Steiner writes: <Some time ago, I posted an article asserting that
in the Massorah (i.e. traditional "Tiberian" vocalization of the Torah
which has been adopted by all Jews everywhere, on the authority of the
Rambam, I would say). <What seems to have happened (according to linguists
I consulted; this is not my own expertise) is that the Ashkenazim, but
not the Sefaradim, adapted their pronunciation to the Tiberian Massorah,
though earlier (as has been pointed out on this list) that Ashkenazic
pronunciation was also non-Massoretic.>

To perhaps amplify or clarify a bit - the above assertion that
ashkenazim switched to a "masoretic" pronunciation from a previous
non-masoretic practice was restricted to the articulation of the
qometz. I would have to take issue with the seemingly more generalized
assertion above that the < "traditional Tiberian" vocalization of the
Torah which has been adopted by all Jews everywhere>.  the ashkenazi
pronuciation was by no means "masoretic" or "tiberian" following this
change. Indeed nobody today, that I'm aware of anyway, articulates
hebrew according to the practice of the tiberian ba'alei mesoroh.
(e.g. sh'vohs following long vowels were generally silent within a word,
a voiced sh'voh was generally sounded like a patach, though preceeding a
gutteral it took the sound of the guttural or before a chiriq sounded as
a chiriq except- etc etc). Also the suggestion that the catalyst for the
gradual changeover (in 13th century) to the current ashkenazi qomotz
from its previous sefaradi pronunciation was due to the diffusion of the
tiberian mesorah into europe is indeed popular with linguists - but it
remains conjectural and is disputed by other linguists who champion
instead the influence of indigenous european language usages in
modifying accents. not a professional linguist myself, i got no dawg in
that fight but do wonder why the supposed influence of tiberian practice
was felt only in europe but not in the many other centers where tiberian
mesorah emerged triumphant.

 <To prove this, my brother points out that chassidim (and other groups)
pronounce the word for "woman, wife": ishoo, but the word for "her man,
her husband" as "ishaw", because the latter ends on a closed syllable
(mappiq he). What is fascinating is that the groups in question don't
pronounce the mappiq he, because they have lost it, and yet they
maintain the "correct" qometz as though it were a closed syllable. I
don't believe he has published this material yet, so this is a scoop for
mail-jewish readers. Needless to say, this tradition is not Massoretic
either, any more than the Sefaradic tradition is. >

while your brother's thesis may well be true (far from my own
professional focus and I'm not competent to judge), at first blush the
supporting ra'ayoh described above seems problematic.  The fact is that
ashkenazim do not seem to have much of a living language tradition of
hebrew outride of a literary and liturgical context. Thus, while I can
easily imagine that a common noun, ishoh (woman/wife), was likely to be
regularly pronounced as part of an absorption of hebraisms into spoken
language, I find it difficult to imagine a common context for usage of a
compound word in s'michus form like ishohh (mappiq) in everyday speech
outside of the liturgical arena. And here we davka do not find any
disappearance of the mappiq hey, as any even semi-careful ashkenazi
leiner today will hit his mappiqs. nor I have heard any suggestion that
ba'alei q'rioh of previous generation did not take similar care.

To round out this post a bit, I should mention that it is davka (and
alas - but we must confront the truth as we find it) the sefaradi
pronunciation of the qomotz which seems to have the better ancient bona
fides as the qomotz-"a" seems well attested in 2nd and 3rd century greek
transliterations from eretz yisroel. On the other hand, considerably
later on - during the early geonic/ba'alei mesoroh era, both the
"ashkenazi"/o and "sefaradi"/a - seem well attested pronunciations
co-existing in both bovel and eretz yisroel.  Also, along with the
already mentioned bavli and tiberian traditions, for completeness one
should also mention the third major system, the "palestinian" mesorah
which did not distinguish bwetween qomotz and patach (not quite complete
as there was also some hybrid palestinian-tiberian system, not to
mention the samaritan system).

Mechy Frankel				W: (703) 588-7424
<mechyfrankel@...>		H: (301) 593-3949


From: Eli Turkel <Eli.Turkel@...>
Date: Wed, 23 May 2001 14:11:58 +0200
Subject: Baruch Hashem le'olam

> When I visited Israel a couple of years before I made aliyah, I asked
> a shayla, and was told not to say "Baruch Hashem le'olam" in maariv,
> even though that was my minhag at home, since it would be considered a
> hefsek [interruption in davening].  When I recently visited the US for
> the first time since making aliyah, I never got around to asking about
> the reverse case, so wasn't sure whether to say it.  The first couple
> of nights I said "Baruch Hashem le'olam" without even thinking about
> it, even though I hadn't said it for 10 months, because I was davening
> in a place where I was so used to saying it.  After that, when I did
> think about it, and still hadn't to remembered to ask the shayla, I
> decided not to say it, since it would be better not to follow my
> minhag than to risk making a bracha mevatala or hefsek. Of course,
> when I was shliach tzibbur at maariv one night, I followed the minhag
> of the shul and did say it.

The psak that I have seen is that an Israeli abroad should preferably
not say Baruch Hashem le'olam. Even a shaliach tzibbur need not say it
on condition that he can go straight to kaddish and it would not be
noticeable. However, if people would notice, then as Gerver notes one
must use the local nuscah.

