Volume 36 Number 39
                 Produced: Wed May 29 22:53:53 US/Eastern 2002

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

50 Year Kaddish
         [Carl Singer]
ArtScroll liturgy
         [Daniel Stuhlman]
Grandfather's T'filin
         [Yisrael and Batya Medad]
Kiddush Levanah Note
         [Shalom Krischer]
Laining in EY for those from Chutz L'Aretz (2)
         [Yisrael and Batya Medad, Ben Katz]
Non-Jewish prophets (2)
         [Josh Backon, David Charlap]
Old Tefillin/Old Torah
         [Y. Askotzky]
         [Josh Backon]
         [Beth and David Cohen]
words per Talmud tractate
         [Yisrael Dubitsky]


From: <CARLSINGER@...> (Carl Singer)
Date: Wed, 29 May 2002 07:18:13 EDT
Subject: 50 Year Kaddish

I believe I posted some time ago of someone in their 80's reciting
Kaddish for his Father who died when he was a teenager -- a span of well
over 50 years -- the most recent posting, that is the son's obligation
to recite until he, himself, is nifter seems a common practice.

So two more questions:

What is with the practice (obligation?  minhag?  whim?) of reciting
Kaddish for GrandParents, Great-GrandParents, etc.

What is a Woman's obligation re: Kaddish?

Kol Tov

Carl Singer


From: Daniel Stuhlman <ddstuhlman@...>
Date: Wed, 29 May 2002 13:43:08 -0500
Subject: ArtScroll liturgy

Does anyone know of a systematic or scholarly review of ArtScroll Siddurim?

Does anyone else has a difficulty with the layout of the ArtScroll Siddurim?

Daniel Stuhlman
Chicago, IL  60645


From: Yisrael and Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Wed, 29 May 2002 21:27:11 +0200
Subject: Grandfather's T'filin

Since the quote from the foremost authority keeps popping up, I would
like to express my own personal and highly subjective opinion that the
trouser parallel is completely out of whack.  Whereas trousers may be
required to fit current fashion (length, cut, cuffs/no cuffs, etc.),
tefilin don't.  All they have to be are 'kosher'.  They don't have to
'look pretty'.  Either all the elements are in order or not.  If they
are, let you son wear them if he wants and if he doesn't, don't force
him.  When he makes his own living, let him buy his own pair to fit his
own personal quirks.  Of course, the foremost authority might have been
asked, what will happen to the livelihood of Sofrei Stam if everyone
keeps wearing tefilin for a 100 years or more and then given an answer
that might convince some people to buy new automatically.  I would also
like a clarification of the "l'chatchila" issue.  If I wear tefilin that
I haven't bought as specifically mine (l'chatchila?), there's no mitzva
fulfillment?  it's a lower level of sanctity?  what?

Yisrael Medad

> As one of the world's foremost poskim of STaM has told me many times
> when I discuss with him a customer who wants (his son) to use his
> grandfather's tefillin, "Ask him if he also wears his grandfather's
> trousers for sentimental value".


From: Shalom Krischer <PGMSRK@...>
Date: Wed, 29 May 2002 11:19:45 EDT
Subject: RE: Kiddush Levanah Note

On Mon, 20 May 2002, Shmuel Himelstein wrote:

> Given the fact that Kiddush Levanah is generally not said together but
> with each person reciting it as he comes outside, different people start
> and end at different times. As the Ashkenazic custom is to turn to three
> people and wish them "Shalom Aleichem," it often happens that a person
> is approached to answer "Aleichem Shalom" while he himself is still in
> the midst of the Blessing (which begins Baruch Ata ...Asher bema'amaro
> and ends "Mechadesh Chodashim"). I recently asked a local Rav whether to
> answer in the middle of reciting the blessing should be considered an
> hafsakah - interruption, and he said it is indeed such, and that one is
> not permitted to answer at that time.

Why would this be considered a hafsakah?  It would seem to me that since
answering "Aleichem Shalom" is part of the ritual (even if only by
custom, but then again, aren't most rituals just custom?) then there is
no Hesech Hadaas (breaking of train of thought) and as such, should be
no worse than the (classic) case of someone washing (on Shabbos) and
then noticing there is no salt/knife, and "asking" for it?


From: Yisrael and Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Wed, 29 May 2002 15:03:01 +0200
Subject: Re: Laining in EY for those from Chutz L'Aretz

I'm no expert, but what about minhag ha makom, especially that Eretz
Yisrael is on a much higher madrega than chu"l?


