Volume 36 Number 25
                 Produced: Sun Apr 28 17:14:22 US/Eastern 2002

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Chazarat Ha-Shatz (2)
         [Joel Rich, Avi Feldblum]
First Night of Sefirath ho'Omer in chu"l
         [Percy Mett]
Holocaust and Having Many Children Afterward
         [Aliza Berger / Dov Cooper]
R. Elchonon Wasserman and foundations of probability
         [Moshe & Channah Koppel]
Should reasons for a Custom lead to behavior changes
         [Ben Katz]
Tefillin shel Rabbeinu Tam (4)
         [Andrew Klafter, JBGross, Zev Sero, Shimon Lebowitz]


From: <Joelirich@...> (Joel Rich)
Date: Wed, 17 Apr 2002 05:21:58 EDT
Subject: Re: Chazarat Ha-Shatz

<<  From: Eli Turkel <turkel@...>
 Just to emphasize this is the Rav's interpretation of Rambam in Yad
 Chazakah. In his teshuvot the Rambam clearly downplays the role of
 Hazarat hashatz  >>

And his son (R' Avraham ben Harambam) IIRC suggested doing away with it
since none of the tzibbur was really listening anyway(I'm not sure this
was tongue in cheek)

Joel Rich

From: Avi Feldblum <mljewish@...>
Date: Wed, 17 Apr 2002 21:46:41 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Chazarat Ha-Shatz

On Wed, 17 Apr 2002 <Joelirich@...> wrote:
> And his son (R' Avraham ben Harambam) IIRC suggested doing away with it since
> none of the tzibbur was really listening anyway(I'm not sure this was tongue
> in cheek)

And there has been other submissions stating that the Rambam suggested
doing away with Chazarat HaShatz for the same reason.

I would be interested in the sources for either of the above. I do know
(and if someone has the on-line Shu"t can probably look it more easilly
than I will find the teshuva number) that in the collected responsa of the
Rambam, the Rambam rules for the community in question that they should do
something similar to what we call a "heicha kedusha" - where (if I
remember correctly how the Rambam rules) everyone begins their quite
Shemona Esrah at the same time that the Shatz begins reciting the Shemona
Esrah out loud. When they all finish the first two berachot, they say
Kedusha. If my memory serves correctly, in the Rambam's version, the Shatz
continues out load the entire Shemona Esrah, while what is customary today
is that continue quietly after the Shatz completes Atah Kadosh.

Avi Feldblum


From: Percy Mett <p.mett@...>
Date: Wed, 17 Apr 2002 16:10:24 +0100
Subject: Re: First Night of Sefirath ho'Omer in chu"l

  David E Cohen <ddcohen@...> asked:

>I understand the benefit of having sefirar ha'omer in the haggadah,
>since there are those who may not have been in shul, or may not have
>davened ma'ariv at all.  Let me rephrase my question:
>1.  Why is the sefirah put at the very end of the seder, after all of
>the other mitzvot?  What about the principle that "tadir veshe'eino
>tadir, tadir kodeim?" (One should do the more frequent mitzvah first.)
>Also, shouldn't any time-bound mitzvah be performed before sitting down
>to a meal (except, of course, for those parts of the seder whose
>specific time is after the meal)?
>2.  Are there communities where it is the custom that even those who are
>in shul do not count, so as to enable the practice of a specific custom,
>for some reason, of counting at the end of the seder?

The answer to 1 is answered by the answer to 2.

Yes there are communities which do NOT count the Omer in shul on the
second seider night.

(In the Sadigerer kloyz across the road to where I live sfiro is not 
counted at maariv. The members gather at the Rov's house at 1am to 
count sfiro with a minyon.
In the Beis hamedrash where I frequently daven the Rov and many other 
members do not participate in counting sfiro in shul, but count at 
the end of the seider.)

So the reason for including the sfiro in the Hagodo is not in case 
someone forgot, but as aprt of a definite custom to count sfiro after 
the seider. Traditionally this counting takes place before the 
'counting' piyut 'Echod mi yoideia'

The rationale (whether you accept it or not) given is that it is 
contradictory to perform a seider after counting sefiro, a mitsvo 
which relates specifically to 16th Nison which is after the date of 
of the mitsvos of the seider.

