Volume 36 Number 86
                 Produced: Sun Jul 28 23:37:05 US/Eastern 2002

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Birnbaum Siddur
         [David Olivestone]
Havdalla motzei shabbat chazon (6)
         [Lebowitz, Seth, Alan Friedenberg, Jonathan & Randy Chipman,
Stephen Coleman, Daniel Cohn, .cp.]
Preparing for after Shabbos
         [Arieh Kadosh]
Symbolic Meaning-Shir Hashirim-ACTUAL vs LITERAL vs INTENDED
         [Russell Jay Hendel]
Tzedekah in Middle of P'sukei d'Zimrah
         [Joel Rich]


From: David Olivestone <dmlo@...>
Date: Wed, 24 Jul 2002 23:31:24 -0400
Subject: Re: Birnbaum Siddur

Various people have been theorizing about whether "Elokeinu veilokei
avoteinu" should be added in the Musaf for chagim even on a weekday, as
Birnbaum proposes. My own theory is that the phrase does not belong there at
all, even on Shabbat. It seems to me that "Elokeinu veilokei avoteinu" is
supposed to be said only once as an introduction to whatever follows (as it
is in the musafim for Shabbat and for Rosh Chodesh). On the chagim, that one
place is before the words "Melech Rachaman." It seems to me that some editor
or printer thought it natural to say "Elokeinu, etc." before "Retzei
vimnuchateinu", and it crept in that way.

Interestingly enough, now you have the exact same phenomenon happening in
reverse, as it were, when you see that ArtScroll also adds the words "Retzei
vimnuchateinu" earlier on between "Elokeinu veilokei avoteinu" and "Melech
Rachaman," so that this, too, gets said twice! I haven't checked any earlier
siddurim or machzorim to see if it appears this way anywhere previously, and
I'd be interested to hear if anyone has.

By the way, many years ago I was the editor at Hebrew Publishing Company and
worked with Philip Birnbaum, a"h, on some of his later projects. I don't
recall having any conversations with him about the "Elokeinu" question, but
I do remember what he told me about the origin of the layout of his siddur,
which was discussed here a while ago. Apparently the then owner of the
company, who was not a religiously observant man, complained to him one day
that every siddur he produced had to have all these different sizes of type,
and why couldn't the edition that Birnbaum was preparing have all the text
in the same size type, like any regular book? And so that's what he did.


From: Lebowitz, Seth <SLebowitz@...>
Date: Wed, 24 Jul 2002 12:31:20 -0400
Subject: Havdalla motzei shabbat chazon

Why not use wine?  I understand that some communities or families have
the minhag to use beer.  But if one does not have that minhag, isn't it
clearly permissible to use wine and give it to a child if one is
present, and if not to drink it?  Does the use of grape juice somehow
"improve" upon this rule?  Or is it simply another, different minhag,
analogous to using beer?

From: Alan Friedenberg <elshpen@...>
Date: Wed, 24 Jul 2002 09:39:57 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: Havdalla motzei shabbat chazon

I wasn't clear about that.  Wine and grape juice are interchangable; we
prefer grape juice, so that's what we use.

From: Jonathan & Randy Chipman <yonarand@...>
Date: Thu, 25 Jul 2002 09:30:54 +0300
Subject: re: Havdalla motzei shabbat chazon

Alan Friedenberg wrote (MJ v36n79), regarding what beverage to use for
Havdalah after Shabbat Hazon:
<<We use beer, although a Rav at a local shule pointed out that you can
make Havdolah on grape juice and give it to a child to drink.  (He did
state that the child should be old enough to know about the concept of a
bracha, but not old enough to understand the concepts behind the nine
days.)  If need be, and there is no young child, you may drink the grape
juice yourself.>>

     Why grape juice?  I've never heard any claim that grape juice is
HALAKHICALLY different from wine.  Thus, wherever grape juice is
permitted so is wine, and wherever wine is forbidden so is graire juice
(thus grape juice requires a hekhsher to assure that it's not stam

    As for Motzei Shabbat during the nine days (in certain calendrical
constellations there are two of them, not just Shabbat Hazon), there is
a case to allow drinking wine at Havdalah.

