Volume 36 Number 77
                 Produced: Mon Jul 22 23:27:09 US/Eastern 2002

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Birnbaum Siddur
         [Ira L. Jacobson]
Melody for Chapter 3 of Eichah
         [Zev Sero]
The Number of Stars
         [Stan Tenen]
Reading Hebrew web pages
         [Art Werschulz]
Shabbos Tallis and Work on Shabbos or Yom Tov for voch
         [Michael J. Savitz]
Shir shel Yom Revi'i (2)
         [Solomon Spiro, Michael J. Savitz]
Tzedaka in P'sukei D'Zimra
         [Alan Koor]
Tzedekah in Middle of P'sukei d'Zimrah
         [Yisrael and Batya Medad]
Yehoshua Bin Nun
         [Jack Stroh]


From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Date: Fri, 12 Jul 2002 14:49:23 +0300
Subject: Re: Birnbaum Siddur

A reader (Shmuel Himelstein) writes:

      If one checks the commentary of R' Yaakov Emden on the Siddur, one
      can see that he gives "Elokeinu veilokei ..." as the proper Nusach
      on all days, and not only on Shabbat.

I have the Lemberg edition, which has been reerred to as a "forgery." 
There, he adds the words in unpointed type; not exactly as though he
approves of the edition.

But more to the point, the standard Ashkenazi, Sefaradi and Yememnite
texts do not contain this addition.  Nor does Artscroll, lehavdil.  So to
what extent can R' Birnbaum's change be regarded as authoritative?

      After all, what possible reason would there be to omit it on
      weekdays, and to start with "Kadesheinu bemitzvotecha"? I believe
      R' Yaakov Emden attributes this "nusach" to an error of
      transcription, and while the original nusach had "retzei
      bimenuchateinu" in brackets as being said only on Shabbat, someone
      at some point erroneously extended the bracket to include Elokeinu

Interesting theory.  Any proof?

And how about the counter-argument that we have already addressed the
prayer at the beginning of ya`ale v'yavo?

      Another "change" of Birnbaum, which is totally obvious when one
      thinks about it, is the fifth line of Yigdal, beginning "Hino Adon
      olam ..."  This is supposed to correspond with the fifth of
      Rambam's 13 Principles, which - in the present nusach - it clearly
      doesn't. Rambam's fifth principle is that one may pray only to
      Hashem. The prevailing nusach says something about Hashem showing
      His greatness to everyone, which is hardly the same thing.
      Birnbaum changes "lechol notzar" to "vechol notzar," which
      effectively translates as "every creature will extoll His
      greatness and royalty" - a perfect correspondence.

Again, is this his own invention, or did he borrow it form another nusah?



From: Zev Sero <zev.sero@...>
Date: Thu, 11 Jul 2002 15:18:41 -0400
Subject: Re: Melody for Chapter 3 of Eichah

Richard Schultz <schultr@...>

> When I learned these sorts of things, I was taught that the third
> chapter of Eichah [Lamentations] has a distinct melody, as opposed to
> the other four chapters, which are chanted according to the ta`amim.
> The melody for chapter 3 is a single tune that is repeated for each set
> of three verses; its only relation to the ta`amim is that the phrase
> breaks in the melody are supposed to occur at words with disjunctive
> ta`amim.  As far as I can remember, at every Bet Knesset in the
> U.S. that I attended on Tisha B'Av, whoever read the third chapter of
> Eichah used the special tune.  Here in Israel, no one seems to have
> heard of it (at least in the places I've been), and the third chapter is
> read with the same cantillation as the other four.

My experience, though very limited, is the opposite of yours - I learned
this tune in Melbourne, Australia, but when I came to the USA I found
that nobody had heard of it.  At my shul, in those years when I am
asked to do the 3rd chapter, I use the special tune, but when other
people do it they use the ta'amim.

Zev Sero


From: Stan Tenen <meru1@...>
Date: Sat, 13 Jul 2002 22:08:08 -0700
Subject: The Number of Stars

 From the parsha this Shabbos, Aryeh Kaplan's translation:

"God your Lord has increased your numbers until you are [now] as many as
the stars of the sky.  May God, Lord of your fathers, increase your
numbers a thousand fold, and bless you as He promised."

If we take this literally, we get an interesting result which I would be
curious to hear comments on.

If I remember correctly, a person with a child's perfect vision, on a
completely clear, moonless night, can see 5-10,000 stars.  (Most
estimates are closer to 5,000, but of course, this is an average and an
estimate, so my guess is there's an additional leeway of plus or minus

1000 times 10,000 is 10,000,000.  If we allow another 30%, that's about
13 million -- which is very close to the current population of
halachically Jewish Jews alive today.

Has  this been noticed, and what discussion does it lead to?

