Volume 36 Number 46
                 Produced: Tue Jun 11 22:59:39 US/Eastern 2002

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

3 days before Shavuot
         [Jonathan & Randy Chipman]
         [Dani Wassner]
ArtScroll liturgy
         [Akiva Miller]
Avot before Sinai and their Status as Jews
         [Shlomo Pick]
Card-operated Locks
         [Tzadik Vanderhoof]
Exception that proves the rule
         [Shmuel Himelstein]
The First Jew
         [Robert Israel]
Letting the Match Burn Out
         [Danny Skaist]
Modesty and the Aries comments
         [Russell J Hendel]
More Jewish prophets
         [Gilad J. Gevaryahu]
Pidyon Haben
         [Ben Katz]
Tehilas Hashem (2)
         [Tzadik Vanderhoof, Avi Feldblum]
Yom Tov Sheni


From: Jonathan & Randy Chipman <yonarand@...>
Date: Sat, 08 Jun 2002 23:27:35 +0300
Subject: Re:  3 days before Shavuot

      Several people asked about my comment, a propos the discussion of
abstinence during the three days befpre Shavuot, and on at least certain
yamim tovim generally, that some people stay up learning on shevi' shel
Pesah night.

      The answer is, no, it was not a mistake, or a confusion with
Hoshana Rabbah or any other day.  I have seen references to a seder
limmud on Shevi'i shel Pesah, found in the books "Hemdat Yamim" and
"Keri'ei Mo'ed" -- although unlike other occasions, the custom is not
necessarily to learn all night, but only "past midnight."  This is
observed specifically among certain Sephardic groups: Kurdistani,
Libyan, Moroccan.  I found reference to in a collation of articles about
the customs of different edot, entitled: Yalkut Minhagim (Jerusalem:
Misrad hahinukh vehatarbut--Agaf hahinukh hadati, 1977), pp. 203, 234,
264.  The articles cited were written, respectively, by Yitzhak Amadi,
Frija Zuartz, and Shalom Denino.

     In addition, it is of course well known that many hasidic groups
gather on this night at or around midnight to read Shirat Hayam, sing,
dance, etc.  I was once at Lubavitch for Shevi'i shel Pesah, and some
hasidim (but not with the Rebbe ztz"l) held a farbrengen which went on
till dawn.

    Rav Yehonatan Chipman, Yerushalayim


From: Dani Wassner <dani@...>
Date: Sun, 9 Jun 2002 12:22:19 +0200 
Subject: RE: Artscroll

My biggest complaint with Artscroll siddurim (and machzorim) is their
seeming blindness to the fact that so many people live in Israel.

For some reason, they never mention that in Israel, such-and-such is
said, or omitted or whatever the case may be. They do not allow for
non-chag duchaning, shacharit duchanim, one day chagim or any other
Eretz-Yisrael custom.

It seems strange that Artscroll publications seem to cater for so many
possibilites (eg "In a tiny minority of congregations the following
paragraph is added"), but don't cater for the massive population in
Israel (What's wrong with, eg "In Israel (or Eretz Yisrael if they
insist) the Torah reading for chol hamoed can be found on page X" or
during Ma'ariv on a weekday "the following bracha (al kol ma'asav) is
omitted in Israel, and the chazan continues with half-kaddish").

What is even more bizarre, in my opinion, is the fact that the
Hebrew-only editions also leave out these options.  Surely Artscroll
could open up a massive new market with a Hebrew-only, Israeli

Dani Wassner, Jerusalem


From: <kennethgmiller@...> (Akiva Miller)
Date: Tue, 11 Jun 2002 13:52:17 GMT
Subject: Re: ArtScroll liturgy

Shmuel Ross wrote <<< For one thing, I would rather see Ma'ariv for
Motzei Shabbos completely seperate from Ma'ariv L'chol, the better to
prevent one from overlooking Atah Chonantanu, and to facilitate
launching into Vayehi No'am. >>>

I do not understand how placing Maariv closer to the back of the siddur
helps one avoid overlooking Atah Chonantanu. If one is looking in the
siddur, and the Maariv he is looking at does contain Atah Chonantanu,
then it doesn't matter whether this Maariv is located after weekday
mincha, or after Shabbos mincha.

On the contrary, if the siddur contains only one weekday maariv, and
that one maariv does contain Atah Chonatanu, then your problem is
solved. You will be forced to use a Maariv which does have it.

