Volume 35 Number 15
                 Produced: Wed Jul 18  6:07:40 US/Eastern 2001

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Can of Peas/Can of Worms
         [Gershon Dubin]
The function of the Yoatzoath
         [Russell Hendel]
Mezonot Bread
         [Michael Horowitz]
         [Gershon Dubin]
         [Yisrael & Batya Medad]
Regional accents
         [Eitan Fiorino]
Repetition in Prayer
         [Zev Sero]
two questions
         [Henry Cohen]
"Verses in Ezekiel that Rashi did not understand"
         [Russell Hendel]
Vsen Tal Umatar (3)
         [Harold Greenberg, Sam Gamoran, Zev Sero]
         [Shmuel Himelstein]


From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Mon, 16 Jul 2001 14:11:35 -0400
Subject: Can of Peas/Can of Worms

From: Tobias Robison <trobison@...>
<<Is there in fact a problem with the current formulation of

        I implied, as I meant to, that there may be.  IOW, the
certifying organizations feel that there is not, while my friend, NOT
for attribution, questioned that.  You are correct in saying that the
organizations, in my friend's view, have failed us, but if a person such
as he, with over 20 years of experience in the field, can differ with
his colleagues, does this mean the floodgates are open for all comers?
I think not.



From: Russell Hendel <rhendel@...>
Date: Sun, 15 Jul 2001 22:48:20 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: RE: The function of the Yoatzoath

Saul Davis raises, as Avi, points out, 2 issues in v7n6:a) What
is the difference between a Yoetzet and b) what is the exact
uniqueness of a Rabbi.

I am not touching the second issue. But, the first question can easily
be answered. In the posting of mine that Saul cites I refer to an
article in AMit women on Yoatzoth. This article clearly shows the
relationship between Yoatzoth and the Rabbinate.

A brief summary might be that the Yoatzoth function to (a) give classes
on the importance and basic ideas of Tarahat Mishpacah, (b) they
transmit serious questions to Rabbis (The function of the Yoetzet here
is to identify the question as serious and to help formulate it
properly), (c) they encorage women to talk about these matters (or help
them formulate their concerns), (d) they instruct women on known Tarahat
mishpachah procedures (the same way women always gave advice to their
daughters)., (e) they answer routine questions on Taharat Mishpacha (and
part of their education is to find out what routine questions are).

Hope this helps and to the extent that it sheds light on the first
question, hope that helps also

Russell Hendel; http://www.RashiYomi.Com/mj.htm Visit my MJewish ARchives


From: Michael Horowitz <michaelh1@...>
Date: Mon, 16 Jul 2001 13:07:04 -0000
Subject: Mezonot Bread

I recently visited London and Paris.  I was suprised to see that it is
common practice among Ashkanazim to eat "mezonot bread."  When I was in
yeshiva I had learned their was no such thing for ashkenazim, and have
found that the hechshers I am familiar with in the US do not allow bread
to be labeled mezonot.

Is anyone aware why the Rabbonim in Europe seem to differ with those in
the US on this issue?


From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Mon, 16 Jul 2001 14:41:13 -0400
Subject: Philadelphia

Does anyone know of a reliable restaurant in downtown Philadelphia, 
around 13th and Race?  Please reply offlist.



From: Yisrael & Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Sun, 15 Jul 2001 21:52:37 +0300
Subject: Prostrations

Further to the discussion generated by the Responsum of the Tzitz Elezer
14:91, connected to the bowing down of a Muslim in a Mosque which would
then cause that building to be considered a House of Idolatry, I noticed
that he is forced to relate in 14:105 3 to a parallel question regarding
the prostration of Yehoshua ("vayishtachu") before the Angel (Yehoshua
5:15).  Was that not a sign, at least, outwardly, of idolatry?

Rav Waldenberg approves of an answer that suggests that since it is not
written "vayishtachu lo", that is, "to him", the prostration was one
done out of deference to the figure's obvious important position which
is permitted as to a king, rather than an act intended to be worshipful.

