Volume 36 Number 42
                 Produced: Thu Jun  6 23:27:32 US/Eastern 2002

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

3 days before Shavuot (2)
         [Menucha Chwat, Yael Levine Katz]
Kiddush Levanah Note (2)
         [David Ziants, Gershon Dubin]
Letting the Match Burn Out
         [Yisrael and Batya Medad]
Non-Jewish prophets
         [Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz]
Rashi and Ruach HaKodesh
         [Frank Silbermann]
Ravad and the Sages of Provincia
         [Simone Maser]
Shabbat Z'mira
         [Jonathan Katz]
Words per Talmud Tractate
         [Saul Davis]


From: Menucha Chwat <menu@...>
Date: Mon, 29 May 2000 20:28:50 +0200
Subject: 3 days before Shavuot

Rav Mordechai Eliyahu Shlit"a in Darchei Tahara mentions the custom of
abstaining from relations during the 3 days before Shavuot, but also
brings in the Kaf Hachayim who says since those days are not mentioned
in the ARI we don't have to observe them.

menucha chwat
karmei tzur.

From: Yael Levine Katz <ylkpk@...>
Subject: 3 days before Shavuot

I remember reading in the name of the ARI - perhaps in Sefer Ha-Hezyonot
- that when one of his students didn't come to the learning on Leil
Shavuot he commented that most probably it was because of his wife's
tevillat mitzvah.



From: David Ziants <dziants@...>
Date: Thu, 30 May 2002 12:14:31 +0300
Subject: RE: Kiddush Levanah Note

Shalom Krischer <PGMSRK@...> asks concerning that one is not
allowed to interrupt the b'racha part of kiddush l'vana with 
"Aleichem Shalom":
> 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?

I feel capable in answering this question, but am happy to accept
correction if I erred in any of my points.

There is a fundamental difference between the b'racha "Mechadesh
Chodashim" and the other things we say before and after the b'racha.

The b'racha follows a very specific template that was set by the Anshei
Knesset Hagedola. The actual text is from the g'mara Sanhedrin 42, and
it is identical for both Ashkenazim and S'phardim. The b'racha is the
main part of kiddush l'vana and it is enough to say this to fulfil ones
obligation.  One doesn't interrupt a b'racha of this style for even
"k'dusha" or "barchu". How much more so for answering "aleichem shalom",
even when this is part of the liturgy.

As far as the verses from tehillim, shir hashirim, text from the g'mara
goes,etc. - this varies according to Ashkenazim and S'phardim.  There
are variations on what is said and in the order it is said.  Although
one is careful not to change ones minhag, it wouldn't really matter if
for some reason one did not say everything (one was rushed, or didn't
have the right siddur, etc.). Therefore there is no consequences in
answering "aleichem shalom" if you are some where else in the Order. I
am still surprised though, to have read a posting where someone was told
that he could interrupt in a middle of a pasuk. I am also interested to
hear the basis for this.

Not talking between washing and hamotzi is nothing to do with
interrupting a b'racha. Hesech hadaat is what the poster here explains -
not taking ones mind of the goal of breaking/cutting and eating the
bread, and most speech disturbs that goal.

The term we use for interrupting a b'racha is "hefsek", and this can
also include words of prayer that are not part of the b'racha, as
explained above.

David Ziants
Ma'aleh Adumim

PS I am now looking for employment (computer programmer - Java/Oracle)
pref. in Jerusalem area. I will be happy to send my resume to anyone who
might be able to help.

From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Thu, 30 May 2002 20:49:21 GMT
Subject: Kiddush Levanah Note

From: Shalom Krischer <PGMSRK@...>
> 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?

Because you are not permitted to interrupt between washing and hamotzi
(and speaking in the middle of the kiddush levana beracha is worse than
speaking between those two berachos) to say: Could you get the salt for
my friend here?

The only interruption permitted is for yourself, exactly because it is
NOT an interruption, but a necessity of the beracha.  Interrupting to
"assist" someone else is not permitted.



From: Yisrael and Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Fri, 31 May 2002 15:40:39 +0200
Subject: Letting the Match Burn Out

I was setting up the candles this Erev Shabbat (that's the man's part in
bringing in the Shabbat) and noticed that an elongated kindling candle
came along with all the smaller candles in the box but when I showed it
to my wife she said that it couldn't be used because the custom is not
to extinguish the match (or any other kindling instrument) but to let it
burn out by itself even if the blessing over the candles has not yet
been said.

