Volume 35 Number 96
                 Produced: Fri Feb 22  0:59:43 US/Eastern 2002

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Bracha for women reading Magilla for women
Cheilek Elokah MiMaal
         [Eliezer Finkelman]
Cheilek Elokah mimaal ('a piece of G-d from above')
         [Ben Katz]
The Grammar of "Sifrey Qodesh"
         [Jay F Shachter]
Kiddush Halevonah
         [Beno Freedman]
Purim Tora
         [Saul Davis]
Qiddush haLevonah
         [Saul Davis]
Rare Mikeitz
         [Perets Mett]
Sifrei Kodesh & Baal Koyre
         [Perets Mett]
Source request
         [Gershon Dubin]
Source Request (2)
         [Shoshana L. Boublil, SBA]


From: <ROSELANDOW@...>
Date: Thu, 21 Feb 2002 07:04:45 EST
Subject: Re: Bracha for women reading Magilla for women

Does anyone write regarding what Bracha is when women read for women?


From: Eliezer Finkelman <louis.finkelman@...>
Date: Thu, 21 Feb 2002 05:37:36 -0500
Subject: Re: Cheilek Elokah MiMaal

The objections and defenses of this phrase in Mail Jewish seem focused
on its apparent sympathy with the idea that a human could qualify in any
way as divine.

A different, but related, objection: According to Rambam, "Now it has
been demonstrated that in the necessary existence there is not
composition in any way at all."  (Guide 2:1.  In the Pines translation,
p. 252).  I understand that to mean that the holy One logially cannot
consist of, or have, parts.  Nothing, therefore, should qualify as "a
part of the divine" according to Rambam.

Does anyone have a cogent alternative to Rambam's assertion?
 Eliezer Finkelman

From: Ben Katz <bkatz@...>
Date: Thu, 21 Feb 2002 14:21:35 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Re: Cheilek Elokah mimaal ('a piece of G-d from above')

>Akiva Miller writes:
>> 2) What is the nature of that Breath Of Life? ---
>> One explanation that I've heard is that it is the ability of free will.
>See the Targum on that passuk - "breath of life" = ability to speak

        Note that the Targum always "de-anthropomorphises" Biblical
anthropomorphisms.  That is why Rambam quotes the Targum so much inthe

Ben Z. Katz, M.D.
Children's Memorial Hospital, Division of Infectious Diseases
2300 Children's Plaza, Box # 20, Chicago, IL 60614
Ph. 773-880-4187, Fax 773-880-8226


From: Jay F Shachter <jay@...>
Date: Thu, 21 Feb 2002 11:13:14 -0600 (CST)
Subject: The Grammar of "Sifrey Qodesh"

Janet Rosenbaum <jerosenb@...> wrote on Wed, 20 Feb 2002 18:08:33 -0500 (EST):
> Is "sifrei kodesh" an instance of smichut (i.e., books of the holy) or a
> grammatical mistake (holy books)?  When I mentioned this on
> soc.culture.jewish someone mentioned "baal koreh" as a mistake (instead
> of "baal kriah"), but lashon hakodesh seems to be "language of the holy"
> (though it could well be a mistake instead of halashon hakodesh).
> Someone else pointed out tallis katan (instead of tallit ketana) ---
> either "young person's tallis" or a mistake.

Exodus 28:2 (which is right at the beginning of this week's Parashah)
contains the parallel construct "vigdei qodesh".  "Sifrei qodesh" is
thus clearly not a grammatical mistake.

"Lashon haqqodesh" may be a mistake (vide infra), but it is not nearly
so bad as "hallashon haqqodesh".  If you think that the second word in
the phrase is properly an adjective, not a noun, well then, the
adjectival form is "qadosh", not "qodesh".  Moreover, "lashon" is
feminine, so it would have to be "hallashon haqqdoshah".

What makes "lashon haqqodesh" wrong is that the smikhut form of "lashon"
is "lshon".  It should be pronounced "lshon haqqodesh".  Similarly with
"lshon hara`" and "`eyn hara`".  When I made these pronouncements, in
passing, in an earlier issue of mail.jewish, my esteemed colleague Mark
Steiner replied with the opinion that since these phrases originated in
Mishnaic Hebrew, and since -- he claimed -- in Mishnaic Hebrew the words
"lashon" and "`ayin" are invariant under smikhut, we should retain the
Mishnaic forms in our spoken conversation.  This interchange was of
great interest to a total of two people, since no one else on
mail.jewish expressed any opinion one way or the other.