My problem is that most siddurim, like the Artscroll, do have only one
maariv, so my instinctive action at Maariv on Motzaei Shabbos is to open
to the one which follows weekday mincha, and then I get very frustrated
when I reach Atah Chonen, and I discover that Atah Chonantanu is
missing. *This* siddur chose to have TWO weekday maarivs - one for
Sunday to Thursday, and another for Motzaei Shabbos, and I must now go
flipping pages in the middle of the Shemoneh Esrei.

I never could - and still don't - understand why a siddur would go to
the expense of printing a dozen or more pages twice. Let all the
additional tefilos be printed together (either after weekday mincha or
after Shabbos mincha I don't care) and then no one has to flip any pages
at all, except to get to Alenu (during the week, or in shuls that skip
V'Yiten L'cha).

Akiva Miller


From: Shlomo Pick <picksh@...>
Date: Sun, 9 Jun 2002 08:41:26 +0200
Subject: Avot before Sinai and their Status as Jews

I don't know if this bibliographical entry has been noted, but
concerning the status of the avot before sinai, one shoud see the
typically encyclopediac essay by Rabbi Joseph Engel in his Beit Otzar,
vol I, s.v.  Avot.

Shlomo Pick


From: Tzadik Vanderhoof <tzadikv@...>
Subject: Card-operated Locks

I had a quite annoying Shabbos in a motel that used those
magnetic-card-operated room doors.  The reason it was so annoying was
not because of the card... that should be quite easy to deal
with... just leave your card at the front desk before Shabbos and have a
non-Jew let you in when you need to get into your room (if they lose
your card, they can easily make up a new one).

No, the reason it was so annoying was becuase I was with a fellow
traveler who insisted that not only can you not use the card to *enter*
your room on Shabbos, but you cannot even *leave* your room on Shabbos,
even though the card is not needed to leave the room!!!  They broke this
"shita" to me about an hour before Shabbos.

I spent quite some time (considering the late hour) playing with the
lock and convincing myself that leaving the room does not turn on any
lights, throw any relays or do anything else electrical... it is purely
mechanical.  Admittedly, I did not dismantle the lock, I just relied on
my observations.  I observed that when you insert the card, a green
light goes on and a faint "click" can be heard, presumbably an electical
relay of some sort that connects the outside door handle to the latch,
enbaling the door to be opened from the outside.  But when opened from
the *inside* there are no lights, and there is no click, which would
make sense because presumably the lock is designed so that the inside
handle is *always* attached to the latch.  Why design it otherwise?

I spoke to the maintenance man and he told me that the locks are
battery-operated, not connected to any central computer or anything like
that, and that, indeed, the process of opening the lock from the outside
is "completely mechanical".  He also concurred with my opinion that
since anything battery-operated could conceivably go dead, it would be a
fire hazard if the battery would be required to open the door from the
inside, hence it must be completely mechanical.

However, this "fellow traveler" was completely convinced that they had
information that it was assur to open the door from the inside and hence
the only way to leave the room was to leave a schedule with the front
desk for them so send a non-Jew to open the door and let you out.  This
person proceeded to do that, and of course, the hotel staff forgot,
causing endless frustration.

The point of all this is that I'm trying to find someone with reliable,
detailed information of how this lock works when opened from the inside.
The brand of the lock is "Saflok".


From: Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...>
Date: Sun, 09 Jun 2002 20:19:38 +0200
Subject: Exception that proves the rule

A correspondent recently brought a certain Halachah as an "exception
that proves the rule." I know that Mail Jewish is not an English
language forum, but would nevertheless like to point out that in the
above expression the word "prove," as used here, originally meant to
"test." The point is that if there is a rule and an exception is found,
it then "tests" to see if the rule is indeed one, or whether the
assumption underlying the rule is incorrect. In Halachah this is
certainly the case. If there is a rule and there is an exception, it
either means that the rule is incorrect or that the exception is simply
not a member of that rule class.

Shmuel Himelstein


From: Robert Israel <israel@...>
Date: Tue, 11 Jun 2002 09:53:25 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: The First Jew

Frank Silbermann <fs@...> wrote:

|Most words for "jew" in European languages ("Juede" in German, "Jod" in
|Dutch, "zhid" in Slavic languages) stem from the Hebrew word "Yehudi."

|I presume that the word "Jew" came into English from the French word
|"Jeuf" in the time of the Norman Conquest a thousand years ago -- did
|that word also derive from "Yehudi"?

