Volume 36 Number 47
                 Produced: Fri Jun 14  6:45:43 US/Eastern 2002

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Abstinence of Shavuot, 50 year limit on kaddish, Catching Up
         [Solomon Spiro]
         [Carl Singer]
Creation, Eden and Flood accounts as visions
Dor Revi'i's Essay on Zionism
         [David X. Glasner]
Fast on a wedding day
         [Eli Turkel]
Interrupting Brachas--MAY be done!
         [Russell J Hendel]
non-Jewish prophets
         [Gil Student]
Nusach Art Scroll
         [Carl Singer]
Pre-Wedding Customs
Prophecy vs Prophetic ORder
         [Russell Jay Hendel]
Rashi and Ruach HaKodesh
         [Gil Student]


From: Solomon Spiro <spiro@...>
Date: Mon, 10 Jun 2002 22:21:44 +0300
Subject: Abstinence of Shavuot, 50 year limit on kaddish, Catching Up

BSD, yom sheni hukat, 10/06/02

Regarding sources for abstinence on lel shavuot, see Mishnah Berurah OH
494 end of SK (subsection) I  ( free translation) It is proper to be
careful, according to the Kabbalah, not to have relations on the night
of Shavuot unless it is the night of tevilah--and he then refers the
reader to his comments in OH 240, "SK 7, mentioning as his source
aharonim al pi kabalah, that one should not engage in relations the first
night of pesah, the night of shavuot, the two nights of Rosh Hashanah,
and the night of shemini atzeret.  

I was taught that the reason for abstinence on those nights is because
all of the aforementioned holy days are all days of judgment. RH, as is
obvious, pesah, we are judged on grains, shavuot on fruit, and shemini
atzeret on water (see the second mishnah of RH).  When a person's very
life and the essentials on which his life depends are hanging in the
balance, it is not apppropriate to engage in personal satisfaction. One
should not be distracted from teshuvah tefillah and tzedakah (yizkor
pledges)  the next morning, as one does on RH and YK.  

Concerning the fifty year limit on kaddish.  I've never heard of it, but
I can offer a possible basis for sixty years.  
The gemara in Ketubot states that mounds distant from a city are not
suspected of having dead corpses buried there if they are 60 years old (
i.e. no one remembers a burial in the last sixty years) and R. Yehudah
says regarding the same that sixty years is the limit of memory of such
So if there is a limit ( at around that number of years) then yahrzeit
and kaddish, which are presumably to remember, become irrelevant. 

Why hu"l waits until balak, with hukat dragged along,  to catch up to
us--All of the parshiot from naso until balak are parshiot containing
matters of ill fortune ( puranutah)--beha'alotkha; the mitonenim
complaints against Moshe, the manna etc. and the consequent punishments,
shelah, the spies, and the terrible consequences, Korah, the rebellion
and the spectacular death of many Jews, Hukat, the water crisis and
Moses decree not to enter the Land,  Balak ends with the incident of the
daughters of Moab and the consequential death of 24,000 Jews. That
finishes the ill fortune and the next shabbat we read Pinhas and all the
holday sacrifices.  There is no hurry to read the terrible events, (as
the gemara in Megillah 5a says we do not advance the commemoration of
events of ill fortune. ( the gemarah there deals with the question why
we postpone Tish'a BeAv to Sunday when it falls on a shabbat instead of
advancing it to Thursday--as we do with ta'anit Esther) .  

[This arrived later, but before this issue went out, so being added
here. Mod.]

A revision on my last email concerning the reason for hul congregations
not catching up to us until hukat balak.  I wrote that they wait until
balak to conclude all the sedrahs of ill fortune,until balak, since one
does not commemorate misfortune any ealier than one has to.  I like to
add that balak is so full of berakhot so it is advanced even though it
contains the tragic incident of the daughters of Moab.


From: <CARLSINGER@...> (Carl Singer)
Date: Tue, 11 Jun 2002 13:23:57 EDT
Subject: Re: Artscroll

      The variance in type size was almost always related to a desire to
      emphasize a particular passage or to distinguish between two
      different parts of the davening. While there were certainly
      examples in which the type variation seems to be misleading, most
      of the time it was a useful aid in understanding the "shape" of
      the davening. I think for example of the tendence to set the
      "sh'ma" in larger type, the "baruch shem k'vod" in smaller type,
      and the "v'ahavta" in normal type. The loss of these clues in
      favour of uniform type size is a shame, in some ways. One could
      look at a page of a siddur and get a sense of the rhythm of the

The size variations in many old siddurs was, I''ve been told (I don't
have "real" data) the result of haphazard sourcing of tefilas from
various different older siddurs -- so, although, sometimes there is
rhyme and reason to size, at other times -- large print / small print do
not necessarily correlate with importance.

