Volume 35 Number 47
                 Produced: Fri Sep 14  9:46:30 US/Eastern 2001

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Itinerant Scribes
         [Carl Singer]
         [Yisrael & Batya Medad]
The Lottery
         [Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz]
Meditation and Moleich and Hinduism
         [Meylekh Viswanath]
The permissibility of lotteries
         [David Charlap]
Request for Meqorot
Symbolic Foods
         [Baruch J. Schwartz]
Symbolic Foods for Rosh Hashanah
         [Art Werschulz]
Tishrei and Shabbos Mevarchim (2)
         [Michael Appel, Gershon Dubin]
The Twin Towers Tragedy
         [Yisrael & Batya Medad]
Upper and Lower Accentuation of the Decalogue
         [Baruch J. Schwartz]


From: Carl Singer <CARLSINGER@...>
Date: Thu, 13 Sep 2001 15:40:46 EDT
Subject: Re: Itinerant Scribes

<<  From: David Riceman <driceman@...>
   I occasionally see advertisements for sofrim in Brooklyn who make
 housecalls.  Does anyone know of a sofer in Central New Jersey who does
 the same? >>

Sofer Plus (Rabbi Mandel)  in Passaic came to our home to check our Mezzuzahs.

Carl Singer


From: Yisrael & Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Fri, 14 Sep 2001 11:49:08 +0200
Subject: Kedusha

Re: the Kedusha order, the Eeshay Yisrael notes (24:22) that while the
Kedusha properly "begins" at the verse from Yeshayahu 6:3 and whereas
the "opening" sentence of "n'kadesh" or "nakdishach" as per community
tradition is actually but an "invitation" to the congregation to join
in, the acceptable custom is to permit the congregation to say the
Kedusha in its entirety starting from "nekadesh/nakdishach" until after
"yimloch hashem...".

He refers to Paragraph 125 of the Orach Chayim and sub-paragraph 4 and
the Mishna Brurah there, sub-paragraph 2.  He also refers to the Aruch
HaShulchan 51:9 who claims that if the congregation only started at
"Kadosh" it could be considered saying just a portion of the verse which
is not allowed.  The introduction said also by the congregation thus
performs the function of "filling in".

Yisrael Medad


From: Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz <sabbahem@...>
Date: Fri, 7 Sep 2001 14:06:28 -0400
Subject: RE: The Lottery

>From: Jonah Bossewitch <jonah.bossewitch@...>
[cut to save space]
>I have never heard any specific ruling on the lottery, but why wouldn't
>it would fall under the general category of gambling - permissible, but
>engageing in this activity invalidates one's status as an eligible

This only applies to a professional gambler who gets his income from gambling.
 Not from the occasional gambler.

>In my opion, buying a lottery ticket, like playing craps or roulette
>(although perhaps not blackjack) does not constitute histadlus (effort).
>Anyone who engages in such behavior exhibits a character flaw, although
>it may be halachilly permissible.
>Besides, do you really think that HKB"K requires a contrived oppurtunity
>to bestow good fortune?

There are circumstances where Hasem wants the money to appear to come via 
"natural means".  Otherwise we would not be allowed to have a job.  This is 
just providing the means.

>Give the lotto dollar to you're favorite charity instead - the payoff
>will be much greater ;-)

The original question involved a lottery run by a charitable organization., if 
I recall corectly.

Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz - <sabbahem@...>


From: Meylekh Viswanath <pviswanath@...>
Date: Mon, 10 Sep 2001 15:23:20 -0400
Subject: Re: Meditation and Moleich and Hinduism

At 02:32 AM 9/7/2001 +0000, Velvel Lipsker <zvlipsker@...> wrote:
>Elishevah Schwartz wrote:
> >>Does anyone have practical experience with taking a Transcendental
> >>Meditation or other meditation class?
>Look up www.freedomofmind.com for one good
>example (this, regardless of the fact that many goiyishe celebrities are
>hooked up with them)  in connection to this it so happens that although
>they try to hide it , their philosophy is completely based on eastern
>religion and has many aspects that are even mentioned in the Torah as
>being Assur including invoking the names of different Hindu deities Etc.
>(I happened to do a little research on the Subject and it is interesting
>that many of the Avodah Zorohs mentioned in the Torah Such as Moleich
>Etc. the only place were these things are still practised is in these

I would be interested in the reference to Moleich in Hinduism.  Although
you refer to "... these ..." religions, Hinduism is the only religion
that you mention.

