Volume 35 Number 12
                 Produced: Tue Jul 17  4:45:41 US/Eastern 2001

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Ashkenazi vs. Sephaardi practices
         [Howard M. Berlin]
Beginner's parsha shiur on the web (2)
         [Idelle Rudman, Jay Kaplowitz]
Islam and Avodah Zarah
         [Rabbi Y.H. Henkin]
         [Jacob Sasson]
Nosach Achid
         [Chaim Wasserman]
Nusach Sfard used in Israel vs Outside
         [Joshua B Lee]
Nusach Sfard used in Israel vs. Outside (5)
         [Avichai, Michael, Netanel Livni, Mordechai, Gershon Dubin, Eli


From: Howard M. Berlin <berlin@...>
Date: Thu, 12 Jul 2001 08:50:13 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Ashkenazi vs. Sephaardi practices

I had the pleasure of visiting the nearby Sephardi synnagogue, Kahal
Kadosh Mikveh Israel, in Philadelphia for shabbat services. As one who
was raised in the Ashkenazi tradition, I noted a number of differences
in the siddur/service and several other minhagim. I'm not sure if some
of these are purely local, or whether some are universal among the
Portuguese-Spanish branch or the Mid-Eastern/Oriental branch. Before I
went, I was aware of some differences, especially at Passover time, and
the melodies sung and trop (?) during the torah reading. I did like the
Panama hats the nearly everyone wore.

My question is this. Is there a book or reference that details/explains
the many of the differences in the minhagim between Sephardim and


 /~~\\       ,    , ,                          Dr. Howard M. Berlin, W3HB
|#===||==========#***|                    5-string bluegrass banjo player


From: Idelle Rudman <rudmani@...>
Date: Thu, 12 Jul 2001 10:16:52 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Beginner's parsha shiur on the web

The Virtual Beit Midrash of Yeshivat Har Etsion, the Gush, has a
beginner's shiur on parshat ha-shavu'a.  This a methodological study, as
oppossed to a "vort" on the parsha.

Idelle Rudman, MLS, MA, Librarian		    tel: 212-213-2230 x119 
Touro College, Women's Division                     fax: 212-689-3515
Graduate School of Jewish Studies	            <rudmani@...>
160 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY  10016

From: Jay Kaplowitz <jkaplowitz@...>
Date: Thu, 12 Jul 2001 10:59:01 -0400
Subject: Beginner's parsha shiur on the web

In V35 #4, Sam Saal asked about an email Parshah Hashavuah list for
adults with limited Jewish knowledge.

I'd recommend the Shabbat Shalom weekly edited by Rabbi Kalman Packouz
of Aish HaTorah.  You can enter a subscription at www.aish.com/lists or
by calling 305-535-2474.

Jay Kaplowitz


From: Rabbi Y.H. Henkin <henkin@...>
Date: Tue, 17 Jul 2001 09:51:11 +0200
Subject: Islam and Avodah Zarah

In Resp. Bnei Banim, volume 3, I discussed Christianity and avodah zarah
in the course of three teshuvot, over 23 pages:

34. Looking at picture-books of avodah zarah art. 

35. Listening to church music, mentioning the names of avodah zarah, and
the prohibition 'lo techaneim.'

36. Is it permissible to contribute money for rebuilding churches? (after
the spate of church-arsons in the U.S.)

The following is translated from Bnei Banim, III, 35 (8):

About Chidushei haRan's statement in Sanhedrin 61b that the Moslems bow
down to Mohammed, no difficulty results from Ran's commentary on the Rif
in Avodah Zarah 57 in the name of Ramban in the name of Rambam and other
gaonim [that says the opposite], that the Moslems are not idolaters.
[This is not self-contradictory,] because Chidushei haRan to Sanhedrin
and to a number of other tractates were not written by the same Ran who
wrote on the Rif but by a different Ran, as the researchers have
established. I brought evidence of this from a number of places.

As for the matter itself, the author of Chidushei haRan to Sanhedrin may
not have been familiar with Moslems first-hand, as he lived in Christian
Barcelona over a hundred years after the Moslems had been driven out. For
that reason [living under Christian rule] he was careful to
euphemistically refer to 'Kutim' rather than Christians, while openly
using the derogatory term 'madman of the Ishmaelites'.

