Volume 39 Number 79
                 Produced: Thu Jun 12  6:09:49 US/Eastern 2003


Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Acronyms
         [Ira L. Jacobson]
How does a one armed man put on tefillin shel YAD?
         [Prof. Aryeh A. Frimer]
Tirhat Hatzibbur (4)
         [Michael Kahn, Aharon Fischman, <chips@...>, Shalom
Ozarowski]


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From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Date: Wed, 11 Jun 2003 14:54:25 +0300
Subject: Re: Acronyms

Emmanuel Ifrah stated:
>- Finally, I heard from Rabbi E. M. Teitz that the meaning of
>"samekh-tet" was "sin tin", an aramaic translation of the expression
>"afar va-efer" (dust and ashes). In this case S"T would be a form of
>modesty in the signature. Such was the practice of Hacham Tzvi
>Ashkenazi.

And R' EM Teitz added:
>My source for this meaning is Rabbi Yehudah Leib Maimon, who mentions it
>in one of his volumes of Sarei HaMeiah.  His proof is not only that an
>Ashkenazi used the expression, but the fact that among the talmidei
>chachamim, no one used it in addressing others, but only with respect to
>himself.  Any meaning such as "Sefaradi tahor" or "seifei tav" could
>just as well havebeen applied to the addressee as well as the writer.

Interesting.

First, samekh tet is not an acronym.  It is an abbreviation.

Secondly, I wish to propose that perhaps the Hakham Zvi, R' Zvi
Ashkenazi, was indeed a Sefardi.  It is well know that the surname
Ashkenazi is often used by Sefardim who have an Ashkenazi background..

REMT does indeed note "that among the talmidei chachamim, no one used it
in addressing others, but only with respect to himself," which indeed
strengthens my thesis.

In order to test my hypothesis, I would suggest that the Hakham Zvi did
indeed mean for ST to stand for pure Sefardi when he used it after his
own name at the beginning of his book.  If that is not the case, I would
ask how we know?

IRA L. JACOBSON
mailto:<laser@...>

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From: Prof. Aryeh A. Frimer <frimea@...>
Date: Wed, 11 Jun 2003 13:25:55 +0300
Subject: Re: How does a one armed man put on tefillin shel YAD?

     The responsa literature is replete with rulings permitting a woman
to help a disabled or ill man to put on tefillin: R. Solomon
Kvetch. Resp.  Hokhmat Shlomo, sec. 1; R. Judah Asad, Resp. Yehuda
Ya'aleh, O.H., sec. 19; R. Moses Schick, Resp. Maharam Schick, O.H.,
sec. 15; R. Israel Isser Isserlin, Pithei Teshuva, O.H., sec. 39, no. 1,
s.v. "O isha"; R. Jehiel Mikhel Segel Gold, Me'asef leKhol haMahanot,
O.H., sec. 39, no. 3; R. Isaac Dov haLevi Bamberger, Resp. Yad haLevi,
II, sec. 1; R. Joab Joshua Weingarten, Helkat Yoav (Bnai Brak 5745
edition), II, O.H., sec. 2; R. Jacob Hayyim Sofer, Kaf haHayyim,
sec. 27, no. 8; R. Shalom Mordechai haKohen Shvadron, Da'at Torah,
O.H. sec. 27, no. 7 and sec. 39, no. 2; R. Judah Greenwald,
Resp. Zikhron Yehuda, I, sec. 17; R. Eliezer Judah Waldenberg,
Resp. Tsits Eliezer, XIII, sec. 7; R. Moses Shternbuch, Resp. Teshuvot
veHanhagot, II, O.H., sec. 25; R. Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, Halikhot
Shlomo, Hilkhot Tefilla, chap. 4, Dvar Halakha no. 18 and Minhat Shlomo,
II, sec. 4, no. 2 in Otsrot Shlomo 5759 Edition and sec. 2 in Sons' 5760
Edition; R.  Solomon Zalman Braun, She'arim haMetsuyyanim beHalakha,
sec. 10, no. 24, s.v. "uMi sheEin"; R. Isaac Oelbaum, Resp. She'eilat
Yitschak, Mahadura Tinyana, sec. 7; R. Yehoshua Yeshayahu Neuwirth,
Madrikh Hilkhati leAhayot beVatei Holim, sec. 1, no. 12; R. Ze'ev Dov
Slonim, Noam, XXI (5739), Sha'ar Halakha, p. 273; R. Jonah Metsger,
Resp. meYam haHalakha, III, sec. 13; R.  Abraham S. Abraham, Nishmat
Avraham, O.H., sec. 27, no. 2, s.v. "Siyua al Yedei Isha"; R. Abraham
S. Abraham, "A Comprehensive Guide to Medical Halakha" (Jerusalem,
Feldheim Publishers, 1990), sec 33, no. 1; R. Ben Zion Nesher,
Resp. Even Pina, I, sec. 1; R. Shalom Isaac Mizrahi, Resp. Divrei
Shalom, O.H., I, sec. 8, 9 and 11; Resp. Yabia Omer IX, O.H., sec. 7,
no. 3; R. Yeshayahu Shapira, Tseida laDerekh, (Jerusalem: Machon Zomet,
2001), Chap. 96, sec. G1, p. 227.