Admittedly, I then remembered that but as the kindling candle was
included, I figured I'd better check.  The Mishna Brurah speaks about
"kavanah" and "daat tzibur" in relation to accepting Shabbat but I
didn't find a specific reference to the woman's acceptance.  My thinking
is that even if a woman is in the midst of lighting, I presume that she
can 'withhold' her acceptance until she makes the blessing and therefore
can put out the match.

Am I presuming wrong?

Yisrael Medad


From: Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz <sabbahem@...>
Date: Thu, 30 May 2002 17:04:02 -0400
Subject: RE: Non-Jewish prophets

Here is the list of prophets from the soc.culture.jewish FAQ

Note that while seder Olam starts from Avraham, the G"RA starts from
Moshe Rabbeinu.

Subject: Question 12.11: Who were the prophets? How many?


   (Note: "navi" (pl: neviim) = "prophet")

   The Talmud (Megillah 14a) says that there had been twice as many
   prophets as the number of people who left Egypt (2*600,000), but only
   those whose messages were for future generations were recorded. This
   count was 48 male and 7 female Prophets.

   The Talmud lists the 7 females as:
    1. Sarah
    2. Miriam
    3. Devorah
    4. Hannah (mother of Shmuel)
    5. Avigail (who became a wife of David Hamelech)
    6. Huldah (from the time of Yirmiyahu)
    7. Esther

   One compilation of the male prophets (based on Seder Olam) lists the
    1. Avraham (Abraham)
    2. Yitzchak (Isaac)
    3. Yaakov (Jacob)
    4. Moshe (Moses)
    5. Aharon (Aaron)
    6. Yehoshuah (Joshua)
    7. Pinchas
    8. Elkanah (father of Shmuel)
    9. Eli
   10. Shmuel (Samuel)
   11. Gad
   12. Nosson
   13. David Hamelech (King David)
   14. Shlomo Hamelech (King Soloman)
   15. Aidoin the Golah
   16. Micha Ben Yamla in the time of Achav
   17. Ovadiah
   18. Achiah Hashiloni
   19. Yehu Ben Hanani in the time of Asah
   20. Azaryah Ben Oded in the time of Yehoshaphat from Divrei Hayamim
   21. Haziel from Bnei Masni
   22. Eliezer his cousin
   23. Morishah
   24. Hoshea
   25. Amos in the time of Yeravam Ben Yoash
   26. Micha in the time of Yosam
   27. Eliyahu (Elijah)
   28. Elisha
   29. Yonah Ben Amitai
   30. Yeshayah in the time of Menashe in the time of Yoshea
   31. Yoel (Joel)
   32. Nachum
   33. Habakuk
   34. Zephaniah
   35. Uriah from Kiryat Yearim
   36. Yirmiyahu (Jeremiah)
   37. Yehezkel
   38. Daniel (second year of Darius)
   39. Baruch
   40. Neriah
   41. Sharyah
   42. Machsiyah
   43. Hagai
   44. Zecharyah
   45. Malachi
   46. Mordechai

   Rashi (Megillah 3a) suggests that Daniel wasn't a Navi and is to be
   replaced in the list by Shemaia, who told Rehavam not to go to war
   with Yeravam and the northern kingdom.

   Rashi closes with "two I don't know" (47 & 48).

   A commentator on the side says one is Oded & one is Hanani Haroeh.
   When a Navi is called by his name and his fathers name it is a sign
   that the father is also a Navi. Azriah Ben Oded, Yehu Ben Hanani,
   Zechariah Ben Yehoyada are given as examples.

   Rabbein Hananel and the Vilna Gaon start from Moshe and add in the
   sons of Korach.

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


From: Frank Silbermann <fs@...>
Date: Fri, 31 May 2002 07:10:02 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Re: Rashi and Ruach HaKodesh

David Herskovic points out that Rashi himself doesn't tell us
that he wrote with ruach hakodesh.  In V36 n40 Stan Tenen responds:

> Persons who have attained Ruach HaKodesh often cannot bring themselves
> to believe that they have attained this level, unless they are
> explicitly instructed that they have.  This is because great humility is
> required.  A person who prides themselves on achievement has gained too
> much hubris along the way, and it prevents them from proceeding.  So
> often, a person with Ruach HaKodesh would be the last person to think it
> or to mention it.

A local Chabad rabbi gave a discourse a year or two ago in which he
described a halacha which had a different requirement for Tzadikim than
for ordinary Jews.

This was not merely an "extra" or optional level of observance.  It was
a case of "ordinary Jew should do A and not B, but a Tzaddik should do B
and not A."  (I don't remember what the issue was, but it was NOT about
burying vs burning fingernail clippings -- that issue has to do with
Hasidus, not Tzidkus.)

