Volume 34 Number 87
                 Produced: Thu Jun 21  5:55:13 US/Eastern 2001

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Avi Feldblum]
Hebrew Haskamot to English Language Books
         [Andrew Klafter]
Israeli vs American tunes
         [Louise Miller]
Jewish calendar on Outlook
         [Jeff Fischer]
Learning Tnach
         [Russell Hendel]
Minchas Elozor
         [Jeanette Friedman]
Repetition of Words in Prayer (2)
         [Mark Steiner, Yisrael Dubitsky]
Succah on Shmini Azeret
         [Jack Wechsler]
Swiss Fudge Cookies
         [Joseph Mosseri]
Torah & Sefer Yehoshua (2)
         [David Kaufmann, A. Seinfeld]


From: Avi Feldblum <mljewish@...>
Date: Thu, 21 Jun 2001 05:37:17 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Administrivia

Just a quick note to all. There have been some questions from a number of
the members abouts posts that they have sent in that have not yet
appeared. Over the last few weeks, having been on a number of interview
trips, I have fallen behind a bit on the list, as well as the traffic
beginning to increase, as I have been basically able to keep the list
going on a regular basis.

Right now, I see about 10 messages between June 15 and June 19 that are
still in queue to go out, there are about 20 messages from June 20th, so
the majority of the items in the queue should have about a 2 day latency
before they get out. Items that were sent in prior to June 15 are in
general ones that I need to speak with the submitters on, but that is what
I am most behind on. I will try to start getting to that late today or

There has been a number of what I consider very interesting and well
written postings to the list, and I have been enjoying many of the
discussions. I hope that is true for most of you as well.

Avi Feldblum
mail-jewish Moderator


From: Andrew Klafter <andrew.klafter@...>
Date: Tue, 19 Jun 2001 13:08:43 -0400
Subject: Hebrew Haskamot to English Language Books

I have noticed a curious practice: English language books on Judaism,
which are often translations of Hebrew texts for people who cannot read
Hebrew, are increasingly accompanied by Haskamot (approbations).  Often,
the Haskamot are not translated.  What's more, the haskamot don't convey
any haskama (endorsement).  Nevertheless, they are printed at the
beginning of the book in Hebrew, and the unsuspecting buyer may well
believe that the book has true endorsements by noted spiritual leaders.
Do others agree with me that this is disingenuous?  I have seen several
such letters by Moshe Feinstein, Z Tz"L in the following format:

"Since I have had no time to look at your book, and since I have taken
upon myself the custom not to grant approbations to any books on Jewish
Law....  Nevertheless, I pray that your book has much success in turning
hearts of Israeal to their Father in heaven."

I have decided to compile such pseudo-haskamot in preparation for what i
think will be a funny and interesting article.  Anyone aware of examples
please send them to me privately and/or post them.

Also, there was a book of parshanut which contained a letter saying,
"Rabbi Hutner, the author Pachad Yitzchak instructed us not to ever
publish kabbalistic material in English.  Your book is full of
kabbalistic ideas, therefore it should never have been written...."  I
can't remember what book that was or who the author was.  Is anyone
familiar with this?  If so, please let me know.



From: Louise Miller <daniel@...>
Date: Tue, 19 Jun 2001 12:16:55 -0700
Subject: Israeli vs American tunes

Someone asked the question (Mike from Ranana?) why the tunes used in
davening are so differet in Israel vs. the US.  The answer is the
pronounciation of the words.

It's almost impossible to sing most Israeli melodies with an American
accent.  (Ashkenzi or Sfardi - makes no difference!)

I find it amazing that many of my friends think that the two most
popular melodies for Anim Zmirot are actually the same melody, and the
only difference is the accent of the child singing it.

Experiment: Stop for a second and sing each of the melodies, first
imagining that you are a 7 year old Israeli, and the second time pretend
that you are a 9 year old American.  It's NOT the same melody.

(AH nim ZMIR ot bSHIRim)  vs (ahNIM zih-mi-ROTE b'shirIM)

I wish I could sing this for all of you - it really is funny!

Louise in La Jolla


From: Jeff Fischer <NJGabbai@...>
Date: Tue, 19 Jun 2001 13:06:28 EDT
Subject: Jewish calendar on Outlook

Does anyone know of a place online where I can download a hebrew
calendar that could be placed in Outlook?



