Volume 34 Number 96
                 Produced: Wed Jun 27 17:23:26 US/Eastern 2001

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Daf Yomi Yerushalmi
         [Lorne Schachter]
Grain of Salt
         [Ben Z. Katz]
Israeli vs American tunes/ correct pronunciation
         [Ira L. Jacobson]
My 2 cents on Repeating Repeating words words
         [Russell Hendel]
         [Ben Z. Katz]
Private Statments by Torah Leaders
         [Bernard Raab]
Pronunciation of Qamatz
         [Art Werschulz]
         [Stan Tenen]


From: Lorne Schachter <lorne@...>
Date: Mon, 25 Jun 2001 16:52:34 -0400
Subject: Daf Yomi Yerushalmi

They have just started (this past Shabbos) a new cycle of Daf Yomi for
Talmud Yerushalmi.  Does anyone know of any online resources for

Lorne Schachter


From: Ben Z. Katz <bkatz@...>
Date: Sun, 24 Jun 2001 22:25:10 -0500
Subject: Re: Grain of Salt

>From: Andrew Klafter <andrew.klafter@...>

>entirely disregarded or at least taken with a proverbial grain of salt.
>(By the way, can anyone explain the origins and precise meaning of that
>metaphor?  I've never totally understood it.)

	According to Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, a grain of
salt makes something more palatable, and thus the expression came to
mean that the statement may not be (completely) true.

	I notice that we similarly say when something is untrue that it
can't be swallowed.

Ben Z. Katz, M.D.
Children's Memorial Hospital, Division of Infectious Diseases
2300 Children's Plaza, Box # 20, Chicago, IL 60614
Ph 773-880-4187, Fax 773-880-8226


From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Date: Sun, 24 Jun 2001 22:46:25 +0300
Subject: Re: Israeli vs American tunes/ correct pronunciation

At 18:13 24/06/01, Dani Wassner, Jerusalem wrote in mail-jewish Vol. 34 #91 
>eg we all sing BAruch umVOOrach beFI kol NEshama, but it should be
>baRUCH umvooRACH befi kol neshaMA).

Actually, it should be baRUCH umevoRACH befi kol haneshaMA .

What you are saying essentially, is that if there is an inconsistency
between the text and the melody, adapt the melody but leave the text
unchanged.  Which is exactly my point (and that of others greater than
I) in crying out against repetitions of words not in the original.

On second thought, since the word for soul comes at the end of the
verse, perhaps it should be pronounced haneSHAma ?

         Ira L. Jacobson


From: Russell Hendel <rhendel@...>
Date: Sun, 24 Jun 2001 23:38:44 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: My 2 cents on Repeating Repeating words words

Although Ira Jacobson correctly refuted Gilad Gevaryahus arguments
in Mail Jewish v34n80, nevertheless I believe Gilads examples can
correctly clarify. I suggest an approach to the repetition-problem
and then give sources

My suggested approach is the following:
It would appear that repetition should be discouraged
but can be allowed for whole verses. Repetition of words or
phrases should not be allowed in Shma or other verses for 
3 reasons: (a) It might look like we are addressing 2 deities
(As was pointed out this is a talmudic argument but
does not appear that strong (which is why we have additional arguments)
(b) we might be distorting the meaning of the text (as in HOLY
HOLY HOLY --see below) (c) we might be creating an emphasis where
the author did not want it(See the Rashi cited below). Finally there
is a simple way of KEEPING TRADITIONAL MELODIES but NOT repeating
words -- simply hum the melody without uttering the word a second
time! (As a side point, repeating the SAME verse for
TWO different people (as Gilads example of repeating a verse in
the Rosh Chodesh or Simchat Torah laining) is certainly permissable.)

Now for some sources.

First compare the Rambam Laws of Shma 2:11 < The repeatition of
verses in the recitation of the Shma is disgusting (but not 
prohibited like the repetition of words --the talmud gives
as a reason that it would appear to be addressing two deities >

Next I analyze the threefold repetition HOLY HOLY HOLY (Isa 6:3)
brought by Gilad. What would be wrong with adding a 4th?