While the Artscroll siddur is a useful reference, my preferred siddur
for davening is the De Sola Pool which has beautiful (albeit uniform)
typography, plenty of white space on each page, a logical organization,
and exceptionally good English translations.

      While the Artscroll siddur is a useful reference, my preferred
      siddur for davening is the De Sola Pool which has beautiful
      (albeit uniform) typography, plenty of white space on each page, a
      logical organization, and exceptionally good English translations.

My wife and I have an emotional pull towards the De Sola Pool in that
not only is it beautifully translated and well laid out with plenty of
white space as you mention -- but Rabbi & Dr. De Sola Pool were family
friends and my wife's copy was a gift when she was bat mitzvahed.
Nonetheless, since it is a Shabbos / Yom Tov Siddur without weekday (per
se) it isn't as "useful" to some congregations.  There was also a much
heat - little light argument about a translations of (I believe it was)
B'nai Elokim as "Sons of G-d".

Kol Tov

Carl Singer


From: <avirab@...>
Date: Mon, 10 Jun 2002 14:28:20 -0400
Subject: Creation, Eden and Flood accounts as visions

Back in 1994 (Volume 17) there was a discussion of the flood as
allegory, albeit a prophetic allegory (see eg #23 and later issues); in
#31 (Creation, Eden and Flood accounts as prophecy)I mentioned my
article (circulated privately) presenting the creation, eden and flood
accounts not as allegory but rather as the description of actual events,
the events being prophetic visions instilled by God into the prophets
Adam and Noah; in this scenario Adam's actual life and that of Noah did
not necessarily mirror in a physical sense the events in their vision,
even though the visions involved themselves as protagonists. Anyone
desiring a copy of the article can e mail me a request.

[Note: I notice that there is an ongoing discussion of which statements
made by prophets were "prophecies", where the English meaning of
prophecy as "prediction" is (mistakenly?)used rather than the meaning of
the Hebrew original nevu'ah meaning "divine revelation/vision".]


From: David X. Glasner <DGLASNER@...>
Subject: RE: Dor Revi'i's Essay on Zionism

The Dor Revi'i's essay on Zionism, "Zionism in the Light of Faith," is 
now posted on the Dor Revi'i website, www.dorrevii.org

David Glasner


From: Eli Turkel <turkel@...>
Date: Mon, 10 Jun 2002 08:47:54 GMT
Subject: Fast on a wedding day

Since my son is getting married shortly before shiva asar be-tammuz
someone mentioned to me a custom not to fast twice in one week.  Has
anyone heard of such a custom (what about be-hab)?  If so would one fast
on the day of the wedding or on 17th Tammuz?

kol tuv,

Eli Turkel, <turkel@...> on 06/10/2002

[Mazal tov to you! Avi]


From: Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@...>
Date: Mon, 10 Jun 2002 08:44:04 -0400
Subject: RE: Interrupting Brachas--MAY be done!

Several people discuss interrupting the Kidush levana blessing to say
SHLAOM ALEICHEM (HELLO) (eg. David Ziants, Gershon Dubin in v36n42).

Some of the information given is very accurate while some of it has to
be modified.

It is correct that the BLESSING (Starting with BLESSED ARE YOU,GOD...and
Moon Sanctification ceremony. It is also correct to emphasize that this
blessings follows a specific template formulated by the 120
Prophet-Sages of the Great Assembly (And hence interruption is very

However it is incorrect to state that we cannot interrupt blessings FOR

The proof I bring comes from the Blessings of SHMA. As is well known in
the daily prayers there are 2 blessings before the shma and 1-2
(morning/evening) blessings afterwards.Some of these blessings have a
similar template of BEGINNING and ENDING with BLESSED ARE YOU.

It is a CLEAR LAW (That we follow today in practice) that you CAN
interrupt the blessings (Even of the shma) in order -- to answer hello
to someone you are afraid of (eg a King) -- to say minimal Kedusha (the

This of course supports the other postings that you MAY NOT interrupt
the Moon Sanctification just to say HELLO (SHALOM ALEICHEM) as part of
the ceremony. But I dont believe it correct to state that YOU NEVER
INTERRUPT a blessing.