Yisrael Medad


From: Eitan Fiorino <Tony.Fiorino@...>
Date: Mon, 16 Jul 2001 09:55:17 -0400
Subject: Regional accents

>From: Ben Z. Katz <bkatz@...>
>>2) Loshen HaKoydesh is defined by its grammar and vocabulary-not its
>>pronunciation.  Loshen HaKoydesh is no longer a spoken language.
>>.....it is inappropriate to call an authentic regional accent "incorrect."
>Here I also disagree.  The trope tells you how words are accented.  Any
>"regional" system which accents differently (at least when reading the
>Torah) is wrong.  Also, it seems to me, that if the regional accent can be
>traced to influences from the vernacular (e.g., which syllable is
>accented), that should also be evidence that the regional accent is wrong.

I don't know if all regional accents adhere properly to trop or have no
influence from the local vernacular (in terms of accenting sylables).  I
would guess that there are at least some that do and therefore would
fail Ben's test stated above (i.e., the accent would be "wrong").
Whatever the case, the following excerpt from a hesped for Rav
Soloveitchik given by R.  Hershel Schachter is enlightening:

  The Rav's father, R. Moshe, would recite kriat sh'ma after davening in 
  every Hebrew dialect (yemenite, galacian, etc.) to insure being yotzei
  the mitzvah l'chatchila; the Rav did not do this because he felt that the
  mesora that one received from one's parents was the appropriate dialect.

-Eitan Fiorino
Equity Research Analyst - Biotechnology, Citigroup Asset Management
100 First Stamford Place, Stamford, CT 06902
Phone: (203) 961-6238, Fax: (203) 602-6045
Email: <tony.fiorino@...>


From: Zev Sero <Zev@...>
Date: Mon, 16 Jul 2001 16:18:32 -0400
Subject: RE: Repetition in Prayer

Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>

> 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`."

I first encountered this tune when I moved to the USA 7 years ago, and
was, er, somewhat surprised by it.  I have taken, whenever I hear it
sung, to ostentatiously counting on my fingers, one, two, three, and
then one, in the hope that people who notice will feel uncomfortable,
and realise what it is that they're singing.

Zev Sero


From: Henry Cohen <hcohen9@...>
Date: Mon, 16 Jul 2001 20:58:39 -0400
Subject: two questions

1.A  friend told me that he  has a very vivid memory of a piece of bread 
being put on the body of a deceased relative. Has anyone ever  heard of
such a custom? 2. Another friend told me that her mother took down 
testimony in yiddish at a trial of kosher butchers  in the 1920's or 30's
in New York and that she has the drawings from the trial with Yiddish
titles. There was an anti trust case in the 40's , but this is not the one.
Does anyone have any information?


From: Russell Hendel <rhendel@...>
Date: Sun, 15 Jul 2001 22:43:33 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: RE: "Verses in Ezekiel that Rashi did not understand"

Yehuda Landy in v7n2 makes the following statement
>>	Hi. My question is why the skepticism? Ok there are portions"
which will take a lot more intensive study for basic understanding. Then
again there are psukkim in Yechezkeil which Rashi didn't understand at

Really! I would like to know which Pesukim in Ezekiel Rashi didnt

Russell Jay Hendel; http://www.RashiYomi.Com/mj.htm Visit my MJArchives


From: Harold Greenberg <harold.greenberg@...>
Date: Mon, 16 Jul 2001 18:48:58 +0300
Subject: Vsen Tal Umatar

 From Shemini Atzeret we say "mashiv haruah oomorid hageshem".  In other
words, we mention rain but do not pray for it.  Consider the situation
in Second Temple times.  The pilgrims from Babylon finished their
affairs in Eretz Yisrael and set out for their homes after the Succot
holiday.  To start praying for rain would not be right - how would the
pilgrims negotiate the paths if rain washed them out?  By the 7th of
Marcheshvan the pilgrims would have been outside Eretz Yisrael on their
way back to Babylon - so we in Israel pray "ten tal oomatar leevracha"
from that date (as fixed by our lunar calendar).  But for the pilgrims
from Babylon, they still had a long way to go.  It was decided that the
Jews in the Galut would start to pray for rain (as opposed to mentioning
rain) 60 days after the Autumn equinox (as determined by the calendar
based on the sun) when they would be arriving home.  60 days after the
Autumn equinox is about November 21 - but the Rabbis used the Julian
calendar, the most correct calendar at that time.  Converting November
21 to the Gregorian calendar would give the December 5 date.