   The Mehaber in Orah Hayyim 551.10 says it's permitted.  The Ram"a,
citing the Maharil, says that it is customary to give it to a small
child in possible (wine, not grape juice!), but in the absence of a
child one is allowed to drink it oneself.  (After all, in many
households, both of recently married and older couples, there are not
children in that particular age group).  He makes no mention of beer or
other drinks as substitutes.  Nor do Beer Heitev or Mishnah Berurah say
anything along those lines. The Arukh Hashulhan, on the other hand, in
551 par 26, does mention using mead (honey wine) or other drinks, for
both Birkat Hamazon and Havdalah, and states that he himself makes
havdalah over "sheikhar."  He also bemoans, in par. 23, the fact that
many Jews are careless about this custom, and compares the devote
adherence of many non-Jews to their meatless days, while some Jews find
it hard to refrain frtom it even eight days a year in memory of the
Temple which was destroyed.  Moreover, he notes the seriousness of the
matter, in that one who does not fulfill this custom violates the Torah
prohibition of neder, since the Jewish communities assumed this (and I
suppose any other custom ) as a vow.

   (The wine after Birkat Hamazon is a whole other issue, about which
opinions are generally stricter.  There is also a question of Seudat
mitzvah - brit, siyyum masekhet, etc. - re both meat and wine, but that
goes beyond our subject here.)

     The logic (of the heter), I imagine, is that Havdalah over wine is
a Rabbinic mitzvah (with possibly a certain source in de-oraita), while
not drinking wine or eating meat during the nine days is a later minhag,
which does not override even a mitzvah derabanan, or perhaps it was
undertaken with the condition that it does not include mitzvah
derabanan..  Also, conceptually, the mitzvah relates to Shabbat, and is
based on the idea of "honoring the Shabbat in its going out," even
though the mitzvah is performed at a time that is weekday.

    Rav Yehonatan Chipman, Jerusalem

From: <StephenColman2@...> (Stephen Coleman)
Date: Thu, 25 Jul 2002 06:48:28 EDT
Subject: Re: Havdalla motzei shabbat chazon

        Personally, I use beer.  Which seems appropriate for the theme
      of the Nine Days, as I dislike the stuff.  (That's not actually
      the reason I use it, though, just to clarify.)

This could, of course, lead you to a shaaleh about making a brocho on
something you dislike.....

From: Daniel Cohn <dcohn@...>
Date: Thu, 25 Jul 2002 09:24:44 -0500
Subject: Re: Havdalla motzei shabbat chazon

Wouldn't it be a problem to make havdallah on a beverage you dislike? I
once heard it is a problem even to say a bracha on food you dislike (kal
va chomer havdallah).

Daniel Cohn

From: .cp. <chips@...>
Date: Thu, 25 Jul 2002 20:10:15 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: Havdalla motzei shabbat chazon

It is allowed to use something for Havdallah that one dislikes?!?!?

Also, we are all the people who were complaining in the "better=frumer"
thread? The RAMBAM wrote it was permitted to use grape juice for the `seuda
mafsekes`, the TUR says nothing about grape juice, MECHAVER says "some say
some have a minhag to not use grape juice" - and now it seems to be some
sort of iron clad rule you can not drink grape juice at all for Days !



From: Arieh Kadosh <shekel@...>
Date: Wed, 24 Jul 2002 10:39:08 -0700
Subject: Preparing for after Shabbos

A number of individuals have commented (both publicly and privately)
on my recent post regarding actions during Shabbos which could be perceived
as a preparation for after Shabbos.

Russell Jay Hendel (v36n80) responded by saying that he has heard some
permission for taking away dishes after the 3rd meal based on the premise
of basic hygiene.  While I am aware of the potential for this to occur,
I seriously question how much "weight" this can carry based on the following

The prohibition to take away dishes is literally from close to the end
of the day until Havdala time.  What in essence amounts to a time span
of basically 90 minutes at best, could not really be perceived as an
infraction on hygiene.  

Second, if one were to remove the dishes from the table (which **would
be** permissible if the table space were to be subsequently used for
learning, etc... at that time), it is clear then that they would be taken
away to the kitchen counter.  And then what?  Certainly washing these
dishes or submerging them in water -- **is preparing** for after Shabbos.

The subsequent discussion concerning Seforim:

The 4-volume "39 Melachos" by R. David Ribiat published by Feldheim (an
excellent set) which David Lefkowitz (private correspondence) alerted
me to about -- do bring a number of these issues into discussion.

It would seem that there is a difference between an individual in his
own home versus a Bais Medrash.  The above source tends to allow an individual
to do so (out of habit, again NOT expressing his intent to prepare) whereas
in a Bais Medrash where almost inevitably, the last person or Shamash
who do put Seforim away would be restricted from doing so until after

Again for final psak, please consult your Local Orthodox Rav.

Kol Tuv.



From: Russell Jay Hendel
Date: Sun, 14 Jul 2002 03:06:20 -0400
Subject: RE: Symbolic Meaning-Shir Hashirim-ACTUAL vs LITERAL vs INTENDED

There have been numerous comments about the proper way to translate Shir
Hashirim as well as the issue of LITERAL vs ACTUAL vs REAL meaning
(eg. v36n69 A Klafter, Shalom Ozarowski, v36n67 Shayna Kravetz, v36n63
Carl SInger and David Cohen).