In passing, my own opinion, is that you would never interrupt a short
blessing (the type we eg say before eating) since there blessings can be
completed in a few seconds and there is nothing loss in requiring
completion. However I know no source that explicitly mentions this.

Again: I believe that this is a KNOWN & DECIDED HALACHIC matter and
would invite discussion if there are further details that I have omitted

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


From: <NJannol@...>
Date: Tue, 11 Jun 2002 10:51:17 -0700
Subject: Ketoret

There is a member of my shul who is an aromatherapist - a while back he
gave a very interesting talk about the Ketoret, and even brought the
ingredients of Ketoret to smell (he did not actually mix it), e.g.,
frankincense, myrrh, etc.  Is there any written source, either Hebrew,
English or otherwise on the Ketoret.  Are the yeshivot that are making
Keilim for the Beit Hamikdash involved in studying the Ketoret (keeping
in mind that to mix the ketoret is an issur i believe).

Neal B. Jannol
Loeb & Loeb LLP
10100 Santa Monica Blvd.; Suite 2200
Los Angeles, CA 90067
Phone - (310) 282-2358; Fax - (310) 282-2200


From: Gil Student <gil_student@...>
Date: Tue, 11 Jun 2002 13:26:47 -0400
Subject: Re: non-Jewish prophets

Ever was a prophet.  See Rashi to Bereishis 10:25.

Gil Student


From: <CARLSINGER@...> (Carl Singer)
Date: Tue, 11 Jun 2002 13:13:33 EDT
Subject: Nusach Art Scroll

From: <EMPreil@...>
>> And finally, there's now a presumptive authority to the Art Scroll
>> -- what some folks half-jokingly call "Nusach Art Scroll."
> Some have given "him" semicha - Rabbi Art Scroll.


Indeed Rabbi Scroll is a powerful influence on many folks -- even
mechanically -- when a shule buys a few 100 siddurs and populates its
shelves with same -- that becomes the de facto "standard nusach" of the
shule -- unless great measures are taken -- pasted-in pages, a flyer
with minhagim, etc.

One local shule in an attempt to lean further to the right, not only
imported a new set of siddurim, but hid all of the "old" siddurs --
including the large print ones that many of the older congregants had
used for years (perhaps decades.)

Kol Tov

Carl Singer 


From: A.M.Goldstein <mzieashr@...>
Date: Mon, 10 Jun 2002 11:51:42 +0200
Subject: Pre-Wedding Customs

Does anyone know the origin and significance of the customs of breaking
a dish at some point before the hupah and of making a henna?

A. M. Goldstein
Editor, Focus - University of Haifa
Tel.: 972-4-8240104; Fax:  972-4-342104


From: Russell Jay Hendel
Date: Sun, 9 Jun 2002 11:01:02 -0400
Subject: RE: Prophecy vs Prophetic ORder

David Charlap in v36n43 writes
> I was thinking only of the order to build the Ark, which in itself is
> not prophecy.  But the revelation of the impending destruction of the
> world, and the attempt to get the population to repent to stave off the
> destruction, and the later promise for the future is prophetic.

This is not correct. In ENGLISH, prophecy means Something about the
future. So yes, according to the English word, the ORDER to build the
ark was NOT a prophecy but the statement of the flood WAS a prophecy

But in Jewish law, Prophecy refers to ANY COMMUNICATION BY GOD TO A

If Noach received a communication FROM GOD to build an ark then that was
a prophetic order and is classified in Jewish law as a prophecy. (This
prophetic order however differs from the Laws of Noach which prohibit
murder, theft etc--- these orders were for ALL PEOPLE and ALL
GENERATIONS while the order to build the ark was for ONE PERSON and ONE

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


From: Gil Student <gil_student@...>
Date: Tue, 11 Jun 2002 13:30:04 -0400
Subject: Re: Rashi and Ruach HaKodesh

Somewhat relevant to this topic, AJ Heschel in an article in the
Alexander Marx Jubilee Volume (and published in English in Prophetic
Inspiration After The Prophets) brought literary evidence that Rabbeinu
Tam had ruach hakodesh.  While Heschel calls it nevuah, that is because
he does not differentiate between nevuah and ruach hakodesh.  It seems
clear to me that RT had less than nevuah.

Gil Student


End of Volume 36 Issue 47