If you are truly intersted in such matters you should join the heblang
mailing list, to which I am cross-posting this article, and to which, I
suspect, all responses should be restricted.

			Jay F. ("Yaakov") Shachter
			6424 N Whipple St - Chicago IL  60645-4111


From: Beno Freedman <bsfreedm@...>
Date: Thu, 21 Feb 2002 14:28:07 -0500
Subject: Re: Kiddush Halevonah

> From: J.B. Frank <jbfrank@...>
> Also, does anyone have a satisfactory explanation on the inyan of Miyoot
> Halevonah?

In "Or G'dalyahu on the Mo'adim," p.124, the possibility is raised that
the "shrinking" of the moon is actually that it was made to wax and
wane, rather than always shine with equal intensity as does the sun.  In
this way it parallels Israel, whose history is full of ups and downs.

hope this helps,


From: <davis@...> (Saul Davis)
Date: Thu, 21 Feb 2002 14:28:16 +0200
Subject: Purim Tora

I have written some Purim tora based on Chapter 11 of the Megilla. I am
not going to post it on the forum. If anyone wants to read it send me an
email and I can email it or fax it to anywhere in the world.

Purim Sameax

Saul Davis


From: <davis@...> (Saul Davis)
Date: Thu, 21 Feb 2002 14:26:09 +0200
Subject: Qiddush haLevonah

Jechezkel Frank wanted to know the source of Qiddush Halevonah. I also
want to know!

Furthemore, why do we say "Siman tov vemazal tov yehe lanu ulekhol
yisrael" at Qiddush Levonah? Is this the primary source for our "mazal
tov" blessing?

Why do we say mazal tov at celebrations, what does it mean? Mazal tov
literally means good luck - but I think a better translation is "You had
a good zodiac (or constellation)" ie a statment of fact or faith and not
a blessing at all.  Mazaloth means (the plural of mazal) zodiac (or
constellation). Note that Jews do not believe in luck (everything is
ordained in advance apart from the fear of G' which is up to each
individual) but we do believe in the zodiac although because of our
close connection to G' it has no influence on us ("en mazal leyisrael"
(= no zodiac for Israel)).

Saul Davis


From: Perets Mett <p.mett@...>
Date: Thu, 21 Feb 2002 11:21:45 +0000
Subject: Re: Rare Mikeitz

A while back Dan Werlin asked he following question.:

>Parashat Mikeitz almost always falls on Chanukah (I believe that in the
>next 90 years this conjunction will only fail on 7 occasions; it will
>not happen again until the year 5781/2020).  However, when Mikeitz does
>not fall on Chanuka, we get the rare opportunity to read the haftarah
>where Shelomo haMelech proposes cutting a baby in half.
>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.
>However, I am having trouble understanding the mechanism that brings
>this about.  Does anyone with a good understanding of the calendar have
>an answer?  Do you know of any other similar oddities to the calendar?

As I have not yet seen a reply to this question here goes:

If the first day of Chanuka is a Friday or Shabbos, we read vayeishev on
Chanuka. This happens precisely in those years when Rosh Hashono is on
Shabos, so that Breishith is read on 29 Tishrei, and vayeishev has not
yet been read when Chanuka starts.

In such a year, if Marcheshvon has 29 days, Chanuka will commence on a
Friday (actually Thursday evening). Since Chanuka ends on a Friday,
Mikeits is read after Chanuka is over. Also asoro b'teiveith (the Fast
of Teiveith) will fall on a Friday (of parshath Vayigash).

If Marcheshvon has 30 days, Chanuka will commence on Shabbos, so both 
Vayeishev and Mikeits are read during Chanuka.

Perets Mett


From: Perets Mett <p.mett@...>
Date: Thu, 21 Feb 2002 13:48:18 +0000
Subject: Sifrei Kodesh & Baal Koyre

Janet Rosenbaum  asked:

>Is "sifrei kodesh" an instance of smichut (i.e., books of the holy) or a
>grammatical mistake (holy books)?