The following poskim explicitly permit menstruants to do so: R. Ovadiah
Yosef, Taharat haBayit, II, Mishmeret haTahara, no. 45, p. 212, s.v. "Im
ha-ba'al;" R. David Yosef, Taharat haBayit haKatsar, sec. 12, no. 83,
p. 26; R. Moses Stern, Resp. Be'er Moshe, IV, sec. 6, no. 6; Halikhot
Beita, sec.  32, no. 12; R. Elijah Samuel Wind, Suga baShoshanim,
sec. 36, no. 25; Nishmat Avraham, Y.D., sec. 195, no. 1 - also cites
R. Shlomo Zalman Auerbach; R. Abraham Joshua Heschel Friedlander, Hasdei
Avraham: haHoleh beHalakha, Sec. 3, no. 37, notes 110 and 116.

Dr. Aryeh A. Frimer
Ramat Gan 52900, ISRAEL
E-mail: <FrimeA@...>
Tel: 972-3-5318610; Fax: 972-3-5351250

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From: Michael Kahn <mi_kahn@...>
Date: Thu, 12 Jun 2003 00:24:10 -0400
Subject: Re: Tirhat Hatzibbur

>I am tired of reading that slow davening is somehow more desirable than
>fast davening, that the people who daven more slowly ...
>have more kavanah,

Having kavana requires those who don't think in Hebrew to utter words in
one language while simultaneously thinking about their meaning in
another language. That's a pretty mean feat. Isn't it understandable
that it takes some time to do?

For example, what does the word Baruch mean? Some interpret it to mean
that Hashem is the source of all blessings, not that Hashem is blessed
because who blessed Hashem? This takes at least a second or two to think
of.

What does Hashem mean? God? True. But the Shulchan Aruch (not sure
where) gives specific meanings to it. I think it means Hashem is the
master of all. Elokainu means more than our God. It means that Hashem is
the takif/strong one, and baal hakochos kulam/ the possessor of all
powers.  Even just one word in Hebrew is very complex. There is a sefer
from a Rabbi Birnbaum called Iyun Tfila, also in English, which gives
great interpretations of the Tfilos. I highly recommend it. Having all
these things in mind takes time. You imply that davening with kavana
doesn't require the time people think it does? I disagree. Of course I
agree that it must be done within reason.

It's not like I don't know where you are coming from. A rebby in a
yeshiva I attended once compared davening in yeshiva to bowling with ten
people. You bowl and then you wait for everyone to catch up with you J.
However this rebby was discussing a situation where the Rosh yeshivas
shma takes 7 minutes and Shmona Esray takes 10. That isn't the case in
most shules.

