Volume 36 Number 50
                 Produced: Tue Jun 18  6:28:21 US/Eastern 2002

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Abstinence of Shavuot
         [Akiva Miller]
Artscroll (3)
         [Deborah Wenger, Ben Katz, Chaim Wasserman]
Card-Operated Locks (3)
         [Rose Landowne, Joel Rich, Eli Lansey]
Ketoret (3)
         [Tzvi Harris, Sam Saal, Saul Mashbaum]
Old Tefillin
         [Chaim Wasserman]
Old Tephillin
         [Leonard Mansky]
Pidyon Haben
         [Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz]
Prophecy vs Prophetic Order
         [Danny Skaist]


From: <kennethgmiller@...> (Akiva Miller)
Date: Fri, 14 Jun 2002 13:38:02 GMT
Subject: re: Abstinence of Shavuot

Solomon Spiro wrote <<< see Mishnah Berurah... "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" ... I was taught that the
reason for abstinence on those nights is because all of the
aforementioned holy days are all days of judgment. ... 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. >>>

I would understand this explanation a lot better if there wasn't an
explicit exemption for the night of tevilah.

As I understand it, the mitzvah of relations on mikveh night, is a
mitzvah which the husband does for his wife. If so, then this
explanation says that under normal circumstances, it is inappropriate
for a *husband* to engage in personal satisfaction on a day of
judgement, but that a wife can demand it from her husband even on such a

Am I missing something? Why would this "day of judgement" idea apply
only to the husband and not to the wife?

Akiva Miller


From: Deborah Wenger <dwenger@...>
Date: Fri, 14 Jun 2002 08:10:56 -0400
Subject: RE: Artscroll

Bernard Raab wrote:

    With all of the kudos to Artscroll offered here recently, I wonder:
    Am I the only one who is incensed at the Artscroll "translation" of
    Shir Hashirim? I wonder when they will see fit to "edit" the Hebrew
    version in the same way!

No, you are most definitely not alone! That's one of my major peeves
about "Rabbi Scroll." If they want to maintain that the allegorical
interpretation of Shir Hashirim is the only "proper" one, that's their
right, but that's no reason to deprive everyone of the literal
translation - or, essentially, pasken for everyone that it's "assur" to
read the pshat!

 Considering how many times pesukim from Shir Hashirim are quoted - in
songs, wedding invitations, etc. - I often find the need to know the
literal translation of a certain word or phrase. You certainly can't get
that from Artscroll!

Kol tuv,

From: Ben Katz <bkatz@...>
Date: Fri, 14 Jun 2002 18:22:40 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Re: Artscroll

>From: Bernard Raab <beraab@...>
>With all of the kudos to Artscroll offered here recently, I wonder: Am I
>the only one who is incensed at the Artscroll "translation" of Shir
>Hashirim? I wonder when they will see fit to "edit" the Hebrew version
>in the same way!

        No, you are not the only one.  ArtScroll also attempts to have
it both ways.  In their Introduction they say they strive for a literal
translation, while in the Intro to Shir HaShirim they say that a literal
translation goes against 200 years of rabbinic exegesis.  One can't have
it both ways.  Either one translates figuratively, or not.  One can't
translate literally what one wants, criticize more figurative
translations, and then translate figuratively what one finds
uncomfortable translating literally.

        Also, note: Birmbaum was not willing to write the word "urine"
in his siddur.  He transliterates "mei raglayim" as such in pitum
haketores.  ArtScroll has no problem writing urine in their translation,
but somehow is offended to translate "shadayim" as "breasts" in Shir
HaShirim.  Which shows more respect for the siddur?

        One of my other major complaints about ArtScroll is that they
never anticipate anyone actually using the English for liturgical
purposes.  At best someone may glance at it for a word they don't
understand (although that won't work in Shir HaShirim!).  Older English
translations were made to be read from.  The best English for liturgical
purposes I have ever seen is Bokser's siddur.  His English lecha dodi
and other songs can be sung with the same melodies in English, and his
flair for English was amazing, esp.  considering the fact that he was
born in Poland and came to the US as a boy of about 12. Obviously his
translations aren't that literal but they often capture the beauty,
nuances and even cadence of the Hebrew.

