Volume 35 Number 30
                 Produced: Mon Jul 30  6:14:35 US/Eastern 2001

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Adios, Adieu and Adio
         [Yeshaya Halevi]
Aleinu tune
         [Art Werschulz]
Confusion on Nusach Achid
         [Seth & Sheri Kadish]
         [Gershon Dubin]
I DONT KNOW in Rashi
         [Russell Hendel]
Nursery rhymes in shul
         [Reuven Spero]
Nusach achid
         [Louise Miller]
         [Bernard Jacobs]
Shabbat Guidance for non-Jews
         [Mike Stein]
Tefila Tunes
         [Jack Gross]
Tevilas Keilim
         [Dov Teichman]
Why does the Torah request "meitav haaretz" payment?
         [Bernard Raab]


From: Yeshaya Halevi <chihal@...>
Date: Fri, 27 Jul 2001 10:55:26 -0700
Subject: Adios, Adieu and Adio

Shalom, All:

	Akiva Miller notes << the Kitzur writes, "People write the word
'adieu', which is French and means 'with G-d', and this is strictly
forbidden [issur gamur], because eventually that letter will end up in
the trash.>>

	An interesting side note, if you'll pardon the pun:

I distinctly recall reading the liner notes of a CD featuring a S'fardi
song called "Adio Kerida." The note on "Adio Kerida" -- the title, I
believe, means, "Farewell, Beloved" -- stated that the S'fardim who
popularized this song insisted upon using "Adio" (which is the singular
form of the word "God") instead of "Adios" (the plural form of the word
"God") because they wanted to make clear that as Jews, they didn't buy
into any Trinitarian heresy.

Yeshaya Halevi (<chihal@...>)


From: Art Werschulz <agw@...>
Date: Fri, 27 Jul 2001 10:01:21 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Aleinu tune


>  What bothers me much more than ushmo x 3 is "she-hu noteh shamayim"
>  sung to the tune of "The Itsy Bitsy Spider."

I always thought it sound like Johnny Horton's "Sink the Bismarck".

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: Seth & Sheri Kadish <skadish@...>
Date: Wed, 25 Jul 2001 23:20:43 +0200
Subject: Confusion on Nusach Achid

     I was beginning to think that the whole discussion about
Ashkenaz/Sefard was getting overdone.  But then, in private
correspondence and also from the posting, I became aware of some major
confusion in the use of terms.  I also realized that I myself was
responsible for much of that confusion because I was unclear about what
I meant by the terms I used, and why I used them.  So the following is
an attempt to clarify a phrase that means different things to different
people, and what I meant by it:

(1) Most obsevant Jews from English-speaking countries are aware that
Ashkenazic shuls use two different kinds of siddurim: Most use Ashkenaz,
and a minority use "Sefard."  Many or most are also aware that davvening
"Sefard" has its roots in chasidic custom.

(2) The term "Nusach Achid" can be translated as "Uniform Text."
Theoretically, there are two ways one could achieve this:

    (a) By choosing one of the extant siddurim and having everyone use
that one.
    (b) By creating some sort of hybrid siddur and having everyone use it.

Here is where the confusion came in.  Quite a number of people thought
that when I mentioned "Nusach Achid" I meant (b).  And I agree that,
theoretically, the term could be used to mean that.  Nevertheless, what
I meant was *only* (a), and I will explain why:

Rav Shlomoh Goren zt"l did not invent the term "Nusach Achid," but he
was the first person to popularize it among vast numbers of Israelis.
He was also the first (and, as far as I am aware, the only) person to
publish siddurim and machzorim with the words "Nusach Achid" actually on
the title page.  But what nusach did he actually publish?  *Not* a
hybrid nusach, but "Nusach Sefard" (the Ashkenazic-chasidic one).
Israelis understood this and thus, to the vast majority of Israelis who
do use the term, "Nusach Achid" and "Nusach Sefard" (chasidic) mean
*exactly* the same thing.  Even though his plan failed to work in the
army, Rav Goren's term made it into popular usage for the nusach that he
picked.  In fact, the very use of the term "Nusach Achid" has
contributed to making "Nusach Sefard" even more popular than it
otherwise would have been.

Not all Israelis use the term at all, of course.  It has become very
popular to use in religious-zionist laymen's circles, because it is seen
as a way for making a shul open to all Jews: no one has to feel that
"his" nusach is being discriminated against, because the shul uses the
nusach that is "achid," i.e. "everyone's."  Whether or not this really
works, of course, is a separate question.  (I don't think that it does.)
But that is what an Israeli means when he uses the term.  And when that
same Israeli purchases siddurim for his "Nusach Achid" shul, he will
purchase "Nusach Sefard" siddurim, because the two are one and the same,
and he believes that everyone knows this.