From: Ben Katz <bkatz@...>
Date: Wed, 29 May 2002 11:04:00 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Re: Laining in EY for those from Chutz L'Aretz

>Nobody really knows why in that case we still wait till Chukat-Balak to
>even things out since (usually? always?) there is another parsha that
>can be doubled just in chul. 

        One needs to be careful before he (or she) says "no one knows
why".  A more humble statement would be "I have never come across a good
reason".  In this instance, there is a very good and logical historical
explanation for the phenomenon described.  The annual Torah reading
cycle was set up in galut - in Babylonia (Israel tended to read on a
triennial cycle).  It is not that we in galut are "behind" Israel, it is
that they in Israel are AHEAD of us.  That is why we in never "double
up" just to catch up to Israel; instead Israel needs to slow down to us
here in galut by reading singly a parasha that we have scheduled to be

        BTW, I have never come across a good explanation as to why
"yichus", which nearly always follows the father (if your father was a
kohen, you are a kohen), seems to have something to do with the mother
in a single instance that I am aware of -- pidyon haben.  As is
well-known, the first born son of the daughter of a kohen or a levi does
not have to be redeemed.  Why should this be so?  I was once told that
perhaps the reason it that it would be unseemly for a grandfather to
redeem his own grandson, but I was never satisfied with this
explanation.  Any thoughts?

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: <BACKON@...> (Josh Backon)
Date: Wed,  29 May 2002 15:43 +0200
Subject: Re: Non-Jewish prophets

The GRA (Vilna Gaon) in his commentary on Seder Olam lists 7 gentile
prophets: Be'or, Bilaam, Iyov (Job), Eliphaz, Bildad, Zophar, and Elihu
ben Berachel.

Josh Backon

From: David Charlap <shamino@...>
Date: Wed, 29 May 2002 10:22:47 -0400
Subject: Re: Non-Jewish prophets

chihal wrote:
> Recent discussion on women prophets and whether Rashi had Ruah
> HaKodesh leads me to wander a different avenue and wonder which
> non-Jews are considered prophets. It would appear Bilam (Balaam)
> was one, despite his wickedness in trying to curse the Jewish
> People. What about other non-Jews?

Bilaam was definitely a prophet.  Tradition says that he was as close to
God as Moses was.  This is so that the non-Jewish world can never say
"we couldn't ever gain God's favor because we never had a prophet like
Moses".  Bilaam is God's answer to that question - they did have such a
prophet, and had him at the same point in history.

As for other non-Jewish prophets, I don't think the Tanach mentions any,
but I wouldn't expect it to do so.  The Torah is a book for the Jewish
people, and as such wouldn't contain descriptions of prophets and
prophecies that don't affect Jews.

> Is it a slippery slope to refer to Adam as a non-Jew, as there were
> no Jews at the time?

Adam spoke directly with God.  But so did many others at the time.  I
don't know if you'd call it prophecy or something else.

> I'll be conventional and think of Avraham as the first Ivri/Jew,
> even though the word "Jew" stems from "Judean," referring to Yehuda
> (Judah), son of Ya'akov (Jacob).

It would be more accurate to call Jacob the first Jew, since the Jewish
nation (the 12 tribes) exclusively descended from him.  Abraham and
Isaac had children that the Jews did not descend from (Ishmael and
Eisav).  But the Jews descended from _all_ of Jacob's children.

> What about Adam? Enoch? Prophets, or just great men? Shem and Ever
> are considered great, but I don't recall anybody calling them
> prophets. And do we consider any of these people as "Jewish?"

Being able to speak with God does not necessarily make one a prophet.
Receiving true prophecies does.

Adam and Noach definitely spoke with God, and they received
commandments, but they didn't receive prophecies.  At least they didn't
receive any that the Torah records.

Abraham did receive prophecy (for instance, he was told that his
children would be slaves in Egypt, and would later be redeemed.) 
Similarly for the other prophets.

It may also be worth noting that the prophets after Moses did not speak
directly with God.  They received their prophecies in the form of

-- David


From: Y. Askotzky <sofer@...>
Date: Wed, 29 May 2002 18:07:28 +0200
Subject: Old Tefillin/Old Torah

>What my family does with old trousers is give them away to thrift stores
>or cut them into rags.  I assumed tefillin would be treated more like
>the way we treat objects of great value.

