Volume 37 Number 06
                 Produced: Wed Sep  4 23:34:47 US/Eastern 2002

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

atah banim shiru lamelech (6)
         [Caren and Steve Weisberg, Dov Bloom, David E Cohen, Dov
Teichman, Mort Trainer, David Herskovic]
Birchat Hamazon
         [Saul Mashbaum]
Bride and Groom kissing at a wedding - the Netzi"v
Grape Juice and Wine
         [Gershon Dubin]
         [Lawrence Kaplan]
Mi Shebeirach
         [Gershon Dubin]
Munach L'garmei
         [Dov Bloom]
Perpetual Hebrew Calendar
         [Shmuel Ross]


From: Caren and Steve Weisberg <nydecs@...>
Date: Mon, 2 Sep 2002 23:20:26 +0300
Subject: re: atah banim shiru lamelech

Shavuot machzor - yotzer for first day. In Rinat Yisroel (where piyutim
are in the back) it's on page 238 of the Ashkanaz Shavuot Machzor.


From: Dov Bloom <dovb@...>
Date: Tue, 03 Sep 2002 01:21:00 +0200
Subject: Re: atah banim shiru lamelech

The words are from a piyut for Shavout. The series of piyutim said in
some communities during Shacharit before Amida is called "Yotzer" or
"Yotzrot". One of the parts of the Yotzer series is said before the
phrase "vehaOfanim veHayot HaKodesh" and is called "Ofan". The words to
the song are a few lines, not contiguous, from the "Ofan" of the first
day of Shavuot. The whole Yotzer is attributed to Shimon bar Yitzhak
from Magentza (Mayence) who I think lived in the 10th century and was
one of the seminal and important Paytanim.

Many congregations say his Yotzrot on Rosh Hashana (more than those who
say on Shavuot)

The verses of the piyut begin with the words of Mishlei 8:32, but in the
song one of course doesn't see this because there are only 2 lines or
so. The first word of each verse (after the catch word from the Mishlei
pasuk 8:32 ) spell out the name of the author. The previous sections of
the Yotzer (before the "Ofan") also interweave the words of previous
verses from that chapter Mishlei 8 in their beginning or end. The whole
Yotzer is a work of art, and well worth studying (as well as singing) 

Dov A Bloom

From: David E Cohen <ddcohen@...>
Date: Mon, 02 Sep 2002 13:51:27 -0400
Subject: Re: atah banim shiru lamelech

David Curwin writes:
>There is a popular "Jewish" song out there with the words "atah banim
>shiru lamelech".
>Does anyone know the origin of the lyrics? Couldn't find them on the
>Bar Ilan CD.

The words of the song come from the "ofan" (piyut recited before
"veha'ofanim vechayot hakodesh" in the kedushah of yotzeir) for Shavuot.


[A similar response was sent in by many readers, including:
From: Alan Friedenberg <elshpen@...>
From: Simon Wanderer <wanderer@...>
From: Joshua Adam Meisner <jam390@...>
From: Alex Heppenheimer <aheppenh@...>
From: Ari Kahn <kahnar@...>
From: Meir Possenheimer <meir@...>
From: Hannah and Daniel Katsman <hannahpt@...>
From: Perets Mett <p.mett@...>
From: David Lefkowitz <Dovid107@...>

From: <DTnLA@...> (Dov Teichman)
Date: Mon, 02 Sep 2002 23:20:39 -0400
Subject: atah banim shiru lamelech

It can be found in the shachris for both days of Shavuos, as part of the
added piutim (poems) for the blessings of Shema. It is said right after
"Kadosh, Kadosh, Kadosh, etc." Incidentally, I have never been in a
synagogue where those additions to the blessings of shema were said. 

Dov Teichman

From: <mort.trainer@...> (Mort Trainer)
Date: Wed, 4 Sep 2002 10:30:58 -0400
Subject: RE: atah banim shiru lamelech

This song is a selection on the tape/CD called "Yeedle", distributed by
Aderet Music in 1998.  "Yeedle", which is probably a nickname for
"Yehuda", is the name of the producer/singer, who also happens to be the
son of Mordechai Ben David.  The tape jacket says that the song was
composed by Rav Hillel Palai and is part of the Yotzros (additional
prayer text) for Shavuos.  Specifically the words appear in the Yotzros
for the second day of Shavuos, in the middle of Birchos K'rias Sh'ma
(after Kadosh, Kadosh ...).

From: David Herskovic <crucible@...>
Date: Wed, 4 Sep 2002 17:23:42 +0100
Subject: atah banim shiru lamelech

They are to be found in the yoytres (oyfon(?)) for the second day shvuos
immediately after kodoysh kodoysh kodoysh that is said during shakhris
before krias shma.