Why do some people *not* use the term?  For very good reasons.  It is
clear to most talmidei chakhamim that the idea of a "Nusach Achid" has
very little basis in either history or halakha (despite Rav Goren).  So
a talmid chakham probably won't use this phrase (even if that is how he
davvens), unless he also uses it for public policy reasons (e.g. because
his congregants all use it).  In non-Zionist yeshiva circles the term is
less popular precisely because, in those circles, the ideology of mass
uniformity for customs is weaker, while the value of keeping one's own
family traditions is stronger, and thus the term has far less popular
appeal.  (I happen to sympathize with the non-Zionist world on this

*Could* one use the term to refer to a hybrid nusach?  Yes, definately,
but that is *not* how it is used in Israel.  So when I wrote that I see
"Nusach Achid" all over the place in Israel, and other people wrote that
they had never seen it, now some of the confusion can be cleared up.  I
think (I hope) we agree on what we see, even if we don't use the same
term to describe it.

The upshot of all this is:
    There are a number of historical reasons why most Ashkenazic
Israelis use "Nusach Sefard."  *One* of those reasons (absolutely not
the only one) is that in religious-zionist circles it was made more
popular by calling it "Nusach Achid."  The two are one and the same, at
least in common Israeli usage.

Two more things.  First of all, I'm glad to hear about all the places
that allow the chazzan to use his own nusach.  Even though I haven't
seen many of them myself, I think it's a good thing and a wonderful show
of derekh eretz.  I wish more places would follow suite.

Secondly, Mike Gerver wrote:

> What these shuls have in common with each other, and with Tel Aviv
> University, is a large number of Anglos, which is decidedly not the case
> where Seth lives, in Karmiel.  I think that may be the reason for his
> different experience.

I think Mike is absolutely right.  And there is a very simple reason for
it: Since Anglos tend to come from countries where they mostly use
Nusach Ashkenaz, that creates a demand for Nusach Ashkenaz where a lot
of Anglos are found.  Where Anglos are not found few people demand
Nusach Ashkenaz, because only a small minority of Israeli Ashkenazim use
it in the first place.

Seth (Avi) Kadish
Karmiel, Israel


From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Fri, 27 Jul 2001 11:21:59 -0400
Subject: Dumb-waiter?

From: Carolyn Lanzkron <clkl@...>
<<Is this something that can be used on Yom Tov and Shabbat?  If so, what
design considerations should I consider to avoid melacha problems?>>

Avoid:        using any trees or other growing plants.
              any electrical components
              going (even in transit) outside the fenced in area.

Otherwise,  sounds good!



From: Russell Hendel <rhendel@...>
Date: Mon, 23 Jul 2001 00:50:09 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: RE: I DONT KNOW in Rashi

Ben Katz responded to my inquiry (v35n18) of Pesukim in Ez
that Rashi did not understand.

I just wanted to clarify some terminology and give statistics.

Take the Chumash (Nach is no different): There are 8000 Rashis
on Chumash (Actually 7800). Of these Rashi says I DONT KNOW THE
MEANING OF THIS or some similar phrase in about 1 to 2 dozen (You
can use Davka software).

By examining these verses we immediately see that

* Rashi NEVER misunderstood an ENTIRE POSOOK
* Rashi on rare occasions (1/4%)didnt understand PHRASES or WORDS
* Hence it is misleading to say that EVEN RASHI DID NOT UNDERSTAND

My point is simply: A Rashi standard is to understand the general
idea of all verses and to understand 99-100% of all words and
phrases. This is a reasonable goal; it would be grossly misleading
to say that a person who understands a book and 99.5% of its phrases
DOES NOT UNDERSTAND POSOOKIM. (Perhaps a better phrasing would be 
that Rashi on very rare occasions does not know meanings of words)



From: Reuven Spero <spero@...>
Date: Mon, 30 Jul 2001 06:34:47 +0200
Subject: Re: Nursery rhymes in shul

I had never noticed the "eentzie-beentzie spider" in the aleynu, but
certain "v'ne-emar vehaya" is sung to the "Farmer in the Dell."  Not to
mention that in most congregations, the "vehaya" before Hashem sounds
more like a southern greeting than a hebrew verb.