Meru Foundation   http://www.meru.org   <meru1@...>


From: Art Werschulz <agw@...>
Date: Fri, 12 Jul 2002 11:27:05 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Reading Hebrew web pages


Are there any pointers for reading Hebrew web pages?  Shamash gives
the URL 
but this is a 404.

I'm interested in the following configurations:

(1) Netscape 4.78 on Solaris 5.8 on a sparc.
(2) Netscape 4.79 on RedHat Linux 7.3 on an i686 box.
(3) Internet Explorer 5.2 on MacOS X 10.1.5 on a G4 iMac.

FWIW, doing the obvious thing with galeon on the RedHat box worked


Art Werschulz (8-{)}   "Metaphors be with you."  -- bumper sticker
GCS/M (GAT): d? -p+ c++ l u+(-) e--- m* s n+ h f g+ w+ t++ r- y? 
Internet: <agw@...><a href="http://www.cs.columbia.edu/~agw/">WWW</a>
ATTnet:   Columbia U. (212) 939-7061, Fordham U. (212) 636-6325


From: Michael J. Savitz <michaelj@...>
Date: Sun, 14 Jul 2002 00:16:38 -0400
Subject: Shabbos Tallis and Work on Shabbos or Yom Tov for voch

> What is maybe of greater concern and sometimes overlooked is the
> tendency I've seen to remove plates and utensils, left over food on the
> table after Seuda Shlishit/Shalosh Seudos (the 3rd Meal), just out of
> habit when **it is** considered HaChana L'Ahar Shabbos (preparation for
> after Shabbos).

Or perhaps it enhances once enjoyment of the remainder of Shabbat not to
have the mess around.  As my LOR once said (referring to Shabbat and
Y"T), "You never have to sit in a mess."  I know of no requirement to
make havdalah at a table full of dirty plates.

  Even placing one's coat upon arrival after Mincha in
> the closet if one does not intend to return to Shul for Maariv can
> probably be viewed as no less than HaChanna.

Where else would you put it?  It's not exactly a tircha to hang up your
coat.  And it avoids the untidiness of, say, leaving it draped over the
couch in the living room - thus hanging it up enhances one's enjoyment
of Shabbat. 

  And what about getting up
> from the table AND Tucking one's chair in -- Could that be considered
> HaChanna?  Placing Seforim on the Shelf after learning right before
> Maariv as opposed to leaving them closed and neatly placed on the table?

How much tircha is involved here?  Is this a serious question?  Why not
go even further, and question whether you can even close and neaten the
seforim on the table?!

What about carrying your key to shul for mincha (within an eruv), if you
don't intend to return home until after maariv?  Is that a proper use of
the eruv?


From: Solomon Spiro <spiro@...>
Date: Fri, 12 Jul 2002 16:48:41 +0300
Subject: Shir shel Yom Revi'i

BSD, erev shabbat hazon

I'd like to propose a solution to riddle of the extra pesukim recited
after shir hama'alot and those added to Wednesday's shir shel yom, lekhu

 We always attempt to avoid ending prayers, recitations and drashot with
words that imply misfortune for Jews.  Thus at the end of Ekhah we
repeat hashivenu so that we will not end with G-d's anger at us 'ad
meod. We do the same for the haftorah of shabbat hagadol.  We repeat
G-d's promise to send Eliyahu, hineh anokhi sholeah lakhem, instead of
ending with the last pasuk of the chapter, G-d's smiting the earth with
a curse. The same applies to the haftorah of shabbat rosh hodesh.  We
repeat "and it will be from new moon to new moon etc."  vehoyah miyde
hodesh. . .  instead of " an abhorence unto all flesh" deraon lekhol
basar And so in Shir Hama'alot that we say, or sing before birkkat
hamazon, the last pasuk describes the sad state of the Jews, sowing in
tears, hazo'rim bedim'a, . . . going forth and weeping, halokh yelekh
uvakhoh, not a suitable topic for menuhat shabbat, so we add some extra
pesukim of praise and consolation ( yashmiy'a kol tehilotov etc.)

As for  Wednesday's shir ( Psalm Cap 94 )

The gemara 'Arakin 11b tells us that the first bet hamikdash was
destroyed on the first day of the week. The priests and the Levites were
standing on the platform and singing the Psalm for Wednesday.  The
gemara asks but that is not the song for the first day of the week! It's
for yom revi'i!  And the gemarah answers it just so happens that that
was the song they sang.  And they came to the last pasuk, said the first
yazmitem, and did reach the second yazmitem ( the word is repeated one
right after the other) before the enemies came and overwhelmed them.  So
the last pasuk of the Psalm, then, is associated with the dire
misfortune of the Jews during the first Temple. We do not want to end
with that pasuk so we go on and add two pesukim of the next Psalm the
subject of which is our passionate praise of G-d.

kol tuv
nizkeh benehamat zion veyerushalayim 

From: Michael J. Savitz <michaelj@...>
Date: Sun, 14 Jul 2002 00:43:21 -0400
Subject: Shir shel Yom Revi'i

Regarding the discussion of the inclusion of "Lechu Neranena" at the end
of the shir shel yom for Wednesday:  Is it possible that these extra
pesukim were added in order that the shir not end on such an negative
note - "uvra'atam yatzmiteim, yatzmiteim Hashem Elokeinu"?  Something
analogous to the way we don't end the reading of the haftorah with a
prophecy of destruction.  And the use of 3 additional pesukim from
"Lechu Neranena" is analogous to the rule in Torah reading that we don't
have an aliyah break 1 or 2 pesukim away from a break in the text (or an
aliyah where fewer than 3 pesukim are read).

