Volume 35 Number 9
                 Produced: Sun Jul 15 17:24:23 US/Eastern 2001

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Interesting source material
         [Stan Tenen]
Islam and Idolatry
         [Zev Sero]
Israeli vs American tunes/ correct pronunciation
         [Ira L. Jacobson]
Israeli vs American tunes, repeating
         [Michael Rogovin]
L'shon Haqodesh (2)
         [Ben Katz, Mark Steiner]
Minchas Elozor
         [Jeanette Friedman]
Mosque Visiting
         [Yisrael & Batya Medad]
Reciting a Partial Pasuk
         [Michael Rogovin]
Repetition of G@d's Name in "V'shamru"
         [Art Werschulz]


From: Stan Tenen <meru1@...>
Date: Tue, 10 Jul 2001 07:52:57 -0400
Subject: Re: Interesting source material

At 04:13 AM 7/10/01 +0000, Saul Davis wrote:
>I think many people would say that "turning the other cheek" (source is
>Matthew 5:39 "whosoever shall smite you on your cheek, turn to him the
>other also") is of Christian origin and that Judaism believes in "haba
>lehorgekha hashkem lehorgo" which roughly translates as - go for the
>pre-emptive strike. But Yermiyahu said in Eikha 3:30 "yiten lemakehu
>lehey" or in English "let him give his cheek to him that smites him"
>which makes turning the other cheek a lot older and more Jewish that
>Matthew. Similarly see Rambam Deoth 7:7 about not taking revenge and the
>"maavir al midothav" (forgiving even when you do not have to).

I'm traveling, so there's no way I can find my references even if I kept
one on this.  Perhaps someone with resources could check it out.  The
phrase, "Turning the other cheek" and its varieties, which has become a
Christian aphorism, is actually completely misunderstood.  I was
watching a discussion of this on a PBS station a few years ago, and as
it turns out, the intended meaning of "turning the other cheek" was not
to be passive in the face of aggression, but rather, to set the person
who was hit in a posture to defy and retaliate.  This is completely the
opposite meaning of the modern current sense of the phrase.

So the confusion of sources is double, because if the meaning of the
phrase is opposite, then the source would have to be opposite as well,
and not supportive of the (incorrect) common meaning.

Of course, this isn't a serious issue, just an opportunity to point out
the uncertainty and foibles of dealing with quotations out of historical
context.  One of the reasons I stick to the math in my work is because I
don't trust phonetic language to be reliable or to maintain its
originally intended meaning.  For integrity of meaning, you need formal
language.  Phonetic language will never do.

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


From: Zev Sero <Zev@...>
Date: Tue, 10 Jul 2001 16:19:07 -0400
Subject: RE: Islam and Idolatry

David Jutkowitz <dave@...>
> the Ran in Sanhedrin (daf 61:) who
> writes "and the crazy one of the Yishmaelim, even though they don't
> mistakenly call him a God, since they bow down to him in the manner of
> bowing to a God, it is to be considered as Avoda Zarah, and all the laws
> and prohibitions of Avoda Zarah pertain to it. For they don't bow down
> out of respect to the dead, rather as in the manner of worshipping a
> God"

But do they in fact do this?  Which Moslems ever did this, and does
that sect still exist today (if it ever did)?

Zev Sero


From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Date: Tue, 10 Jul 2001 17:31:42 +0300
Subject: Re: Israeli vs American tunes/ correct pronunciation

Janice Gelb wrote in mail-jewish Vol. 35 #1 Digest, first quoting me:

> > 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.

>Grammatically, that's fine but when dealing with something that a
>congregation sings with the shaliach tzibur, it confuses the heck out of
>people. I know, because we have a sh'tz that does this and it annoys
>most of the congregation. Some corrections don't affect the tune (e.g.,
>saying "v'haYA Adoshem" at the end of Aleinu instead of the
>unfortunately more common "v'HAya") but some ruin the scansion and cause
>the congregation to be hesitant about singing along, or to stop
>altogether. Is it really worth it?

First of all, it was really worth it just to encounter the word "scansion."