Incidentally, does anyone know of a CD that has on it the entire liturgy
such as all the makzoyrim, tish b'ov kines, slikhes, the yoytsres for the '4
parshiyos' and the like.

A ksive vakhsime toyve to all of you,

Dovid H.


From: Saul Mashbaum <smash52@...>
Date: Tue, 03 Sep 2002 22:19:49 +0200
Subject: Birchat Hamazon

Ben Z. Katz <bkatz@...> wrote
> I have seen some rare editions of the birchat hamazon with
> "gedushah": One old hagaddah I saw had it, as well as the new Eidah
> birchon.  I have been told that the Rav said "gedushah" when he said
> birchat hamazon.

This is noted by Rav Hershel Schecter, one of the Rov's most outstanding
students, in his book Nefesh Harav, page 148.

Saul Mashbaum


From: <Phyllostac@...> (Mordechai)
Date: Mon, 2 Sep 2002 23:15:44 EDT
Subject: Bride and Groom kissing at a wedding - the Netzi"v

I think the Netzi"v is not getting a 'fair shake' here. We must
understand the likely context of the incident. The great Netziv z"l, of
Volozhin (in present day Belarus) passed away circa 5654 (1894 CE),

At that time, in the area where he lived, most people had traditional
backgrounds, but there was a growing movement away from
tradition. Therefore, the presumption that the offenders were 'unknowing
sinners' is not likely to be correct. Rather it is more likely that they
knew that their behavior was wrong, but engaged in it anyway, despite
that fact (willfully and knowingly).  Therefore the Netzi"v did what he
did (assuming the story is accurate), to make a public statement and
hopefully prevent further such breaches.

The great Netzi"v was / is not known to be some wild-eyed fanatic who
would let himself be governed by impulses and knee-jerk reactions. Study
of his life and his great works will show what a deep, profound and
level-headed man he was.



From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Tue, 3 Sep 2002 13:41:02 GMT
Subject: Grape Juice and Wine

From: Barak Greenfield, MD <DocBJG@...>
>This topic was discussed late last year and the above line of reasoning
>was presented to differentiate modern pasteurized grape juice from the
>squeezed cluster of grapes mentioned in the gemara.
>However, no halachic source for this differentiation was ever brought.

Rabbi (Meir) Scheinberg spoke about this recently, and while he cited
many sources, what I recall is that Rav Elyashiv shlita holds that it is
NOT to be used for kiddush (and the beracha is shehakol) while Rav
Shlomo Zalman Auerbach z"l held that one may use it.  The rationale was
as described by the poster, i.e. whether the fact that the GJ can never
become wine, or the fact that it once could have, controls.



From: Lawrence Kaplan <lawrence.kaplan@...>
Date: Wed, 4 Sep 2002 18:45:47 -0400
Subject: Re: Mendelssohn

Yitzchok Kahn <mi_kahn@...> referred to my post in which I noted
that certain views about peshat and derash discussed in earlier numbers
of Mail-Jewish had already been set forward by Moses Mendelssohn, and he

> With no meaning of disrespect to the poster, I feel Mendelssohn should
> not be quoted in a forum which accepts the validity of
> hallacha. Mendelssohn, at least in part, started the erosion of
> hallachic observance among Klall Yisroel. The Chasam Sofer already
> said, "Ubasifrai Ra"Mad (Reb Moshe Desau-his place of birth) Al
> Tishlachu Yad," "Don't touch Mendelssohn's. I hope I don't spawn a
> debate on Mendelssohn's legitimacy.

Let me point out in reply that I was not quoting Mendelssohn's view
about an halakhic issue, but his view about the exegetical issue of
peshat and derash.  While I do not wish to start a debate about
Mendelssohn's legitimacy, I must note that Kahn's tacit assumption that
the unremittingly negative attitude of the Hatam Sofer to Mendelssohn
represents the view of Orthodoxy in general is simply incorrect and
would appear to reflect a lack of knowledge on Kahn's part of the true
complexity and wide range of views regarding Mendelssohn and his
writings by unimpeachably Orthodox figures.  The Bi`ur, Mendelssohn's
German translation of and Hebrew Commentary on the Humash, was widely
accepted and used in 19th century Orthodox circles, despite the Hatam
Sofer's opposition.  Suffice it to note that no less a rabbinic giant
than the Hatam Sofer's father-in law, Rabbi Akiva Eger (!), subscribed
to and studied the Bi`ur, and no less a figure than the leading disciple
of the Hatam Sofer, R. Moses Schick, used the Bi`ur, despite his
teacher's disapproval.  Regarding the Maharam Schick, see S.Z. Leiman,
"Rabbi Moses Schick: The Hatam Sofer's Attitude toward Mendelssohn's
Biur," Tradition 24:3 (Spring, 1989), pp.83-86.  Regarding the broader
issue of Mendelssohn's place within (or outside of) Orthodoxy, see
Steven Lowenstein, "The Readership of Mendelssohn's Bible Translation"
HUCA (1982), pp. 179-213; Meir Hildesheimer, "Moses Mendelssohn in
Nineteenth-Century Rabbinic Literature," PAAJR 55(1988), pp. 79-133; and
my brief observations in the first note of my article, "Daas Torah: A
Modern Conception of Rabbinic Authority," Rabbinic Authority and
Personal Autonomy, ed. Moshe Sokol (Northvale,N.J.; Jason Aronson,