        One final point about Shir HaShirim.  The question one has to
grapple with if one follows the midrashic reading, as ArtScroll does is:
why is the poem so sensual if it is just an allegory?

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: <Chaimwass@...> (Chaim Wasserman)
Date: Fri, 14 Jun 2002 11:35:07 EDT
Subject: Re: Artscroll

Carl Singer's assertion that MOST of the time the variations in typeface
size of old siddurim (set by hand type) was intended to emphasize and
highlight certain tefillot.

An extended (several decades) study of siddurim and machzorim indicated
to me that the single overriding factor for type size was spacing on the
page rather than a consistent desire to emphasize one tefillah over the
other.  Although, the emphasis principle did abide in many instances. I
am not ready to do a recount to see if it really was MOST, like Dr
Singer claims.

Chaim Wasserman 


From: <ROSELANDOW@...> (Rose Landowne)
Date: Fri, 14 Jun 2002 08:05:58 EDT
Subject: Re: Card-Operated Locks

What I find is that it helps to use a piece of card or heavy paper to
cover the part of the lock that you have to push in, and then tape over
it.  Then hang out the Do Not Disturb sign. Never travel anywhere
without duct tape.

Rose Landowne

From: <Joelirich@...> (Joel Rich)
Date: Fri, 14 Jun 2002 08:51:40 EDT
Subject: Re: Card-Operated Locks

<< BTW, many people would be troubled with the scenario of having a
 non-Jew open the door for you (even if you made such arrangements
 before Shabbos.)  There is a well spread misconception about non-Jews
 and work on Shabbos. >>

Should we not be differentiating between specifically asking a non-Jew
to do this action and "rmiza"(hinting) {e.g. standing in front of the
closed door looking sad:-)

Joel Rich

From: Eli Lansey <elansey@...>
Date: Sat, 15 Jun 2002 21:13:11 +0300 (IDT)
Subject: Card-Operated Locks

Tzadik Vanderhoof raised the question of opening card-operated door
locks from the inside.  I sent a message to Saflok about this, and the
following is their response.


---------- Forwarded message ----------
When opening the door from the inside of a room, there is no electronics
involved with the MT model.  We offer a lock with a mechanical key over-ride
that uses minimal electronics (one micro-switch to log entry).
Sean Case
Contract Administration


From: Tzvi Harris <ltharris@...>
Date: Fri, 14 Jun 2002 14:47:26 +0200
Subject: Re: Ketoret

I recently saw a book on the ketoret.  I think the author is
Dr. (perhaps professor) Zohar Amar of Bar Ilan U.

Tzvi Harris
Talmon, Israel

From: Sam Saal <ssaal@...>
Date: Mon, 17 Jun 2002 06:32:06 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: re: Ketoret

Neal B. Jannol <NJannol@...>) wrote:

>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).

My parents small business sells flavors, fragrances, and essential oils.
Many years ago a minister came to them looking for Biblical anointing
oils.  They knew formulating this might be a problem so the asked a
shaila. The response was interesting and instructive (but CYLOR). The
minister's list of oils was from the King James translation, which is
not particularly accurate so the amalgam wouldn't have been a
problem. If my parents were still concerned, they could offer to make it
our of perfume oils instead of the essential oils. Perfume oils are far
less expensive because they are not pure (they have various thickeners,
thinners, fixatives, or carriers). They would smell the same as the
essential oil to nearly everyone.

Sam Saal         <ssaal@...>
Vayiphtach HaShem et Pea haAtone

From: Saul Mashbaum <smash52@...>
Date: Sat, 15 Jun 2002 21:40:02 +0300
Subject: Re: Ketoret

The Temple Institute in the old city of Jerusalem is very actively
studying the k'toret, and has samples of its current identification of
the component spices on display in its museum.