I cite Rav Hirsch: < The verse shows
the ideal way to serve God: Two wings covering feet, and face and
two wings flying > Rav Hirsch Continues by explaining the verse
<You serve God by not looking WHERE you are going (cover face) not 
knowing HOW YOU will get there (Cover feet) but simply DOING GODS 
WILL (Two wings flying).>

I conclude that the thrice-repeated-Kadosh(holy) corresponds to the
other 3 parts of the verse. This is Tenachically ordained and therefore

As a 3rd issue I cite verses where words are repeated: e.g. THE RIVERS
15 (See Rashi ibid for many more examples)). As Rashi hints the 
repetition is a poetic device that creates a tone of emphasis. But
then it immediately follows that a person who repeats words is
creating an emphasis where it the author did not want an emphasis.
AND IT IS FOR THIS REASON (Distorting the authors intentions)that
it is prohibited.

I believe this multiple reason approach facilitates the analysis.
As a closing example my custom on BAY ANA RACHITZ is to hum the AY
but not repeat the BAY.

Russell Jay Hendel; Ph.d. A.S.A;
http://www.RashiYomi.Com/mj.htm (Visit my mail jewish archives)


From: Ben Z. Katz <bkatz@...>
Date: Sun, 24 Jun 2001 22:25:10 -0500
Subject: Re: Nakh

>From: Seth & Sheri Kadish <skadish@...>
>I have been working for several years on an entirely new bekiut system
>for reviewing Nakh; I currently have initial drafts for all but two of
>the sefarim, and hope to complete drafts for the rest before the chagim,
>IYH.  The plan is flexible, but one option it allows for is to finish
>all of Nakh in a year.  To be on target for this requires roughly 40-50
>pesukim on a typical day, which take perhaps 20-25 minutes to read out
>loud with the te'amim, and to occassionally consult a commentary or
>translation for a difficult phrase here and there.  More exactly: 14,830
>pesukim (not including Tehillim) divided by 354 days (=12 Hebrew months)
>comes out to ~42 pesukim per day.  (Tehillim itself requires an
>additional six month cycle, with approximately one average-length mizmor
>per day.)

	While I agree that knowledge of Nach is important, I defy anyone
to be able to understand 42 verse of Ezekiel, Job or Kohelet in 25
minutes!  (I guess this is my problem with bekiut as oppossed to bi'iyun
study, and why I could never do a daf yomi).  The Jewish Bible Quarterly
has a much more reasonable, but still ambititious, trienniel Bible study
program, but they don't tell you how long to spend each day on your


From: Bernard Raab <beraab@...>
Date: Mon, 25 Jun 2001 21:47:13 -0400
Subject: Re: Private Statments by Torah Leaders

>From: Andrew Klafter <andrew.klafter@...>
>From: Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...> v34n76
> > >Otherwise, we descend to the level of "Rav X was told by Rav Y that Rav
> > >Z had said ..." And what can we deduce from that?
> > From: Bernard Raab <beraab@...> v34n38
> > I'd say pretty much what the Gemarah deduces from similar citations. That
> > is, rarely accepted on its face without examination from all directions.
>The difference is that the statements in they Talmud by Amoraim were
>public teachings, and were intended to be repeated and debated; it is
>analagous to transcripts of public lectures in our times.  Nowadays,
>when the standard method of making a public statement to call a press
>conference or write a letter to the editor of a widely read publication,
>rumors about private statements by Torah leaders should be either
>entirely disregarded or at least taken with a proverbial grain of salt.
>(By the way, can anyone explain the origins and precise meaning of that
>metaphor?  I've never totally understood it.)

I was speaking about the many references in the Gemarah which follow the
format: Rav X quotes Rav Y in the name of Rav Z. If Rav Z's original
statement was well-established public knowledge it would have been
brought directly attributed. Clearly, as a result of the many years of
oral transmission enough uncertainty has developed so that the Gemarah
does not feel justified in bringing the direct quotation. Nevertheless,
it does not dismiss the indirect citation as worthless. It generally is
disposed to accept the statement tentatively, and then proceeds to
examine it against other known positions and statements of Rav Z.

I don't believe anyone would transmit a statement to MJ attributed to a
Gadol who didn't believe it came from a reliable source. At the same
time I don't believe anyone would accept such a statement as p'sak for
practical purposes and change his practise on this basis. Does that mean
it has no value or is completely worthless? By all means take that grain
of salt and watch your blood pressure!