I am NOT responding to the issue of Protecting people from the explicit
language. However I am responding to the issue of symbolic
interpretation and proper translation. I make 3 points.

FIRST: Most people are unaware that Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch wrote a
100 page essay dealing with the whole issue of whether we must ever
interpret a passage symbolically as wella as what rules must we
follow. This essay and the 3 classes of passages requiring symbolic
interpretation are succinctly summarized in my article GENESIS ONE
which will appear in BOR HATORAH v13E (possibly this summer).

Some simple examples are as follows: Isa11-06 speaks about THE LAMB
LIVING WITH THE WOLF. All commentators take this as symbolic (Agressive
nations will coexist with nomadic nations) Similarly all commentators
agree that Ecc12 speaks symbolically about old age.

To borrow David Cohens language (citing N Leibowtiz): The ACTUAL meaning
of the text is old age or political peace.

An equally good way of formulating this is to say that the INTENDED
MEANING OF THE TEXT is old age or political peace.  Again: Rav Hirsch
gives very clear criteria by which to determine whether symbolism is
required. (This supplements what S Ozarowski said)

2nd: Given that we MUST interpret a passage symbolically what should the
translator do? Take the Isiah example: Should the translator write THE
LAMB WILL LIVE WITH THE WOLF or should the translator write THE NOMADS

It would appear to me in this case that since animal symbolism of
personality is common in English also, therefore there is no need for
the translator to avoid the literal translation.  After all the reader
can infer the same nuances as the Hebrew speaking reader.

3rd: But suppose we deal with a passage that (3a) must be interpreted
symbolically but (3b) the symbols are esoteric and not universal in all
languages (3c) the number of symbolic translations to make in the
passage is great.

Thus Song of Songs is in fact a passage that must be interpreted
symbolically, uses highly Hebrew-specific symbols and is lengthy.

Then a literal translation would deprive most readers of the actual
meaning of the text. Thus it is useful to have a translation that
non-scholars can simply read quickly and find the symbolic meaning. The
only ethical requirement would be to tell the reader that the translator
was giving the symbolic meaning.

I believe the above argument cogently answers A Klafters
comments---Artscroll is addressing a lay audience who has no way of
understanding the true meaning. Thus artscroll has performed a useful

Russell Jay Hendel; http://www.RashiYomi.com/gen-1.htm


From: <Joelirich@...> (Joel Rich)
Date: Wed, 24 Jul 2002 15:22:02 EDT
Subject: Re: Tzedekah in Middle of P'sukei d'Zimrah

1. Let me first extend praise and thanksgiving to HKB"H for creating the
powerful tool of the Internet (which as with all tools can be used for
good or R"L for evil) which allows me to talk in torah over great
distances with my embassy drag mentor Yisrael Medad (hamechuneh[aka]

2. Let me apologize for the lack of clarity in my original question (one
of the downsides of the virtual classroom is that you have no immediate
feedback from your study partner to make you realize you need to state
something more clearly).

3. I realize that there are kabbalistic roots to this practice (I
believe it's brought down in the name of the Arizal).  My point was that
if you start with the Babylonian Talmud (baba batra 10a) and trace down
through the rif,rosh,rambam,shulchan aruch,kitzur shulchan aruch, even
the shulchan aruch harav - you will find all clearly stating that one
gives tzedaka before tfilla(without any secondary opinion) based on
tehilim 17 -ani btedek achazeh panecha = give tzedaka before you seek
HKB"H. The mishneh brura quotes the primary line and then mentions "in
some congregations" the practice of giving by "vhaosher"

Thus again my question as to why the artscroll either advertently or
inadvertently has a whole generation ignoring the mainstream.

2 follow up points -- 1.I think most would agree it's better to give at
"vhaosher" than in the middle of the amida's repetition 2. This may be
part of a bigger debate as to what to do when "halacha(eg Talmud bavli)
and kabbalah disagree.  I'm told there are those who say there are only
a very few places where this occurs but I think they get that result by
some real hairsplitting(eg here by saying vhaosher is before tfila since
tfila really refers to the amida)

KT and happy tu bav
Joel Rich


From: <ENGINEERED@...>
Date: Wed, 24 Jul 2002 07:56:48 -0400
Subject: Tzomet

"I am a wheelchair user and some time back there was a discussion about
power (or electric) wheelchairs modified for use on shabbos. I
understand that this is done by an organization named Tzomet in
Israel. Does anyone have the contact info for this organization?"


  machon Tzomet's phone number is 02-993-1442

  they are based in Alon Shvut.


End of Volume 36 Issue 86