Reuven Spero


From: <daniel@...> (Louise Miller)
Subject: Nusach achid

I was a teacher in an Israeli elementary school for a short period of
time, and one of my responsibilties was to daven and bentsch with the
girls in whatever class I happened to have after lunch.

I can tell you that finding and passing out the various "flavors" of the
Rinat Yisrael siddurs took longer than the davening.  (Anyone who has
ever met a child could tell you that!  I am completely convinced that
some of the girls were making up names of nusahcs in order to create
more confusion.)

Nusach achid must have been invented by an elementary school teacher in

Louse in La Jolla


From: <BJacobs571@...> (Bernard Jacobs)
Date: Fri, 27 Jul 2001 05:55:18 EDT
Subject: Re: Orthodox

Ed Ehrlich  wrote

> In short, in most cases that the word "Orthodox" is used, "observant"
> or "halakhic" would be more appropriate and would differentiate
> halakhic issues from those of administration and organizations.

I disagree with this I am not as observant as I would like to be but I
still consider myself orthodox as I feel I should observe. Some
non-orthodox jews feel they are fully obseverant because their branch
sets lower standards of what is acceptable. 

To me the term orthodox means you still believe in the the full set of
rules although you may not follow all of them and Reform/ Liberal means
you believe in a reduced set of rules. 

Bernard Jacobs


From: Mike Stein <mike@...>
Date: Fri, 27 Jul 2001 07:44:05 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Shabbat Guidance for non-Jews

When I invite non-Jewish friends to my home for dinner on shabbat, there
is necessarily a certain amount of explaining -- now we're going to do
this, why we do that, don't turn off the bathroom light ....  For many
of them a few words suffice, but there are some who would really
appreciate the opportunity to read ahead of time in a little more depth
about what they are going to experience.

I'm not talking about something long and involved, but something in the
style of those guides to what is going to happen that are commonly given
out at traditional Jewish weddings for the benefit of less knowledgable
guests.  And, in particular, something suitable for an interested
non-Jew, as opposed to something for (potential) ba'alei t'shuva.

Does such a thing exist?

Mike Stein


From: Jack Gross <vze2dstx@...>
Date: Fri, 27 Jul 2001 08:27:53 -0400
Subject: Re: Tefila Tunes

"How nursery tunes are appropriated for liturgical use is another story "

As well as the converse.  "Rad Halayla" springs immediately to mind.
It's still on the Shir Hamaalos top-10 in certain circles.


From: <DTnLA@...> (Dov Teichman)
Date: Wed, 25 Jul 2001 15:39:13 EDT
Subject: Tevilas Keilim

Has anyone heard the idea that a vessel may be used one time before
immersion in a Mikveh? If so, what is the source for this law? 
I have heard this from so many people, yet i cannot find a singe
halachic source that allows it. 

Dov Teichman


From: Bernard Raab <beraab@...>
Date: Sun, 29 Jul 2001 23:50:16 -0400
Subject: Re: Why does the Torah request "meitav haaretz" payment?

>From: P.V. Viswanath <pviswanath@...>
>Daniel Cohn asked: Can anyone offer an explanation on why does the Torah
>request a person to compensate damage in "meitav haaretz" (the best of
>his land) when payment is made by means of a piece of land?
>Bernard Raab <beraab@...> answered:
>       You are assuming that you can get a good appraisal of each
>       property. I think the Torah is saying that you are less likely to
>       get cheated if you are offered a piece of a producing orchard for
>       instance, than if you were to be paid in a larger tract of
>       non-producing land that "will certainly become very valuable in
>       the future" which you can imagine the landowner saying.
>Is there any evidence for this suggestion?  How was the appraising done?
>Presumably under the auspices of a bes din.  If so, it would be
>surprising if they countenanced systematic misvaluation!

I fear my original answer was based on a too-vague recollection of the
gemara in B Kama which discusses many aspects of this issue. The most
satisfying explanation to my mind is attributed to Rav Pappa and Rav
Huna (7b). To paraphrase: "they explained..."kol milay metav hu"--all
items are considered "superior" for if any item cannot be sold here it
can be sold elsewhere, except for land, which is fixed in
place. Therefore, if one is to pay a debt in land it must be superior
land, so that a buyer will "jump to buy it."  In other words, the test
is how easily it can be converted to cash, and that is the definition of
"superior" in this context.  I am indebted to you for forcing me to open
the gemara again--Bernie R.


End of Volume 35 Issue 30