It is my impression than there was a widespread belief in Christian
Europe that Moslems worshipped Mohammed, which is also why they referred
to Islam as 'Mohammedism'. In this way we can also explain the Tur in
Choshen Mishpat 249 who wrote that it is forbidden to give an unearned
gift to an idolater. Bet Yosef explained that this refers not only to an
actual idolater, but to a Moslem as well. Bach objected that if so, why
did the Tur write 'idolater', leaving room for confusion? However, the
Tur with his father the Rosh moved from Germany to Toledo some 200 years
after it was conquered from the hands of the Moslems. If the Tur also had
heard only from far-away that the Moslems worshipped Mohammed, for that
reason he wrote 'idolaters^ for he thought that this included Moslems
as well.

In point of fact, however, Moslems are not idolaters, as Rambam wrote in
Hilchot Maachalot Asurot and in a teshuvah [mentioned previously]. See
also Resp. Yabia Omer volume 7, Yoreh Deah 12 (2-4).

(end of quote)


From: Jacob Sasson <jacobsasson@...>
Date: Sat, 14 Jul 2001 14:57:42 -0400
Subject: Kedusha

>Since the Shulchan Aruch states strongly that one should not recite the
>line before "Kadosh" but should rather remain silent and listen to the
>shliach tzibur recite the line, I find it odd that R. Ovadia Yosef would
>recommend reciting this line at all, regardless of nusach (unless I'm
>misunderstanding your post).

While it is true that the Shulchan Aruch states not to recite the
"introductory" lines, the Ari z"l clearly rules that one should say
them.  The custom of the Sepharadim is to rule like the Shulchan Aruch
even against recommendations of the Ari.  However, in cases where the Ari
clearly rules against the SA (Another example is wearing the talet katan
under your clothing and not exposing the strings) and in cases where
there was a long established custom not like the SA (I heard in the name
of Rav Yaakob Ades z"l that the community of Aleppo was lenient against
the SA in some cases of Hatmana on Shabbat), the Sepharadi
communities did not accept that law.  Both these conditions apply to the
kedusha.  To the best of my knowledge, there is not one Sepharadi
synagogue (including Rav Ovadia Yosef's minyan) where the "Nakdishach" is
not recited by the Kahal.

Jacob Sasson


From: Chaim Wasserman <Chaimwass@...>
Date: Fri, 13 Jul 2001 08:35:52 EDT
Subject: Nosach Achid

Seth (Avi) Kadish wrote about Nosach Achid that << Religious Zionist
schools were faced with ethnically diverse students, and adopted NH,
calling it "Nosah Ahid" in order to placate the different groups. >>

If I am not mistaken, the impetus for Nosach Achid originated in the
army with Rav Shlomo Goren as chief chaplain. It then spread to the lay
community.  Anyone have authoritative documentation on this?

Chaim Wasserman


From: Joshua B Lee <barco8@...>
Date: Sat, 14 Jul 2001 23:27:42 EDT
Subject: Re: Nusach Sfard used in Israel vs Outside

On 13 Jul 2001 10:38:42 -0000 Seth Kadish <mljewish@...> writes:
> 2) I've never considered a "Hungarian" angle on this problem, and my
> initial thought is that it wouldn't be so relevant, because being a
> Hungarian Jew certainly doesn't make you a chasid, or mean that you 
> use
> the chasidic nusach.  (E.g. the Chatam Sofer.)

If I recall correctly (I may have confused him with another gadol), the
Chasam Sofer's Rabbi in Germany, I believe Frankfurt, davvened an
Ari-style davvening with his own minyan. It caused such a controversy he
had to flee the city. This may account for some of the Casam Sofer's
friendly attitute towards Chasidim.

Many Hungarians are Chasidim - I know because I live in the
Williamsburgh neighborhood of Brooklyn which is where a lot of them
settled. Satmar being the biggest here.

I agree with you however that Israel's usage of so-called Nusach Sefard
is probably due to pre-state early Chasidic immigration.

From: Avichai, Michael <Mavichai@...>
Date: Thu, 12 Jul 2001 15:53:41 +0300
Subject: RE: Nusach Sfard used in Israel vs. Outside

 Frank Silbermann wrote (on " Nusach Sfard used in Israel vs. Outside"):

".....Furthermore, the spiritual leader of religious Zionism, Rav. Kook, was
heavily influenced by Chabad (his mother was of a Lubavitch Chassidishe
family) and kept many Chassidishe minhagim.  Add to this the heavy
Sephardi immigration during the 1950s, and it made sense to standardize
the Army prayerbook around Nusach S'phar."