The fact is that what is often referred to as Hinduism today is the set
of all beliefs that were every entertained in India starting about 4000
or so years ago.  Particularly, some of the more abhorrent practices
such as human sacrifice were leftovers from pre-Aryan practices in India
(and were carried into "Hinduism" by people who took on the trappings of
Vedic and post-vedic Hinduism) and have very little to do with the
greater tradition of Hinduism.  Attributing everything that is done in
India or that has been done in India over the last 4000 years to
Hinduism would be akin to saying that Judaism includes the practice of
worshipping at the graves of Muslim holy men because some Jewish
communities might have done so (or that Judaism supports the caste
system because Jews in India had a system very akin to the local caste
system), or to say that Christianity includes the worship of pagan
deities because the dating of some Christian festivals might be based on
older pagan festivals.

While I am not recommending TM to anyone (I don't know enough about it),
there are a lot of things that are bruited about regarding Hinduism,
that are quite far from the truth.

Meylekh Viswanath


From: David Charlap <shamino3@...>
Date: Thu, 13 Sep 2001 11:30:37 -0400
Subject: Re: The permissibility of lotteries

Eli Turkel wrote:
> Basically there are two problems in gambling
> 1. asmachta - that the one who loses did not really mean to gamble
> and only did it on the assumtption he would win and so the winnings
> arestolen money.

This is very circumstantial, IMO.

For instance, when I occasionally play poker with my friends, the
purpose for playing the game is to spend time with my friends.  Sure,
it's nice to win on occasion, but my decision to play or not to play is
not based on whether I think I'm going to come home a winner.

Similarly for the non-professional gamber who goes to casino.  Everybody
I know who goes to casinos goes there as a part of a vacation.  They go
in order to spend a weekend someplace away from home, have a nice
dinner, see a show, etc.  The gambling is done for the fun of the game,
and not in order to make money.  (One relative of mine, for instance,
gets great enjoyment out of throwing nickels into slot machines, even
though his net winnings/losses for an entire day may be less than $10.)

Institutional lotteries are similar.  Nobody that I know of has ever
played a lottery with the expectation of winning, even though everybody
hopes that their numbers will come up.

A professional gambler at a casino, however, is different.  He _does_ go
to the casinos for the express purpose of winning money.

Similarly, people who are convinced to bet on things like horse races
and sporting events because they think they have a "sure thing" probably
fall under the category of asmachta.  In actual practice, it become a
bit of a gray area - one person may bet on a horse race because it's
simply part of enjoying a day at the races, while another may spend all
his time researching horses in order to try and actually make money at

-- David


From: Anonymous
Date: Thu, 13 Sep 2001 10:25:43 EDT
Subject: Request for Meqorot

Can anyone identify examples, whether in Tanach or later material, of
women who never had any children but who nonetheless made their marks on
the lives of their communities and, especially, who had high-quality,
loving, caring, relationships with others, including marriage?

Thank you in advance for any citations.


From: Baruch J. Schwartz <schwrtz@...>
Date: Thu, 13 Sep 2001 18:01:49 +0200
Subject: Symbolic Foods

We say: "lettuce" have a "raisin" our "celery" and eat all three of those

Since I am an academic whose life depends on publish-or-perish, I eat a
persimmon (Heb. afarsemon) and say "yehi ratson she-yitparsemu maamarenu"
("May our articles be published").

The original reason for carrots is that they are Moehren, which in
Yiddish sounds just like "mehren", "to multiply in number". We think this
is beautiful, but because in Hebrew they are Gezer, we think it's just as
nice to say "yehi ratson she-tikra roa GZAR dinenu" (May you tear up the
evil decree against us"). This has the advantage of not being restricted
to German or Yiddish speakers.

Other than these, we say and eat most of the traditional foods as well.

Shana Tova to all!

Baruch and Sema Schwartz


From: Art Werschulz <agw@...>
Date: Thu, 13 Sep 2001 10:15:35 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Symbolic Foods for Rosh Hashanah


The ArtScroll Siddur has a list of such symbolic foods, along with a
special "y'hi ratzon" that is said with it.  Of course, the most
famous is the apple dipped in honey, which is prefaced by the bracha
"borei p'ri haeitz" and is followed by "Y'hi ratzon milfanecha, HaShem
Elokeinu v'Eilokei avoteinu, shet'chadesh aleinu shanah tovah u'm'tukah",
the wish that we be renewed for a good and sweet year.

A less traditional symbolic food is to combin a piece of lettuce, half
a raisin, and a piece of celery, with the statement "Lettuce half a
raisin celery".  (Sorry for the bad pun.)