I would suggest that we should be very careful before we rush to impugn
the Orthodox legitimacy of even such a controversial figure as
Mendelssohn.  I myself have serious criticisms to make about some of
Mendelssohn's views and some of his activities, but it is and should be
a far step from that to "passeling" him wholesale and declaring that one
should not even quote him in Mail -Jewish. This, of course, raises the
larger issue of the bounds and limits of Orthodoxy, which, of course
requires an entire treatise, not just a posting in Mail-Jewish .

Lawrence Kaplan
Department of Jewish Studies
MGill University


From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Wed, 4 Sep 2002 13:51:15 GMT
Subject: Mi Shebeirach

>>Is it appropriate to make a Mi Shebeirach for ones wife during pregnancy ?
Are there other prayers/tehillim that are appropriate ?

Try this (the posting is from Amazon but the book is widely available):  

Joyful Mother of Children: A Compilation of Prayers, Suggestions and
Laws for the Jewish Expectant Family 
by Dovid Simcha Rosenthal



From: Dov Bloom <dovb@...>
Date: Tue, 03 Sep 2002 02:33:54 +0200
Subject: Munach L'garmei

The accepted practice seems to be : When a munach l'garmei appears
immediately before the revi'i, it is sung like a l'garmei and not like a
munach + pasek.

There are about 60 such cases in the Tenach, the best list is in Rav
Mordechai Breuer's book "Taamei Hamikra..." (1982) where he not only
lists the occurances but catagorizes and analyses all of these "rare"

William Wickes English language tome from the end of the 19th century
"Two Treatises on the Accentuation of the Old Testemant" gives a list
also but with no analysis.

There are 14 cases of legarmei-revi'i in the Torah, if you don't count
each of the (12) repetitious cases in Naso [ "shneihem (munach l'garmei)
melaim (revi'i). ] .  I seem to remember a Massoretic note giving 14
cases of l'garmei immediately before revi'i, but I could not locate it.
_If_ there is such a Massorah note, that charachterises these cases as
legarmei-revi'i and not munach-pasek-revi'i, then clearly the proper
singing is as a legarmei. But I couldn't find any such Massoretic note
in Frensdorf's Mesorah Gedola or in Eliyahu Levitas's Massoret
HaMassoret doing a cursory search. Can anyone out there find it?

For a modern commentator who touches on this legarmei-revi'i issue on a
specific verse see Shad"al Breshit 17:14.

If there is no Massoretic evidence to the contrary, I would think to
suggest that "shneihem melaim " could be divided by a pasek because of
the two identical "mem"s, and therefore it would not be a l'garmei at
all. Breuer, who is the Torah and secular world's leading scholar on
these subjects (marei de-shmat'ta on subjects of Massorah, and
accentuation-Teamim ) , does not agree with this, though he mentions the
idea in a footnote.  For those interested in the pasek and it's
functions (because if it is a l'garmei it isn't a pasek and visa versa)
including the function of the pasek in preventing elision of 2 identical
consonents like these two "mem"s , the best work is the doctoral thesis
of Leah Widowsky (now Dr. Widowsky-Himmelfarb) on the Pasek which she
wrote in Hebrew for Bar Ilan in the late 80's.

Dov A Bloom
Beit Yatir, Israel


From: Shmuel Ross <shmuel@...>
Date: Wed, 4 Sep 2002 21:52:58 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Perpetual Hebrew Calendar

Yael Levine Katz <ylkpk@...> asks...

> I am seeking a perpetual Hebrew calendar that will be able to calculate
> the dates for Hannukah tav-kuf-tet-zayin - I would like to know whether
> the first day was still in 1755 or already in 1756.

   There's an exhaustively documented shareware program for DOS called
JCAL that can handle dates from 1583 to 3239.  According to it, Chanukah
of 5516 began on November 29, 1755.

   The program appears to be available at the top of this page:



End of Volume 37 Issue 6