But in a more serious vein, if what your shatz does is successful in
having the congregation refrain from singing "u'shemo, u'shemo,
u'shemo," then it is absolutely, positively, be'emet u'vetamim, worth
it, and he should be commended for avoiding a perversion that seems even
more serious than just the recital of "Shema` Shema`."

In fact, if you think about it for a moment, what they would be saying
is "His name (three times) is one."  Now that is about as close to the
Xtian (trinity) concept as I have ever heard.  Bravo once again to the
cantor for eliminating that sort of denial of essential Judaism from the
prayers of that synagogue.  I'd like to meet him and shake his hand.



From: Michael Rogovin <rogovin@...>
Date: Tue, 10 Jul 2001 10:19:53 -0400
Subject: Re: Israeli vs American tunes, repeating

I have noted on my visits to various Israerli ashkenazi synagogues that
there are tunes similar to, but not the same, as American tunes (tunes
for Mizmor l'David and Etz Chaim Hee come to mind). I have often
wondered how the tunes were so close, yet no where in the US did I hear
the Israeli version nor the reverse. I have also noted that a popular
tune for L'cha Dodi in Israel (particularly in Bnei Akiva minyans) has
become popular inthe US (no doubt through year abroad programs etc), but
with variations from the Israeli version (a different tune is used for
the first 1/2 and the refrain L'cha Dodi is said twice in Israel, wheras
it is said once in the US and replaced by 'dai-dai-dai...'). Indeed many
tunes for L'cha Dodi traditionally repeat the refrain but the growing
custom is to not do so in the US, although in Israel they do so (at
least where I davened, including in Anglo shuls).

Given the nature of this liturgical poem I don't see any issue in
repeating the refrain, so I wonder why in the US the widespread custom
has developed, even by those who have heard it repeated in the Israeli
or US original.

Michael Rogovin


From: Ben Katz <bkatz@...>
Date: Tue, 10 Jul 2001 10:30:45 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Re: L'shon Haqodesh

>From: Shlomo Argamon <argamon@...>
>On Thu, 28 Jun 2001, Ira L. Jacobson wrote:
>> But I would say that stylistically, the holy language is the best English
>> translation of l'shon haqodesh.
>Perhaps.  However, it is inaccurate.  "The holy language" (a) implies that
>the language itself is holy, whereas the more correct "the language of
>holiness" (b) implies that it is the language in which to speak of holy
>matters.  The Hebrew, thus, does *not* assert that the language itself is
>sacred -- thus claims against using it as a vernacular due to the
>language's holiness (such as the anecdote of one who attacked Itamar ben
>Avi for speaking Hebrew to his dog) are unfounded.  On the other hand,
>since it is the language of holiness, it is the only language in which one
>may speak precisely and correctly regarding holy matters.  Translation is

       I am not sure the Rambam would agree with the statement above.  The
Rambam argues in the Guide that because Biblical Hebrew is unique in that,
e.g., it has no word for the genitalia, that it is a holy language (i.e., it
doesn't allow certain words because it is too holy).  There are, of course,
counter arguments -- that perhaps spoken Hebrew in Biblical times had such
words, but that the Bible's style and/or content is too elevated for them,
but the Rambam doesn't deal with that line of reasoning. 

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: Mark Steiner <MARKSA@...>
Date: Tue, 10 Jul 2001 19:02:05 +0200 (IST)
Subject: Re: L'shon Haqodesh

    My own theory about the meaningof "lashon hakodesh" in Mishnaic
Hebrew (MH) is "the language of Hashem."  The evidence for this is that
the expression "hakodesh barukh hu" (not "hakadosh barukh hu") appears
perhaps hundreds of times in the Vatican ms. of the Torat Kohanim.
Further support for this is from the kaddish, where we read "shmey
dekudsha brikh hu" rather than "shmey dekadisha brikh hu."  The Aramaic
term kudsha is equivalent to the MH term kodesh.  From this it appears
that "kodesh" is used in MH for Hashem.  The explanation would be that
kodesh refers to the sanctum of the Beit Hamikdash, and the Beit
Hamikdash is often used in various ways to refer to Hashem.