Could this be at least part of the rationale for Lechu Neranena being
part of shir shel yom revi'i?


From: Alan Koor <alkoor@...>
Date: Fri, 12 Jul 2002 18:13:29 +0200
Subject: Tzedaka in P'sukei D'Zimra

Joel Rich writes in Vol36 No72:

 >What about all those people who have adopted the Ari's kabbalistic
 >minhag of giving tzedaka in the middle of psukei dzimra because the
 >Artscroll Siddur says this is customary?

When in London, I daven in the morning at the Hampstead Garden Suburb
Synagogue where Rav Reuben Livingstone gives a short halacha or mekor
(source) for a minhag (custom).

The subject of Tzedaka in P'sukei D'Zimra was mentioned in the past and
he said that the custom is to give when the phrase "veata moshel bakol"
(and You rule over all) is recited just before Shirat Hayam. The act of
giving tzedaka at that point is to clearly acknowledge that all monies
we have belong to G'd.  I believe this appears in the Mishna Berurah but
have not checked.

Metzapim Legeulah
Shlomo Koor


From: Yisrael and Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Fri, 12 Jul 2002 14:26:25 +0200
Subject: Tzedekah in Middle of P'sukei d'Zimrah

Joel Rich wrote:
       While we're on the topic, is there any halachik source for
      "interrupting" the repetition of the shmona esrah to give tzedaka?
      Why interrupt psukei dzimra versus the practice (complete
      disclosure-this is our family practice, consistent with the
      non-ari practice brought down) of giving before davening?

As Joel challenged me over 30 years ago in realms of "l'maaseh", let me
try to help in "halocha" or "kabolah" (both pronounced in yeshivish).

Again, I refer you all to Chalamish's volume on the Kabalah and Tefila,
Chapter 17 for all the literally dozens of sources throughout Halachic
Kabalah literature,

a.  the source for the interruption process is Lurianic & et al. Kabalah
practices in Tzfat.

b.  according to the Ari - give it when saying v'atah moshel bakol in
Vayaverech David Sha'ar Haz'mirot 31; Shulchan Aruch HaAri, Tzedekah, 1,
Moreh B'etzba 3, ayin-vav

c.  the Chida agrees and stipulates 3 coins

d.  Chaim Vital agrees but adds that 3 additional coins should be given
before davening based on the pasuk: ani b'tzedek echezeh panecha.

e.  the Ben Ish Chai claims that the Ari also gave a second 3-coiner at
the pasuk: ki kol bashamayim uva'aretz

f.  the Sha'ar Kavanot obliges it to be given to the Gabbai and not just
dropped off (although why the Gabbai has to make so much noise with the
pushke is beyond me)

g.  Meir Pafrash suggests a second giving of Tzedakah before Torah

h.  Yeshaya Horowitz who arrived in Eretz-Yisrael in 1622 accepted the
Lurianic custom and noted that it was better to give during P'sukei
d'Zimrah rather than disturbing the concentration of the congregants
from answering Amen to the chazarat hashatz.

i.  the Nohag Katzon Yosef volume notes that Rav Issrelis in Cracow used
to give Tzedakah at vayavarech David into a box fixed into the wall
"according the writings of the Ari zal" but Chalamish doubts that
Maharam Issrelis knew of them.

j.  Yosef Teomim attests to the fact that his father who died in 1770
obliged his congregants in L'vov to give at v'atah moshel bakol.  The
Pri M'gadim also obliged this custom.  Chalamish also brings sources for
Tripoli, Egypt and Baghdad and notes a dozen siddurim in Livrono,
Amsterdam, Zhitomir, Vilna, etc. that include the custom in their

k.  Just to mix you up, he notes several other places during the Tefila
that are recommended to give Tzedakah: Shirat Hayam; before Torah
reading; uva l'tzion goel.

Yisrael Medad


From: Jack Stroh <jackstroh@...>
Date: Sat, 13 Jul 2002 22:43:03 -0400
Subject: Yehoshua Bin Nun

Why is Yehoshua's "ben" a "bin"? Is there a dikduk reason or 
something else? Thanks.


End of Volume 36 Issue 77