Volume 34 Number 69
                 Produced: Wed Jun  6  7:29:50 US/Eastern 2001

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Announce: Book on Rav Soloveitchik
         [Eli Turkel]
Baruch Hashem Le'olam
         [Dov Ettner]
Birkat Kohaim
         [Chaim Sacknovitz]
can of peas - food labling
         [Sam Saal]
Commas in the Priestly Blessing
         [Andrew Klafter]
Correct Pronunciation of Hebrew Prayers
         [Gordon Papert]
The Difference between asking a Rebbe and Angel for a blessing
         [Russell Hendel]
Etymologies: Rav Hirsch vs Modern Scholars
         [Russell Hendel]
Newton's cubits
         [Isaac A Zlochower]
Placing the talis over one's head
         [Gershon Dubin]
Psychiatric Treatment in the Orthodox Community
         [Andrew Klafter]
Shabbas afternoon and Natilias Yadiam
         [Chaim Shapiro]
Request: Bar Mitzva Mail Project
         [Limor Sweid]
Request: Day School Info about Pittsburgh
         [Avi Feldblum]


From: Eli Turkel <Eli.Turkel@...>
Date: Fri, 1 Jun 2001 09:42:18 +0200 
Subject: Announce: Book on Rav Soloveitchik

I would like to announce the publication of my book "Mekorot HaRav"
which is an index ordered by subject and location in Shas/Rambam to the
works of Rav Soloveitchik and his students.

The book is available from Reuven Mass in Israel for 60NIS (45 NIS for
shavua hasefer)

Eli Turkel


From: Dov Ettner <dov.etner@...>
Date: Mon, 04 Jun 2001 13:14:06 +0300
Subject: Re: Baruch Hashem Le'olam

The Yemenite communities of "Nusach Baladi" in Israel chant this prayer
in the daily Maariv service as they did in Chutz L'aretz.

Dov Ettner


From: Chaim Sacknovitz <sacknovitz@...>
Date: Sun, 3 Jun 2001 13:08:41 -0400
Subject: Re: Birkat Kohaim

Re:  Mark Steiner's comments on the most appropriate way to recite the
introduction to Birkat Kohaim.

He is certainly correct in punctuating the sentence: "Barchenu Babracha
Hameshuleshet, Batorah Haketuvah al Yedei Moshe."  The Rav would add an
extra letter that taht made the sentence much clearer: Barchenu Babracha
Hameshuleshet, SHE'Batorah Haketuvah al Yedei Moshe.


From: Sam Saal <ssaal@...>
Date: Mon, 4 Jun 2001 06:10:29 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: can of peas - food labling

The following was an article, recently, in the New York Times:

May 31, 2001
Food Industry Agrees to Tighter Standard on Food Labeling 
Copyright 2001 The New York Times Company 

I wonder if this will change the dynamic of the discussion regarding the
need for Kosher certification. If labels will now - either through
industry initiatives or government regulation - required including even
trace amounts of ingredients, will we need certification our proverbial
can of peas?

Sam Saal         <ssaal@...>


From: Andrew Klafter <andrew.klafter@...>
Date: Tue, 5 Jun 2001 11:33:34 -0400
Subject: Commas in the Priestly Blessing

> From: Ephraim Sachs <ephi@...>
> > Barchenu Babracha, Hameshuleshet Batorah, (instead of the correct:
> > Barchenu Babracha Hameshuleshet, Batorah Haketuvah al Yedei Moshe
> > Avdecha)
> This is also problematic. The second half, Batorah HaKetuvah etc. isn't
> referring to anything. In fact, it's hard to thing of anywhere one can
> place the comma and still get an intelligible sentence.

I think you guys are taking this a little to far.

"Bless us with the blessing, the three-fold blessing in the Torah, which
was written by Your servant Moses."

That isn't an intellligible sentence?

I know a bit of Hebrew grammer, myself, and I urge those others of you
who know grammer to be sparing in your criticisms and choose your
battles--lest those who are ignorant of grammer catch on to how nitpicky
and nerdy we really are, and give a pitchon peh (translation: pischoyn
pai) to justify neglect of the proper study of the Hebrew language.
Some of these postings are becoming more annoying than the problems they
intend to correct.



From: Gordon Papert <gorab1@...>
Date: Tue, 5 Jun 2001 14:42:09 -0000
Subject: Correct Pronunciation of Hebrew Prayers

Since their has been a great deal of discussion recently on the proper
way to pronounce tefilot, I would like to suggest a book for further
research on this subject.

Dr. Shimshon A. Isseroff, formerly of the BJE in NY, who lives in
Brooklyn has published privately an instructive 108 page soft cover book
entitled: Sefer Dikdukey T'fila, The Correct Pronunciation of Basic
Hebrew Prayers and their underlying Grammatical Principles.

I would highly recommend this little volume to anyone interested in this

If you would like to contact him to order the book, please send me an
email and I will forward you his address and tel. # in Brooklyn.  (To my
knowlege, he does not have email.)