I asked him whether this distinction in behavior was merely for the sake
of learning, as I would expect that humility would prevent any Tzadik
from claiming that status.  The rabbi answered that the Tzadikim know
who they are, and that humility does not imply false modesty.

Stan's comment, however, is more consistent with my experience, as I
cannot recall ever hearing any Gadol in our age declaring himself to be
a Tzadik, much less having Ruach haKodesh.

Frank Silbermann
New Orleans, Louisiana


From: Simone Maser <simone.maser@...>
Date: Fri, 31 May 2002 12:35:17 +0200
Subject: Ravad and the Sages of Provincia

Once again nomenclature gets in the way.

The first Ravad could be called R. Avraham ibn Daoud; the second Raavad
(rabbi Avraham av bet din) and the third, Ravad (Rabad if you are
sephardi, Rye-vad if yeshiva influenced).

BTW, the Raavad was born in Montpellier, Ir Hahar, in the south of
France. His son-in -law, the Ravad also spent some time in Montpellier
on his way to Nimes where he became rosh yeshiva. From there he founded
his own yeshiva in a town called Posquières, now called Vauvert.The
yeshiva was well known and drew students from near and far.

The whole area ("Provincia") is rich in rishonim and sages between the
11th and 13th centuries.  To name a few: 

Torah commentaries -- Rabbi Moshe Hadarshon (Narbonne), Ramban (Gerona),
Rabbi David Kimchi (Narbonne), Ralbag (Avigno, Bagnols-sur-cèze)

Halachot -- sefer haeshkol by Raavad, sefer hamanhig (Raban of Lunel) ,
sefer hamenuchah ( R. Manoach of Lunel)

commentaries on Alfassi (see back of Gemara) -- Bal hamaor (Lunel),
Sefer hamilchamot (Ramban, Gerona) Hasagot HaRavad and R. Yehuhudah ben
Berachyah (chittat haRibav), also Rabbenou Yonah who studied under Rabbi
Shlomo min HaHar in Montpellier.

commentaries on Talmud -- Rabbi Jonathan of Lunel, Rabbi Avraham min
Hahar, chiddushei HaRamban and the Meiri from Perpignan.

commentaries on Rambam -- Ravad (Hasagot),Ramban (al sefer hamitzvot),
Rabbi Moshe Hacohen of Lunel (Hasagot)

not to mention Kabbalah , poetry and piyyutim, scientific and
philosophical works.

Much research into the sages could be done, perhaps more manuscripts are
still waiting to be discovered. The contribution of these sages of
provincia (at least 40 have been published) to Torah and also to the
12th century intellectual renaissance still needs to be brought to

ps all places named are within 200 kilometres (150 miles) of

yitschak Maser


From: Jonathan Katz <jkatz@...>
Date: Thu, 30 May 2002 09:59:55 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Shabbat Z'mira

In the Shabbat Z'mira "Yonah Matza Bo Manoah" the phrase continues with
"V'Sham Yanuchu Y'giay Koach" (loosely translated: and there will rest
those who lack strength). I just learned that this phrase comes from
Sefer Eiyov [Job] where it refers to death! Why was such a phrase
appropriated for a song to sing on Shabbos?

Jonathan Katz


From: <ENGINEERED@...>
Date: Thu, 30 May 2002 08:47:50 -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)?

My suggestion would be to purchase any of the electronic Talmuds and a
Hebrew Word Processor.  Then just cut and paste the tractate that you
want into the word processor and use the "Find" command to locate all
the occurances of any word or letter combination in which you are
interested.  You should be able to purchase both programs for under


From: Saul Davis <saul9728@...>
Date: 31 May 2002 04:37:16 -0700
Subject: Yahel

Today I made R. Yehuda Xakim my shaliakh to perform the mitsva of brith
milah. Our first born son who was born on 21 Iyar (3 May 2002) is now
called Yahel Tsvi. The name Yahel is a bit unusual. Eyov said (29.2-3):
"Who will bring me back to months past, as in the days when God looked
after me; when his light shined above my head and I walked through
darkness?" "Shined" has the same root as Yahel (h.l.l.) and Rashi says
that "shined" is an expression of light and joy, I am not sure why
joy. The word also appears in Yeshayahu 13.10 and again in Eyov
31.26. Tsvi (after my brother z"l) means beauty or something desireable
and appropriately is a name for Erets Israel and hopefully for Yahel.

Saul Davis


End of Volume 36 Issue 42