Volume 35 Number 92
                 Produced: Tue Feb 19  5:48:25 US/Eastern 2002

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Bircat Kallah
         [Yisrael and Batya Medad]
Bracha for Falafel Balls
         [Alan Friedenberg]
Cheilek Elokah mimaal ('a piece of G-d from above')
Lehadliq Ner Shel Shabat Qodesh
         [Joseph Mosseri]
Neshomos (souls) of Children with Down's Syndrome
Nevi'im & Ketuvim:  A New Tool for Bekiut
         [Seth & Sheri Kadish]
Purim at Drisha
         [Freda B Birnbaum]
Rare Mikeitz
         [Jonathan Grodzinski]
Searching for books
         [Deborah Stepelman]
Statute of limitations on Kaddish?
         [Jonathan & Randy Chipman]
Treif music
         [Jonathan & Randy Chipman]


From: Yisrael and Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Tue, 19 Feb 2002 09:00:50 +0200
Subject: Bircat Kallah

Baruch Hashem, our daughter Tzruya is a kallah, and she gave me an
assignment to find sources and texts of Birkat Kallah.  Can anyone help?



From: Alan Friedenberg <elshpen@...>
Date: Fri, 11 Jan 2002 07:23:45 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Bracha for Falafel Balls

My kids are studying for a bracha bee at school, and the bracha listed
for falafel balls (not in pita) is ha'adama.  It would seem to me that
it would be shehakol; after all, the chickpeas are pretty mushed up, and
the final product does not resemble a chickpea.  Any reasons why this is

-- Alan --


From: <Mhayehudi@...> (Mordechai)
Date: Wed, 16 Jan 2002 00:11:06 EST
Subject: Cheilek Elokah mimaal ('a piece of G-d from above')

I have heard it said that the neshomoh (soul) is a 'cheilek Elokah
mimaal' (literally - piece of G-d above).

I have had trouble understanding how Jews can say such a thing, being
that one of the things we reject about christianity is their belief that
a man can be a G-d. So how could we (at least some of us) say / believe
that every neshomoh is a 'piece of G-d' from above'?

I have asked this question to various people. 

One (Sepharadic) Rabbi told me that this belief is 'keffirah' (a
forbidden belief for a Jew). Others said that it was not to be taken
literally. I tend to take things literally though, so that did not find
favor in my eyes.....

I wonder if this belief is discussed critically anywhere or analyzed in
the vein of my above question.

Also, is this belief mostly a hassidic belief, especially among
Lubavitchers (as it seems to be mentioned in the Lubavitcher tanya,
chapter two), or is it accepted by others as well (e.g. misnagdim,
german Jews, etc.) ?

Help would be appreciated - esp. directions to written sources on the

Thanks in advance.



From: Joseph Mosseri <JMosseri@...>
Date: Wed, 13 Feb 2002 21:22:08 -0500
Subject: Lehadliq Ner Shel Shabat Qodesh

Has any one ever seen the word qodesh added to the end of the berakhah for
lighting Shabbat candles.
All sources I've seen say lehadliq ner shel Shabbat.
But I've heard some women say Shel Shabbat Qodesh.
Does anyone know the origin of this?
Is it something old or new?
Thank you,
Joseph Mosseri


From: <Phyllostac@...> (Mordechai)
Date: Wed, 16 Jan 2002 00:23:13 EST
Subject: Neshomos (souls) of Children with Down's Syndrome

I have heard it said that children with Down's syndrome (lo aleinu) have
very elevated and special neshamas.

I was wondering - upon what is this notion based? Is there any written
source for this belief (I am not interested in accounts of certain
recent Rabbis who supposedly stood when a down's child entered a room
with the above rationale given. I have heard them already - rather I am
interested in learning of any written sources discussing the matter -
e.g. from where did the Rabbis get this idea - is it written in any
ancient on even any non - recent Jewish sources - e.g. before the last

I believe there is a similar belief extant among roman catholics

I would like to trace this belief among Jews / in Jewish tradition.....

Assistance would be appreciated.