Other opinions disagree and specifically advise counting at the first 
opportunity in order to fulfil the requirement of 'Temimos' (that the 
omer counting should be complete)

Perets Mett


From: Aliza Berger / Dov Cooper <alizadov@...>
Date: Thu, 18 Apr 2002 11:36:06 +0200
Subject: Holocaust and Having Many Children Afterward

I asked the original question. 
The Medads answered,  in part:
<<Please see this excerpt from a posting regarding Shmuel Weiss' mother's
hesped for her fallen son:
Today is Holocaust memorial day. I gave birth, thank G-d, to three girls and
six boys. Six sons, that means six soldiers, and that means, and I always
knew, that perhaps not all of them would return from the army.
I wanted a large family, because they killed six million of ours,.>>

Yes, I have heard many statements by individuals of this principle. What
I was asking for was written sources by authorities (rabbis or secular
leaders). Anybody?

BTW, the hesped introduces another interesting question: Are there any
recommendations by authorities to have many children because you suspect
that one or more will be killed in war?

Aliza Berger


From: Moshe & Channah Koppel <koppel@...>
Date: Wed, 17 Apr 2002 21:23:45 +0000
Subject: R. Elchonon Wasserman and foundations of probability

Around 1920 there was a great deal of work done on foundations of
probability. The underlying issue was that probabilistic statements
seemed to come in two flavors: those which meant something like "the
relative frequency with which event E has taken/takes place under
similar circumstances is P" and those which meant something like "the
proportion of possible cases in which event E takes place is P". The
first is an empirical statement but the second is an analytic one
(usually about dice throws, coin-tosses and the like).

Most of the action at the time involved attempts by philosophers to
reduce the two flavors to one. Reichenbach and von Mises argued that all
probability statements could be interpreted as frequency statements
while Keynes argued that all could be interpreted in the
classical-logical sense.

What is interesting is that at just about that time Rav Elchonon (Kovetz
Shiurim, Baba Basra, #83) defines the difference between Ruba D'Issa
Kaman and Ruba D'Leisa Kaman almost precisely as the difference between
the two types of probability statements.

I haven't found any sources which have pointed this out before. Has
anybody seen anything on it?



From: Ben Katz <bkatz@...>
Date: Wed, 17 Apr 2002 14:51:48 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Re: Should reasons for a Custom lead to behavior changes

>From: <rhendel@...> (Russell Jay Hendel)
>When I first heard this explanation I immediately changed my minhag and
>started wearing a tallit gadol
>Perhaps this should be a discussion topic.  When I find that the reason
>for a non-talmudic custom does not apply I (usually) drop following the
>minhag (and would expect that this is the proper approach. Comments?? )
>I also add that I have a problem with adding reasons AFTER THE FACT (eg
>suppose the original reason for not wearing a tallit was economic; is it
>right to ADD the reason that we do it to advertise!? Should such an
>addition be used to override established minhagim or as a basis for
>Hatarat Nedarim.

I agree here with Dr Hendel 100%.  I think there is far too much emphasis
placed on non-Talmudic minhagim today.  If the minhag serves a legitimate
religious purpose that is one thing.  But if the purpose no longer applies ... 

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
e-mail: <bkatz@...>


From: Andrew Klafter <andrew.klafter@...>
Date: Thu, 18 Apr 2002 00:46:57 -0400
Subject: Tefillin shel Rabbeinu Tam

> From: <MJGerver@...> (Mike Gerver)
> Harold Greenberg writes, in v36n23,
> > The article on TEFILLIN in the Encyclopedia Judaica is too long to
> >  reproduce here.  It says that Yigael Yadin found Tefillin in the caves
> >  at the Dead Sea that "did, however, reveal one important point, namely
> >  that the difference of opinion between Rashi and his grandson Jacob Tam
> >  as to the order of the scriptural passages did not originate with them,
> >  but they transmit different traditions which go back to the first
> >  century at least, both systems being found among those fragments, and
> >  both were therefore in use concurrently.
> When I first heard about this, it occurred to me that there is another
> possible interpretation of the evidence. Maybe at the time of the Dead
> Sea scrolls people didn't think it mattered what order the parshiot were
> written in, so they just wrote them in any order. Only later, perhaps as
> late as the time of Rashi, did people decide that the order was
> significant, and that's when the different traditions of Rashi and
> Rabbeinu Tam tefillin developed.