Mark Steiner


From: Jeanette Friedman <FriedmanJ@...>
Date: Tue, 10 Jul 2001 09:36:36 EDT
Subject: Re: Minchas Elozor

yes. he did go to Israel during the war, his wife did die there of TB,
(after the war my mother was nanny to his children, Dovid, Chaim,
Moishe, Yankel and Zuta). He remarried, came to America (I remember his
visit very well. I believe my mother's sister was here at the same time,
we were living in New Jersey at the time, and I remember being
fascinated that my uncle looked exactly like, you won't believe it,
Santa Claus, with his long white beard, kind eyes behind wire rimmed
glasses and a big belly (which he later lost when he started taking care
of his health.)

I spent time with him in Paris at The Louvre (we took a stroll one
afternoon when we were in town for a cousin's wedding in the early
1970's and again for a few hours in Petach Tikvah the year before he
died. I always found him to be intelligent and much more open-minded
than I ever could have imagined.



From: Yisrael & Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Tue, 10 Jul 2001 19:10:46 +0300
Subject: Mosque Visiting

David Jutkowitz quotes the Tzitz Eliezer who quotes the Ran thus:
> "and the crazy one of the Yishmaelim, even though they don't
> mistakenly call him a God, since they bow down to him in the manner of
> bowing to a God, it is to be considered as Avoda Zarah, and all the laws
> and prohibitions of Avoda Zarah pertain to it. For they don't bow down
> out of respect to the dead, rather as in the manner of worshipping a
> God". The Tziz Eliezer on the basis of this Ran, concludes that one
> shouldn't enter or visit a Mosque.

there is nothing in a mosque that separates it from the great outdoors.
in other words, if the Ran and theretofor the Tzitz Eliezer conclude that
the act of bowing down is in the manner of worshipping a God and is
thereby an act of Idolatry, what does one do with all the various places
Muslims bow down in worship such as sidewalks, lawns, building sites,
bus stops, etc., etc.?  Anyone who has visited Israel knows that a Muslim
will spread out a cardboard box or anything to serve as a platfrom and
perform his prostrations and obeisances.  Logic would dictate that
it is not the place but the action that is idolatrous.  Indeed, if one has
been in a mosque, and the Maarat Machpela immediately springs to
mind, a place which hundreds of thousands of Jews visit, there is
nothing there which makes it different that outdoors in terms of
Is something amiss with my logic?

Yisrael Medad


From: Michael Rogovin <rogovin@...>
Date: Tue, 10 Jul 2001 10:25:01 -0400
Subject: Reciting a Partial Pasuk

Is there not a custom that when reciting a pasuk min haTorah that we
recite the entire pasuk? How is it then when the congregation recites
out loud three passages from the parsha for public fast days that
selections from each pasuk, rather than the entire pasuk are read?
Indeed, this is true whenever the midot are recited during slichot.

Michael Rogovin


From: Art Werschulz <agw@...>
Date: Tue, 10 Jul 2001 09:31:24 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Repetition of G@d's Name in "V'shamru"


Warren Burstein mentions that in a popular tune for "V'shamru", a
number of phrases are repeated.  In particular ...
  ki sheshet yamim asah hashem [asah hashem] et hashamyim v'et haaretz
An alternative version is ...
  ki sheshet yamim [ki sheshet yamin] asah hashem et hashamyim v'et haaretz
This removes the problem of repeating the Name.

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: <rubin20@...>
Date: Tue, 10 Jul 2001 09:12:14 -0400
Subject: Re: Sadducees

>Apologies for the impression given that the Sadducees were just a family.
>They were family based, but of course like-minded people became
>As to the fact that it was a family, the following sources attest to
> ... (list of times Zadok appears)
> The above citations testify that the origin of the name comes from the
>priestly family.  There are a number of sources that discuss these
>sectarian movements. Very good articles are found the EJ.

With the exception of quote number 9, all the rest just prove that the
name zadok existed amongst cohamin. There is no proof that the Sadducim
had any connection. Are you impling that the Tanna R' Zadok was connected
to Sadducim?!?!


End of Volume 35 Issue 9