Gordon Papert


From: Russell Hendel <rhendel@...>
Date: Tue, 22 May 2001 22:13:37 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: The Difference between asking a Rebbe and Angel for a blessing

David Katz in Mail Jewish Volume 34 Number 52 makes the following
comment on the request in Shalom Aleichem to ask angels for blessings.

< And, besides, there are many instances in Talmudic literature where a
student asks a blessing from his teacher. (For that matter, don't
chassidim ask for blessings from their Rebbe?) So, where's the heresy in
asking for a bracha from an angel?

Rather than change a long standing minhag, I believe the proper approach
is to study the minhag and see if, despite our limitations, we can
understand the true meaning. >

Under other circumstances this request would be fair enough.  However
the reason for being so stringent in this case is because according to
many authorities asking angels for anything is a violation of Biblical
idolatry. The Bible explicitly says that we should not raise our eyes
heavenward to WORSHIP the heavenly objects (Dt04-15:19). Davids question
< What is the difference between asking a Rebbe and angel > is quite
simply that asking a non physical being for anything is PRAYER (while
asking a Rebbe is not); praying to an angel is idolatry according to the
verses I cited.

Thus this is a serious issue.

Russell Jay Hendel; Ph.d. A.S.A
Visit my Mail Jewish archives http://www.RashiYomi.Com/mj.htm


From: Russell Hendel <rhendel@...>
Date: Sun, 27 May 2001 17:48:05 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: RE: Etymologies: Rav Hirsch vs Modern Scholars

 In v34n42 I suggested that 

> While I cant offer historical information I can suggest an
> Etymology for the word Meshi in Ezekial (cited by Bob).
> The Hebrew root MooSH means to feel/touch/grope and as such would be a
> fitting word to denote material with a soft gentle silky texture.

In response Mike Gerver (v34n58) pointed out that "Brown, Driver, and
Briggs, Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament," (a) list
ORIGIN UNKNOWN, (b) cast doubt on whether the word meant silk or some
other expensive cloth.

I respectfully point out that I gave a reasoning above. There are many
precidents for relating 1-vav-3 and 1-2-hey roots (M-V-Sh and
M-Sh-He). Therefore I think more than an arguement of silence will be
needed to refute it.

In passing I point out that Rav Hirsch emphasized an INTERNAL
ETYMOLOGICAL APPROACH. Academic scholars by and large emphasize a
COMPARATIVE APPROACH to other languages. While some of his etymologies
may be speculative many of them are based on SOUND grammatical
principles and should not be ignored.

Russell Hendel; CHECK OUT MY MJ ARCHIVES http://www.RashiYomi.Com/mj.htm


From: Isaac A Zlochower <zlochoia@...>
Date: Thu, 31 May 2001 01:47:01 -0400
Subject: Newton's cubits

Prof. Mark Steiner cited some interesting material taken from a
little-known treatise of Newton.  While Newton's interest in biblical
and halachic matters is most admirable, he can hardly be considered an
expert on such issues.  The cited arguments for a large amah (>2 ft.),
which Prof. Steiner calls proofs, are, however, non-persuasive .  In
fact, a different view of some of these citations argues for an amah
which is in the 20 - 21 inch range.

First of all, a reference to material on the cubit in the Encyclopedia
Britannica, will show that the cubit of antiquity is based on or related
to the royal Egyptian cubit of 20.6 inches.  This cubit consisted of 28
"fingers".  In addition, there was a small cubit of 24 fingers (17.7
inches).  The Babylonian cubit was 20.9 inches, and the Greek Olympic
cubit of 24 fingers was 18.2 inches (16 fingers made 1 ft. or 12.15
inches).  Measurements of ancient building stones and structures in
Israel, particularly connected with the temples, give a value of about
20.7 inches (Leen Ritmeyer).  I see no justification for Newton's
assumption that the Judean amah was 6/5 of the Egyptian cubit.  The
evidence that I alluded to points, in fact, to an equivalence.

Secondly, what sense does it make to transmute the height and width of
the steps in the temple courtyard from 1/2 amah to an average of 10 and
18 inches?  Newton cites some Roman architect that steps should be no
higher than 10 inches nor wider than 18 inches.  It seems to me that
step height is more critical for easy climbing than width.  If 1/2 amah
were 10 inches, that would give a 20 inch amah.

Thirdly, Newton cites a figure of 5 ft, 6 in. for an average male height
and he makes that equivalent to 3 amot.  Even if correct, that gives an
amah of 22 inches - not the cited > 24 inches.  However, the Tosfot
(T.B. Pesachim 109b, "Be'rum shalosh amot") argue that the 3 amot height
of average person is reckoned only up to the head.  Subtracting roughly
6 inches from Newton's average height gives a 20 inch amah.