Sorry, seems my comment wasn't understood fully by all! The point was
that older tefillin that are in poor condition, physically and / or
halachically should really not be used if the sole purpose of using them
is for sentimental value just as we surely would not pass on a deceased,
loved one's old trousers or the like. Certainly there is no comparision
in regards to their holiness and in the way they are treated once they
are no longer fit for use!

>Isn't it proper to try to maximize a Torah scroll's
>useful useful life? 

A torah scroll or tefillin should continue to be used for as long as
possible. This is assuming they meet the preferable halachic status or
can be repaired to meet that level. Of course, if an individual has
tefillin that are kosher, albeit of a lower halachic level or a shul has
a torah that is kosher and either can't afford to repair it to bring it
to a preferable halachic level or replace it and has no other better
Torahs then the tefillin and the Torah should be used. This raises the
issue of a shul that has a number of Torahs, some that meet the
preferable halachic standard and some that don't - should only the
better Torahs be used? I don't have an answer on this but I can say that
in my shul, in which the rav is a worldclass halachic authority, we use
the preferable kosher Torah regularly and only use the one that is
kosher, yet not preferably kosher, when a 2nd Torah is needed during the
same service. So it seems that when "tircha detzibbura" (making the
tzibbur wait) comes into play he prefers that the 2nd Torah is used
rather than to roll the first Torah to the 2nd reading. Note however,
that for laining like parshas Zachor we use the mehudar Torah and use
the other Torah for the laining of the weekly parsha.

>When a congregation is disbanded (perhaps due to
>changing demographics), should its Torah scrolls be given to a new
>congregation starting up elsewhere, or is it better to treat them like
>an old pair of pants?

Please note just because a Torah is old doesn't mean it is no longer fit
for use/not repairable/not a preferable halachic standard. However if
this is the case then the Torah should be repaired, if possible and
given or sold to shuls, etc. in need of a Torah and cannot afford a
(new) higher quality, kosher one.  kol tuv,

Rabbi Yerachmiel Askotzky, certified sofer and examiner
<sofer@...>   www.stam.net   1-888-404-STAM(7826)


From: <BACKON@...> (Josh Backon)
Date: Wed,  29 May 2002 16:01 +0200
Subject: Re: Raavid

The first Raavad was R. Avraham b"r David Halevi from Spain, author of
"Kabbalat haRaavad". Martyred in the year 1181 CE.

The second was R. Avraham b"r Yitzchak of Provence, a disciple of
R. Moshe haDarshan. Raavad II authored the Sefer ha'Eshkol and died in
the year 1160 CE.

The third was R. Avraham b"r David, a disciple and son-in-law of Raavad
II.  He authored the "Hasagaot" on the RIF, on the Baal haMaor and, of
course, on the Rambam.

Josh Backon

P.S. I just realized *why* the shitot of Rashi and the Rambam differ !
R.  Moshe haDarshan (together with R. Yaakav ben Yakkar and R. Yitzchak
Halevi) were the teachers of Rashi.  Raavad III was a talmid of Raavad
II who, in turn, was a talmid of. R. Moshe haDarshan.


From: Beth and David Cohen <bdcohen@...>
Date: Wed, 29 May 2002 09:03:49 -0400
Subject: Ravad

The Ravad referred to was actually Ravad III

Ravad I was rav Avraham ben david (Ibn Daud) who lived in Spain
1110-1180, the author of the Sefer Hakabalah. He was a student of the
Rif (R. Yitzchak Alfasi) and the grandson of R. Yitzchak Albalia.

Ravad II was Rabbeinu Avraham b. Yitzchak, the Av Bet Din of Narbonne,
author of Sefer Haeshkol, who died in 1158.

Ravad III was R. Avraham ben David of Posquires, 1120-1198, son-in-law
of Ravad II. He is also known as the Baal Hasagos for his critique and
comments on the Rif and the Rambam's Yad hachazaka.

David I. Cohen


From: Yisrael Dubitsky <yidubitsky@...>
Date: Wed, 29 May 2002 12:13:19 -0400
Subject: words per Talmud tractate

Does anyone know of a source, either in print or electronic format, that
would help *easily* determine (i.e. count) the number of *words* (and,
for that matter: letters, as well) per chapter or tractate in the
Talmud(s)? I am not interested in spiritually-interesting gematria or
such based on the number of occurrences of words or letters, but simply
in the bibliographical information. (There are various sources that
count the occurrences of words and letters in Tanakh but I have yet to
see such in regards Talmud.)

Thanks in advance

Yisrael Dubitsky


End of Volume 36 Issue 39