Now I have a question - since we know that the Julian calendar is
incorrect and the Gregorian calendar is accurate, why don't the Jews in
the Galut begin praying for rain 60 days after the Autumn equinox which
is about November 21?

Zvi Greenberg
Eilat, Israel
reply to: <harold.greenberg@...>

From: Sam Gamoran <Sgamoran@...>
Date: Mon, 16 Jul 2001 12:03:55 +0300
Subject: RE: Vsen Tal Umatar

Tekufat Tishrei (lit. the period of [the month of] Tishrei) is the
autumnal equinox when day and night are equal - Sept. 21 or 22.  The
rainy season in Bavel begins 60 days later so the custom in the diaspora
became to start saying Tal u'matar at this time because this is when the
rain would occur where the people lived.  In Israel the rainy season
begins after Sukkot but we wait two weeks for the olei regel (Sukkot
holiday pilgrims) to return home from Jerusalem hopefully without
getting drenched.

In the 15th (or was it 16th) century when Pope Gregory adjusted the
calendar for slippage in the calculation of solar leap years (Gregorian
vs. Julian calendars), 15 days were skipped to correct for the error
that had occured over the years.  Thus November 21/22 became December
4/5.  Even though this is meteorologically wrong, somehow this shift
became permanent.

Interestingly, I think this is the only event in halacha tied to the
solar calendar.  Can anybody mention something else?  (Well you could
argue that the entire calendar is tied to the sun in the 19 year cycle
but I mean on an annual basis).

Sam Gamoran

From: Zev Sero <Zev@...>
Date: Mon, 16 Jul 2001 16:45:46 -0400
Subject: RE: Vsen Tal Umatar

The significance is simply that that's when the rainy season started in
Bavel.  The fact that all Jews in Chu"L follow the seasons of Bavel is a
relic from the time when Bavel was the home of nearly all Chu"L Jews,
and many people - including, most famously, the ROSh - have already
noted the absurdity of following the custom today.  Nevertheless, the
ROSh says that we should follow it, however absurd it seems, because
(IIRC) it would be futile to try to get everyone to change, and start
using the seasons of their own country, and at least this way we are
expressing some sort of Jewish unity by all starting on the same date.
The same consideration would seem to apply to the fact that we actually
start on the 74th day after the equinox rather than the 60th.

Zev Sero


From: Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...>
Date: Mon, 16 Jul 2001 18:28:04 +0200
Subject: Warning

An important note: it seems that for the past two years there have been
MAJOR problems with letters with checks mailed TO Israel and FROM
Israel. It seems that somehow some people have found a way to get to the
mail - even Registered Mail - and to abscond with checks.

In many cases, these checks were then cashed in Jordan. Where the checks
could not be cashed (i.e., where the endorsement made it impossible),
the envelopes with the checks were simply destroyed, as they could
hardly be put back in the mail.

It's gotten so bad that some people in the Post Office suggest that you
simply do NOT send checks that go through the Israeli mail (as per
Jerusalem Post).

I know that a check of mine that I sent to the US "disappeared," and
it's a real pain getting it replaced. It was endorsed to a specific
account, so I assume it was destroyed.

The moral: until the Israeli post office gets its act together, all
checks I send to the US will be mailed in the US by friends traveling

I would thus strongly urge anyone who must send checks to Israel to take
some elementary precautions:

a) Place the check inside folded up paper, so that anyone holding the
envelope to the light will not see what it contains.  b) Be sure that
the check is assigned to be cashed by the person only (I don't know how
you do that in the US).

And if you're sending FROM Israel, have a friend mail it from inside the
US, ESPECIALLY if it's addressed to a financial institution.

It's sad that this is the situation, but that's the reality at this time
- until we're told the thieves have been apprehended.

Shmuel Himelstein

P.S. Because of the importance of this message, I am cross-posting it to
another forum.


End of Volume 35 Issue 15