The Canadian Oxford Dictionary says: [Middle English via Old French giu
and Latin judaeus from Greek ioudaios, ultimately via Hebrew y'hudi from
y'hudah Judah]

| If so, then shouldn't we say that the first Jew among the Ivrim was
| Yehudah ben Yosef ben Yitschak ben Avraham?
              ^^^^^ Yaakov

If so, are you saying the Cohanim and Leviim aren't Jewish?  Etymology
does not determine meaning.  We're called Jews mainly, I think, because
of the kingdom of Judah.  This was named after the tribe of Judah, which
supplied the majority, but certainly not all, of its inhabitants.

Robert Israel                                <israel@...>
Department of Mathematics        http://www.math.ubc.ca/~israel
University of British Columbia
Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 1Z2


From: Danny Skaist <danny@...>
Date: Sun, 9 Jun 2002 09:49:33 +0200 
Subject: Letting the Match Burn Out

<< 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 >>

You presume right.
If she can't withhold her acceptance, how can she light the second candle ?



From: Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@...>
Date: Mon, 10 Jun 2002 08:31:56 -0400
Subject: RE: Modesty and the Aries comments

I was a bit surprised at the following statement of Yael in v36n42

> 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.

I would seem to me that this seriously violates several modesty
regulations which prohibit people from speaking about these matters EVEN
IF NOT DONE LEWDLY. I know the Ari was defending somebody but I still
think the above statement to >explicit<.

(Of course this raises the issue whether OUR knowledge of modesty should
OVERRIDE the Aris statement..but I think it should---at any rate I would
invite further discussion)

Russell Jay Hendel; http://www.RashiYomi.com/


From: <Gevaryahu@...> (Gilad J. Gevaryahu)
Date: Fri, 7 Jun 2002 18:05:08 EDT
Subject: More Jewish prophets

Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz (V36n42) lists all the prophetess.

Bereshit Rabba adds Rivka the matriarchs as one of the prophetess in a
derasha to Bereshit 27:42 (Bereshit Rabba 66:9).

Gilad J. Gevaryahu


From: Ben Katz <bkatz@...>
Date: Fri, 7 Jun 2002 17:02:19 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Re: Pidyon Haben

>From: Jonathan & Randy Chipman <yonarand@...>
>The answer, to my mind, is very simple: Pidyon Haben celebrates the
>birth of a first born who "opens the womb" (peter rehem) -- which is by
>definition a function of the mother.  So when the mother has,
>so-to-speak, a kohanic or levitic womb, pidyon haben is irrelevant.

I do not see how this answeres the question.  The child is a Yisrael and
would have had to work in the mishkan/temple and thus needs to be
redeemed, it seems to me.

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; Voicemail and Pager: 3034
e-mail: <bkatz@...>


From: Tzadik Vanderhoof <tzadikv@...>
Date: Sun, 09 Jun 2002 21:49:38 -0400
Subject: Tehilas Hashem

Does anyone know the source for saying the verses starting "Tehilas
Hashem Yedaber Pi" after "Shir HaMa'alos" in bentching?  I am anxious to
find a really authoritative source, because an aquaintance of mine
refuses to say it (in fact they sit stonily silent if others are saying
it while they are there) becuase they claim it is not found in any
"frum" siddur (ArtScroll is obviously not "frum").  I'm wondering if
there's a real siddur maven out there who can attest that it was found
in some siddur compiled by a Gadol.

From: Avi Feldblum <mljewish@...>
Date: Tue, 11 Jun 2002 22:48:10 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Tehilas Hashem

One of the "classic" sidurim is the two volume Siddur Otzar
Hatefelot. In that siddur, following shir hamalot / al narot bavel,
there is a collection of 13 pesukim to say. The last two of those
pesukim are "tehilas hashem" and "vanachnu nevorech". So at least 2 of
the 4 pesukim that make up what is commonly said now, has sources from
long before Artscroll. One note of interest is that according to the
Otzar Hatefelot, mayim acharonim are poured following the completion of
these pesukim, there is another pasuk that seems to be right after / as
part of mayim acharonim, then an additional pasuk, and if bentching on a
kos, one final pasuk before the start of the zimun.

Avi Feldblum
mail-jewish Moderator


From: Sacknovitz <sacknovitz@...>
Date: Fri, 7 Jun 2002 17:14:14 -0400
Subject: Yom Tov Sheni

David Waxman mentions that no one, execpt Chabad, paskens that a visitor
to Israel keeps only one day.  The Rav held, as did his grandfather,
that there is no kedusha of Yom Tov Sheni in Israel.  Therefore a
visitor to Israel - even if Da'ato Lachazor - follows the davening of
Bnai Eretz Yisrael and would put on Tefillen on the "eighth" day of
Pesach.  Those who follow this approach very often are do not do melacha
on Yom Tov Sheni, following the custom of the community from which they


End of Volume 36 Issue 46