From: Russell Hendel <rhendel@...>
Date: Mon, 18 Jun 2001 00:13:36 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: RE: Learning Tnach

I (and the Talner Rebbe) couldnt agree more with David Charlap and
Shlomo Argamon(v34n70) who, to use, Shlomo Argamons own quotation in
commenting on my summary of the Talner Rebbes 4 reasons for not learning
Tnach in the middle ages, state:

<With all due respect, both to the Talner Rebbe, and to Russell Hendel
as summarizer, I find none of the following reasons convincing.  Of
course, if they are meant as a sociological explanation, that's a
different kettle of fish.>

I think it obvious that both I and the Talner Rebbe meant this as a
sociological explanation. No one was trying to suggest we shouldnt learn

Russell Hendel;
(Who once came in 2nd in the international Bible contest)


From: Jeanette Friedman <FriedmanJ@...>
Date: Wed, 20 Jun 2001 09:51:59 EDT
Subject: Re: Minchas Elozor

      One could only make an educated guess as to whether his
      father-in-law had been alive in the present era, how he would have
      come to terms with the Jewish State also, pragmatically speaking.

      We know, for example, that the Minchas Elozor was opposed even to
      Agudas Yisroel as being too "mild," whereas the Munkacz synagogue
      in Petah Tiqwa today has a chairman who is a baal teshuva and
      still active in the Israel Labor Party.  So it appears that
      Munkacz has indeed accepted the new realities.

Just another guess, guys.

The present rebbe and his brother in Brooklyn are not Zionists at
all...but neither do they rail against the Jewish State. After all,
there is a yeshiva in Israel, their father lived in Petach Tikvah, where
he had a beautiful shul and was well-respected.  The last time I saw
him, he was tapping out his last sefer with a pencil, eraser end down,
on a Hebrew computer keyboard with a green screen--I think that was in
1992....anyway, he left two married children living in Israel with their
families, one of whom is a lawyer and was an IDF officer in Gaza.  The
daughter is married to a banker.

My uncle, the son-in-law of the Minchas Elozor, was quite an enlightened
man, who understood many issues not normally confronted by the
rabbanut. He was Polish, not Hungarian, and learned much from his
father, the Partzever Rebbe, who was also a silversmith.  My uncle, I
believe, but I am not certain, either served on or was close to members
of the Hungarian Parliament, who helped him save scores of chassidishe
rabbanim, including the Satmar Rebbe.  (The Satmar was on the Kastner
Transport, and held a visa to Palestine.  He could not stay in
Switzerland, and so had to go to Palestine and left as soon as he
could. My mother was with him.)  According to witnesses, he and my
father, working together in Budapest, saved thousands of Hungarian Jews,
but no one has been able to provide details so far.

It behooves everyone to know that 2/3rds of the DPs who survived the
Holocaust went to Palestine, and many were killed in Latrun. Only 1/3 of
the survivors went to America and other countries.  My uncle wanted to
make aliyah, but the chassidim who survived were furious. They wanted
him to establish himself in Williamsburgh, Brooklyn, but I don't know
how, he established a kehillah in Sao Paulo. When his son married a girl
from Yerushalyim in the Grand Paradise in Brooklyn in the early 60s,
they dethroned his father and made him the rebbe. (I was there and
witnessed the "abdication.")

So certainly, my uncle was fine with the Jewish State, but I think his
father in law, the Michas Elozor, had he survived, would have created
his own community, much like Kiryat Yoel, probably in Canada, where
another Hungarian rebbe established Tosh, and would never, ever, have
come to terms with the state. From what I know of his personality, and
from some of the quotes I have heard from his speeches (every rock in
America is treyf), he would have maintained his extreme anti-Zionist
stance no matter what.  He was after all, a 19th
c. Checz/Austro-Hungarian/Transylvanian and contemporary of Herzl, who
was anti-thetical to anything that smacked of religiosity.  I think the
origins of his anti-Zionism probably was a direct result of Herzl's
writings as well.

Jeanette Friedman


From: Mark Steiner <marksa@...>
Date: Tue, 19 Jun 2001 20:16:21 +0300
Subject: Re: Repetition of Words in Prayer

    A number of participants have mentioned the "repetition" by Isaiah
of "Holy, holy, holy,:" either to show how innocuous repetition is, or
to show the limits of repetition.