From: Seth & Sheri Kadish <skadish@...>
Date: Mon, 11 Feb 2002 19:20:34 +0200
Subject: Nevi'im & Ketuvim:  A New Tool for Bekiut

I recently finished a project that I mentioned on this list in the past,
namely: creating a modest tool designed to make it a little bit easier
for individuals to do something very basic - to pick up a plain Tanakh
in order to read and review books in Nevi'im and Ketuvim.  It is a sort
of "Nakh Yomi" system, but a very flexible one, because it is based on
month-units: each Rosh Hodesh you decide anew which sefer to read or
review.  (It is most emphatically not "perek yomi", for it is not based
on the chapter divisions at all, but rather on natural divisions in the

Each individual guide sheet for a book of Nakh is designed to give a
sort of textual "snapshot" of the structure and contents of the book as
a whole, from large sections to very small ones, and at the very same
time to divide the book into daily units of reasonable length.  These
units begin and end at points where they interrupt the flow of the text
as little as possible.

The basic idea is to choose which sefer to read, print out the guide
sheet, fold it in half (or in quarters), and keep it in your Tanakh for
guidance as you make progress throughout the month.  The idea itself is
quite simple, but it took a great deal of tedious work to actually
implement it.  It was worth it in the end, though: the practical result
for me, personally, was that it allowed me to read and review each book
in Nakh a minimum of three times each over the past four years,
something I was never able to do before (not even once).

Since the sheets are now all finished, I want to make them available to
people who might find them useful.  Shalom Berger has kindly agreed to
"host" them on LookJed's website in Adobe format, along with some
explanatory material.  The table of contents can be found at

While I am aware that they are not appropriate for everyone, I do hope
these guide-sheets can help certain people master the basics in Torah
she-Bikhtav a bit more easily.  I would be glad to receive feedback on
them, including (especially) technical comments on how the titles and
division of the text can be improved.  (As they stand, these pages
should still be considered drafts, with lots of rough spots that still
need to be smoothed out.)

Seth (Avi) Kadish


From: Freda B Birnbaum <fbb6@...>
Subject: Purim at Drisha

Not to be missed!

I've been asked to publicize this:

---------- Forwarded message ----------

Drisha students invite you to join them in celebrating Purim.

Monday evening, February 25 - Men and Women's Megillah Reading at 6:20

Tuesday morning, February 26 - Women's Tefillah at 9:00 a.m.; Women's
Megillah Reading at 10:00 a.m.

At Drisha Institute for Jewish Education, 131 West 86th Street, 9th floor,
New York City.

Judith Tenzer
Drisha Institute for Jewish Education
131 West 86th Street
New York, NY 10024
(212) 595-0307


From: <JGrodz@...> (Jonathan Grodzinski)
Date: Sun, 13 Jan 2002 16:58:01 EST
Subject: Rare Mikeitz

Dan Werlin writes
<<   Parashat Mikeitz almost always falls on Chanukah -  It appears that this 
only happens on years where: 
 1.  Rosh haShanah starts on Shabbat.
 2.  The year is chaseirah.
 3.  Pesach starts on either Sunday or Tuesday.

 I am having trouble understanding the mechanism that brings this about.>>

In brief, if Bereishit is late in the month, Mikketz will also be
late. If this occurs when 25th Kislev is early (because Cheshvan has
only 29 days) then Mikketz will occur after Chanucah is over

In detail :-
Miketz is the tenth parsha and is always 63 (9*7) days after Bereishit

If Cheshvan has 29 days, Chanucah starts on the 84th day of the year
(doty) 30+29+25 and ends on 91 doty

if Rosh Hashanah is on a Shabbat, then so is Shemini Atzeret/Simchat
Torah and we start the cycle of reading from the Torah on the latest
possible date 29th Tishrei (=29doty) , in which case Mikketz is read on

Incidentally the 3rd condition " 3.  Pesach starts on either Sunday or
Tuesday."  is not actually a condition for Mikketz not being Chanukah,
but a result of the same factors

Jonathan Grodzinski (London UK) 4th generation master baker.


From: Deborah Stepelman <stepelma@...>
Date: Mon, 14 Jan 2002 01:38:42 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Searching for books

	As a result of our house fire nearly a year ago, a major part of
our home library was detroyed.  (TG no one got hurt.)  Among the books
we lost which we are having difficulty replacing are some by my late
grandfather, Rabbi Herbert S. Goldstein of the West Side Institutional
Synagogue in Manhattan.  I have tried the major booksellers and rare
book sellers online, but cannot locate any of the volumes of "Bible
Comments for Home Reading".  I would also like to purchase one more copy
of "Between the Lines of the Bible".  If anyone can direct me to a
source for these (or any books by Rabbi Herbert S. Goldstein) I would
greatly appreciate it.

Debby Stepelman


From: Jonathan & Randy Chipman <yonarand@...>
Date: Sat, 16 Feb 2002 22:46:30 +0200
Subject: Statute of limitations on Kaddish?