From: Art Werschulz <agw@...>
Date: Mon, 25 Jun 2001 09:46:05 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Pronunciation of Qamatz

Hi all.

Janice Gelb <j_gelb@...> saith:

> Those interested in this subject may want to look into a book
> (written by an Israeli member of my congregation) called "The Ohs
> and Ahs of Torah Reading" by Rivka Sherman-Gold. It goes into great
> detail about the history of the vowel system as it relates to these
> two vowels, the relevant grammar rules, and, most helpfully, has
> tables in the back that list all of the kamatz instances in all
> parshiyot and haftorot, plus some high holiday and regular prayers. 
> http://www.jewishstore.com/cgi-bin/booksearch.exe?ISBN=Yodan1

This topic has been discussed on this list before.  Other useful
references are:

  Michael Bar-Lev's list of all the "odd" words (qamatz qatan/gadol,
  sh'va na/nach, mil'eil vs mil'ra, and so on) in his book "Ba'al
  Ha'Kriah".  It also has a selective diqduq summary for Torah
  readers, but in Hebrew. 

  The new Tiqqun la'Qor'im "Simanim" (can't remember the author),
  which is a tiqqun that does the same, as well as some other goodies 

  "The Glory of Torah Reading" (again, can't remember the authors, but
  they're two ba'alei q'riah from Monsey).  Categorizes the trop marks
  ("servants" and "kings"), and has a selective diqduq summary for
  Torah readers, in English.

My impression is that the Sherman-Gold book is a pretty user-friendly
introduction to the topic for neophyte Torah readers.

BTW, please note that there are some disagreements on certain
instances of qamatz qatan.  For instance, should it be "tzahorayim" or
"tzohorayim"?  As I understand it, this may be an Israeli/chutz
la-aretz distinction.

Art Werschulz (8-{)}   "Metaphors be with you."  -- bumper sticker
GCS/M (GAT): d? -p+ c++ l u+(-) e--- m* s n+ h f g+ w+ t++ r- y? 
Internet: <agw@...><a href="http://www.cs.columbia.edu/~agw/">WWW</a>
ATTnet:   Columbia U. (212) 939-7061, Fordham U. (212) 636-6325


From: Stan Tenen <meru1@...>
Date: Sun, 24 Jun 2001 13:36:55 -0400
Subject: Transliteration

Transliteration is an attempt to depict the pronunciation of a word in one 
language, by using the alphabet of another language.  The problem is that 
often, there are different pronunciations in the original language.  This 
means that there are going to be ambiguities that will only get worse in 

Of course, the purpose of all translation and transliteration is to point 
to the same meaning as the original.  When meaning is carried phonetically, 
it's the phonemes that have to match in order to point to the same meaning.

But Torah Hebrew is not only a phonetic system, it's also a formal system 
at the letter level.  Considered as operators rather than as phonemes, it 
is possible to come up with a fairly unambiguous _operational_ (not 
phonetic) trans-"literation" of the Hebrew letters.  Here's the one I 
use.  I stick to the phonetic when I can, but when I can't, I use the 
closest letter available.  In each case, the operational meaning is what 
counts, not the phonetic meaning.

Aleph   A
Bet     B
Gimel   C
Dalet   D
He      E
Vav     F
Zayin   G
Chet    H
Tet     J
Yud     I
Kaf     K
Lamed   L
Mem     M
Nun     N
Samek   $
Ayin    O
Pe      P
Zadi    Z
Qof     Q
Resh    R
Shin    S
Tov     T
Kaf Final       U
Mem Final       W
Nun Final       X
Pe Final        V
Zadi Final      Y

Obviously, Samek as a $ is an arbitrary extra "S" that's otherwise not 
available in English.  The final letters look odd, but it turns out that 
they work out.

When you use these substitutions, letter by letter, you get an absolutely 
accurate trans-operational equivalent.  But of course, the phonetics are 
not there.

For more information on the operational meanings of the letters, have a 

Meru Foundation   http://www.meru.org   <meru1@...>


End of Volume 34 Issue 96