    On one of the bridges across the river in the city of Prague, there
is a golden statue of Jesus crucified, with the words "qadosh, qadosh,
qadosh" in Hebrew, referring to the Trinity.  This statue was paid for
with money extorted from the Jewish community of Prague, after a Jew
allegedly spat on an image of their Messiah.

    Had Hazal known about this interpretation of the "repetition", they
might have eliminated the verse from the prayers, just as they removed
the Ten Commandments from the siddur (kriat shma) to avoid heretical
misinterpretations (Talmud, Berakhot).

From: Yisrael Dubitsky <yidubitsky@...>
Date: Tue, 19 Jun 2001 10:57:09 -0500
Subject: re: Repetition of Words in Prayer

In response to a direct question by R.Fabian Schonfeld, the Rav (R. JB
Soloveitchik) wrote the following (translation by R. Schonfeld):

I am very particular that the cantor does not repeat the words of prayer
twice or more. However, this applies only to repetition of the Amidah
and blessings related to Shema or Hallel or verses from Scripture, even
though they do not form part of the obligatory prayer. With regard to
piyyutim and other words of ritzui, that do not make up the body of
prayer or of Shema and which do not cite Scriptural verses, one need not
be concerned.

[I am confident that Rav H. Schachter will have quoted this in the
original Hebrew in his forthcoming book(s?) of Nefesh HaRav]

 Yisrael Dubitsky


From: Jack Wechsler <wechsler@...>
Date: Tue, 19 Jun 2001 21:16:46 +0200
Subject: Succah on Shmini Azeret

I was recently asked what my late father's (Germany) minhag was as to
eating/leaving the Succah on Shmini Azeret (In England).My reply was
that as far as I remember we used to make Yom Tov Kiddush and eat in the
Succah in the evening.In the morning we made Kiddush but ate inside,then
after Mincha we had a short snack ,"Al Hamichyah" ,and finished off with
the Yehi Ratzon.

The person who asked me told me that his parents (from Poland) minhag
was different.They made Kiddush and ate inside in the evening ,in the
morning they made Kiddush ,ate the meal ,made the Yehi Ratzon then left
the Succah ,they davened Mincha later on.  I am interested in hearing
wether other people have different minhagim when to leave the Succah.The
Shulchan Aruch (Tav Resh Samech Vav ) makes the comment that one
should'nt look as if one is adding to the festival of Succot.Is this the
possible source of the differences ?  Fortunately this problem of sfeka
de'yoma does'nt apply in Israel !

Jack Wechsler


From: Joseph Mosseri <JMosseri@...>
Date: Tue, 19 Jun 2001 06:56:23 -0400
Subject: Swiss Fudge Cookies

Can anyone confirm this? Does anyone have further details?

Stella D'Oro Blames Soaring Cost of Pareve Chocolate for Dairy Decision

New York: In confirming a Kosher Today breaking story last week, a
spokesman for Stella D'oro said that the "soaring cost of pareve
chocolate" was a major factor in the company's decision to make all of
its products dairy, including the coveted Swiss Fudge cookies. Bill
Alaria told Kosher Today that the problem was compounded by the fact
that there were limited sources for the pareve chocolate. He confirmed a
statement by the OU that all of the company's products would be labeled
OU D in the future. In the case of the Swiss Fudge, the company is
returning to its traditional clear packaging in early summer and will
include the OU D. With the exception of the OU's traditional methods of
alerting consumers about the change, the company has no plans to
advertise its new OU D status.


From: David Kaufmann <kaufmann@...>
Date: Fri, 15 Jun 2001 12:57:20 -0500
Subject: Re: Torah & Sefer Yehoshua

There's a website - Mysteries of the Bible - which purports to reconcile
archaeology and Torah. Has anyone looked at it? Any thoughts?

From: A. Seinfeld <aseinfeld@...>
Date: Sun, 17 Jun 2001 00:16:50 -0700
Subject: Re: Torah & Sefer Yehoshua

> My point was that there is much MORE in Yehoshua that is
> problemmatic to archeologists than in the Torah itself.  The questioner
> had asked about a book of archeology that conformed to the Torah's view
> of things (to paraphrase; I don't remember the exact wording of the
> question).

I agree with Dr. Katz that archaeologists have explored the historicity of
the conquest more than any other part of Tanach. However, my personal
experience from teaching is that the most challenging part of the Torah
archaeologically (or geologically) is the Flood. Anyone else share my


End of Volume 34 Issue 87