If the Jews "didn't think it mattered what order the parshio were
written in" during the 2nd Temple period, then there should be a random
distribution of all the possibilities of how the parshiot COULD be
arranged.  Since there are 4 parshiot, there are 4! (4
factorial=4x3x2x1) possible ways to arrange the parshiot.  I.e., there
are 24 ways that the parshiot could be arranged.  This means that if the
Jews didn't care what order the parshiot were arranged in, archeologists
would discover tefillin whose parshiot have been arranged randomly among
the 24 different possibile ways to put them together.  Since only
Rashi's order and Rabbeinu Tam's order were recovered (if the data
sample is large enough to demonstrate statistical significance), this
shows that these were the only halakhically acceptable methods of
writing/inserting the parshiot.

May this finding should strengthen our faith in the words of our
Rishonim, Chazal, and our Torah HaKedohsa!

Andrew B. Klafter, MD
Assistant Professer of Clinical Psychiatry
University of Cincinnati

From: JBGross <jbgross@...>
Date: Thu, 18 Apr 2002 08:37:43 -0400
Subject: Re: Tefillin shel Rabbeinu Tam

Actually, it is not at all certain that the tefillah shel yad according
to Rabbeinu Tam's opinion is any different from according to Rashi and
Rambam.  See Hagahos Maimonios to Rambam hilchos tefillin, who considers
both possibilities.

The rationale for saying that R'T only differs as to the shel rosh is
apparently as follows: 
    Really, the order must be as the parshiyos appear in the Torah
    The shel rosh, with its four compartments, presents the four parshios
two at-a-time -- two sets of two parshios each, such that each pair is in
adjacent compartments and is in correct order when viewed from the proper
perspective ("miymin hakora", "miymin hameiniach").  In other words, they
are arranged as 1 2 4 3, to be read 1 2 (from one side), then 3 4 (from
the opposite side.  Note that "1 2" [Kadesh, and its continuation V'haya
Ki] start with Vaydabber - phrased as addressed to Moshe; whereas 3 4
[Shema and V'haya Im] are phrased as Moshe "mi-pi atzmo" addressing us,
so a difference of perspective is inherent.
    Since the shel yad has only one compartment, it has only one
perspective, so -- if its parshios are to be connected as a single
document -- they are to be arranged in natural order. 

Arguably, the uncertainty remains, and those who originated the
recommendation for putting on a second shel rosh and shel yad to satisfy
R'T's opinion "mi-safek", included the second shel yad only to satisfy a
"s'fek s'feka".

From: Zev Sero <zev.sero@...>
Date: Thu, 18 Apr 2002 15:45:34 -0400
Subject: RE: Tefillin shel Rabbeinu Tam

We know that the order matters, and mattered at least as early as the
Mishna, because all the opinions are based on the Mishna that says
Kadesh and Vehaya Ki Yeviacha must be on the right, and Shema and Veyaha
Im Shamoa on the left.

One might still argue that this rule developed some time between the era
of the cave tefillin and that of the mishna.  But if that were the case,
we would expect to find 4! = 24 different combinations of parshiyot in
the caves, with the majority divided more or less equally between Rashi
(1234) and Shimushei Rabba (4321), and the rest divided more or less
equally among the other 22 possible combinations.  I don't know what the
actual distribution of the cave tefillin were, but if Rabbenu Tam's
order (1243) was significantly represented, that implies that it was
done davka, since that is not at all intuitive, unless one is attempting
to follow literally the text recorded in the mishna.

Zev Sero

From: Shimon Lebowitz <shimonl@...>
Date: Fri, 19 Apr 2002 11:59:19 +0200
Subject: Tefillin shel Rabbeinu Tam

Well, it's been a while since my probability classes, but aren't there
24 different ways to arrange 4 parshiot?  Why would Yadin have found *2*
arrangements, and not a dozen or more, if people were arranging them
randomly in the batim?

Shimon Lebowitz                           mailto:<shimonl@...>
Jerusalem, Israel            PGP: http://shimonl.findhere.org/PGP/


End of Volume 36 Issue 25