As to the differences between the temple dimensions in Roman cubits that
are cited by Josephus and those in amot from Mishnayot Midot, one needs
specific citations to insure that the same spacings are being measured.

The assumption of a large amah and the resultant conflict between volume
measurements based on that amah, and those based on egg size is an
innovation that requires more substantiation.  The Nodah Be'yehuda, who
first raised the issue, does not explain how he measured the size of an
etzba (1/24th of an amah).  I have heard (but can't verify) that he took
the average of the largest and smallest (boned) people in his Prague
community.  If so, that involves a clearly problematic assumption of
symmetry of his two single values about the real mean of the
distribution.  Even had he taken hundreds of measurements of thumb size
in his community, it would still not be valid for other communities and
other times.  Such issues are confounded by the separate issue of egg
size.  It would appear that eggs in central/eastern Europe in the 1700s
were small.  The Aruch Hashulchan living in Lithuania at the turn of the
20th century notes that eggs had become distinctly larger after a
certain species of hen was introduced into the country.  Both he and the
Mishnah Be'rurah argue against the assumption of the Nodeh Be'yehuda and
others that the talmudic measurements based on eggs need to be doubled.
R' Moshe Feinstein writes that he had made many measurements of thumb
size and finds that 24 thumb widths correspond to 21.25 inches.  His
measurement is at least consistent (1 egg = 7.20 cubic etzba'ot) with
that of an average American large-size egg (2.9 fl. oz.) and with the
measurement in dram weight of an average egg that is given by the Rambam
(see discussion by R' A. Blumenkrantz, Laws of Pesach).

In sum, I see no need to accept the view of Newton or the Jewish sages
favoring a large amah without further evidence (I am not dealing here
with the question of acting stringently - just the question of what the
din requires).



From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Tue, 5 Jun 2001 14:06:14 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Placing the talis over one's head

Today's daf yomi describes Rav Hamnuna as not having put on a "sudar"
(turban?) over his head, and he gave the reason as not being married.



From: Andrew Klafter <andrew.klafter@...>
Date: Fri, 1 Jun 2001 01:04:29 -0400
Subject: Psychiatric Treatment in the Orthodox Community

I am a psychiatrist and an Assistant Professor at the University of
Cincinnati College of Medicine.  I just delivered a Grand Rounds Lecture
to my department titled, "Psychiatric Treatment in the Orthodox

I described the major beliefs and practices of Orthodox Judaism, some
cultural idiosyncrasies about Orthodox Jews important for psychiatrists
to be aware of and sensitive to, and potential barriers to successful
psychiatric treatment among Orthodox Jews if cultural and religious
factors are not considered.

The lecture lasted 45 minutes, allowing 15 minutes for questions.  It
was very well received by non-Orthodox Jews and non-Jews.  Some fellow
frummies came to my lecture just out of curiosity, and the feedback I
got from them was also very positive.

If anyone feels that this lecture would be of use at your hospital or
medical school for grand rounds or at a conference, feel free to contact
me privately.

Andrew B. Klafter, MD (Nachum)
Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry
University of Cincinnati, College of Medicine
<andrew.klafter@...>  (513)475-8710


From: Chaim Shapiro <Dagoobster@...>
Date: Wed, 30 May 2001 15:40:10 EDT
Subject: Shabbas afternoon and Natilias Yadiam

I went to an early Mincha this past Shabbas.  Upon coming home I went to
sleep (gosh can one sleep a lot during finals).  When I awoke it was
time for Shalosh Seuduas.  Should I have washed Neyalias Yadim for
waking, dried my hands and then washed a second time for hamotzie?  Is
there a period of time that I should wait between these washings?  Or is
there another recipie I do not know of?

Chaim Shapiro


From: Limor Sweid <L.Sweid@...>
Date: Sun, 3 Jun 2001 14:47:36 +0200
Subject: Request: Bar Mitzva Mail Project


I am not a member of your list but I hope you will help me in a project
I am doing for our son and put this for inclusion into your mailing
list.  His bar-mitzva is on September 22,2001 and I thought as he is a
computer kid it would be nice if jews all over the world send him their
wishes.  What I am asking for is to send him some good wishes words of
wisdom or just Mazal Tov. His name is Dani Sweid from Disseldorf,
Germany.  Send your e-mail to "<danibarmitzva@...>".  We plan to make
a book with all the responses and some will be read aloud at the party.
Thank you very much for your help.



From: Avi Feldblum <mljewish@...>
Date: Wed, 6 Jun 2001 07:11:58 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Request: Day School Info about Pittsburgh

If anyone on the list lives in Pittsburgh and in particular if you know
about the state of the yeshiva situation for pre-school through say 5th
grade, I would greatly appreciate speaking with you. Please email me
back (and if possible CC to <avi.feldblum@...> if you would be
available during business hours to talk) and include a phone number that
I can call you at. Thanks in advance.

Avi Feldblum
mail-jewish Moderator


End of Volume 34 Issue 69