I can't be sure of the rest of the explanations Frank suggested in his
reply, but as for Raabi Kook's influence - it doesn't seem too
convincing: Rabbi Kook himself davened Nusach Ashkenaz, as is practiced
till this day in his Yeshiva and also appears in his Siddur "Olat

Michael A.
Kohav Hashahar, Israel

From: Netanel Livni <n_livni@...>
Date: Fri, 13 Jul 2001 09:49:31 -0700
Subject: Re: Nusach Sfard used in Israel vs. Outside

Seth Kadish wrote:

>1) What Ashkenazic Jews usually call "Nusach Sfard" should, for the sake
>of accuracy, be called "Nosah ha-Chasidim."  It is an entirely
>Ashkenazic (chasidic) creation, and there is nothing truly sefardic
>about it.

All nuschei sefard are based on the Ariz"l's nusach.  It is not accurate
to say that nusach sefard has nothing to do with sephardic nusachim
since the kabalistic influences exist in a very similar way in both
"sefard" and "sefardi" nusachim.

>2) I've never considered a "Hungarian" angle on this problem, and my
>initial thought is that it wouldn't be so relevant, because being a
>Hungarian Jew certainly doesn't make you a chasid, or mean that you use
>the chasidic nusach.  (E.g. the Chatam Sofer.)

Actually, the Chatam Sofer was not from hungary.  Note that he signs
most of his letters with "from Frankfurt Am Main."  The Chatam Sofer
simply took a rabbinic position in Hungary.

Netanel Livni

From: Mordechai <Phyllostac@...>
Date: Mon, 16 Jul 2001 23:57:42 EDT
Subject: Nusach Sfard used in Israel vs. Outside

The last paragraph seems to imply that Rav A.Y. HaKohen Kook z"l didn't
daven nusach Ashkenaz.

However, his siddur (siddur with his commentary-published by Mossad
haRav Kook) (Olas Reiyah) is in nusach Ashkenaz (and Ashkenaz only from
what I recall having seen). I have not heard that he davened a nusach
other than Ashkenaz.

Therefore, I suspect that any implication that he didn't daven Ashkenaz
(according to the tradition of his father) is incorrect. I also believe
that Rav A.Y. Kook z"l pronounced Hebrew in the Ashkenazic way
(e.g. Shabbos - not Shabbat - at least for his personal use, e.g. for
davening - in fact in one of his responsa he states that Ashkenazim
should maintain their traditional pronunciation - except perhaps for
public speaking and the like?). I believe that his son, Rav Tzevi
Yehudah haKohen Kook z"l also davened nusach Ashkenaz. Perhaps someone
who has further info on this will comment and enlighten us further.

Also, as has been pointed out before, 'nusach sfard' used by hassidim is
not the same as the nusach of the Sepharadim.

Finally, I have heard that 'nusach achid' was not universally accepted.
Perhaps our chaveirim in Israel can report to us about the status of
'nusach achid' today.


From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Mon, 16 Jul 2001 09:18:16 -0400
Subject: Nusach Sfard used in Israel vs. Outside

From: Ben Z. Katz <bkatz@...>
<<I think you are correct.  I always thought the reason nusach sefarad
is more common in Israel is becasue is because the earliest modern olim
were talmidim of the GRA who brought his nusach, which is more similar
to nusach sefarad than nusach ashkenaz.>>

        I do not see any basis for this theory.  Nusach hagra is
basically nusach ashkenaz with a few small variations.


From: Eli Turkel <turkel@...>
Date: Thu, 12 Jul 2001 14:06:20 +0300 (IDT)
Subject: Nusach Sfard used in Israel vs. Outside

> Israel, in contrast, was heavily populated by Ashkenazi survivors of the
> Holocaust.  Most of the survivors were from Hungary and Rumania -- the
> only countries with heavy Jewish populations of whom as many as 50%
> survived (aside from Russia, which wouldn't let Jews leave).  Chassidism
> was strong in these lands, hence the widespread use of Nusach S'phard
> among Israeli Ashenazim.  (By the way, New Orleans, Louisiana has an
> Ashkenazi synogogue that uses Nusach S'phard -- the Shul was started by
> late-arriving Holocaust survivors.)
> Furthermore, the spiritual leader of religious Zionism, Rav. Kook, was
> heavily influenced by Chabad (his mother was of a Lubavitch Chassidishe
> family) and kept many Chassidishe minhagim.  Add to this the heavy
> Sephardi immigration during the 1950s, and it made sense to standardize
> the Army prayerbook around Nusach S'phard.

In addition there was a relatively large immigration of chassidic Jews
from Europe to Israel about 200 years ago. They set up several
communities which davened sephard which thus became the main nusach of
newer immigrants that came to these communities.  Hence, today the vast
majority of Israelis from European background daven nusach sefard. The
main exceptions are shuls in Jerusalem that were influenced by the
talmidei haGra and also yeshivot and their students were the rebbeim
came from lithuanian background.

Eli Turkel


End of Volume 35 Issue 12