      I've occasionally heard it said that one ceases sayin Kaddish on a
yahrzeit once a person has been dead for fifty years.  Has anyone else
heard this?  Does anyone have any solid, written sources for this?  Does
it apply to parents (not that I expect to live that long; I'll be nearly
90 at my father's 50th yahrzeit)?  The whole thing is a very peculiar
halakha, if it is one at all.

     The question is particularly interesting, of course, regarding the
Shoah, whose endpoint is now nearly 57 years in the past.  I've never
heard anyone suggest abolishing the 10th of Tevet as "Yom Kaddish
hakelali" for that reason.

     When my own parents died, I took upon myself to say Kaddish for the
yahrzeit of each of my grandparents-- a not uncommon practice.  Two of
then are now dead more than fifty years, and I wonder if this has any
bearing on me.

    Any information will be appreciated.
    Yehonatan Chipman


From: Jonathan & Randy Chipman <yonarand@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Jan 2002 09:46:31 +0200
Subject: Re: Treif music

A few unsystematic thoughts about the Jewish use, synagogal or
otherwise, of non-Jewish melodies.

1.  In general, the tendency is not to reject music because of its
possible, or even known, non-Jewish origin.  Certainly not if the
non-Jewish source is secular (folk or concert hall) and not sacred.  It
is well known that much Hasidic -- and other -- Jewish music constantly
adopts tunes from other sources.  For example, one of the widely-used,
very old tunes used in Habad is what they call "Shimil's Niggun,"
allegedly written by a Ukrainian peasant who was sent to prison for his
involvement in some sort of uprising and sang a song of longing for his
homeland.  The Habadniks read this as a metaphor for the soul, exiled in
this corporeal world, longing for its Divine source, etc.

      Readers will also remember the recent discussion about the
widely-used Ashkenazi melody for Maoz Tzur, notwithstanding its use as a
Christian hymn (albeit its earliest origins seem to be as a Bohemian
folk song or love song).

2.  A possible halakhic basis for this lies in the idea that a melody is
not a concrete "thing"; hence, the usual rules concerning "treif"
objects--i.e., those that were connected with avodah zarah--would not
apply to it, because there's nothing concrete for the issur to "take
hold" of.  Rambam expresses this idea in Hilkhot Avodat Kokhavim 7.10,
where he states that a hot coal that had been part of a fire used in
pagan worship is forbidden to derive benefit thereof, whereas the flame
is permitted. because "ein bo mamash" -- that is, it has no concrete
being.  By analogy, the same argument could be applied to music.

3.  I seem to recall a responsum by Rav Moshe Feinstein in which he uses
this very argument about music, but I need to look it up and
double-check before saying anything definite.

    What is interesting is that he has a teshuvah about Shlomo Carlebach
(although he doesn't refer to him there by name) who, before he was made
into a posthumous tzaddik, was strongly criticized and even ostracized
by much of the Orthodox world.  The teshuvah, written in 1959, discusses
"melodies written by a Ben Torah who wrote songs... and after some time
became 'unkosher,' singing at gatherings where young men and women mixed
together in immodest fashion... Q: whether one may sing his melodies at
weddings" (Iggerot Moshe: Even Ha-Ezer 1:96).  The main thrust of Rav
Moshe's argument revolves around the halakha that a Sefer Torah written
by a heretic is to be burned, so that "his name and deeds may not be
remembered."  Rav Moshe rejects the analogy to this case, because a) the
songs in question were written before he "went bad" and b) In this case,
the individual in question was only a transgressor "lete'avon" regarding
one specific area, but did not deny the Torah.

     Thus, this responsum does not provide clear guidelines about the
status of music per se, and especially melodies used in Christian
liturgical settings.

   4.  On the other hand, I recall a passage in the Talmud (from the 2nd
chapter of Hagigga; R. Nahman of Braslav has an interesting teaching
based on this) in which Elisha ben Abuyah used to hum Greek songs while
learning, and one day a scroll with Greek writings fell from among his
clothing.  I don't think the point is so much that the Greek songs were
"treif," as that this was seen as symptomatic that he had fallen into
"tarbut ra'ah," i.e., that he was on the way out of Judaism.

    To summarize: something has to be very treif indeed before it is
rejected for use among Jews.  I am not convinced, regarding Naomi
Graetz's story, that Rabbi Bernstein acted according to halakha in
rejecting tunes of Christian origin, or whether his was more a
cultural-emotional reaction.  Vetzareikh od iyyun.

     Jonathan Chipman


End of Volume 35 Issue 92