Eli Turkel


From: Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...>
Date: Wed, 23 May 2001 15:38:53 +0200
Subject: Jewish Catalogs

While the three Jewish Catalogs are a lot of fun (I own all three,
bought at the time they were published - there I go dating myself), a
word of caution: they offer lots of what I'd call "pop-Halachah," not
all of which is Halachically correct. So you're back to CYLOR.

Shmuel Himelstein


From: Anonymous
Date: Wed, 23 May 2001 08:14:09 EDT
Subject: Milk spoiling -- Chalav Yisroel

I find that Chalav Yisroel milk that I've purchased "goes bad" two or
three days before the "sell by date" on the bottle.  This does not hold
true for Chalav Stam that I also purchase (we do not hold by Chalav
Yisroel, but will purchase it as a convenience if in the local "kosher
store" rather than make a separate trip elsewhere.)

This "bad milk" situation has happened frequently enough for me to take
notice.  It seems to be worse (more frequent) in hot weather.

Logically, I attribute this to one of four causes -- all of which
trouble me.

1 - the smaller dairy that produces Chalav Yisroel, is somehow
difficient or less proficient (re: temperature, cleanliness, whatever)
than the Chalav Stam dairy

2 - the Chalav Staqm dairy is adding something that the Chalav Yisroel
dairy doesn't.

3 - The Chalav Yisroel dairy is more "liberal" in their dating
procedures -- my spouse tells me of seeing Chalav Yisroel milk with an
experation date that's "longer" than that at the supermarket.

4 - Poor local food handling by the kosher distribution chain -- either
the truck, the store, etc., not being crisp re: unloading,
refrigerating, etc.

Any thoughts?

Anonyomous -- I don't want to divulge my community and thus the store 


From: Bernard Raab <beraab@...>
Date: Wed, 23 May 2001 12:36:14 -0400
Subject: Repetition of Words in Prayer

>In the same vein, we have important halakhic decisors forbidding the
>repetition of words in prayers written without repetition, and most
>particularly when a biblical verse is involved.  Many hazzanim and
>shelihei tzibbur observe this rule in the breach.  And in modern times,
>Harav Shelomo Goren used to "drive his hazzanim crazy" by insisting that
>they desist from such a practice.

Most (or all) shuls in Silver Spring, Maryland strictly adhere to a
"no-repetition" rule, with a (very) few exceptions for some popular
melodies. This is a practice which started when there was only one
orthodox shul in the Washington suburbs (Shomrai Emunah) and grew with
the community as members branched out and formed new shuls. Now that we
no longer live in Silver Spring, it's very jarring and upsetting to hear
a chazzan repeat words or phrases. I'd be very interested to hear if
other shuls make an issue of it these days.


From: Mark Steiner <marksa@...>
Date: Wed, 23 May 2001 17:09:37 +0300
Subject: Re: Size of Measurements

Having consulted with Rav Neuwirth shlita (Shmirat Shabbat Kehilkhata) I
withdraw my earlier statement that the Hazon Ish was willing to rely on
his shiurim even lekula.  Rav Neuwirth agrees with Eli Turkel and others
who claimed that the Hazon Ish stated his opinion only lehumra.

Mark Steiner


From: Mark Steiner <marksa@...>
Date: Wed, 23 May 2001 15:07:54 +0300
Subject: Re: Tefilla question - Phraseology

Barchenu Babracha, Hameshuleshet Batorah, (instead of the correct:
Barchenu Babracha Hameshuleshet, Batorah Haketuvah al Yedei Moshe

This is not obviously correct either, because then haketuvah refers to
the Torah, instead of to the berakha, which it would seem to, because
ha-amurah refers to the berakha.  The best phraseology I have heard for
this would add another comma after the word Batorah.

Mark Steiner


From: Gilad J. Gevaryahu <Gevaryahu@...>
Date: Wed, 23 May 2001 10:50:56 EDT
Subject: Tfila Phraseology

Mark Symons (v34n61) lists the following error in the tfilah Phraseology:

<Barchenu Babracha, Hameshuleshet Batorah, (instead of the correct:
Barchenu Babracha Hameshuleshet, Batorah Haketuvah al Yedei Moshe

I already discussed this item in MailJewish v24n47, and suggested that
it is NOT an error.

Gilad J. Gevaryahu


From: Mike Gerver <Mike.Gerver@...>
Date: Wed, 23 May 2001 14:03:02 +0200
Subject: Torah and Archeology

Ozzie Orbach asks, in v34n47,

> Does anyone know of an archeology book that supports the torah's view of
> how the jewish people developed into a nation?  Ozzie Orbach

This may not be exactly what you have in mind, but Haim H. Ben Sasson
(ed.), "A History of the Jewish People," certainly has a respectful
attitude toward Jewish tradition.  The first chapter, on the patriarchal
period, gives several examples of customs of the Avot which make sense
in terms of what is now known about Middle Eastern civilizations in the
second millenium BCE, but which would not have made sense in later
times, when secular scholars of the 19th century Wellhausen school, and
their modern followers, claimed the Torah was written.

Personally, I don't think one ought to expect an archeology book to
conform to preconceived notions of the Torah view of things.  If it did,
it would not be very useful as evidence confirming what is said in the
Torah.  Rather, an archeology book ought to present the archeological
evidence, and draw the conclusions that naturally arise from it.  Of
course, an archeology book should not be prejudiced against the Torah
either, as many of them are.

Mike Gerver
Raanana, Israel


End of Volume 34 Issue 64