It is a typical case of  the use of smikhuth in Hebrew. This a 
common and idiomatic construction; further examples are shabbath 
kodesh (with a pathach under the beith), kehiloth hakodesh, klei 

>When I mentioned this on
>soc.culture.jewish someone mentioned "baal koreh" as a mistake (instead
>of "baal kriah"),

This is a common misconception. Indeed if anything is a mistake it is 
"baal kriah", a meaningless concept. The word for  a Reader in Hebrw 
is is 'korei'; that is the word used in Shulchon Orukh. The word (or 
phrase) 'baal koyre' is the correct term in Yiddish (not Hebrew). 
'baal kriah' was made up by people who deride the use of Yiddish and 
failed to realize what the correct Hebrew word is.

>but lashon hakodesh seems to be "language of the holy"

Actually, the correct Hebrew phrase is "l'shon hakodesh" (the first 
word uses the s'michuth form). In Yiddish it loshn-koydesh without ha-

>(though it could well be a mistake instead of halashon hakodesh).

This would be grammatically inadmissible. If anything, it would have 
use the adjectival form "haloshoin hakodoish", but this is 
idiomatically unsound.

>Someone else pointed out tallis katan (instead of tallit ketana) ---
>either "young person's tallis" or a mistake.

This is also based on a misconception. A tallis koton is worn by men 
of all ages, even centenarians. It is not  a young person's talis.
The grammatical point has been discussed previously on the list. It 
seems that talis was considered to be a masculine noun in Hebrew by 
some authors. (it is definitely a masculine noun in Yiddish)

Perets Mett


From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Thu, 21 Feb 2002 19:46:41 -0500
Subject: Source request

<Danmim@...> asked about sources for saying baruch sheptarani on a bas
mitzva with Shem and malchus.  

I find this difficult to imagine as many/most poskim don't even agree
that the beracha should be made with Shem and malchus for a boy.

I also never heard of it being said at all for a girl,  although I don't
see a logical reason for this.


From: Shoshana L. Boublil <toramada@...>
Date: Thu, 21 Feb 2002 13:17:27 +0200
Subject: Re: Source Request

> From: <Danmim@...>
> searching for the sources;
> 1 may a father recite at the the bat mitzvah of his daughter the bracha
> 'shapitrani' with shem and malcus.

Rav Yitzchak Nissim (Rishon Letzion, ZT"L) in his book HaYaYin HaTov.
He says that a father should say this bracha, without Shem U'Malchut.
He also adds that there should be a Yoma Tava on the day of reaching
Mitzvot, for a son or a daughter, and he quotes Rav A. Mossafya (Shu"t)
that the Se'uda you make on this occasion is a Se'udat Mitzva.

Rav Eliyah says that it is not necessary as the daughter's education
continues for many years and the worries accompany the parents until her
wedding, and even afterwards.

> 2 where do we find the lashon for the bracha we recite for our daughters
> on friday nights as we do with our sons.

I didn't find a source, but in all the Mi SheBerachs mentioned in the
book Zeved HaBat by Aharon Cohen, they all start with Mi Sheberach
Sarah, VeRivka, Rachel VeLeah....

Shoshana L. Boublil

From: SBA <sba@...>
Date: Thu, 21 Feb 2002 23:23:05 +1100
Subject: Source Request

searching for the sources;
1 may a father recite at the the bat mitzvah of his daughter the bracha
'shapitrani' with shem and malcus.

Never heard of it.
See Taamei Haminhogim page 95 - where he gives 2 reasons why not
and also directs us to  Mogen Avrohom 341:3 and Pri Megodim 245:5.

2 where do we find the lashon for the bracha we recite for our daughters on
friday nights as we do with our sons.

We recently discussed this and the whole Friday night bentching concept on
the Avodah list.

No one could come up with a source for the "Yesimech Elokim kSRRvL".  I
mentioned that I spoke to en elderly relative - a Talmid Chochom in
Jerusalem - who told me that he bentches his daughters first with the
"keEfrayim uMenashe" and then with kSRRvL'.



End of Volume 35 Issue 96