I believe that they can be contacted at <opt-in@...>

Saul Mashbaum


From: <Chaimwass@...> (Chaim Wasserman)
Date: Fri, 14 Jun 2002 11:57:58 EDT
Subject: Re: Old Tefillin

Carl Singer writes (36:48) about "old tefillin" that he is "strongly
against any implications of "our generation" or "our balabatim" having
higher standards -- and am not trying to put words into the mouths of
any previous respondents."

What ought to be remembered (and I didn't see this mentioned) in any of
the previous postings) that we are in the generation where the Mishna
Berura and the statdards of the Vaad Mishmeres Stam have become
virtually the sole arbiters.

I am told by a person who took a mezuzah to check after purchase to the
eminent posek, Rav Moshe Bick, z"tzl, and was told that the mezuzah was
"mehudar". He then, for curiosity sake (no! he was not a cantancarous
character) took he same mezuzah to a Vaad Mishmeres Stam Mezuzah
Checking Fair being held at a Flatbush Young Israel. They "passeled"
that same mezuzah.

There were and are still soferim today who still have the intellectual
(read that - halachic) honestly to render fit that which our generation
prefers to reject.

Then again, there is an economic factor that must be taken into
consideration. For instance, the Vilna Gaon saw no absolute need for
tefillin batim to be (l) gassot and (2) me'or echad. Nonetheless, what
bar-mitzvah boy would be allowed to go to school with anything less than
a pait of tefillin ranging from $600 and up.

My father z"l (Lublin talmid, Flatbush rav) was convinced that I was
totally dememnted when I bought with him present a pair of tefillin for
my oldest son (30 years ago). Top of the line, the "standard of the
generation" , for $400. Today those tefillin would go for $1,000 in
America or Yerushalayim.

C'est la vie!

Chaim Wasserman


From: Leonard Mansky <len613@...>
Date: Fri, 14 Jun 2002 08:46:34 -0400
Subject: Re: Old Tephillin

> Yes -- I once, perhaps 25 years ago, bought tephellin for a pious,
> long bearded, sopher on the lower East Side only to find, many years
> later when I had them inspected, that he had put used (and taped!) klafs
> inside the new battim.

That isn't as bad as when I had inspected my wife's grandfather's
tefillin only to find them completely empty.

Shabbat shalom,


From: Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz <sabbahem@...>
Date: Fri, 14 Jun 2002 12:05:25 -0400
Subject: RE: Pidyon Haben

>From: Israel Rosenfeld <israel.rosenfeld@...>

>The Rambam paskens according to Rabbi Yosei Haglili that the Torah says
>"peter rechem miYisroel", the "rechem" (womb) must be "miYisroel" -
>neither Kohenet nor Leviah.

The NCSY Torah Tidbits (from the Israel Center in Yerushalayim) for
Parshas Korach had an interesting table about Pidyon Haben.  If a Bas
Kohen has a son with a nonJew, she must give Pidyon Haben.  The son of a
Bas levi and a nonJew does not require a Pidyon Haben.  Since people
wrote to ask why, he sent out the following explanation this week
(Parshas Chukas).

-------------------------- quote ---------------------------------------------

Several people called and emailed to ask about the Pidyon HaBen chart,
specifically about the Bat-Kohen who has a b'chor from a non-Jew. A
Bat-Kohen's b'chor usually does not need a Pidyon. But by having
relations with a non-Jew, she forfeits the sanctity of the K'huna that
she possessed since birth, and her b'chor requires a Pidyon. Not so the
Bat Levi, since her status is not a matter of that kind of Kedusha.

------------------------ end quote -------------------------------------------

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


From: Danny Skaist <danny@...>
Date: Sun, 16 Jun 2002 09:48:16 +0200
Subject: Prophecy vs Prophetic Order

<<From: Russell Jay Hendel
But in Jewish law, Prophecy refers to ANY COMMUNICATION BY GOD TO A

Isn't a "navi" a spokesperson.  As hashem told Moshe "... and Aaron your
brother will be your Navi" [Shmos 7:1 ]



End of Volume 36 Issue 50