L'shanah tovah tichateivu v'teichateimu.

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: Michael Appel <mjappel@...>
Date: Fri, 07 Sep 2001 12:12:45 -0500
Subject: Tishrei and Shabbos Mevarchim

> Why do we not bentsch Rosh Chodesh for Tishrei? The answer I always hear is 
> "HaShem Himself blesses this month." Somehow I find it unsatisfactory and 
> wonder if anyone knows a better reason. 
>     Bill Bernstein 

I don't have any particular source handy and I am sure that other MJ
subscribers might. I have heard that it is to confuse the Satan. Also,
it seems that Rosh Hashana is itself a mysterious holiday. It gets very
little mention in the Torah compared to every other Yom Tov. Its nature
is not readily apparent from the P'sukim. And I believe that in the Shir
shel Yom we say on Thursday, the word Kese, has some connotation of
covering up. This might refer to the fact that on Rosh Chodesh (And Rosh
Hashana) the moon is covered up, but I think I saw it mentioned that it
refers to this cryptic nature of Rosh Hashana. 

So, I was thinking that if the purpose of Rosh Chodesh Bentching is
mostly to proclaim Rosh Chodesh (in commemoration of the Sanhedrin),
then perhaps since this Rosh Chodesh is not really a Rosh Chodesh and is
a "covered up day" itself, we may have more reason not to say it. 


From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Sat, 8 Sep 2001 22:19:55 -0400
Subject: Tishrei and Shabbos Mevarchim

From: Bill Bernstein <bbernst@...>
<< Why do we not bentsch Rosh Chodesh for Tishrei?>>

        The verse in Tehilim refers to the day on which the shofar is
blown as "bakeseh", the hidden day, which the Gemara interprets as the
day on which the moon is hidden. Aside from the astronomical reality
that the moon is not visible on Rosh Hashana, the understanding is also
to downplay the "Rosh Chodesh" aspect with respect to the Rosh Hashana
aspect of the holiday.



From: Yisrael & Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Fri, 14 Sep 2001 12:06:12 +0200
Subject: The Twin Towers Tragedy

Btw, what is happening from a halachic viewpoint as a result of the
presumed deaths and/or missing family members regarding Agunot, orphans,
tzedakah, burial, community self-help, etc.?

Yisrael Medad
Shiloh 44830


From: Baruch J. Schwartz <schwrtz@...>
Date: Fri, 7 Sep 2001 18:03:35 +0200
Subject: Upper and Lower Accentuation of the Decalogue

The world's leading authority on biblical accentuation, R. Mordechai
Breuer (ad 120!), has written about the double accentuation of the
Decalogue (taam elyon and taam tachton) in a few places. I suggest
reading his article, "Dividing the Decalogue into Verses or
Commandments" which appeared in B. Z. Segal (ed.), The Ten Commandments
in History and Tradition, Jerusalem 1990, pp. 291-330. (The entire
volume, including this article, first appeared in Hebrew: Jerusalem
1986, pp. 223-254). See also his Pirke Moadot, Jerusalem 1986,
pp. 379-396.

He explains in complete and clear detail, and proves conclusively from
the Masorah, that the LOWER accentuation is the one in which the first
two sentences, "anoki" and "lo yihyeh lekha" are ONE verse with etnachta
on "avadim", and that the UPPER accentuation is the one in which the
first sentence ("anoki" etc.) is a verse unto itself with etnachta on
"elohekha" and sof pasuk on avadim. The reading of the latter on Shavuot
(or whenever you read the elyon in your shul) is therefore NOT a mixture
of elyon and tachton, since that is the original, and correct, taam
elyon. R. Breuer also explains at length how the other versions found in
many humashim, all erroneous, came into existence.

Another, less detailed, presentation is that of Miles Cohen and David
Freedman, "The Dual Accentuation of the Ten Commandments," in
H. Orlinksy (ed.), Proceedings of the International Organization for
Masoretic Studies, 1 (1974), pp. 7-18.

In the shul where I serve, the custom of the Ashkenazim of Eretz Yisrael
is observed: the lower accentuation (according to R. Breuer's humash!)
is read on yitro and va-ethannan, and the upper accentuation (ditto!) is
read on Shavuot. (If you want to know why, in that case, the upper
accentuation for the dibberot in va-ethannan even exists, since it's
never read, then read R. Breuer's articles!).

Baruch Schwartz
Rimon Central Synagogue


End of Volume 35 Issue 47