>There is nothing "better" about davening slowly. Certainly God can hear
>what we are saying at any speed; to say that He cannot is heresy. And to
>say that the worshiper gets more spiritual enjoyment out of it is
>subjective in the extreme (some do, and some don't). Even for those for
>whom this is true, it is rather irreverent, since davening is not for
>the enjoyment, spiritual or otherwise, of those doing it (that would
>make it self-worship) but rather for the sanctification of God.

I'm very surprised by this statement. Simcha shel Mitzva is one of the
most loftiest experiences one can have. In davening we beseech Hashem
for "Sabenu Mituvecha," "Satisfy us from your goodness." I have seen
this interpreted in Rabbi Birnbaum's Iyun Tfila as "Help us derive
satisfaction from YOUR goodness", i.e. from enjoying the mitzvos with is
the goodness of Hashem. The tochacha in Sefer Dvarim speaks of the
importance of serving Hashem out of Simcha.

In the past we have discussed many of the reasons why many young people
have been lost to Torah. I find it "pashut" that in many cases this was
because such youth saw their parents performing mitzvos as a chore, not
a labor of love. Thus they thought, "if it aint fun why bother." Reb
Moshe Feinstein was famous for saying that it was people who told their
children "It's shver/hard to be a Yid/Jew," that drove their children of
the Derech. True chinuch comes from believing and teaching that it's fun
to be a Jew.

Reb Chatzkal Levenstein said that davening, when done properly, can be a
great act of mussar. If one thinks of the greatness of Hashem when he
says Gadol Hashem Umihullal Meod, if one develops a yearning for Torah
study by concentrating on the prayer Vsane Bilibanu Bina Lehavin
Ulihaskel Lilmod Ulilamed^ and if one strengthens his emuna every time
he says baruch hagever asher yivtach bashem-well is that not the
greatest limud of mussar and character improvement. Think about the
beuty of those who accept upon themselves the mitzva of Viahavta
Leraiacha Kamocha every time they daven.

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From: Aharon Fischman <afischman@...>
Date: Wed, 11 Jun 2003 08:07:13 -0400
Subject: Re: Tirhat Hatzibbur

Baruch J. Schwartz wrote:
>Some rabbis readily acknowledge this to be true and find the "custom" of
>prolonging their own Shema and Amida, and making the congregation wait
>for them to finish, laughable at the very least. Rabbis who have
> abolished this practice: more power to you!

Along similar lines, Rabbi S. Drillman (A"H) was a Rebbi of mine at YU told
us in shiur that when he first became a pupit rabbi, his rebbe said "May you
have little emet [truth] and shalom [peace]".  When he inquired what kind of
hope that was, his rebbe replied, if you don't take a long time to get to
'Hashem Elo'kechem Emet' at the end of Shema and 'Hamevarech et amo Yisrael
BaShalom' at the of Amida you will do fine.

Aharon Fischman
<afischman@...>
www.alluregraphics.com

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From: <chips@...>
Date: Wed, 11 Jun 2003 23:07:05 -0700
Subject: Re:  Tirhat Hatzibbur

Have you checked what is written by the later day commentaries on the
relevant sections of the Shulchan Aruch?  It is explicitly stated that
now-a-days it is good and proper to wait for the Rabbi since the Rabbi
will go at a proper and decent pace, thereby allowing others in the
congration to do so as well.

In addition, I hear far,far,far more mistakes by the speedy people than
by the slow-pokes. Just this morning I heard a speedy davener skip G0d's
name.

And from personel experience, I am a speedy davener. On those extremely
rare days that I have good and singular koveneh I find that I go about
20% slower.

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From: <Shalomoz@...> (Shalom Ozarowski)
Date: Thu, 12 Jun 2003 02:29:33 EDT
Subject: Re: Tirhat Hatzibbur

dr. schwartz raises a point that i found very interesting, since my
guess is many daveners are of the "faster" (is it safe to call it
'balabatish'?) variety but do not give it as much thought as he does.  i
would probably consider myself part of the "slower daveners" category -
i almost always find myself unable to say the words at the pace of
everyone else - however i can't say if i typically have more
concentration (or 'kavana' if you like) than anyone else davening.  i
agree that we must be very careful in judging anyone's davening based on
its speed alone (or really ever judging someone else's mitzvah
performance at all- e.g. the related thread on 'tzedaka publicity' etc)
since davening especially is one of those aspects of yahadut very
personal in nature between the mitpallel and G-d, and no one else.

personally, of course, i think any serious davener who gives it thought
should be able to decide for themselves at what pace they are
comfortable & whats reasonable for them.  that's their/our (for us)
decision.

however, i would disagree with the assertion that slower davening has no
halachic (or other) advantages:

the one major point that i think was missed is what the halachic
definition of kavana actually is and what place it occupies.  while it
may not directly involve speed of how fast we recite hebrew words,
nowadays that does have an impact for many people on how much they
concentrate on what they are saying.  in the time of chazal, many seemed
to be of the opinion that a lack of kavana disqualified a tefilla
altogether and it had to be repeated (e.g. braita of rabbi eliezer on
brachot 28 [i think] which is also codified by rambam in hilchot tefilla
[4:10 i think]).  another braita nearby says that you must be 'm'chavein
libo' (concentrate) on the first part of shma and shmone esrei (=1st
pasuk/ 1st bracha of avot respectively) to be yotzei.  many definitions
of kavana have been offered by halachists as well as baalei machshava
throughout the ages.

while nowadays we typically follow the shulchan aruch (siman 98, 101)
that a tefilla said without proper concentration does not have to be
repeated, that seems to be only a practical concession since who knows
if we'll concentrate any better the second time.  l'chatchila though, we
should try to concentrate for as much of the davening as we can,
presumably on the words themselves as well as our general sincerity and
focus on HKB"H.  if anything, when emphasizing the "adherence to the
particulars of the halachic requirements," kavana as a halachic
principle is perhaps the most important aspect of davening! (albeit most
difficult for many of us, myself included.)

[rav chaim brisker's famous chiddush on the rambam mentioned above was
that we must be generally aware of G-d listening the entire time praying
as part of the mitzvah, while we must specifically know/intend the
perush hamilim- the words- for AT LEAST the first bracha of avot as in
the braita above.]

So, over time, a halachic shift in kavana required (b'diavad) and
formalization of davening seems to have been accompanied by a trend in
many orthodox shuls involving quicker davening parallel to lesser
cencentration by many, even on shabbos and sundays.  completing the
entire davening is often seen as the standard goal now.  [also of note
is the constant increase of the size/length of the liturgy, making the
davening ever-longer to finish.]

While everyone is different, it is still possible to see why
concentration on prayer (and its words especially) can often be more
conducive when more time is devoted to it.  i have not heard that
'zerizut' for a mitzva involves finishing it quickly as well.

Historically, the gemara records the chasidim harishonim as prolonging
their prayer (including some form of meditation?) but there does seem to
be something 'better' about it even if not practical for others, after
all they are called chasidim [if that can imply being 'better'!].  While
later adherents to Kabbalistic (eg. lurianic, early chasidic &
mitnagdic) prayer did chiefly emphasize reciting every detail of the
entire prayer service, their involved 'kavanot' must have made their
davening take quite a bit longer too.

The speed may not be the end-all and be-all of davening, but in this age
it often is related to concentration of members in a tzibur.  The
culture which seems to be promoting faster davening in shul nowadays-
with or without concentration- does leave me breathless simply trying to
say the words let alone understand and mean them (even on shabbos or
sundays, since thats what shulgoers are used to!).  i ask members of the
list what kind of kavana you consider yourself as having during davening
this way and whether you think it would change with the speed.  in any
case, its something we as frum jews could all give some thought to as
best we can as dr schwartz does.

kol tuv,
shalom ozarowski

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End of Volume 39 Issue 79